Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday roundup (04-25-18)

With debt at $21 trillion and growing, ratings agencies still give US highest marks (CNBC)

Senate Confirms C.I.A. Chief Mike Pompeo to Be Secretary of State (The New York Times) New Documents Show Pompeo Failed To Disclose Additional Business Ties To China: The secretary of state nominee continued to deny his foreign entanglements in response to a question submitted by a senator. (HuffPost)

Lawmakers grilling EPA chief Scott Pruitt: 'You are unfit to hold public office' (CNN)




Ronny Jackson withdraws as Trump’s nominee to lead Veterans Affairs (The Washington Post) Allegations against Ronny Jackson threaten to derail his military career (The Washington Post)

GOP senator [Orrin Hatch]: Firing Mueller could trigger impeachment (The Hill blogs)

Senate Judiciary Committee passes bill to protect Mueller: The legislation to shield the special counsel comes as President Trump continues to criticize Russia investigation (NBCNews)










What’s Robert Mueller’s next big move? Here are 9 possibilities.: Recent reports suggest intriguing possibilities for where the investigation is going. (Vox)

Lashing out at opponents, Trump slams the FBI and threatens to intrude on the Russia investigation (The Los Angeles Times) Trump’s Fox & Friends Interview Is Already Creating Legal Problems (NewYork) 5 highlights from Trump’s return to Fox & Friends (Axios) Michael Avenatti: Trump Made ‘Hugely Damaging Admission’ That Michael Cohen Represented Him In Stormy Daniels Case (Newsweek) Trump Distances Himself From Cohen’s Legal Troubles (The New York Times) Trump’s call-in to ‘Fox & Friends’ complicates his Michael Cohen problems (The Washington Post) Trump made 2 costly legal errors during unhinged Fox & Friends interview: Oops. (ThinkProgress)




























Feds seized more than a dozen of Michael Cohen’s phones (The New York Post)




A farewell to free journalism (The Washington Post)

Poundworld set to close up to 100 stores putting 1,500 jobs at risk: Company expected to announce terms of turnaround plan next month (The Independent)

Deutsche Bank Plans to Cut U.S. Jobs by Over 10% (Bloomberg)

     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, 04-26-18)

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 jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 209,000 in the week ended April 21, the government said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Unemployment claims fall to 48-year low (The Hill)

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 25, 2018

Wednesday roundup (04-25-18)

Without mentioning his buddy Trump by name, France's Macron just tore into the US president's policies (CNBC) Macron treats Congress to a full-scale takedown of Trumpism (The Washington Post)




Trump Nominee Andrew Oldham’s Committee Testimony Strains Credulity (People for the American Way blogs)










Trump's 'Muslim ban' doesn't just target eight countries. It's stoking hatred against Muslims in America.: A new report identifies an unprecedented rise in racial bias attacks after the president took office. (NBCNews)

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle (The Washington Post) New Allegations Emerge Against Ronny Jackson as White House Digs In (The New York Times) The Jackson fiasco: A case study of Trump’s abject unfitness (The Washington Post blogs) Trump can blame Democrats all he likes, but his nominee problems start with him [Editorial] (The Washington Post) Will anyone leave the Trump administration with an intact reputation? (The Washington Post blogs)




Jackson spotlights the frustration with poor White House vetting (CNN)

White House Aides Wouldn’t All Mind if Pruitt Bombs Before Congress: The EPA chief is on thin ice. If it were to break, the thinking goes, it might give the president the push he needs to finally move on. (The Daily Beast)







HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies (The Washington Post blogs)




Mick Mulvaney’s full speech to bankers about “burning down” consumer protection (Quartz) Consumer Bureau Looks to End Public View of Complaints Database (The New York Times) Mulvaney could at least feel some shame (The Washington Post blogs)

Here's Jeff Sessions’ Draft Master Plan For The Justice Department: A draft strategic plan sidelines civil rights while emphasizing a crackdown on leaks and the MS-13 gang. (HuffPost)

Firing Mueller won't end Trump investigation, Mueller made sure: Rachel Maddow shows how Robert Mueller has worked with other departments and agencies in the course of the Trump Russia investigation, ensuring that even if the special counsel is fired, the elements of the investigation live on. (MSNBC) (Youtube)



Michael Cohen to invoke Fifth Amendment right in Stormy Daniels case (The Washington Post) Trump’s past comments about pleading the Fifth look pretty ominous now (The Washington Post)













Giuliani reopens negotiations about presidential interview with Mueller, but cautions special counsel that Trump remains resistant (The Washington Post)

Trump’s History of Lying, from John Barron to @realDonaldTrump (The New Yorker)

Republicans Lost Support in Every Special Election Since Trump Became President (The New York Times)




Tech company [NCR] to close 2 Georgia plants, cut hundreds of jobs [= more than 1,000] (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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday roundup (04-24-18)

Puerto Rico fiscal plan cuts one-third of government to save economy (The Hill)

Trump praises Kim Jong Un as honorable, refuses to explain why (CNN)







Trump is already getting played by Kim Jong Un (The Washington Post blogs)

Le Bromance: Trump and Macron, Together Again (The New York Times)




An etiquette guide for future presidents (The Washington Post blogs)

It’s a disgrace more Republicans aren’t willing to choose country over partisanship (The Washington Post)







Mulvaney’s Advice to Bankers: Up Campaign Donations to Diminish Consumer Watchdog (The New York Times)







Pruitt unveils controversial ‘transparency’ rule limiting what research EPA can use (The Washington Post) In the name of scientific 'transparency,' Pruitt's EPA hobbles its own ability to regulate polluters (The Los Angeles Times)

White House Deterring Republicans From Defending Pruitt, Sources Say (Bloomberg) Pruitt support in Senate erodes as GOP lawmakers seek hearings: Energy Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski says she plans to have him testify to her committee in May. (Politico) "This is a serious situation" (The New Republic)




‘Repeatedly Drunk’ Ronny Jackson’s VA Nomination Is on Life Support: The Trump White House is scrambling to save Ronny Jackson’s nomination to lead Veterans Affairs, but officials warn the rescue effort could ‘implode’ at any moment. (The Daily Beast) VA nominee drunkenly banged on female employee's door during overseas trip, sources say (CNN) Trump Throws Ronny Jackson Under the Bus: The president appears ready to blithely sacrifice his nominee for veterans affairs secretary as part of a long-running war against the Senate confirmation process. (The Atlantic) After Trump Hints V.A. Nominee Might Drop Out, an Aggressive Show of Support [from the President] (The New York Times) Three ways Republicans can still spare Trump from Trump (The Washington Post blogs)







CDC chief makes $375K, far exceeding his predecessors' pay (The Associated Press)

Republicans to the Court: Strike Down the Travel Ban (The New York Times) Why Dozens Of National Security Experts Have Come Out Against Trump's Travel Ban (National Public Radio) Will the Court Stand Up to Donald Trump? [Editorial] (The New York Times) For Muslims, Supreme Court’s ruling on entry ban will be statement of America’s values (The Washington Post)

Third federal judge issues strongest order yet backing DACA: The order gives the administration 90 days to come up with better reasons to scrap DACA — or the judge will reinstate it in its entirety. (NBCNews) U.S. Must Resume DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules (The New York Times)

ICE has become Trump’s personal bullying squad (The Washington Post)

Miss Universe 2013 Host Thomas Roberts Confirms: Trump Stayed Overnight in Moscow: The former NBC host won’t say if he has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (The Daily Beast) A false alibi could be strong evidence of guilt (The Washington Post blogs)




We know an awful lot about Manafort and Russia. Trump can’t make it disappear. (The Washington Post)

[Former United States senator Slade Gorton (R) of Washington says:] Let Robert Mueller do his job (The Hill)

Sean Hannity's real estate venture linked to fraudulent property dealer: Shell company tied to the Fox News host bought homes through Jeff Brock, who was charged in 2016 with fraud and conspiracy for his role in a scheme to rig auctions on foreclosed properties (The Guardian)

     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 23, 2018

Monday roundup (04-23-18)

UBS warns the rebound for southern European nations could be about to fade (CNBC)

‘I Was Wrong’: Armenian Leader Quits Amid Protests (The New York Times) Serzh Sargsyan: Armenian PM resigns after days of protests (The BBC) Armenians deliver a blow to Putin’s political model [Edtiorial] (The Washington Post)

Kim Jong Un's latest play for peace was actually a declaration that it's ready for nuclear war — and it just may get it (The Business Insider) North Korea is conning Donald Trump yet again (The Washington Post) An Unpredictable Trump and a Risk-Prone Kim Mean High Stakes and Mismatched Expectations (The New York Times)




America Is Going Even Deeper Into Debt: How much is too much? Let’s hope we don’t find out. (Bloomberg)

Fifth Republican Lawmaker Calls On Scott Pruitt To Resign (Talking Points Memo)

Former Generals Oppose Trump’s CIA Nominee (Bloomberg)

Senate panel narrowly endorses Mike Pompeo for secretary of state after Trump intervenes with key Republican (The Washington Post) Mike Pompeo's way is not the American way. Reject him as secretary of State. (USAToday)

John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank: The content of the advocacy group Gatestone is part of an echo chamber that includes Russian media. (NBCNews)

McMaster and Commander: Can a national-security adviser retain his integrity if the President has none? ["McMaster realized that, during briefings, Trump 'wasn’t absorbing a . . . thing he said,' a friend reported."] (The New Yorker)




Trump ramps up personal cell phone use (CNN)




Flight Records Illuminate Mystery of Trump's Moscow Nights (Bloomberg) Trump has some explaining to do about his 2013 Russia trip (The Washington Post)




The Business Deals That Could Imperil Trump (The New York Times)

The Sex-Tape Lawyer Who Worked With Michael Cohen to Silence Trump’s Women: Keith Davidson, the ex-lawyer for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, enjoyed a seemingly cozy relationship with Michael Cohen dating back years. Now he’s cooperating with the feds. (The Daily Beast)

Michael Cohen case shines light on Sean Hannity's property empire: Fox News host who said Trump’s fixer ‘knows real estate’ has a portfolio that includes support from Department of Housing, a fact he did not mention when interviewing Ben Carson last year (The Guardian)




Waffle House Shooting Suspect Is in Custody, Nashville Police Say (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.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday roundup (04-22-18)

Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn't. (The Associated Press) What Does Kim Jong-un Want? U.S. Fears Answer Is ‘Give a Little, Gain a Lot’ (The New York Times) Why Kim Jong Un came in from the cold: 3 theories (CNN)

Tens of thousands of Hungarians protest against PM Orban's rule (Reuters) Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising (Buchanan blog)













Bank of England 'dangerously ill-equipped' for next recession, says IPPR: Thinktank warns of a ‘car crash’ as low interest rates mean further cuts to stimulate demand would not be an option (The Guardian)

Met With Days of Protests, Nicaragua’s Leader Vows to Reverse Course (The New York Times)







CNN’s Stelter Calls Out Trump for Tweet About NYT’s Maggie Haberman: ‘Lying Is Disrespectful’ (Mediaite)




Marc Short: Trump 'happy' with Pruitt (CNN)







The Party of Ike: Eisenhower—embodying prudence, diligence, and broad-mindedness—offers conservatives in the age of Trump a different model of leadership. (The Atlantic)

Church of The Donald: Never mind Fox. Trump’s most reliable media mouthpiece is now Christian TV. (Politico)

     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, April 21, 2018

Saturday roundup (04-21-18)

The US is a major outlier among advanced economies in one big, scary way (Quartz)

Trump lashes out as legal risks pile up: The president whacks back at reports his longtime attorney may flip and claims the Mueller probe is ‘based on an illegal act.’ (Politico)







Trump uses Comey memos to try to discredit Mueller investigation (CNN)




Democratic Party sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks alleging 2016 campaign conspiracy (The Washington Post)




Michael Cohen, once at pinnacle of Trump’s world, now poses threat to it (The Washington Post)

Trump Criticizes Times Report About His Longtime Lawyer (The New York Times) NYT’s Habermann reveals identity of Trump’s ‘drunk/drugged up loser’ — and who else the president fears (RawStory) Trump says Michael Cohen won't flip. Those close to him aren't so sure.: Amid growing speculation that Cohen could be persuaded to cooperate with prosecutors, NBC News spoke to five sources close to Cohen and Trump this week. (NBCNews)

[Photo of New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman with Donald Trump in the White House]






Giuliani's history raises legal questions as he takes on Trump defense: The former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor may be a witness in the Russia probe, and has other entanglements that could complicate his new role. (Politico)

[From White House counsel under President Richard Nixon:]



Scott Pruitt Before the E.P.A.: Fancy Homes, a Shell Company and Friends With Money (The New York Times)




Lobbyist whose wife rented to Pruitt sought help from EPA for client (The Hill)

It Turns Out Mike Pompeo Never Served in the Gulf War (NewYork)







State And Local Republican Officials Have Been Bashing Muslims. We Counted.: A BuzzFeed News analysis found that Republican officials in 49 states have openly attacked Muslims with words and proposed legislation since 2015, and few have faced repercussions. (BuzzFeedNews)

Trump Administration Wants to Shut Door on Abused Women: To cut back on immigration, Sessions wants to remove domestic abuse as a legal justification for seeking asylum. (Politico)

     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.