Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday roundup (04-30-12)


ILO warns global employment situation is 'alarming' (The BBC) No recovery in sight for jobs, warns ILO: Fiscal austerity and tough labour reforms have failed to create jobs, leading to an "alarming" situation in the global employment market that shows no sign of "recovery in the near future", the International Labour Organization said. (Reuters) Europe’s austerity measures worsen jobs crisis, ILO report says -- "'This is not a normal employment slowdown,' the report concludes. 'Four years into the global crisis, labour market imbalances are becoming more structural, and therefore more difficult to eradicate.'" (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) World of Work Report 2012 (International Labour Organization)

Morgan Stanley Explains How Next Weekend's Greek Election Could Lead To The Unraveling Of The Entire Euro (The Business Insider)

Spain in recession as austerity bites deep (Reuters) It's official! Spain is now in a double-dip recession... and experts warn there's even worse still to come (The Daily Mail)

EL-ERIAN: Europe's Current Mechanisms Make It Almost Impossible For Spain To Get The Targeted Aid It Needs (The Business Insider)

More Misery to Come for Spanish Banks (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Homeownership Rate in U.S. Falls to Lowest Since 1997 (Bloomberg) Fewer Americans form households after recession, hampering economic recovery (The Washington Post)

INET: Financial Instability Mini-Documentary (Youtube)



     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, April 29, 2012

Sunday roundup (04-29-12)


Global Policy Shifting From Austerity Toward Growth (Reuters)

Hollande's 'Growth Bloc' spells end of German hegemony in Europe: For two years Germany has had its way in Europe, treating historic nations much as Bismarck treated Bavaria – sovereign only in name. (The Telegraph)

Spain in Talks Over ‘Bad Bank’ Scheme (The Financial Times)

David Cameron blames UK double-dip recession on eurozone: PM says economic crisis will go on for years and progress on reducing dependence on City and public sector too slow (The Guardian) Eurozone crisis has a long way to go, warns Cameron: Risk of confrontation with Continent's leaders as PM spreads blame for double-dip recession (The Independent) The worst is yet to come for the euro, warns Number 10 as it raises fears single currency could collapse (The Daily Mail)

Forecasts on UK economy point to further downturn: Report predicts sharp increase in insolvencies in north-east of England and Wales, and rise in write-offs on corporate loans (The Guardian)

"Politics Is at the Root of the Problem": Austerity policies are driving us towards a double-dip recession, warns US economist Joseph Stiglitz. He sat down with Martin Eiermann to discuss new economic thinking and the influence of money in politics. (The European)

U.S. Perfecting Formula for Budget Failure, Says Bowles (Bloomberg)

Chesapeake CEO losing questionable perk (CNNMoney)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 930 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

NAB to slash 1,400 jobs in UK restructure (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

     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, April 28, 2012

Saturday roundup (04-28-12)


How Europe is "Unfixing" Its Problems: The troubled economies on the periphery of Europe are getting into deeper trouble. Growth has slowed, unemployment has risen, indebtedness has gone up, and borrowing costs have climbed sharply. (Barron's)

Eurozone: There Might Not Actually Be a Solution To The Euro Crisis (Forbes)

Rising central bank balance sheets pose a long-term risk to global economy (Arab News)

French presidential candidate Hollande: Renegotiate European treaty right away (The Associated Press) France's Hollande warns of wave of layoffs after presidential vote (Reuters)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Former IMF Chief, Suspects 'Political Enemies' In Sex Scandal (Reuters) Sarkozy challenges Strauss-Kahn to take legal action over New York claims: French president decries allegations that associates ruined ex-IMF chief's presidency bid by orchestrating sex scandal (The Guardian)

Balls issues 'lost decade' warning [for the UK] (The Press Association)

U.S. regulators seize Palm Desert bank, sell assets (The Los Angeles Times) Palm Desert National Bank of Palm Desert CA had a troubled assets ratio of 628.9%. (BankTracker)

Bill Black: Our System is So Flawed That Fraud is Mathematically Guaranteed (Youtube)



Chesapeake board member lent money to CEO McClendon (Reuters) "McClendon, the chief exec for 23 years, has been richly rewarded even as the company’s stock has shed two-thirds of its value in four years." (The Associated Press) Chesapeake Tangle Goes Far Beyond CEO (Slate) How Chesapeake Energy went from darling to dud: Chesapeake Energy sold itself as a premier energy exploration and production firm, but it seemed to function more like a Wall Street hedge fund. Now the house of cards is collapsing. (Fortune) "'When we consider the full financial picture at Chesapeake, including its high debt levels, its use of financial engineering, the relatively low quality of its financial data, the questionable nature of some of the CEO's transactions with the company, and the apparent unwillingness of the board to put a stop to at least some of these practices, we believe the best thing for investors would be to replace the board and/or the CEO,' Mr. [Phil] Weiss [an analyst with Argus Research in New York] wrote to clients last week." (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Independent test results show fracking flowback emissions are dangerous toxics, not *steam*: Texas town ignores own test results to allow fracking [by Chesapeake Energy] to continue in violation of city ordinances, endangering local residents (Earthworks) Aubrey McClendon Must Be Stopped (Forbes) Lawsuit Questions Loans To Chesapeake CEO [video] (KOCO) "'They're spending a lot of money and the money they're making seems to be coming from raising more money,' said Daniel Yu, a private investor who has been studying the company but does own any shares or short positions on Chesapeake." (CNNMoney) Special Report: Chesapeake CEO took $1.1 billion in shrouded personal loans (Reuters) 'World's Biggest Fracker' Pockets $1 Billion in Shady Deal (Rolling Stone blogs) Chesapeake Energy Ignores Pennsylvania Township's Order To Stop Work (The Huffington Post blog) Chesapeake Energy profits from flipping land (Rolling Stone) (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind Aubrey McClendon's Gas Boom: It’s not only toxic – it’s driven by a right-wing billionaire who profits more from flipping land than drilling for gas (Rolling Stone) Rolling Stone Responds to Chesapeake Energy on 'The Fracking Bubble' (Rolling Stone) How Bradford County Blow-Out Costs Chesapeake More Than $250K -- "The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has levied the highest fine possible against Chesapeake Energy for three separate incidents." (National Public Radio) Chesapeake Energy Issued Record Gas Drilling Fine [Of More Than $1 Million] For Water Contamination In Pennsylvania (The Huffington Post blog)

Aubrey McClendon - Wall of Fame Class of 2011 -- [T. Boone Pickens:] "... somebody asked me how we could be better than we were in Oklahoma, if -- what we could do -- and I said, 'Clone Aubrey McClendon [would] be the best thing. We need three, four, five more Aubrey McClendons."  (Foundation OKCPS)



     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, April 27, 2012

Friday roundup (04-27-12)


Anti-austerity movements gaining momentum across Europe: As economies falter, established political parties feel the heat from leftwing and far right groups (The Guardian) Breaking the eurozone's self-defeating cycle of austerity: While a beleaguered IMF and ECB try to hold the line, voters all over Europe are rebelling against their punitive fiscal orthodoxy (The Guardian) Europe realizing that too much austerity is bad for economic health (Postmedia News)

Austerity Backlash Unites European Leaders: Be it austerity queen Angela Merkel or Socialist François Hollande, European politicians are suddenly in agreement with ECB President Mario Draghi's proposal to round out the European fiscal pact's austerity measures with a "growth pact." But many seem to have a different idea about what this means. (Spiegel Online)

France's Francois Hollande and Germany's Angela Merkel clash over euro austerity pact: The growing gulf between France and Germany was underlined as the eurozone's two biggest economies clashed over tackling the debt crisis. (The Telegraph)

Eurozone Retail Sales Plunge at Strongest Pace Since Late-2008; German Retail Sales Plunge Into Contraction; French Retail Sales Plunge at Record Pace; Record Job Losses, Record Retail Plunge in Italy (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Spain Is Still Awaiting the Payoff From Austerity (The New York Times)

Spain's economic crisis deepens as unemployment hits 24.4% (The Associated Press) Spanish economy in "huge crisis" after credit downgrade (Reuters) Spain Downturn Deeper, Longer Than Assumed: S&P (CNBC)

S&P throws Spanish banking crisis into sharp relief (Reuters)

Ireland’s Noonan Says Will Cut Growth Forecast by Almost Half (Bloomberg)

More balanced approach means US economy is growing, while Britain is back in recession (Ed Balls blog)

Austerity Fever Brings Down Romania's Government (The Wall Street Journal) Romanian government is latest victim of EU austerity (The Los Angeles Times)

Fighting Deflation, Japan's Central Bank Expands Asset Purchases (The New York Times) BOJ Plans To Boost Bond Purchases (The Wall Street Journal) Bank of Japan boosts stimulus again, but fails to impress markets (Reuters)

U.S. GDP Growth Q1 2012: Economic Growth Slowed To 2.2 Percent On Cutbacks In Government, Business Spending (The Huffington Post blog) Blame Budget Austerity for Poor GDP Growth (U. S. News & World Report) Pimco’s El-Erian Says More Fed Action Remains an Option (Bloomberg)



Fed sees more growth? Don't count on it. Recession ahead.: Despite the Federal Reserve's brighter outlook for the economy, consumers won't spend enough to keep the US from sliding into a moderate recession this year by A. Gary Shilling (The Christian Science Monitor)

Vital Signs: Jobless Claims Trending Higher (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Will TARP Make a Profit? That's the Wrong Question (Bloomberg)

Falling home prices drag new buyers under water (Reuters)

Student Loan Debt Slaves In Perpetuity - A True Story Of "Bankruptcy Hell" (ZeroHedge blog)

FDIC shuts down 4 banks in 3 states, makes 21 US bank failures so far in 2012 (The Associated Press)

HarVest Bank of Maryland of Gaithersburg MD had a troubled assets ratio of 482.2%. (BankTracker)

Bank of the Eastern Shore of Cambridge MD had a troubled assets ratio of 163.4%. (BankTracker)

Inter Savings Bank, fsb D/B/A InterBank, fsb of Maple Grove MN had a troubled assets ratio of 244.4%. (BankTracker)

Plantation Federal Bank of Pawleys Island SC had a troubled assets ratio of 462.9%. (BankTracker)

     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, April 26, 2012

Thursday roundup (04-26-12)


Debt fears return as ECB funds are used up (The Financial Times)

Euro-Area Economic Confidence Drops More Than Forecast (Bloomberg)

No respite seen for euro zone periphery woes: poll (Reuters)

Stiglitz Says Europe Is Headed to ‘Suicide’ on Austerity (Bloomberg)

Irish c.bank governor: Europe must focus on growth (Reuters)

Greece In Talks To Push Back Deficit Goals One Year - Report (Dow Jones Newswires)

Recession-Wracked Greece Nears Vote That May Decide Fate in Euro (Bloomberg)

Spain's Credit Rating Is Cut for Second Time by S&P (CNBC) Standard & Poor’s cuts rating on Spain’s debt 2 notches on debt concerns; outlook negative (The Associated Press) Spain’s Ratings Cut by S&P on Deficit, Bank Bailout Concern (Bloomberg)

Prime minister warns Spain in grave danger of bailout unless control of finances regained (The Irish Times)

Govt debt woes bigger pain for Italy's banks than Spain's (Reuters)

Italian business morale falls as austerity hits (Reuters) Italian Business Confidence Drops to Lowest in Two Years (Bloomberg)

Dutch Agree In Principle On 2013 Budget; Hurdles Remain (Dow Jones Newswires)

Double dip recession blows a £170bn black hole in Osborne's Budget (This is Money) UK Back in Recession, Did it Really Ever Leave? Disappointing Details; Five Reasons the UK Recession Will Get Much Worse (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog) Double-Dip Recession Catches Britain Off Guard (National Public Radio)



[Meanwhile Norman Lamont, a Tory and an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, says:] The Chancellor must steer the course he charted. Time and patience will prove him right (The Daily Mail)

China’s property boom has peaked, forever (The Telegraph blogs)

Ontario Downgraded to Aa2 on Growing Debt Burden, Moody’s Says (Bloomberg)

Consumer Comfort in U.S. Falls by the Most in More Than a Year (Bloomberg)

Foreclosure Activity Returns in Majority of US Markets (CNBC) Foreclosures rise in many U.S. cities (CBS MoneyWatch) More Foreclosures Drag On Home Prices (ABCNews blogs)

Home Ownership Lowest Since 2002 (Iacono Research)

Yamarone - We Are Literally Witnessing a Collapse [of Real Disposable Personal Incomes] (King World News)

TARP: Billions in Loans in Doubt (The Wall Street Journal) Debunking Bailout Myths (The Big Picture blog)

Derivatives Exposure: Can You Put The Size & The Danger Into Perspective? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Derivatives: The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks (Demonocracy)

MF Global: The Untold Story of the Biggest Wall Street Collapse Since Lehman: There are plenty of lessons to be learned from MF Global, all of which we can count on Congress to ignore at the behest of Wall Street money until the next financial crisis. (Alternet)

Pentagon official signals possible Army layoffs; 29,000 could be let go: Budget cuts may make the U.S. Army lay off 29,000 enlisted soldiers and officers. (United Press International)

Lufthansa to Cut 3,000 Administrative Jobs Worldwide, Bild Says (Bloomberg) Lufthansa denies has firm plans to cut 3,000 jobs (Reuters)

H.L. MENCKEN WAS RIGHT (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-26-12)


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.)

"Jobless claims fell to 388,000 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was the highest since early January, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington." (Bloomberg)

Jobless Claims Raise Concerns About Job-Market Recovery (CNBC)

Elevated Jobless Claims Raise Concerns (The Wall Street Journal)

Has The Labor Market Hit A Wall... Again? (The Capital Spectator)

Jobless Claims Becoming a Real Problem (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Upon Review, Jobs Picture Not So Pretty (FoxBusiness)

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, April 25, 2012

Wednesday roundup (04-25-12)


Steve Keen on Irish TV: "We're replaying the 1930s" (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Tonight With Vincent Browne 18.04.2012: Vincent Browne Talking to Steve Keen of which is a professor in economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney. Steve was one of the few economists in the world to predict the financial crisis we are in now. (Youtube)



Soros Compares Euro-Zone Crisis to Soviet Collapse (The Wall Street Journal blogs) George Soros: Eurozone Crisis, 'Similar To Soviet Union,' Has Potential To Destroy European Union (The Huffington Post blog)

PBS Frontline Investigation Into Financial Crisis Suggests Another Disaster On Horizon (The Huffington Post blog) Money, Power and Wall Street: PBS Frontline Specials (Economic Signs of the Times blog)

Draghi says Europe needs growth pact (The Associated Press) ECB's Draghi, seeking growth, throws crisis ball to governments (Reuters) Merkel Backs Draghi’s Call for Growth (Bloomberg)

Tired of Austerity, Europeans Turn on Their Leaders (U. S. News & World Report) Austerity's Greatest Failure (The Atlantic)

Brussels to relax 3pc fiscal targets as revolt spreads: The European Commission is preparing a major shift in economic strategy, fearing that excessive fiscal tightening will inflict unnecessary damage on a string of eurozone countries. (The Telegraph)

Europe awaiting France to temper austerity: Hollande (Reuters) Hollande Vows Not to Ratify Euro Pact, Auguring Merkel Clash (Bloomberg) Hollande Aims at Merkel in Escalating Debt-Crisis Critique (Bloomberg)

Du «Titanic» à la zone euro par Jean-Marc Vittori (Les Echos) "Jean-Marc Vittori is a lead writer for the daily newspaper Les Echos, where he specialises in macroeconomics and economic theory." (OECD)

Europe faces Japan syndrome as credit demand implodes (The Telegraph blogs)

Britain Slips Into Double-Dip Recession (The New York Times) [Says the Office for National Statistics:] "... the economy is weaker relative to its pre-recession peak than at the corresponding stage of the depression in the early 1930s." (FT Alphaville) George Osborne has run out of excuses as we go into recession again: The Tories were told their reckless austerity policies would backfire. But they arrogantly refused to listen by Ed Balls, the Labour Party's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (The Mirror)

Double-Dip UK Has Few Options for Growth: Analysts (CNBC) The dreaded double-dip: With the economy flatlining, Chancellor George Osborne needs a more aggressive growth strategy. (The Telegraph) Double dip has arrived – and Osborne is running out of escape routes: Economic crisis worsens as Chancellor attacked for depth of cuts (The Independent) Double-dip puts pressure on the Bank of England for further QE (This is Money)

Crisis drives Italy and Spain into short-dated bonds (Reuters)

Tightest Spain budget in decades passes hurdle (Reuters) Spain presents toughest austerity budget since Franco era (EuroNews)

How Europe's Double Dip Could Become America's by Robert Reich (The Huffington Post blog)

Plunge in durable goods orders clouds U.S. outlook [earlier headline: Weak durables orders cast shadow on U.S. recovery] (Reuters)

ROBERT SHILLER: We Might Not See A Turnaround In Housing In Our Lifetimes (The Business Insider)

GEITHNER'S FULL OF CRAP: The Bank Bailout Wasn't "Profitable" -- It Will Cost Taxpayers $120 Billion (The Business Insider) Watchdog rejects idea that TARP will turn a profit (The Los Angeles Times) Don't Be Fooled, There's No Profit In Bank Bailouts: TARP Watchdog (Forbes)

Analysts: Failing to cut [2,566] Detroit jobs would be worse for economy (The Detroit News)

HSBC to Cut 2,000 Jobs in U.K. (The Wall Street Journal)

SAN DIEGO SCHOOLS TO LAY OFF 1,000 MORE WORKERS: Board OKs elimination of nonteaching jobs as budget ax swings again (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

     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, April 24, 2012

Tuesday roundup (04-24-12)


Money, Power and Wall Street: PBS Frontline Specials (Economic Signs of the Times blog)

Europe's debt crisis rears its ugly head (CNNMoney) Eurozone Crisis: Back on the Front Burner (The Business Insider)

The Euro Is Still Doomed: Why Most of the News Out of Europe Doesn't Matter (The Atlantic)

Vital Signs: Deteriorating Euro Zone Output (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Nightmare week for Angela Merkel as austerity bloc crumbles: Europe's political centre is starting to crumble, replicating the pattern of the early 1930s as the crisis ground into its third year under a similar mix of fiscal and monetary contraction. (The Telegraph) Call for Growth to Counter German Push for Austerity (The New York Times) The end of austerity? The rise of nationalism? Angry voters wrestle with EU’s future (The Associated Press) Europe Struggles With Painful Deficit Cures (The Wall Street Journal)

How's That Austerity Working? (EconomPicData blog)

Rising Italy-to-Spain Yields Keep Banks on Life Support (Bloomberg)

Spain Short-Term Treasury Bill Yields Nearly Double (Reuters)

Euro's Fate Hinges on Austerity in Madrid: Spain in recent days has taken center stage in the euro crisis. The country's banks are threatened with collapse and the government in Madrid has not been successful in efforts to get the national budget under control. Will the country be forced to request aid from the euro bailout fund? (Spiegel Online)

Spain’s Weak Spot: Cost of Spain's Housing Bust Could Force a Bailout (The New York Times)

Italy Borrowing Costs Rise at Auction on Crisis Concerns (Bloomberg)

More grief for Greece as recession seen deeper (Reuters)

Greek Bank Chief Warns of a Possible Euro Exit [if austerity is not adhered to] (The Wall Street Journal)

Dutch crisis deepens as opposition rejects austerity (Reuters)

NETHERLANDS – JUST THE FIRST DOMINO? (Pragmatic Capitalism)

UK debt mountain at record £1trillion: BRITAIN’S debt soared to a record £1.02TRILLION yesterday — amid renewed fears of a double dip recession. (The Sun)

Why UK GDP continues to lag the G7 (The Financial Times blogs) Britain to discover if it is in a double-dip recession: This week could turn out to be one to forget for George Osborne if official figures show the economy has fallen back into recession. (The Telegraph)

US home prices fall and sales of new homes drop as foreclosures weigh on housing market (The Associated Press) Home prices sink to 2002 levels (CBS MoneyWatch) Case Shiller: Nine cities and both composites hit new lows in February 2012. (The Big Picture blog) Case-Shiller Home Prices Fall, Reach New Post-Crisis Lows (Iacono Research)

Ballooning student loan burdens: On July 1 the interest rate on Stafford loans will double to 6.8 percent, making it even tougher for students to fund their education. NBC's John Yang reports. (NBC Nightly News)




Social Security is slipping closer to insolvency: A dire forecast by trustees of Social Security and Medicare adds urgency to calls on Washington to do something soon as baby boomers begin retiring. (The Los Angeles Times) Social Security Fund to Run Out in 2035, Trustees Say (Bloomberg)

Egan-Jones' Lawyer Accuses SEC Of Bias Against Independent Firms (Forbes)

Jailed for $280: The return of debtors' prisons (CBS MoneyWatch) Ill. lawmakers target practice of jailing debtors (The Associated Press) Welcome to Debtors' Prison: What's in Your Wallet Can Land You in Jail (CBSNews)

Reprehensible Behavior a Cornerstone of its Business Model (Financial Armageddon blog)

IT services company Computer Sciences Corporation to axe 640 jobs (The 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.

Money, Power and Wall Street: PBS Frontline Specials


Money, Power and Wall Street: On April 24 and May 1, FRONTLINE tells the inside story of the global financial crisis. [A series of four episodes.] (PBS Frontline)

EPISODE ONE



EPISODE TWO



EPISODE THREE


EPISODE FOUR



     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, April 23, 2012

Monday roundup (04-22-12)


After $14 Trillion Bailout, Global Recovery Still Uncertain (Reuters)

The Next and More Serious Phase of the European Crisis -- [it hinges on French presidential election and Greek parliamentary election, both in early May] (The American Enterprise Institute)

Euro-Region Debt Rises to Highest in Single Currency History (Bloomberg) Eurozone cuts deficits but overall debt rises (The Associated Press)

Europe's austerity pact: running out of road: As Merkel races to lock austerity measures into EU law the politics of key member states are moving in the opposite direction [editorial] (The Guardian)

What Happens If Plan A(usterity) Fails? -- "'It is becoming increasingly likely that some kind of support program for Spain will be needed' said Carl Weinberg, the chief economist at High Frequency Economics in a research note on Monday." (CNBC)

A Europe Tired of Cutbacks Has Few Alternatives (The New York Times)

Euro-Zone's Private Sector Shrinking Fast (The Wall Street Journal) Euro Zone Recession Deepens: Markit Eurozone PMI Report (The International Business Times)

Spain slips back into recession (The Associated Press) Spain economy shrank 0.4 pct in Q1 - c.bank (Reuters) Spain's Economy Dwindling (The Wall Street Journal)

The pain in Spain could hit worldwide economy (The Washington Post) Euro zone a long way from home run on recovery (The Irish Times)

Greek election a puzzle that could derail bailout (Reuters)

Greece should exit euro to save economy - Ifo head (Reuters)

German Govt: French Far Right Success In Vote "Alarming" (Dow Jones Newswires)

Dutch government quits after austerity talks fail (The Associated Press) Dutch Cabinet Collapse Shows Folly of Merkel Fiscal Pact [editorial] (Bloomberg) Greeks detect hypocrisy as Dutch coalition stumbles (Reuters)

Italy Consumer Confidence Plunges to Record Low in April (Bloomberg)

Illinois ‘Treads Water’ as Unpaid Bills Top $9 Billion (Bloomberg)

Detroit mayor’s budget plan calls for 2,500 layoffs aimed at saving cash-strapped city $250M (The Associated Press)

Social Security heading for insolvency even faster (The Associated Press) Social Security: Trust fund in the red by 2033 (CBS MoneyWatch) Will Social Security Be There For Your Retirement? (Forbes)

The case against Lehman Brothers (CBSNews 60 Minutes) The Lehman Whistleblower’s Letter (The Wall Street Journal blogs)



Kroft: When to give up on accountability (CBSNews 60 Minutes Overtime)



MF Customers Press J.P. Morgan for Funds (The Wall Street Journal)

Cough it up, Corzine (FoxBusiness)



ST-Ericsson to Cut 1,700 Jobs in Chip Struggle With Qualcomm (Bloomberg)

A Primer on Peak Oil (Credit Writedowns 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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday roundup (04-22-12)


IMF encourages Europe's economic suicide: China, Japan, America, the oil powers, and the rising economies of Latin America had a chance to pull Europe back from suicide through IMF pressure, but the world dropped the ball. (The Telegraph)

ECB Rejects Geithner-IMF Push for Measures (Bloomberg)

Eurozone crisis set to get worse before it gets better: With austerity measures in place, the markets demand to know where the growth is. But no one seems to have the answer (The Guardian blogs)

Dutch crisis puts eurozone debt rescue plans at risk: The Dutch prime minister will on Monday launch a bid to salvage his austerity budget amid political chaos that could cost the country its AAA credit rating and plunge Europe’s debt rescue plans into disarray. (The Telegraph) Netherlands political crisis casts cloud on euro zone (Reuters) Collapsed Dutch Budget Cut Talks Could Create Power Vacuum As Downgrade Looms (Dow Jones Newswires) "'The risk has heightened the Netherlands may be downgraded and lose its AAA rating,' Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro Group NV in Amsterdam, said in a telephone interview yesterday." (Bloomberg) Threat to triple-A rating presents another danger for euro zone (The Irish Times) The Dutch Collapse (The Wall Street Journal)

[In the US] Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 939 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, April 21, 2012

Saturday roundup (04-21-12)


Geithner to Europe: Take Strong Action on Debt Crisis (The Wall Street Journal) Geithner Says Europe Must Be Creative, Aggressive in Crisis (Bloomberg) World finance leaders press Europe to do more on debt crisis (The Los Angeles Times)

IMF presses Europe to contain debt crisis (Reuters)

Europe crisis creeps back into danger zone (The Washington Post)

Art Cashin - A Eurozone Breakup Would Be Cataclysmic (King World News blog)

If Britain avoids double-dip recession it will be 'by a whisker' (This is Money) Britain to discover if it is in a double-dip recession: This week could turn out to be one to forget for George Osborne if official figures show the economy has fallen back into recession. (The Telegraph) Battered Britain hovers on the edge of double-dip recession: With the GDP figures about to reveal whether the UK is back in recession, these are anxious times for Osborne – and the news from Europe is grim (The Observer) UK teeters on brink of new recession: This week's figures could show second quarter of negative growth and make 'double dip' a reality (The Independent)

Dutch Austerity Talks Fail as Geithner Prods Europe (The New York Times) Dutch prime minister says government austerity talks collapse (The Associated Press) Dutch elections loom as budget talks collapse (Reuters)

Spain bad bank idea mulled but no plans yet: EU officials (Reuters)

Fewer US states reported job gains in March, reflecting slower hiring nationwide (The Associated Press)

Washington state to cut another 1,266 jobs (Bloomberg)

Fracking-Linked Earthquakes Spurring State Regulations (Bloomberg)

     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, April 20, 2012

Friday roundup (04-20-12)


IMF's effort to bolster lending resources won't solve Europe's larger problem: weak economies (The Associated Press) IMF raises $430 billion, boosting resources for troubled nations: International Monetary Fund chief announces the amount at the conclusion of the Group of 20 meeting. The U.S. and Canada refuse to participate in hopes of forcing Europe to do more. (The Los Angeles Times) Japan's $60B Pledge To IMF Makes It No. 1 Fund Contributor, Over US (Dow Jones Newswires)

IMF: "Formidable challenges" remain for Portugal (Marketwatch)

Portugal May Need a Bailout by September, Morgan Stanley Says (Bloomberg)

Italy next in line to test debt market nerve (Reuters)

The Japanese Debt Crisis (Part 1): Has Japan Passed The Point Of No Return? (Seeking Alpha blog) The Japanese Debt Crisis (Part 2): When Does Japan Cross The Event Horizon? (Seeking Alpha blog)

Fears Rise That Recovery May Falter in the Spring (The New York Times)

Why the housing recovery remains a long way off (CBS MoneyWatch) The Housing Outlook Is Still Dismal (Comstock Partners)

FDIC closes bank in New Jersey, makes 17 US bank failures so far in 2012 (The Associated Press) Fort Lee Federal Savings Bank, FSB of Fort Lee NJ had a troubled assets ratio of 299.50%. (BankTracker)

Commodities Expert [Stephen Leeb]: Oil scarcity not speculation driving up prices [April 17] (Russia Today)



[Stephen Leeb: QE3 Is Now 80% - 90% & I’m Going All-In Gold If It Dips (King World News)

Feeling peaky: The economic impact of high oil prices (The Economist) Peak oil goes mainstream (again) (FT Alphaville blog)

Chris Nelder: Danger Zone−Oil Spare Capacity Decreasing: World oil production from 2005-2011 nearly flat (Financial Sense)

Natural Gas prices have become un-natural (Macro Rants 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, April 19, 2012

Thursday roundup (04-19-12)


Investors to ECB: 1 trillion euros is not enough (CNNMoney)

We Are Witnessing The Largest Financial Bubble In History (King World News blog)

Lagarde says European bailout fund should consider providing direct support to banks (The Associated Press)

This crisis cannot be resolved while monetary union remains: "One has the feeling that at any moment, things could get very bad again.” With these words, Olivier Blanchard, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist, has set the tone for this year’s spring meeting of the IMF. (The Telegraph)

George Soros and the Bundesbank’s Patriotic Putsch (The Telegraph blogs) Pour George Soros, "les dirigeants européens mènent l'Europe à sa perte" (Le Monde)

German tempers boil over back-door euro rescues: Controversy is raging in Germany over soaring "payments" by the Bundesbank to shore up Europe's monetary system and cope with a tidal wave of capital flight from southern Europe. (The Telegraph) Spain Wants Billions For its Banks: A number of euro zone countries and senior officials at the European Central Bank would like to see the euro bailout fund changed so that it can provide direct aid to banks. This could help Spain, which has emerged in recent days as a new center of the euro crisis, but Germany is opposed. (Spiegel Online)

Spanish and Italian borrowing costs already at unsustainable levels, warns Moody's Analytics: Spain and Italy face a "high risk of default" if their borrowing costs remain at current levels, economists at Moody's Analytics have warned. (The Telegraph)

Spain lurching further toward bankruptcy (CBS MoneyWatch)

One-in-5 children in Ireland hungry (United Press International)

Italy banks credit quality worsening but still sound - BoI (Reuters)

Italian museum burns art to protest austerity cuts (CNN)

Bank of Japan's Shirakawa stresses commitment to powerful easing (Reuters)

US barrels toward a fiscal cliff: Partisan gridlock and an unwillingness to administer tough medicine have produced a long history of fiscal irresponsibility. A new debacle is at hand. (MSN Money)

Food Stamp Rolls to Grow Through 2014, CBO Says (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

U.S. Previously Owned Home Sales Unexpectedly Fell in March (Bloomberg) Lack of Distressed Supply Pushes Home Sales Lower (CNBC) Vital Signs: Mortgage Applications Slump (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

What a Drag!: At $1 trillion and climbing, the growing student-loan debt could be a burden on economic growth for decades to come. (Barron's)

Your B of A [dot] com (The Big Picture blog) Bank of America is subject of phony news release, website (The Charlotte [NC] Observer) Bank of America Now Target of Fake Press Release (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Bank Of America's Big Apology? It Was A Bogus Campaign (Forbes) The Fake Press Release (Forbes) Your BofA [THE SPOOF WEBSITE] (Your BofA)

Summers and Rubin, remorseless deregulators (Reuters blogs)

Two years later, sick fish found near BP oil spill site (The Associated Press)

Washington state to cut another 1,266 jobs: Budget cuts approved by the Legislature last week are expected to result in a cut of 1,266 full-time jobs in Washington state government. (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.