Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday roundup (08-13-12)

Extreme heat and droughts -- a recipe for world food woes (CNN)

Another Great Depression 'a sure thing' [according to past CNBC guest Paul Gambles, managing partner at MBMG International] (The Nation of Bangkok)

Pimco Says 2012 Global Recession Risk at 'A Third': Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., discusses European Union bond purchases, the outlook for the euro zone and the global economy. He speaks from Newport Beach, California, with Linda Yueh on Bloomberg Television's "Econ Edge." [Aug. 10] (Bloomberg)

Investors Prepare for Euro Collapse: Banks, companies and investors are preparing themselves for a collapse of the euro. Cross-border bank lending is falling, asset managers are shunning Europe and money is flowing into German real estate and bonds. The euro remains stable against the dollar because America has debt problems too. But unlike the euro, the dollar's structure isn't in doubt. (Spiegel Online)

Euro zone output expected to shrink in second-quarter (Reuters)

What the Habsburg Empire can tell us about breaking up the euro zone (The Washington Post blogs) Why a Breakup of the Euro Area Must Be Avoided: Lessons from Previous Breakups (The Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Euro-zone Debt Crisis Weighs on Germany Economy (Dow Jones Newswires)

World shipping crisis threatens German dominance as Greeks win long game: Germany’s shipping industry faces a wave of bankruptcies over coming months as funding dries up and deepening economic woes across the world cause a sharp contraction in container trade. (The Telegraph)

Greece sinks again, more cuts to save bailout in store (Reuters)

Italy Public Debt Hits Record, Bailout Looms (Reuters)

Spanish and Italian commercial real estate markets meltdown (American Thinker)

[Bank of England Governor] King Urged to Widen Recovery Measures (The Financial Times)

Japan GDP Points to a Shaky Recovery (The Wall Street Journal) Japan Post-Quake Rebound Wanes As Spending Nears Stall: Economy (Bloomberg)

Japan needs a new economic miracle: With a stunning debt load and an aging population, dramatic steps are called for. (The Los Angeles Times)

[US] Recession Risk 'Uncomfortably High': Moody's (The Street)

A Mutual Fund Master, Too Worried to Rest (The New York Times)

Can [Republican Vice Presidential candidate] Paul Ryan sell austerity? (Politico)

How Romney and Ryan Would Protect Too-Big-To-Fail Banks (Think Progress) Forget Paul Ryan's Budget: His Scariest Idea Is About the Federal Reserve (The Atlantic) Romney reiterates vow to repeal Dodd-Frank (Bank Credit News)

With Both Presidential Candidates Full Of Hot Air, El-Erian Warns Of Populist Anger Returning (ZeroHedge blog)

Goldman Sachs will not be charged by the Department of Justice for any role in the financial crisis. William Black, U of Missouri associate professor, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Bethany McLean, discuss. (CNBC)

Economists see budget impasse blocking growth (USAToday)

More and More Americans Are Reaching Into Their Wallets... ...and discovering that Wall Street's long anticipated consumer revival is nothing more than a cruel joke ... (Financial Armageddon blog)

Problems Riddle Moves to Collect Credit Card Debt (The New York Times)

Postal Service Loses $5.2 Billion Including Skipped Payment (Bloomberg)

How big is Social Security's funding shortfall? (The Associated Press)

You just can’t see this often enough [= graph of the health care spending curve] (The Incidental Economist) The Concentration of Health Care Spending (The National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation)

Hundred-Year Forecast: Drought (The New York Times)

Why Google's anti-piracy search crackdown won't affect YouTube (CNNMoney)

Google cutting 4,000 workers at Motorola Mobility in largest layoffs yet (The Associated Press) Google cuts 4,000 jobs at Motorola Mobility (USAToday) Google to cut 4,000 Motorola Mobility jobs, shares rise (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats that exist today could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. This blog further attempts to show that the financial crisis of 2008 was largely a result of the devastating consequences of excessive risk taking and the absence of effective regulation of such behavior. Furthermore, this blog maintains that not only have the lessons that should have been learned from this experience not been learned, but that the risks to the economy, including the persistent building up of "too big to fail" institutions, have actually increased since the crisis began. Finally this blog also brings to light, from time to time, reports of a parallel threat to economic well-being developing in the energy industry, which suggest that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

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