Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday roundup (12-31-10)

Euro-Zone Bonds to Start New Year With Old Problems (The Wall Street Journal)

Problem Banks: Stress by State (Calculated Risk blog) Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 935 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

State Parks Crumbling Amid Recession (Firedoglake blog)

Must See: Howard Davidowitz Destroys The Recovery Illusion, Debunks The Consumer Renaissance (ZeroHedge blog) (Youtube)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday roundup (12-30-10)

Europe Sovereign Default Insurance Cost Near All-Time High (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Eurozone 'has 80% chance of losing the single currency in next decade,' claims think-tank (The Daily Mail)

Why Can’t Europe Avoid Another Crisis? Why Can’t the U.S.? by Simon Johnson (The Baseline Scenario blog)

China slows as tightening start to bite: China's industrial growth has begun to slow as a string of measures to choke excess credit and control inflation feed through the economy, threatening to curb the country's voracious appetite for commodities. (The Telegraph)

Home Builders’ Pain Will Persist Into New Year (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Foreclosures rise in Q3 as fewer people get help: Foreclosures spike over summer as fewer people get help lowering mortgage payments (The Associated Press)

Shiller: Housing Now a Rapidly Sinking Ship? (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

2011 Will Bring More de Facto Decriminalization of Elite Financial Fraud by William K. Black (The Huffington Post blog)

Veterans of recent wars confront grim employment landscape (The Washington Post)

Borders [the nation's second-largest bookseller] says it is delaying vendor payments to preserve cash while it tries to refinance debt (The Associated Press)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 12-30-10)

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.)

"Applications are at their lowest level since July 2008, the Labor Department says. They fell to 388,000 in the week ending Dec. 25, bringing the four-week average to 414,000." (The Associated Press)

Instant view: jobless claims at lowest in more than 2 years (Reuters)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday roundup (12-29-10)

Italy's debt costs approach red zone: Italy's borrowing costs have jumped to the highest level since the financial crisis over two years ago, raising concerns that Europe's biggest debtor may slip from the eurozone's stable core into the high-risk group on the periphery. (The Telegraph)

Spain to slash borrowing by a quarter in 2011 (Agence France Presse)

Portugal says to issue 20 bln euros in bonds in 2011 (Agence France Presse)

Sovereign debt levels 'unsustainable', double dip a possibility (Arabian Business)

Underneath the Happy Talk, Is This As Bad as the Great Depression? (Washington's Blog)

The Housing Market's Double Dip (Mother Jones blogs) Roubini: 'Housing Prices Can Only Move Down' (CNBC)

GOP gets cold feet on ending bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Republicans want to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants at the heart of the financial meltdown. But bad news on house prices has them delaying grand plans. (The Christian Science Monitor) Top House Republicans More Cautious About Fannie, Freddie (The Wall Street Journal)

CHART: Bank Failures At Highest Level Since 1992 (The Daily Bail blog) (The Wall Street Journal)

Michigan's deficit may top $1.8 billion: New projection suggests budget may require deep cuts, tax hikes (Lansing State Journal)

Illinois Default Insurance Cost Rises as Weak States Punished: Muni Credit (Bloomberg) Illinois Is Hoping for A Few Good Vultures (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Allstate sues BofA, Mozilo over Countrywide losses: The insurance firm accuses Countrywide of withholding crucial information about $700 million in mortgage-backed securities that it bought from the lender. That investment quickly soured. (The Associated Press)

The ‘Subsidy’: How a Handful of Merrill Lynch Bankers Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm (ProPublica)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday roundup (12-28-10)

October home prices down for 4th straight month (Reuters) (Bloomberg) Graph @ (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog) Double-Dip In Housing Almost Here, According To Case-Shiller Index (Forbes blogs)

Consumer confidence unexpectedly falls in Dec. (Reuters)

U.S. changes how it measures long-term unemployment (USAToday)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday roundup (12-27-10)

CHART SHOCK: Consumer Debt To GDP -- 'UGLY' Would Be An Understatement -- Much More Deleveraging Ahead (The Daily Bail blog)

Shoring Up Banks So None Fail (The New York Times)

The E.U. needs a new deal to end its currency crisis [Editorial] (The Washington Post)

Japan Prices Fall 0.5% (The Wall Street Journal) Japan consumer prices continue to slide (Agence France Presse) Japan data show struggle to recover: Economic numbers for November broadly in line with forecasts (Marketwatch) BOJ Has Done All It Can to Overcome Deflation, Cabinet Office's Wada Says [Dec. 23] (Bloomberg)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday roundup (12-26-10)

Coburn: Unadresssed debt, spending will bring 'apocalyptic pain' (The Washington Times) Coburn: Control Government Spending or Face 'Apocalyptic Pain' (FoxNews) Coburn Sees Dire Scenario on Debt (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Bailed-Out Banks Slip Toward Failure: Number of Shaky Lenders Rises to 98 as Bad Loans Pile Up; Smaller Institutions Hit Hardest (The Wall Street Journal)

Meredith Whitney Getting Trashed Eight Ways To Sunday For Terrifying Muni Default Call (The Business Insider)

Strapped Cities Hit Nonprofits With Fees (The Wall Street Journal)

Fed board: Keep companies from oil spill evidence: Fed panel: Tests on key piece of oil spill evidence should stop; rig firms' role too hands-on (The Associated Press)

ECB's Stark concerned about rating agencies: source (Reuters)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday roundup (12-25-10)


Pure gold coin again given to Tulsa [OK] Salvation Army (KFOR)

Coin dropped in Salvation Army kettle [in Colorado] worth $1,400 (The Washington Post)

Billings [MT]: Gold coin worth $1,350 dropped into Salvation Army kettle (The Missoulian) (The Great Falls Tribune)

Gold nugget donated in Salvation Army kettle in Coral Gables [FL] (The Miami Herald)

Sixth gold coin found in donation kettle [in Lee County FL this year] (The Associated Press) For fifth year (Naples News)

Krugerrand again clinks in Kauai [Hawaii] kettle: For the second year, an unknown person has given a gold coin to the Salvation Army (The Honolulu Star Advertiser)

Golden donation catches bell-ringer by surprise [in Naperville, IL, "one-ounce gold South African Krugerrand, valued at upwards of $1,200"] (Trib Local) Salvation Army strikes gold, silver in Lake County [IL, including a gold piece worth around $1400] (Lake County News Sun)

Rare coin lands in Kokomo [IN] kettle (WLFI) [It's the second year in a row] (The Kokomo Perspective)

Half Krugerrand Worth $680 Found In Tulsa Red Kettle [for 17th straight year] (KTUL) or "For the 14th time in the past 15 years..." (KOCO)

Gold coin dropped in Des Moines Salvation Army kettle (Radio Iowa)

Gold coin found in Salvation Army kettle in Goodyear [AZ] (The Arizona Republic)

Kentucky Salvation Army receives anonymous Krugerrand (International Business Times)

Fargo [ND] Salvation Army red kettle gets golden gift worth $1,400 (The Bismark Tribune)

Salvation Army gets coin worth $1,500 [in Watsonville CA] (McClatchy Newspapers)

Local Red Kettle Campaign gets gold coin worth $1,400 [in Urbandale IA] (The Des Moines Register)

York [PA] Salvation Army strikes gold again (ABC27)

Gold coin lands in Salvation Army kettle [in Cumberland MD] (The Cumberland Times News)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday roundup (12-24-10)

An inflation (or lack thereof) chart show (The Big Picture blog)

New Jersey's Pension-Funding Deficit Climbs More Than 17% to $53.9 Billion (Bloomberg)

JVC Kenwood Seeks to Eliminate 500 Jobs in Japan Unit as Sales Decline (Bloomberg)

"Happy Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!" (Youtube)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday roundup (12-23-10)

Record spike in EMU default risk on Portugal downgrade and Greek restructuring scare: The cost of default insurance on eurozone bonds has surged to an all-time high on reports that Greece is preparing the way for a sovereign debt restructuring after 2013, with tacit support from the EU authorities. (The Telegraph)

Fitch cuts Portugal rating one notch on debt levels (Reuters)

The New Freedom: ‘Borrowed trouble’ isn’t just an expression (Newsweek)

"Do I Feed the Kids or Pay the Utilities?" (Financial Armageddon blog)

Its All Greek to Me! [amusing serious of quotes] (The Big Picture blog)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 12-23-10)

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 U.S. workers filing new applications for jobless benefits fell slightly last week to 420,000, the government reported Thursday, reflecting little change in a still-weak labor market." (Marketwatch)

"'We have a labor market that is gradually on the mend,' Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report. 'It’s still going to be a long haul.'" (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday roundup (12-22-10)

Another blow to state budgets: Build America Bonds end (CNN)

Existing Home Inventory increases 5.4% Year-over-Year (Calculated Risk blog) Housing Chill Could Trash 2011 (The Huffington Post blog)

Founder of Faces Foreclosure [and that's the way it is, Wednesday, December 22nd, two thousand and ten...] (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Pictures of Hopelessness (Financial Armageddon) The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures (Rutgers)

Life Insurance Companies Wary of Possible Deflation (Annuity News Journal)

How three years on from crunch, small firms [in the UK are] STILL starved of cash: Bank of England takes tight-fisted lenders to task (The Daily Mail)

Will France be the next euro nation to fail?: France's recovery is lagging far behind Germany and Britain. (The Christian Science Monitor blogs)

Is Japan Doomed? (The Atlantic)

Oil shoots for the century mark: Crude’s close above $90 a barrel feeds the bulls (Marketwatch)

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Time of the Demagogues (Falls Church News-Press)

The Oil BP Tried To Hide Has Been Discovered In Thick Layers On the Sea Floor Over An Area of Several Thousand Square Miles (Washington's Blog)

Baltic Dry Index Heading Back Into Abyss; Freight Speed Slowed 20% (CF Economics blog)

It's getting harder to call BofA execs names (The Charlotte [NC] Observer) (The Financial Times)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday roundup (12-21-10)

Citigroup warns of fresh wave of bank failures in Europe: Citigroup has warned of a fresh wave of bank failures and sovereign defaults in Europe unless EU leaders come up with a credible response to the crisis. (The Telegraph)

Europe: Actually, Yeah We Will Need to Sell Bailout Bonds (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Credit Warnings Help Spread Euro-Zone Debt Fear (The Wall Street Journal)

Britain's Budget Deficit Swelled to Record in November as Spending Climbed (Bloomberg)

France's AAA Grade at Risk as Rating Cuts Spread: Euro Credit (Bloomberg) (The Daily Mail)

Moody's Warns on Portugal (The Wall Street Journal) Moody’s turns its attention to Portugal: Two-notch downgrade possible on funding, economic concerns (Marketwatch) Portugal's [Potential] Downgrade May Make Default Inevitable (The Atlantic) A Warning to Portugal as Spain Sells Bonds (Reuters) Moody's Says It Doesn't Know If Portugal Will Seek Bailout; May Cut Rating (Bloomberg)

Greece's Debt Ratings Put On Watch by Fitch for Possible Downgrade to Junk (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg Sues ECB to Force Disclosure of How Greece's Swaps Hid Deficit (Bloomberg)

Too Big To Bail: Is Japan the next major world economy to tank? (Slate)

[US] Government liabilities rose $2 trillion in FY 2010: Treasury (Reuters)

Fears grow of euro-style debt crisis in US states (Agence France Presse) Check Out The 11 U.S. States Most Likely To Default And Need A Taxpayer Bailout In The Next 5 Years [Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Illinois] (The Daily Bail blog)

Wave of Muni Defaults to Spur Layoffs, Social Unrest: Whitney (CNBC)

16 US Cities Facing Bankruptcy If They Don't Make Deep Cuts In 2011 [San Diego, Calif.; New York City; San Jose, Calif.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Francisco, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Newark, N.J.; Detroit, Mich.; Reading, Penn; Joliet, Ill.; Camden, N.J.; Hamtramck, Mich.; Central Falls, R.I.; Paterson, N.J.; BONUS: Chicago, Ill.] (The Business Insider)

2010 census results: Why did US population growth slow?: The US added some 27 million residents in the past decade. But that population growth is small, percentage-wise – 9.7 percent. Only during the Great Depression decade was the growth rate lower. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Recession forces rise in low-wage families, report says (The Washington Post)

East St. Louis mayor plans to give up half his salary to help save officers' jobs (Belleville News-Democrat) (St. Louis Today)

[Irrational exuberance?] SPX Hits Highest Level Since Lehman Bankruptcy (The Street) Chart @ (The Big Picture blog) European Stocks Climb, Erasing Losses From Lehman Bankruptcy (Bloomberg)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday roundup (12-20-2010)

State Budget Crisis 'Largest Threat To The U.S. Economy' (VIDEO) (The Huffington Post blog) Christie Says `Day of Reckoning' Has Arrived for States Facing Budget Gaps (Bloomberg) State Budgets: Day of Reckoning: Steve Kroft reports on the precarious financial conditions many states are facing and what they're doing about it. (CBSNews) (Youtube)

Secret GOP plan: Push states to declare bankruptcy and smash unions (Reuters blogs)

$2tn debt crisis threatens to bring down 100 US cities: Overdrawn American cities could face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble (The Guardian)

Municipal Budget Cuts May Pare U.S. GDP 0.5 Percentage Point, Goldman Says (Bloomberg)

John Hussman's Most Radical Belief: It Wasn't The Bailout That Saved Us From A Great Depression (The Business Insider) Things I Believe (Hussman Funds)

Decline in home prices impacting small business borrowing (Calculated Risk blog)

Call Me What You Want (Financial Armageddon blog)

Pimco says 'untenable' policies will lead to eurozone break-up: Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, has called on Greece, Ireland and Portugal to step outside the eurozone temporarily and restructure their debts unless the currency bloc agrees to a radical change of course. (The Telegraph)

Overdrawn and over here: European cities also threatened by debt crisis: Istanbul, Florence, Naples, Madrid, Barcelona: cities across Europe are facing funding shortfalls and credit downgrades (The Guardian)

Moody's downgrades Irish bank ratings (Agence France Presse)

Moody's warns it could downgrade Spain banks (The Associated Press)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday roundup (12-19-10)

The European crisis: When banks get bigger than nations (The Washington Post)

Juncker Says EU May Have to Consider Increasing Crisis Funding (Bloomberg)

Self-righteous Germany must accept a euro-debt union or leave EMU: If Germany and its hard-money allies genuinely wish to save the euro – which is open to doubt – they should stop posturing, face up to the grim imperative of a Transferunion, and desist immediately from imposing their ruinous and reactionary policies of debt deflation on southern Europe and Ireland. (The Telegraph)

IMF is too polite to say, but this bailout pushes us [= the Irish] further into the red zone: The cost of the bank rescue and the onus on taxpayers means we have no chance to service our own debt, writes Colm McCarthy. (The Irish Sunday Independent)

[British Chancellor of the Exchequer George] Osborne: Europe debtors should solve 'own problems' (Agence France Presse)

France's AAA Grade at Risk as Rating Cuts Spread (Bloomberg)

Voodoo Economics Revisited by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate) Debt Pyramid Scheme Now the Norm in U.S.: Roger Lowenstein (Bloomberg)

FDIC Bank Closings (The Big Picture blog)

As Hiring Falters, More Workers Become Temporary (The New York Times)

Cincinnati Threatens to Outsource Entire Police Department (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday roundup (12-18-10)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 920 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Totally Busted: The Truth About Goldman's Bailout by the Fed (The Daily Reckoning)

Will the Fed be able to survive Ron Paul? (Fortune)

Why the Fed Should Shop Till It Drops: Despite heavy criticism of the Federal Reserve's QE2 plan, Goldman Sachs' chief economist says the central bank should buy still more bonds. [He's worried about the threat of deflation.] (Barron's)

ECB and BoE sign swap accord to help support Irish banks (The Irish Independent)

Newly Built Ghost Towns Haunt Banks in Spain (The New York Times)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday roundup (12-17-10)

European Central Bank arms itself for Spanish crisis: The European Central Bank (ECB) is to double its capital base to cope with "credit risk" stemming from the eurozone debt crisis, paving the way for direct action to shore up the Spanish debt markets if necessary. (The Telegraph) Spain to Open Books in Bid to Calm Investors (The Wall Street Journal) [Meanwhile ...] Spain bad loan ratio rises to near 15-year high (Reuters)

EU to make bailout fund permanent (United Press International)

Euro zone main risk for global recovery: Allianz (Economic Times of India)

Moody’s Slashes Ireland’s Credit Rating (The New York Times) EU shocked by Irish debt downgrade: European leaders received a nasty shock as the credit agency Moody's downgraded Ireland's debt, even as the politicians closed a summit intended to prop up confidence in the eurozone. (The Telegraph)

Bank of England Flags Risks to Financial System (The New York Times blogs) BOE: U.K. Banks [Potentially] Face More Bad-Debt Charges (The Wall Street Journal)

[UK] Heating Oil 'Crisis' Over Weather And Prices: Thousands of homes could run out of heating oil over Christmas and rationing will be introduced if the freezing weather continues, the Government has warned. (Sky News)

Moody’s Puts 6 Greek Banks on Review for Possible Cut (Bloomberg)

Portugal Set to Be Europe’s Next Bailout, Nomura’s Newton Says (Bloomberg)

China’s Biggest Export Is Deflation (The Business Insider)

CHART OF THE DAY: The Current US Debt Situation Makes The Great Depression Look Like A Joke (The Business Insider)

Moody's Downgrades Billions Of Dollars Of CMBS (The Wall Street Journal)

Pennsylvania tax collection up but deficit [of between $4 billion and $5 billion] still looms (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Ranks of 99ers Set to Swell (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Arizona, Nevada accuse Bank of America of foreclosure fraud (USAToday) (The New York Times)

COLE: Big banks profiting from foreclosure crisis: The longer real estate is frozen, the more they make (The Washington Times)

SEC expands mortgage probe [to big banks including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co]: sources (Reuters)

U.S. Bank Collapses Reach 157 This Year as Six More Lenders Are Shuttered (Bloomberg)

Community National Bank of Lino Lakes MN had a troubled assets ratio of 124.8%. (BankTracker)

First Southern Bank of Batesville AR had a troubled assets ratio of 16.5%. (BankTracker)

The Bank of Miami,N.A. of Coral Gables FL had a troubled assets ratio of 221.6% (BankTracker)

Chestatee State Bank of Dawsonville GA had a troubled assets ratio of 453.6%. (BankTracker)

Appalachian Community Bank, FSB of McCaysville GA had a troubled assets ratio of 400.6%. (BankTracker)

United Americas Bank, N.A. of Atlanta GA had a troubled assets ratio of 234.6%. (BankTracker)

Extreme Inequality Helped Cause Both the Great Depression and the Current Economic Crisis (Washington's Blog)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday roundup (12-16-10)

EU's Barroso to tell EU leaders debt crisis now systemic (Reuters) European Debt: Why Bailouts Won’t Work and the Euro Will Fall (CBS Moneywatch blogs)

Euro Reliant on Loose US Federal Reserve Policy - Deutsche Bank (The Wall Street Journal)

Germany defiant as Europe suffers: Germany has refused to give any ground on Europe's rescue machinery despite the escalating political and economic crisis across much of the eurozone periphery, guaranteeing a bitter clash with EU partners at a crucial summit in Brussels on Thursday. (The Telegraph) Merkel Channeling Antony Comes to Praise Euro While Burying It (Bloomberg)

Euro Debt System: 'UK Shouldn't Have To Pay' [says British Prime Minster] (Sky News) Cameron comes out fighting on £19bn eurozone bailout plan (The Independent)

European Central Bank to Nearly Double Its Capital Reserves (The New York Times) ECB facing own cash crisis as bond buying cuts reserves (The Irish Independent) ECB increasing its cash reserves (The BBC)

IMF Chief: Delays Could Worsen European Debt Crisis (The Wall Street Journal)

IMF Board Approves $29.7 Billion Loan for Ireland to Help Stem Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)

Moody's may cut Greek credit rating, now on review (Reuters)

Greece can only recover if its debt is restructured, say economists: Experts say a default on Greece's €110bn EU and IMF-sponsored rescue package is inevitable (The Guardian)

Spain debt auction pushes borrowing costs to decade high: Spain had to pay a high price to get it last bond sale of the year away, with borrowing costs hitting a ten-year high as investors stayed on the sidelines until EU authorities clarified their approach to the Spanish crisis. (The Telegraph) Spain under pressure to deal with high debt (The Montreal Gazette)

New York City Plans Cut in Capital Spending After Warnings About Deficit (Bloomberg)

Straight Talk with Tyler Durden [of Zero Hedge blog]: The U.S. Is Free-Falling Into Bankruptcy (

Financial Analyst [Christopher Whalen]: This Is The First Recession Since the End of the FIRST World War Where Government Help Isn't Trickling Down to the American People (Washington's Blog)

100,000 [UK] jobs to be cut over Christmas: More than 100,000 people are expected to be made redundant over Christmas as councils and public services slash jobs before the end of the financial year. (The Telegraph) (The Guardian)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 12-16-10)

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 labor market showed more progress in the latest initial jobless claims numbers, which fell again, by 3,000 to 420,000. The more-telling four-week moving average declined by another 5,250 to 422,750. That's its lowest level since August 2008." (DailyFinance)

"'Hiring is picking up, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,' said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania." (Bloomberg)

"When weekly first-time applications for benefits fall below 425,000, the decline tends to signal modest job growth. But economists say applications would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant decline in unemployment." (The Associated Press) See chart @ (Calculated Risk blog)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday roundup (12-15-10)

Reagan's OMB Director: Bush Tax Cuts "The Biggest Fiscal Mistake in History" ... Extending Them Won't Stimulate the Economy (Washington's Blog) CLICK LINK TO VIEW VIDEO.

Inflation: Core CPI, Median CPI, 16% trimmed-mean CPI remain below 1% YoY (Calculated Risk) Disinflation could threaten Fed policy (The Financial Times)

Living with Low [Interest Rates] for Long [is Risky] by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada -- "Now is not the time for complacency." (The Bank of Canada)

Ireland Backs Bailout as Moody’s Warns on Spain (The New York Times) (The Independent)

Europe Staggers as Critical Summit Looms (The New York Times)

Electrolux set to cut 2,100 jobs in Canada and Europe (The BBC)

Siemens IT Services to cut 1,750 jobs worldwide (Network World)

Head of Bank of England Said In March 2008 That We Have a SOLVENCY - Not a Liquidity - Crisis (Washington's Blog)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday roundup (12-14-10)

EU counts on stopgap measures to contain crisis (The Associated Press)

ECB urges bigger rescue fund as bond investors punish Spain: The European Central Bank urged Europe to increase the size and scope of its [Euro]750bn financial rescue fund ahead of a crucial leaders' summit this week as bond investors demanded higher interest rates to hold Spanish debt. (The Telegraph) (Agence France Presse)

Eurozone debt crisis spreads to Belgium on rising political risk: Europe's debt woes have moved closer to the core of monetary union after Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade Belgium over the failure of Flemings and Walloons to form a government. (The Telegraph) (The Daily Mail)

Eurozone debt crisis may hit UK recovery, Bank of England warns (The Daily Mail)

Portugal to face budget cuts, round three (United Press International)

Japan Business Mood Worsens and Gloom to Persist (Reuters)

US will lose AAA credit rating, says M&G's Jim Leaviss: A leading fund manager has warned that the world's largest economy will be downgraded within two years because of its high levels of debt. (The Telegraph)

U.S. Foreclosure Prevention Program to Fall Short, Watchdog Panel Finds (Bloomberg) A Review of Treasury’s Foreclosure Prevention Programs (Congressional Oversight Panel)

Audit the Fed in 2011 (Rep. Ron Paul)

Nokia to Eliminate as Many as 800 Jobs in Finland (Bloomberg)

Yahoo Cuts About 600 Jobs, Or 4% Of Work Force (The Wall Street Journal)

North Lanarkshire Council to cut 600 jobs in two years: One of Scotland's largest councils is to cut 600 jobs as part of a series of measures designed to save £55m over the next two years. (The BBC)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday roundup (12-13-10)

Quote of the Day:

"It is unprecedented in post--World War II U.S. history to have 3% of the labor force unemployed for over a year. If history is any guide, this year-plus unemployment rate will only revert to pre-recession levels after several years." -- Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in a recent speech. (CNN)

Housing Shaky as Lenders Tighten (The Wall Street Journal)

Fewer U.S. Homes Were 'Under Water' in Third Quarter as Foreclosures Rose (Bloomberg)

To Whom Does The Fed Intend To Sell Its MBS? (The Atlantic)

Detroit Is Halting Garbage Pickup, Police Patrols In 20% Of City: Expect Bankruptcy In 2011 (The Business Insider)

Thinking the Unthinkable in Europe (Project Syndicate) Can the euro survive its 'hair shirt'?: It's not looking good, says longtime euroskeptic Desmond Lachman. (Fortune)

Bank of England 'not ruling out fresh QE' if economic crisis deepens (The Scotsman)

WikiLeaks cables: Mervyn King plotted banks bailout by four cash-rich nations: Bank of England governor suggested new group of UK, US, Swiss and Japan could facilitate global bailout, cable shows (The Guardian)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday roundup (12-12-10)

Great Recession needs Great Depression-era tactic by Robert Reich (San Francisco Chronicle) Here come the '99ers (Calculated Risk blog) Oregon aid agencies brace for tens of thousands losing unemployment benefits (The Oregonian)

Grocery chain A&P [once the largest U.S. grocer] files for bankruptcy (Reuters)

Retrospective: Wachovia couldn't be helped: Earlier government intervention likely wouldn't have been enough (The Winston-Salem Journal)

A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives (The New York Times)

Euro crisis fears grow amid debt moves (The Financial Times)

The eurozone is in bad need of an undertaker: The EU’s Franco-German "Directoire" and the European Central Bank have between them ruled out all plausible solutions to the eurozone’s debt crisis. (The Telegraph)

Banks Cut Exposure to Europe’s Debt Woes (The New York Times)

Credit card debt crisis as a quarter of [British] families struggle to make payments (The Daily Mail)

IMF Strauss-Khan: Greece At Crucial Reform Crossroads (The Wall Street Journal) Greece must accelerate reforms: ECB economist (Agence France Presse)

Berlusconi Uses Debt Crisis in Fight to Survive Italian Vote: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Japan Bonds Signal No End to Deflation for Eight Years (Bloomberg) Recession Lasting Until 2018 Worth Exploring: William Pesek (Bloomberg)

United Nations food report -- "the world ‘dangerously close’ to a new food crisis" (Financial Sense)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday roundup (12-11-10)

Market alarm as US fails to control biggest debt in history: US Treasuries last week suffered their biggest two-day sell-off since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The borrowing costs of the government of the world’s largest economy have now risen by a quarter over the past four weeks. (The Telegraph)

More Foreclosures Expected in 2011 (The Wall Street Journal)

The Economy Cannot Recover Until the Big Banks Are Broken Up (Washington's Blog)

ECB's Noyer Says Sovereign Default Is More Costly Than Repayment of Debt (Bloomberg)

Governments, not ECB, should solve debt crisis: ECB's Stark (Reuters)

IMF postpones approval of Irish bailout: Delay and uncertainty after Irish prime minister Brian Cowen says he will seek parliamentary backing for the €85bn bailout (The Guardian)

Portuguese PM promises speedier economic reform (Agence France Presse)

Oil demand to hit highest level ever (CNN)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday roundup (12-10-10)

US posts 26th straight monthly budget gap (Agence France Presse) November federal budget deficit highest on record [for a November] (Bloomberg) Budget Gap in U.S. Widened More Than Forecast Last Month as Spending Rose (Bloomberg) (DailyFinance)

Is Ben Bernanke driving the QEII or the Titanic? (Reuters blogs)

TJX Plans to Close A.J. Wright Stores, Cut 4,400 Jobs (Bloomberg)

NY sends formal notice of 900 state layoffs (The Wall Street Journal)

A 'Double Dip' Chart to Start Your Weekend (CNBC)

Pimco Fund Bleeds $1.9 Billion in November (Reuters)

Wall Street Bonuses Show 'We Still Have a Problem,' Obama Aide Warren Says (Bloomberg)

Reliance of Irish Banks on ECB Rises (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Spain acts tough on debt, but investors say 'situation could still get ugly': Spain has slashed government spending amid a stagnant economy and 20 percent unemployment. But investors aren't yet fully convinced that Europe's fifth largest economy is out of the woods. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Moody's warns of possible Portugal banks downgrade (Bloomberg)

Draghi comments spur guesses on ECB liquidity exit (Reuters)

Regulators shut down small banks in Michigan, Pennsylvania; makes 151 US bank failures in 2010 (The Associated Press) Earthstar Bank of Southampton PA had a troubled assets ratio of 197.9%. (BankTracker) Paramount Bank of Farmington Hills MI had a troubled assets ratio of 138.6%. (BankTracker)

FDIC Resolution Process: How the FDIC gets involved in the marketing and resolution of a bank. (Youtube)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday roundup (12-09-10)

Ron Paul, Author of 'End the Fed,' to Lead Panel Overseeing Central Bank (Bloomberg) Majority of Americans Say Fed Should Be Reined In or Abolished, Poll Shows (Bloomberg) (FoxNews)

Homes Lose $1.7 Trillion in Value, Crisis in States Intact (Expected Returns blog) (Bloomberg) (Reuters) Home Prices Double-Dipping at Zillow (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Q3 Flow of Funds: Household Real Estate assets declined $650 Billion in Q3 2010 (Calculated Risk blog)

Food Stamp Rolls Continue to Rise (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

[California's governor-elect] Jerry Brown warns state budget deficit [of $25.4 billion] could grow (The San Francisco Chronicle) (Bloomberg)

Wash. [state] lawmakers to start special session Saturday [to cut $1.1 billion budget deficit] (The Seattle Times)

Texas comptroller's plan would cut 12,000 teaching jobs to save $558 million (The Dallas Morning News)

Lending to Small Businesses Fell in Third Quarter, Fed Says (Bloomberg)

Celente: American Empire is collapsing: As the US economy continues to struggle, it seems Wall Street and big banks are doing better than ever. The income disparity gap in the United States is the largest of all the developed industrial nations. The Trends Research Institute Director Gerald Celente says the American Empire is collapsing and the banks have committed the greatest bank robbery in the history of the world. (RussiaToday)

EU’s Rehn Says Crisis Increasingly Systemic, Needs Response (Bloomberg)

Fitch Downgrades Ireland Three Notches To BBB+ (The Wall Street Journal)

Violent student protests turn London upside down: British students protesting a huge increase in college costs went on a rampage in London Thursday, attacking a limo carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla who were on their way to a theater performance. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports. (NBC Nightly News) CLICK LINK TO SEE VIDEO, WHICH WILL NOT EMBED PROPERLY HERE.

BAE to Cut 1,300 Jobs After U.K. Scraps Harrier, Nimrod Programs (Bloomberg)

What will 2011 bring? Triple-digit oil (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Gasoline: $3 by Christmas and a 'Mini-Apocalypse' in Spring? (DailyFinance)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 12-09-10)

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.)

"Applications for jobless benefits decreased to 421,000" (Bloomberg) Charts at (Calculated Risk blog) and (National Public Radio).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday roundup (12-08-10

Global bond rout deepens on US fiscal worries: Agreement in Washington on a fresh fiscal package has set off dramatic rise in yields of US Treasuries and bonds across the world, threatening to short-circuit any benefits of stimulus. The bond rout raises concerns that the US authorities may be losing control over events. (The Telegraph)

U.S. fiscal health worse than Europe's: China adviser (Reuters)

U.S. States Face 'Cliff' as Federal Stimulus Ending Opens $38 Billion Hole (Bloomberg) Washington’s Next Big Decision: Bail Out the States or Not? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Plunging Home Prices Fuel Property Tax Appeals Swamping U.S. Cities, Towns (Bloomberg)

Summers Warns of Double-Dip Recession Without Tax Package (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Consumer Deleveraging Continues (The Big Picture blog)

Retirees: Get ready to live on $190 a month (CNN)

Janet Tavakoli: Fraud As A Business Model Within The Structure Of The Wall Street Ponzi Scheme (Powerpoint) (The Daily Bail blog)

IMF chief says situation in Europe still 'troubling' (Agence France Presse)

Eurozone debt fears infect German bonds: Eurozone debt crisis worries spread to German bonds as nervous markets turned their attention from Ireland to the splits within the European Union over how to stem contagion. (The Telegraph)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday roundup (11-07-10)

At least 3 more years of housing troubles seen (Reuters) (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Whalen: Foreclosure Peak Still Ahead for US (MoneyNews)

Mortgage Rates rise sharply (Calculated Risk blog)

When American Debt Went Haywire: Institutional Risk Analytics Co-Founder Christopher Whalen argues money and debt built the American dream. (FoxNews)

Consumer Credit in U.S. Unexpectedly Increased in October for Second Month (Bloomberg) Consumer credit jumps by most in more than 2 years (The Associated Press) Credit-Card Borrowing Dips, but Student Loans Jump (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Md. gov offers buyouts to trim 500 state jobs (Capital News Service)

Euro at risk of collapse, says Treasury watchdog as economic crisis sweeps Continent (The Daily Mail)

Strauss-Kahn urges EU states to step up response to sovereign debt crisis (The Irish Times)

Stringent new round of stress tests planned for [Europe's] banks (The Irish Times)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday roundup (12-06-10)

Gold settles at record high amid concerns over U.S. economy, EU debt (Xinhua)

The Economic Incompetence Of The Political Class: If politicians don't get serious about fiscal profligacy, markets will. (Forbes)

Dr. Doom Predicts Another $1 Trillion in Housing Losses (The New York Times blogs)

California governor unveils $9.9 billion deficit plan (Reuters)

New York City Budget Deficit Next Year May Widen by $2 Billion, Page Says (Bloomberg)

The SF Fed Explains How We're Closer To Deflation Than We've Been In Decades (The Business Insider) Research Highlights Slowest Price Increases Since 1981 (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Investment Fraud Sweep Nets 343 Criminal Defendants (Bloomberg)

Europe draws line at calls to boost bailout fund (Agence France Presse) Germany Reluctant to Expand European Bailout Fund (The New York Times)

Firewall needed as eurozone stands on brink of meltdown: Developments in euro debt markets remind me more and more of September 2008. By Sir John Gieve, senior adviser to GLG Partners, part of Man Group, and a former deputy governor of the Bank of England. (The Telegraph)

Euro's Worst to Come as Best Forecasters See Crisis Spreading (Bloomberg)

Italy, Spain Lead Increase in European Sovereign Credit Risk (Bloomberg) [Bank of Italy Governor] Draghi Says Some Italian Banks Must 'Quickly Strengthen' Capital Levels (Bloomberg)

France could be next to fall after Spain, Portugal: France will be the next to face a financial crisis after Spain and Portugal, according to Xavier Rolet, the head of the London Stock Exchange (pictured). But other analysts, and especially the French government, think France's fundamentals are sound. (France24)

Cornwall Council [in UK] 'to cut 700 jobs' (The BBC)

300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds (Post Carbon Institute)

Branson Says Oil Might Hit $200 a Barrel Without New Policies (Bloomberg)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday roundup (12-05-10)

Bernanke on '60 Minutes': Grim outlook for jobs (CNN) Bernanke: Without Fed's actions, unemployment rate might have hit 25% (Calculated Risk blog) Bernanke Says Fed May Take More Action to Curb Joblessness (Bloomberg) Bernanke: More Fed Bond Buys "Certainly Possible" (Reuters) Bernanke’s QE3 faces stiff resistance: Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, was expected to open the way for a third blast of bond purchases in a 60 Minutes interview, but any such move is likely to face resistance from Fed hawks and mounting criticism in Congress. (The Telegraph)

Fed Chairman Bernanke On The Economy: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke discusses pressing economic issues, including unemployment, the deficit and the Fed's controversial $600 billion U.S. Treasury Bill purchase. Scott Pelley reports. (CBSNews)

U.S. Expansion Struggles to Become Broad-Based as Job Growth Lags Behind (Bloomberg)

Congressional hearing: Do banks lack the legal standing to foreclose? (The Washington Post blogs)

Euro ministers under pressure to boost rescue fund (Reuters) Euro Finance Chiefs Meet as Belgium Seeks Bigger Crisis Fund (Bloomberg) IMF urges EU to boost £425bn bail-out fund to stem crisis: The International Monetary Fund has called on the EU authorities to boost their rescue fund and step up bond purchases to insure against a fresh financial crisis in the eurozone periphery. (The Telegraph)

No room for Greek error to keep loan: finance minister (Agence France Presse)

China's credit bubble on borrowed time as inflation bites: The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to take out protection against the risk of a sovereign default by China as one of its top trade trades for 2011. This is a new twist. (The Telegraph)

International Farmland Prices Update [= they're rising] (Big Picture Agriculture blog)

Declining Energy Quality Could Be Root Cause of Current Recession, Expert Suggests (ScienceDaily)

Age of Cheap Oil Is Over: IEA's Chief Economist: The age of cheap oil is over, International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol tells MarketWatch's Steve Goldstein as he also discusses the extended U.S. deepwater drilling ban, the possible direction of oil prices and climate change reduction efforts. (Marketwatch)

Sytemic Risk Regulation by Tiburon Capital Management (Scribd)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday roundup (12-04-10)

'It's Ugly Out There' [being homeless] (Financial Armaggedon blog)

Council of Economic Advisors To President: Extend Unemployment Benefits Or Further Weaken Economic Recovery (Crooks and Liars blog) Lifeline (AFL-CIO)

Comparing Recoveries: Job Changes [CHART] (The New York Times blogs)

The Jobs Analysis: Discussing why the disappointing jobs number does not seem to have had a significant impact on the trading day, and whether the high jobless rate is actually the new norm, with former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman. (CNBC)

News & the Doomsday Trade: The ISM non-manufacturing report, 10-year Treasury yields, research analyst Kinnucan is subpoenaed by the FBI, and how to profit off the end of the world, with former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman, and CNBC's Kate Kelly, David Faber & Gary Kaminsky. (CNBC)

Mounting Debts by States Stoke Fears of Crisis (The New York Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 920 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Trichet Keeps Up EU Pressure as ECB Buys Bonds to Calm Investors (Bloomberg)

Euro gains breathing space but crisis goes on (The Independent)

EU's Bailout Fund May Be Increased, Reynders Says in a Break With Merkel (Bloomberg)

British Chambers of Commerce get gloomier about growth: BCC cuts forecast for 2011 from 2.2% to 1.9% as austerity looms (The Guardian)

Ireland Faces A Long Road Back To Economic Health (The Business Insider)

France is next [after Portugal and Spain] for attack by bond investors (The Independent)

Angela Merkel warned that Germany could abandon the euro: German chancellor said to have made comments during an EU summit dinner in Brussels at the end of October (The Guardian)