Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday roundup (10-31-12)


Eurozone unemployment hits record high 11.6% (The Los Angeles Times)

The euro is heading for a permanent state of depression: If the euro survives in its current form, then Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, will surely have earned his place in the history books as one of the chiefs of its salvation. (The Telegraph)

Euro Zone Aims for Greek Bailout Deal on Nov 12 (CNBC)

New debt forecasts dash Greece hopes (The Financial Times) Greece Outlines New Austerity as Debt Load Rises (The Associated Press) Greek death spiral raises heat for German-bloc creditors: Greece’s debt-load is rising much faster than expected as the country spirals into a sixth year of depression, ratcheting up the pressure on Germany and Europe’s creditor states to accept debt-forgiveness for the first time. (The Telegraph) The German bloc will have to take its bitter medicine in Greece (The Telegraph blogs)

Billions for Japan tsunami recovery went elsewhere, reports find (The Los Angeles Times blogs)

U.S. is nearing its debt ceiling again, Treasury Department warns: The federal government will probably hit its $16.4-trillion borrowing limit by the end of the year, adding more urgency to efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff. (The Los Angeles Times)

Storm Keeping Millions From Work May Slow Economic Growth (Bloomberg)

FEMA may not have enough for flood damages (CNNMoney)

New Jersey reeling from Sandy's landfall: President Obama witnessed the extent of the damage during a visit to the devastated coastline. Some communities are now uninhabitable, and at times it seems nothing along the coast is where it should be. NBC's Lester Holt reports. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)

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


GM Europe Eliminating 2,600 Jobs to Lower Fixed Costs (Bloomberg)

Eircom to shed 2,000 jobs in effort to cut €100m per year (The Irish Times)

Switzerland's Lonza axes 500 jobs to cut costs (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday roundup (10-30-12)


Hurricane Sandy May Slow [US] Economy as Workers Stay at Home (Bloomberg) The economic impact of Hurricane Sandy (The Washington Post blogs)

Hurricane Sandy Threatens $20 Billion in Economic Damage (Bloomberg) Losses May Exceed Those of 2011 Storm: Airlines, Retailers, Shippers Brace for End-of-Quarter Hit; Insurers Could See Claims Running as High as $10 Billion (The Wall Street Journal)

New Jersey's devastated landscape: Entire communities were swamped and homes ripped from their foundations. NBC's Ron Allen reports from Point Pleasant, NJ, where flooding wiped out much of the beach. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)


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


Christie: New Jersey destruction "unthinkable": NBC's Brian Williams speaks with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who describes the iconic places on the Jersey Shore that have been wiped out after Sandy, such the boardwalk in Belmar. All that remains is water, sand and debris. Christie said he's committed to rebuilding with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)


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

Obama and Christie make unlikely traveling companions (Reuters) Chris Christie Goes Off Fox Script: Praises Obama, Dismisses Romney “Photo Op” Re Monster Storm Sandy (News Hounds) Christie: I don't give 'a damn' about presidential politics right now (The Hill blogs) Governor Christie Praises Obama's Hurricane Response: While I'm no fan of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's politics, his non-partisan praise of President Obama's Handling of Hurricane Sandy and it's aftermath deserves recognition. And the first part of this video shows he can really keep politics out of the discussion on this disaster. Kudos to Governor Christie! (Youtube)



After Hurricane Sandy, Stock Exchanges Prepare to Open (The New York Times blogs) Crippled NYC subways could hamper storm recovery (The Associated Press) Sandy leaves unprecedented challenges for New York City subways (Reuters) New York Subway System May Take Weeks to Recover From Storm (Bloomberg)

Hurricane Sandy a Double-Whammy for Households [= higher insurance premiums?] (CNBC)

Hurricane Sandy puts power grids to the test -- ["A ConEdison spokesman called it 'the worst damage in ConEdison history.'"] (CNNMoney)

IMF chief urges further debt reduction [on the part of the world's leading economies] (The Associated Press)

Zoellick: Europe's role in the world is at stake (Fortune)

Euro-Zone Confidence Worsens to Three-year Low (Dow Jones Newswires)

Data Show Weakening in Euro Zone Economy (The New York Times) German joblessness rises [for seventh month in a row] as euro zone crisis bites (Reuters)

Greece Delays Austerity Vote, Warns of 'Chaos' (The Associated Press) Greek Leader Warns of Chaos If Austerity Is Blocked (The Wall Street Journal)

Spanish Contraction Continues, Austerity Spurs Inflation (Bloomberg)

Spain Has Time, Greece Does Not: ECB’s Nowotny (CNBC) 'EU Should Admit that Greece Will Need Debt Cut': Greece's international creditors have proposed that the country receive another debt writedown, this time from EU governments. That, say German media commentators, is hardly a surprise. Fresh aid for Athens, they argue, has been inevitable for months, but leaders have shied away from telling the truth. (Spiegel Online)

Portugal Prime Minister Calls for Rethink on Role of the State (The Wall Street Journal)

Italian Families Spend Savings to Get By as Economy Contracts (Bloomberg)

Why Energy May Be Abundant But Not Cheap by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

UBS to cut 10,000 jobs in fixed income retreat (Reuters) Swiss bank UBS plans massive layoffs of 10,000 (USAToday) [as speculated in reports posted here last Friday]

"For our valued readers, WSJ is FREE until midnight ET on Wednesday 31 October." (The Wall Street Journal)

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

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday roundup (10-29-12)


Power Cuts to 10 Million Loom From U.S. Monster Storm: Energy (Bloomberg) Sandy hits, power goes out: The grid needs to wise up (American Public Media) Sandy Moving Toward Landfall in Next Hour or So, NHC Says [as of 7:22 PM ET] (Bloomberg) Why Sandy Has Meteorologists Scared in 4 Images (The Atlantic) Live updates on Sandy (NBCNews)

No U.S. stock, bond trading Monday, Tuesday (USAToday)

Business Economists’ Optimism Fades (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Neil Barofsky: Presidential Election A Choice Between 'Bad, Worse' On Bank Regulation (The Huffington Post blog)

Global Banks Caught in Capital Rules Delays, Basel Group Says (Bloomberg)

Bank of England official: Occupy Movement right about global recession: Andrew Haldane said protestors were correct to focus on inequality as the chief reason for 2008 economic crash (The Guardian)

Spain’s Pain Seen Intensifying as Slump Swells Deficit: Economy (Bloomberg)

Japan finance minister urges BOJ to seek bold easing versus deflation (Reuters)

Japan PM says government 'will stall' without debt bill (Agence France Presse)

The scary global implications of Japan’s slowdown (The Washington Post blogs)

     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, October 28, 2012

Sunday roundup (10-28-12)


Draghi backs eurozone super-commissioner plan (The BBC)

Greece says EU/IMF lenders refuse to concede on reforms (Reuters)

German Finance Minister Says No Way To A New Greek Debt Haircut (The Associated Press)

Germany rattled as taxpayer losses loom in Greece: The EU-IMF Troika of inspectors in Greece has called on European bodies and official creditors to write off a chunk of their loans, opening the way for first taxpayer losses since the sovereign debt crisis began. (The Telegraph)

Troika will demand 150 new Greek reforms: report (Agence France Presse) Troika Wants New Debt Restructuring for Greece: Spiegel (Bloomberg)

Rajoy Faces Bailout Split With Monti at Madrid Meeting (Bloomberg)

Berlusconi Says He May End Support for Monti’s Government (Bloomberg)

BOE’s Bean Cautions Final-Quarter Growth May Be Weak (Bloomberg)

Gigantic Hurricane Storm Bears Down On US East Coast -- ["It could be the largest storm to hit the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) website."] (CNBC) Evacuations, shutdowns on East Coast before storm (Reuters) Hurricane Sandy: Experts see record "destruction potential" in storm surges (CBSNews)

Americans Still Struggling Despite Economic Improvement Since The Great Recession (The Associated Press)

U.S. Congress may face another debt-limit showdown in 2013 (Reuters)

Wall Street wants major deal debt after the election: Wall Street's chief hope for next month’s presidential election is that it leads to a long-term agreement to cut the country's mounting debt, according to a leading US bank boss. (The Telegraph)

Breaking Up Big Banks Is a Severely Conservative Project by Simon Johnson (Bloomberg)

Vodafone restructure to result in massive job cuts [500 in Australia?] (ZDNet)

     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, October 27, 2012

Saturday roundup (10-27-12)


Note: Be prepared for the possibility that your blogger will be obliged to suspend posting any day now for an undetermined period, owing to the unusual weather conditions forecast for the coming days.


Tens of thousands protest against austerity in Rome (Reuters)

Berlusconi threatens to bring down Monti government (Reuters) Italy's Berlusconi vows to take on judiciary 'dictatorship' (The Los Angeles Times blogs) Berlusconi wants to stay in politics (EuroNews)



Spain austerity: Thousands join new budget cuts protest (The BBC)

[Spain's] Bankia Posts $9.1 Billion Loss as EU Prepares Bailout Funds (Bloomberg)

Hungary govt to take on $2.8 bln of municipal debt (Reuters)

BoE's Andrew Haldane: 'Curb King Kong banks further': Banks are too big and should be broken up or shrunk to curb the risks that “King Kong” lenders still pose to the economy, a senior Bank of England policymaker said. (The Telegraph) BoE's Haldane wants more curbs on "King Kong" banks (Reuters) On being the right size: Speech given by Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability and member of the Financial Policy Committee -- ["Full structural separation of investment and commercial banking, a modern-day Glass-Steagall Act, has continued to attract support.  The main benefit this would bring, relative to structural ring-fencing, is that it would eliminate loopholes from the ring-fence and better ensure that the distinct cultures of retail and investment banking were not cross-contaminated.  That would lessen the risk of basic banking activities being starved of human or financial capital, both ahead of and during crisis.  Full separation may also be operationally simpler to implement than the existing structural proposals.'] (The Bank of England)

How US drought damaged economy as well as crops (The Associated Press)

Dire forecast as Hurricane Sandy approaches (CBSNews) Urgent Warnings as Hurricane Sandy Heads to Northeast (The New York Times) Forecasters Warn This Is Not a Drill: Prepare for 'Frankenstorm' (CNBC)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 864 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday roundup (10-26-12)

IMF's Lagarde urges action on unfinished financial reforms (Reuters)

James Turk - The Entire German Gold Hoard Is Gone (King World News)

Spanish Joblessness Above 25%, A Record (The Wall Street Journal) Unemployment in Spain Exceeds 25%, Taking Economic Misery to New Levels (The New York Times)

Spain's shrinking banks set for more mergers (Reuters)

Italy Business Optimism Unexpectedly Falls on Recession (Bloomberg)

Full bank breakup might be needed, warns Bank of England: Director for financial stability Andrew Haldane says current initiatives are step in right direction but do not go far enough (The Guardian)

Pressure on BOJ to act mounts as deflation persists (Reuters) Japan approves $5.3 billion stimulus to fend off recession as economy stays mired in deflation (The Associated Press)

US recovery remains tepid as economy expands at 2 percent pace, too slow to stir much hiring (The Associated Press)

Recession Looms If ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Not Solved: Fink (CNBC)

Obama Defends His Finance Reform Record to Rolling Stone: A Brief Response [from Matt Taibbi] (Rolling Stone blogs)

Too Big To Handle by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate)

Citi Chairman Is Said to Have Planned Chief’s Exit Over Months (The New York Times) Citigroup sets a dangerous precedent over Vikram Pandit's departure: Did Citi's chairman push the CEO out? Either way, the concentration of power in too few hands leads inevitably to abuses (The Guardian)

Regulators seize small bank in Pennsylvania, makes total of 47 US failures so far this year (The Associated Press) NOVA Bank of Berwyn PA had a troubled assets ratio of 232%. (BankTracker) NOVA Bank, Berwyn, PA, Fails – Depositors Face Losses As FDIC Fails To Find Buyer (Problem Bank List)

Worst Storm in 100 Years Seen for Northeast U.S. (Bloomberg) Forecasters Predict [with 90 Percent Certainty] East Coast Landfall for Storm (The New York Times)

UBS shake-up could lead to up to 10,000 job losses: Investment banking likely to be restructured in wake of Kweku Adoboli case with loss of around a sixth of workforce (The Guardian) UBS to cut up to 10,000 jobs: source (Reuters)

Newell Rubbermaid cutting 2,000 jobs, reorganizing (The Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Diebold suspends plans to build $100 million world headquarters in Green [and will "eliminate about 500 jobs"] (The Plain Dealer of Cleveland OH)

     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, October 25, 2012

Thursday roundup (10-25-12)


Eurozone nears Japan-style trap as money and credit contract again: All key measures of the eurozone money supply contracted in September and private credit fell at an accelerating pace, dashing hopes of a quick recovery from recession. (The Telegraph)

Euro Recession Drags Eastern Growth Lower, Development Bank Says (Bloomberg)

Trade Data Suggest Another Global Downturn Is On the Cards (Financial Armageddon blog)

The Significance Of The Row In Germany About Inspecting Their Gold Reserves Held Abroad (Seeking Alpha blog)

Greek debt to badly miss target - euro zone official (Reuters)

IMF warns of growing risks for Portugal bailout plan (Reuters) Bailed-out Portugal needs extra effort to cut debt amid recession, unemployment, IMF says (The Associated Press)

Japan’s very own fiscal cliff (FT Alphaville blog)

U.S. economy on schedule to crash March 2014: America’s fall will take global economies with it (The Washington Times)

Growth in U.S. GDP vs. Growth in the Public Debt (Iacono Research)

A picture is worth a thousand pages of financial reform (Reuters blogs)

A free-market case for ending Too Big to Fail (The Daily Caller)

Experts sound alarm on Hurricane Sandy, likely to be worse than 1991 “Perfect Storm” (The Washington Post blogs) Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy could make close pass or direct hit on New England (The Boston Globe) Hurricane Sandy explodes in intensity: Hurricane Sandy, which has already done extensive damage in Cuba, will be making its way up the East Coast where major power outages are possible from DC to New York City. The storm is likely to bring both rain and snow as a winter storm and tropical systems combine. Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore reports from Florida. (NBC Nightly News)

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Hurricane Sandy: When Storms Collide: Ginger Zee, Sam Champion on what happens when storms become what's been called a "frankenstorm." (ABCNews)



Ford closing 3 European plants, cutting 6,000 jobs [as opposed to the estimated 500 jobs posted yesterday here] (NBCNews) Ford to Cut 5,700 Jobs With Three European Plant Closings (Bloomberg) Ford to shut down more plants, cut 6,200 jobs in Europe to soften regional losses: As Europe's demand for cars shrinks, Ford is cutting back operations in the region. Despite cutbacks, the automaker still warned that annual losses will top $1.5 billion this year and next. (The Associated Press)

Colgate profit rises, plans to cut 2,300 jobs (Marketwatch) Colgate to Cut 6% of Jobs in Restructuring Program (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-25-12)


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 — a rough gauge of whether layoffs are rising or falling — dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 369,000 in the week ended Oct. 23, the Labor Department said." (Marketwatch)

Jobless claims fall, give clearer sign of health (Reuters)

Initial jobless claims, still volatile, dropped 23,000 last week (The Los Angeles Times)

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, October 24, 2012

Wednesday roundup (10-24-12)


Euro-Area Recession Deepens as Manufacturing Shrinks: Economy (Bloomberg)

Eurozone debt burden rises to 90 percent of its economy despite raft of austerity measures (The Associated Press) Sisyphus and the European Debt (Iacono Research) Italy's public debt hits record high of 126.1% of GDP (ANSA) Portugal Has Less Room to Maneuver With Rising Debt, IMF Says (Bloomberg)

Draghi Defends Bond Purchases With Warning of Deflation (Bloomberg)

El-Erian: Time For Politicians To Step Up And Save Europe -- ["We came very, very close to an implosion of the Eurozone at the end of July"] (Forbes)

Greece says it has been given more time on austerity (Reuters) No deal yet on Greek deficit target: ECB official (Agence France Presse)

Spain's 2012 Social Security to Register Deficit of EUR10.5 Billion - Reports (Dow Jones Newswires)

Bundesbank slashed London gold holdings in mystery move: Germany withdrew two thirds of its vast holdings of gold from Bank of England vaults shortly after the launch of the euro more than a decade ago, according to a confidential report that emerged on Wednesday. (The Telegraph)

End The Euro Zone Crisis Now: Let PIIGS Borrow Against Their Gold (Forbes)

Children will live in in shadow of economic crisis for a 'long time', says Bank of England Sir Mervyn King (The Daily Mail)

Foreclosure fallout [in the US] cost nearby homeowners $2 trillion, report finds (NBCNews)

U.S. sues BofA, calling loan fraud 'brazen': The $1-billion civil suit alleges that BofA's Countrywide fraudulently deceived mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into believing the company's risky loans were safe and sound. (The Los Angeles Times) U.S. sues Bank of America over "Hustle" mortgage fraud (Reuters)

Neil Barofsky’s Disappointment with Vikram Pandit and President Obama: Former TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky explains his disappointment with the former Citigroup CEO and the president for failed financial leadership. (Bill Moyers & Company)



Sheila Bair Called It - Foreclosure Lookback Reviews Are A "Ruse" (Forbes)

New WalMarts hurt large retailers, mom-and-pops less affected (Science Blog)

Kimberly-Clark to Cut 1,500 jobs in Europe: The company announced it would close or sell five manufacturing facilities and some production would be transferred to other plants. (Industry Week)

Ford set to axe British plant ["with the loss of more than 500 jobs"] after dire sales in eurozone: After closure of Belgian plant, Transit van site in Southampton awaits fate (The Independent)

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday roundup (10-23-12)


Quote of the Day:

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment-to our constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing. I now deny their power of making paper money, or any thing else, a legal tender." -- Thomas Jefferson, future president of the United States, in 1798, in Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor, Memoirs, Correspondence and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Late President of the United States, Vol. 3, 1829 (Google Books)

World ‘Close’ to Recession: Stanley Fischer (CNBC)

Spanish Economic Picture Darkens: GDP Shrinks, Sparks Warning by Bank, as Moody's Trims Five Regions' Ratings (The Wall Street Journal) Spain Output Shrinks Fifth Quarter Amid Bailout Talk: Economy (Bloomberg) Rajoy Sees Case for Slowing Spain’s Austerity as Economy Shrinks (Bloomberg)

Spain’s ‘Vicious Circle’ Worsens as Moody’s Downgrades Regions (CNBC)

[Meanwhile ...] Europe ratchets up grip on Madrid: The EU-IMF Troika in charge of Spain's €60bn (£48bn) bank rescue is to demand much tougher action by the country's authorities to clean up toxic debts, risking a clash that could deter Madrid from requesting a full sovereign bail-out. (The Telegraph)

What Caused Spain's Crisis? Is Your Money Safe In Banks? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) ["This video was recorded on 10 March 2012 in Madrid."] (Youtube)



Italy central bank warns on 2012 deficit trend (Reuters)

[German] Court asks inventory of gold reserves: Germany has the second largest gold reserves in the world, nearly 3400 tons. Supposedly, anyway. Because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight. Now, the Federal Court has asked the Bundesbank to examine the gold reserves abroad regularly. [This headline and summary provided by Google translator. The linked article is in German.] (Spiegel Online)

BoE ready for stimulus if positive signs from UK economy fade: King (Reuters)

Ireland’s ‘Celtic comeback’ is a myth (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Goldman Sachs VP explains why he quit: Greg Smith, who publicly resigned in scathing op-ed, says investment bank's unethical culture threatens firm's future. Anderson Cooper reports. (CBS News's 60 Minutes)



Richmo[n]d Fed Mfg Survey indicates contraction in October (Calculated Risk blog)

More Americans delaying retirement until their 80s (CNNMoney)

Dow Chemical cuts 2,400 jobs (CNNMoney)

DuPont to Cut 1,500 Jobs as Earnings Miss Estimates (CNBC)

Another 1000 jobs to go as massive cuts announced by the UK's biggest council [in Birmingham]: The Government is set to reduce a grant it receives by £53million next year and £332million over the next five years (The Mirror)

Peabody Energy announces [925] job cuts, earnings growth (Casper [WY] Star-Tribune)

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

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday roundup (10-22-12)


Western World in 'Colossal Mess' in 5-10 Years: Marc Faber (CNBC) Faber: 'Reduce Government by 50 Percent' (CNBC)



Despite Push for Austerity, European Debt Has Soared (The New York Times) Europe’s Debt Surged to Record Last Year, Led by Greece: Economy (Bloomberg)

Greece revises up its 2011 budget deficit, debt figures, citing deeper recession (The Associated Press)

Greece Austerity Diet Risks 1930s-Style Depression: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Eurostat says Italy's debt almost 121% [of GDP], second in Europe [to Greece] (ANSAmed)

Japan Exports Tumble 10% as Maehara Presses BOJ to Ease: Economy (Bloomberg)

Japan to join currency wars as exports slump: Japan is poised to join the world's "currency wars" as it battles a triple crisis of crashing exports, recession and a suffocatingly-strong yen. (The Telegraph)

Why debt is a threat to [US] national security (CNNMoney)

Vital Signs Chart: Fed Holding More on Its Balance Sheet (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

US risk panel eyes Prudential as 'systemically important' [Oct. 19] (Reuters)

Caterpillar Sees Sales Growth Slowing Next Year on Economy (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.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday roundup (10-21-12)


EU faces two tough months of bargaining to boost euro confidence (Reuters)

IMF's epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers: So there is a magic wand after all. A revolutionary paper by the International Monetary Fund claims that one could eliminate the net public debt of the US at a stroke, and by implication do the same for Britain, Germany, Italy, or Japan. (The Telegraph) The Chicago Plan Revisited by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof (The International Monetary Fund)

Anti-immigrant Golden Dawn rises in Greece (The Washington Post) Amid the Echoes of an Economic Crash, the Sounds of Greek Society Being Torn (The New York Times)

Japan Exports Fall at Fastest Pace Since Post-Earthquake Slump (Bloomberg) Japan exports tumble, China row hits manufacturing mood (Reuters)

Economist [Richard Duncan] touts radical idea for U.S. election rivals (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Use Stand-Alone Subsidiaries to Break Up Megabanks by Rep. Brad Miller (D) of North Carolina (Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse, UBS could cut a total 7,000 jobs: 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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday roundup (10-20-12)


Euro crisis opens old wounds for Greece, Germany (CNN)

London protesters bash Britain's austerity drive (The Associated Press)

Ireland Still Seeks Debt Deal Despite Merkel's [Hard-Line] Comments - Minister (Dow Jones Newswires)

If Japan's Lost Decade Is Any Lesson, America's Youth Are Completely Screwed (The Business Insider)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 865 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

The great Stradivarius swindle: The world's biggest violin dealer, Dietmar Machold, is facing the music in court, accused of fiddling millions from investors (The Telegraph) Dietmar Machold, jet-setting violin dealer, accused in a case of fakes and fraud (The Washington Post)

     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, October 19, 2012

Friday roundup (10-19-12)


Europe mistakes market lull for vote of confidence -- [Thursday's deal "was a step backwards from agreements already made in June"] (The Telegraph blogs)

Merkel raises new hurdles on EU bank union (Reuters)

Greek PM says sure will get aid before cash runs out November 16 (Reuters)

Italy Anti-Austerity Party Tops 20% for First Time, Poll Says (Bloomberg)

UK experiences 'weirdest' weather (The BBC)

Is It Now Technically Impossible For The U.S. To Ever Balance Its Budget? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) United States Budget Dilemma (Youtube)



Google's Miss Highlights Big Worry on Wall Street -- ["revenue is coming in much worse than anyone thought"] (CNBC)

Bank seizures in Florida, Missouri makes total of 46 US failures so far this year (The Associated Press)

GulfSouth Private Bank of Destin FL had a troubled assets ratio of 272%. (BankTracker) GulfSouth Private Bank, Florida, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

First East Side Savings Bank of Tamarac FL had a troubled assets ratio of 200.7%. (BankTracker) First East Side Savings Bank, Florida, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Excel Bank of Sedalia MO had a troubled assets ratio of 341.2%. (BankTracker) Excel Bank, Sedalia, MO, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Sony to close factory in central Japan, cut workforce by 2,000 in moves aimed to cut $385M (The Associated Press) Sony to cut HQ staff by a fifth, shutter Japan plant (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 an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday roundup (10-18-12)


EU leaders agree 'fiscal facility’ plan with eye on budget union: Europe's leaders agreed on Thursday to plans for a “fiscal facility” to help eurozone countries cope with shocks, opening the door to partial budgetary union. (The Telegraph)

Bad loans at a record high in Spain’s debt-hit banks (The London Evening Standard) Spain Banks Face Pain as Worst-Case Scenario Turns Real (Bloomberg)

Risks of eurozone-like debt crisis exist in Canada: report (The Financial Post)

Average student loan debt [in the US] nears $27,000 (CNNMoney)

How Obama can defeat Romney: Break up the big banks: President Barack Obama should counter Mitt Romney’s extraordinary solicitude toward Wall Street with a proposal to cap the size of the nation’s biggest banks, [Robert] Reich writes. (The Christian Science Monitor blogs) Neil Barofsky: Obama's Wall Street Reforms Deserve An 'F' Grade (The Huffington Post blog)

Fed call for cap on bank size sparks fresh debate on too big to fail (Reuters blogs)

Could the U.S. Face 'Cyber Pearl Harbor'? Protecting Banks from Hacker Attacks: As U.S. financial institutions continue to be attacked, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns of a "cyber Pearl Harbor." Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and Neustar, Inc.'s Rodney Joffe talk with Margaret Warner about why banks are vulnerable to disruptions, theft and destructive threats. (PBS Newshour)




Alcatel-Lucent to cut 5,490 jobs worldwide (Reuters)

AMD to cut nearly 1,800 jobs or 15 pct of workers (The Associated Press)

Componenta to cut 550 jobs (Reuters)

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

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-18-12)


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.)

"New jobless claims jumped by 46,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 in the week ended Oct. 13, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Weekly Jobless Claims: A Sharp Turn For The Worse (The Capital Spectator)

Initial jobless claims jump 46,000 to 388,000, but there's an asterisk (The Los Angeles Times)

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, October 17, 2012

Wednesday roundup (10-17-12)


Sort out eurozone crisis, world tells Europe's leaders: From China and Japan to Brazil and the US, patience is running out amid fears crisis will tilt world into a deepening recession (The Guardian) [However ...] Debt solution likely to prove elusive at latest EU leader summit (The Irish Times)

Fears grow over EU banking union plan (The Financial Times)

ECB's Coeure: avoiding deflation justifies crisis steps (Reuters)

France's Hollande urges euro zone growth effort (Reuters) [Meanwhile ...] Germany Slashes Growth Outlook to 1 Percent] (The Wall Street Journal)

"Grexit" could spark global economic crisis: German think tank (Reuters)

IMF urges aid for Italy, Spain but Rome baulking (Reuters)

Europe’s Byzantine Politics and the Spanish Bailout (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

The next euro storm is in Italy: Berlusconi may campaign on anti-euro platform (Marketwatch)

UK employment hits all-time high: More people are in employment in the UK than at any time since records began in 1971, rising to nearly 30m for June to August, according to official Government data. (The Telegraph)

Bank of England deputy warns the worst may still be to come for banks: Currently deputy governor, Mr Tucker said bank balance sheets were still not strong enough to withstand “end-of-the-world risks" (The Mirror)

U.S. to Get Downgraded Amid Fiscal ‘Theater,’ Pimco Says (Bloomberg)

U.S. Postal Service hits borrowing limit for first time (Reuters)

Sales stumbles raise fresh worry for corporate America (Reuters)

US Households Are Not "Deleveraging" - They Are Simply Defaulting In Bulk (ZeroHedge blog)

Bank Of America Squeezes Out Small Profit After Merrill Lynch Hit (Forbes) Bank of America’s Still Weighed Down by Old Mortgage Mess (Barron's blogs)

Meredith Whitney: No CEO Can Fix Citigroup (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Bankrupt San Bernardino Skips $1 Million Bond Payment (Bloomberg)

Vital Signs Chart: Slowing Factory Activity (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

TeliaSonera to Cut 2,000 Jobs After Earnings Fall Short (Bloomberg)

Abbott Labs cuts 550 jobs, more layoffs planned (Marketwatch)

Ergon Energy to cut 500 jobs across Qld (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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