Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday roundup (09-30-12)


Austerity Has Failed in Europe, but What's Next? (The Huffington Post blog)

Germany told to 'come clean’ over Greece: German Chancellor Angela Merkel must “come clean at long last” and admit that Greece will need help for another seven or eight years, the German opposition leader said over the weekend. (The Telegraph)

Another domino falls as Hollande pushes France into depression: If French President François Hollande thinks he can assuage the bond markets by dishing out tax-heavy austerity instead of genuine reform, he has been given very bad advice. -- ["France now joins Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, and parts of Eastern Europe ... all dragging each other down in a 1930s slide ..."](The Telegraph)

Thousands march in Paris against austerity in show of support for beleaguered EU partners (The Associated Press)

Greek-Spanish Pension Split Illustrates Europe’s Dilemma (The New York Times)

In Italy, a comedian is getting the last laugh (The Washington Post)

Euro zone won't last in current form, will be smaller: Slovak PM (Reuters)

China slides faster into pensions black hole (Reuters)

Japan business mood worsens as global slowdown bites: BOJ tankan (Reuters) Instant View (Reuters) Japan Tankan Sentiment Worsens as Global Slowdown Hurts Exports (Bloomberg)

Economists [9 out of 17] reluctantly pick Romney (CNNMoney)

Inflation fears? The real concern should be deflation (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

To Fight Crime, a Poor City Will Trade In Its Police (The New York Times)

Do Friends Of Actor John Cusack Want To Steal Money From Grandma’s Pension? (MFI Miami)

Corn inventory drops to eight-year low; futures prices jump (The Los Angeles Times)

Act for Seed Freedom: 2-16 October 2012 (Youtube)



Download the True Food Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Foods Made with Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs] (The Center for Food Safety)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday roundup (09-29-12)


Five looming dangers that could tear the eurozone apart: The single currency continues to be rocked by market turmoil, and there are five good reasons why things could get much worse before they get any better (The Observer)

Thousands protest austerity cuts in Spain, Portugal (USAToday)

Madrid anti-austerity protests turn violent again: Spanish anti-austerity protesters clash with riot police near Parliament, 3rd time this week (The Associated Press)

Spain debt rises on aid to banks, regions, finance cost (Reuters) Spain to Borrow $267 Billion of Debt Amid Rescue Pressure (Bloomberg)

Latest threat to the Eurozone: Catalonia independence quest (The Los Angeles Times blogs)

ROUBINI: France's Economic Outlook Is Getting Darker And Social Unrest Is Brewing (The Business Insider)

ROSENBERG: A Crucial Economic Indicator Just Sank To A Level That Coincides With Recession 100% Of The Time (The Business Insider) Durable Orders Potential Recession Warning, WSJ Intellectual Dishonesty (Again) (The Big Picture blog)

The Next Subprime Crisis Is Here: Over $120 Billion In Federal Student Loans In Default (ZeroHedge blog) Student-Loan Default Rates Rise as Federal Scrutiny Grows (Bloomberg) Student loan default rates jump (CNNMoney)

Bailout mistakes still haunt economy: Ex-FDIC head (CBSNews)



Unofficial Problem Bank List and Quarterly Transition Matrix (Calculated Risk blog)

First United Bank, Crete, IL, Closed By Regulators [yesterday's bank failure] (Problem Bank List)

Calif. voters to decide on labeling genetically modified foods -- ["Common ingredients in processed food – including corn syrup, sugar, canola oil and soy-based emulsifiers – now often come from crops that have been genetically engineered."] (The Sacramento Bee) Are GMOs on the White House Menu? -- ["Ninety percent of mothers and 88 percent of fathers are in favor of labeling GE foods"] (Food Consumer)

Rockwell Collins May Cut up to 1,000 Jobs: The largest employer in the Cedar Rapids corridor may be making layoffs if federal defense cuts come in. (Iowa City Patch)

Hungary's MOL to Lay Off More Than 10% of Workforce [= 700 workers] - Report (Dow Jones Newswires)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday roundup (09-28-12)


Eurozone's core beset by new uncertainties (United Press International)

Fitch affirms UK at AAA but warns on debt, economy (Reuters) Fitch warns UK's AAA credit rating at risk of downgrade: Credit rating agency said the likelihood of a downgrade had increased after poor economic performance over the last year (The Guardian)

Italy's South Is Headed For Economic Meltdown (The Telegraph)

Faltering Chinese Demand Affecting a Broad Range of Industries (Financial Armageddon blog)

Economic Signals Point to a 2013 Recession [in the US]: The latest numbers for durable goods and personal income send an alarming message. Will it be heard? (The Wall Street Journal)

Chicago Business Barometer Falls Below 50 for First Time Since 2009 (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Chicago PMI drops into negative territory in Sept. (Marketwatch) Chicago PMI Drops, Misses Economists' Forecast (CNBC)

Consumer Spending in U.S. Stagnates (Bloomberg)

US Postal Service to default for second time this year (Reuters) U.S. Postal Service to miss $5.6 bln payment (Marketwatch)

Big 3 [automakers], partners on path to $4 billion Europe loss: Economic crisis blamed for lowest level of auto sales since the mid-'90s (The Detroit News)

Restoring The Legitimacy Of The Federal Reserve by Simon Johnson (Baseline Scenario)

Bank failure in Illinois brings 2012 total to 43 (The Associated Press) First United Bank of Crete IL had a troubled assets ratio of 204.6%. (BankTracker)

Juniper layoffs: Networking vendor cuts 500 jobs (Search Networking)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday roundup (09-27-12)


Data Points to Further Gloom in Euro Zone (The New York Times)

Weak Global Economy Will Hamper Debt-Reduction, IMF Says (Bloomberg) Is There Hope for High-Debt Economies? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Spain unveils sweeping spending cuts; leaders silent on bailout (The Washington Post) Spain's rising debt costs eat up austerity gains: Spain has pushed through €40bn of fresh austerity measures in the teeth of recession, despite violent protests across the country and separatist crises in Catalonia and the Basque region that threaten to break the country apart. (The Telegraph)

Spain Pledges Cuts to Meet Deficit Target as Bailout Looms (Bloomberg)

[US] GDP Revision, Durable Goods: Ouch! (The Wall Street Journal blogs) GDP revised lower, manufacturing orders fall (The Los Angeles Times)

Second-quarter GDP cut to 1.3 percent on drought (Reuters) How Drought Dragged Down Spring GDP (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Durable goods drop worst since recession (Reuters) Plunge in Goods Orders May Restrain U.S. Expansion: Economy (Bloomberg)

Major banks hit with biggest cyberattacks in history (CNNMoney)

U.S. and Russian experts turn up volume on cybersecurity alarms (Reuters)

Bair Details Inside Story of Regulatory Clash Over Basel III (American Banker)

Wall Street's Brutal Job Cuts Are About To Get Much Worse (Forbes)

How Crony Capitalism Corrupts the Free Market: David Stockman (Youtube)



Crony Capitalism in Washington, D.C. - Peter Schweizer (Youtube) [Open Secrets dot org (Open Secrets)]



Campbell Soup to close California plant, cut 700 jobs (The Sacramento Bee)

Total warns against Arctic oil drilling, says spill risk is too high (The Financial Times)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 09-27-12)


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 26,000 to 359,000 in the week ended Sept. 22, the lowest since July, 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, September 26, 2012

Wednesday roundup (09-26-12)


Europe's Got A New Crisis, And This Time The ECB Can't Solve It (The Business Insider)

There’s No Solving Europe’s Debt Crisis Without Solving the Jobs Crisis (Bloomberg)

French unemployment tops 3 million as economy struggles (The BBC) Amid His U.N. Visit, François Hollande Is Haunted by French Economic Woes: Escalating economic and employment woes, as well as serious rifts within his leftist majority and Cabinet, cast a dark shadow over French President François Hollande's moment in the international sun as he addressed the U.N. (Time)

Spain's Troubles Worsen, Sparking New Phase for Euro Crisis (CNBC) Spain's crisis flares again as AAA club scuppers bank rescue deal: Spain's debt crisis has returned with a vengeance after Germany, Holland and Finland reneged on a crucial summit deal and scuppered hopes of direct eurozone help for Spanish banks. (The Telegraph)

Bailout uncertainty pushes Spanish yields above 6 percent (Reuters)

Bank of Spain warns of 'deep recession' amid massive protests (The Associated Press)
Anti-Austerity Protests Break Out In Athens And Madrid (Reuters)

Austerity-hit Italians avoid shops, sales drop (Reuters)

IMF, EU clash over Greece's bailout prospects (Reuters)

Former RBS trader saw Libor fixing as 'cartel' - report (Reuters)

More CEOs Expect to Cut Jobs Over Next Six Months: A majority of CEOs expect flat or declining employment, with Congress and trouble abroad to blame. (U.S. News & World Report) US CEO Confidence Tumbles to Three-Year Low (Reuters) CEOs now see gloomy third quarter, drop growth expectations (The Washington Times)

Corporate America sweats as U.S. nears fiscal cliff (Reuters)

Republican study warns against US bailout of state pensions (Reuters)

A record 1 in 5 homes has student loan debt (CBSNews) Nearly one-in-five households have student loans (CNNMoney) [The report:] A Record One-in-Five Households Now Owe Student Loan Debt: Burden Greatest on Young, Poor (Pew Research Center)

California Mayor [of Atwater] Asks for Prayers as Bankruptcy Looms (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday roundup (09-25-12)


S&P says new recession hitting euro zone (Marketwatch)

IMF Says Bank Rules Lag on Safety, Too-Big-to-Fail Stays (Bloomberg)

Europe Pushed by IMF’s Lagarde to Consider Greek Debt Write-Off (Bloomberg)

Underlying Disaster In Europe Accelerating: Spain's Finances Collapsing (Seeking Alpha blog)

Spain prepares more austerity, protesters battle police (Reuters) Riot police clash with anti-austerity demonstrators in Madrid after thousands take to the streets to protest cuts (The Daily Mail)

Monti caved in to German pressure: Berlusconi (Reuters)

Swiss central bank fuels Europe's North-South debt crisis: Switzerland’s central bank has become a conduit for vast flows of capital into German Bunds and other safe-haven bonds, exacerbating the eurozone’s North-South divide. (The Telegraph)

As worst euro fears fade, U.S. fiscal cliff looms (Reuters)

Plosser Says QE3 Risks Fed Credibility, Won’t Boost Jobs (Bloomberg)

Philly Fed: State Coincident Indexes in August show weakness (Calculated Risk)

Postal Service to move closer to insolvency (CNNMoney)

Sheila Bair brings out financial crisis skeletons in new book (Reuters) Seven Explosive Details from Bair's New Book (American Banker) Sheila Bair, in new book, faults Obama and Bush advisers during financial crisis (The Washington Post) Geithner Was ‘Bailouter’ in Chief During Crisis: Bair (CNBC) Bair on Geithner’s Appointment: ‘A Punch in the Gut’ (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Geithner Wanted Lower Capital Standards for Banks, Bair Contends (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Bair Says Pandit Kept Citigroup Job With Geithner Support (Bloomberg) What Sheila Bair Really Thinks About Wall Street’s CEOs (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Wall Street Rolling Back Another Key Piece of Financial Reform (Rolling Stone blogs)

Housing Was at the Root of the Great Depression, Too (Bloomberg)

Knock, Knock: Mitt Romney's Housing Plan Is a Joke: Mr. Fix-It doesn't have a credible plan to fix the economy's biggest problem (The Atlantic)

Young U.S. Adults Flock to Parents’ Homes Amid Economy (Bloomberg)

Japanese electronics giant Sharp to cut 11,000 jobs, sell assets: Report (Agence France Presse)

Comcast will slash about 1,000 jobs in Northern California, including 600 in the Bay Area (Contra Costa Times)

Sikorsky to close upstate NY plant, cut 570 jobs (The Associated Press)

Just 100 cod left in North Sea: Overfishing has left fewer than 100 adult cod in the North Sea, it was reported. (The Telegraph)

How High Oil Prices Will Permanently Cap Economic Growth (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday roundup (09-24-12)


You're Dreaming If You Think The Euro Crisis Is Resolved (The Automatic Earth blog)

IMF projections question G7’s commitment to tackling debt (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

IMF Chief: International Community Must Help Finance Euro Bailouts (The Wall Street Journal)

G-20 Agree More Government Action Needed for World Recovery (Bloomberg)

Recovery will be 'painful', IMF's Christine Lagarde warns: Heavily indebted countries like the UK face years more “painful” austerity to get their economies back on an even keel, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has warned. (The Telegraph)

Bundesbank castigates IMF for saving Europe: Germany's central bank has launched a blistering attack on the International Monetary Fund, accusing officials of spraying around money like confetti and overstepping their legal mandate. (The Telegraph)

ECB in 'panic', say former chief economist Juergen Stark: The European Central Bank is in "panic" over the eurozone crisis and acting outside its mandate with its new bond-buying plans, the bank's former chief economist said in comments published Saturday. (The Telegraph)

German business mood worsens for fifth straight month (Reuters)

Germany Losing Patience With Spain as EU Warns on Crisis (Bloomberg)

Spain To Formally Request Bailout By October 19: Barclays (Forbes)

Portugal finally stands up and protests: Marches across a country unaccustomed to protest have forced a government U-turn as anti-austerity attitudes harden (The Guardian) Patience snaps in Portugal (The Telegraph blogs)

Fed May Need to Boost QE 'Dramatically' This Year: Pros (CNBC)

IMF chief: Put ‘fiscal cliff’ ahead of politics (The Washington Times)

U.S. State, Local Jobs Won't Return To Pre-Recession Peak Until 2017: Report (Reuters) CHART OF THE DAY: This Jobs Chart Is Absolutely Horrifying (The Business Insider)

Chicago Fed: Economic Activity Weakened in August (Calculated Risk blog)

More Bank Layoffs Coming: 'Bad as I've Seen It': Whitney (CNBC)

Romney implicitly endorses Too Big to Fail Banks by William K. Black (Benzinga)

The last patrol: America's deadliest city disbands police force and fires 270 cops over budget crisis (The Associated Press) America's Deadliest And Poorest City Set To Disband Its Entire Police Force Over Budget Crisis (ZeroHedge blog) Wracked with crime and despair, Camden, New Jersey to disband police force (Catholic Online)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday roundup (09-23-12)


Euro zone to boost bailout fund firepower to 2 trillion euros: report (Reuters)

Dalio Fears Social Unrest [of the Sort] That Led to Hitler’s Rise (CNBC) What Ray Dalio Said About The Rise Of Hitler Is His Most Worrisome Observation Yet (The Business Insider)

Athens' deficit is '€20bn' – double official figure (The Independent) La Grecia torna a fare paura: Possibili nuovi buchi nei conti pubblici: Secondo la stampa tedesca il debito sarebbe raddoppiato, Atene chiede proroga di due anni per il piano di risanamento (Corriere della Sera)

Spain braced for further austerity as Madrid prepares for bailout: Budget and reform programme to be unveiled on Thursday to feature more spending cuts, tax increases and pension freezes (The Guardian)

Spain to overshoot crucial deficit goal: analysts (Agence France Presse)

UK’s deficit ‘could be bigger than Greece's’: Britain could be heading for a bigger budget deficit next year than crisis-hit Greece and Spain, according to research by Morgan Stanley. (The Telegraph)

How Paul Ryan Convinced Washington of His Genius: The rise of the philosopher prince. (The New Republic)

5* More Debt Creates Less & Less Growth (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 878 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Julius Baer to cut up to 880 jobs at Merrill Lynch unit - report (Reuters)

How the world’s oceans could be running out of fish: Global fish stocks are exploited or depleted to such an extent that without urgent measures we may be the last generation to catch food from the oceans. (The BBC)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday roundup (09-22-12)


Spain 'will need extra bail-out': Spanish banks may need a cash injection of more than €100bn (£80bn), the results of an official stress test are expected to show this week, placing more financial pressure on to an already explosive political crisis in Madrid. (The Telegraph)

Mitt Romney's Laughably Vacuous Plan To End "Too Big To Fail" (Slate blogs) Mitt Romney's Housing Plan Has Got To Be A Joke (The Business Insider)

Housing regulators loosen rules, but at what cost? (Reuters)

Paul Volcker on Greedy Bankers, the Ryan Plan, and the Fed: Legendary economist Paul Volcker speaks out on what’s wrong with Wall Street today, the Ryan plan, and the Fed’s bold moves. (Newsweek) Paul Volcker fears Fed-bashing will erode confidence (Reuters)

Davidowitz on Consumer Spending, Economic Outlook: Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., talks about the performance of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and the impact of Fed policy on consumer confidence. Davidowitz speaks with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Scarlet Fu on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance." [Sept. 14] (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday roundup (09-21-12)


UK borrowing running more that 25pc over target: Government borrowing for the first five months of the financial year is running at more than 25pc above target, official figures showed as the deficit in August hit a record high, casting further doubt over the Chancellor's debt reduction goals. (The Telegraph)

U.K. Posts Record August Deficit as Tax Revenue Falls: Economy (Bloomberg)

Double-Dip Recession 20% To 25% Likely If Fiscal Cliff Hits, S&P Warns (Forbes)

Vital Signs Chart: Households Deleveraging (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

FHFA Bullying States into Making Foreclosures Faster (Firedoglake blog)

Deutsche Bank Said to Cut 543 Jobs at Retail Business in Germany (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday roundup (09-20-12)


The slow bank run that could still doom Europe (The Washington Post blogs) Europe’s bailout nations bleed bank deposits (Marketwatch)

European financial risk monitor says markets still fragile despite help from ECB’s new plan (The Associated Press)

Swift Actions Needed From Europe, IMF Says (The Wall Street Journal)

Greek Deal on Austerity Measures Still Elusive (The Associated Press) Fight Looms on Greek Bailout: Creditors Must Negotiate Who Will Sacrifice to Save Athens From Bankruptcy, as Shortfall Worsens (The Wall Street Journal) Commerzbank CEO sees further Greek debt haircut (Reuters)

Spain risks break-up as Mariano Rajoy stirs Catalan fury: The ruling parties of Catalonia have sought guidance from Brussels on the legality of secession from Spain, requesting a “route map” for membership of the European Union and the euro as an independent state. (The Telegraph)

Italy Boosts Deficit Forecast as Recession Worse Than Expected (Bloomberg) Italy's growth outlook still dismal after Monti reforms (Reuters)

French business activity slumps in September: PMI - poll (Reuters)

BoE's King says euro zone threatens slow UK recovery (Reuters) Bank of England governor: UK economic recovery slow, will take a long time (The Associated Press)

U.S. household debt posts largest rise since 2008 (Reuters) Household debt climbs at fastest rate in 4 years (Marketwatch)

Economy leaves many returning students disappointed, deep in debt (NBCNews)

Could Municipal Bonds Be the Next Financial Titanic? (Forbes)

California Debt Higher Than Earlier Estimates, a Task Force Reports (The New York Times)

US can’t ‘austere’ itself to a higher GDP, Goldman Sachs CEO says (The Associated Press)

Leading Economic Gauge Dips; Philly Fed Index Shrinks (CNBC)

Sheila Bair Book Excerpt: Bank Bailout 'Plagues Me To This Day' (The Huffington Post blog) Sheila Bair Still Feels Bad That JPMorgan Was Forced To Take Cheap Capital To Help Out Citi (Dealbreaker) Sheila Bair and the bailout bank titans: As the financial system melted down in the fall of 2008, the Treasury Department gave the nation's biggest banks billions in new capital. Was it all necessary? No, says the former FDIC chief in her new book. (Fortune)

Pawlenty quits Romney campaign to head bank lobby group (Reuters)

American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights through October: The airline is facing labor strife, bankruptcy proceedings and layoffs. (The Los Angeles Times)

Bank of America reportedly plans to cut 16,000 jobs: With Bank of America's cost-cutting plan, which includes the workforce reduction and closing 200 branches, it will no longer be the nation's largest bank. (The Los Angeles Times) BofA speeds up plans to cut 16,000 jobs: WSJ (Reuters) Why Bank Of America's 16,000 Job Cuts Are Necessary (Forbes)

Screwing The Taxpayer, 600,000 At A Time (Market Ticker)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 09-20-12)


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 that new jobless claims dropped 3,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 382,000. The four-week moving average rose, however, by 2,000 to 375,750, the highest level since June." (NBCNews)

"If you take a look at claims basically, it tells you there hasn't been much improvement in employment conditions as we start September. So this is pretty disappointing. This is not a good number." -- Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC in Albany, NY (Reuters)

"The mediocre pace of economic growth is the by-product of cautious consumers, a decelerating manufacturing sector and slowdowns in key U.S. export markets such as Europe and China." (Marketwatch)

More Americans Than Forecast Filed Jobless Claims (Bloomberg)

Weekly jobless claims fall, but trend remains weak (Reuters)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday roundup (09-19-12)


The Next Panic: Europe’s crisis will be followed by a more devastating one, likely beginning in Japan. By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson (The Atlantic)

Japan launches QE8 as 20-year slump drags on: Japan has launched an eighth round of quantitative easing to weaken the yen and cushion a slide back into recession. (The Telegraph)

China, Japan and the world’s Agadir Crisis (1911) (The Telegraph blogs)

FDIC’s Hoenig Says Banks May Return to Pre-2008 Risky Behaviors (Bloomberg) Banks Need to Dump Brokers: FDIC Director (The Street)

How Jimmy Carter’s Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video (New York Magazine) How the Romney video leaked: For Carters, it was personal (NBCNews) A Mood of Gloom Afflicts the Romney Campaign (The New York Times blogs) Mitt Romney Video Sends Capitol Hill Republicans Running For The Hills (The Huffington Post blog)

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday roundup (09-18-12)


Deflation's Here, and the Downward Spiral Has Started (American Thinker)

More ECB cash might not unlock lending (Reuters)

Doubts plague Europe's pledge for banking union (Reuters)

EU Auto Market Seen Down 10% This Year (The Wall Street Journal) Ford Leads European Car Sales Drop as German Demand Falls (Bloomberg)

EU Can-Kicking Is Undermining Greece (CNBC blogs)

Calls for more time as Greece faces deficit squeeze (Reuters)

Now German Chancellor Angela Merkel dampens Irish hopes of bailout cut (The Irish Independent)

On Anniversary of Japanese Invasion, Chinese Protest Fueled by Land Disputes: On the anniversary of an event that triggered the 1931 Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria, Chinese activists and protesters went out to demonstrate, some violently. Helping fuel these protests were disputes between Japan and China on the ownership of uninhabited islands northeast of Taiwan. Margaret Warner reports. (PBSNewshour)



Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan: A senior advisor to the Chinese government has called for an attack on the Japanese bond market to precipitate a funding crisis and bring the country to its knees, unless Tokyo reverses its decision to nationalise the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. (The Telegraph)

The European Debt Crisis Is No Longer The Biggest Worry Among Money Managers (The Business Insider)

Election Uncertainty [= A Hung Congress Emerging From The Vote] Raises Odds Of Fiscal Cliff (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Romney's remarks ricochet across political landscape: After a secretly recorded tape emerged showing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney making controversial comments at a fundraiser, politicians and pundits weighed in . NBC's Peter Alexander reports. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)

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


WATCH: Full Secret Video of Private Romney Fundraiser (Mother Jones)

[Less than two months before the US election:] Obama Widens Lead in Polls as Romney Faces Challenges (CNBC)

Canada’s Budget-Cut Veteran Has Warning for U.S. (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

U.S. home lending hit 16-year low in 2011 - regulators (Reuters)

GSEs Remain Backdoor Bailouts for Banks (The Big Picture blog)

NEWSPAPER AD REVENUES COLLAPSE TO 1950 LEVELS (Breitbart)

Neil Barofsky: Another Financial Crisis All But Inevitable (Seeking Alpha blog)

AMR expects about 4,400 job cuts, warns 11,000 (The Associated Press) American issues layoff notices, cuts flight schedule (Reuters) American Airlines cuts schedule for rest of September, October (Dallas Business Journal) American Is Canceling More Flights Than The Next 9 Airlines Combined (The Associated Press)

Alpha closing 8 mines, cutting 1,200 jobs in all (The Associated Press)

Logica slashes 700 UK jobs (MISAsia)

Siemens to Cut 615 U.S. Wind Energy Jobs as New Orders Dry Up (Bloomberg)

Northrop to shed nearly 600 jobs: Responding to proposed Pentagon budget cuts, Northrop accepts buyouts from about 590 workers in its aerospace unit, most of whom are in Southern California. (The Los Angeles Times)

$7 Million in Gold Discovered in Dead Man’s Home (ABCNews)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday roundup (09-17-12)


IMF: Coordination With EU on Bailouts at Times 'Challenging' (The Wall Street Journal)

European Banks: Too Big To Fail And Too Big To Save (Seeking Alpha blog)

Europe Banks Fail to Cut as Draghi Loans Defer Deleverage (Bloomberg)

EU Considers Splitting Up Major Banks: EU Commissioner Michel Barnier has asked experts to examine the possibility of splitting up major European banks to avoid future bailouts at taxpayers' expense. But even less radical intervention in the banking sector could have drastic consequences for the industry, and its powerful lobby is resisting any such change. (Spiegel Online)

Bailout doubts push Spanish yields over 6 pct (Reuters)

Spanish Banks Bleeding Cash Cloud Bailout Debate: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Political dangers stalk Portugal bailout effort (Reuters)

Berlusconi Tells Giornale EU Debt-Cut Targets Are Impossible (Bloomberg)

Face It: 2013 Is Gonna Be a Bummer [in the US] (Bloomberg)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur: Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act: The economy should work for Americans, not just Wall Street CEOs (U. S. News & World Report)

Peregrine CEO pleads guilty to fraud; to stay in jail (Reuters)

Though cyclical, droughts can be once-in-a-lifetime crises (AgriNews)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday roundup (09-16-12)


Data from Europe, Japan, China to Underline Global Weakness (Reuters) [original @] (Reuters)

No Easy Answers on How to Fix the Banks in Europe (The New York Times)

International creditors doubt Greece can meet goals: report (Agence France Presse)

Spain shuns further cuts as unrest grows: Spain is digging in its heels against further austerity as protests sweep the country and mounting tensions with Catalan nationalists threaten to split the country. (The Telegraph) Spain Is Reluctant to Make More Cuts (The Wall Street Journal)

Discontent threatens Portugal's fiscal progress (The Financial Times)

QE3 Hit by Mortgage Processing Delays (The Financial Times)

The Fed concludes Obama’s economy in dire straits (The Washington Post blogs)

Romney at risk of losing edge on deficit (The Washington Post) GOP Sours on Romney (The Big Picture blog)

Big spike in complaints about telemarketing calls, especially pre-recorded robocalls (The Associated Press)

Janet Tavakoli: Understanding Derivatives and Their Risks [and the Problem of "Widespread Massive Fraud": in the current environment "the regulators serve the people that they're supposed to be regulating"] (Peak Prosperity) [Tavakoli's homepage] (Tavakoli Structured Finance) (Youtube)



Betting Big: Value, Caution and Accountability in an Era of Large Banks and Complex Finance by Lawrence G. Baxter, professor of the practice of Law, Duke Law School (Duke University)

The Long Wave Versus the Printing Press: Central Banks Go All-In (Dollar Collapse)

FELIX ZULAUF: Stocks Will Collapse, Gold Will Surge, And The 30-Year Bond Bull Market Is Over (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday roundup (09-15-12)


Thousands Protest Austerity Measures in Spain and Portugal (The Associated Press) More than 100,000 protest against austerity in Portugal (Agence France Presse)

Reinhart, Johnson, Callow on Euro's Future, ECB: Carmen Reinhart, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, Simon Johnson, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Julian Callow, chief international economist at Barclays, participate in a panel discussion about the future of the euro and European Central Bank policy. Bloomberg’s Sara Eisen moderates the panel at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York. (Bloomberg)




For these four nations, 2012 is worse than the Great Recession: The Great Recession of 2008/09 delivered the worst blow to the global economy since the 1930s. But in a few nations, 2012 is turning out to be worse than 2009 in terms of economic growth. Europe's debt crisis, the general slowing of the world economy, and domestic political troubles have played a role in undercutting 2012 growth for one or more of these four nations. Can you guess who they are? (The Christian Science Monitor)

German lawmaker: no majority for 3rd Greek bailout (The Associated Press)

Euro Ruling [in Germany] Not as Simple as It Seems: The winners and losers in Wednesday's ruling on the permanent euro bailout fund by Germany's highest court may appear clear cut, but the decision is more complicated than it seems. Before the European Stability Mechanism can be ratified, the German government must answer complicated legal questions. (Spiegel Online)

France and Germany clash over pace of debt relief plans (The Irish Times)

America Can Not Escape The Consequences Of Its Massive Deficit (The Business Insider)

Four Years Since Lehman Brothers, 'Too Big To Fail' Banks, Now Even Bigger, Fight Reform (The Huffington Post blog) The Lehman Moment Turns Four (The Big Picture blog)

Report: US banks being investigated over lapses that could have allowed money laundering (The Associated Press)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 886 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Sanofi to Cut 1,500-2,000 Jobs in France - Report (Dow Jones Newswires)

     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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.