Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday roundup (08-31-12)


Eurozone jobless goes past 18 million (The Independent)

UN warns of 'catastrophic' rise in European youth unemployment if Greece left eurozone: The UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned of a "catastrophic" rise in unemployment, especially among the young, if debt-wracked Greece were to leave the eurozone or if the bloc were to split. (The Telegraph)

'The Most Perturbing Aspect of the Current Slowdown Is That the Weakness Is So Widespread' (Financial Armageddon blog) Summertime blues: The slowdown is spreading around the world (The Economist)

Draghi plan under threat amid EU split: Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to water down emergency measures to prop up Spain and Italy, after reports that the chief of Germany’s Bundesbank threatened to quit in protest at the plan. (The Telegraph)

Merkel asks Italy to delay bailout request: report (Marketwatch)

Spain creates ‘bad bank’ to manage toxic assets (The Associated Press)

Deflation Deepens As Japan Contraction Risk Intensifies: Economy (Bloomberg) Bank Of Japan Out Of Ammunition For Deflation Fight, Motani Says (Bloomberg)

"Restoring Capitalism To The Capitalists" -- ["Recent speech by the Governor of the Bank of Canada Mark Carney to the Canadian Auto Workers .. the Bank of Canada is Canada's central bank like the Federal Reserve in the U.S. .. emphasizes building resilient financial institutions, ending too-big-to-fail, moving from shadow banking to market-based finance, what needs to be done for a sound economy & sound money to foster globally competitive industries ... 5* - a must read"] (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Defending Fed, Bernanke signals new economic stimulus: In apparent move to build public support, the Fed chief notes stagnation of the labor market and the risks of lingering high unemployment. (The Los Angeles Times) Fed Chairman Makes Case, in Strong Terms, for New Action (The New York Times) Bernanke: With unemployment ‘a grave concern,’ Fed will do more if conditions don’t improve (The Washington Post) Bernanke Makes Case For Further Stimulus To Help Jobless (Bloomberg) Bernanke Clears the way for QE3 in September (Calculated Risk blog) Two more reviews of Bernanke's Speech: Weak Labor Market "a grave concern" (Calculated Risk blog)

The Federal Reserve: From Central Bank to Central Planner: The Fed's 'nontraditional' actions have crossed a bright line into fiscal policy and the direct allocation of credit. (The Wall Street Journal)

Recession In U.S. Likely If Congress Doesn’t Act, Feldstein Says (Bloomberg)

Low wage jobs are dominating the U.S. recovery (The Washington Post blogs) Most new jobs in economic recovery are low-paying, study finds: Lower-paying jobs, with median hourly wages from $7.69 to $13.83, made up about 58% of the job growth from the end of the recession in late 2009 through early 2012. (The Los Angeles Times) Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds (The New York Times) The Low-Wage Recovery and Growing Inequality [the report] (National Employment Law Project)

Governor Brown Admits the Obvious "We Have Lived Beyond Our Means"; Brown Agrees to Vast Overhaul of the California's Pension System; Unions Howl Over Obvious Truth (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

NY Federal Reserve: Short Selling Bans Don’t Work (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Plague of Broken Contracts Frays Cotton Market (The Wall Street Journal)

JPMorgan faces sea of trouble resolving "Whale" probe (Reuters)

The Gold Standard Goes Mainstream: In the ferment within today's Republican Party, there's a growing realization that America's system of fiat money is part of the economic problem. (The Wall Street Journal)

Should the U.S. Return to the Gold Standard?: Matthew O'Brien, associate editor at The Atlantic, and James Rickards, senior managing director at Tangent Capital Partners, debate whether the U.S. should return to the gold standard. Bloomberg's Deirdre Bolton moderates. (Bloomberg)



Reprise: Simon Johnson On the Quiet Coup d'Etat in the Anglo-American Financial System (Jesse's Café Américain blog)

Greyerz: Investors Assets To Be Stolen In The Coming Collapse (King World News)

     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, August 30, 2012

Thursday roundup (08-30-12)


September Offers 15 Days To Cement Crisis Solutions: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

China’s fears grow over eurozone crisis: China has expressed deep alarm at the escalating crisis in Europe and warned against austerity overkill as Europe's crumbling demand sends shock waves through Asia. (The Telegraph) Chinese Premier urges Greece, Spain and Italy to sort out debt crisis and admits he is 'worried' (The Daily Mail)

Euro breakup would cost Germany 10 percent of GDP - wise man (Reuters)

Bundesbank chief considered quitting over ECB bond buying-paper (Reuters) Draghi Takes On Bundesbank Orthodoxy In Crisis-Plan Plea (Bloomberg)

Spain Said To Speed EU Bank Bailout On Collateral Limits (Bloomberg)

Portugal 2012 deficit to exceed target - report (Reuters)

Why Are the Big Banks Suddenly Afraid? by Simon Johnson (The New York Times)

Keen2012StudyEconomicsAtUWS (Youtube)



Webchat: Put your questions on the financial crisis to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: After five years of financial crisis, are we through the worst? Put your questions to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard during a live webchat from 12.30pm on Wednesday 5 September. (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 08-30-12)


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.)

"Initial jobless claims were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 374,000 in the week ended Aug. 25, the Labor Department said. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 374,000 from an original reading of 372,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims In U.S. Unchanged Last Week At One-Month High (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, August 29, 2012

Wednesday roundup (08-29-12)


ECB's Liikanen: Europe Halfway Through Debt-Crisis Marathon (The Wall Street Journal)

Greek coalition leaders back outline of new austerity measures needed to stave off bankruptcy (The Associated Press)

Spain's Bankia seen losing 4 bln euros in first half (Reuters)

Italy Prime Minister Mario Monti faces growing pressure over debt: As other nations push Italy to buckle down with austerity measures, critics at home blast Monti for focusing on cost-cutting and taxes rather than growth. (The Los Angeles Times)

If U.S. enters depression, ‘world will follow’, former World Bank economist warns (The Financial Post)

At pivotal moment, Bernanke low on economic ammo (The Washington Post)

Consumer Debt Narrows, Consumer Still Struggling (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Student Debt Woes Could Magnify Economic Problems: Heavy burdens and lower pay now raise fears of depressed spending and growth into the future (U. S. News & World Report) Student-Loan Debt Rises to $914 Billion in Latest Quarter (Bloomberg)

Banks give $10.6 billion in relief under mortgage settlement (CNNMoney)

CNBC: kid gloves for bankers, boxing gloves for bank critics: Interviews with Barofsky, Spitzer, and Krugman underscore the network’s capture (Columbia Journalism Review)

‘Antichrist’ at SEC, Dimon, Bush Among Villains of Financial Crisis: Tavakoli: Dervivatives expert Janet Tavakoli, who strafes a number of people, has a job for Prince Harry at Goldman Sachs (AdvisorOne)

     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, August 28, 2012

Tuesday roundup (08-28-12)


Eurozone crisis faces crunch week: Europe's leaders cannot win the battle to save the euro in September – but they can certainly lose it (The Guardian) Seven Events That Will Decide Euro Zone Fate: Next Fortnight Is Critical: The 4-year-old drama is about to begin a two-week-long final act (International Business Times) The Calm Before the Euro-Zone Storm (The Wall Street Journal blogs) The Euro Crisis Is Back From Vacation (The New York Times)

Central Banks Need to Act This Month: Bank of England’s Posen (CNBC)

Draghi skips Jackson Hole ahead of pivotal ECB meeting (Reuters)

ECB Said To Urge Weaker Basel Liquidity Rule On Crisis Risks (Bloomberg)

Spanish recession darkens as country mulls bailout (Reuters) Spanish recession deepens as austerity dampens outlook (Bloomberg)

Shut Out of the Debt Markets, Catalonia Asks Madrid for Emergency Aid (The New York Times) Spain’s Catalonia becomes 3rd region to ask for financial help from central government (The Associated Press)

Deposit flight from Spanish banks smashes record in July: Spain has suffered the worst haemorrhaging of bank deposits since the launch of the euro, losing funds equal to 7pc of GDP in a single month. (The Telegraph) Spaniards pull more cash out of banks in July (Reuters)

Debt inspectors face dilemma over Portugal (The Associated Press)

German objections to euro bailout reach defining moment: Germany's constitutional court will decide on 12 September whether the European Stability Mechanism violates German law and the Maastricht Treaty's 'no bailout' clause (The Guardian)

Big cuts still ahead on Britain's road to clear deficit (Reuters)

Japan cuts economic assessment as global slowdown bites (Reuters)

U.S. worse than Europe by Jack M. Mintz, Palmer chair, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary (The Financial Post) The U.S. Is In Much Worse Shape Than Europe (The Golden Truth blog)

Fitch's says US AAA Rating still at Risk (Dow Jones Newswires)

U.S. states' debt tops $4 trillion-report (Reuters) California’s the big winner! (in total debt) (The Desert Sun blogs)

Consumer Confidence In U.S. Declines By Most Since October (Bloomberg)

McCulley and Rosenberg: This Indicator Could be Pointing to Recession (Pragmatic Capitalism)

Mortgage Industry's Need for Speed Played Big Role in Crisis (The American Banker)

Food Stamp Usage up 64% in Last Four Years, Cost up 114% in Same Period; SNAP Charts, Facts and Figures (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Strapped LA battered by pension costs (Capitol Weekly)

Sharp to Cut 2,000 Jobs in Japan, 6 Percent of Local Workforce (PC World)

Lexmark Layoffs To Cut 1,700 Jobs; Company To Stop Making Inkjets (The Associated Press)

Comair says it will lay off [524] employees and close down by Sept. 30 (Crain's Detroit Business)

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists: Water scarcity's effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed population expected to reach 9bn by 2050 (The Guardian)

Why our groundwater aquifers are heading towards bankruptcy: To preserve groundwater aquifiers at sustainable levels, and in the absence of leadership from governments, local communities must take matters into their own hands (The Guardian)

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday roundup (08-27-12)


Eurozone Debt Crisis on Holiday…But Not For Long (Money Morning Australia)

Spain economy did worse than thought in 2010, 2011 (Reuters)

German Business Confidence Falls for a Fourth Month: Economy (Bloomberg)

Germany borrows again at negative rates: Germany has borrowed money again at negative interest rates, meaning investors are taking a loss for the chance to hold the super-safe securities during the eurozone debt crisis. (The Associated Press)

The U.S. drought is mostly a problem for poorer countries (The Washington Post blogs)

Repeal of Glass-Steagall Caused the Financial Crisis by James Rickards -- ["Without a return to something like Glass-Steagall, another greater catastrophe is just a matter of time. ... Now, when memories are fresh, is the time to reinstate Glass-Steagall to prevent a third cycle of fraud on customers."] (U.S. News & World Report blogs)

Doug Casey on the 'Worsening Storm,' QE3 and the Hard Assets Alliance (The Daily Bell)

The Silent Depression: Gordon T Long discussion with John Rubino .. explains how the slowing economy is affecting the welfare of the middle class (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) [Your blogger dissents from the view that "the government did it"; there is plenty of blame to be assumed by everyone.]



Hyatt Dearborn employees facing layoff notices: 650 employees affected at Dearborn's Hyatt Regency Hotel (Click on Detroit)

     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, August 26, 2012

Sunday roundup (08-26-12)


Merkel Reins-In Greek Exit Talk As Euro Enters ‘Decisive Phase’ (Bloomberg)

German economy minister rejects call to give Greece more time for reforms (The Associated Press)

ECB rescue plan could be 'addictive like a drug', says Weidmann: Central bank financing can be “addictive like a drug”, the president of the Bundesbank has warned, in comments that emphasize the dangerous gulf between Germany and the European Central Bank. (The Telegraph) German Central Banker Sees Danger in Euro Rescue Plan (The New York Times)

Portugal risks seeking breathing space as budget misses loom: Dwindling tax revenues brought on by record joblessness and deep recession will force Portugal to seek breathing space, much like Greece has, on commitments to EU-IMF creditors, analysts say. (Agence France Presse)

Dutch Premier Rutte Defends Austerity, Says No to More Greek Aid (Bloomberg)

The will for austerity [in Britain] is waning and crisis may not be far away: Recently a number of economists have started to say that George Osborne should end cuts to capital spending (government investment in capital projects) and perhaps even raise it – maybe spending some more money on housing or roads or airports. (The Telegraph)

Building bridges and airports won’t solve the UK’s key problem of household debt: Unlike Team GB, the UK economy has made no progress since 2008. Quite the reverse. (The Telegraph)

More mortgage woes ahead for millions [in the UK]: More lenders will now be tempted to increase profits by raising rates in the coming weeks, experts warn (The Independent)

Isaac storm surge could put $36 billion worth of homes at risk (Reuters)

SEC's retreat leaves money funds vulnerable to a crisis (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Peak cheap oil is an incontrovertible fact: If the looming global oil crunch has been postponed for another decade or two as widely alleged, this is far from obvious in today’s commodity markets. (The Telegraph)

Long fight over fracking still divides Pa. town (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Nomura to cut equities, investment banking in strategic reset [resulting in hundreds of job losses] (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.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday roundup (08-25-12)


Broken promises [regarding fiscal discipline] hinder euro zone’s recovery (The Washington Post)

Merkel and Hollande sidestep Greece's plea for breathing space: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande pledged to keep Greece in the eurozone, but offered Greece no immediate relief from its current regime of painful austerity measures. (The Telegraph) German Finance Minister rejects more time for Greek reforms again (Reuters)

GM seeks to expand credit line: WSJ (Reuters)

Cash Moves by HSBC in Inquiry [by US Prosecutors] (The New York Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 898 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

This Year's Drought Is So Severe, You Can See Its Toll on the Mississippi River From Space (The Atlantic)

GM's Opel may cut 30 pct of jobs in Germany - report (Reuters)

Carrefour unions see [500 to 600] job cuts in France (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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday roundup (08-24-12)


Analysts fear euro-zone capital flight might snowball (The Washington Post)

Merkel offers Greek PM no extra time on bailout (Reuters) German finance ministry studying "Grexit" costs: paper (Reuters)

Bernanke Sees Further Scope for Easing to Spur U.S. Economy (Bloomberg) Will the Fed’s efforts to boost the economy only benefit the wealthiest? (The Washington Post blogs)

The End Of US Economic Growth (The Business Insider)

Orders fall for most durable goods in July (The Associated Press)

Weak recovery leaves laid-off US workers struggling to find new jobs; most take pay cuts (The Associated Press)

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class (The Big Picture blog) The Lost Decade of the Middle Class: Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier (Pew Research Center)

Federal debt nears $16 trillion, with no easy way to pay it down (FoxNews)

Hostess CEO Threatens Liquidation (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Autodesk to cut about 500 jobs; 2Q results miss Street's view, lowers 3Q revenue outlook (The Associated Press)

Doug Casey Predicts Day of Economic Reckoning Is Near (The Gold Report)

     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, August 23, 2012

Thursday roundup (08-23-12)


Eurozone headed for recession as economic rot spreads: The eurozone looks destined for its second recession in three years, as business surveys showed the economic rot is even spreading to Germany, the region's largest and strongest economy. (The Telegraph) German dip sounds the alarm in eurozone: Bloc heads back into recession with ECB under increasing pressure to act (The Independent)

Some PMIs went up, but the eurozone is still headed for recession (FT Alphaville blog)

El-Erian: Will Actions Follow Words in Europe? (CNBC)

Spain in talks with euro zone over sovereign aid (Reuters) Now debt-stricken Spain starts talks to get huge bailout (The Daily Mail) Spain mulls bailout request as Merkel calls time on Greek funding (The Independent)

Spain to intervene faster in ailing banks: sources (Reuters)

Merkel and Hollande unite in tough message for Greece (Reuters) Germany’s Merkel and France’s Hollande: Greece must keep pursuing key economic reforms (The Associated Press)

Greece May Sell Islands As Juncker Urges Asset Sales Drive (Bloomberg)

Greece needs debt restructuring, not more time: Official lenders must take a haircut on Greek loans (Marketwatch)

Dutch housing facing Spain-like slump, says builder BAM (Reuters)

Britain's richest 5% gained most from quantitative easing – Bank of England: Bank report to MPs reveals wealthiest boosted by QE and low base rate, but insists policy spared UK from even deeper slump (The Guardian) Wealthy Britons benefit most from BoE bond buys (Reuters)

Which Country Goes Bankrupt Next? (Hint: It's Not Who You Think) [= Japan at the top of the list] (The Motley Fool)

Chinese manufacturing slumps to 9-month low (CNNMoney) China Flash Manufacturing PM at 47.8, 9-month low (Global Macro Monitor blog)

Why we are on the brink of the greatest Depression of all time (FoxNews)

Data point to slow pace of healing in economy (Reuters)

U.S. new home sales rise 3.6 pct in July, but prices fall (Reuters)

Half of mortgage borrowers under 40 are underwater (CNNMoney)

Fed joins stimulus party as global trade slumps: All three major blocs of the world economy have shifted gears dramatically over the last month, preparing a fresh blast of stimulus to combat the sharpest contraction in global trade since the 2008-09 crisis. (The Telegraph) Many at Fed Ready to Act if Necessary (The New York Times) Fed minutes suggest strongly that QE3 is coming in September (The Big Picture blog)

Household income fell more in recovery than during recession (The Washington Post) Household income is below recession levels, report says (The Washington Post) U.S. Incomes Fell More In Recovery, Sentier Says (Bloomberg) Household income fell 4.8% during economic recovery, study finds (The Los Angeles Times)

Why Does Wall Street Always Win? by Simon Johnson (The New York Times blogs)

Why Are There Still No Bankers In Jail? (The Big Picture blog)

The Un-Mourned Victims Of Our Bankster Politics (Market Ticker)

Republicans Eye Return to Gold Standard (The Financial Times)

Obama and Romney Fiscal Visions Would Fail to Cut U.S. Debt (Bloomberg)

Sony to Cut 1,000 Jobs to Reduce Costs at Mobile Unit [confirms rumor posted yesterday] (Bloomberg)

Aviva to Cut Up to 800 Jobs as McFarlane Reshapes Insurer (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 08-23-12)


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

IT'S A RECOVERY! (And it has been a recovery for every week since the Nov. 25, 2009 report, with the exception of the Aug. 19, 2010 report.)

"The Labor Department reported Thursday that seasonally-adjusted initial claims rose 4,000 to 372,000." (NBCNews)

US jobless claims rise, labor market healing very slowly (Reuters)

Jobless Claims In U.S. Climb For Second Week To One-Month [High] (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, August 22, 2012

Wednesday roundup (08-22-12)


Greek PM seeks "breathing space" as talks begin (Reuters) Greek PM To Seek Two-Year Extension in Deficit Targets - Sources (The Wall Street Journal) Eurogroup head Juncker: Greek bailout program extension will depend on debt inspectors’ report (The Associated Press)

David McWilliams: Austerity can't help [Ireland] -- we're heading for mass defaults (The Irish Independent)

U.S. CBO sees worse economic wreckage from "fiscal cliff" (Reuters) Recession imminent if ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax hikes, budget cuts not averted, CBO says (The Washington Post)

CBO: Even if Fiscal Cliff Avoided Unemployment to Remain High (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Even if ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Gets Resolved, Outlook Is Anemic (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Many On FOMC Favored Easing Soon If No Pickup In Growth (Bloomberg) Economists React: Fed ‘Is Itching’ to Take More Action (The Wall Street Journal)

Deflation Probabilities on Our Radar Screen by Patrick Higgins, an economist in the Atlanta Fed's research department [Aug. 10] (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta blogs)

The Only Way Out Of The Great Stagnation [commentary on Richard Duncan's ideas] (Forbes)

165 Million Americans Are Dependents of the State: Is Tyranny Next? (Forbes) THIS CHART SHOWING WELFARE DEPENDENCY WILL RUIN YOUR DAY (The Blaze)

Chemicals Activity Point to Slow Growth Ahead (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Retail Gasoline in U.S. Rises to Record High for Season (Bloomberg)

Vestas Cuts 1,400 Jobs After Forecasting Drop In Shipments (Bloomberg)

Sony May Cut 1,000 Jobs at Swedish Mobile Unit, Sydsvenskan Says (Bloomberg)

QR National confirms 900 jobs to go (SkyNews Australia)

Lockheed Martin to cut 550 jobs (11Alive)

     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, August 21, 2012

Tuesday roundup (08-21-12)


Europe Pressures Intensify: Germany's Merkel Faces Tough Choices as Greek Crisis Threatens Euro Anew (The Wall Street Journal)

Germany ‘Ill-Advised’ to Let Euro Split Up, Posen Tells BBC (Bloomberg) Why Germany May Finally Be Ready To Do What It Takes To Save The Euro (The Business Insider)

Greek austerity bill rises to 13.5 bln euros for next two years - source (Reuters)

Surprise deficit raises risk of more UK austerity (Reuters) U.K. Unexpectedly Posts Deficit as Tax Receipts Plunge: Economy (Bloomberg)

Weak Japan exports, hit by Europe, raise questions on recovery (Reuters) Japan Swings To Trade Deficit As Europe Drags Down Exports (Bloomberg) Japan Posts Bigger-Than-Expected Trade Gap (The Wall Street Journal)

China bubble in 'danger zone' warns Bank of Japan: China risks a repeat of Japan’s boom-bust disaster 20 years ago as exorbitant property prices combine with a demographic tipping point, a top Japanese official has warned. (The Telegraph)

[US is] Back in the Economic Danger Zone (Financial Armageddon blog) Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes in July show weakness (Calculated Risk blog)

Things are getting tense in the municipal bond market (KPCC blogs) Trouble looming for municipal bonds? (The Los Angeles Times) Buffett's Move Raises a Red Flag (The Wall Street Journal)

Interest Rates: The Darkest Black Swan Ahead? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Shhhh…It’s Even Worse Than The Great Depression (Across the Street blog)

The New Depression?: Richard Duncan, author of "The New Depression," discusses whether too much credit in the U.S. could lead to the downfall of capitalism. (CNBC)

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For the Amish, Big Agribusiness Is Destroying a Way of Life: In upstate New York, small farmers are being squeezed out by thousand-cow dairies and genetically modified crop producers. The buggy-driving members of a traditional sect may be hit hardest of all. (The Atlantic)

Edison to lay off 730 workers at San Onofre: Utility says the plan to cut its workforce was begun before the current problems that have kept the nuclear plant offline. (The Los Angeles Times)

Telstra to slash over 600 jobs (SkyNews Australia)

     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, August 20, 2012

Monday roundup (08-20-12)



Lord Rothschild in $200 Million Bet Against Euro: Report (CNBC)

Germany backs Draghi bond plan against Bundesbank: Germany’s director at the European Central Bank has thrown his weight behind mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt to prevent the disintegration of the euro, marking a crucial turning point in the eurozone debt crisis. (The Telegraph)

German central bank warns country’s financial health not a given (The Washington Post)

German foreign minister: Greece should stay in eurozone and follow through with reforms (The Washington Post)

Greece Is About To Seriously Negotiate Its Bailout — Here's What Samaras Can Aim For (The Business Insider)

Dutch Socialist Leader Says Doubtful Euro Will Survive Crisis (Bloomberg)

Chicago Fed: Growth in Economic Activity below trend in July (Calculated Risk blog)

Fed Studies Show Damage To Labor Market Is Reversible (Bloomberg)

Cautious Moves on Foreclosures Haunting Obama (The New York Times)

Cities near a tipping point: [New York] State's municipalities face stark choices as officials cope with reduced funding (The Times Union of Albany)

Quelle Surprise! SEC Plans to Make the World Safer for Fraudsters, Push Through JOBS Act Con-Artist-Friendly Solicitation Rules (Naked Capitalism blog)

'Shadow Bank' System Will Thrive Under New Rules: Bove (CNBC)

Standard Chartered and Why We Must Change the Way We Police Banks (Time)

11-mile stretch of Mississippi River closed (The Associated Press)

Sharp to cut 8,000 jobs through plant sales: paper (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, August 19, 2012

Sunday roundup (08-19-12)


If This Report Is True, The ECB Is Actually Getting Close To Firing Off The Bazooka (The Business Insider) ECB weighing shift to euro-zone bond buys: report (Marketwatch) ECB May Set Yield Limits on Euro Sovereign Bonds, Spiegel Says (Bloomberg)

Eurozone ignoring parallels with Latin American debit crisis of the 1980s: This debit crisis is following same path as one 30 years go. Time to rethink how economics is taught to avoid another lost decade (The Guardian)

EU Leaders Plan Shuttle Talks to Bolster Greece (Bloomberg)

Angela Merkel ally says 'no room for Greece concessions': Conditions of Greek aid programme must be adhered to, insists Germany's Volker Kauder ahead of eurozone talks (The Guardian) Report: Merkel ally rejects concessions to Greece, sees little chance of 3rd rescue package (The Associated Press)

ECB's Asmussen: Greek exit manageable but not preferable (Reuters)

Russian Bear stops Finland leaving euro: German eurosceptics quietly hope that Finland will become the first creditor state to storm out of monetary union in disgust, opening the way for others to break free. (The Telegraph)

Italy warns against EU 'break-up factor' (Agence France Presse)

Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker warned banks they could collapse 'before Christmas [2011]: Bank of England officials were so concerned about the potential for a financial crisis late last year they took the extra­ordinary step of warning the entire banking system could collapse “before Christmas”. (The Telegraph) Tucker Had Told U.K. Bank Heads System May Crash, Telegraph Says (Bloomberg)

The Slowing De-leveraging…. (Pragmatic Capitalism)

Gasoline Prices up 30 cents over last 7 weeks (Calculated Risk blog)

Privatizing Social Security Next Battleground for Campaign (The Associated Press)

America's Demographic Cliff: The Real Issue In The Coming, And All Future Presidential Elections (ZeroHedge blog)

Bill Black: Unless we Fix the Perverse Incentives in our Economy, We are Rolling the Dice Every Day (Capitalism Without Failure) Professor William Black - We've Decriminalized Fraud (USAWatchdog)



Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes (TED)



     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, August 18, 2012

Saturday roundup (08-18-12)


Juncker Verdict on Greece Euro Exit: 'It Will Not Happen' (Reuters)

Schaeuble Rules Out New Aid Plan for Greece, Cites ‘Limits’ (Bloomberg) Grexit debate stirs in Germany ahead of Greek PM visit (Reuters)

Greece must cut extra 2.5 bn euros in next two years: report (Agence France Presse)

Spain says there must be no limit set on ECB bond buying (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny (The New York Times)

Hungry people in Niger sell animals (The Associated Press)

[US] Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 899 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

The Withering of the Affluent Society: Though Americans see upward mobility as their birthright, that assumption faces growing challenges, with consequences not just for the size of our wallets but for the tenor of our politics. by Robert J. Samuelson (The Wilson Quarterly)

'Tonight Show' and Jay Leno get hit with budget cuts (The Los Angeles Times)

Extreme Weather: Rains that are almost biblical, heat waves that don’t end, tornadoes that strike in savage swarms—there’s been a change in the weather lately. What’s going on? (National Geographic)

     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, August 17, 2012

Friday roundup (08-17-12)



Does The IMF Support Eliminating Debt Based Money Creation? [It seems to support the Chicago Plan from the Depression era, which "envisaged the separation of the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, by requiring 100% reserve backing for deposits."] (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) The Chicago Plan Revisited (The International Monetary Fund)

Sentinel ruling may hurt MF Global clients -- [Said Sentinel trustee Fred Grede: "It does not bode well for the protection of customer funds."] (Reuters) Is That A Sentinel -- Or A Siren? (Market Ticker)

Deleveraging Needed In Next 4 Years: $28 Trillion (ZeroHedge blog)

The Lost Decade: Almost All Eurozone Nations Still Below Economic Output of 2008 (Firedoglake blog)

Delaying a eurozone breakup could make the endgame much worse: European politics won't consider an orderly divorce at an early stage, but it is preferable to a messy split down the line (The Guardian)

Still no escape for taxpayers if banks go bust (Reuters)

Greece's debt soars £20bn in three months... New crisis could bring break-up of euro closer (The Daily Mail)

Merkel Mulls Easing Greece Bailout Terms, Lawmakers Say (Bloomberg)

French Historian: The Eurozone Debt Crisis Is A Lot Like The Events That Led To World War 1 (The Business Insider) Attraction and Repulsion Define French-German Relations: Together, Germany and France have long been viewed as the motor of European integration. In the midst of the economic crisis, however, old suspicions and rivalries between Europe's two key nations are being reawakened. Once again, the German approach has France's intellectuals mystified -- and the tone is getting sharper. (Spiegel Online)

Spain Banks Post Record Losses in First Half, Central Bank Says (Bloomberg)

Is Italy in Denial of Its Public Debt? (The Huffington Post blog)

France, U.S. conferring on oil, all options eyed: source (Reuters)

Oil price falls as Britain says it is ready to call for release of reserves: The Government is monitoring the oil price and may call on the International Energy Agency to release its strategic reserves to cool prices, a spokesman has said. (The Telegraph)

White House says tapping oil reserve is 'on the table,' as gas prices rise (FoxNews) [Yesterday:] White House studying potential oil reserve release (Reuters) [Today:] U.S. faces stiff opposition to emergency oil release plans (Reuters)

Recovery in U.S., Though Lackluster, Trumps Europe’s (The New York Times)

State unemployment rates rise in 44 states (CNNMoney) Unemployment rates rise in U.S. election swing states (Reuters)

Long-Term Jobless Regroup to Fight the Odds (The New York Times)

Treasury Revises Payment Terms for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac [which the government calls "the next step toward responsibly winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac"] (Bloomberg) Fannie and Freddie: The Walking Dead (Bloomberg)

Risks of California muni bankruptcies rising - Moody's (Reuters)

High Frequency Trading: Wall Street’s Doomsday Machine? (Time)

Barry Ritholtz on the ghosts haunting the zombified US housing market (Russia Today)



China Said To Order Action By Banks As Developer Loans Sour (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.