Thursday, January 23, 2020

Initial jobless claims (Weekly report, 01-23-20)

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 increased by 6,000 to 211,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 18, the government said Thursday. The figures are seasonally adjusted." (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.

Thursday roundup (01-23-20)

Europe Is the New Front in Trump’s Trade War: Savoring his partial China deal and passage of the new NAFTA, the U.S. president turns his sights on America’s closest allies. But he may have less success there. (ForeignPolicy)

[In the United States,] Fed Repos Add $74.2 Billion, But Net Liquidity Declines Modestly: Because of past operations expiring, outstanding short-term Fed liquidity injections fell by $10 billion to $176.1 billion [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Republicans aren’t serving the country, or even the president. Just themselves. (The Washington Post)

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump's Senate impeachment trial -- What does it take to remove a president? [ANSWER: "A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump's case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted."] (FoxNews)

An Impeachment Trial Without Witnesses Would Be Unconstitutional: And a resulting acquittal verdict would present Americans with something far worse than a constitutional crisis. (The Atlantic)



Democrats detail abuse-of-power charge against Trump as Republicans complain of repetitive arguments (The Washington Post) House managers deliver a constitutional lesson (The Washington Post)

Schiff asked GOP senators a tough question. The answer is awful. (The Washington Post)











Key moderate Republicans 'offended,' 'stunned' after Nadler accuses senators of 'cover-up': Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine are two of the few Republicans who have expressed an openness to hearing from witnesses. (NBCNews)



Trump impeachment defense lawyers Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz share disturbing problem: While the president still stands accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women, two of his lawyers are embroiled in their own sexual misconduct and assault scandals. (NBCNews)

Lawyers need to denounce dishonest lawyering (The Washington Post)

U.S. to impose visa restrictions for pregnant women: The Trump administration has been restricting all forms of immigration, but the president has been particularly plagued by the issue of birthright citizenship. (NBCNews)

Morrisons to cut 3,000 managers and take on more shop-floor staff: [UK] Supermarket seeks to fill 7,000 new hourly-paid roles in overhaul of store operations (The Guardian)

Union Pacific to Cut Nearly 3,000 Jobs (Dow Jones Newswires)

     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, January 22, 2020

Wednesday roundup (01-22-20)

Head of U.S.’ largest bank says central banks are fueling a sovereign debt bubble, negative-rates won’t ‘end well’ (Marketwatch)

Euro CRISIS: ECB faces setback as banks issue grim forecast for struggling eurozone: THE struggling Eurozone is facing another huge setback with companies’ demand for bank loans falling for the first time in six years, despite desperate attempts from the European Central Bank (ECB) to stimulate more lending. (The Express)

Di Maio Quits as Five Star Leader in Italy, Deepening Party’s Disarray: He was once the fresh face of a new political force. Now, his exit could signal yet another government crisis. (The New York Times) Luigi Di Maio resigns as leader of Italy's Five Star Movement: Politician seek to calm turmoil within party but will retain role as country’s foreign minister (The Guardian)

[In the United States,] Fed Liquidity Operations Face Conflicting Currents in Wednesday Interventions: The central bank intervenes in the short-term money markets to maintain liquidity [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Trump Opens Door to Cuts to Medicare and Other Entitlement Programs: The president signaled a willingness to scale back Medicare, a shift from his 2016 platform of protecting entitlement programs. (The New York Times) Battle over Social Security spills into 2020 campaign as Democrats spar and Trump weighs in (The Washington Post)




Reagan's Solicitor General Says 'All Honorable People' Have Left Trump's Cabinet: 'He is Capable of Doing Serious Damage' (Newsweek)

Let them speak: Most Americans want witnesses in Trump impeachment trial - Reuters/Ipsos poll (Reuters)




The American People Are Being Scammed by Mitch McConnell: Senators have a duty to conduct a fair and full trial. The Republican leader is trying to make sure they can’t. (The New York Times) Republicans have turned the impeachment trial into a dangerous sham: The trial in the Republican-controlled US Senate is only going to tear up restraints on the would-be authoritarian White House (The Guardian) Mitch McConnell's impeachment tactics could win the trial but lose him the Senate: Strong-arming Republicans into a show of unity is a good thing for Donald Trump. It's less of a good thing for vulnerable Senators. (NBCNews)

[Thread:]






John Roberts scolds legal teams after tense exchange: 'Those addressing the Senate should remember where they are' (CNN)



Adam Schiff’s brilliant presentation is knocking down excuses to acquit
(The Washington Post)






















George Conway goes nuclear on Trump lawyers' 'utterly mendacious' impeachment trial presentation (Youtube)





















Trump’s lawyers are playing a bad hand badly (The Washington Post)

[Even his TV lawyers? Trenchant response to Judge Jeanine:]



Why Did Alan Dershowitz Say Yes to Trump?: Serious constitutional scholars don’t accept his defense of the president in the Senate impeachment trial. (The New York Times)

Several senators [including Lindsey Graham] left the chamber in the middle of Adam Schiff's impeachment remarks (TheWeek) 24 hours in, senators flout quaint impeachment rules (The Associated Press)







Trump again denies knowing Lev Parnas: 'He's a con man' (TheHill) Lev Parnas Attorney Shares Video of Mike Pence With Indicted Giuliani Associate After VP Denies Knowing Him (Newsweek)

Trump’s Impeachment Trial Isn’t His Biggest Legal Risk: Can campaign-finance violations bring down a president? (Bloomberg)

The Values We Share (or Why I Am A Republican): Remembering the values we share. by William Weld, Republican presidential candidate (TheBulwark)

Jaguar Land Rover to cut up to 500 jobs at Halewood factory: JLR’s night shift cuts come amid £2.5bn cost saving drive to invest in electric vehicles (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.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tuesday roundup (01-21-20)

Trump threatens Europe with fresh tariffs in Davos, deepening a rift with longtime U.S. allies (The Washington Post)

[In the United States,] Fed Adds Just Over $90 Billion in Temporary Money to Markets: Intervention comes as overnight repo totaling $58.6 billion and 14-day repo totaling $32.2 billion [preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Former FDIC Chair [Sheila Bair, a Republican]: Warren is 'best candidate' on bank regulation (YahooFinance)

The Disintegration of the American Presidency: The president’s job is to oversee the whole of the executive branch, but under Trump the inverse is happening. (The Atlantic)

Trump pushes his party to normalize corruption (The Washignton Post) Trump says he hates corruption. But he wants to make bribery easier worldwide. (The Washington Post)

Trump’s impeachment defense is designed to destroy guardrails on presidential power [Editorial] (The Washington Post)

Four Fundamental Flaws in President Trump’s Impeachment Trial Memo (JustSecurity)

'No crime, no impeachment' is a shaky defence by Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, expert witness in House impeachment investigation (The BBC) Where the Trump defense goes too far by Jonathan Turley (The Washington Post)

The New Evidence Against Trump Since He Was Impeached:
From Parnas to Nunes, a quick summary of the details that have come to light over the last month. (TheBulwark)







Inside the Republican lunch that slowed McConnell's plan to rush the impeachment trial (CNN) Senate Democrats win 2 key changes to Trump impeachment trial rules (CNBC) Trump's defense looks shaky on first day of impeachment trial: Using the president's convoluted logic with none of his outsized passion, his defense team wasn't very persuasive. (NBCNews) Chris Wallace: Mitch McConnell Is Losing Control Of The Senate: Fox News host Chris Wallace observed on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to “back down” on impeachment trial rules that critics said were designed to cover up offenses committed by Donald Trump. (Crooks and Liars blog) Democrats: Republican rules for the impeachment trial are a crock (The Washington Post)










[Thread:]



Carl Bernstein: "Midnight Mitch" Is Preventing The Public From Seeing Impeachment
(RealClearPolitics)

[Thread:]



Republicans Block Subpoenas for New Evidence as Impeachment Trial Begins: Republicans made last-minute changes to their proposed rules to placate moderates, but they held together to turn back Democratic efforts to subpoena documents. (The New York Times) Mitch McConnell’s Potemkin Trial: Senate Republicans can scarcely afford to hold a trial—but they can hardly afford not to hold one either. (The Atlantic)







[Thread:]



House impeachment manager [Jason Crow] to Trump: If Ukraine call was 'perfect' then 'call the witnesses' [Jan 19] (CNN)

[Thread:]






[Instead . . .] In first big votes of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, Republicans kill Democratic efforts to subpoena records and officials (The Los Angeles Times)




And the White House defense is ... well, there isn’t one
(The Washington Post)







Trump’s lawyers began the impeachment trial with a blizzard of lies: The opening statements from Trump’s lawyers indicated that gaslighting will be a key part of their strategy. (Vox)

Schiff mauls Cipollone on impeachment trial's first day (YahooNews) Cipollone falsely claims Republicans were barred from impeachment depositions (Axios) Pat Cipollone Called Out for ‘Brazen, Disgraceful, and Shameful Lie’ About Impeachment Investigation (Law and Crime) Why Trump’s Lawyers Keep Attacking Adam Schiff: Instead of mounting a defense of their client, the president’s lawyers homed in on remarks delivered by the House Democrat back in September. (The Atlantic) Democrats already have these four victories in the impeachment trial (The Washington Post) Trump’s Lawyers Should Be Ashamed of Themselves: The president’s defense team opened the Senate impeachment trial by botching the facts and making pointless arguments. (Bloomberg)







[Former Republican Congressman:]












Barr Once Contradicted Trump’s Claim That Abuse of Power Is Not Impeachable:
In a memo for the Trump team during the Russia investigation, the attorney general wrote that presidents who misuse their authority are subject to impeachment. (The New York Times)

‘Constitutional Nonsense’: Trump’s Impeachment Defense Defies Legal Consensus: The president’s legal case would negate any need for witnesses. But constitutional scholars say that it’s wrong. (The New York Times)




NSC Russia Official’s Removal Could Signal ‘Egregious’ Security Violation (TalkingPointsMemo)

     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, January 20, 2020

Monday roundup (01-20-20)

The global economy is likely to rebound in 2020, but the IMF warns of eerie parallels to the 1920s (The Washington Post)

German growth in 2019 worst since Eurozone crisis, says Bundesbank (CityAM)

[In the United States,] Fed Adds $52.6 Billion To Markets As Central Bank Official Defends Operations: In a twist, dealers submitted more mortgage bonds than Treasurys to the central bank [Jan. 17; preview; full article behind paywall] (The Wall Street Journal)

Fact check: 65 ways Trump has been dishonest about Ukraine and impeachment (CNN)

John Roberts Finally Gets His Day as Umpire: In a high-level drama with very few surprises, the newest character could also be the most consequential—and also the hardest to predict. (Politico)

What Does “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” Mean? [November 2019] (The American Enterprise Institute)

McConnell Pushes to Speed Impeachment Trial as Trump Requests Swift Acquittal: On Monday, the president’s lawyers asserted he did nothing wrong and urged the Senate to “swiftly reject” the charges against him. (The New York Times) The media must expose bad-faith arguments on impeachment (The Washington Post)







Trump’s lawyers, Senate GOP allies work privately to ensure Bolton does not testify publicly (The Washington Post)

Proposed rules for Trump's Senate impeachment trial could set up a heated debate on Tuesday (USAToday) McConnell lays out rules for Trump's Senate trial, allowing for vote on witnesses, documents: Opening arguments begin Wednesday on a compressed timeline, which Democrats protested along with the decision not to automatically admit House evidence. (NBCNews) 'Unnerved': Trump Fears Unpredictable Impeachment Trial | The Beat With Ari Melber (MSNBC)















The worst thing about Trump’s answer to the impeachment articles
(The Washington Post)

Witness ‘reciprocity’ isn’t a thing. So no, there can’t be a Biden for every Bolton.: Only testimony that bolsters or casts doubt on facts necessary to deciding on the articles of impeachment is relevant at trial. (The Washington Post)

When McConnell speaks, Trump listens. Impeachment trial will test the unlikely bond.
(The Washington Post)

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas asks Attorney General Barr to recuse himself from his case:
The letter was sent days after Parnas spoke publicly for the first time about his role helping Rudy Giuliani push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. (NBCNews) White House to Block Possible Testimony from Lev Parnas: Report (National Review)







Trump’s staffing struggle: After 3 years, unfilled jobs across the administration: The 45th president has struggled with key political appointments more than any recent president — despite his party’s control of the Senate. (Politico)

How Trump fused his business empire to the presidency:
As Trump kicks off his fourth year as president with an impeachment trial tied to his actions involving Ukraine, critics say the president has yet to face accountability for blatant conflicts of interest tied to his private businesses. (Politico)

They Grow the Nation’s Food, but They Can’t Drink the Water (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, January 19, 2020

Sunday roundup (01-19-20)

The student loan debt is $1.6 trillion and people are struggling to pay it down (CNN)

No escape: Senators to be quiet, unplugged for Trump trial
(The Associated Press)




President Trump Isn’t the Only One on Trial: The House is on trial, too. And so is the Senate. (TheBulwark)

The Senate must not ignore the new evidence on Ukraine
[Editorial] (The Washington Post)

Durbin complains Senate Democrats in the dark about impeachment rules: The Senate expects to sign off on formal rules for the trial within the next few days. (Politico)

Graham, Dershowitz say effort to dismiss articles of impeachment 'dead' as they prepare for trial (USAToday)



Georgetown Law Professor: 'No Sound Basis' For Dershowitz Defense Of Trump:
Georgetown law professor John Mikhail explained why the portion of President Donald Trump’s defense which is being covered by Alan Dershowitz is likely to fail, because it has “no sound basis” in history and law. (Crooks and Liars blog) Trump’s lawyers shouldn’t be allowed to use bogus legal arguments on impeachment by Laurence Tribe (The Washington Post) Inside the Founding Fathers’ Debate Over What Constituted an Impeachable Offense: If not for three sparring Virginia delegates, Congress’s power to remove a president would be even more limited than it already is [Oct 2, 2017] (Smithsonian Magazine)












Senators Know They Don’t Know the Whole Story:
As Trump’s impeachment trial looms, much of the relevant evidence remains just out of Americans’ sight. (The Atlantic)

Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate (TheHill)

‘Once this is over, we’ll be kings’: How Lev Parnas worked his way into Trump’s world — and now is rattling it (The Washington Post)

Why Trump had to hire this legal odd couple (The Washington Post)




I worked on the Bill Clinton probe. He deserved impeaching. Trump’s actions are even worse by Paul Rosenzweig [Nov 4, 2019] (The Los Angeles Times)




Trump Loses Another Russia Adviser, Adding to NSC Turnover (Bloomberg)






Trump’s hallmark foreign policy failure? ‘Maximum pressure.’ (The Washington Post)

$11 Billion And Counting: Trump's Border Wall Would Be The World's Most Costly
(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.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday roundup (01-18-20)

The US operation in Iraq could come to an embarrassing end. Iran's power will only grow (CNN)

Trump Is a Remorseless Advocate of Crimes Against Humanity (Slate)

Trump’s Defense Team Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen’ as Democrats Make Legal Case:
In a six-page filing formally responding to the impeachment charges, President Trump’s lawyers rejected the case against him as illegitimate and described the effort to remove him as dangerous. (The New York Times)

National Archives Apologizes for Altering Image of 2017 Women’s March: A photo from the march displayed at the National Archives was altered to blur signs that were critical of President Trump or might be offensive, officials said. (The New York Times) The National Archives used to stand for independence. That mission has been compromised. (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.