Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday roundup (11-30-10)

Quotes of the Day:

"What is happening in Europe is unambiguously deflationary." -- Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian. (CNBC)

"All these 'rescue' packages in euroland really do is provide bridge financing — they do not resolve the underlying structural problems in these countries or the deflating asset values in bank balance sheets... The austerity packages needed to bring intractable deficits down will fuel the deflationary pressures, which will only further destabilize the financial system and add damage to the economy." -- David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff. (ZeroHedge blog)

Contagion spreads to euro zone banks -- "'There’s definitely a banking problem in core Europe, outside of the peripheral economies,' said Marko Papic, senior European analyst with Stratfor, a global intelligence firm based in Austin, Tex." (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

European Debt Crisis Deepens, Sparking Fears of New Bailouts (The Voice of America) Europe Debt Fears Hit More Countries (The New York Times) "'In speaking to clients and traders yesterday, it's clear that there is extremely low appetite to take fresh peripheral or financial exposure. There are an increasing number of investors who will not touch these assets at any price for now, given all the uncertainty,' said Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank." (The Guardian)

Is euro zone running out of time on debt crisis? (Reuters)

Insolvent – Greece, Ireland, Portugal and probably Spain (FT Alphaville blog) European Default Risk (Bespoke Investment Group)

Ireland's ripples spread globally (The Wall Street Journal) Ireland's Debt Servitude -- "Stripped to its essentials, the €85bn package imposed on Ireland by the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank is a bail-out for improvident British, German, Dutch, and Belgian bankers and creditors." (The Telegraph blogs)

Portugal Delivers Grim Warning About Stability Of Its Own Banks, And Impact Of Austerity -- "It's hard to have confidence in a country's banking sector when its own government and central bank is warning about instability." (The Business Insider) Portuguese banks face alarming liquidity problems: central bank (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) Portugal's Central Bank Sees 'Serious Challenges' (The Wall Street Journal)

Portugal banks face 'intolerable' risk unless austerity measures are implemented: Portugal's central bank has given warning that the country's banking sector faces "intolerable" risk unless its government implements planned austerity measures, as continuing fears for the health of the eurozone dragged the euro to a 10-week low against the dollar. (The Telegraph)

‘Insolvent’ Portugal Needs Loans Soon, Buiter Says (Bloomberg)

Italy Could Be Next in Debt Crisis: Jim O'Neill (CNBC) Italy no longer quite so safe (Reuters) Debt Infection Continues to Spread: Italy's Borrowing Costs Jump; Rise in Interbank-Lending Rates Rattles Investors (The Wall Street Journal) "'Worryingly, the deterioration in the European bond markets has now started to spread to Italian debt,' said Wells Fargo analyst Vassili Serebriakov. 'While the situation remains fluid and uncertain, European jitters are unlikely to fade away.'" (Bloomberg) Europe's debt troubles deepen as investors flee bonds of Spain, Italy (The Los Angeles Times blogs) The Italian Job [see GRAPH] (The New York Times blogs)

[Swiss Drugmaker] Novartis to Slash 1,400 U.S. Jobs (Reuters)

State Street to Cut 1,400 Jobs as Low Rates Squeeze Revenue (Bloomberg)

Housing Double Dip Confirmed (Seeking Alpha blog) Home Prices in U.S. Cities Rose Less Than Forecast -- "Housing 'is on the brink of another substantial downturn,' said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia. 'Supply far exceeds demand and the only remedy is further price declines.'" (Bloomberg) "Prices are now falling - and falling just about everywhere. And it appears there are more price declines coming (based on inventory levels and anecdotal reports)." (Calculated Risk blog) "David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s, stated the obvious when he said this is 'another weak report; weaker than last month … a sustained recovery could be a ways off.'" (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Next WikiLeaks leak: Bank of America? -- "In an interview with Forbes published this week, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange promised to release a trove of documents in early 2011 that 'could take down a bank or two.' He said the documents will show 'flagrant violations' and 'unethical practices' at the executive level." (The Washington Post blogs)

'Real Bad' Cash Jam May Make Michigan Towns Borrow or Default By March (Bloomberg)

Food Banks Bracing For End Of Extended Unemployment Benefits (The Huffington Post blog)

Scientists Confirm that Dispersants Are Increasing Contamination in the Gulf (Washington's Blog)

10 Skills Needed To Thrive In A Post-Collapse World (Carolyn Baker.net)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday roundup (11-29-10)

The Danger of a Global Double Dip Recession Is Real: The deficits we face are a dagger pointing at the heart of the American economy by Mortimer B. Zuckerman (U. S. News & World Report)

Portugal, Spain Credit-Default Swaps Soar to Records Amid Bailout Concerns (Bloomberg)

Are We Entering Another Phase of Financial Crisis? (The Atlantic) The Eurozone Endgame: Four Scenarios by Peter Boone and Simon Johnson (Baseline Scenario blog) Three options for the euro zone: monetisation, default, or break-up (Credit Writedowns blog)

EU Faces More Bailouts as Euro Contagion Spreads to Portugal: Euro Credit -- "'We are barely halfway through the current crisis in the euro zone,' Paul Donovan, deputy head of global economics at UBS AG in London, said..." (Bloomberg) Roubini tells Portugal to seek bailout as markets slide: Nouriel Roubini, the US economist, said Portugal should consider asking for a bailout before its financial plight worsens as the euro fell after the €85bn Ireland bailout failed to ease eurozone debt fears. (The Telegraph)

Europe's Debt Domino Effect: Insight on Europe's debt debacle, with Jim Rickards, Omnis sr. managing director. (CNBC)

Default! Say the people: Irish negotiators raised defaulting but 'Europe went completely mad' (The Irish Independent)

Contagion strikes Italy as Ireland bail-out fails to calm markets: The EU-IMF rescue for Ireland has failed to restore to confidence in the eurozone debt markets, leading instead to a dramatic surge in bond yields across half the currency bloc. -- "'The EU rescue fund cannot handle Spain, let alone Italy,' said Charles Dumas, from Lombard Street Research. 'We we may be nearing the point where Germany has to decide whether it is willing take on a burden six times the size of East Germany, or let some countries go.'" (The Telegraph)

Spain's Banks Face $111 Billion Funding Hurdle in 2011 Amid Bailout Threat (Bloomberg)

Germany watches with concern as euro falls despite Ireland bailout: 'If we keep bailing out the rest of Europe, we'll end up going down with the sinking ship,' a dressmaker in Potsdam says. (The Los Angeles Times)

These Are The 20 Banks Most Exposed To The European Sovereign Debt Crisis (The Business Insider)

U.K. Trims Growth Forecast for Next Two Years, Sees Deficit Little Changed (Bloomberg)

The Bank of England Sows the Seeds of the Next UK Crisis by William K. Black (Benzinga)

France’s Current Deficit Plans Show It Missing Target, EU Says (Bloomberg) French government insists its debt not deadly (The Associated Press)

Deflation continues [in Japan] year after Kan battle cry (Asahi Shimbun)

Fed won't be able to halt this downturn by Steven C. Isberg, associate professor in the Department of Finance and Economics in the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business -- "... deflation is dangerous when it occurs in a high-debt environment like the one we're living in now. With more income going to debt payments, there is less to spend on other things. This empowers a recession and creates even more deflation. Eventually, the economy collapses under the weight of its own debt." (The Baltimore Sun)

Stockman: Bush Administration and Paulson Destroyed Last Vestige of Fiscal Responsibility We Had in the Republican Party [CNN interview] (Crooks and Liars blog)

The Housing Problem in 3 Pictures -- "With supply near its all-time highs and demand near its all-time lows it’s safe to assume that prices have only one direction to move and that’s lower." (Pragmatic Capitalism)

John Taylor: Foreclosures Are the Mortal Enemy to Economic Recovery (CNBC)

Millions Are on the Brink of Disaster, as Extended Unemployment Benefits Are in Doubt: Congress has always extended benefits when unemployment was over 7.2%. Today's unemployment rate is over 9% and the lame duck session of Congress has so far failed to extend them. (Alternet)

Call Congress TODAY To Ensure that New Food Safety Regulations Do Not Punish Small Farmers or Home Gardners (Washington's Blog)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday roundup (11-28-10)

Ireland accepts $113-billion bailout package: It's a humiliating move for the Irish government, which had insisted for weeks that it did not need outside help. -- "All eyes are now turned to Portugal and Spain, where, in many ways, the Irish bailout will face its true test." (The Los Angeles Times)

Irish bailout includes emergency [euro]10bn of aid to stem run on banks: EU and IMF pump [euro]10bn into Ireland's banks as part of Irish bailout to try to stem tide of withdrawals (The Guardian)

Bank of England's money pump is all that's keeping economy going: UK's return to 'business as usual' masks our reliance on quantitative easing -- "The Bank knows how to combat inflation; it has had no experience since the 1930s of deflation." (The Guardian)

Portugal, Spain in crosshairs as Ireland bailed out -- "'I think it is almost impossible now to stop the contagion,' said Mark Grant, managing director of corporate syndicate and structured debt products at Southwest Securities in Florida." (Reuters)

They Are Not Like Ireland. Really. (The New York Times)

BOJ governor [Masaaki Shirakawa] says aware of risks for Europe, U.S. -- "'In the United States and advanced European economies the process of dealing with excessive household debt, excess production capacity and balance sheet adjustment in the financial sector is continuing, and in these circumstances the virtuous cycle of production, income and spending growth will not operate properly,' Shirakawa said in a speech to business leaders in Nagoya, central Japan." (Reuters)

["Little changed":] Black Friday Sales Up 0.3% to $10.7 Billion, ShopperTrak Says (Bloomberg)

Smart Money Preparing For Sell Off Like Never Before (ZeroHedge blog)

The Fed and Foreclosures [editorial] (The New York Times)

David Rosenberg, Chief Economist, Gluskin Sheff & Associates: On this week’s Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, a Financial Thought Leader who called the credit and housing bubbles way ahead of the pack. Gluskin Sheff’s prescient Chief Economist, David Rosenberg shares his economic and market outlook, plus advice on how to invest in it. (WealthTrack)

The Imminent Collapse Of Industrial Society by Peter Goodchild, author of Survival Skills of the North American Indians (CounterCurrents)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday roundup (11-27-10)

Irish Official Sees Bailout Deal Sunday (The Wall Street Journal) (The Associated Press) (Bloomberg)

First Greece, then Ireland - Europe's debt problem has gone from bad to worse: After German Chancellor Angela Merkel's comments on bondholders, the single currency finds itself skidding ever closer to collapse. (The Telegraph)

Spain, Portugal face pressure for bailouts (The Washington Post) Debt crisis escalates in Europe; fears grow about Spain (The Washington Post) Worst may be to come in eurozone debt crisis (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) "In a flurry of phone calls over the weekend, French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke with the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, underscoring the seriousness of a crisis that has been haunting the euro zone for the past year." (Reuters) "'The market has lost faith over the likelihood that the Irish problem can be ring fenced,' said Steven Mansell, director of interest-rate strategy at Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. in London. 'It’s a transformation from a market thinking the problem resided in the weaker periphery to a situation where the market is worried about a broader-based contagion.'" (Bloomberg)

It's Not Just the "Peripheral" European Countries ... Financial Contagion Could Spread to "Core" Eurozone Countries and the U.S. (Washington's Blog)

New global economic crisis alert -- "The new economic crisis is expected to continue for the next 10 years and have a major impact on the West, causing deflation and the bankruptcy of about five Europe countries, said Talal Abu-Ghazaleh." (Gulf Daily News) "We consider there is a risk of deflation in the US in the not-distant future," Tomoko Hayashi, an economist at the Cabinet Office [of Japan]..." (Gulf News)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 919 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

For tottering states, bankruptcy could be the answer -- "University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel, writing in the Weekly Standard, suggests that Congress pass a law allowing states to go bankrupt." (The Washington Examiner)

Don’t Just Tell Us. Show Us That You Can Foreclose. -- "...one question at the heart of the foreclosure mess refuses to go away: whether institutions trying to take back a property can prove they even have the right to foreclose at all." (The New York Times)

Not Just Me [others are saying that "widely reported rise in corporate profits won't lead to a boom in hiring," too] (Financial Armageddon)

What's The Difference Between Debt And Deficit? (National Public Radio)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday roundup (11-26-10)

Angela Merkel in eurozone permanent bail-out vow: Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to implement a permanent bail-out facility amid speculation over a break up of the 16-nation eurozone. -- Includes chart of " Eurozone government deficits as a proportion of GDP 2009" (The BBC)

[But ...] EU rescue costs start to threaten Germany itself: The escalating debt crisis on the eurozone periphery is starting to contaminate the creditworthiness of Germany and the core states of monetary union. (The Telegraph)

Thinking the unthinkable -- a euro zone breakup -- "a small but growing number of experts now believe some version of this nightmare scenario could become a reality for the euro zone if policymakers fail to unite behind a more forceful strategy for saving the euro and address investor concerns about fiscal and economic imbalances." (Reuters)

Portugal Leads Surge in Sovereign Debt Risk on Bailout Bets (Bloomberg)

Risk premium on Spanish bonds reaches new high (FoxNews)

Will the next fiscal crisis start in Washington? by Sheila C. Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- "... we need urgent action to forestall the next financial crisis." (The Washington Post)

Did U.S. Audit Firms Look The Other Way Because They Already Expected Bailout For Bad Banks? (Crooks and Liars blog)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday roundup (11-25-10)

Irish banks need 'urgent' cash injection: analysts: Ireland's crisis-hit banking sector needs another "urgent" injection of capital -- possibly as much as 12 billion euros -- to help keep it afloat, analysts said. (Agence France Presse)

Ireland bailout: fears mount that eurozone fund is too small: European commission dismisses remarks by Axel Weber, head of German central bank, that €440bn Financial Stability Facility may need more money to secure euro against bond markets (The Guardian)

UK fund manager says debt default may be a better option for Ireland (The Irish Times)

Belgium joins financial markets' hit list: Traders push cost of insuring Belgium's debts to record levels in situation made worse by broken political system (The Guardian)

Germany fuels EMU debt crisis with haircut demands: German plans to push for bondholder haircuts in Europe as soon as next year have triggered a surge in default risk on European bank debt and set off further flight from Spanish, Portuguese and Irish bonds. (The Telegraph) "The average yield investors demand to hold 10-year debt from Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy reached 7.52 percent yesterday [Nov. 24], a euro-era record." (Bloomberg)

So who's next for financial meltdown?: Spain, Portugal and Belgium set to follow Ireland into abyss as debt crisis threatens to destroy the euro (The Daily Mail) Spain-Portugal-Belgium-set-follow-Ireland-debt-crisis-threatens-euro.html (The Daily Mail)

Euro Zone Is Short of Survival Options (The Wall Street Journal) The Euro Is Absolutely Totally Fine. Honest. (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Currency Crisis! So What Happens If The Dollar And The Euro Both Collapse? (Benzinga)

US inflation fears misguided, deflation remains the biggest threat (Citywire)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday roundup (11-24-10)

Gloom, anger, fear spread across Europe as key economies teeter on the edge of collapse (The Associated Press)

Fears of Domino Effect Pervade Europe: Loss of Confidence Extends From Ireland to Spain, Portugal; Bond Spreads Widen as Euro Tumbles (The Wall Street Journal)

ECB May Delay Exit Again as Ireland Rescue Fails to Stem Contagion Spread (Bloomberg)

Irish unveil harshest cuts, tax hikes in history: Ireland unveils 4-year plan to cut euro15 billion ($20 billion) from deficits amid EU-IMF bailout (The Associated Press) "Ireland yesterday embarked on one of most draconian austerity programmes of any developed economy since the Second World War as it battled to avoid national bankruptcy." (The Daily Mail) Ireland-bailout-Minimum-wage-slashed-tax-rises-way.html "EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn gave the thumbs up to the savage four-year budget package, which will impose three billion euro social welfare cuts, axe 25,000 public jobs and hike income tax." (The Press Association)

Ireland set to tap into pension fund (The Daily Mail)

Ireland Budget Plan Likely Too Optimistic -- "...our base case remains for debt restructurings in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. We have been on the fence regarding Spain..." (Credit Writedowns blog)

Chart of the Day: Bubble Chart of Exposure to and Bailout of Ireland (Credit Writedowns blog)

Amid Bailout Dangers, Spain Poses Biggest Risk (The New York Times) A Spanish Crisis Could Strain EU's Current Bailout Capacity (The Wall Street Journal) It's Official: There Is Not Enough Money To Bail Out Spain (ZeroHedge blog)

October new home sales drop [by 8.1 percent] to near-record low while prices fall to lowest point in 7 years (The Associated Press)

Treasury official [Michael Barr]: 'inexcusable' breakdowns in basic controls in foreclosures -- "Separately, Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske confirmed Tuesday that Barr is leaving his post to resume his academic career and spend more time with his family." (The Washington Post blogs)

Countrywide Documentation Disaster to Explode at Bank of America? (CNBC)

New foreclosure trouble brewing as late payments rise? -- "Several states across the Northeast are seeing a sharp jump in homeowners falling behind on their mortgages." (The Boston Globe)

Foreclosure expert predicts new wave of bank repossessions: A foreclosure investor said bank repossessions will return to record numbers in mid-2011, once the robo-signing scandal has blown over. (The Miami Herald)

Inside the country's mortgage mess: Rep. March Kaptur, D-Ohio, shares her thoughts on whether Congress will protect the fraudclosure process. [CLICK LINK FOR VIDEO] (MSNBC)

Marcy Kaptur tells foreclosure victims, "Don't leave your homes!" (Youtube)

The Coming Property Tax Cliff Means More Bad News for Municipal Finances (DailyFinance)

The Beginning Of The Ponzi End: As Of Today, The Biggest Holder Of US Debt Is Ben Bernanke -- "And congratulations to China for finally not being the one having the most to lose on a DV01 basis on that day when the inevitable surge in interest rates finally happens. That honor is now strictly reserved for America's taxpayers." (ZeroHedge blog)

Pentagon, Military Actively War Gaming 'Large Scale Economic Breakdown' and 'Civil Unrest' [according to CNBC report] (Youtube)

The trouble with 'global imbalances' -- "The high standard of living most Americans enjoy could be at risk. And the looming danger is caused by two little words ..." (CNN)

Forget Peak Oil, Now Peak COAL Is Just A Few Years Away (The Business Insider)

The Winter I Had to Live Almost Completely on Potatoes ... And Loved It: Everything you could want to know about the potato, which, it turns out, is an amazing food. (Alternet)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 11-24-10)

According to Linda Duessel, a market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh, quoted here, a recovery would be indicated by initial jobless claims below 500,000.

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 workers who filed new claims for unemployment benefits dropped 34,000 last week to 407,000, the lowest level since July 2008, the U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday. There were no special factors or unusual events, a Labor spokesman said." (Marketwatch)

"'My expectation has been that we'll drop below 400,000 (jobless claims) before the end of the year, and this puts us on a good pace to do so,' said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at BTIG in New York. 'That would mean that we could add 150,000 jobs per month, which is where we need to be in order to bring the unemployment rate down.'" (Reuters)

Time will tell!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday roundup (11-23-10)

Quote of the Day: "The IEA [International Energy Agency] has been producing annual reviews of the world energy situation for a long time [called the World Energy Outlook or WEO] and has not mentioned the term 'Peak Oil' (as far as I know) until this year's report. And not only did they mention it, they said that as far as conventional oil goes, it's in the rear view mirror ... 'Unconventional oil' refers to things like tar sands, ultra-deep-water oil, coal-to-liquids, oil shale, and natural gas liquids. In other words, oil that is much more difficult and expensive to produce. ... I cannot state this strongly enough: The WEO 2010 report is an official admission that Peak Oil is not only real, but it's already here." -- Independent economist Chris Martenson (ZeroHedge blog)

European markets sink as Germany warns of 'serious situation' for euro (The Los Angeles Times blogs)

Euro crisis worsens after [world's biggest] bond investor [Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian] says cash will be taken out of Ireland (The Guardian)

Ireland’s Debt to Foreign Banks Is Still Unknown -- "Doubt about the level of risk only makes investors more nervous than they already are, fuels citizen mistrust and complicates efforts by European policy makers to develop a rescue plan and prevent the crisis from spreading to Portugal and Spain." (The New York Times)

Spain and Portugal under fire as bond spreads hit record: Borrowing costs for Portugal and Spain have surged to danger levels on fears that Europe's leaders are losing political control of the Irish crisis and have yet to agree on a coherent plan to tackle the eurozone's deeper debt woes. (The Telegraph) "Ireland’s rescue 'achieves completely the opposite of what it allegedly tries to achieve, namely to calm markets,' Tim Brunne, at UniCredit SpA said in a report." (Bloomberg) "'The markets currently have virtually zero confidence that the bailout in Ireland will solve the European crisis,' Charles Diebel and David Page, fixed-income strategists at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets in London, said in a note today." (Bloomberg)

Forget Ireland, Spain is the real nightmare -- "And Spain could turn out to be the sovereign equivalent of the Titanic." (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Japan: land of the rising debt: A huge deficit and a falling population threaten to push the country back into the dark days of deflation, and leaders are willing to attempt anything – even failed British ideas. (The Telegraph)

Fed predicts weak recovery for several years -- "According to minutes from the Fed's November 3 meeting released Tuesday, more than half of the central bank's policymakers thought it would take about five or six years for unemployment, growth and inflation to return to more normal levels. Other Fed members warned the full recovery could take even longer than that." (CNN) "The Fed's forecast is an acknowledgment that the 'healing process in the economy has slowed to a crawl,' said Ethan Harris, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch." (The Los Angeles Times)

Fed lowers outlook for economy through 2011, citing worse than expected growth (The Associated Press)

U.S. Still Faces Risk of Double-Dip Recession, Rosenberg Says -- "'Everything is measurably below when the recession began in ‘07,' [economist David] Rosenberg said today in an interview on Bloomberg Radio with Tom Keene." (Bloomberg)

Will QE2 Stoke Inflation?: Contrary to the view of members of the U.S. Republican Party, QE2 is not inflationary because of the big output gap still present in the United States, says Robert Kessler, founder and CEO of The Kessler Companies. He speaks to CNBC's Bernard Lo & Karen Tso. (CNBC)

Existing Home Inventory increases 8.4% Year-over-Year -- "The bottom line: Sales were weak in October - almost exactly at the levels I expected - and will continue to be weak for some time. Inventory is very high - and the significant year-over-year increase in inventory is very concerning. The high level of inventory and months-of-supply will put downward pressure on house prices." (Calculated Risk blog)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday roundup (11-22-10)

Irish Debt Crisis Forces Collapse of Government (The New York Times) (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Ailing Ireland Accepts Bailout: Nation Asks EU, IMF for Tens of Billions to Boost Banks and Public Finances (The Wall Street Journal) Will Ireland's bailout end the euro crisis? -- "To put it simply, the entire bailout mechanism forged by the EU leaves too many questions unanswered, and thus will keep financial markets jittery." (Time blogs) The underwhelming Irish bailout -- "The best-case scenario, then, is that the EU bailout will kick the Irish can three years down the road." (Reuters blogs)

Irish Banks Need $6.8 Billion in Cash Immediately, Analysts Say (Bloomberg) Rescue of Ireland Would Dwarf Greece's Bailout on Cost of Shoring Up Banks (Bloomberg)

Irish exposure, charted: Courtesy of BNP Paribas, just who is exposed to Ireland and by how much (FT Alphaville blog)

Ireland's sacrifice may well sink the eurozone, not save it: The EU cannot deal with Spain: its sovereign debt totals around [Euro]560bn, around [Euro]30bn more than Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined (The Independent)

In European Debt Crisis, Some Call Default Better Option -- "'There is just no escaping debt restructuring for Greece and Ireland,' said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a Harvard professor and expert on sovereign debt crises." (The New York Times)

Portugal Default Risk Rises After Irish Rescue on Concern Over Debt Levels (Bloomberg)

Portugal braces for debt crisis contagion to reach its shores: After Ireland, bond market pressure moves south as Portuguese government pushes through austerity budget (The Guardian) Portugal next as EMU's Máquina Infernal keeps ticking: The Portuguese seemed baffled - and pained - that investors should link their country in any way with Greece or Ireland. I am afraid they must come to terms very soon with some unpleasant facts. (The Telegraph) "'Portugal and Spain — and maybe even Italy — have very high debt burdens and may eventually have to use the European bailout fund to access finance,' said research director Kathleen Brooks at trading site Forex.com. 'So, Ireland is just another chapter in the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis and is not the end of the story.'" (Agence France Presse) "After Portugal 'the next question would be Spain and then Italy and then France and then the EU,' said Antonio Garcia Pascual, chief southern European economist at Barclays Capital in London. 'Spain is bit too big to be bailed out, the size of a rescue required would use up all the funds available and then you have Italy with contagion as well,' prompting 'a situation where the euro itself is put into question.'" (Bloomberg)

Portugal Says Will Do Everything to Meet Deficit Goal -- "'The Irish bailout announced over the weekend will likely provide some relief to peripheral bonds, but this could be short-lived, with Portugal likely to soon return under the markets’ spotlight, as the government is finding it hard to meet its fiscal targets,' said Luigi Speranza, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in London." (Bloomberg) [Dansk Bank says:] "We think that the likelihood that Portugal will eventually need (and get) help if Ireland receives support from the EFSF is very high. For Spain and Italy the likelihood that they will need help is much lower." (Pragmatic Capitalism) [And yet...] Spain Banks Face Debt Challenge as ECB Cuts Cash, Moody’s Says (Bloomberg)

Germany isn't blameless in Europe's bailout mess: Editorial (The Washington Post)

Almost half of Britons will start the New Year in debt, new research has suggested. (The Telegraph)

Forecasters See U.S. Economy Still Sluggish in 2011 (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Gluskin's Rosenberg Warns Of US Deflation Risks In 2011 (The Wall Street Journal) Risks to the Outlook (Pragmatic Capitalism) Breakfast with Dave (Scribd)

U.S. Governors Put 'Everything' on Table for Cuts as Budget Deficits Loom -- "The longest recession since the 1930s caused the biggest decline in state tax receipts on record, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington." (Bloomberg)

The Muni-Bond Meltdown: Sell First, Ask Questions Later -- "There is no doubt that, since the election in which Republicans were ceded control of the House of Representatives, this market has been a scary place. ... it has become more likely that this program [Build America Bonds] will not be extended and aid flowing from Washington to the states is likely to become much more difficult." (Seeking Alpha blog)

The Muni Spike Has Been The Real Unintended Consequence Of QE2 (The Business Insider)

'Shadow inventory' of 2.1 million homes may loom in U.S. market: Property that is in foreclosure, has a loan 90 days past due or has been taken back by a lender and is not yet listed for sale stood at an eight-month supply at the end of August, three months more than a year earlier. (The Los Angeles Times)

Obama supporter who told him she was 'deeply disappointed' because of his economic policies laid off (The New York Post) (CNBC)

Modern Fed History Points to Ben Bernanke’s Resignation (Forbes blogs)

Matt Taibbi on Deluded Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand and How the U.S. Is Like the Soviet Union: Every country has scam artists, but only in a dying country are they part of the power structure. (Alternet)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday roundup (11-21-10)

Quote of the Day:

[On Ireland:] "This is not a simple liquidity crisis. ... We are in a CONTAGION crisis. As the banks foreclose, they depress the real estate, that depresses consumer spending when they fear their savings are gone, and that depresses revenues for the government and forces higher taxes, lower economic growth, and increasing the odds of political upheavals, revolutions, and war." -- Cycle expert Martin Armstrong. (Scribd)

European Union rescue to herald Irish bank shake-up: The Irish government is to lead a wholesale restructuring of its banking sector involving the sale of non-core and overseas assets after requesting an EU-IMF package worth "tens of billions" of euros to shore up its crumbling financial system. (The Telegraph)

Irish EU bailout may not stop a Portugal follow-up (Reuters)

If Portugal is small enough to rescue, Spain may be "too big to save": Spain's small regional banks, the cajas, are virtually bust as a result of reckless lending into the now-collapsed property market (The Independent)

Following the Path of Japan and the Madness of Bernanke Fighting Just That (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Recovery a mirage for most [in Massachusetts], poll finds -- "More than three-fourths of Massachusetts residents surveyed say the recession has not ended..." (The Boston Globe)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday roundup (11-20-10)

Deflation: Japan versus USA (The Big Picture blog)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 903 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Unions Yield on Wage Scales to Preserve Jobs (The New York Times)

Michigan Town's Bankruptcy Bid a Harbinger, Governor-Elect [Rick Snyder] Says -- "'The most challenging period is probably about 2013 to ’15,' Snyder said. 'Literally, there could be hundreds of jurisdictions [in financial crisis].'" (Bloomberg)

From defiance to capitulation: six days that humbled Ireland: It began with denials and ended with IMF talks to agree a bailout of the stricken Irish economy, amid revelations of a run on one of the country's biggest banks – and a deal on the debt crisis is still some days away (The Observer)

Ireland's long painful slog must begin with slow, steady steps: While inevitably complex, Ireland's economic fate can be analytically simplified to a two-lane race. By Mohamed A. El-Erian (The Telegraph)

Irish troubles could affect UK investors: There will be knock-on effects from the crisis gripping our neighbour (The Independent)

George Osborne wanted Britain to copy Ireland's bankrupting fiscal policies -- "In an article for The Times four years ago, he wrote: 'They have much to teach us, if only we are willing to learn.'" (The Daily Mirror) The column in question @ (The Times of London)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday roundup (11-20-10)

Allied Irish says it's lost 17 percent of deposits (Bloomberg) "The bank admitted tapping 'a range of liquidity facilities from central banks, including certain additional marketwide schemes during the period of dislocation within the funding markets'." (The Irish Times)

Patrick Honohan: Ireland's prophet and saviour: Ireland's Fianna Fail leaders must rue the day they ever allowed Patrick Honohan to take charge of the Irish central bank. (The Telegraph)

Why Britain can’t afford a meltdown in the Irish economy -- "... there is no other European country that stands to lose more if Ireland’s economic problems worsen or the banking sector collapses." (The Irish Independent)

Should Ireland default and devalue? (Reuters blogs)

Irish Bailout May Unleash Vigilantes on Portugal: Euro Credit (Bloomberg) Economist [Megan Greene from the Economist Intelligence Unit] warns of contagion in the eurozone (The BBC)

IMF’s Strauss-Kahn Says Europe Sovereign Debt Crisis ‘Not Over’ (Bloomberg)

Roubini Maps Out Nightmare Scenario of Domino Debt Collapse in Europe (CNBC)

Irish, Greek, Portugal Bonds to Keep Falling, Citigroup Says (Bloomberg)

Dutch military plans to cut 10,000 jobs (The Economic Times of India)

Dollar to Become World’s ‘Weakest Currency,’ JPMorgan Predicts (Bloomberg)

Little Evidence of a Light at the End of the Tunnel (Financial Armageddon blog)

When Washington Regulated Wall Street: How the Pecora Commission changed American finance (U. S. News & World Report)

Regulators close 3 small banks: 2010 total 149 (Reuters)

Gulf State Community Bank of Carrabelle FL had a troubled assets ratio of 465.4%. (BankTracker)

First Banking Center of Burlington WI had a troubled assets ratio of 179.7%. (BankTracker)

Allegiance Bank of North America of Bala Cynwyd PA had a troubled assets ratio of 171.8%. (BankTracker)

Peak Oil: why the Pentagon is pessimistic [EXCLUSIVE] (Le Monde blogs) Oil shock warning for UK government (Citywire)

Questions over Crystal Cathedral pay in bankruptcy (The Associated Press)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday roundup (11-18-10)

Obama home loan aid continues to shrink (Reuters) "U.S. homeowners are dropping out of the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention program at a faster rate than they are joining it, according to figures released today by the U.S. Treasury Department." (Bloomberg)

Regulators criticized for not catching foreclosure crisis (The Washington Post)

No Mr. President, Larry Summers Did Not Resolve the Financial Crisis for a Pittance, He Just Papered Over the Problem by William K. Black (Credit Writedowns blog)

European Central Bank tightens screw on Ireland, Portugal and Spain: The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a clear warning that it will press ahead with plans to raise interest rates and withdraw lending support for banks despite the eurozone debt crisis, even if this risks pushing Ireland, Portugal and Spain into deeper trouble. (The Telegraph)

The Euro Debt Crisis Rolls On: 'There Is No Way This Thing Ends Well' (The Atlantic)

Massive restructuring of eurozone debt now inevitable: As we learned to our cost at the height of the credit crunch, when a "too big to fail" bank goes bust, political leaders are faced with a choice that really amounts to no choice at all. (The Telegraph)

Ireland: AIB crisis shows UK must help bailout to save its own banks: Irish state guarantees not enough to stop nervous withdrawals from banks as doubts grow over validity of EU stress tests (The Guardian)

Jim Rogers: Ireland should go bankrupt! (Russia Today)

The Celtic Chimera by William K. Black (Credit Writedowns blog)

U.K. Had Larger-Than-Expected Budget Deficit in October Amid Modest Growth (Bloomberg)

New York City Will Cut Workforce by 10,000 to Narrow Budget Gap (Bloomberg)

Germany's Bayer AG to Cut 4,500 Jobs by 2012 (The Associated Press)

Ratings Agencies Among Top 'Devils' of Meltdown, Authors Contend: Paul Solman speaks with Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, authors of "All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis" about the villains of the financial crisis. It's part of his ongoing series, Making Sen$e of Financial News. (PBS NewsHour) (Youtube)

Daily Show: Exclusive - Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera Extended Interview: In this complete, unedited interview, Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera say Wall Street is already onto the next thing that will blow up the financial system. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera Extended Interview<a>
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Knight Research' Stunning Call: "The Game Is Over" (ZeroHedge blog)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 11-18-10)

According to Linda Duessel, a market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh, quoted here, a recovery would be indicated by initial jobless claims below 500,000.

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 workers who filed new claims for unemployment benefits rose 2,000 last week to 439,000, reflecting little change in nationwide hiring, according to the latest government data.

"Yet a downward trend in claims over the last month suggests fewer companies are eliminating jobs, economists say. The four-week average of new claims continued to fall and hit its lowest level since September 2008." (Marketwatch)

"'It is indicative of some mild improvement in the labor market,' said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. 'It’s moving in the right direction, but it still leaves the claims numbers very high.'" (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday roundup (11-17-10)

Dear Uncle Sucker . . . by Barry Ritholtz -- "... it pains me whenever I read commentary from [Warren] Buffett that glosses over reality or is somehow self-serving. His OpEd in the NYT today – Pretty Good for Government Work – paints an artificially rosy picture of the Bailout, ignores the negatives, and omits his own financial interest in government actions. What might he have written if Sir Warren was dosed with some sodium pentothal before he sat down to pen that 'Thank you' letter?" (The Big Picture blog) Pretty Good for Government Work by Warren Buffett (The New York Times)

Exclusive - Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera Extended Interview: In this complete, unedited interview, Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera say Wall Street is already onto the next thing that will blow up the financial system. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera Extended Interview<a>
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Wall Street quietly seeks to undo new financial rules (McClatchy Newspapers)

Economy Hovers Above Deflation: Lowest 12-month increase in CPI, a fall in housing starts and mortgage applications evidence a weak economy. (Forbes)

Annual Core Inflation Drops to 0.6%, the Lowest Ever ["in the consumer price index's history, which dates back to 1957, the U.S. Labor Department said."] (DailyFinance) "People have been making the case that runaway inflation is just around the corner as a means of objecting to the Fed's latest plan to try to help the economy, but there's no sign of an inflation problem in the data" (Economist's View blog) What the Fed is fighting (The Economist blogs) Deflation fears as US producer prices drop: US core producer prices recorded their largest decline in more than four years while industrial output was flat last month. (Business Day)

Housing starts hit lowest level in 18 months -- "'We are right back in the bottom of the trough in terms of housebuilding,' said Robert Dye, senior economist for The PNC Financial Services Group." (CNN) "'Starts are a reminder of just how miserable the situation is in housing,' said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. 'Sales have been so weak for so long that we continue to see starts bouncing along the bottom.'" (Bloomberg)

Foreclosure class actions pile up against banks -- "threatening a besieged industry with billions more in potential losses." (The Associated Press)

'Robo-Signer' Foreclosure Scandal May Threaten Fundamental Financial Stability, Government Watchdog Warns (The Huffington Post blog) Sen. Ted Kaufman Introduces COP's November Report: In this video, Chairman Ted Kaufman of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel introduces the COP November report, "Examining the Consequences of Mortgage Irregularities for Financial Stability and Foreclosure Mitigation." (Youtube) Report @ (COP)

FDIC-regulated big mortgage banks undergoing stress tests, [Fed governor] Duke says (Housing Wire) "Banks have to file plans to the Fed showing that they would have sufficient capital cushions to cover any losses under different economic scenarios -- including if the economy were to fall back into a recession, Fed officials said." (The Associated Press)

Duke Says Fed Sees 4.25 Million More Foreclosures Through 2012 (Bloomberg)

Great Depression move over. Current housing downturn worse, economist predicts (The Boston Globe)

Reverse Engineering a Securitized Mortgage (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

FDIC Watchdog Weighs Criminal Charges Against Bank Officials (Bloomberg)

We Won! Bill to Retroactively Immunize Mortgage Fraud Defeated (Washington's Blog)

It Begins: Detroit Neighboring City Of Hamtramck Asks For Permission To File For Bankruptcy (ZeroHedge blog)

BOB RUBIN: "US In Terribly Dangerous Territory," Bond Market May Be Headed For "Implosion" (The Business Insider)

The Next Big Bailout: The US Postal Service (ZeroHedge blog)

Ireland in rescue talks as UK offers support (The Associated Press)

Greek Deficit-Cutting Goal May Put Terms of Bailout at Risk: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Spanish economy grinds to a halt in third quarter (Agence France Press)

Spain’s Funding Needs Continue (Credit Writedowns blog)

Portugal short-term debt costs soar, jobless rises [to "its highest in at least two decades"] (Reuters)

Roche to cut 4,800 jobs (CNN)

1,800 further jobs to go at Rok (The Press Association)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday roundup (11-16-10)

Debt Crisis May Sink Euro Warns EU President (Sky News)

EU locked in survival crisis over debt: The European Union is locked in a “survival crisis” as Ireland resisted calls to take an international bailout. (The Telegraph)

Ireland crisis could cause EU collapse, warns president: Herman Van Rompuy, president of the EU, has warned it faces a 'survival crisis', with the risk of contagion spreading from Ireland across the continent (The Guardian) The horrible truth starts to dawn on Europe's leaders -- "The entire European Project is now at risk of disintegration, with strategic and economic consequences that are very hard to predict." (The Telegraph blogs)

French PM says deficit reduction top priority (Reuters)

Austria tells Greece to get stuffed -- "Europe’s hastily assembled bailout fund already seems to be coming apart at the seams, and that’s before Ireland has even tapped into it. Austria is refusing to contribute to the next tranche of bailout money for Greece, citing the country’s failure to meet conditions." (The Telegraph blogs)

Eurogroup tells Greece to cut spending further (Reuters)

Greece, Then Ireland, Then Portugal, Then Spain … How Germany's proposed debt remedies could drive many European countries into default by Peter Boone and Simon Johnson (Slate)

Eurozone growth unlikely to reach pre-crisis levels: ECB (The Economic Times of India)

One in Four Americans Is Enrolled in a Government Food Program: More Than 17 million Households Reported Having Difficulty Buying Food in 2009 (ABCNews)

Sen Kaufman: Don’t Underestimate Fraudclosure Crisis (The Big Picture blog) (The Washington Post)

Housing Chart of the Decade -- "Citigroup Analyst Josh Levin says there are about 2.1 million homes now available for occupancy that aren’t needed and this apparently does not include the millions more that are working their way through the 'foreclosure pipeline'." (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog) U.S. Housing Excess Seen Lasting Four More Years: Chart of the Day (Bloomberg)

TOMORROW Congress Will Try - By Secret Vote - to Retroactively Legalize Foreclosure Fraud and Forgery By the Big Banks ... Call Congress and Say NO (Washington's Blog) [And also:] Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act vote imminent: Would outlaw gardening and saving seeds (Natural News.com)

CALIFORNIA WILL DEFAULT ON ITS DEBT, Says Chris Whalen (The Business Insider) (Yahoo! Tech Ticker)

[California] Budget crisis: A timeline (The San Francisco Chronicle)

Marinette Marine To Cut 850 Jobs (WTMJ)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday roundup (11-15-2010)

Ireland told: Take EU bailout or trigger crisis: Dublin warned it has 24 hours to make decision as EU emergency talks loom amid fears Irish banks' contagion may spread to other eurozone countries (The Guardian)

Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread (The New York Times) "'The Irish problem is already spreading, but it could get more violent and volatile,' said Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London Capital, a fund management firm. 'They have to get this bail-out, they have a period of time before it gets impossible, before nasty things happen. The longer they leave it, the more difficult it will get.'" (The Guardian)

A reeling bond market has EU members pushing for Ireland bailout: An Ireland bailout is possible after government bonds tumbled in recent weeks. The country is under pressure to accept a $100 billion bailout that could prove a bitter pill for the former 'Celtic Tiger.' -- "'France and Germany are pushing Ireland to tap into the stability fund mainly because they don’t believe figures that Ireland can finance its expenses until July,' says Bertrand Jacquillat, a member of the French Circle of Economists in Paris. 'They want to reassure markets immediately, and avoid any contagion effect with Spain and Italy.'" (The Christian Science Monitor)

Contagion hits Portugal as Ireland dithers on Rescue: The EU authorities have begun to vent their fury against Ireland over its refusal to accept a financial rescue, fearing that the crisis will engulf Portugal and Spain unless confidence is restored immediately to eurozone bond markets. -- "The great concern is that the crisis could spread to Spain, which has a far bigger economy that Greece, Portugal, and Ireland combined. Foreign banks have [Euro]850bn of exposure to Spanish debt." (The Telegraph) "'Ireland is close to the point of no return and Portugal is, after Ireland and Greece, the third country in the euro zone with the most problems, essentially due to its foreign debt,' said Rui Barbara, an economist at Carregosa Bank." (Reuters)

Greece admits breach of bailout terms as audit begins (Agence France Presse)

Greek budget deficit worse than thought (The BBC) (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

German stance may push nations to bankruptcy - Greek PM (Reuters) [But German Chancellor Angela] Merkel Defends Tough Stance on Euro Bailouts -- "'Everything is at stake -- if the euro fails, then Europe will fail,' Merkel told delegates at the party congress of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Karlsruhe, southwestern Germany." (Der Spiegel)

Silvio Gets Taken Down: Berlusconi’s latest sex scandal is the least of his mounting problems. -- "According to HSBC, Italy will account for more than a third of the [Euro]71 billion of bonds that EU governments sell in November. Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro zone, and it’s carrying, by far, the biggest debt burden: about 120 percent of gross domestic product." (Newsweek)

UK economy may need more stimulus, says Bank of England's Martin Weale: The Bank of England should provide another boost to the UK economy if ouput stays below trend as expected, according to one of its senior policymakers, raising the prospect of more quantitative easing (QE). (The Telegraph)

Eurozone crisis laps at Britain's door -- "An unravelling of the euro is most unlikely to be economically benign. The UK’s own economic recovery would be further jeopardised, and with it the Coalition’s plans for deficit reduction." (The Telegraph blogs)

Manchester [UK] Police to cut a QUARTER of its employees: 3,000 jobs to go in four years, including hundreds of officers (The Daily Mail)

Company closing Colo. stores; 500 jobs to be cut (The Associated Press)

Greenspan: High US Deficits Could Spark Bond Crisis -- "'We've got to resolve this issue,' Greenspan said of the ballooning U.S. debt levels." (Reuters)

Stephen Roach: US cannot handle the liquidity provided by Fed (Credit Writedowns blog) Roach: Federal Reserve creating 'a tsunami of money' (The BBC)

The Cliff by John P. Hussman, Ph.D. -- "... until our policy makers wake up to the need to restructure debt, so that the obligation is modified for both the debtor and the creditor, our financial system will increasingly tend toward a giant Ponzi scheme." (Hussman Funds)

S&P predicts more home price declines through 2011 (Housing Wire)

NY Manufacturing conditions "deteriorate", Business Inventories Increase (Calculated Risk blog) http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/11/misc-ny-manufacturing-conditions.html CHART @ (CF Economics blog) "For the first time since mid-2009, the general business conditions index fell below zero, declining 27 points to -11.1. The new orders index plummeted 37 points to -24.4, and the shipments index also fell below zero. The indexes for both prices paid and prices received declined, with the latter falling into negative territory [= deflation]." (The New York Fed)