Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday roundup (01-31-11)

Oil hits $100 as Mubarak fails to quell Egypt's crisis (Reuters) CHART @ (CF Economics blog)

Mid-East contagion fears for Saudi oil fields: Risk analysts and intelligence agencies fear that Egypt's uprising may set off escalating protests in the tense Shia region of Saudi Arabia, home to the world's richest oilfields. (The Telegraph) Middle Eastern debt costs rise sharply: Gavan Nolan of Markit believes that that the latest scenes from Cairo are making traders fear regional contagion (The Guardian)

The Ticking U.S. Debt-Limit Clock (The Council on Foreign Relations)

Lockhart: Fed support still needed for fitful recovery (Reuters)

Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty (CNBC)

WSJ: Home Price Declines Accelerate (The Big Picture blog)

Why Were FNM/FRE Banned From Lobbying But Not C/BAC/JPM/MER/GS/MS? (The Big Picture blog)

National Grid plans to downsize by 1,200 US jobs (The Boston Globe)

Surrey County Council to shed 650 jobs: Up to 650 jobs are set to be lost as Surrey County Council looks to save more than £200m over four years. (The BBC)

The British Commission Response to the Financial Crisis (The Big Picture blog) Report in .pdf format @ (Conservative Home blogs)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday roundup (01-30-11)

Spain to offer capital to banks from March - report (Reuters)

What's Behind Egypt's Problems? (The Oil Drum)

Morici: Japan Sound, U.S. Insolvent (FoxNews)

Boehner: Failure to raise debt ceiling spells 'financial disaster' (The Hill blogs)

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT SHILLER: House Prices Could Fall For Years (The Business Insider)

Payments by Borders Late Again (The New York Times)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday roundup (01-29-11)

A British double-dip: Its government sought to cut the deficit, but the economy shrank. There's a lesson there for the U.S. [Editorial] (The Los Angeles Times)

Key Republican: Congress will examine bankruptcy for states (The Hill blogs) State bankruptcy debate unsettles muni market: The debate over whether to let states declare bankruptcy adds a new element of uncertainty to the jittery municipal bond market. (Marketplace)

Jerry Brown orders California agencies to halt new car purchases: The governor also wants vehicles that are not 'essential' for state business to be sold. He says the action is needed at a time when California faces a $25.4-billion budget shortfall. (The Los Angeles Times) Brown directive: Cut state fleet by 50 percent (News10) Jerry Brown's ploy to save $1.8 billion for California schools: California Governor Jerry Brown would cut nearly 400 local redevelopment agencies, which use property taxes for construction, redevelopment, and beautification projects. Mayors object. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 949 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

U.S. Bond Markets Deflation Whispers (The Market Oracle)

Cost of snow removal adds up quickly for cities: Cities throughout the Northeast are facing the same problem: what to do with all this snow? NBC's Michelle Franzen shares the creative ways that some are trying to come in under budget. (NBC Nightly News)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday roundup (01-28-11)

IMF’s Lipsky Says ‘Never Say Never’ on Another Euro-Area Bailout (Bloomberg)

France's Lagarde: We Have A Very Tense Monetary Situation - LCI (The Wall Street Journal) Europe bends over to help Greece rip up debts
(Agence France Presse) Sarkozy in Davos: 'Mrs. Merkel and I Will Never, Never Allow the Euro To Fail' (Der Spiegel)

No Clear Strategy to Save the Euro (The New York Times blogs)

Moody's: Time is Running Out for the U.S. (Cliff Küle's Notes)

Snow blows city budgets (CNN)

Mayor Warns of Mass Teacher Layoffs [totalling 21,000 teachers] (The Wall Street Journal) (The New York Daily News)

Inside Scoop on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (Washington's Blog) How can the Architects of the Crisis Investigate it? by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog)

Banks accepted and bundled ‘deficient’ loans: Mortgages rejected by due-diligence firm were lumped in, crisis panel says (Marketwatch)

U.S. closes four small banks ["bringing the total number of foreclosures this year to 11"] (Reuters)

Evergreen State Bank of Stoughton WI had a troubled assets ratio of 214.1%. (BankTracker)

First Community Bank of Taos NM had a troubled assets ratio of 194.1%. (BankTracker)

FirsTier Bank of Louisville CO had a troubled assets ratio of 410.2%. (BankTracker)

The First State Bank of Camargo OK had a troubled assets ratio of 4.2%. (BankTracker) "The First State Bank of Camargo, Oklahoma was closed at 3 p.m. Friday for 'exhaustion of capital funds as a result of significant loan losses,' according to Oklahoma State Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson." (Newson6)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday roundup (01-27-11)

Japan's downgrade: A peek at America's future? (Time blogs) Warning shot for America and Europe as S&P downgrades Japan: Standard & Poor's has downgraded Japan for the first time in nine years, citing lack of a "coherent strategy" to control its monster deficits or grasp the nettle to reform. (The Telegraph)

Japan deflation drags on for 22nd month (Reuters)

U.S., Japan warned by IMF, rating agencies on debt (Reuters) (The Wall Street Journal) (The Washington Post)

Foreclosures spread into previously safe areas: Relatively unscathed by housing collapse, owners losing homes over unemployment (The Associated Press)

Housing Recovery May Take Five Years-Plus: Report (CNBC) Fannie and Freddie's Big Foreclosure Backlog: They have more homes than they can sell—and as the backlog builds, the housing market could suffer (Bloomberg)

Moody’s to Factor Pension Gaps in States’ Ratings (The New York Times) (CNN)

Financial Crisis Commission Divided Over Causes, Culprits Behind Meltdown: A bipartisan commission charged with investigating the causes of the financial crisis released its findings Thursday, but the members' conclusions fell along party lines. Judy Woodruff speaks with the chairman, Phil Angelides, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was part of the dissenting Republican minority. (PBSNewshour) (Youtube) Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States (Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission) Comments @ (Calculated Risk blog) and ( versus (Washington's Blog)

Recession and homelessness: Et in Arcadia ego: The suburban sunbelt is the scene of terrible poverty (The Economist)

Liverpool Council to cut 1,500 jobs (Reuters)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 01-27-11)

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.)

"Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 454,000 in the week ending January 22, up 51,000 from the prior week's revised 403,000, the Labor Department said.

"That was the highest level of claims since late October, and the increase was sharper than analysts' consensus forecast for a rise to 410,000." (Agence France Presse)

"'This is definitely a setback,' said T.C. Robillard, a senior research analyst who covers several large staffing firms for Signal Hill Capital." (CNN)

"'While we do not believe this week’s jump indicates a deterioration in labor market conditions, it does suggest that the job market may not be improving as quickly as we previously had thought,' economist Zach Pandi of Nomura Securities said in an email." (Marketwatch)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday roundup (01-26-11)

Debt crisis could tear up Europe, says Soros (The Daily Mail)

[US] Deficit Outlook Darkens: Stark Warning for 2011 Fuels Battle Over Government Spending and Taxation (The Wall Street Journal) (The New York Times) (The Christian Science Monitor)

U.S. Budget Deficit to Pass $1.5 Trillion This Year (The Atlantic)

New-home sales in 2010 fall to lowest in 47 years: Buyers purchased fewest number of new homes last year in nearly half a century (The Associated Press)

Abbott to cut 1,900 jobs in restructuring (Chicago Breaking News)

Barclays cuts 1,000 jobs, focus on returns sharpens (Reuters)

Lincolnshire County Council [in UK] to cut 818 jobs (The BBC)

[UK Phone Company] TalkTalk to slash 580 jobs (Computing)

Richard Russell - Get Out of Your Dollar Assets Now! (King World News)

The 20 Richest People Of All Time (The Business Insider)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday roundup (01-25-11)

I.M.F. Says European Debt Still Threatens World Recovery (The New York Times)

How Severe Is Europe's Intertwined Debt Crisis?: Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on the ongoing fallout from Europe's debt crisis, which has led to political woes and bank bailouts among other problems. His update is park of his ongoing series on Making Sen$e of financial news. (PBS NewsHour) (Youtube)

British economy suffers shock Q4 contraction (Reuters)

IMF chides US for fiscal folly: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued its clearest warning to date that the latest US fiscal stimulus is ill-judged, unlikely to do much for growth and raises the risk of a bond crisis over the medium term. (The Telegraph)

U.S. home prices slide into 'double dip': After rebounding last year with help from tax incentives, home sale prices fell in November — the fourth month-to-month decline in a row — according to the Case-Shiller Index. (The Los Angeles Times)

Home prices fall in major US cities: Home prices falling faster in major US cities; 8 hit lowest point since housing bust (The Associated Press) Second wave of housing bust hammers more cities: Cities that held up during the housing bust are hammered by second wave of falling prices (The Associated Press) "Prices are now falling - and falling just about everywhere." (Calculated Risk blog)

Watchdog says overhaul didn't end future bailouts: Inspector general says gov't might recoup bailout cash in full, but future rescues are likely (The Associated Press) Bailout Watchdog Barofsky Sounds "Too Big to Fail" Warning (ABCNews blogs)

Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds (The New York Times) (The Wall Street Journal)

E-mails Suggest Bear Stearns Cheated Clients Out of Billions: Lawsuit alleges the bank took extreme measures to defraud investors, and now JPMorgan may be on the hook (The Atlantic)

Spain's Prisa To Cut Staff By 18%, Announces 2,500 Layoffs (The Wall Street Journal)

Lowe's to Cut 1,700 Management Jobs, Hire More Weekend Staff (Bloomberg)

BBC World Service to 'cut up to 650 jobs': Unprecedented round of staff cuts expected as corporation seeks to make £50m of savings from international broadcasting operations (The Guardian) (United Press International)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday roundup (01-24-11)

EU must decide new euro measures urgently: Rehn (Reuters)

Spain tempts fate with minimalist bank rescue: Spain has set in motion a partial nationalisation of its crippled savings banks, or cajas, but stopped short of the giant rescue deemed necessary by some experts to contain the country’s festering crisis. (The Telegraph)

Deflation in 2011 and Beyond as Financial Deleveraging Persists Says Gary Shilling: Well-known financial forecaster and author of The Age of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies for a Decade of Slow Growth and Deflation presents his 2011 outlook (Business Wire)

Rising Commodity Prices Won't Cause Inflation (CNBC)

S&P says US muni bonds face more downgrades - WSJ (Reuters)

Cantor says no state bailouts, bankruptcy (United Press International) (The Associated Press) (Reuters)

State Bankruptcies? ‘Ludicrous,’ He Says [he = California state treasurer Bill Lockyer] (The New York Times blogs)

Can/Should/Will States File Bankruptcy? (The Golden Truth blog)

Survey: Sales of Distressed Homes increased in December (Calculated Risk blog)

California hotel foreclosures more than doubled in 2010: An industry consultant's survey shows that 138 lodgings were in foreclosure last year, up from 62 in 2009. The firm expects the trend to continue through the first half of this year. (The Los Angeles Times)

Keys to Today's Rally (Financial Armageddon blog)

The Age of Deleveraging (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday roundup (01-23-11)

Double-dip talk returns as UK economic growth slows: The number of British companies in financial distress has risen for the first time since the beginning of 2009, in a statistic that will drive fears that Britain could be entering a double-dip recession. (The Telegraph)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday roundup (01-22-11)

Governor: Mass. [facing at least a $1 billion budget gap] 'doesn't need' state bankruptcy (Bloomberg)

The State That Went Bust (The New York Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 937 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Number of the Week: Americans Dipping Into Savings (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Badly Summed Up (Financial Armageddon blog)

Jobcentre Plus to slash over 9000 office jobs (Need Office Space?)

France Telecom Poland Unit, Unions Agree to as Many as 800 Job Cuts in '11 (Bloomberg)

WHAT WILL TURN ME MORE BULLISH ON THE U.S.A. by David Rosenberg (The Big Picture blog)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday roundup (01-21-11)

World can't afford repeat of 2008 financial crash, says BoE advisor (The Belfast Telegraph)

Recession result of systemic failure: Liaquat Ahamed (The Times of India)

Deflationary Spiral Ahead? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Plans being drawn up to let states declare bankruptcy: Pensioners and investors in state bonds could lose out (The New York Times) Will We Have US State Bankruptcies? (The Big Picture blog) Factbox: Big states spurn bankruptcy bill (Reuters)

Bank Of America Posts Billion-Dollar Loss Tied To Mortgages (Forbes)

Regulators shut banks in NC, SC, Ga, Colo: Regulators close 4 banks in Carolinas, Georgia, Colorado; Bank failures this year now 7 (The Associated Press)

United Western Bank of Denver CO had a troubled assets ratio of 61.8%. (BankTracker)

The Bank of Asheville of Asheville NC had a troubled assets ratio of 337.8%. (BankTracker)

Enterprise Banking Company of McDonough GA had a troubled assets ratio of 857.2%. (BankTracker)

CommunitySouth Bank & Trust of Easley SC had a troubled assets ratio of 256.7%. (BankTracker)

[UK] Lending to small businesses still falling: Lending to small and medium-sized businesses continued to fall at the end of last year, the Bank of England has found. (The Telegraph)

Spain plans partial nationalization of savings banks (Reuters) (The Guardian)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday roundup (01-21-11)

Nation's Mayors Urge Obama to Help With Jobs, Maintain Federal Grants for Cash-Strapped Cities (FoxNews)

'An Economic Philosophy That Has Completely Failed' by William K. Black (The Huffington Post blog)

Existing Home Inventory increases 8.4% Year-over-Year in December (Calculated Risk blog)

Household debt weighs on U.S. recovery (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

California governor declares fiscal emergency: Jerry Brown pressures lawmakers on $25.4 bln budget gap (Reuters)

1,600 layoffs in the works at Hanford (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

American Express cuts 1,500 jobs: Customer service center in Greensboro to close; 400 will stay on, work at home. (The Charlotte Observer)

Boeing to Cut 1,100 Jobs on Drop in Output for C-17 Military Transport Jet (Bloomberg)

[NY Gov.] Cuomo Considers Cutting Up to 15,000 State Jobs (The New York Times)

Social Security Is in Far Worse Shape Than You Think by Charles Hugh Smith (DailyFinance) How To Fix Social Security: A 4-Point Plan That Faces the Brutal Realities by Charles Hugh Smith -- "The heavily promoted idea that the Social Security system is 'sound until 2037' is false." (Of Two Minds blog)

U.S. Govt Selling Assets to Pay Debt (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

SocGen crafts strategy for China hard-landing: Société Générale fears China has lost control over its red-hot economy and risks lurching from boom to bust over the next year, with major ramifications for the rest of the world. (The Telegraph)

Japanese Minister Says Debt Is At "Critical Point," And He Fears A "Dreadful Dream" Of Interest Rate Spikes (The Business Insider) Only tough reforms can save the land of the rising debt (The Financial Times)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 01-20-11)

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 37,000 in the week ended Jan. 15, the biggest decline since February 2010, to 404,000, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

See also:

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 404,000 (Calculated Risk blog)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday roundup (01-19-11)

Record [UK] youth unemployment as jobless total hits 2.5 million: A record number of young people are trapped in unemployment amid signs the labour market recovery has ground to a halt, official figures revealed. (The Telegraph)

IPPR think-tank predicts 'double-dip' jobless rise: The Institute of Public Policy Research has warned that the UK faces a double-dip in employment, with the jobless level rising during 2011. (The BBC)

Councils in England announce 2,200 more job cuts (The BBC)

Arup cuts 670 jobs in UK (BD [Building Design] Online)

Career Education laying off 600 employees (The Associated Press)

American Express to Cut 550 Jobs and Close Some Service Centers (Reuters)

HSBC cutting 500 jobs in Del. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Europe’s Risk Watchdog May Prove Toothless in Crisis Prevention (Bloomberg)

[Europe's] Bonds at Risk as Moody's, S&P Poised to Lower Credit Ratings: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Moody’s warns of Portugal downgrade (The Financial Times)

Spain to Ramp Up Bailout of Banks (The Wall Street Journal)

Greece should just end the debt dance and default (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Germany Should Prepare for Greek Default, Adviser Feld Tells Handelsblatt (Bloomberg)

Italy Finally Raises Its Voice on Euro Bailouts (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Default Swaps Climb to Six-Month High Amid Record-Debt Sales: Japan Credit (Bloomberg)

Japan to grow modestly but deflation persists: Reuters poll (Reuters)

Fitch: US Fiscal Metrics To Be Worst Among ‘AAA’ Sovereigns (Market News International)

12 Economic Collapse Scenarios That We Could Potentially See In 2011 (Benzinga)

FDIC's Bair calls for foreclosure claims commission (Reuters)

Housing Starts in U.S. Fell More Than Forecast in December to One-Year Low (Bloomberg)

Record Low Housing Completions in 2010 (Calculated Risk blog)

Housing Remains Embattled Sector (The Wall Street Journal blogs) (The Golden Truth blog)

Even budget deficits are bigger in Texas (CNN)

[In tiny Rhode Island, Comptroller Thomas] DiNapoli [says]: Budget deficit for next year could reach $11 billion (Poughkeepsie Journal)

Bankruptcy works: Why Congress should consider bankruptcy for states (The Hill blog) State Bankruptcy: An Idea That's Ready for Primetime? (CNBC)

Municipal Bond Safety Debate (Nightly Business Report)

New currency for global casino-gulag announced (

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday roundup (01-17-11)

Debt Relief Seen Temporary As Euro Woes Persist (The Wall Street Journal)

EU vows to conduct "more stringent" bank tests (Xinhua)

UN Sees Risk Of Double-Dip Recession As Europe Pursues Austerity (The Wall Street Journal)

China Lowers Holdings Of US Debt In November (The Associated Press) What is Plan B if China dumps its U.S. debt? (Reuters)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday roundup (01-17-11)

Eurogroup ministers push to increase bailout fund: The eurozone's 750-billion-euro safety net isn't enough, according to the group's finance ministers, who met Monday in Brussels. Analysts fear Portugal could fall the way of Greece, bringing others down with it. (Deutsche Welle)

Roubini Sees Spread of Europe Debt Crisis Among Key 2011 Risks (Bloomberg)

Time for default (The Economist blogs) 2011: Europe Is Running Fast to Stand Still by Mohamed A. El-Erian (Pimco)

£1TRILLION: Our [= Britain's] National Debt pushes through barrier to reach £40,000 per household (The Daily Mail)

[Meanwhile, UK] Families need £1,800 extra a year by 2015 to pay credit cards: Households will need to find an extra £1,800 a year by 2015 just to pay the interest on their credit cards and other loans as interest rates rise, a report has suggested. (The Telegraph)

Cash injection for the UK economy could risk deflation (City AM)

[US] National debt: The ugly facts (CNN)

Ex-Banker Gives Data on Taxes to WikiLeaks (The New York Times) (The Associated Press) (Bloomberg)

MAN BEATS BANK - And Creates Mortgage Banking MERS Bomb - Lost Paperwork Means Free Homes For Borrowers (The Daily Bail blog)

Camden, N.J., to lose nearly half its cops (CNN)

'Explosive' Food Prices the Biggest Risk: Analyst (CNBC)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday roundup (01-16-11)

Europe’s Challenge: Fostering Growth Amid Austerity (The New York Times)

U.K. Debt May Double on RBS, Lloyds Liabilities, Telegraph Says (Bloomberg) Bank bail-out adds £1.5 trillion to debt: Britain's public debt is set to soar from under £1 trillion to more than double that landmark figure when official figures are updated this month to take into account the impact of the banking bailout. (The Telegraph)

Irish lenders besiege central bank for emergency loans: Irish banks are running out of collateral they can use to borrow from the European Central Bank, turning instead for emergency support from their own central bank on an unprecedented scale. (The Telegraph) Ireland May Have Lent Banks Up to 51.1 Billion Euros (Bloomberg)

BOJ Shirakawa: To Continue To Make Efforts To Combat Deflation (Dow Jones)

Former Fed governor says on CNBC that central bank one step from bankruptcy (Examiner) (Youtube)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday roundup (01-15-11)

Europe to meet amid debt crisis (Agence France Presse)

American deficit reaches $14 trillion: Congressional leaders set for fight over raising debt ceiling (The New York Daily News) The Higher the Debt Ceiling, the Deeper the Hole by Charles Hugh Smith (DailyFinance)

Year ahead looms as toughest yet for state budgets: Across the country, states face painful decisions as budget deficits cut into core services (The Associated Press) New Hit to Strapped States: Borrowing Costs Up as Bond Flops; Refinancing Crunch Nears (The Wall Street Journal) States Billed $1.3 Billion in Interest Amid Tight Budgets (The New York Times) Journey to Recovery Starts Slowly for US States (Reuters)

Number of the Week: Big Banks Gobble Up Market Share (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 933 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Global food chain stretched to the limit: Soaring prices spark fears of social unrest in developing world (MSNBC)

US Mint Reports Unprecedented Buying Spree Of Physical Silver (ZeroHedge blog)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday roundup (01-14-11)

China moves to prop up Europe's economy: The Asian nation pledges to buy billions of dollars' worth of bonds in European Union governments to restore confidence in the debt-ridden region. The EU is China's biggest trading partner. (The Los Angeles Times) It is a topsy-turvy world when the Asian nations are Europe's saviours (Bloomberg)

European Banks in Peripheral Countries Addicted to ECB Lending (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Third ratings agency downgrades Greek sovereign debt to junk: Disagreement grows over size of eurozone's rescue fund in light of possible need to bail out Greece as well as Ireland (The Guardian)

SocGen On The Three Sovereign Default Risks Lurking In... Asia (The Business Insider)

Managing Multi-Speed Markets: A 2011 market outlook, with Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco CEO/co-CIO. (CNBC)

[Michigan] State revenue turns around, but $2B deficit remains (The Detroit News)

Christie Criticized Over Bankruptcy Remark After New Jersey Cuts Bond Sale -- "'He is scaring some people when he says the state is going bankrupt,' said Gary Pollack, head of bond trading at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York." (Bloomberg)

State bankruptcy: The best fiscal fix [for California]? (The Los Angeles Times)

New postmaster general officially takes over, promises job cuts [at least 7,500] (The Washington Post blogs)

Regulators shut small Georgia bank; 3rd this year (The Associated Press) Oglethorpe Bank of Brunswick GA had a troubled assets ratio of 560%. (BankTracker)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday roundup (01-13-11)

S&P, Moody's Warn On U.S. Credit Rating (The Wall Street Journal) Moody's Says U.S., U.K., Germany, France Must Control Health-Care Spending (Bloomberg)

Public strongly opposes debt ceiling increase: Reuters/Ipsos (Reuters) (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Record Foreclosure activity in 2010 (Calculated Risk blog)

More banks walking away from homes, adding to housing crisis: Research shows 1,896 red flag homes in Chicago appear to have been abandoned during foreclosure process (The Chicago Tribune)

Municipal Bond Prices Continue To Fall; Hefty Sales Seen (The Wall Street Journal)

Government Says No to Helping States and Main Street, While Continuing to Throw Trillions at the Giant Banks (Washington's Blog)

Citigroup Was On The Verge Of Failure, New Report Finds; Rescue Was Based On 'Gut Instinct' (The Huffington Post blog) Report Says Excessive Risk Remains After Bank Bailout (The New York Times) Citi still too big after "ad hoc" bailout-audit (Reuters)

Goldman Sachs: “We Consider Our Size An Asset That We Try Hard To Preserve” by Simon Johnson (The Baseline Scenario blog)

Bill Daley’s Appointment [as White House Chief of Staff] Proves "The Bankers Have Won Completely," Simon Johnson Says (Yahoo! Tech Ticker)

SIMON JOHNSON: Now US Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Goldman's Investment In Facebook -- This Madness Must End! (Yahoo! Tech Ticker)

[Texas's] Draft budget cuts 8,000 state jobs: Survivors may face furloughs, legislative leaders say (The Houston Chronicle) (Bloomberg)

Cuts force [UK city of] Manchester to axe 2,000 jobs (Reuters)

'Devastating' budget cuts could end 1,500 CMS jobs: Gorman proposal also would hit pre-K for poor hard (The Charlotte Observer)

Europe fears motives of Chinese super-creditor: The EU authorities fear that China's purpose in buying eurozone debt may be double-edged, intended to push up the euro exchange rate against the yuan and gain advantage for exports. (The Telegraph)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 01-13-11)

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.)

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 445,000 (Calculated Risk blog)

"'The underlying trend is still a slow decline in claims,' said Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York. 'We’re taking steps in the right direction though it’s not enough to move the unemployment rate down precipitously.'" (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday roundup (01-12-11)

Quote of the Day:

"Roughly speaking, the mess we are in is the worst since 17th century financial collapse. Comparisons with the 1930s are ludicrous. We’ve gone far beyond that. And, alas, the courage & political will to recognize the mess & act wisely to reverse gears, is absent in U.S. leadership, where the problems were hatched & where the rot is by far the deepest." -- Investment consultant and trader Harry Schultz. (Seeking Alpha blog)

Global economy 'in no state to cope with new shocks': The world economy remains in a weakened state after the financial crisis of 2007-2009, according to a risks survey for the World Economic Forum in Davos this month (The Guardian) (CNBC)

'Europe Needs Growth to Prevent a Collapse of the Euro' (Der Spiegel) Euro’s Architect Warns About Currency’s Future (The New York Times)

Disaster averted in the great Portuguese bond auction -- [but] " relief for Portugal seems likely to be temporary" (The Guardian) (The Irish Times)

Fed's Bullard Says Too Soon to Curtail Asset Purchases on Improved Outlook (Bloomberg)

Muni bonds hit by more selling on default fears (The Los Angeles Times blogs) CA and NJ Muni Funds Hitting New Lows (CF Economics blog)

JPMorgan's CEO Dimon Says More U.S. Municipalities May File for Bankruptcy (Bloomberg)

Whitney Defends Muni Call, Sees 'Indiscriminate Selling' (CNBC)

The War of Words Over Muni Bonds (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Illinois Lawmakers Pass 67% Income Tax Increase (Bloomberg) Illinois tax hike lifts some credit worries (Reuters)

Bernanke Saved the World From Another Great Depression, Ferguson Says (Bloomberg)

Call It The "Wile E. Coyote Market" (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday roundup (01-11-11)

European Union Said to Discuss Separate Tests on Bank Capital, Liquidity (Bloomberg)

Portugal debt cost seen up, but no bailout trigger (Reuters) The dam breaks in Portugal (The Telegraph blogs) Europe Update: Portugal Bond Auction Wednesday (Calculated Risk blog) Foreigners Shun Europe’s Bonds, and Debt Piles Up (The New York Times)

Big tests loom for government bonds in Europe, U.S. (The Los Angeles Times blogs) The Next Debt Domino To Fall: Portugal, Italy Or The U.S.? (Forbes blogs) U.S. overspending: the Portugal parallel (Fortune)

In the Sovereign Debt Battle, Spain Is a Crucial Front (The New York Times)

Charts Comparing Japan to USA (CF Economics blog)

Home price drops exceed Great Depression: Zillow (Reuters)

[California's new] State budget plan: Five years of higher taxes, $12.5 billion in spending cuts (The San Jose Mercury News)

Texas lawmakers faced with $15 billion shortfall (The Associated Press)

Do or die for massive Illinois tax hike (CNN)

Downturn's Ugly Trademark: Steep, Lasting Drop in Wages (The Wall Street Journal) It Will Take Years for Your Paycheck to Recover From the Great Recession (The Atlantic Wire) Wage Drop Has Been Worst In Decades (The Huffington Post blog)

Evergreen Solar to close Devens plant, cut 800 jobs (Boston Business Journal)

Facebook rival Myspace forced to cut 500 jobs (The Huffington Post blog)

Employment Opportunities in the New Economy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday roundup (01-10-11)

The Euro crisis roars back (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Portugal, Ireland Lead Rise in Sovereign Debt Risk to Records (Bloomberg) Greece borrowing rates hit new record (The Associated Press)

ECB Throws Portugal a Temporary Lifeline (Reuters) ECB intervenes as debt crisis deepens (The Financial Times)

EMU debt crisis edges ever closer to the core: The eurozone's debt crisis is once again in danger of spiralling out of control after yields on Portuguese debt spiked to a post-EMU high and contagion hit Spain and Belgium. (The Telegraph) (The Independent)

Pressuring Portugal, With Deniability (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Portuguese Bond Sale May Make Bailout ‘Inevitable’: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Now Belgium faces being dragged into eurozone crisis (The Daily Mail)

Euro Crisis Would Hit China, Then America: Author (CNBC)

Pension Funds Threaten Big Banks Over Foreclosures (CNBC) (NYC Comptroller)

Christie May Cut Medicaid as $10.5 Billion New Jersey Budget Deficit Looms (Bloomberg)

JFCOM closure: Roughly 1,900 local jobs to be cut (Newport News [Va.] Daily Press)

1,150 jobs cut in second restructuring by Synovus (Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, GA)

Michael Ruppert, extended interview (Transition Voice)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday roundup (01-09-11)

U.S. Deficit Fixes Needed ‘Fairly Soon,’ CBO’s Elmendorf Says (Bloomberg)

Greenspan Warns of Risks From U.S. Debt (The Wall Street Journal)

Central banker urges China to cut U.S. debt holdings: report (Reuters)

Deepening crisis traps America's have-nots: The US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis. Self-congratulation by the US authorities that they have this time avoided a repeat of the 1930s is premature. (The Telegraph)

How A Massachusetts Court May Have Set Off Another Housing And Banking Catastrophe (The Business Insider) (Reuters blogs) (CNBC)

In Illinois, a Giant Deficit Leads to Talk of a Giant Tax Increase (The New York Times)

Fears Mount Over European Debt, Banks (The Wall Street Journal)

Italy The Invisible Elephant (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog) [versus] Italy 'Unfairly Punished' as EU Debt Crisis Proxy (Bloomberg)

Belgium's King to Tackle Political Deadlock as Europe's Debt Woes Mount (Bloomberg)

Portugal under pressure to seek EU/IMF aid: source (Reuters)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday roundup (01-08-11)

Trichet pleads for action as fears mount of new euro crisis (The Independent)

Germany and France want Portugal to accept aid: report (Reuters)

Facing Scrutiny, Banks Slow Pace of Foreclosures (The New York Times)

Illinois faces steep tax increases to meet fiscal crisis (The Washington Post)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday roundup (01-08-11)

Sovereign Debt Unsafe, Default Concern Spreads to U.S., Japan, Buiter Says (Bloomberg)

Weak Hiring Casts a Cloud: Unemployment Rate Drops Sharply to 9.4%, but Pace of Hiring Too Slow for Sustained Improvement (The Wall Street Journal) No good news for the long-term unemployed (Reuters blogs)

Bernanke: It will take years for jobs to come back; $600 billion support program still needed (The Associated Press) Bernanke balks at bailout for states (Reuters) Bernanke urges Congress to adopt sweeping deficit plan (The Washington Times)

Food Stamps Used by Record 43.2 Million in October, USDA Reports (Bloomberg) Graph @ (CFEconomics blog)

Foreclosure-Prevention Program ‘Deeply Troubling,’ Issa Says (Bloomberg)

Volcker Sidelined as Obama Reshapes Advisory Panel (Bloomberg)

Is Fannie bailing out the banks? (Fortune) It’s a wonderful life 2011 (Reuters blogs)

[Europe's Sovereign Debt:] The Crisis That Isn’t Going Away (The New York Times)

Economists Say Europe Faces Low Growth for a Decade (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Blanchflower Says 2011 Rate Increase Would Be Osborne's `Worst Nightmare' (Bloomberg)

Portugal's debt worries worsen as bond yields rise (Reuters)

Time to Prepare for a Greek Default? (Seeking Alpha blog)

Regulators close banks in Florida, Arizona (The Associated Press) First Commercial Bank of Florida of Orlando FL had a troubled assets ratio of 478.2% (BankTracker) Legacy Bank of Scottsdale AZ had a troubled assets ratio of 316.1% (BankTracker)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday roundup (01-06-11)

Europe unveils sweeping plans to govern reckless banks: Brussels has called for sweeping powers for regulators to seize failing EU banks, sack board members, and impose haircuts on senior bank debt, aiming to ensure that taxpayers are never again held hostage by high finance. (The Telegraph) (The Wall Street Journal)

Osborne lectures EU on banks (BBC blogs) UK's Osborne To Urge 'Tougher' Europe Bank Stress Tests (The Wall Street Journal)

Showdown looms over raising the nation's debt limit: As lawmakers and the White House engage in another game of economic chicken, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says hitting the debt ceiling would cause 'catastrophic damage to the economy.' (The Los Angeles Times) Geithner says U.S. could hit debt limit by March 31 (Reuters)

Housing bust creates new kind of declining city: A study says cities where home prices have fallen the most — including Riverside, San Bernardino and Fresno — could suffer long-term deterioration similar to that of the Rust Belt. (The Los Angeles Times) A Study of Real Estate Markets in Declining Cities (Research Institute for Housing America)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 01-06-11)

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.)

"Claims rose by 18,000 to 409,000 in the week ended Jan. 1, and the previous week's figures were revised upward to 391,000 from 388,000." (The Hill blog)

"'The recovery in the labor market is continuing to move along at a gradual pace,' said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who forecast claims would rise to 410,000. 'Employers are getting to the point where they are becoming a little more confident about the strength of the recovery.'" (Bloomberg)

"'There has been a steady decline in new filings. But the reduction in continuing claims has not been significant enough to suggest that hiring is really robust,' Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at audit, tax and advisory firm J.H. Cohn told TheStreet ahead of the claims data." (The

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday roundup (01-05-11)

EU plans for bondholder haircuts unsettles debt markets: The European Commission will on Thursday press ahead with plans to spread the burden of EU bank failures to senior bondholders, marking the start of harsher times for Europe’s creditors. (The Telegraph)

Markets make Portugal pay heavy price for loan (The Independent) (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Fed May Keep Easing at 'Full Throttle' Until Decline in Unemployment Rate (Bloomberg)

Government seen hitting debt limit in March or April (Reuters)

CMBS delinquencies hit record high in December (Housing Wire) (CFEconomics blog)

N.Y. governor unveils emergency debt plan (CNN)

[NJ Gov.] Christie says he is preparing to reduce health benefits for public employees, raise their coverage contributions (New Jersey Newsroom)

Debt crisis: Is Texas 'America's Ireland'?: Everybody knows about California's fiscal woes, but why isn't anybody talking about the huge crisis looming in the Lone Star State? (This Week)

BJ’s to close five stores by month-end, cut nearly 500 jobs (Providence Business News)

Farmland at Record High Values: Jason Henderson, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, on value increases and the best locations. (FoxBusiness) (CNBC)

Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline: Disease and low genetic diversity might have caused US bumblebee decline over the past few decades, say scientists (The Guardian) (Washington's Blog)

Panel: Massive oil spill could happen again (The Associated Press)

Peak Oil and a Changing Climate (The Nation) (Youtube)

Corporate Self-Regulation: How did that work out? (The Big Picture blog)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday roundup (01-04-11)

Fed minutes: Economy needs bond-buying program: Improvements weren't enough to change pace of $600B Treasury bond-buying program (The Associated Press) (CNBC)

Unemployment rates rise in two-thirds of large US metro areas; some jobseekers giving up (The Associated Press)

The Parts Don't Add Up ["when it comes to the health of the overall U.S. economy"] (The Financial Armageddon blog)

Why Bank of America Must Be Thrilled to Pay a $3 Billion Penalty (The Atlantic) BofA Freddie Mac Putbacks Resolved for 1¢ on $ (The Big Picture blog) "'This is a gift' from the government to the bank, said Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics. 'We're all paying for this because it will show up in the losses from Fannie and Freddie,' he said. ... Fannie spokeswoman Janis Smith called it a 'fair and responsible resolution.'" (The Washington Post)

MySpace 'set to cut up to 50% of staff': Struggling social network seeks to cut costs as parent News Corp explores selloff, according to reports (The Guardian) "Sources differ as to whether News Corp. is already in talks with prospective buyers, but a sale is expected by the middle of the year or sooner." (Time blogs)

Rogoff Says EU Debt Crisis Will Take Years to Clear, Members Face Default (Bloomberg)

Many [UK] borrowers still burdened with huge debt sums, warns Bank: Four out of 10 people admit they still owe money spent last Christmas, according to government's Insolvency Service (The Guardian)

Germany resists tighter economic integration with weaker euro zone countries (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday roundup (01-04-11)

National Debt Tops $14 Trillion (CBSNews)

US Debt Limit Fight Would Be 'Catastrophic': White House (CNN)

BofA to take $2B charge to settle home loan claims: Bank of America to take $2B charge as it settles home loan claims with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (The Associated Press)

House Prices: More Pessimistic Views (Calculated Risk blog)

Consumer bankruptcies hit 5-year high in 2010: Last spike was caused by rush of filings ahead of law toughening requirements (Reuters)

FDIC Bank Closings for 2010 (The Big Picture blog)

Cuba official says state worker layoffs [of half a million] have begun (Bloomberg)

Russia Plans to Cut 110,000 Government Jobs, Save $1.4 Billion by 2013 (Bloomberg)

Japan's Perpetual Motion Debt Machine (Of Two Minds blog)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday roundup (01-02-11)

Quote of the Day:

“By now, only a few people refuse to understand that youth protests aren’t a protest against the university reform, but against a general situation in which the older generations have eaten the future of the younger ones.” -- Giuliano Amato, an economist and former Italian prime minister, to Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest newspaper. (The New York Times)

Key to Real-Estate Rebound: Solid Economic Growth (The Wall Street Journal)

Ex-Treasury chief Paulson loses $1 million on DC home (Reuters)

Many people claim Stoneleigh and I must be crazy, and doomers and all that, for predicting an 80%+ drop in real estate values, but we in turn can’t seem to understand why home prices would fall “only” 20% from here, or why they would fall “just” 40%, as Mish suggested for instance. (MaxKeiser blog)

Illinois Must Plug $13 Billion Deficit in Days That Took Years to Produce (Bloomberg)

Starting Tuesday in the legislative session, the [state of Minnesota's] $6.2B deficit will dominate the show (Pioneer Press of the Twin Cities)

The prospects for recovery in Ireland in 2011 look slim: Guest blogger Stephen Kinsella, economist at the University of Limerick, believes 2011 won't show the green shoots of recovery (The Guardian blogs)

Saturday, January 1, 2011