Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday roundup (02-29-12)


Run on European banks averted by £900bn mass loans programme, says Sir Mervyn King (This is Money)

ECB throws open liquidity floodgates again (Agence France-Presse)

ECB's Mario Draghi raises the stakes with trillion euro gamble: The European Central Bank is doubling up on a very risky bet. (The Telegraph) Draghi Bazooka has not yet stopped Club Med money collapse (The Telegraph blogs)

Growth hurdles could halt euro periphery debt rally (Reuters)

Second Bailout for Greece 'Will Not Be the Last': The German parliament may have passed the second rescue package for Greece, but Chancellor Merkel had to contend with dissenting backbenchers and a loose-lipped cabinet minister who wants Greece out of the euro zone. German commentators, too, warn that Athens will be dependent on European help for years to come. (Spiegel Online)

Hushed Up: Secret Panel Holds Fate of Greek CDS (The Wall Street Journal)

Greek Default Payouts May Bring Some Costly Surprises (Reuters)

Spanish PM says deficit situation 'difficult' (Agence France-Presse)

Five Largest Banks 'Should Be Broken Up': Fed’s Fisher (CNBC)

Growing Number Of Americans Can't Afford Food, Study Finds (The Huffington Post blog)

Household Deleveraging Slows Recovery (The Big Picture blog) Economy still hobbled by weak housing, high debts: Middle-class families under pressure (MarketWatch)

Fannie Mae seeks $4.6 billion in aid after Q4 loss (Reuters) The Bank Bailout's Ugly Stepsister: Fannie Mae Still Losing Billions (Forbes)

Stockton, Calif., Moves Closer to Bankruptcy (The New York Times)

Student Loan Debt Hits Home for Bernanke (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Blizzard Entertainment cuts global workforce by 600 jobs after review of business operations (The Associated Press)

     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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday roundup (02-28-12)


Euro leaders delay decision on bigger bailout fund (The Associated Press)

Moody's: Greek Debt Default Risk 'Remains High' (The Voice of America) Greece's Debt Crisis Bodes Ill for Us All (The Huffington Post blog)

Irish EU treaty vote threatens chaos: Ireland has shocked Europe with plans for a referendum on the EU's fiscal treaty, a move that risks an unprecedented fragmentation of the eurozone and a major clash with Germany. (The Telegraph) Vote may decide if Ireland survives storm or faces catastrophe (The Irish Times) "'This referendum carries huge risks,' said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London, said. 'The euro area is already very busy with Greece. Opening another front in Ireland is not good in terms of timing. It may increase nervousness about the future of the euro area’s perimeter.'" (Bloomberg)

Spain under pressure to enact more austerity after 2011deficit comes in higher than forecast (The Associated Press) Spain adds to euro crisis: The country is running a larger deficit than it expected, creating new headaches for eurozone finance ministers. (MSN)

BOJ Kamezaki warns Europe debt woes hold lessons for Japan (Reuters)

Obama: Auto bailouts worked (CNNMoney) Obama Demagogues UAW: "It Would Have Been Another Great Depression" Without Auto Bailout (Youtube)



Home prices tumble in December: S&P (Reuters) Case Shiller: House Prices fall to new post-bubble lows in December (Calculated Risk blog) As Home Prices Fall Further, Is It Time to Buy? ["No."] (CNBC) Throwing cash at the housing market [= buying houses outright with cash] will make it worse (Fortune)

U.S. housing secretary says FHA faces big risks (Reuters)

Durable Goods Orders in U.S. Drop 4%, Marking Worst Decline in Three Years (Bloomberg) Durable Goods Orders Dropped Sharply Last Month (The Capital Spectator)

To Pay New York Pension Fund, Cities Borrow From It First (The New York Times) Raiding the coffers (The Economist blogs)

MF Global: Crime, Comedy and the Cover-Up by Janet Tavakoli (The Huffington Post blog)

Stockton [CA] on verge of filing for bankruptcy (KABC)

What's Your Favorite "On the Ground" Recession Indicator? by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Jackson Health System to cut 1,115 jobs: Jackson announces new job cuts amounting to 10 percent of its workforce, as the public hospital system continues to struggle for its financial footing. (The Miami Herald) 1,115 Jobs To Be Eliminated at Jackson Health System: The SEIU Local president said her union is appalled by the "massive layoffs" (NBC Miami)

IBM Cuts More Than 1,000 Jobs in U.S., Canada, Group Says (Bloomberg)

I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine. (Mother Jones)

     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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday roundup (02-27-12)


Europe’s Lending Stays Slow Despite Easy Cash (The New York Times)

Standard & Poor's cuts euro rescue fund outlook to negative (Agence France-Presse)

Germany finds itself back in power in Europe: Germany is the unquestioned boss amid Europe's debt crisis and economic woes. But the turnaround has inspired discomfort among its neighbors and among Germans. (The Los Angeles Times)

Merkel warns risks of Greek bankruptcy 'incalculable' (Agence France-Presse) German parliament back Merkel's £108bn Greek bailout despite fierce public opposition (The Daily Mail)

S&P Declares Greece in Default (The Wall Street Journal) S&P says Greece in 'selective default' on bonds (Agence France-Presse)

Italian Business Confidence Declines to Two-Year Low: Economy (Bloomberg)

Capital Flight From Italy, Greece, Portugal Accelerates; Two Trillion Fantasy; Merkel Weaker Every Week; Crude and Geopolitical Risks (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Is Japan Doomed? (Reuters)

Why We Should Still Be Worried about a Double-Dip Recession by James Rickards (U. S. News & World Report blogs)

US credit-card debt nearing toxic levels (The New York Post)

[Federal Law Enforcement Officials Say That] MF Global Was Sloppy, But Not Criminal -- "the odds are long that a criminal case will be filed" (FoxBusiness)

ROFL! Buffett Calls Banks "Victims" by Karl Denninger (The Market Ticker blog)

Gas prices keep rising: $3.70 nationally, $4.29 in California (The Los Angeles Times)

EXTEND & PRETEND COMING TO AN END (The Burning Platform)

     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.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday roundup (02-26-12)


Oil price rise raises specter of global recession (Reuters)

Eurozone to worsen - German experts (Agence France-Presse)

G20 finance ministers tell eurozone to boost rescue fund: $2tn global rescue package hinges on action in Europe, before other countries would consider additional IMF contributions (The Guardian) G20 leaders insist no more IMF cash unless eurozone boosts financial firewall: The world's leading economic powers said they would not stump up more cash to fight Europe's debt crisis until the eurozone members increase their own contributions, in a move that piles pressure on this week's Brussels summit. (The Telegraph) European Leaders Focus on Boosting $672 Billion Firewall After G-20 Rebuff (Bloomberg)

ECB opens its cash taps again (Reuters) For Europe, Bank Loans, Round 2 (The New York Times)

Geithner, Schaeuble Spar Over Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)

Germans overwhelmingly oppose Greek bailout: poll (Reuters)

Greece Must Quit Euro to Resolve Debt, Roubini Tells Kathimerini (Bloomberg)

Spanish revolt brews as national economic rearmament begins in Europe: Spain's new prime minister has looked into the abyss and recoiled. (The Telegraph)

Osborne: UK has run out of money: The Government 'has run out of money' and cannot afford debt-fuelled tax cuts or extra spending, George Osborne has admitted. (The Telegraph)

Chancellor George Osborne rules out new Eurozone bailout: Britain and other leading economies are not ready to fund another eurozone bailout, George Osborne said today. (The Telegraph)

'Debt noose tightening' on [UK] families (WalesOnline)

Tokyo Based Hedge Fund AIJ May Have Lost/Stolen All Customer Pension Fund Money (Jesse's Café Américain blog) AIJ Suspension Undermines Japan Pensions Hedge Fund Appetite (Bloomberg) AIJ moved huge sums to Cayman Islands, Hong Kong (The Asahi Shimbun) AIJ Investment routed pension money to Cayman Islands - Nikkei (Reuters)

Economic Data Indicating Improvement?: Insight on whether the recent economic data shows the U.S. economy is growing, with Lakshman Achuthan, Economic Cycle Research co-founder/chief operations officer, who says GDP growth peaked in Q3 in 2010 and fell by Q2 2011, and have flat-lined since then and the U.S. Coincidence index has fallen (CNBC)



Stockton bankruptcy move should be a lesson to all cities (The Contra Costa Times)

Foreclosure settlement a failure of law, a triumph for bank attorneys (The Washington Post)

Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 960 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

     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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday roundup (02-25-12)


OECD chief urges 'mother of all firewalls' for eurozone (Agence France-Presse) G-20 Meeting Focuses on Euro Firewall Fund (The New York Times)

No Silver Bullet to Resolve Europe Debt Crisis, World Bank’s Zoellick Says (Bloomberg)

German cabinet minister calls for Greek euro exit: Germany’s interior minister called for Greece to leave the eurozone on Saturday as hopes that the world’s richest countries would stump up more cash to help the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fight Europe’s debt crisis faded. (The Telegraph) German minister tells Greece to exit eurozone (Agence France-Presse) German minister first in govt call for Greece euro exit (Reuters)

Germany Seen as Holdup in Approving Bailout Funding (Reuters)

Greek Debt Deal Merely Buys Time: World Bank's Zoellick (CNBC)

US deficit 'accident waiting to happen,' says IIF head (Agence France-Presse)

Rents Keep Rising, Even as Housing Prices Fall (The New York Times)

David Rosenberg Presents The Six Pins That Can Pop The Complacency Bubble (ZeroHedge blog)

[Irish utility] ESB will slash up to 700 jobs in cost-cutting deal worth €140m (The Irish Independent)

     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.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday roundup (02-24-12)


Obama Says Europe Has More Work Ahead on Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)

ECB’s Weidmann Says Europe Must Be Ready If Debt Crisis Worsens (Bloomberg)

ECB May Allot 470 Billion Euros in 3-Year Crisis Loans: Economy (Bloomberg)

IIF Chief: Without Debt Swap, Euro-Zone Strains Unmanageable (Dow Jones Newswires) [But on the other hand ...] ECB Greek bond swap could pile pressure on euro zone: S&P (Reuters)

3 Big European Banks [Royal Bank of Scotland, Crédit Agricole, and Dexia] Post Losses (The New York Times blogs) [Plus ...] Lloyds losses top £3.5bn – and bank warns of more to come (The Scotsman)

Eurogroup head cannot rule out third Greek bailout (Reuters) [And German Finance Minister] Schäuble concedes third Greek bailout on the cards (The Irish Times)

Despite second bailout, Greece is still a time bomb (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Time for Greece to leave not just euro but EU itself (The Irish Times)

Punk Economics: Lesson 1: David McWilliams, Irish economist, gives us our first lesson in punk economics. [Posted Jan. 30, 2012] (Youtube)



Punk Economics: Lesson 2: Irish economist David McWilliams explains the ECB's massive cash for trash scheme -- bailing out banks with your money.  [Posted Feb. 23, 2012] (Youtube)



GREEK DEBT EXCLUSIVE: DEFAULT PLANNERS ‘FALLING OUT OVER FIREWALL’ – Sources (The Slog blog)

Household and government spending failed to prop up UK economy in Q4: Office for National Statistics confirms earlier estimate that the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the last three months of 2011 (The Guardian)

Price of Oil Hits Record High in Euros and British Pounds; Oil Shock Coming; Nancy Pelosi Blames Speculators; What About Iran? Israeli Intelligence Concludes "No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program" (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

A new [US] recession seems inevitable (CNNMoney) ECRI Sticks to Recession Call, Even Amid Positive Signs (CNBC)

Stockton [CA] to Take Steps Toward Bankruptcy, City Manager Says (Bloomberg)

New Home Sales: 2011 Still the Worst Year, "Distressing Gap" remains very wide (Calculated Risk blog)

A mirror in the real estate sun – Japan posts record trade deficit while real estate values go deep into the 1980s. US has decade long collapse in real estate values in spite of record low mortgage rates. The path of two lost decades in US real estate values is looking very similar to Japan. (Dr. Housing Bubble)

Bank Lobby Widened Volcker Rule, Inciting Foreign Outrage (Bloomberg) The Volcker Rule, Made Bloated and Weak (The New York Times blogs) Banks play the liquidity card to kill real reform: Wall Street lobbies hard against the Volcker Rule and restrictions on high-frequency trading to preserve its bottom line. (The Fiscal Times)

Too Big to Jail by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate)

Battle lines forming between MF Global customers, hedge funds (Reuters)

JPM Has MF Global's Missing Funds?: The mystery of the MF Global bankruptcy continues to be the location of the missing funds. Chris Whalen, of Tangent Capital Partners, says JPMorgan and big banks are keeping the money safe. (CNBC)



Janet Tavakoli: Financial Sector Executives Commit Fraud, Avoid Prosecution, and Make Future Crises Inevitable (Capitalism Without Failure)



Regulators close small banks in Georgia, Minnesota, making 11 bank failures in 2012 (The Associated Press)

Central Bank of Georgia of Ellaville GA had a troubled assets ratio of 237.9%. (BankTracker)

Home Savings of America of Little Falls MN had a troubled assets ratio of 380.6%. (BankTracker)

What Rising Gasoline Prices Do to the Economy by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog) Rising Gasoline Prices Point to Consumer Spending Risk (Calculated Risk blog)

     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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday roundup (02-23-12)


Eurozone slips into double-dip recession (SkyNews) Europe Forecasts ‘Mild Recession’ for Euro Zone in 2012 (The New York Times) Euro-Region Economy Poised to Shrink in 2012 as Italy Contracts With Spain (Bloomberg)

[As the Eurozone enters recession] ECB's Draghi says euro zone [is] recovering slowly (Reuters)

How Austerity Hinders an Economic Recovery (The Business Insider)

Huge private debts pose bigger hurdle for euro zone (Reuters)

Europe's banks bleed from Greek debt crisis (Reuters)

German showdown with IMF looms as Bundestag blocks rescue funds: Germany's ruling parties are to introduce a resolution in parliament blocking any further boost to the EU’s bail-out machinery, vastly complicating Greece’s rescue package and risking a major clash with the International Monetary Fund. (The Telegraph)

Portugal Needs More Money To Stay Afloat: With its massive austerity measures, Portugal has become the poster child of the troika of the EU, ECB and IMF. But the country is still stuck in a deep recession and it is unclear how it will return to growth. It may need to rely on European loans for years to come. (Spiegel Online) Next worry: Portugal (The blogs of The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

UK housing market heading for 'lost decade', warns Collins Stewart: Britain’s housing market is heading for a “lost decade” and Government aid to support the industry is based on “bunkum” projections of a property shortage in the UK. (The Telegraph)

Can U.S. economy withstand gasoline price curse? (Reuters)

Million-dollar foreclosures rise as rich walk away (CNNMoney)

Stockton [CA] Bankruptcy: City Would Be Largest In American History To Declare Bankruptcy (The Huffington Post blog) California’s Stockton Said to Plan Default, Bankruptcy Vote (Bloomberg)

Bankers escape big penalties in FDIC failed bank cases (Reuters)

Junk ETFs Draw Most Cash on Record as High-Yield Hunt Speeds Up (Bloomberg)

Postal service downsizing plan cuts 35,000 jobs: Boss says agency needs to reduce $20 billion in annual costs by 2015 (Reuters)

P&G to cut [5,700 jobs or] about 10 percent of non-manufacturing jobs (Reuters)

Centrica Cuts [About 2,300] Jobs, Drops Storage Plan (The Wall Street Journal)

Dangerous Ideas (ChrisMartenson)

Kondratieff Waves and the Greater Depression of 2013 - 2020 (The Market Oracle)

New from Kilkenomics Festival: My [Max Keiser's] interview with Irish Times that they never published (but PirateMyfilm brings it to you) (MaxKeiser



     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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 02-23-12)


A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. (See this post.)

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 were unchanged in the week ended Feb. 18 at 351,000, the fewest since March 2008, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

"We've now dropped below 370,000 for three consecutive weeks, and four of the last six weeks." (MSNBC blogs)

Jobless claims hold steady at 4-year low (Reuters)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday roundup (02-22-12)


Soros Sees Merkel Shoving Europe Into ‘Deflationary Debt Trap’ (Bloomberg) Merkel Signals She Will Keep Austerity Pressure on Greece (Bloomberg)

Euro zone teetering on brink of recession (Reuters)

Europe’s Short-Sighted Obsession With Austerity (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

ECB's Mario Draghi magic corrupts bond markets: The European Central Bank's blitz of measures to stave off a credit crunch and shore up EMU states are profoundly distorting debt markets and may ultimately do more harm than good. (The Telegraph) ECB cash glut may not free up euro zone lending (Reuters)

US to Europe: build bigger debt firewall (Reuters) EU firewall comes before G-20 aid to IMF: Brainard (Marketwatch) Japan, UK finmins call for less IMF reliance - FT (Reuters)

EU’s sovereign debt is nothing compared with Europeans’ household debt mountain (Reuters)

Greek Bailout Leaves Europe on Road to Disaster: Clive Crook (Bloomberg)

Fitch Cuts Greece, Near-Term Default ‘Highly Likely’ (CNBC) SLOG PREDICTION VINDICATED AS FITCH DOWNGRADES GREECE, TO CALL DEFAULT ON BOND SWAP (The Slog blog) Greeks still fear bankruptcy despite bailout: The winter sun shining over Athens did little to dispel the gloom among Greeks Tuesday as they greeted a bailout deal by warning it was still only a matter of time before the country goes bust. (Agence France-Presse)

How Did Greece Mask Its Debt? [posted yesterday, but without ability to embed the excellent video below] (5min)




Gas Prices Rise Again: Average Price Now $3.59 (ABC World News Tonight)

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The Homes Sales Reporting Tragedy (The Golden Truth blog) Housing market perks up, but prices are still falling (MSNBC) U.S. mortgage applications sagged last week: MBA (Reuters) The Decline In Inventory Right Now is NOT a Good Sign (The Big Picture blog)

Current Housing Bust Much Worse Than Great Depression (Global Macro Monitor blog)

Pimco Said to Quit Mortgage Bond Group (Bloomberg)

Why Save When Borrowing is So Cheap? (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Whitney Sees ‘Danger Zone’ After Forecast (Bloomberg) Middle Class Getting Pushed Out of Banking: Whitney (CNBC)



Chris Christie to Warren Buffett: Just 'shut up' (CNNMoney)



Leicestershire councils to cut 1,600 jobs after budgets agreed (The BBC)

ADM to eliminate 1,200 jobs (The Associated Press)

Oil: In Perpetuity No More (Truth Out)

The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash: The Black-Scholes equation was the mathematical justification for the trading that plunged the world's banks into catastrophe (The Guardian)

     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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday roundup (02-21-12)


ECB preparing to close liquidity floodgates (Reuters) [But ...] Banks to gulp half a trillion euros from ECB (Reuters) [And ...] TEXT - S&P: Funding is tight for Eurozone banks despite ECB loans (Reuters)

Greece Reaches Agreement on Biggest Sovereign Restructuring [in History] (Bloomberg)

Greece Bailout Wards Off Europe Meltdown (The Associated Press)

Bailout deal means more pain for Greece (USAToday) Greece must seal debt swap by around March 10 - PM (Reuters)

Greece Is Still Doomed: Why the New Bailout Is a Fantasy (The Atlantic) The improbable Greece plan (Reuters blogs) Leaked Memo Blows The Lid Off Of The Entire Greek Bailout (The Business Insider) Presenting The Full Greek (Un)Sustainability Analysis - Take It Away German Media (Zerohedge blog) Leaked Troika Document Uncovers Greek debt-deal Charade (Russia Today)



How Goldman Sachs helped mask Greece’s debt (Bureau of Investigative Journalism) How Goldman Sachs helped mask Greece's debt [VIDEO] (The BBC)

Roubini Says Greek Austerity Measures Will Worsen Debt Dynamics (Bloomberg)

Greek debt accord hostage to political passions: Eurozone leaders have put off the day of reckoning for a few more months but the latest €130bn rescue package for Greece offers no path out of the crisis and is hostage to explosive political passions. (The Telegraph)

In Latest Greek Bailout, Warning Signs for Europe (The New York Times) For Greece, a Bailout; for Europe, Perhaps Just an Illusion (The New York Times blogs) Greek Rescue Leaves Europe Default Risk Alive (Bloomberg)

After Greece deal, Portugal and Ireland may be next (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Playboy Interview: Paul Krugman: A candid conversation with the Nobel Prize-winning economist and controversial columnist about how the economy went crazy and whether it can be fixed (Playboy)

One in four Americans has more debt than savings (MSNBC) Consumers feel less financially secure than a year ago, poll finds (The Chicago Tribune) Bankrate: Only 54% of Americans Have More Emergency Savings than Credit Card Debt (BankRate)

The Scariest Housing Market Chart Ever (The Business Insider)

Surging gas prices threaten to derail economic recovery: The average cost for regular gasoline in California has climbed past $4 a gallon, with prospects for even higher prices ahead. The recent dramatic increases nationally and statewide could hurt consumers and, in turn, the broader economy. (The Los Angeles Times) Will Rising Gasoline Prices Derail The Economic Recovery? (The Capital Spectator)

Gazprom says has fully restored Russian gas supplies to Europe (Platts)

The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria (Youtube)



MF Global Failure Creating Tax Nightmare for Farmers (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.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday roundup (02-20-12)


European crisis hit fourth-quarter growth in developed economies (The Los Angeles Times)

12 EU leaders call for open markets to fuel growth (The Associated Press)

Europe passes the last exit. A great crisis lies ahead. (Fabius Maximus blog)

Euro Zone Strikes Deal on 2nd Greek Bailout Package (Reuters)

Do We Really Know Greece's Default Will Be Orderly? (Of Two Minds blog)

How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street by Ellen Brown (Common Dreams)

Half Of UK Directors See High Risk Of Euro-Zone Breakup - Poll (Dow Jones Newswires)


Irish Home Loans 90+ Days Delinquent Hits 9.2%; Spain Lending Shrinks at Record Pace (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Japan’s Trade Deficit Widens to a Record as Export Slump Deepens: Economy (Bloomberg)

Economic crisis slows U.S. population growth [to slowest rate since the Great Depression] (USAToday)

     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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday roundup (02-19-12)


GREEK D-DAY: SLOG US SOURCE CONFIRMS WALL ST PLANS AS SECRET BERLIN TIMETABLE EMERGES (The Slog blog) Germany drawing up plans for Greece to leave the euro: Plans for Greece to default, potentially leaving the euro, have been drafted in Germany as the European Union begins to face up to the fact that Greek debt is spiralling out of control - with or without a second bailout. (The Telegraph) Euro Area Leaders Consider Greek Currency Exit at Their Own Peril: View (Bloomberg)

[versus] Euro zone ministers set to back €130bn loan to Greece today [= Monday] (The Irish Times) Germany bows to global pressure and signals Greek rescue deal: Europe’s key powers are on the brink of a €130bn (£108bn) debt deal to rescue Greece and avert the first sovereign default in Western Europe in over half a century. (The Telegraph) Greek premier rushes to Brussels to secure bailout amid uncertainty over spending controls (The Associated Press)

IMF Draft Sees Greek Debt Reaching 129% of GDP in 2020 (The Wall Street Journal)

Greece and the bridge of fools (Reuters) Learning Activities from the History of Mathematics by Frank J. Swetz, p. 171 (Google Books)

Can a return to the drachma save Greece as unemployment soars?: Greece’s unemployment bomb has detonated. After a deceptive calm, the surge in job losses since last summer is shocking even for those who never believed that combined fiscal and monetary contraction could possibly lead to any result other than ruin. (The Telegraph)

Thousands In Athens Protest Austerity; Youths Clash With Police (Dow Jones Newswires)

China acts to crank up credit as lending, economy slow (Reuters) China Eases Bank Reserve Requirement (The Wall Street Journal)

In Alabama, a County That Fell Off the Financial Cliff (The New York Times) Lawyers costing Jefferson County $250,000 per week (Al.com blogs)

Surge in temp workers reflects fundamental change in American workplace (The Washington Post)

Off in the Distance [CHART showing current housing bust vs. other housing busts in US history] (Financial Armageddon blog)

Student Loans Near $1 Trillion Hurt Young U.S. Buyers: Mortgages (Bloomberg)

Delta: Commercial real estate forecast is cloudy (The Washington Post)

Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year (CNBC)

     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.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday roundup (02-18-12)


The European project is splitting apart at the very core: A gulf is growing between France and Germany over the future of the eurozone. (The Telegraph)

A Primer on the Euro Breakup (The Big Picture blog)

Greek cabinet backs extra austerity measures (Reuters)

Italy’s central bank chief confirms 2012 will be ‘year of recession;” predicts growth in 2013 (The Associated Press)

Italy must rapidly implement, extend reforms: central bank (Reuters)

Detroit’s Bing Strikes Deal With Firefighters in Bid to Avert Takeover [of the City by the State] (Bloomberg)

A Fog Warning, Again, for Municipal Bonds (The New York Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 956 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

These 10 Countries Are Struggling With The Deepest Debt In The World [The United Kingdom, Germany, France, The United States, Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Japan (No. 1)] [24/7 Wall St via] (The Business Insider) The Cancer Of Debt And Deficits (The Business Insider)

     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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday roundup (02-17-12)


Quote of the Day:

"... we are left with a sense that the probability of delivering the largest default loss in history in a disorderly way on or before 20 March has increased relative to doing so in an orderly way." -- William Porter, credit strategist at Credit Suisse (ZeroHedge blog)

Too Late for the Euro?: A decade into its ambitious currency experiment, the Eurozone is in trouble. Business school professor David Beim, a financial-markets expert and former investment banker, says the euro's hour of reckoning is at hand. (Columbia Magazine)

Athens rehearses nightmare of default (The Financial Times)

How Rescuing Greece Could Destroy the World (CNBC)

Japan slowly wakes up to doomsday debt risk (Reuters)

Geithner Says Debt Limit Likely to Be Reached in 2012 (The National Journal)

CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression (U. S. News & World Report) The United States is Experiencing the Longest Stretch of High Unemployment Since the Great Depression (Congressional Budget Office Director's Blog)

The Farce-Hole Gets Deeper: Obama's "Robo-Settlement For Votes" Cost To Taxpayers: $40 Billion (ZeroHedge blog)

Euro Debt Crisis Could Cripple U.S. Business Travel: The economic climate abroad has potentially severe ramifications to U.S. business travel as owners lose interest in European business opportunities. (Inc)

     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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday roundup (02-16-12)


GREEK DEFAULT EXCLUSIVE: SENIOR US BANKERS GIVEN EXPLICIT TIMETABLE FOR ATHENS DEFAULT [per the blog of John Ward, a retired adman in Britain] (The Slog blog) GREEK DEFAULT PLAN: JP Morgan also possesses it. (The Slog blog) Greece “Officially Defaults” March 23, Banks Close (ETF Daily News)

Germany's smear campaign against Greece (The Telegraph blogs) Flaming February: The game of brinkmanship continues to the very end (The Economist) Germany is 'playing with fire' on Greece, warns finance minister: Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos accused European leaders of "playing with fire" by trying to oust the beleaguered country from the eurozone amid fears they want to delay releasing the €130bn (£108bn) bail-out until after Greek elections in April. (The Telegraph)

Greece: The jig is just about up (The blogs of The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Web Chat: The Greek Crisis and the Implications for the U.S. Economy (The Brookings Institution)

Bailed-out Portugal's jobless rate hits new record (The Associated Press)

Europe car sales slump amid debt crisis: New car sales slumped in Europe last month as the eurozone debt crisis weighed on consumer spending. (The Telegraph)

Is Japan next?: Japan's debt levels have ballooned to a level that makes Greece look like a steward of capital. Wall Street has noticed, and it's placing its bets. (Fortune)

U.S. officials urge Europe to deal with its crisis (Reuters)

President Obama’s gimmicky budget would commit the U.S. to decline (The Washington Post) Obama's Budget: The Decline and Fall of the American Economy (Forbes)

It’s official! Obama breaks promise to cut budget deficit in half (The Houston Chronicle blogs)

Poor America - Panorama [BBC] - Broadcast Date: 13th February 2012 (Youtube)



Number of foreclosed homes climbed in January (CNNMoney)

Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say: Report found 84 pct of San Francisco disclosures illegal (Reuters) New report finds near-universal irregularities in foreclosures (The Los Angeles Times)

Citi fined $158 million for gaming federal housing program (CNNMoney)

Volcker Rule May Hurt Bank Liquidity, Bipartisan Senators Tell Regulators (Bloomberg) Some Surprising Volcker-Rule Haters (Daily Finance)

Chris Whalen: JPM and the Banks Have the MF Global Money And the Status Quo Is Protecting Them (Jesse's Café Américain blog) Keiser Report: German Empire vs Greek Carthage (E250): In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss a 'Grexit' after the Carthaginian peace deal and also safety net critics and collateralized hemlock futures. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Chris Whalen of Tangent Capital about Greek deals, gold and raising interest rates to save the economy. (Russia Today)



Bill Black: How Fraud Leads to Recurrent, Intensifying Financial Crises, and Steps We Must Take To Stop that Cycle (Capitalism Without Failure)

USPS says it faces annual loss of $18B without cuts to Saturday delivery, stamp price increase (The Associated Press) Postal Service Seeks 50-Cent Stamps to Avoid ‘Taxpayer Burden’ (Bloomberg) Plan Calls for 50-Cent First-Class Stamp (The Wall Street Journal)

More Layoffs [= 630 jobs] Coming in Bankrupt Ala County (The Associated Press)

     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.