Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday roundup (10-22-19)

Most banks [around the globe] aren’t prepared for a recession, McKinsey warns (FoxBusiness)

As Draghi era ends at ECB, cheap money concerns nag (Reuters)

Long-term negative rates have 'adverse consequences' we don't fully understand, says Jamie Dimon (CNBC)

Germany recession panic: Merkel alarm as German Central Bank warns of slump: GERMANY is on the brink of recession after the German Central Bank warned its economy was expected to shrink in the third financial quarter. (The Express)

EU Fires Budget Warning Shots To Italy, France (The International Business Times)

Parliament denies Boris Johnson support for his fast-tracked Brexit deal, making Oct. 31 exit unlikely (The Washington Post)

Facing protests, Lebanon approves emergency economic reforms (Reuters) Lebanon’s economic crisis didn’t happen overnight. So how did it get to this point?: Here’s why the government’s latest response doesn’t meet protesters’ demands. (The Washington Post)




Russia and Turkey reach deal to push Kurdish forces out of zone in northern Syria (The Washington Post) Turkey and Russia agree on deal over buffer zone in northern Syria: Erdoğan hails agreement with Putin in which Kurdish fighters will be moved from border area (The Guardian) For Trump the Dealmaker, Troop Pullouts Without Much in Return: The president has sought to scale back America’s military presence around the world without waiting to negotiate concessions from foes like the Taliban or North Korea. (The New York Times)

The America I Knew as Russia’s Foreign Minister Is Gone: But by impeaching Donald Trump, it can become a beacon of moral truth again. (The New York Times)

Top U.S. envoy ties Trump directly to Ukraine quid pro quo: William Taylor’s testimony provides some of the most damaging evidence yet in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. (Politico) U.S. envoy says he was told release of Ukraine aid was contingent on public declaration to investigate Bidens, 2016 election (The Washington Post) An Envoy’s Damning Account of Trump’s Ukraine Pressure and Its Consequences: William B. Taylor Jr. laid out in visceral terms the potentially life-or-death stakes of what he saw as an illegitimate scheme to pressure Kiev for political help by suspending American security aid. (The Washington Post) Congressman Calls Ukraine Ambassador's Testimony His 'Most Disturbing Day' in Congress (Newsweek) [Leaked:] Opening Statement of Ambassador William B. Taylor - Oct. 22, 2019 (The Washington Post)

[Veteran conservative columnist for The Washington Examiner:]















[Thread:]






Donald hanged himself: A veteran diplomat’s account under oath is far more damning to Trump than anything Democrats can say [Editorial] (The New York Daily News)

Donald Trump’s Quid Pro Quo Is Now a Smoking Gun: Mr. Trump’s own acting envoy, William Taylor, described how the president tried to force Ukraine to advance his political interests. (The New York Times) William Taylor, ‘Model’ Diplomat, Is at Center of Impeachment Inquiry: William B. Taylor Jr., a former Army officer and State Department official who testified Tuesday, has served under both Democratic and Republican presidents. (The New York Times)




Trump compares impeachment probe to ‘lynching,’ again prompting political firestorm around race (The Washington Post) 'This is a lynching, in every sense': Lindsey Graham says Trump's impeachment description 'accurate' (USAToday) Trump’s grotesque racism matters (The Washington Post)




Ukraine ambassador William Taylor’s testimony backs Senate Republicans into a corner ["It takes 67 votes to convict. Taylor’s testimony might just tip the scales."] (The Washington Examiner)

Here’s the quid pro quo proof, Lindsey Graham (The Washington Post)




He’s Unraveling”: Scaramucci Predicts the Trump Endgame: Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, the born-again Trump critic calls the Ukraine scandal a “full-blown constitutional crisis” and suggests Mitch McConnell will push Trump out of office. (VanityFair) Trump Said McConnell Told Him Ukraine Call Was ‘Innocent.’ Senator Now ‘Doesn’t Recall.’ (TalkingPointsMemo)

Prosecutors flagged possible ties between Ukrainian gas tycoon and Giuliani associates (The Washington Post)

White House to cancel Times, Post subscriptions after Trump's 'Hannity' comments (Politico)

U.S. Air Quality Was Improving. Now It’s Getting Worse: New data may signal a deadly change in America’s environmental health. (Bloomberg)

Boeing replaces head of commercial airplane unit amid 737 Max crisis (CNBC)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday roundup (10-21-19)

Italy's debt hit 134.8% of GDP in 2018: EU statistics agency says debt-GDP ratio up from 134.1% in 2017 (ANSA)

Speaker of Parliament deals another blow to Boris Johnson's Brexit plan: The prime minister has staked his political career on leaving the European Union on Oct. 31. (NBCNews)

Does Trump understand how grossly he just insulted the president of Turkey? (The Washington Post)

Beyond Syria. He Says He Wants Nuclear Weapons.:
A month before invading Kurdish areas in Syria, Turkey’s president said he “cannot accept” the West’s restrictions that keep him from a bomb. (The New York Times)

ISIS Reaps Gains of U.S. Pullout From Syria:
The troop withdrawal ends American operations against the terrorist group conducted jointly with a Kurdish-led militia. (The New York Times)




Pentagon draws up plans for quick Afghanistan withdrawal in case Trump blindsides military: Officials cautioned, however, that the planning is a precaution and there is currently no White House directive to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. (NBCNews)

Pelosi releases 'fact sheet' saying Trump has 'betrayed his oath of office' (The Hill) Truth Exposed (Speaker)

House Democrats zero in on 'abuse of power' in Trump impeachment inquiry: Pelosi is said to favor one sweeping charge related to Ukraine, but there's some debate about the need for additional charges. (NBCNews)

Trump reversed course on hosting G-7 at his club after learning that impeachment-weary Republicans were tired of defending him (The Washington Post)

The 2 Republican senators to watch [= Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham] as Trump's impeachment looms ["If Graham were to defect, you can count on at least 19 other Republican senators — the minimum needed to convict — doing the same."] (Axios)

End of GM strike still uncertain, despite tentative labor deal (CNN)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday roundup (10-20-19)

The sluggish global economy needs to reform – and fast: Mervyn King’s IMF speech turned heads – dangerously little has changed since the 2008 financial crisis (The Guardian)

Brexit stopping Britain resolving deep problems with economy, says former Bank of England chief: Lord Mervyn King calls for general election to provide mandate for either Leave or Remain (The Independent) Ex-Bank of England boss - UK is neglecting deep problems with economy: Lord Mervyn King tells Sky News everyone is fed up with the Brexit drama - and that a new parliament and an election is needed. (SkyNews)

The Window for Brexit May Already Have Closed: Parliament is delaying Johnson’s plan—and generational replacement has undercut its support. (The Atlantic)

Petraeus says US betrayed Syrian Kurds in 'sudden exit' (CNN)

Trump can't stop bragging to foreign leaders about his resorts: Lawmakers, and even Trump’s own staff, are questioning whether his business deals are influencing U.S. foreign policy. (Politico) Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year’s G-7 summit, bowing to criticism (The Washington Post)

Chris Wallace: 'Well-connected' DC Republican says 20% chance Senate would remove Trump (The Washington Examiner)

Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Trump is what he had in mind.: He wanted a strong president — and a way to get rid of the demagogic ones. (The Washington Post)

The revenge of the State Department: As U.S. diplomats defy the president and the secretary of State to testify before impeachment investigators, they’re being hailed as heroes by colleagues who’ve long felt abused. (Politico)

Justice Department Distances Itself From Giuliani: In an unusual statement, a spokesman said department officials would not have met with President Trump’s personal lawyer had they known his associates were under investigation. (The New York Times)




Inside Joe Biden’s brawling efforts to reform Ukraine — which won him successes and enemies (The Washington Post)

The Liberation of Mitt Romney: The newly rebellious senator has become an outspoken dissident in Trump’s Republican Party, just in time for the president’s impeachment trial. (The Atlantic) Mitt Romney’s Trump indictment (Axios) When it comes to Trump, Republicans’ silence is not golden (The Washington Post)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday roundup (10-19-19)

Britain asks EU to postpone Brexit for third time after UK lawmakers delay vote on withdrawal deal (CNBC) Boris Johnson Forced to Seek Brexit Extension After Rebuke from Lawmakers: Even as the British prime minister asked the E.U. to delay the deadline for departure, he warned this would be bad for both sides. (The New York Times)

Kurds’ Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals: Abandoned by the U.S., Kurdish forces are doubly angry at who is seeking to replace them: Turkish-allied Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs. (The New York Times)







After Criticism, Trump to Select New Location for G7: White House officials would consider another site, the president said, suggesting Camp David was a possibility. (The New York Times) 'There's a perception of impropriety': Former White House officials say Doral G-7 breaks precedent (USAToday) Trump’s Choice to Bring G7 to His Own Resort Would Violate Conflict-of-Interest Law, if He Weren’t President (The New York Times)

Growing number of Republicans struggle to defend Trump on G-7 choice, Ukraine and Syria
(The Washington Post)

‘Bribery’ is right there in the Constitution. Trump could be impeached for that.: Why wrestle with the meaning of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”? The president can be accused of an offense that’s already well-defined. (The Washington Post)

AG Barr expands mysterious review into origin of Russia investigation:
If U.S. Attorney John Durham is conducting a criminal investigation, it’s not clear what allegations of wrongdoing are being examined. (NBCNews) Review of Russia Inquiry Grows as F.B.I. Witnesses Are Questioned: The review, led by the prosecutor John Durham, has focused on former investigators who are frequent targets of President Trump. (The New York Times)




Giuliani Mixes His Business With Role as Trump’s Lawyer: Amid intensifying scrutiny of his own work, the former New York mayor met recently with senior Justice Department officials on behalf of a client in a foreign bribery case. (The New York Times)

GM strike losses push Adient to furlough 1,300 corporate employees during the holidays (Crain's Detroit Business)

Most U.S. Dairy Cows Are Descended From Just 2 Bulls. That's Not Good
(National Public Radio)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday roundup (10-18-19)

Erdogan Slams ‘Lack of Respect’ From Trump’s Letter: ‘Necessary Steps Will Be Taken’ (Mediaite)

Mitch McConnell: Withdrawing from Syria is a grave mistake (The Washington Post)

CNN’s Gangel: After Meeting, GOP ‘Alarmed at Trumps ‘Demeanor’ — ‘Not in Control of Himself’ (Breitbart)




Sorry, Mick Mulvaney. I can’t ‘get over it.’ (The Washington Post) Mick Mulvaney’s confession confirms wrongdoing — on multiple levels [Editorial] (The Boston Globe)

To Win Giuliani’s Help, Oligarch’s Allies Pursued Biden Dirt (Bloomberg)

Giuliani pushed Trump administration to grant a visa to a Ukrainian official promising dirt on Democrats (CNN)

Giuliani Mixes His Business With Role as Trump’s Lawyer:
Amid intensifying scrutiny of his own work, the former New York mayor met recently with senior Justice Department officials on behalf of a client in a foreign bribery case. (The New York Times)

Sondland backed effort to 'shake up' leadership at Ukraine's state energy company: The Ukrainian government saw Sondland's push as part of a broader effort linked to Giuliani and his associates. (NBCNews)

Impeachment inquiry shows Trump at the center of Ukraine efforts against rivals
(The Washington Post)

Trump was already violating the emoluments clause. Grabbing the G-7 is even worse.: Who is benefiting when the president’s businesses get contracts? Not the public. (The Washington Post)  Move the summit, Mr. President [Editorial in Rupert Murdoch's] (The New York Post)

Next question for Rick Perry: Will he testify?
(Politico)

Boeing lead pilot warned about flight-control system tied to 737 Max crashes, then told regulators to delete it from manuals
(CNBC)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thursday roundup (10-17-19)

U.K. and E.U. approve new Brexit deal, setting up potentially close vote in U.K. Parliament (The Washington Post) EU and UK agree draft Brexit deal but obstacles remain: Boris Johnson still needs parliamentary backing for the agreement. (Politico) Brexit deal faces familiar obstacle — Northern Ireland unionists: Without Democratic Unionist Party votes, it is hard to see how Boris Johnson’s deal can pass the House of Commons. (Politico)

China third-quarter GDP grows 6%, slowest pace in almost three decades (Reuters)

Turkey's Erdogan 'threw Trump's Syria letter in bin' (The BBC)




In ‘Cave-in,’ Trump Cease-Fire Cements Turkey’s Gains in Syria: The agreement, announced by Vice President Mike Pence, may stop the killing in the Kurdish enclave in northern Syria. But the cost to American influence is expected to be high. (The New York Times) In Fort Worth, Trump boasts he just saved millions of Kurds by unleashing Turkey, then brokering ceasefire: News of 5-day truce broke as Trump flew to Texas for campaign rally in Dallas (The Dallas Morning News)




Senate Republicans reject effort to condemn Trump's Syria withdrawal: The House this week overwhelmingly voted to condemn the pullout. (Politico)

Romney denounces Trump’s Syria decision as ‘a bloodstain’ on U.S. history (The Washington Post)

Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President: If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office. by Admiral William H. McRaven, former commander of the United States Special Operations Command (The New York Times)

Nancy Pelosi To President Donald Trump: 'All Roads With You Lead To Putin' | The Last Word [Broadcast Oct. 6] (MSNBC)



Trump Doral resort to host G-7 summit — sparking yet another ethics fight for the White House (CNBC) ["That decision is without precedent in modern American history: The president used his public office to direct a huge contract to himself."] (The Washington Post) Trump’s hosting of the G-7 is deeply corrupt. Here’s how Democrats can step up. (The Washington Post) Holding G-7 at Trump's Doral resort is shameless (The Washington Examiner) Watch Fox Anchor Neil Cavuto Dismantle Mulvaney’s Disaster Press Conference: ‘Well, That Went Well…’ (Mediaite)
















Fox News Judge [Andrew Napolitano] Says Trump 'Bought Himself Enormous Headache' With G7 Doral Decision (Newsweek)




Mulvaney acknowledges Ukraine aid was withheld to boost political probe: "I have news for everybody: Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy," the acting White House chief of staff told reporters. (Politico) After saying Trump held back aid to pressure Ukraine, Mulvaney tries to walk back comments (The Washington Post) Mulvaney brashly admits quid pro quo over Ukraine aid as key details emerge -- and then denies doing so (CNN) Mulvaney Says, Then Denies, That Trump Held Back Ukraine Aid as Quid Pro Quo: Conflicting comments by the acting White House chief of staff threw  Washington into turmoil. (The New York Times) Mick Mulvaney’s comments on Trump and Ukraine couldn’t have been clearer [Editorial] (The Washington Post)







Republicans worried by Mulvaney's confirmation Trump sought exchange of favors with Ukraine (CNN) Impeachment is now a slam dunk (The Washington Post)

Ambassador breaks with Trump, testifying the President directed diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine (CNN) Gordon Sondland says Giuliani pushed Ukraine probes at Trump’s direction: Trump’s EU ambassador told House investigators he opposed the president’s request to run Ukraine policy through Rudy Giuliani. (Politico) Sondland asked Ukrainian officials during private White House talk about gas firm linked to Hunter Biden: Sondland’s meeting with Ukrainian officials just steps from the White House Situation Room came minutes after a larger meeting that included John Bolton. (NBCNews)




Trump’s Impeachment Blockade Crumbles as Witnesses Agree to Talk: After vowing not to cooperate with a “kangaroo court,” the president has largely failed to prevent current and former administration members from spending hours with Democrats seeking to impeach him. (The New York Times)

Rick Perry Called Rudy Giuliani at Trump’s Direction on Ukraine Concerns: President’s lawyer said Ukraine had worked to hurt Trump in 2016 election, energy secretary says in interview [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Giuliani Ukraine associate had checkered past even before indictment: Lev Parnas’ track record is punctuated with alleged death threats and partnerships with fraudsters. (Politico)

Did Rudy Pal Igor Fruman Steal Another Man’s Identity to Make a $100K Campaign Donation?:
The effort to hide campaign donations may be more deceptive than previously known. (The Daily Beast)

German car parts supplier Brose to cut 2,000 jobs as auto sector struggles (Reuters)

Merck to eliminate 500 jobs
(The Philadelphia Business Journal)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Initial jobless claims (Weekly report, 10-17-19)

The purpose of this weekly post is to watch how initial jobless claims in the United States are trending (up or down) and to keep track of whether the numbers are holding below 500,000, which would indicate at least the appearance of a fairly healthy economic situation.

"Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, increased by 4,000 to 214,000 in the week of Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, the government said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.