Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday roundup (04-30-11)

German government experts see Greece restructuring debt (Reuters)

Gold luring central bank buyers may extend record run -- "Central banks that were net sellers of gold a decade ago are buying the precious metal to reduce their reliance on the dollar as a reserve currency..." (Bloomberg)

America's reckless money-printing could put the world back into crisis: Last week, Ben Bernanke suggested that the US base interest rate will stay close to zero for an "extended period". It's been there since December 2008. (The Telegraph) "'There's no sign of panic yet. But the situation can change on a dime,' said Brown Brothers Harriman strategist Lena Komileva. If the US economy weakens and US lawmakers fail to find a way to slash a yawning budget deficit, 'that could create a run on the dollar.'" (The Economic Times of India)

Auerbach Says Fed's Bernanke in `Very Bad, Deep Hole': April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Auerbach, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas, talks about Federal Reserve monetary policy and the outlook for Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's first news conference following the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee tomorrow [April 27]. Auerbach speaks with Mark Crumpton and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg) (Daily Motion)

Auerbach Says Fed's Bernanke in `Very Bad, Deep... by Bloomberg

S&P downgrades US debt outlook-On the Edge with Max Keiser-04-29-2011-(Part1) (Youtube)

S&P downgrades US debt outlook-On the Edge with Max Keiser-04-29-2011-(Part2) (Youtube) [Article related to Karl Denninger's comments in this segment:] Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium: If Barack Obama were to marshal America’s vast scientific and strategic resources behind a new Manhattan Project, he might reasonably hope to reinvent the global energy landscape and sketch an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years. (The Telegraph)

And Here's How The Debt Story Will End... by John Mauldin (The Business Insider)

The Destruction of Economic Facts -- "Various elements in our economy — Shadow banking systems, MERS, abdication of lending standards (i.e., no doc loans and origination fraud), Robosigners, mark-to-model accounting fraud, off balance sheet bank assets — have conspired to destroy [the property record-keeping system that has been the foundation of the global economy for 150 years]" (The Big Picture blog)

Arrogance and Authority by Simon Johnson -- "... the reason there is a perceived fiscal crisis in the US today – along with spending cuts that will further hurt many people – is simple: the banks blew themselves up at great cost to the American people, with major negative global implications." (Project Syndicate)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 984 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Number of the Week: Millions Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Obama awed by tornado wreckage across South, pledges federal aid (The Washington Post)

Battling Nature on the River: The past week's raging waters along the Mississippi are hardly unprecedented. The great flood of 1927 was far worse—and we still haven't applied its lessons. (The Wall Street Journal)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday roundup (04-29-11)

Bernanke says economy needs more time to heal (Reuters)

Treasury Blocks Regulation Of Market That Sparked $5.4 Trillion Fed Bailout (The Huffington Post blog)

Excessive Leverage Helped Cause the Great Depression and the Current Crisis ... And Government Responds by Encouraging MORE Leverage (Washington's Blog)

Ala., Miss.,Tornado Victims Struggle to Cope With Worst Storm Damage in Decades [= since 1932, at the height of the Great Depression] (PBS Newshour) (Youtube)

Distressed RE: Residential, Commercial Have Yet to Hit Bottom (The Big Picture blog)

5 banks fail in Fla., Ga., Mich.; makes 39 in '11 (The Associated Press)

First Choice Community Bankof Dallas GA had a troubled assets ratio of 899.1%. (BankTracker)

First National Bank of Central Florida of Winter Park FL had a troubled assets ratio of 495.2%. (BankTracker)

Cortez Community Bank of Brooksville FL had a troubled assets ratio of 412.7%. (BankTracker)

The Park Avenue Bank of Valdosta GA had a troubled assets ratio of 395.1%. (BankTracker)

Community Central Bank of Mount Clemens MI had a troubled assets ratio of 186.3%. (BankTracker)

The US Dollar, Annotated (The Big Picture blog)

Spain jobless rate hits new eurozone record (The Associated Press)

An Post chief to keep €500,000 pay as 2,000 lose jobs (The Irish Independent)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday roundup (04-28-11)

Wal-Mart: Our shoppers are 'running out of money' (CNN)

More Than Half Still Say U.S. Is in Recession or Depression (Gallup) (Reuters) More Americans Believe The Country Is In A Depression Than Growing (Zero Hedge blog) Gallup Poll Shows that More Americans Believe the U.S. is in a Depression than is Growing ... Are They Right? (Washington's Blog)

More Than One in Four Scared About Country's Fiscal Future (FoxNews)

U.S. Economy’s Growth Cooled in First Quarter to 1.8% Rate (Bloomberg) Weak spending, trade to hold back U.S. GDP growth (Reuters) Economists downplay weak growth as temporary; but gas prices keep rising, housing remains weak (The Associated Press)

Weiss Ratings Says US Credit Rating Already Near Junk (The Wall Street Journal) (The (Money and Markets)

Tornado Slams Jefferson County Contemplating Bankruptcy (Bloomberg)

Record floods, fires, temperatures and tornadoes sweep America (

Panasonic Plans to Eliminate 17,000 Jobs Over Two Years in Reorganization [down from the 40,000 rumored in a post in yesterday's blog] (Bloomberg)

U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest Since 2009 Recession (Bloomberg)

[In Ireland, The] Reality of the bailout only beginning to bite (The Irish Times)

2008 crash deja vu: We’ll relive it, and soon: New bubble is hotter, bigger than the last one (Marketwatch)

Is peak coal coming? (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-28-11)

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.)

"New applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly rose last week to the highest level in three months, a sign progress in the labor market may be stalling." (Bloomberg)

"Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000, up from a slightly upwardly revised 404,000 the preceding week, the Labor Department said." (Reuters)

"This is a major disappointment because it's another move in the wrong direction," said Tim Quinlan, economic analyst at Wells Fargo. (CNN)

Rise in Jobless Claims Bears Watching (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday roundup (04-27-11)

Greek, Portuguese, Irish Credit-Default Swaps Jump to Records (Bloomberg)

PIMCO Says Greece Needs to Restructure its Debt (Reuters) Greek debt yields reach 25% (The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Britain 'on the edge of a double dip recession': Britain is “teetering on the edge of a double dip recession” after official GDP numbers confirmed that the economy has stagnated for the past six months. (The Telegraph)

Japan's credit rating could be cut following earthquake: Japan's efforts to recover from the earthquake and tsunami suffered a blow as the country was warned it is at a growing risk of seeing its credit rating cut. (The Telegraph) Factbox: Rating agencies' warnings, action on Japan's debt (Reuters)

More Americans Raiding Retirement Funds Early (CNBC)

Why the PlayStation Network breach is scary (MSNBC)

Reports: Panasonic to cut 40,000 jobs (The Associated Press)

Nokia axes 7,000 jobs to cut costs (Reuters)

Philly School District Plans 3,820 Job Cuts: Budget cuts mean 12 percent of the district’s teachers gone; no full-day Kindergarten (NBC Philadelphia)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday roundup (04-26-11)

Greece, Ireland, Portugal Yields Hit Records on Default Concern (Bloomberg) Credit-Default Swaps on Greek, Portuguese Government Bonds Jump to Records (Bloomberg)

Greece and Portugal debts worse than expected: Greece's annual deficit was 10.5% of national output last year and Portugal's was 9.1% – both more than assumed by the European commission (The Guardian)

Greek 2010 Budget Gap Wider Than Estimated as Euro-Area Debt Hits Record (Bloomberg) Greece Budget Deficit worse than forecast (Calculated Risk blog) Why Greece's Deficit Blow Out May Doom Future European Bailouts (The Business Insider) (The Economist blogs)

ECB Paramo: Greek Debt Restructuring [Would Be] Worse [= "have a more negative systemic effect"] Than Lehman (Dow Jones Newswires) "'In a worst-case scenario, a debt restructuring of a euro zone member would place the Lehman Brothers insolvency in the shadows,' [European Central Bank executive board member Juergen] Stark said in the interview, which was broadcast over the weekend." (The Dow Jones Newswires) "The belief in policy circles seems to be that if the ECB is intent on hiking interest rates then Eurozone would be able to stomach a debt restructuring. We have witnessed over the past few months/quarters the propensity of European politicians to underestimate the crisis." (Reuters)

Political Risk: Europe’s Road Ahead -- "The Euro is extremely overvalued, when political risk is included in the equation." (Confessions of a Macro Contrarian blog)

UK has third biggest budget deficit in Europe [after bailed-out nations Ireland and Greece]: The UK has the third biggest budget deficit in Europe, the EU’s official league table showed, placing it alongside the struggling nations engulfed in the eurozone’s debt crisis. (The Telegraph)

What Happens if the [United States] Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised (The New York Times blogs) "The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, a key group of senior representatives from investment funds and banks, this week warned that any delay in interest or principal payment by the U.S. government could trigger a catastrophic financial crisis." (The Wall Street Journal blogs) [And yet...] ‘There’s a chance it could not happen’ -- "'It,' in this case, ... [is] a vote on the debt ceiling before the Treasury runs out of room to cover our debts." (The Washington Post blogs)

Americans depend more on federal aid than ever -- "since the government began keeping track in 1929" [before the Great Depression] (USAToday)

Housing Crash 2.0 Is Accelerating (CNBC) Home prices fall for 8th [straight] month in February: S&P/Case (Reuters) Case Shiller Double Dip Almost Here (The Big Picture blog)

State pension crisis balloons -- "$1.26 trillion in the hole" (CNN) U.S. States Pension Fund Deficits Widen by 26%, Pew Center Study Says (Bloomberg)

Lenders Who Lobbied Hardest for Deregulation Took Most Risks [... um, DUH] (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday roundup (04-25-11)

China Proposes To Cut Two Thirds Of Its $3 Trillion In USD Holdings (Zero Hedge blog) China should cap forex reserves at 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars: China banker (Xhinhua)

This will be the Arab world's next battle: Population growth and water supply are on a collision course. Hunger is set to become the main issue (The Guardian)

Timing of Bailout-State Restructuring Could Affect Survival of the Euro Zone (The Wall Street Journal)

Lenihan says threat of default [on debt by Irish banks] worried US (The Irish Times)

March Survey: Almost half of [US] housing market is now distressed properties (Calculated Risk blog)

New Home Sales Fall 22% Year Over Year (The Big Picture blog) New Home Sales in March at 300 Thousand SAAR, Record low for March (Calculated Risk blog)

Record Shattering Weather Hammers U.S.: There have already been 292 reported tornadoes in April alone. (ABCNews)

Grantham: Days of Unlimited Resources and Falling Prices are Over (Infectious Greed blog)

Fools' Errand? (Financial Armageddon blog)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday-Sunday Easter Weekend roundup (04-23/24-11)

Euro restructuring could overshadow Lehman - ECB's Stark (Reuters) (Bloomberg) "Kein schmerzfreier Weg" aus der Schuldenkrise (ZDF)

Time to restructure Irish debt burden, say bosses (The Irish Independent)

Greek woes getting worse: Restructuring considered a certainty as economic outlook remains dire (The Montreal Gazette) Year after debt rescue, markets unconvinced, nearly half of Greeks expect restructuring (The Associated Press)

Portugal revises its 2010 debt figure from 8.6 percent to 9.1 percent of GDP (The Associated Press)

Saudi oil production and the Libyan conflict (Econobrowser blog)

Stimulus by Fed Is Disappointing, Economists Say (The New York Times)

Republicans Skeptical on Raising Debt Limit (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

US default could be disastrous choice for economy -- "A default would likely trigger another financial panic like the one in 2008 and plunge an economy still reeling from high joblessness and a battered housing market back into recession." (The Associated Press) S&P Misses Most Dangerous Short-Term Risk On U.S. Debt (Forbes blogs)

America appears to be sleepwalking towards disaster – does no one care?: So let me get this straight. The Standard and Poor's rating agency last week took the historic step of putting the US government's AAA credit rating on "negative watch". (The Telegraph)

Florida wage growth at lowest level since the Great Depression (The Palm Beach Post)

Home Builders still see no recovery (Calculated Risk blog)

Unofficial Problem Bank list at 976 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday roundup (04-22-11)

Europe at the precipice: Here's an unhappy early Easter thought: The financial crisis is about to be reborn in Europe. (Fortune blogs)

Citi says Ireland, Greece and Portugal to restructure debts: State bond yields for the three nations hit a euro-era high in anaemic pre-Easter holiday markets (The Irish Independent)

US economy just a notch above Greece: US finances are in almost as troubled a state as the worst-hit members of the euro zone, economists say, underscoring the pressing need for Washington to reach agreement on how to reduce the deficit by Sam Fleming [economics editor of the Times of London] (The Times of London)

Conservative Strategists Warn GOP About Economic Risks Of Pushing Debt Ceiling Debate Too Far (The Huffington Post blog)

Prices Surge as Investors Rush to Safety of Gold (The New York Times) World Is Bitten by the Gold Bug (The Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday roundup (04-21-11)

Interest Rates Reach New Highs on Greece, Portugal and Ireland Debt (The Voice of America) Greek, Portuguese Yields Reach Record on Restructuring Concern; Bunds Drop (Bloomberg) Greece, Portugal Sovereign Credit-Default Swaps Jump to Records (Bloomberg)

Expecting an early Greek default (Reuters blogs) Greece Inc. A Broken Company (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

'A horror story': Cash-strapped small businesses [in UK] hit by biggest fall in lending since crisis began (The Daily Mail) (The Guardian)

[UK] Debt will hit £84,000 a family in four years as mortgages and credit cards push borrowing to record levels (The Daily Mail)

Japan approves $48.5 billion quake relief spending -- "adding to a massive public debt already twice the size of Japan's $5 trillion economy" (Reuters)

U.S., Japan Debt Risk Underestimated by Credit Swap Markets, Rabobank Says (Bloomberg)

U.S. Finances Are ‘Unsustainable,’ Obama Says at Facebook Town Hall Event (Bloomberg)

Credit warning restates obvious (The Financial Post) 5 reasons why S&P just guaranteed U.S. debt will lose AAA rating (Reuters blogs) Geithner Downgrades His Credibility to Junk (Bloomberg)

S&P Chief Economist says we're not out of the woods (Financial Advisor)

Commercial Real Estate Could Be Slipping -- "dangerously close to double dip territory" (Real Estate Journal Online)

The never ending pipeline of shadow inventory – 1,800,000 homes in foreclosure while another 2,000,000 are underwater by 50 percent. No housing recovery without clearing out shadow inventory and expanding real household wages. (Dr Housing Bubble)

Stingy megabanks swimming in cash: If the megabanks are so big on lending, why do their loan books keep shrinking? (Fortune) (American Banking & Market News)

KPN Lowers Annual Profit Forecast, Will Cut Up to 5,000 Dutch Jobs by 2015 (Bloomberg)

Barclays to Cut Up to 1,000 Jobs at U.K. Corporate Unit (Bloomberg)

Army cutting about 500 jobs from Fort Knox (Louisville Courier-Journal)

$6 Gas? Could Happen if Dollar Keeps Getting Weaker (CNBC) US DOLLAR very close to an accelerating decline (Trader Dan's Market Views blog) The Only True Standard of Value excerpt from Richard Russell's Dow Theory Letters (321 Gold)

Pennsylvania Fracking Spill: Natural Gas Well Blowout Spills Thousands Of Gallons Of Drilling Fluid (VIDEO) (The Huffington Post blog)

GASLAND Trailer 2010 (Youtube)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-21-11)

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.)

"The number of initial claims in the week ending April 16 fell 13,000 to 403,000. This is the first time that claims have remained above 400,000 for two weeks since late January." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims: Down, But Still Over 400K. (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Declined Less Than Forecast (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday roundup (04-20-11)

Quote of the Day:

"... the de facto [US regulatory] policy right now is elite frauds go free, if they're in banking, because the whole sector is too fragile. And that is significantly insane. It will produce the next crisis. It'll make the next crisis come sooner. And it'll make the next crisis far, far worse." -- Prof. William K. Black, former US regulator. (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)

Europe's debt crisis: It's back!!! (Time blogs) Euro zone hit by Greek debt fears, aid backlash (Reuters)

Europe must use borrowed time well (The Financial Times)

Borrowing Costs Rise for Spain and Portugal (The New York Times)

JP Morgan ends its bets on Spanish and Italian debt -- "'The trend of Italy and Spain de-coupling from the three high-yielding peripherals (Greece, Ireland, Portugal) abruptly reversed this week. All peripherals widened sharply, moving out in concert,' JP Morgan Securities' Pavan Wadhwa and Fabio Bassi explained." (Citywire)

European Pushback Against Bailouts (The Big Picture blog)

U.S. political rift was tipping point for S&P (Reuters)

Financial System Riskier, Next Bailout Will Be Costlier, S&P Says -- "we believe the risks from the U.S. financial sector are higher than we considered them to be before 2008." (The Huffington Post blog)

U.S. households getting more from Uncle Sam than they pay in: A new study finds that for first time since the Great Depression, tax receipts from households total less than the government paid out in unemployment, Social Security and other programs. (The Fiscal Times)

Double Take: Inflation for Majority of Economy at Record Lows (CNBC)

MLB to take over the Dodgers (NBC Sports) (Reuters)

Why The Decline In World Oil Supply Will Be Faster Than Anyone Expects (The Business Insider)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday roundup (04-19-11)

Quote of the Day:

[On Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's assertion that the US will be able to reduce the deficit:] "I haven't decided if Geithner is dumb enough to believe that the we are dumb enough to believe him or, worse, if he's dumb enough to believe himself. But I suppose that, when we're talking about someone who is as dumb as Geithner seems to be, degrees of relativity are irrelevant." Dave in Denver (The Golden Truth blog)

Obama: Debt risks 'serious damage' to US (Agence France Presse) Playing Chicken with the Debt [GRAPHIC] (Business Week)

U.S. credit rating downgrade: the Armageddon scenario (The Washington Post blogs) "... when it comes to terrifying debt-crisis scenarios, the U.S. stands in a universe all its own." (Time blogs)

U.S. sole triple-A country with negative outlook: Other 16 sovereigns have stable outlooks (Marketwatch) El-Erian: A warning for the US, and for the global economy (FT Alphaville blog)

S&P’s Negative Call Stems From Crisis That Some Say It Caused (CNBC) [and] No Real Risk of Default (The New York Times) [versus] Standard & Poor’s financial storm warning (The Washington Post)

U.S. Hasn’t Crashed Through Debt Ceiling Yet, but Getting Closer (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

A Novel Concept on Mortgage Lending (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog) "Lenders would be required to make sure prospective borrowers have the ability to repay their mortgages before giving them a loan, under a proposal released by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Ex-Taylor Bean chairman found guilty of fraud (Reuters) (Agence France Presse)

Letting the Banks Off the Hook (The New York Times)

CEOs earn 343 times more than typical workers -- "'Despite the collapse of the financial market at the hands of executives less than 3 years ago, the disparity between CEO and workers' pay has continued to grow to levels that are simply stunning,' said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president." (CNN)

Housing: On pace for Record Low Completions in 2011 (Calculated Risk blog)

EU sees more banks seeking aid after stress tests (Reuters)

How Risky is the Global Economy? by Mohamed A. El-Erian -- "the global economy ... is caught in a duel between healing and disruptive influences, in which it can ill afford any further intensification of the latter." (Project Syndicate)

The Breakdown Draws Near by Chris Martenson (Chris

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday roundup (04-18-11)

Standard & Poor’s Puts ‘Negative’ Outlook on U.S. Rating (Bloomberg)

Surprise warning on U.S. debt comes as Washington inches away from gridlock: Standard & Poor's warning that it could downgrade the AAA rating on U.S. debt in the next two years jolts financial markets. The warning comes even as a new sense of realism emerges in the stalemate between President Obama and congressional Republicans over fiscal policy. (The Los Angeles Times) Debt worries turn up heat on Congress to act: Stocks dropped after S&P lowered its outlook on the nation's credit rating to negative. (The Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

What’s the debt ceiling, and why is everyone in Washington talking about it? (The Washington Post)

European sovereign debt crisis worsens as investors bet against Ireland, Portugal and Greece: The European debt crisis worsened as investors ignored Greece's claims it won't need to restructure its debt, Ireland's banks were cut to junk status and Portugal's planned bailout was threatened by a possible veto from Finland. (The Telegraph) Greece Default Drive Risks Reviving Contagion as Bonds Plunge (Bloomberg)

Moody's downgrades Irish banks' ratings to junk (The BBC)

Expectations Grow for Greek Debt Restructuring (The New York Times) Restructuring Greece’s debt a risky way out of nightmare; forced losses could shake banks (The Associated Press)

Spain still unable to decouple from euro periphery (Reuters)

This Is What Deflation Looks Like (Seeking Alpha blog)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday roundup (04-17-11)


Max Keiser In Ireland On Tonight With Vincent Browne 1/5 (Youtube)

Max Keiser In Ireland On Tonight With Vincent Browne 2/5 (Youtube)

Max Keiser In Ireland On Tonight With Vincent Browne 3/5 (Youtube)

Max Keiser In Ireland On Tonight With Vincent Browne 4/5 (Youtube)

Max Keiser In Ireland On Tonight With Vincent Browne 5/5 (Youtube)

Anti-bailout nationalists gain in Finnish elections (The Sacramento Bee)

Germany puts off day of reckoning over rescues (The Financial Times) Don't Bet on an Imminent Euro-Zone Debt Default (The Wall Street Journal)

Saudi Slashes Oil Output; Says Market Oversupplied -- "sending the strongest signal yet that OPEC will not act to quell soaring prices." (Reuters)

In Passing The Most Recent Budget, Congress And The President Lied (Forbes blogs)

Balancing the Budget w/o Spending Cuts or Tax Increases (The Big Picture blog)

BLACK SWAN: $10 OIL [owing to deflation] (The Business Insider)

Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill: Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists (The Guardian)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday roundup (04-16-11)

Furious Greeks press for country to default on debt: Violence on the streets as backlash grows over Greece's austerity package and €110bn bailout (The Observer) IMF Believes Greece Should Consider Debt Restructuring By 2012 (The Wall Street Journal) Ex-PM says Greece should restructure debt: report (Reuters) Greek finance minister denies debt restructuring plan (Reuters) The German Government Is Designing Plans For A Greek Debt Restructuring (The Business Insider) German FinMin denies Greek debt restructuring plans (Reuters) Germany Would Back Greece Debt Restructuring, Hoyer Says (Bloomberg)

World finance chiefs chastise U.S. on budget gap (Reuters)

Stakes huge in partisan duel over U.S. deficit: If Republicans or Obama fail to deliver on promises to restore fiscal credibility, the result could be another major economic crisis. (The Los Angeles Times)

Boehner Says No to Raising the Debt Ceiling: The Speaker says significant budget cuts must come first (U. S. News & World Report)

Unofficial Problem Bank list at 978 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Philadelphia Orchestra declares bankruptcy (Agence France Presse) (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday roundup (04-15-11)

Europe Update: Ireland Downgraded, Greece to default? (Calculated Risk blog)

Europe ponders letting bailed-out nations default: Advocates say it's the best way to help the economies of Greece, Ireland and Portugal recover, and to keep the debt crisis from spreading. (The Los Angeles Times) The likes of Portugal should default on their debt: Conditional bailouts are a recipe for stagnation, social unrest and political turmoil – a co-ordinated debt default is preferable (The Guardian) "In any case, on the basis of these projections, you could argue that if Greece, Ireland and Portugal need to restructure, then so does the United States." (The Telegraph)

Moody’s Cuts Irish Rating Two Levels as Government Struggles to Plug Gap (Bloomberg) ECB Rate Rise Already Hurting Countries Like Ireland (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking? by Ellen Brown (Global

Feldstein Says U.S. Can’t Grow Out of Deficit Crisis: Tom Keene (Bloomberg)

Matt Taibbi "Justice Department Has No Appetite To Take ANY Cases Against Wall Street Executives" -- CNN via (Youtube)

Max Keiser bravely fends off the financial trolls - Ten O'clock live -- Britain's Channel 4 via (Youtube) 10 O'Clock Live – review: Ten O'Clock Live isn't yet The Daily Show, but this was a highly promising, confident debut (The Guardian)

Philadelphia Orchestra Close to Bankruptcy? (National Public Radio) (The Detroit News)

Cattle Rustlers Hear The Call Of High Beef Prices (National Public Radio)

Price of Tomatoes Has a Lot to Do With These Thefts (The New York Times)

Detroit to send layoff notices to all its [5,466] public teachers (Reuters)

NASA Space Shuttle Contractor Announces Layoffs for 2,800 Workers (Space)

Bank of America to cut 1,500 jobs at mortgage arm (Marketwatch)

Six More Bank Failures Raise Total for Year to 34 (The Associated Press)

Superior Bank of Birmingham AL had a troubled assets ratio of 335%. (BankTracker)

Bartow County Bank of Cartersville GA had a troubled assets ratio of 635.6%. (BankTracker)

New Horizons Bank of East Ellijay GA had a troubled assets ratio of 414.3%. (BankTracker)

Nexity Bank of Birmingham AL had a troubled assets ratio of 668.2%. (BankTracker)

Rosemount National Bank of Rosemount MN had a troubled assets ratio of 245.5%. (BankTracker)

Heritage Banking Group of Carthage MS had a troubled assets ratio of 258.2%. (BankTracker)

Michael Burry on the Financial Crisis (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog) Watch video of Michael Burry speaking April 5, 2011 on "Missteps to Mayhem: Inside the Doomsday Machine with the Outsider who Predicted and Profited from America's Financial Armageddon," as part of the 2010-2011 Chancellor's Lecture Series at Vanderbilt University. Burry, a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine alumnus profiled in author Michael Lewis' bestselling book The Big Short, is best-known as the first financial analyst to predict America's financial crisis. (Youtube)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday roundup (04-14-11)

Crisis not over without jobs recovery - IMF chief (The Independent)

Banks facing $3.6 trillion 'wall of maturing debt', IMF Global Financial Stability Report says: Debt-laden banks are the biggest threat to global financial stability and they must refinance a $3.6 trillion "wall of maturing debt" which comes due in the next two years, the International Monetary Fund said in its Global Financial Stability Report. (The Telegraph) IMF warns that Europe's debt problems are risk to financial stability: IMF report says vulnerability of banks threatens financial system (The Guardian)

IMF: Europe Needs To Refine, Strengthen Bailout Program Urgently (The Wall Street Journal)

Euro-Zone Debt Woes Rising Once Again (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Fears grow over Greek debt default despite bail-out: Fears that Greece will default on its debts soared on Thursday as the German finance minister admitted that a restructuring may be needed, despite last year's €110bn (£97bn) bail-out. (The Telegraph) Greece May Need Debt Restructuring After June, Schaeuble Tells Die Welt (Bloomberg) Greek, Portuguese Yields Surge to Record as Schaeuble Raises Restructuring (Bloomberg)

Why Congress should vote no on raising the debt ceiling by Christopher Whalen (Reuters blogs)

Gas price hikes threaten states' recovery (Reuters)

Why Has No One on Wall Street Gone to Jail (Yet)? (The Big Picture blog) In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures (The New York Times)

History bodes ill for stock market: Market’s valuation currently well above average (Marketwatch)

Soaring food costs pushing millions into poverty (The Associated Press) (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-14-11)

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 filed by U.S. workers grew by 27,000 in the week ended April 9, to a seasonally adjusted estimate of 412,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday." (Business First)

"'While the labor market is improving, the pace remains lumpy and sustainable traction remains difficult to achieve,' said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., of last week’s jump in initial unemployment claims back above 400,000." (Marketwatch)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday roundup (04-13-11)

Obama Proposes Cutting $4 Trillio n From Deficit in 12 Years (Bloomberg) Obama lays out vision for curing U.S. fiscal woes (Reuters)

HOLD EVERYTHING: There's No Budget Deal, And The Government May Still Shut Down (The Business Insider)

U.S. banks still face big foreclosure risks (Reuters)

Case Shiller 100 Year Chart (2011 Update) (The Big Picture blog)

Goldman blasted for conflicts of interest (CNN) Goldman Sachs, Rating Agencies Blamed in Crisis Probe (CNBC) Senate Panel Says Goldman Misled Clients, Lawmakers on CDOs (Bloomberg) Senate Investigations Subcommittee Releases Levin-Coburn Report On the Financial Crisis [press release with links to the report] (U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations)

Banks 1, nation states nil -- "The bald facts are that three years after the crisis in which banking almost brought down the global economy, the biggest banks are bigger, more global and more entrenched in their positions courtesy of a now all-but-explicit government guarantee." (Reuters blogs) Ex-Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker says breaking up Wall Street banks 'almost impossible': Paul Volcker, the former head of the Federal Reserve and a driving force behind financial reform in the US, has said that the task of splitting up Wall Street banks now seems "almost impossible". (The Telegraph) Bank risk culture, pay not curbed enough: survey (Reuters) IMF calls on European banks to boost their finances: Many European banks need bigger capital cushions to stop them being a risk to the global financial system and precipitating another crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says. (The BBC) Hoenig: The New GSEs [= government-sponsored entities] Are Citi, Bank of America (The Big Picture blog)

Greece denies it is heading towards default: Almost a year after Greece received the biggest bailout in history, demands are growing for a debt restructuring (The Guardian)

Japan cuts econ view, quake to squeeze profit margins (Reuters)

Losing Ground: Bad federal policy and intensifying storms are washing away the rich dark soils in the Midwest that made this country an agricultural powerhouse and that remain the essential foundation of a healthy and sustainable food system in the future. The Environmental Working Group produced this short film with Atlas Films that provides stark images illustrating how federal farm subsidies and ethanol mandates, piled on top of skyrocketing crop prices are supporting an intensive monoculture that kneecaps any hope for a more resilient and diverse food and farm system. Go to for more information. (Youtube)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday roundup (04-12-11)

Japan quake's economic impact worse than first feared (Reuters) Japan Lifts Atomic Alert to Highest Level, Matching Chernobyl (Bloomberg)

Debt Ceiling Fight Takes Center Stage: What It Means For You: If U.S. Debt Limit Isn't Raised, Interest Rates Would Surge and Markets Would Crash (ABCNews) A History of Debt Ceilings That Keep Going Up (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Former fed chairman says debt urgent issue (The Associated Press)

Our Debt Binge Is Ending — And The Middle Class Will Get Clobbered [released on April 5] (Yahoo! Tech Ticker)

Budget Deficit in U.S. Increased to $188.2 Billion in March (Bloomberg) U.S. to Have Largest Deficit of Major Economies, IMF Says (Bloomberg)

Deficit Forces Question: What Is Government's Role? (National Public Radio)

US needs to cut budget deficit soon, warns IMF (The Independent) US lacks credibility on debt, says IMF (The Financial Times)

Here come the downgrades for Q1 GDP Growth: Part III (Calculated Risk blog)

Fade the Inflation Hysteria (The Big Picture blog)

No Disguising This Horror Story (Financial Armageddon blog)

Nokia Could Cut Up To 6,000 R&D Jobs, Union Warns (Forbes blogs)

Allied Irish Banks to cut 2,000 jobs after revealing £9bn loss (The Telegraph) (Bloomberg) Allied Irish Banks apologises for losing €18bn: Executive chairman David Hodgkinson blames AIB meltdown on 'collective madness' (The Guardian)

NHS savings: London Ambulance Service to cut 890 jobs (The BBC)

Cisco Systems to shutter Flip camcorder unit, cut 550 jobs (The Los Angeles Times blogs)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday roundup (04-011-11)

Portugal bailout: three scenarios for Europe's economic future: It could be good news, bad news or really bad news for Europe depending on the form and extent of contagion (The Guardian)

Restructuring talk gains momentum in Greece (Reuters)

[US] Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise (The Associated Press) Gas Prices Rise, and Economists Seek Tipping Point (The New York Times)

White House: Not upping debt limit 'Armageddon-like' for economy (The Hill) Boehner says he wants guarantees before Congress raises debt limit (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Debt ceiling brawl threatens economy, consumers: Well before limit is reached, uncertainty could force interest rates higher (MSNBC) The Market Is Ignoring A Gigantic Imminent Risk, Because It's Just Too Scary To Contemplate (The Business Insider) U.S. Debt: The Biggest Trouble Is Yet To Come (Time blogs)

IMF urges US to address debt now (Agence France Presse)

Delinquent Loan Rates for Commercial Real Estate Reach All-Time High (Citybiz Real Estate)

Large Financial Institutions: Panel at INET's Bretton Woods Conference (6 of 7): The panelists discuss large complex financial institutions at INET's Bretton Woods Conference on April 9, 2011. The speaker in this segment is Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Global Economics and Management at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The other panelists are Erik Berglöf, Claudio Borio, Garry Schinasi, Andrew Sheng, and Anat Admati. (Youtube)

Number of New York City homeless reached record in 2010 (Reuters)

Peak Oil Price Scenario (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday roundup (04-10-11)

Quote of the Day:

"Middle-class America experienced a lost decade in their retirement accounts, whereas executives enjoyed record compensation packages through the subterfuge of stock option programs. There has been a massive wealth transfer from middle-class America’s retirement accounts to the bank accounts of the privileged few. The social consequences of this wealth transfer bear scrutiny." Albert Meyer, a money manager at Bastiat Capital, quoted in The New York Times via (The Big Picture blog)

Brinksmanship over the debt ceiling: ‘The stakes are too high’ (The Washington Post blogs)

President Obama, budget foes move to next phase of spending fight: Obama is set to the address the nation Wednesday on his debt-reduction strategy. House Republicans will vote on the GOP budget plan for 2012 by week's end. Future of Medicare, Medicaid is a major issue. (The Los Angeles Times)

Pimco's Gross betting against U.S. debt (Fortune) Bill Gross Is Now Short US Debt, Hikes Cash To $73 Billion, An All Time Record (ZeroHedge blog)

Gas prices in 'firing range' of all-time high (CNN)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday roundup (04-09-11)

Forget the bailout: the euro rate rise could finish off southern Europe: A new report is warning of the dangers in the ECB's tightening fiscal policy (The Observer) hAs Europe faces up to its troubles, rates can only climb further (The Independent)

Portugal rescue marks eurozone formal commitment to 'two-speed economy': The eurozone formally committed itself to a two-speed economy on Thursday after the central bank raised interest rates on the same day Portugal joined Ireland and Greece in officially requesting a bail-out. (The Telegraph)

Bailout talks for Portugal hit a snag [over debate over the size of the loan needed] (United Press International)

[Meanwhile...] A [Politically] Divided Portugal Is Unwilling to Commit to Bailout Terms (The New York Times) Portugal [is being] pushed to make deeper cuts in return for EU bail-out: EU ministers said that in return for an estimated €80bn (£70.7bn) in emergency loans over three years, Portugal would have to commit to further structural reforms to bring down its budget deficit and debt in a sustainable way. (The Telegraph) (Bloomberg) German Finance Minister Demands Politically Divided Portugal Cut Budget In Return For Bailout (The Business Insider)

Greek Loan Relief May Be Insufficient, Germany’s Schaeuble Says (Bloomberg)

Portugal will be our last rescue, vows Chancellor [of the British Exchequer George Osborne] -- "after Portugal, you're on your own" (The Daily Mail)

Budget deal [averting US government shutdown] foreshadows larger fight ahead: The last-minute resolution on 2011 was a victory for Republicans, and helped President Obama preserve his standing. But the wrangling offers little hope for an easy resolution to the next fight: lifting the U.S. debt ceiling. (The Los Angeles Times) After Historic Deal, Battles Loom Over Debt Ceiling, 2012 Budget (FoxNews) Obama calls for more compromise in future budget talks: In his weekly address, the president acknowledges that many of the $38 billion in spending cuts outlined in the eleventh-hour budget agreement will be painful but calls on congressional leaders to continue working together. (The Los Angeles Times)

Reeling from quake, Japan automakers cut output in U.S. plants (CNN blogs)

Unofficial Problem Bank list at 982 Institutions [five removals, two additions] (Calculated Risk blog)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday roundup (04-08-11)

Portugal told to implement reforms ahead of bailout -- "an unprecedented intervention in national politics" (The Irish Times) Europe scrambles to rescue Portugal from debt crisis: Debt-ridden Portugal's request for aid is no surprise, but it comes amid a political upheaval that has left Lisbon with a caretaker government that may not have the authority to agree to a bailout package. (The Los Angeles Times) In Portugal Crisis, Worries on Europe’s ‘Debt Trap’ (The New York Times)

Rating cuts would hurt Spain more than Portugal (Reuters)

Euro zone finmins warn Greece to control deficit (Reuters)

Some German Banks May Fall Short in Stress Tests (The New York Times)

It's even worse than we feared: Cost of [Britain's] national debt to each family is a staggering £138,360 (The Daily Mail)

Budget Deal Reached to Avert Shutdown [of US Government]; Vote Set Next Week After 6-Day ‘Bridge’ (The New York Times) Last-minute deal averts government shutdown: Congressional negotiators strike a deal to fund the government for the rest of the year. The agreement includes $39 billion in cuts and does not include provisions on Planned Parenthood or the Environmental Protection Agency. (The Los Angeles Times)

Wells Fargo Eliminates 1,900 Mortgage Jobs as Home Lending Slows (Bloomberg) l

Banks in Ill., Nev. fail; makes 28 closed in 2011 (The Associated Press) Western Springs National Bank and Trust of Western Springs IL had a troubled assets ratio of 359.5%. (BankTracker) Nevada Commerce Bank of Las Vegas NV had a troubled assets ratio of 426.6%. (BankTracker)

A Brief History of Banking Regulations (The Big Picture blog)

Bernard Madoff puts Ponzi scheme blame at door of banks: Bernie Madoff, the multi-billion dollar fraudster, has put the blame for his corrupt scheme with the banks that watched billions go in and out and never said a thing. (The Telegraph)

US corn reserves expected to fall to 15-year low (The Associated Press)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday roundup (04-7-11)

Ireland will need another bailout, says former IMF director: Ireland is unlikely to wrest control of its finances even in 2013 when the current IMF-EU deal runs out and will be forced to seek a second bailout, according to a former IMF executive (The Guardian)

Osborne: eurozone crisis shows dangers to UK: Chancellor George Osborne tells business leaders the need for bailouts in the eurozone show why Britian must cut the national deficit. (The Telegraph) George Osborne must act before Britain is sucked into the euro whirlpool (The Telegraph blogs)

Greek 2010 deficit topped 10 percent, needs action - source (Reuters) Greek Sovereign Debt Remains Riskiest In World During 1Q - CMA (The Wall Street Journal)

ECB encouraged Portugal to seek bailout aid - Trichet (Reuters) Portugal has been caught in the classic debt trap: After Ireland, it was only a matter of time. Portugal has been in the bond market’s headlights since November last year, when the Irish caved into pressure and took a €85bn rescue package. (The Telegraph) Another PIIG to slaughter: What's next for Europe? (Time blogs) The EU Bailouts Aren't Over Until They're Over (The Wall Street Journal)

The euro's Achilles heel: Sounder public finances, but a weaker economy: that is Italy today (The Economist)

Central banks move in different directions (The Washington Post) ECB leaves question of further rises open (The Financial Times)

US Going Same Route as Greece, Portugal: [According to Chief] Economist [at Wells Fargo] (CNBC)

Obama, Leaders Fail to Reach Deal in U.S. Budget Negotiations (Bloomberg) Sticking points in the government shutdown battle (Yahoo! The Ticket blog)

[US] Budget deficit hits $830 billion for half the year -- "That's a remarkable figure, almost double the full-year deficits for any year before 2009." (USA Today)

Home prices double-dip in West but flatten nationally: Clear Capital (Housing Wire)

Consumers Step Up Student, Auto Loans, Cut Back on Credit Cards (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

IMF: "Increased Scarcity" Ahead For Oil Markets (The Wall Street Journal) IMF warns oil growing scarce, more costly (Agence France Presse)

Chart: The Staggering Rise of Genetically Engineered Crops (The Atlantic)