Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday roundup (04-25-15)

More than 1,800 dead as magnitude-7.8 quake rocks Nepal (USAToday)

What happens if Greece can’t pay its debts?: The standoff between a leftwing government and the financial powers of the EU is near to breaking point. What if the worst happens? (The Observer)

Eurozone Finance Ministers Contemplate ‘Plan B’ for Greece: Statements by Slovenia and German finance ministers break long-held taboo over possible exit of Greece from eurozone (The Wall Street Journal)

Greece's grand plan: default and stay in the euro: With the country coming ever closer to defaulting to its creditors, here's how Athens could stiff its lenders but still remain in the euro (The Telegraph)

Greeks’ view of the debt crisis: ‘What lies ahead is great, great hardship’: Three months on from Alexis Tsipras’s victory, hope is ebbing away and support for his party is haemorrhaging (The Observer)

How Wall Street captured Washington’s effort to rein in banks: Intense lobbying of regulators, many of them veterans of the industry themselves, helped ensure that practices the Dodd-Frank law was meant to stop would remain in place. (Reuters)

Can Bankers Behave?: Wall Street still has basically the same culture that led to the 2008 crash. But one big firm is trying to change—as government regulators begin to question whether financial institutions can be reformed at all. (The Atlantic)

April 2015: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 342 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

     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, April 24, 2015

Friday roundup (04-24-15)

Austerity has been an unmitigated disaster, and this proves it (The Washington Post blogs)

The Death of Cash: Could negative interest rates create an existential crisis for money itself? (Bloomberg)

After Antitrust Rumors, European Union Mulls Special Regulator for Internet Companies (Billboard)

Greek Finance Minister: It's not complicated – we just have to convince our creditors we're right, and they have to realize they're wrong (The Business Insider)

Greece bailout deal elusive, 'significant' work needed (The Associated Press) Greece Under Fire From Creditors As Bailout Talks Drag On (The Associated Press) Greece: 'Big, big problems' for debt deal [says Eurogroup head] (The BBC) Eurozone Ministers Admonish Greece for Slow Progress on Overhauls (The New York Times)

‘Time Is Running Out’ in Greek Bailout Talks, Says Mario Draghi (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Time running out, eurogroup chief warns Greece: Greece must speed-up reforms to unlock any bailout cash, senior EU officials warn (The Irish Times) Euro zone warns Greece no cash till full reform deal (Reuters)

Greek debts: what does it owe? When will the money run out?: Greece owes money to the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union following its two bailouts in 2010 and 2012 (The Guardian) Greece’s Scary Calendar of Debt Payments Due: A relentless payment schedule through July (Bloomberg)

Weak U.S. business spending data hints at sluggish growth rebound (Reuters)

Net neutrality and Netflix help quash Comcast merger bid (USAToday) The Most Hated Merger in America: Customers, companies, and even regulators mistrust Comcast. No wonder its deal to buy Time Warner Cable fell apart. (Slate) Americans Get Their Revenge on Comcast: It turns out you can't be the so-called "worst company in America" without some blowback. That's a good thing. (PCMag)

Hillary Wants a Piece of the Elizabeth Warren Love Fest: Clinton has praised progressives' favorite senator, but has yet to endorse her proposals. (Mother Jones)

We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership (Wired)

Local IT firm to cut 1,800 jobs as part of reorganization plan (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.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday roundup (04-23-15)

Eurozone economy slows in April, PMIs show (Marketwatch) Euro zone recovery just got a 'reality check' (CNBC)

ECB's Praet urges countries to reform for recovery to last (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank hit with $2.5B fine due to rate rigging (CNBC)

Greeks Trapped in Financial Vise as Euro Region Turns the Screws (Bloomberg)

Greek bailout talks could go on for weeks more amid shifting deadlines and financing needs (The Associated Press)

US alarmed by Greek energy alliance with Russia: American pushes for an alternative gas pipeline from Azerbaijan that would help break the stranglehold that Russia has on European markets by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Germany is becoming relaxed about a Grexit – perhaps too relaxed: Many EU member states and the US still fear the consequences of Greece leaving Europe. They need to get their voices heard in Berlin (The Guardian)

"China Has A Massive Debt Problem", And Why It Is About Get Much Massiver (ZeroHedge blog)

Reich: Hillary Clinton and everyday Americans by Robert Reich (SFGate)

Comcast abandoning plan to merge with Time Warner Cable (CNNMoney) Two Regulatory Probes Proved Too Much (Dow Jones Newswires)

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash (ZeroHedge blog)

P&G to cut thousands of jobs [= "another 3,000 to 6,000 office jobs worldwide in the next two years"] in next 2 years (The Cincinnati Enquirer) [This is because:] Procter & Gamble's sales fall for fifth straight quarter (Reuters)

Mullen cuts 1,000 employees as oil crash hits service sector (The Calgary Herald)

[UK's] Sainsbury to Cut 800 Store Jobs as Part of Cost-Cutting Drive (Bloomberg)

Ford to cut about 700 jobs in Michigan ["as Americans shun smaller vehicles amid low gasoline prices"] (Marketwatch)

     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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-23-15)

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. ["'I think that we're hoping for the numbers to stay below 600,000, and not until we get below 500,000 can we be more certain that there is an economic recovery,' said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh." (Reuters)]

IT'S A RECOVERY! (And it has been a recovery for every week since the Nov. 25, 2009 report, with the exception of the Aug. 19, 2010 report.)

"The number of people who applied for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits ticked up by 1,000 to 295,000 in the week that ended April 18, the Labor Department reported." (Marketwatch)

U.S. jobless claims edge up; trend signals firmer labor market (Reuters)

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, April 22, 2015

Wednesday roundup (04-22-15)

End the ECB Dictatorship!: The European Central Bank has far overstepped its mandate as a guardian of economic stability. And a backlash is coming. (Foreign Policy)

Germany's brinkmanship over Greek economic woes could prove damaging: They should beware of pressing too hard for reforms – or assuming that they know best about what economic medicine Greece needs so as to recover [Editorial] (The Independent) German finance ministry: 'very limited expectations' of Greece deal at Friday meeting (The Associated Press)

Why Greece May Be the New Lehman: Here we go again. This time it’s Europe’s fault, and the crisis could be worse than last time, at least politically. (Politico)

Timeline: Key dates in Greece's funding talks with euro zone (Reuters)

Bank of England decision to keep 0.5% interest rate was unanimous: All members of monetary policy committee rejected rate rise after previously split votes while analysts say likely coalition negotiations will delay changes (The Guardian)

Home nursing group [in the Netherlands] to slash 2,100 jobs, cut wages (Dutch News)

Bad Buzz: Studies Say Neonic Pesticides Hurt Wild Bees (NBCNews)

     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, April 21, 2015

Tuesday roundup (04-21-15)

Quotes of the Day:

"Near zero to negative sovereign debt yields in Europe represent the bubble of all investment bubbles, dwarfing even the Nasdaq bubble of 16 years ago." -- Doug Kass, head of hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management. (CNBC)

"German 10yr Bunds = The short of a lifetime.  Better than the pound in 1993.  Only question is Timing / ECB QE" -- Bill Gross, Portfolio Manager of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (Twitter)

The [World's] Debt Dilemma [April 17] (Project Syndicate)

BP sees 'massive' shock for North Sea as oil glut deepens: The world's over-supply of oil is like the deep slump in 1986. BP fears it may get worse as Iran's supply hits market and US shale hold firm by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Euro-Area Debt Levels Surge to Record, Led by Greece (Bloomberg) Europe's debt mountain just got bigger: Government debt levels across the monetary bloc have reached their highest levels since the introduction of the euro (The Telegraph) Key EU countries still in breach of deficit rules: Twelve European Union member countries logged a higher public deficit last year than they would normally be allowed under the bloc's Maastricht criteria. Astonishingly, Greece is not among the worst performers. (Deutsche Welle)

European Banks Are Paid To Borrow For First Time Ever As Euribor Goes Negative (ZeroHedge blog) Lenders Awash With Euros Pay Banks and Governments to Take Loans (Bloomberg)

Wary of brinkmanship, euro zone steers away from new deadlines for Greece, official says (Reuters)

Greece facing 'Lehman moment' as debt costs soar -- ["Well, first of all, the Grexit is not going to happen, in my view. ... If there was an exit of Greece from the European Union and an exit from the euro, that would be an amazing event for Europe. It means the beginning of the end for the European Union. And that's not a very happy picture. And I'm sure the decision makers in Europe fully realize that." -- Mark Mobius, executive chairman at Templeton Emerging Markets Group.] (CNBC)



Greece 'running out of money' as hopes of imminent deal to end debt crisis fade: Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and leader of the Eurogroup says he still expects an agreement to be reached in the coming weeks (The Guardian)

UK budget shame: Britain has the third highest deficit in Europe and the Government is borrowing more than Greece (This is Money)

Debt Piles Up in Asia, Threatening Growth: Countries borrowed a lot during the crisis, and kept doing so afterward (The Wall Street Journal)

Does the Collapse of a Chinese Developer Signal the Start of More Defaults? (Bloomberg)

Chinese Economic Outlook "Skewed Heavily To The Downside," BNP Says (ZeroHedge blog)

Campaign Casts Hillary Clinton as the Populist It Insists She Has Always Been (The New York Times) The many ways in which Clinton’s populism rings untrue (The Atlanta Journal Constitution blogs)

Baker Hughes increases layoffs [from 7,000] to 10,500 (FuelFix)

     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, April 20, 2015

Monday roundup (04-20-15)

How a world awash in debt devalues your money and quality of life by Satyajit Das (Marketwatch)

Greece debt crisis: Ticking time bomb as looming deadline sparks Eurozone jitters: GREECE is racing to have reforms approved in order to unlock a €7.2billion bailout loan before it goes bankrupt and sends the Eurozone into meltdown. (The Express)

Greece orders raid on government coffers as cash dwindles: Government issues emergency decree forcing all state bodies to transfer funds to the central bank (The Telegraph) Greece requisitions spare cash in dash to stay solvent (Reuters)

Greece is going to miss its own bailout deadline and the money is rapidly running out (The Business Insider)

Greek Bonds Look Uglier and Uglier: Inverted yield curve shows nobody wants Greek debt (Bloomberg)

We’ve ‘terminated’ our Greece exposure: Cyprus Finance Minister (CNBC)

Strong growth sees [Ireland's] national debt fall to [a mere?] 109% of GDP: Figures show Government debt stood at €203 billion in 2014, down from €215 billion the previous year (The Irish Times)

Fed's Dudley hopeful on rate hike [in the United States] this year (Reuters) Fed's Bill Dudley is alert to global liquidity storm, yet signals 3.5pc rates: Head of the New York Fed acknowledges that the institution has a special duty of care for the whole world by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

The Economy Has Slowed Because the Fed Has Already Tightened (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans (The Washington Post)

Student Debt Accounts For Nearly Half Of US Government "Assets" (ZeroHedge blog)

[Sen. Elizabeth Warren:] “The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform”: Remarks at the Levy Institute’s 24th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference April 15, 2015 (US Senate)

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger And Recovery Is Slow: The 2010 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig set off an environmental and economic catastrophe. Towns and ecosystems along the Gulf Coast are still struggling to rebound. (National Public Radio) Five years after spill, Gulf Coast waits for fine money [April 17] (USAToday)



How the BP oil spill hurt Gulf Coast wildlife and livelihoods (PBSNewshour)



     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.