Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wednesday roundup (05-27-20)

Some Countries Have Brought New Cases Down To Nearly Zero. How Did They Do It? (National Public Radio)



IEA says the coronavirus crisis has set in motion the largest drop of global energy investment in history (CNBC)

EU unveils plan to borrow 750 billion euros to aid economic recovery (CNBC)

Eurozone on brink: EU currency faces devastating COLLAPSE - panicked ECB issues warning:
THE Eurozone's most debt-ridden countries risk bringing the single currency bloc to its knees as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is laid bare, the European Central Bank has warned. (The Express)

Lufthansa board rejects EU conditions on $10 billion bailout (Reuters)

Pompeo says Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, jeopardizing billions of dollars in trade (CNN) Pompeo declares Hong Kong no longer autonomous from China (The Washington Post) In the midst of a crisis, China moves to crush Hong Kong’s autonomy: Congress should sanction Chinese officials to hold them accountable for attacking human rights and democratic freedoms. [Editorial] (The Boston Globe)

Brazil's Bolsonaro could soon be toppled, analysts say, as coronavirus cases surge (CNBC)

US death toll from coronavirus surges past 100,000 people
(The Associated Press) 'We All Feel At Risk': 100,000 People Dead From COVID-19 In The U.S. (National Public Radio) Trump, downplaying deaths, once claimed US would never see 100,000 milestone: Trump suggested throughout April the country wouldn't reach 100,000 deaths. (ABCNews) Revisiting Mike Pence's unfortunate Memorial Day prediction: Pence said the crisis would be "behind us" by Memorial Day weekend. His failed prediction is emblematic of a larger problem. (MSNBC blogs)

After Twitter Fact-Checks Donald Trump's Tweet, President Threatens to Close Down Social Media Platforms (Newsweek) Trump Will Sign Executive Order On Social Media After Lashing Out At Twitter (TalkingPointsMemo) Trump Threatens To Shut Down Social Media After Twitter Adds Warning To His Tweets (National Public Radio) Trump’s latest display isn’t just deranged. It’s also an abuse of power. (The Washington Post) Fox News' Andrew Napolitano Backs Twitter's Right To Fact-Check Trump: The legal analyst said Twitter can correct any user it wants, "including the president of the United States." (HuffPost)



Mortgage demand from homebuyers shows unexpectedly strong and quick recovery, as applications spike 9% from a year ago [recovery = still more debt?] (CNBC)

[Meanwhile,] Mortgages in forbearance rise to 4.2 million, MBA says: About 8.4% of U.S. home loans have suspended payments amid COVID-19 economic shock (HousingWire)

An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters: The economic downturn is shaping up to be particularly devastating for renters, who are more likely to be lower-income and work hourly jobs cut during the pandemic. (The New York Times)

Trump takes his war on masks to new lows (CNN) Trump’s mockery of wearing masks divides Republicans (The Washington Post) Fauci says he wears a mask to be a symbol of what 'you should be doing' (CNN)

Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19 (National Public Radio)

The real nightmare scenario for this fall’s elections (The Washington Post)

Revealed: conservative group fighting to restrict voting tied to powerful dark money network:
Honest Elections Project, part of network that pushed supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh, is now focusing on voting restrictions (The Guardian)

Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in 10 years: The Tampa native has said it shouldn’t be available to everyone. (The Tampa Bay Times)



New USAID religious-freedom adviser has history of anti-Islam comments (The Washington Post)

Trump's slanderous attack on Joe Scarborough is incompatible with leadership [Editorial] (The Washington Examiner)

Mom and Pop Retailers Are Struggling During the Lockdowns. Big Box Giants Are Thriving. (Barron's)

Salaries Get Chopped for Many Americans Who Manage to Keep Jobs (Bloomberg)

Amtrak Prepares to Cut 20% of Workforce: ‘The climb back will be hard,’ Chief Executive Bill Flynn says in internal memo [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Boeing cutting more than 12,000 U.S. jobs, thousands more planned (Reuters)

Baylor Scott & White to lay off 1,200 workers, furlough others (Becker's Hospital Review)

     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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tuesday roundup (05-26-20)

Stimulus will add to high debt levels but alternative is 'much worse,' ECB vice president says (CNBC)

Argentina’s Debt Showdown Between Wall Street And Rockstar Economists Goes Down To The Wire (Forbes)

Brazil records world's highest daily coronavirus death toll for first time (TheHill)

Brazil media boycott Bolsonaro residence after abuse of reporters: Globo among those to suspend reporting owing to harassment by president’s supporters (The Guardian)

[In the United States,] ‘An international example of bad judgment’: Local officials stunned by raucous Memorial Day festivities (The Washington Post) Memorial Day showed how risky reopening is (The Washington Post)

Trump Wants Schools to Reopen 'ASAP'—Majority of Americans Think They Will Still Be Unsafe For Months (Newsweek)

The meat industry is trying to get back to normal. But workers are still getting sick — and shortages may get worse.: There are now more than 11,000 coronavirus cases tied to Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS (The Washington Post) As Meatpacking Plants Reopen, Data About Worker Illness Remains Elusive: Emails show local officials received conflicting signals from state leaders and meatpacking companies about how much information to release about outbreaks in plants. (The New York Times) ‘Something isn’t right’: U.S. probes soaring beef prices: One hundred years ago, U.S. antitrust prosecutors broke down monopolies in meatpacking. But can they do it again? (Politico)

In Audacious Move, Georgia and Florida Governors Offer to Host G.O.P. Convention: The party is still contractually obligated to hold the event in North Carolina, but President Trump has threatened a change of location as the state’s Democratic governor urges caution because of the coronavirus. (The New York Times) Texas GOP says it would welcome Republican National Convention if NC falters (The Statesman) Trump's threat to pull GOP convention came as surprise to Republicans working on event (CNN)

The Malignant Cruelty of Donald Trump: The president is defaming the memory of a woman who died nearly 20 years ago—and inflicting pain upon her family today. (The Atlantic) Trump Pushes a Conspiracy Theory That Falsely Accuses a TV Host of Murder: On Twitter and at a news conference, the president said Joe Scarborough was responsible for the death of Lori Klausutis, who worked for him when he was a congressman. But Twitter refused her husband’s request to have the false tweets removed. (The New York Times)

Widower of Joe Scarborough staffer seeks removal of Trump tweets that promote baseless conspiracy theory (The Washington Post) He asked Twitter to remove Trump's false tweets about his dead wife. Twitter refused (CNN) Twitter Must Cleanse the Trump Stain: The president is spreading a vile conspiracy theory on the platform. Maybe Twitter should finally hold him to its rules. (The New York Times) Trump has no decency. It’s time for Twitter to show some. (The Washington Post)

Twitter labels Trump’s tweets [on mail-in voting] with a fact check for the first time:
The action comes after years of criticism that social media companies have allowed the president to push misinformation unchecked (The Washington Post) Twitter labeled Trump tweets with a fact check for the first time (CNN)



Trump accuses Twitter of 'stifling' free speech after fact check (TheHill)



What if Trump refuses to accept defeat in 2020? (CNN)

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns
(Axios)

If Donald Trump Loves Jews So Much, Why Does He Keep Celebrating America's Biggest anti-Semites?: When the president praises Henry Ford's 'good bloodlines,' ratifies anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and legitimizes the scapegoating of minorities, we should take him at his word [may be behind paywall] (Haaretz)

Trump’s nuclear brinksmanship keeps backfiring, but he keeps doubling down (The Washington Post)

The Financial Catastrophe That Coronavirus Brought to Small Towns: The federal government has abandoned America’s small towns as the coronavirus depletes their budgets. It’s flood season and local leaders have no idea how to help residents through natural disasters. “We do not see how we will survive,” one told us. (ProPublica)

Latin America's largest airline, LATAM, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (CNN)

Amtrak says it needs additional bailout of nearly $1.5 billion to stay afloat:
Railroad company projects ridership will remain low next year, about half of pre-pandemic levels (The Washington Post)

McLaren to cut 1,200 jobs as virus hits demand (The BBC)

     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, May 25, 2020

Monday roundup (05-25-20)

When bubonic plague hit France in 1720, officials dithered. Sound familiar? (Stat) Reopening too soon: Lessons from the deadly second wave of the 1918 flu pandemic (The Washington Post)

[Thread:]


Lufthansa to Receive $10 Billion Bailout: The German government, which will take a 20 percent stake in the airline, said Lufthansa was facing an ‘existential emergency.’ (The New York Times)

This is the final nail in the coffin for Hong Kong’s autonomy
(The Washington Post) Why China’s Move to Rein In Hong Kong Is Just the Start: Xi Jinping’s China, emboldened by its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, no longer seems constrained by the threat of international rebuke. (The New York Times) Taiwan's Tsai pledges support for people of Hong Kong after China proposes national security law (CNBC)

Trump’s demonization of China puts U.S. in financial peril:
Blaming China for the coronavirus might seem like smart politics, but insulting a creditor when the U.S. is running up a huge debt to stimulate the economy isn’t a good idea. [May 22] (The Washington Post)

Inflation remote risk compared with Bank of Canada’s bigger worry — depression-inducing mix of deflation and debt: In his final speech as Governor, Stephen Poloz seeks to allay fears that the billions being pumped into the economy will lead to runaway prices (The Financial Post)

Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president [of the United States]? (The Washington Post) Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President: Why don’t the president’s supporters hold him to their own standard of masculinity? (The Atlantic)

Economic Outlook: Not Sanguine (Calculated Risk blog)

The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis.: The U.S. government often studies the trade-off between cost and safety. But the White House has failed to release any analysis of the pandemic, which could offer clues to what’s ahead. (The Washington Post)

Trump honors fallen service members in Memorial Day speech: The president also hailed troops fighting the coronavirus. (ABCNews) Trump honors war dead in events colored by pandemic's threat: President Donald Trump honored America’s war dead in back-to-back Memorial Day appearances colored by an epic struggle off the battlefield, against the coronavirus (The Associated Press) Trump Tweets and Golfs, but Makes No Mention of Virus’s Toll: Coronavirus deaths in the United States approached a staggering 100,000, a number the president once predicted would never be reached. (The New York Times) On weekend dedicated to war dead, Trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims and plays golf (The Washington Post)



Trump expected to broaden foreign worker bans: The president has already barred many foreign workers during the coronavirus pandemic, but he is facing pressure from conservatives to go further. (Politico)

As Trump removes federal watchdogs, some loyalists replacing them have ‘preposterous’ conflicts (The Washington Post)

Trump sees a ‘rigged election’ ahead. Democrats see a constitutional crisis in the making.: The president’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November elections has many wondering how he might respond to a defeat. (Politico) Chris Wallace Demolishes Trump’s Mail-In Voting Lies: ‘No History of Fraud’: The president has repeatedly claimed that there is rampant fraud in mail-in voting, something Wallace showed is simply not true. (The Daily Beast)

Trump threatens to pull Republican convention out of North Carolina:
He demands a guarantee the convention will be allowed to go on as planned. (Politico) Trump Says Republican National Convention Might Move From Charlotte—No Other City Wanted to Host It (Newsweek)

Administration leaves testing responsibility to states in report to Congress (The Washington Post)

Airbnb hosts are planning to sell off their properties because of the pandemic (CNN)

Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers:
Twenty large chains received more than $5 billion in federal grants even while sitting on more than $100 billion in cash. (The New York Times)

Doctors face pay cuts, furloughs and supply shortages as coronavirus pushes primary care to the brink (CNBC)

UW Medicine to furlough about 4,000 workers
(The Associated Press)

     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, May 24, 2020

Sunday roundup (05-24-20)

Richest nations face $17tn government debt burden from coronavirus: Fall in tax revenues set to push average debt-to-GDP ratio to 137%, warns OECD [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Financial Times)

Why Italy’s debt matters for everybody (The Washington Post)

French state debt could be over 115% of GDP by year end - budget minister (Reuters)

Two years after Trump summit, Kim vows to boost North Korea’s nuclear deterrent (The Washington Post)

'I won’t allow this to be the end of Hong Kong': campaigner on his long fight for democracy: Martin Lee’s father brought his family from China to the city for safe haven. Despite new security laws planned by Beijing, he won’t give up on his ambition (The Observer)

Trump bans travel from Brazil to US over exploding coronavirus cases (The New York Post)

A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America
(The Washington Post)

United We Mask: GOPers View Mask-Wearing As Key To Reopening Economy (TalkingPointsMemo) Coronavirus casualties in Republicans’ culture war (The Washington Post)

Trump Sows Doubt on Voting. It Keeps Some People Up at Night.: A group of worst-case scenario planners — mostly Democrats, but also some anti-Trump Republicans — have been gaming out how to respond to various doomsday options for the 2020 presidential election. (The New York Times) Americans want to vote, and they want to be able to do it by mail (The Washington Post) The pandemic has already altered how tens of millions of Americans can cast their ballots this year (The Washington Post) Trump's Michigan voter fraud comments reveal America's desperate need for reforms: Trump seems to think that the more eligible Americans he can prevent from voting, the better his chances of being re-elected. (NBCNews)

[Meanwhile,] Republican National Committee sues California to halt vote-by-mail for November general election (CNN)

Trump's drive against watchdogs faces constitutional reckoning: The inspector general system is being tested like never before in the Trump era. (Politico) Trump is stiffest challenge to Grassley’s self-appointed role as defender of inspectors general (The Washington Post) Trump Takes Aim at a Watergate Reform: The Independent Inspector General: The idea after the Watergate scandals was to keep government honest. President Trump’s goal seems to be to ensure its loyalty. (The New York Times)

How Tucker Carlson manipulates President Trump: The Fox host skillfully plays to Trump’s grievances and blames advisers for his failures (MediaMatters)

Trump Promotes Posts From Racist and Sexist Twitter Feed: On a somber Memorial Day weekend, the president did not mention the mounting coronavirus toll and instead retweeted personal attacks on his political rivals. (The New York Times) Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host (The Washington Post) ‘You Complete Blithering Idiot’: Ann Coulter Trashes ‘Shallow and Broken Man’ Trump for Attacking Sessions (Mediaite)







'Dear Mr. President, please stay home!': Baltimore mayor asks Trump not to visit city amid lockdown [visit planned for tomorrow still appears to be on] (USAToday)

Desperate rats are brazenly searching for food during the coronavirus pandemic, CDC warns (USAToday)

Pay Cuts Become a Tool for Some Companies to Avoid Layoffs:
“Shared sacrifice” in the white-collar ranks aims to avoid the cost of staffing up again. With no end to the crisis in sight, it is a leap of faith. (The New York Times)

Public employees brace for layoffs (Axios)

     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, May 23, 2020

Saturday roundup (05-23-20)

Trump administration might consolidate pandemic response at State Department: The proposal could establish an alternative mechanism to some of the work done by the World Health Organization, which Trump has criticized. (Politico)

One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center (The Washington Post)

America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further:
The coronavirus is coursing through different parts of the U.S. in different ways, making the crisis harder to predict, control, or understand. (The Atlantic)

Trump Plays Golf for First Time Since Coronavirus Lockdowns
(Bloomberg)



Mike Pompeo’s gaudy, taxpayer-funded dinners should make him damaged goods in Kansas [Editorial] (The Kansas City Star)

Federal judge hires high-powered D.C. attorney to defend his actions in Flynn case (The Washington Post)

Trump Continues Quest to Push Conspiracy Theory That MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough is a Murderer
(Mediaite) Trump again brings up conspiracy theory that Joe Scarborough killed his aide in 2001 and labels the Morning Joe host a 'nut job' and demands investigators 'use forensics geniuses' (The Daily Mail)



University of Delaware lays off more than 1,000 part-time employees as coronavirus hits revenue (Delaware Online)

     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, May 22, 2020

Friday roundup (05-22-20)

Coronavirus: Leading economist [Nouriel Roubini] warns of 10 years of depression and debt (The BBC) Why Our Economy May Be Headed for a Decade of Depression [Roubini interview] (NewYork)

Spain likely to raise taxes in wake of coronavirus crisis, say experts: EL PAÍS spoke with several economists about what measures the government can take to recover from the financial fallout of the pandemic (El Pais)

U.K. Posts Record Budget Deficit; Retail Sales Drop on Virus
(Bloomberg) UK debt soars to highest since 1963, retail sales slump (Reuters)

A national security law is coming to Hong Kong. Here's how it has been used to crush dissent in China (CNN) China Doesn’t Just Want to Control Hong Kong: The special governance system set up to protect the city’s freedoms was really only ever designed to stifle them. (The New York Times)

Trump’s demonization of China puts U.S. in financial peril: Blaming China for the coronavirus might seem like smart politics, but insulting a creditor when the U.S. is running up a huge debt to stimulate the economy isn’t a good idea. (The Washington Post)

Argentina Tries to Escape Default as It Misses Bond Payment: Despite the missed payment, its creditors have agreed to extend negotiations on restructuring $66 billion in foreign debt. (The New York Times) Default looms for Argentina despite debt deadline extension (AgenceFrancePresse)

Brazil debt to hit record 93.5% of GDP this year: Economy Ministry (Reuters)

Brazil now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after US
(CNN) In the developing world, the coronavirus is killing far more young people (The Washington Post) The Coronavirus Hits Brazil Hard, but Jair Bolsonaro Is Unrepentant (The New Yorker)

[In the United States,] Trump administration discussed conducting first U.S. nuclear test in decades (The Washington Post) This Is Not a Good Time to Start a New Arms Race: And there’s no good reason for one. (Slate)

All 50 U.S. states shed jobs in April: Labor Department (Reuters) Nearly every state had historic levels of unemployment last month, new data shows (The Washington Post) 43 states have record unemployment. See where your state ranks (CNN) Unemployment rate exceeded 20 percent in three states last month (TheHill) Nevada's 28.2% unemployment rate eclipses entire U.S. It's worse than the Great Depression (The Nevada Gazette Journal)

Trump administration warms up to sending out more coronavirus relief money (CNBC)

Trump seizes on new rallying cry to reopen the country, but Democrats see caution as an advantage
(The Washington Post)

Trump tells states to let houses of worship open, sparking cultural and political fight over pandemic restrictions
(The Washington Post) Trump deems houses of worship 'essential' amid pandemic (CNN)



6 months on, Trump hasn't completed his physical. The White House won't say why.:
Six months after saying he started the process, Trump hasn’t completed his annual 2020 physical. (NBCNews)

Trump bashes Michigan AG after she calls him ‘a petulant child’ for refusing to wear mask
(The Washington Post) Why Won’t Trump Wear a Mask?: In defiance of experts and public opinion, the president continues to take an unreasonable risk. (Bloomberg)



Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says: An analysis of 96,000 patients shows those treated with hydroxychloroquine were also more likely to suffer irregular heart rhythms (The Washington Post)

Judge Is Ordered to Explain Handling of Flynn Case as F.B.I. Announces Review:
In the latest twists in a highly politicized case, Michael Flynn’s lawyers are trying to force a judge to end the case immediately, and the F.B.I. will weigh whether it committed misconduct. (The New York Times)

The pandemic could cause long-term damage to how we get our food (CNN)

Nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers Needs Food as Pandemic Persists: With about two million city residents thought to have inadequate food amid the coronavirus outbreak, the city will soon distribute 1.5 million meals a day. (The New York Times)

Hertz files for U.S. bankruptcy protection as car rentals evaporate in pandemic (Reuters)

Biggest U.S. Mall Is Two Months Delinquent on $1.4 Billion Loan (Bloomberg)

Tara Reade Is Dropped as Client by a Leading #MeToo Lawyer (The New York Times) Defense lawyers look to reopen cases where Tara Reade testified as an expert: Reade stated under oath she had an undergraduate degree that her college said she never earned and appears to have exaggerated her role in Joe Biden’s office. (Politico)

[Thread:]


     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, May 21, 2020

Thursday roundup (05-21-20)

Britain’s public debt is rising to its highest level in decades: Luckily its borrowing costs are moving in the opposite direction (The Economist)

China to propose hugely controversial national security law in Hong Kong (CNN) China to impose sweeping national security law in Hong Kong, bypassing city’s legislature (The Washington Post) China is using covid-19 to throttle Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement (The Washington Post)

Brazil Suffers Record Daily Coronavirus Death Toll, Soon to Be World No. 2 (US News and World Report) Brazil Is Starting to Lose the Fight Against Coronavirus—and Its President Is Looking the Other Way (Time) Brazil hits record high for new coronavirus cases (CNN) Sao Paulo digs mass graves as Brazil battles coronavirus (The New York Post) Coronavirus seizes São Paulo as Trump ponders Brazil travel ban (The Washington Post) Brazil is now world’s fastest-growing coronavirus hot spot, as São Paulo registers deadliest 24 hours yet [May 19] (The New York Daily News) Coronavirus: Hospitals in Brazil's São Paulo 'near collapse' [May 18] (The BBC)



[In the United States,] Trump says he won't close the country if second wave of coronavirus hits
(CNBC)

Fed Chair Warns This Is a ‘Downturn Without Modern Precedent’:
It’s impossible to guess what the trajectory for the economy will look like, a series of central bankers warned. That makes nimbleness key. (The New York Times)

Corporate debt issuance has already topped $1 trillion in 2020 (Axios)

Deflation Would Be a Crippling Side Effect of the Pandemic
(Bloomberg)

Trump admin pulling out of Open Skies reconnaissance treaty over Russia violations: The goal of the treaty, which entered into force in 2002, is to avoid conflict and encourage trust between participating nations. (NBCNews) Trump Will Withdraw From Open Skies Arms Control Treaty: The president held out the possibility of negotiations with the Russians that could save American participation in the accord. But even some of his own aides said success for that seemed unlikely. (The New York Times)



For Spy Agencies, Briefing Trump Is a Test of Holding His Attention: President Trump’s intelligence briefings have gotten renewed attention since he blamed them for failing to sound the alarm early on about the coronavirus. (The New York Times)



Senate Approves John Ratcliffe for Top Intelligence Job in Sharply Split Vote:
The congressman from Texas was confirmed by a divided Senate to take over an office at the center of the Trump administration’s investigations of Obama administration officials. (The New York Times)







Trump has ‘legal’ and ‘moral responsibility’ to wear mask on Ford plant tour, Michigan attorney general says (The Washington Post) Trump doesn't wear coronavirus mask in public at Ford plant (CNN) Michigan AG Rips Into ‘Petulant Child’ Trump For Refusing To Wear Mask (TalkingPointsMemo)



Trump Praises Famously anti-Semitic Henry Ford's 'Good Bloodlines' (Haaretz)





Trump is a menace to public health and himself (The Washington Post)

Trump’s Vaccine Chief Has Vast Ties to Drug Industry, Posing Possible Conflicts: Moncef Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical executive, is now overseeing the U.S. initiative to develop coronavirus treatments and vaccines. His financial interests and corporate roles have come under scrutiny. (The New York Times)

How Private Equity Is Ruining American Health Care: Investors have been buying up doctor’s offices, cutting costs, and, critics say, putting pressure on physicians in ways that hurt patients. The pandemic could make things even worse. (Bloomberg)

Justice Dept. Unit That Prosecuted Roger Stone Is Reorganized: The overhaul of a division of the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington came at the end of a brief tenure by a longtime adviser to Attorney General William P. Barr. (The New York Times)

Coronavirus hot spots erupt across the country; experts warn of second wave in South
(The Washington Post)

Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show:
Even small differences in timing would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had subsumed New York City, New Orleans and other major cities, researchers found. (The New York Times)

570 employees test positive for coronavirus at North Carolina plant, Tyson says
(The State of Columbia, South Carolina)

A complicated life and conflicting accounts muddle efforts to understand Tara Reade's allegation against Joe Biden (CNN)

Oxfam to shut offices and slash jobs in coronavirus fallout: Oxfam will shut offices in 18 countries and axe 1,450 posts (AgenceFrancePresse)

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola cuts 1,400 jobs (TechCrunch)

Wellstar furloughs 1,070 workers; other systems too face tough losses (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

     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.