Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday roundup (07-31-12)


Euro-Area Unemployment Rate Reaches Record 11.2%: Economy (Bloomberg)

Greece 'on the brink' as cash reserves dry up: Near-bankrupt Greece is fast running out of cash while it waits for its next installment of aid from international lenders, a deputy finance minister has said, sounding the alarm on the country's precarious financial position. (The Telegraph)

Capital flees Spain as budget gap jumps (Reuters)

France and Italy Seek Ultimate Firepower for ESM: Several leading euro-zone countries want to provide the euro bailout fund with the power to obtain unlimited credit from the European Central Bank to prevent the need for a full-fledged Spanish bailout and calm the markets, according to media reports. In Berlin, German politicians still oppose the proposal. (Spiegel Online)

Obama calls Monti on eurozone debt crisis (Agence France Presse)

Italy Worries Sicily's Woes Could Have Ripple Effect: Sicily, whose economy is based on public sector wages, is more than $6 billion in debt (National Public Radio)



2nd Day of Power Failures Cripples Wide Swath of India (The New York Times) India's Power Grid Collapses (The Wall Street Journal) "'This looks even worse than it would normally because there’s an impression that India’s economy is falling apart right now,' said Surjit Singh Bhalla, chairman of New Delhi- based Oxus Fund Management, of this week’s power network failures." (Bloomberg) India plunges into darkness: Trains and subways ground to a halt as more than 600 million people in India faced a blackout after half the national power grid shut down. Experts say the outdated grid cannot keep up with the countryâ?Ts energy needs. NBC's Jim Maceda reports. (NBC Nightly News)


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Eurozone break-up would trigger UK economic slump, warns City firm: Euro break-up would result in a 5.2% drop in UK output next year, warns Fathom Consulting (The Guardian)

Moody’s Says U.K. Faces Challenges to Meet Its Debt Targets (Bloomberg)

China prepares vast stimulus as slump threatens Asia: China has ditched its reform strategy and prepared a vast stimulus package as the country’s soft-landing turns uncomfortably hard, with recession warnings flashing across East Asia. (The Telegraph)

Congress Leaders Agree On Stopgap U.S. Spending Plan (Bloomberg) US Congress, White House move to deal with fiscal threats (Reuters) "resolving one of the elements of the 'fiscal cliff'" (Dow Jones Newswires)

As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, debate over pre-Election Day layoff notices heats up (The Washington Post)

Post Office Nears Historic Default On $5-Billion Payment (The Associated Press)

Offshore Accounts on the Rise and Costing Taxpayers (The Business Insider) Tax havens: Super-rich 'hiding' at least $21tn (The BBC) Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals: A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21tn in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis (The Guardian) Exhaustive Study Finds Global Elite Hiding Up to $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts (Democracy Now!) THE PRICE OF OFFSHORE REVISITED: NEW ESTIMATES FOR “MISSING” GLOBAL PRIVATE WEALTH, INCOME, INEQUALITY, AND LOST TAXES (Tax Justice Network)



Why Big Banks Are Above the Law by James Rickards (U. S. News & World Report blogs)

Recovery from Western wildfires likely to take years, cost millions, to make areas livable (The Associated Press)

Study: Dispersants may have hurt Gulf food chain (The Associated Press)

Vital Signs Chart: Soaring Corn Prices (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Small farmers struggle as drought kills vegetables (The Associated Press)

South Dakota Drought Is Worsening, Climatologist Says (The Associated Press)

Source: RIM will lay off 3000 on August 13th (Cantech Letter)

Deutsche Bank to slash 1,900 jobs to save 3 bln eur (Reuters) Deutsche Bank To Lay Off 1900, As Meredith Whitney Predicts 50K Total Wall Street Layoffs (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. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday roundup (07-30-12)

Geithner: Europe Must Take Steps to Deal With Crisis (CNBC)

ECB thinks the unthinkable, action likely weeks away (Reuters) Draghi On Offensive As Game Changer Sought In Crisis (Bloomberg)

‘Whatever it Takes’ – How Far is the ECB Really Prepared to go to Save the Euro? (EconoMonitor) The Euromess Continues (Tim Duy's Fed Watch blog) Crash of the Bumblebee by Paul Krugman (The New York Times blogs)

How the ECB came to control the fate of the world economy: The ECB has the power to end the eurozone crisis. But it refuses to do so – in order to push a regressive political agenda (The Guardian)

Eurozone Crisis: And Now France's Central Bank Is About To Go Bust (Forbes)

Spanish recession deepens in second quarter (Reuters) Spanish economy shrinks faster (Agence France Presse)

Spain to Urge More Regional Budget Cuts as Deficit Deepens (Bloomberg)

Temptations of a Peseta default in Spain (The Telegraph blogs)  Hacia el 'default': ¿dentro o fuera del euro? [by] Lorenzo Bernaldo de Quirós, presidente de Freemarket Corporate Intelligence (El Mundo)

German support for Merkel's crisis handling erodes: poll (Reuters)

Dallas Fed: "Slower Growth" in July Regional Manufacturing Activity (Calculated Risk blog) GIGANTIC MISS: DALLAS FED REPORT PLUNGES TO -13.2 (The Business Insider)

Halfway Through, 2012 Has Been a Disappointment (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

D.C. food bank to open $37 million facility to combat ‘growing hunger crisis’ -- ["And it is not enough."] (The Washington Post)

Corn prices hit record as crops shrivel (CNNMoney)

The Not-So-Mighty Mississippi: How the River’s Low Water Levels Are Impacting the Economy (Time)

Glass Steagall Repeal Made Crisis Worse by Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture blog)

Doug Casey on The Greater Depression: Worse Than Even I Think (The Contrary Investing Report)

Dendreon to close NJ plant, cut 600 jobs (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. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday roundup (07-29-12)


Eurogroup Chairman Juncker: Europe Is Running Out Of Time, Will Decide On Measures In Days (The Associated Press)

Only Mario Draghi's ECB can avert global calamity before the year is out: Mario Draghi has promised the moon. The European Central Bank’s council had better deliver on his pledge this week. If it does not, the crisis will surely escalate out of control in August or soon after. (The Telegraph) After Pledge of Help for Euro, Pressure Is On for Bank Chief (The New York Times) "'September will undoubtedly be the crunch time,' one senior euro zone policymaker said." (Reuters)

Military drafted in to fill empty seats at London Olympics (NBC News)

"The New Depression" Book w/ Glenn Beck & Richard Duncan "The Breakdown of the Paper Money Economy" (Youtube) "Since beginning his career in Hong Kong in 1986, Richard Duncan has served as global head of investment strategy at ABN AMRO Asset Management in London, worked for the World Bank in Washington D.C., headed equity research departments in Bangkok and consulted for the IMF. He is now chief economist at Blackhorse Asset Management in Singapore." (Amazon) [Earlier interview on CNBC at] (Economic Signs of the Times)



Report: Let private student loans be discharged in bankruptcy: Loans are inflexible and a burden in today's weak labor market (The Baltimore Sun) The Price Everybody Talks About and Nobody Really Knows: How Much Does College Cost? (The Atlantic) Student Loan Debt Time Bomb (The Economic Populist) Congressman: Fix The Student Debt Crisis With Bankruptcy Reform (Bloomberg)



Food Report: One Harvest Away from a Catastrophe (Financial Sense)

     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, July 28, 2012

Saturday roundup (07-28-12)


Italy business lobby sees urgent need for euro bank union (Reuters)

OMB report says recession will cost decade of high unemployment rates [in the US] (Politico)

Bill Black Reports: LIBOR and HSBC (The Real News)



Neil Barofsky: We Are Going to Have Another Meltdown: Former TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky on the future of the financial system and why he feels the government would still bail out big banks. (FoxBusiness)



[FDIC board member Thomas M.] Hoenig continues his fight to break up the big banks: Repealing Glass-Steagall made the recent financial crisis more severe, said a former KC Fed chairman. (The Kansas City Star)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 900 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Corrupt Government Officials Should Be In Jail … Alongside Corrupt Banksters (The Big Picture blog)

Ill. towns limit water use amid worsening drought (Bloomberg) Drought taking heavy toll on fishing industry (Reuters)

SANDY WEILL AND TOO BIG TO FAIL

Sandy Weill Says Big Banks Should Split Up -- [though "quite a shock," this was "not unlike a ... statement made by his former Citigroup co-CEO, John Reed ... on Moyers & Company earlier this year."] (Bill Moyers & Company)



[Former FDIC Chairman Sheila] Bair is 'Flabbergasted' by Weill's Big Banks Comments -- [at 0:20 she can be heard laughing in astonishment at Sandy Weill's surprise call to "split up investment banking from banking"] (CNBC)

Real Talk With Sheila Bair: Leave These Folks Penniless Or In Jail (Forbes)

The Man Who Invented “Too Big to Fail” Banks Finally Recants. Will Obama or Romney Follow? by Robert Reich (Robert Reich blog)

Banker's about-face renews calls for big bank breakups (The Hill blogs)

Are the Banks Too Big to Fail, Manage and Regulate? (The Fiscal Times) Big banks' glory days feared to be gone for good (Reuters)

A Fed Governor [Sarah Bloom Raskin] Wants Tougher Rules by Simon Johnson (The New York Times blogs)

Summer 2012 Reading List: Choosing the Road to Prosperity: Why We Must End Too Big to Fail – Now by Richard W. Fisher, president & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

     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, July 27, 2012

Friday roundup (07-27-12)


Euro-Zone Gloom Deepens (The Wall Street Journal)

Draghi Said To Hold Talks With Weidmann On Bond Purchases (Bloomberg)

ECB Is Ready To Do ‘What Ever It Takes’ [a sardonic headline to a post that lists past such pronouncements] (The Big Picture blog)

The new world deserts the old [the opening two words are: "Bank runs ..."] (The Economist)

Are Fiat Currencies Headed for a Collapse? (CNBC)

Spain Jobless Reaches Post-Franco Record Amid Austerity: Economy (Bloomberg)

Spain discusses state bailout; ECB seen writing off Greek debt (Reuters) Spain discussed 300 billion euro bailout with Germany - source (Reuters)

Take Heed of IMF’s Worst-Case Scenario for Spain (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

ECB may take losses in second Greek debt restructuring (Reuters)

Japan's deflation speeds up in June; yen falls (Marketwatch)

Sir Mervyn King admits policymakers made 'major mistakes' in financial crisis: Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, has said for the first time that the financial crisis was the result of “major mistakes” by economic policymakers and not the bad behaviour of bankers. (The Telegraph) Fraud King Mervyn Lies, Lies, Lies. Post by Max Keiser (Max Keiser)

Drought, deluge and heat-wave blights pea crop: Britain's families will pay more for peas this summer as the year of unpredictable weather leaves growers with a heavily reduced harvest. (The Telegraph)

Current [US] Recovery Second Slowest Postwar Rebound (The Wall Street Journal blogs) [Followed later in the day by the question:] Is This Worst or Second-Worst Postwar Recovery? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

U.S. Economy Slowed to a Tepid 1.5% Rate of Growth (The New York Times) Growth In U.S. Slows As Consumers Restrain Spending (Bloomberg) Q2 GDP Rises a Sluggish 1.5% (The Capital Spectator) The Recovery Begins to Fade Before Our Eyes (Bloomberg)

Obama administration projects 2012 budget deficit of $1.2 trillion as economic growth slows (The Associated Press)

Spot the socialists (The Big Picture blog)

Consumer sentiment falls to 2012 low (Reuters)

Restaurants Blame Weak Consumer Confidence for Sales Slowdown ["restaurants" here being defined, in part, as McDonalds and Starbucks] (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Unemployment could stay high as US economy slows (The Associated Press)

Foreclosures surge in first half of 2012 (CBS MoneyWatch) [And A] New Crop of Foreclosures Is Coming (CNBC) Negative Equity Problem Could Make Foreclosure Crisis Even Worse (U. S. News & World Report)

Regulators close small bank in Georgia for total of 39 US failures in 2012 (The Associated Press) Jasper Banking Company of Jasper GA had a troubled assets ratio of 652%. (BankTracker) Jasper Banking Company, Georgia, Fails After 67 Years And Sold To Stearns Bank (Problem Bank List)

Breaking up the megabanks: Congress should consider again how best to protect Americans from a repeat of the last banking meltdown. [editorial] (The Los Angeles Times) Banking Titans Call for Break Up of “Too Big to Fail” (The Big Picture blog)

[But...] Wall Street Closes Ranks Against Sandy Weill (New York Magazine)

Octopus: Read This Book to Understand Wall Street (Rolling Stone blogs)

From natural resources to currency wars (Russia Today)



US drought getting worse; Illinois in 'extreme drought' (The Associated Press) Worsening Illinois drought points to increasingly ominous signs for crops: Dry spell, which could becomes state's worst on record, may lead to higher food prices (The Chicago Tribune) Oklahoma Drought Is Intensifying Across State, Report Shows (The Associated Press)

Will (a lack of) Water Threaten U.S. Energy Production? (The Scientific American blogs)

Munich Re's Ergo to Cut Up to 1,350 Jobs in Sales, Back Office (The Wall Street Journal)

    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, July 26, 2012

Thursday roundup (07-26-12)


Mario Draghi pledges to do 'whatever it takes' to save euro: Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, has pledged to do "whatever it takes" to protect the eurozone from collapse - including fighting unreasonably high government borrowing costs. (The Telegraph) ECB Finds a Way to Buy Sovereign Debt (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Citi sees 90 percent chance of Greece leaving the euro
 (Reuters) Buiter’s now predicting Grexit probability of 90% (FT Alphaville blog)

Portugal may need stimulus if slump worsens - OECD (Reuters)

30-year mortgage at record low [in the United States]; pending home sales drop (The Associated Press) Vital Signs Chart: New Home Sales Suggest Uneven Recovery (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Muni Blues Worry Investors: Growing Fear That Cities Will Default—Not Out of Necessity but as a Strategy (The Wall Street Journal)

Who Else Wants to Break Up the Big Banks? (The American Banker)

Going After LIBOR Manipulators In Early 2008 Would Have Been Disastrous (The Business Insider)

The worst drought in 50 years (The Washington Post blogs) Drought diminishes mighty Mississippi, puts heat on Congress (Reuters)

The world is closer to a food crisis than most people realise: Unless we move quickly to adopt new population, energy, and water policies, the goal of eradicating hunger will remain just that by Lester R. Brown (The Guardian)

Alcatel-Lucent To Cut 5,000 Jobs After Reporting Loss (Bloomberg)

Sharp mulls job cuts of around 3,000: report (Marketwatch)

     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, 07-26-12)


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.)

"Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 35,000 in the week ended July 21 to 353,000, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

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, July 25, 2012

Wednesday roundup (07-25-12)


Don Coxe - The Global Situation Is Becoming Quite Desperate (King World News) (Audio)

Call me a prophet of doom if you want, but Europe's meltdown isn't a recession - it's a coming depression (The Daily Mail)

Spain on the brink (CNNMoney)

Bad news piles up for Europe as UK recession deepens and bailout threat hovers over Spain (The Associated Press) Britain sinks far deeper into recession than forecast (Reuters) George Osborne reeling as economy enters the disaster zone: Chancellor urged to rethink austerity plan by business, the City and opposition after shock slump in GDP (The Guardian) U.K.’s Bigger-Than-Forecast Slump Pressures Cameron (Bloomberg)

Spain, France Up Pressure on Germany, ECB (Dow Jones Newswires)

Greece To Run Out Of Money In A Month, Second Debt Restructuring Highly Likely (Forbes) Debt crisis: Greece's bondholders could face more losses, says Berlin: One of Angela Merkel's close allies has raised the prospect of another round of write-offs on Greece's debt obligations. (The Telegraph)

Egan-Jones downgrades Italy, sees 22% default risk (Marketwatch) Egan-Jones Cuts Italy Further into Junk Territory (Dow Jones Newswires)

Italian cities risk 580 mln euro writedown - report (Reuters)

Former rating agency worker: 'I am genuinely frightened': Joris's interviewee worries that no fundamental changes have been made since the financial crisis hit (The Guardian)

Rethinking Capitalism: Sandy Weill Says Bring Back Glass-Steagall (Forbes) Sandy Weill's Untimely Second Thoughts (Bloomberg) Weill’s ‘Enormous Satisfaction’ [Years Ago in] Busting Glass-Steagall (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Wall Street Legend Sandy Weill: Break Up the Big Banks (CNBC) Weill Calls for Splitting Up Big Banks (The New York Times blogs) Sandy Weill Joins Occupy Wall Street Movement (Mother Jones) Former Citigroup Boss Goes H.A.M. on Big Banks, Advocates Return of Glass-Steagall (New York Magazine) Big-Bank Pioneer Now Seeks Breakup (The Wall Street Journal)

All Of The Sudden, Congressmen Were Talking About Reinstating Glass-Steagall On The Hill Today (The Business Insider)

Housing Data “Surprises” to Downside (Permits, Starts & Completions) (The Big Picture blog)

Cities At Tipping Point Tear Up Contracts To Stay Solvent (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. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday roundup (07-24-12)


Europe is sleepwalking towards imminent disaster, warn top economists: The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists. (The Telegraph)

Euro crisis brings world to brink of depression: Parallels to 1930s’ missteps unmistakable (Marketwatch)

Financial expert: A debt avalanche is on the way (Deutsche Welle) What Debt Crisis? A Default Primer for Governments (The Heritage Foundation)

Message to Europe: It's Time For Your Bank Holiday (Forbes)

Moody’s lowers to ‘negative’ outlook for a rating of European rescue fund (The Associated Press)

Euro-Area Manufacturing, Services Shrink For 6th Month: Economy (Bloomberg)

Germany's prized AAA credit rating under threat amid fears of eurozone meltdown (This is Money)

Greece will need more debt restructuring - EU officials (Reuters)

Spain Edges Toward Rescue As Regions Aided: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Markets pressured by Spanish bailout fears as country’s borrowing rates keep rising (The Associated Press) Five Reasons for Spain's Colossal Economic Troubles (The Associated Press)

Italy’s 10-Year Spread Widens To Highest Since Monti Took Power (Bloomberg)

Financial recovery plan agreed for Sicily - Italy PM's office (Reuters)

Why France is on the road to becoming the new Greece (The Telegraph blogs) France's debt crisis could doom the European Union: France's economy is hanging by a thread – and French President Hollande is reaching for the scissors. (The Christian Science Monitor blogs)

American Pie in the Sky by Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate)

DAVID ROSENBERG: A String Of Extremely Rare Events Show That Recession Risks Are Rising (The Business Insider)

Recession won’t recede (The Boston Herald)

High and Dry: The catastrophic drought is even worse for the rest of the economy than it is for farmers. (Slate)

Bad Banks, Big Bailouts and Bruises: ‘Bailout,’ by Neil Barofsky (The New York Times) Former TARP Official: Both Parties are Captive to the Big Banks (Time) Timothy Geithner denies he's cozy with banks (Politico) Geithner 'deeply offended' by charges in new book (USAToday)

‘Too big to fail’ grows: The failure of banking reform (The New York Post)

Trust in Financial System Falls Back to 2009 Levels (The Wall Street Journal blogs) [And from the UK:] How rip-off banks lost trust of the public: Culture of dishonesty must stop, warns FSA chief (The Daily Mail)

[Norway's] Telenor to slash 2,000 jobs in India (The Economic Times of India)

Europe Heat Wave Wilting Corn Adds To U.S. Drought (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. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday roundup (07-23-12)


SocGen: Deflation Is Now 'A Major Threat For Financial Markets' (The Business Insider)

In Euro Zone, Debt Pressure Tightens Grip (The New York Times) Europe debt crisis worries flare again (The Associated Press)

Crisis Threatens Europe's Core: Moody's Sours On Germany, Netherlands (Forbes) Moody's Gives Core Europe A Negative Outlook (The Business Insider)

Senior U.S. Treasury Official Heading to Rome, Athens (The Wall Street Journal)

John Paulson Said To See 50% Chance That Euro Will Fail (Bloomberg)

Can Greece still be saved? (Deutsche Welle) Greece nears judgment day as 'troika' returns Deutsche Welle) Who will hold the Troika to account for asphyxiating Greece? (The Telegraph blogs)

Spain moves nearer to full-scale rescue (The BBC) Spain slump deepens as bailout fears grow (Reuters) Day of woe on all fronts for Spanish economy (EuroNews)



Eurozone danger mounts as Spain spins out of control: Spain is battling to avert a fully-fledged sovereign rescue after borrowing costs spiralled out of control, with dangerous knock-on effects in Italy and Eastern Europe. (The Telegraph) Spanish yields spiralling upwards (FT Alphaville blog)

Spain’s debt insurance surges to record high (Marketwatch)

Trade in Italian banks suspended after big drops (Marketwatch) [Meanwhile ...] Italy bans stock short-selling as market plunges: Italy's market watchdog on Monday imposed a week-long ban on the short-selling of financial stocks as the Milan index plunged amid fears that if Spain needs a bailout, Italy could be next. (The Associated Press)

Austerity hit Italy may not be able to open schools (The Scotsman) Province contro Monti: "Con i tagli a rischio l'apertura delle scuole": L'allarme del vicepresidente vicario dell’Upi, Antonio Saitta: "Metà delle province andrà in dissesto economico" (Il Giornale)

Deutsche Bank: EU Bailouts of Italy and Spain Can Be Done (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Japan Sees Wider Global Slowdown As China Growth Cools: Economy (Bloomberg)

US Economy Going from Bad to Worse: Roubini (CNBC)

LIBOR Fraud May Be the Mother of All Bank Scandals by James Rickards (U. S. News & World Report blogs) James Rickards Interview: Gold to $5-7k and Libor Damages Could Destroy the Banking System: Investment banker and Wall Street insider James Rickards says the Libor rate rigging scandal "is the greatest fraud and greatest potential liability in history." He thinks rate rigging banks could be on the hook for "$2.5 trillion," and "The potential damages could destroy the banking system." Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he goes One-on-One with James Rickards. (Youtube)



Libor Case Documents Show Timid Regulators (The New York Times blogs)

Sheila Bair: Get tough on big banks: The former head of the FDIC says regulators need to be much more aggressive when policing the biggest banks. (CNNMoney)



U.S. Banks Spawn 10,000 Units Worldwide To Cut Taxes (Bloomberg)

This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied - The Sequel (ZeroHedge blog)

Missouri declares state of emergency due to heat, drought (Reuters)

Cisco to cut about 1,300 jobs (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. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday roundup (07-22-12)


Global economy in worst shape since 2009 (The Associated Press)

Greece Back At Center Of Euro Crisis As Exit Talk Resurfaces (Bloomberg) German minister: 'horror' of a Greek euro exit has faded (Agence France Presse)

IMF To Stop Further Aid Tranches To Greece, Spiegel Says (Bloomberg) "The move is likely to lead to debt-saddled Greece's insolvency in September." (Marketwatch)

Germany’s Roesler Says ‘Very Skeptical’ Greece Can Be Rescued (Bloomberg) Greece’s Far-Left [Opposition] Leader Says Country Will Default (The Epoch Times)

Greece now in "Great Depression", PM says (Reuters)

Prepare for Spanish Implosion: Businesses Threaten to Leave Spain Over Tax Hikes; Finance Minister Proposes 56% Tax on Short-Term Financial Transactions (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Another Look At Why Italy Will Exit The Eurozone Before Spain (The Business Insider)

Sicily Swap Losses Burden Debt Amid Liquidity Crunch (Bloomberg) Is Sicily Just The Canary In The Italian Coal Mine? (Forbes)

US POVERTY ON TRACK TO RISE TO HIGHEST SINCE 1960S (The Associated Press)

The Evidence Of A Coming Recession Is Overwhelming (The Business Insider) Earnings Show Recession May Be 'Fast Approaching' (CNBC)

Growth Cooled As Americans Curbed Spending: U.S. Economy Preview (Bloomberg)

More Americans Put Off Medical Care as Costs Rise (CNBC)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 905 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Financial Scandal Scorecard (The New York Times)

City officials are waging a war on gardens (Grist)

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds (Bill Moyers & Company) Reconnecting Farmers, Society and the Earth (Vandana Shiva)



     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, July 21, 2012

Saturday roundup (07-21-12)


Crime of the century with Max Kesier: In this edition of the show Max interviews Gerald Celente from trendsresearch.com. He talks about the bankers and governments manipulation of the global interest rates. Gerald Celente is an American trend forecaster, publisher of the Trends Journal, business consultant and author who makes predictions about the global financial markets and other events of historical importance. (Youtube)



ECB’s Draghi: euro “absolutely not” in danger as debt crisis simmers, currency is irrevocable (The Associated Press) Euro is 'irreversible': ECB President Draghi claims there is no danger the single currency bloc will break up (This is Money) ECB's Draghi says euro not in danger (Reuters) The euro is "irreversible" and not in danger, says Draghi: The euro is “irreversible” and the beleaguered currency union is not in danger of collapsing, according to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. (The Telegraph)

Six Spanish Regions May Seek Bailout After Valencia, Pais Says (Bloomberg)

Erasing Sarkozy: François Hollande Legislates His Predecessor’s Policies Into Oblivion: A revised deficit-cutting budget bill passed by France's ruling leftists Thursday effectively repeals all major reforms undertaken by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, virtually erasing virtually all his economic policies. (Time)

For UBS, a Record of Averting Prosecution (The New York Times)

Fears of a third quarter of recession add to Osborne's woes (The Independent) George Osborne under fire as recession continues: George Osborne's record as Chancellor is likely to come under heavy fire this week with offical figures expected to show that the economy has lied mired in recession for a third consecutive quarter. (The Telegraph) Lord Lawson's advice to Osborne: give up the strategy and focus on your job: Former chancellor tells his longtime admirer he needs to devote more time to running Britain's economy (The Guardian) U.K. Second-Quarter GDP Seen Declining 0.2% As Recession Deepens (Bloomberg)

Is the US losing patience with the eurozone debacle?: Having shown the eurozone a lot of latitude, the rest of the world - particularly America - is on the brink of losing patience. (The Telegraph)

Two-thirds of Dodd-Frank still not in place (CNNMoney)

From an Unlikely Source, a Serious Challenge to Wall Street (Rolling Stone blogs)

Government study: Private student loans parallel boom-bust of subprime mortgages (The Washington Post)

Coming: The End of Fiat Money: Stephanie Pomboy, founder of MacroMavens, sees the world hurtling toward a day in which money will again be backed by gold or other hard assets. Until then, she also sees plenty of trouble. (Barron's)

Worldwide Debt Default is the Only Solution (The Market Oracle)

Revolutionary Cycles and the History of Financial Bubbles w/Carlota Perez (Russia Today) "She is Professor of Technology and Development at the Technological University of Tallinn, Estonia" (Carlota Perez)



     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, July 20, 2012

Friday roundup (07-20-12)


Senior IMF Economist Resigns, Cites Suppression and [pro-]Europe Bias (The Wall Street Journal blogs) IMF economist accuses Fund of suppressing information (Reuters) "After twenty years of service, I am ashamed to have had any association with the Fund at all." [resignation letter @] (CNN Business blogs)

Demand for Spanish Bonds Collapses; "No Money Left to Pay Services" says Treasury Minister; Massive Protests Over Austerity; Two-Year Yield soars 60 Basis Points (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog) Spain won't grow until 2014 as eurozone agrees bank bailout: Spain's stock market suffered its largest one-day fall in two years after the country revealed it will not return to growth until 2014 and will have to pay an extra €9.1bn next year just to service its debt. (The Telegraph) Bank bailout fails to ease fears for Spain (The Associated Press) How Spain went from quiet to crisis in two days (The Washington Post blogs) Spread Between Spain and Germany Sounds Alarm Bells (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Is France Really One of the World's Safest Debt Markets? (Reuters)

Italy's economic crisis risks sparking 'civil war' in Sicily: The misery caused by Italy's financial crisis could spark a "civil war" in the southern island of Sicily, the mayor of regional capital Palermo said on Friday. (Agence France Presse)

Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost…” (FT Alphaville)

U.K.’s Widening Deficit Casts Doubt on Fiscal Goals: Economy (Bloomberg) Borrowing jump in June leaves Osborne struggling to hit deficit targets as IMF urges UK to consider Plan B (This is Money)

Here’s Another Indicator Pointing Toward Recession [in the US] (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Widespread Drought Is Likely to Worsen (The New York Times) Food inflation fears grow as corn jumps to record: Long-term food crisis is just beginning, say analysts (Marketwatch) U.S. crops bake in searing heat, no relief for weeks (Reuters)

Libor Interest Rate Scandal: Traders set bank-lending rates after weighing factors like investor confidence, the money supply, the human anus and yanking things out of it. (Comedy Central's The Colbert Report)




Libor Interest Rate Scandal - Dave Leonhardt: The best way to restore faith in the banking system is with a trust fall over a cliff, and Dave Leonhardt explains why Libor is not like cupcakes. (Comedy Central's The Colbert Report)




The financial system was systemically corrupt (The Washington Post) Libor Case Documents Show Timid Regulators (The New York Times blog) Libor-fixing problems known at height of financial crisis: British Bankers' Association (BBA) issued a warning to banks in April 2008 to 'submit honest rates' to its Libor setting (The Guardian)

Libor scandal is raising odds U.S. will break up its biggest banks (The American Enterprise Institute)

Most US states trail pre-recession job levels (Bloomberg)

Millions of older Americans at risk of foreclosure (CNNMoney) Foreclosure After 50 (The New York Times)

Vital Signs: Existing Home Sales Dip (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Loan defaults drain $37 billion from 401(k)s each year (CNNMoney)

Two federal agencies cite problems with private student loans: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Education Department say lenders have flooded the market with often risky student loans. (The Los Angeles Times) Study: Private student loans parallel subprime (The Associated Press) Report Details Woes of Student Loan Debt (The New York Times) The Government Takes Aim at Risky Student Loans (Bloomberg) Once Again In the News (Iacono Research) Private Student Loans [report] (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Private student loan debt reaches $150 billion (CNNMoney)

Obama Administration Backs Bankruptcy Option for Some Student Debt (The Wall Street Journal)

Regulators close 5 small banks in Ga., Fla., Kansas, Ill. for total of 38 US failures in 2012 (The Associated Press)

First Cherokee State Bank of Woodstock GA had a troubled assets ratio of 450.8%. (BankTracker) First Cherokee State Bank, GA, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

The Royal Palm Bank of Florida of Naples FL had a troubled assets ratio of 259.1%. (BankTracker) The Royal Palm Bank of Florida Closed By Regualtors (Problem Bank List)

Georgia Trust Bank of Buford GA had a troubled assets ratio of 544.5%. (BankTracker) Georgia Trust Bank Fails – Feds Sell Bank To Community & Southern Bank (Problem Bank List)

Heartland Bank of Leawood KS had a troubled assets ratio of 121.3%. (BankTracker) Heartland Bank, Leawood, KS, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Second Federal Savings and Loan Association of Chicago of Chicago IL had a troubled assets ratio of 412.7%. (BankTracker) Second Federal Savings and Loan Association Of Chicago, IL, Closed By Feds (Problem Bank List)

Facing an uncertain future, banks slash jobs (NBCNews)

Goldman Sachs: the bank that thought it ruled the world: Goldman Sachs was ‘doing God's work' - but it is now being investigated for fraud. Harry Wilson reports. (The Telegraph)

     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.