Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday roundup (02-24-18)

1 in 5 Americans have more credit-card debt than savings: Consumers are putting saving on the back burner (Marketwatch)

U.S. prepares high-seas crackdown on North Korea sanctions evaders - sources (Reuters)

Ivanka Trump practices diplomacy on South Korea Olympics trip (CNN)







After testy call with Trump over border wall, Mexican president shelves plan to visit White House (The Washington Post)

2 Weeks After Trump Blocked It, Democrats’ Rebuttal of G.O.P. Memo Is Released (The New York Times) 5 Takeaways From the Release of the Democratic Memo (The New York Times) Democratic memo discredits Nunes, tantalizes on dossier corroboration (The Washington Post blogs) Takeaways From the House Intelligence Democrats’ Memo (Lawfare blog) The Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo tears it apart: Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff brought receipts. (Vox)
















The Plot Against America: Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort’s pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington. (The Atlantic)

What Rick Gates' Guilty Plea Means For Mueller’s Probe (Wired)

Michael Wolff predicts Trump, Kushner [if the latter were indicted] would throw each other 'under the bus' in Mueller probe (The Hill)

White House Told Kushner’s Security Clearance Will Be Delayed (The New York Times)













Mona Charen Slams Sexist Hypocrisy and Racism at CPAC; Calls invitation of Le Pen a 'Disgrace' (The Weekly Standard) CPAC speaker calls conservatives “hypocrites” for ignoring Trump’s sexual harassment allegations: The crowd wasn’t happy, and security escorted her out for her protection when the panel ended. (Vox)




State Department report will trim language on women's rights, discrimination (Politico)




Interior Secretary Zinke asked for confidential energy data. So two scientists left. (The Washington Post)

NRA honors FCC chair with rifle for repealing 'net neutrality' (Reuters)




NRA lashes out at boycott movement as United, Delta and other corporations cut ties (The Washington Post)

[Former Secretary of State in George W. Bush Administration] Condoleezza Rice calls for 'conversation' on gun rights 'in the modern world' (The Hill)

Trump’s proposal to arm teachers panned by experts as a ‘colossally stupid idea’ (NBCNews)

Swiss rail cargo to cut over 750 jobs in the hunt for efficiency (SwissInfo)

     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, February 23, 2018

Friday roundup (02-23-18)

World economy WARNING: Biggest nations at RISK as rising interest rates to strangle budget: THE world economy is at risk from a rising tide of government debt which is set to hit rich countries’ budgets, a shock report has warned. Bosses from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the threat of rising interest rates will send public debt soaring. (The Express)

With rates low, Fed officials fret over next U.S. recession (Reuters)

The Danger of Deficits in Boom Times (Barron's)

POLL: Trump Approval Rating Higher Now Than Obama’s At Same Time In His Presidency (The Daily Caller)

Trump's horrendous CPAC speech (The Washington Examiner)




[Republican strategist:]






RNC started paying Trump campaign's rent at Trump Tower after it stopped covering Trump's legal bills for Russia probe (CNBC)

Meghan McCain believes Trump won't mock her father: 'I don’t think at this point in his administration it would be beneficial to him in any way,' the Arizona senator’s daughter says. [Feb 7] (Politico)




Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth, raised to lead. Then, sharply different choices. (The Washington Post)

Rick Gates, Trump Campaign Aide, Pleads Guilty in Mueller Inquiry and Will Cooperate (The New York Times) The one very big question about Rick Gates' plea deal (CNN) Rick Gates Has Agreed to Cooperate With Mueller’s Team. Here’s What He Might Know.: This is very bad news for Paul Manafort and Donald Trump. (MotherJones) Mueller Is Steadily Working His Way Up the Food Chain: After Rick Gates and Paul Manafort, the air up there gets pretty thin. (Esquire)










Inside the Manafort money machine: A decade of influence-peddling, lavish spending and alleged fraud (The Washington Post)







Trump’s Pick to Lead Indian Health Service Withdraws Nomination (The New York Times)

Parkland Survivor: 'I've Never Been So Unimpressed By A Person' After Trump Call: The president reached out to Samantha Fuentes while she was in the hospital recovering from shooting wounds. (The Huffington Post)




BlackRock [= world's largest asset manager] puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shooting (Reuters)

Companies cut ties with NRA amid backlash after Parkland shooting: Large companies like Hertz are ending their relationships with the National Rifle Association, discontinuing special deals for the organization’s members, amid calls to boycott the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting. (NBCNews) #BoycottNRA: Hertz and Avis are the latest companies to cut ties with gun lobby as movement gains steam (The Washington Post) NRA-affiliated businesses shed ties after Parkland, Florida school shooting (USAToday) The NRA is being supported by these companies: Come for the discounts, stay for the opposition to common sense gun laws. (ThinkProgress)












Florida governor breaks with NRA, backs tighter gun restrictions (The Los Angeles Times) Florida Gov. Rick Scott backs raising age for rifle purchases to 21 (The Washington Post) The N.R.A. Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies: Marion Hammer’s unique influence over legislators has produced laws that dramatically alter long-held American norms. (The New Yorker)

Trump calls deputy who failed to stop Parkland school shooting a 'coward' (USAToday)







I’m Republican [= United States Representative for Florida’s 18th congressional district]. I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban. (The New York Times)

[FDIC chair during George W. Bush administration and a life-long Republican:]









[Republican] Gov. Rick Snyder: 'I don't think having more guns is a good thing' (Politico)

Oregon lawmakers pass gun-control bill; governor to sign it (The Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon)

     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, February 22, 2018

Thursday roundup (02-22-18)

Government debt levels to hit new global high this year - S&P (Reuters)







What You Need to Know About Italy’s March 4 Election (Bloomberg)

Sen. Whitehouse [(D) of Rhode Island]: [United States President Donald] Trump is in the back pocket of billionaires (CNN) Hidden Brain: The Rich Are Different . . . [National Public Radio podcast via] (The Big Picture blog)

Two top White House advisers [National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Chief of Staff John Kelly] may leave over tensions with Trump: sources (Reuters) McMaster could leave WH after months of tension with Trump (CNN)

Special counsel Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates (The Washington Post) Mueller more than doubles criminal charges against Manafort and Gates (The Los Angeles Times) Mueller asking if Manafort promised banker White House job in return for loans (NBCNews)




Mueller Is Ending the Era of Impunity for Washington's Foreign Lobbyists: If the goal is to find proof of election meddling, why are all the indictments about failing to register as an agent? (Bloomberg)

Sources: Mueller probe stymies Kushner security clearance (CNN)

U.S. official focused on election security being replaced (Reuters)




U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services drops ‘nation of immigrants’ from mission statement (NBCNews)

The FCC’s vote repealing its net neutrality rules is finally official. Here’s what happens now. (The Washington Post) Democratic state attorneys general sue to preserve net neutrality rules (The Hill) Why states might win the net neutrality war against the FCC: FCC might have doomed its preemption case by renouncing authority over broadband. (ArsTechnica)

What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns: They weren’t the first victims of a mass shooting the Florida radiologist had seen—but their wounds were radically different. (The Atlantic)










Arming Teachers Is A Stupid Idea by Jenn Budd [former Federal Agent] (Crooks and Liars blog) Why Arming Teachers Is A Fantasy War Game (MSNBC)












[THREAD:]



The NRA’s Plan to “Harden” Schools is Terrifying: Key recommendations include getting rid of trees, as well as windows. (MotherJones)

NRA chief accuses Democrats of pushing 'socialist' agenda in wake of Florida shooting (CNN)







NAB set to axe first 1000 jobs [of up to 6000] under cost-cutting plan (The Sydney Morning Herald)

British Gas-owner Centrica is cutting 4,000 jobs after profits collapsed 17% in a dreadful year (The Business Insider)

     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, 02-23-18)

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.

According to the report released today:

"Initial U.S. jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 222,000 in the seven days ended Feb. 17, marking the second lowest level since the end of the 2007-2009 recession." (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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday roundup (02-21-18)

Italian election: Italy faces debt crisis WHOEVER wins vote - analyst [for La Repubblica] shows soaring levels: ALL of Italy’s political parties are set to send national debt soaring by more than 130 percent of GDP despite promises to cut it down, according to analysis ahead of the election. (The Express)

[In the United States,] ACLU Finds Courts Nationwide Ordering Consumers to Be Arrested and Jailed at the Bidding of Private Debt Collection Companies [-- "This practice violates the many state and federal laws as well as international human rights standards that prohibit the jailing of debtors."] (American Civil Liberties Union)

Jared Kushner encapsulates what’s wrong with the Trump administration (The Washington Post blogs)

Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions about whether they relied on ‘chain migration’ (The Washington Post) The huge questions about Melania Trump’s immigration history nobody will answer (The Washington Post)

Making America Toxic Again: Scott Pruitt’s job is to protect the environment. Unfortunately, God has other plans for him. (MotherJones)

Florida Students Began With Optimism. Then They Spoke to Lawmakers. (The New York Times)







     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, February 20, 2018

Tuesday roundup (02-20-18)

Debt Is Sowing the Seeds of the Next Crisis (BanyanHill)

Italian Risks to the Eurozone (The American Enterprise Institute)

[In the United States,] Has Donald Trump 'been much tougher on Russia' than Barack Obama? (Politifact) AP FACT CHECK: Where are Trump's 'tougher' steps on Russia? (The Associated Press) Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11 [Feb. 18] (The Washington Post) It’s Clear: Donald Trump Welcomes Russia’s Subversion of Our Democracy: The president’s response to Bob Mueller’s latest indictments is disturbing but all too expected at this point. (The Daily Beast)







Inside the Mueller Indictment: A Russian Novel of Intrigue (Wired) Robert Mueller Is Treating Russia Like a Gang, and It's Working: This is like an anti-mafia RICO case—except applied to a whole country. (Vice)

In Mueller probe, son-in-law of Russian businessman pleads guilty to false statements (The Washington Post) Mueller Gets Plea, No Cooperation, as Skadden Lawyer [= the Aforementioned Son-in-Law] Admits Lies (Bloomberg) All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far: That we know of. (Vox)




Mueller’s Move on Ex-Skadden Lawyer Puts Heat on Manafort, Gates (Bloomberg)

Manafort Under Scrutiny For $40 Million In “Suspicious” Transactions: As the special counsel investigated President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, authorities obtained details on “suspicious” banking activity that was first unearthed in 2014 and 2015. Those records were part of an FBI operation to track international kleptocracy that ultimately failed, but which Robert Mueller’s team resurrected. (BuzzFeedNews)

Does Jared Kushner’s massive debt make him a threat to national security?: The Kushner family owes hundreds of millions on botched real estate ventures, while he travels the world for Trump (Salon)

“This Is the New War”: Jared Kushner, Amid a Showdown with Kelly, Prepares for Battle with a Weekend in the Caribbean: As Trump melted down at Mar-a-Lago, and the administration reeled from one of its most dismal weeks in 13 months, Kushner and his wife left the country. (VanityFair)




It’s Been One Year of Amazing Scott Pruitt Accomplishments, All of Them Horrible: Here’s a list of his systematic attacks on environmental protections. (Mother Jones)

U.S. Supreme Court Sidesteps Gun Debate, Rejects Two Appeals (Bloomberg)




A thousand students walk out of class and march to Stoneman Douglas High (The Miami Herald)

     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, February 19, 2018

Monday roundup (02-19-18)

[The United States Is In] 'Uncharted Territory:' Goldman Sachs Issues Dire Warning About Federal Spending (Fortune)

Trump’s ‘Best People’ and Their Dubious Ethics (The New York Times)

Mueller’s Bombshell Russia Indictments May Mark A New Era For American Democracy (Task and Purpose)




Trump’s Miss Universe Gambit: For years, he used his beauty pageants to boost business interests abroad. A 2013 contest, in Moscow, may also have helped give him the Presidency. (The New Yorker)

Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now (The New York Times)

Mueller's interest in Kushner grows to include foreign financing efforts (CNN)

Teens 'Lie In' At White House To Push For Stronger Gun Control (National Public Radio) Students hold 'lie-in' at White House to protest gun laws (ABCNews) Parkland student: Politicians accepting NRA money are against shooting victims [VIDEO] (Axios)







Deutsche to cut up to 500 jobs (Reuters)

     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.