Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday roundup (12-31-12)

Austerity has made Europe worse, says Cyprus President Demetris Christofias: Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has hit out against the harsh austerity measures being meted out to struggling eurozone members as the Mediterranean island faces a bleak new year. (The Telegraph)

The Human Toll of Europe’s Economic Statistics (The New York Times blogs)

Weimar 2013?: In Europe, where economic failure once led to the collapse of democracy, people are asking if it could happen again (Project Syndicate)

Merkel warns Germans of tough economic times ahead:
Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the German economic climate in 2013 will be "even more difficult". (The BBC)

Greek retail sales slump as austerity-hit consumers rein in spending:
Greek retail sales fell 18.1pc year-on-year in October, recording the steepest drop in almost two years, as the deep recession and record-high unemployment took a toll on consumer spending. (The Telegraph)

UK 'faces a 50-50 risk of suffering triple-dip recession' say economists as they warn of eurozone risk (The Daily Mail)

It's official: Deal reached on "fiscal cliff" (CBSNews) White House, Senate Republicans Reach a "Fiscal Cliff' Deal (CNBC)

Modest deal on ‘fiscal cliff ’ is least Congress could do [editorial] (The Boston Globe)

It's official: U.S. hits debt ceiling (CNNMoney) Debt ceiling is the next fiscal cliff (CNNMoney) Lindsay Graham: I Will Destroy America’s Solvency Unless The Social Security Retirement Age Is Raised (Think Progress)

Farm bill remains in limbo (The Washington Post blogs)

Will Dodd-Frank Kill Small Banks? (The Columbia [Missouri] Business Times)

500 layoffs looming for Detroit employees (Michigan Radio) More layoffs mean fewer city services, unions say: Mayor Dave Bing's plan to cut work force will lower costs, but still hurt taxpayers, they say (The Detroit News

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In Europe, Debate Slowly Shifts to Speed of a Recovery (The New York Times)

Merkel says euro zone crisis far from over (Reuters)

'Major Setback' in 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks
(NBCNews) Senate Leaders Pessimistic on Cliff Talks (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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday roundup (12-29-12)

With fiscal cliff looming, Obama urges leaders to come to their senses and pass a budget deal: The House and the Senate both held unusual Saturday afternoon sessions, in a last-ditch attempt to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect. (The New York Daily News) Lawmakers to Hold Weekend Talks on Averting Budget Change (Bloomberg) House lawmakers now say fiscal crisis vote not likely until Monday [= New Year's Eve] (FoxNews) With no ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in sight, sequestration seems all but certain (The Washington Post)

The current economic recovery is a fraud (FoxNews)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 838 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

India files murder charges against suspects in brutal gang rape (CNN) "Gang-rapes [in New Delhi] are so frequent that they are barely mentioned in the newspapers..." (Agence France Presse) Will death of rape victim be tipping point in changing a misogynistic culture in India? (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) 10 reasons why India has a sexual violence problem (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.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday roundup (12-28-12)

Mario Monti to lead centrist coalition in Italian elections: Mario Monti, the outgoing Italian prime minister, has confirmed he would lead a new coalition of centrist parties who are backing his pro-reform platform. (The Telegraph) Monti Says He Will Lead Coalition in Italy’s February Elections (Bloomberg)

Kyle Bass' 5 Reasons Why The Japanese Government Bond Market Will Collapse by 2016
(Youtube)



Mississippi River could drop to critical point by next week, threatening [US] barge traffic (The Associated Press)

Matt Taibbi: Libor Scandal Is 'The Biggest Financial Corruption Case In History' (VIDEO) (The Huffington Post blog) Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi on the biggest Wall Street story of the year: Libor: Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, cites the Libor scandal as the biggest Wall Street-related story of 2012 in this "Viewpoint" Web exclusive. The ongoing investigation into possible rate-rigging is embroiling banks around the globe. "If it's true that the 16 biggest banks in the world were fixing global interest rates, then it's hard not to argue that that's not the biggest financial corruption case in history," Taibbi says. (Current)



Financial Reform’s Breakthrough Year [Will Be 2013?] by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate)

     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, December 27, 2012

Thursday roundup (12-27-12)

Outlook bleak as Hollande hails 2013 'battle for jobs' (France24) French jobless claims hit nearly 15-year high in November (Reuters)

Spain's house prices to fall another 30pc as glut keeps growing: Spain's property slump will deepen for much of the next decade, and tracts of buildings along the Mediterannean coast will have to be demolished, the country's top consultants have warned. (The Telegraph)

Long-suffering Bankia shareholders set for more losses (Reuters) Shares in Spain's Bankia plunge as bailout looms (CNNMoney)

Japan’s Production Slumps to 2011 Quake-Aftermath Low: Economy (Bloomberg)

Avoid the Fiscal Cliff - Economic Freedom Speech - [Canadian Member of Parliament] Pierre Poilievre (Youtube)



U.S. poised to go off "fiscal cliff": Senator Reid
(Reuters) Lawmakers, Obama in last chance talks on "fiscal cliff" (Reuters)

Consumer Confidence Declines as Fiscal Cliff Looms
(The Wall Street Journal) Consumer Confidence Plunges on Fiscal Cliff Fears (Iacono Research)

[Japan's] Kansai Electric to Cut 500 Jobs in Next 3 Years for Cost Saving (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, 12-27-12)

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.)

"Initial jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 in the week ended Dec. 22, the Labor Department said." (Marketwatch)

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline to 350,000, 4-Week average at low for 2012
(Calculated Risk blog)

A Surprisingly Positive Final 2012 Update On Jobless Claims
(The Capital Spectator)

New Low In Initial Jobless Claims Contraindicates Recession
(Seeking Alpha blog)

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, December 26, 2012

Wednesday roundup (12-26-12)

'Europe will fail if struggling countries cannot leave euro', warns grandson of man behind the EU (The Daily Mail)

Japan Abe taps allies for cabinet, pledges deflation fight
(Reuters)

Geithner: U.S. to hit debt ceiling on Monday (CNNMoney)

Governments are Not Like Households, But… (Iacono Research)

Will 2013 Mark the Beginning of American Decline? by Simon Johnson (Bloomberg)

Poll: Majority expect recession in 2013 (The Hill 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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tuesday roundup (12-25-12)

Portugal to hold fire-sale of state assets: State broadcaster could be privatised in move seen as attempt by Lisbon government to impress lenders (The Guardian)

Triple-dip in prospect as British economy zig-zags to recovery (The Scotsman)

US Holiday Retail Sales Growth Weakest Since 2008
(The Associated Press)

Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’ (The Washington Post)

TARP bailout close to breaking even
["only" $14 billion to go] (CNNMoney)

     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, December 24, 2012

Monday roundup (12-24-12)

Schäuble's Secret Austerity Plan for Germany: The German government and opposition are pledging higher benefits for pensioners, families and the long-term unemployed ahead of elections next year, but Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is secretly planning cutbacks to prepare for a weakening economy and possible fallout from the euro crisis. (Spiegel Online)

Britain feels strain as austerity bites (CNNMoney)

U.K. Home Prices Fall as Hometrack Sees Further Decline: Economy (Bloomberg)

Dozens of [UK] retailers on the brink as rents fall due: Insolvency specialists warn of more trouble for high streets shunned by many shoppers (The Independent)

[US] Lawmakers Say Time Short to Reach Deal on Fiscal Cliff (Bloomberg)

Despite Hints of Economic Recovery, Optimism’s Scarce for the Year Ahead (ABCNews blogs)

Debt limit must not threaten US economy again [editorial] (The Boston Globe)

Majority of Wealthy Support Taxing Themselves: Poll (CNBC)

     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, December 23, 2012

Sunday roundup (12-23-12)

Trichet: Fed, ECB Balance Sheets Are ‘Profoundly Abnormal’ (CNBC)

The Eurozone’s Delayed Reckoning by Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate)

Fear, finger-pointing mount over "fiscal cliff" (Reuters)

Forget the 'fiscal cliff': We don't need across-the-board tax increases or spending cuts. We need policies that will create more jobs. (The Los Angeles Times)

How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans
(The Fiscal Times)

Drought Threatens Shipping on Mississippi River
(The New York Times)

MF Global Overseers Reach Accord Over Claims
(The New York Times blogs)

Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency:
Did the Washington Post and others underplay the story through fear of the News Corp chairman, or simply tin-eared judgment? by Carl Bernstein (The Guardian) Fox News chief’s failed attempt to enlist Petraeus as presidential candidate by Bob Woodward (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.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday roundup (12-22-12)

EU to give Spain, France more time to cut deficit-press (Reuters)

Chilling economic report strikes fear into CEOs [in the UK]: Over an early-morning coffee with the chief executive of a FTSE 100 business last week, talk turned to the outlook for 2013. Where I had expected some guarded optimism, instead I heard a chilling analysis. (The Telegraph)

The Upside of the Fiscal Cliff [in the US] by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Number of the Week: Without Unemployment Extension, Millions to Lose Benefits (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Delta Air Gets 22,000 Applications for 300 Attendant Jobs
(Bloomberg)

[Meanwhile Ohio State University President] Gee Takes Jets as $1.9 Million Payday Roils Ohio Students (Bloomberg)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 841 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Engineered Fish Moves a Step Closer to Approval (The New York Times)

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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday roundup (12-21-12)

Euro-Zone Consumer Spending to Remain Weak (The Wall Street Journal)

Italian Consumer Confidence Remains Near Record Low on Recession (Bloomberg)

Mario Monti resigns as austerity budget passed:
Mario Monti has resigned as [Italian] prime minister just hours after his 2013 budget was approved, but could be launching an electoral bid over the weekend. (The Telegraph)

IMF: French growth weak, will miss 2013 3% deficit target
(Agence France Presse)

UK budget deficit worsens, credit rating at risk (Reuters)

Osborne's banking reforms "fall well short of what is required", warn [UK] MPs: Banks must be broken up if they try to get round the new ring-fence, says the banking standards commission. (The New Statesman blogs)

Municipal debt in Alberta jumps to $7.7 billion (Edmonton Journal)

[US House Speaker] Boehner Drops ‘Plan B’ as Budget Effort Turns to Disarray (Bloomberg) Boehner has few options in fiscal cliff mess (Reuters)

Fiscal Cliff: Ugh, Recession is Now More Likely by Mohamed A. El-Erian (The Huffington Post blog) What going over the ‘fiscal cliff’ means . . . (The Big Picture blog)

With Farm Bill Stalled, Consumers May Face Soaring Milk Prices
(The New York Times) 'Dairy cliff': Milk prices may double in New Year (CNNMoney) US milk price worry boils over in sour farm bill debate (Reuters)

Another Fine Moment from Glenn Hubbard
(Iacono Research) "Give it your best shot" - Glenn Hubbard (from Inside Job) (Youtube)



EnBW to cut 1,350 jobs and speed up cost cuts
(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, December 20, 2012

Thursday roundup (12-20-12)

After Libor, arguments against financial regulation are a joke (Thomson Reuters)

Fitch expects 'Bond Bubble' carnage when rate cycle turns: The worldwide stampede into corporate debt over the past year has fuelled a “bond bubble” that threatens heavy losses for investors once interest rates spike up again, Fitch Ratings has warned. (The Telegraph)

No austerity on menu at IMF's $350,000 Christmas bash
(The Irish Independent)

Spain 2012 Deficit Slippage Looms as Recession Deepens
(Bloomberg)

ECB criticizes Monte Paschi bailout terms (Reuters)

Cyprus 'could default within days': Cyprus could default on loan payments due this month unless it can reach an agreement on a bailout with international lenders within days, a government official said on Monday. (The Telegraph) IMF Demands Partial Default for Cyprus: Euro-zone member state Cyprus badly needs a bailout, but the International Monetary Fund is demanding a debt haircut first, according to media reports. The resulting standoff with Europe has delayed the country's badly needed aid package. To ward off insolvency, Nicosia has raided the pension funds of state-owned companies. (Spiegel Online)

Putin offers French tax row actor Depardieu a Russian passport (Reuters)

The Bank of England governor's huge salary is bolstered by amazing perks: Average earnings stay strangled, but still a corporate elite is getting richer while society pays the price (The Guardian)

Under pressure from Abe, Bank of Japan boosts stimulus again (Reuters) Bank of Japan launches 10 trillion yen of fresh easing: The Bank of Japan has ramped-up its money printing programme by 10 trillion yen (£732m), days after the conservative Liberal Democratic Party won an election promising to boost spending and pressure the central bank for aggressive action. (The Telegraph)

[US] House Speaker Boehner Cancels Vote on 'Plan B' (CNBC) 'Fiscal Cliff' Impasse: Can a Deal Still Get Done? (CNBC)

The Long-Term View on Debt and Deficits in the U.S. (Iacono Research) Charting US Debt And Deficit Since Inception (ZeroHedge blog)

Questions Remain About New Plan on ‘Too Big to Fail’ (The New York Times blogs)

Why an Atlanta Upstart Is Buying NYSE (It's Not Stocks) (CNBC)

Glenn Hubbard, Leading Academic and Mitt Romney Advisor, Took $1200 an Hour to Be Countrywide's Expert Witness (Rolling Stone blogs)

Siemens to cut almost 1,100 German jobs in energy sector (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, 12-20-12)

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.)

"Applications for jobless benefits increased by 17,000 to 361,000 in the week ended Dec. 15, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

Initial jobless claims climb 17,000: Four-week average at lowest level in two months (Marketwatch)

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, December 19, 2012

Wednesday roundup (12-19-12)

Greece: A debt colony, shackled to its lenders: A new agreement between cash-strapped Greece and its eurozone lenders is bad for the Greek people and bad for democracy. (Al Jazeera)

Ireland bank debt easing 'essential' IMF warns EU:
The International Monetary Fund has warned Europe its inaction over Irish bank debt could threaten the nation's exit from its bail-out programme by the end of 2013. (The Telegraph)

Bank of England warns of triple dip: The Bank of England has warned that the economy is “quite likely” to shrink in the final three months of the year, bringing the recovery to an abrupt end, as it forecast that inflation will remain above 2pc “for the next year or so”.  (The Telegraph)

UBS admits fraud in £940m Libor rigging settlement (The Independent)

World Bank fears fresh credit bubble in China on hot money flows: China and Asia’s tigers are roaring back to life and risk a fresh credit booms unless they can choke inflows of hot money, the World Bank has warned. (The Telegraph)

Fitch warns fiscal cliff could cost U.S. its AAA rating (Reuters)

Boehner Challenges Obama With 'Plan B' Showdown (CNBC) Boehner's 'Plan B' isn't the deal, but it may lead to one (The Los Angeles Times)

Cliff Discussions Continue: David Stockman, OMB Director under President Reagan, says Washington should allow the US to go over the cliff (CNBC)



Why a recession may be coming no matter what fiscal-cliff deal is reached (Marketwatch)

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday roundup (12-18-12)

"Peak farmland" is here, food crop area to fall - study (Reuters)

Euro zone rescuer Draghi faces daunting 2013 (Reuters)

What To Expect From The Eurozone In 2013 (Forbes)

IIF warns of large risks to Greek bailout (Agence France Presse)

Berlusconi says Italy may be forced to leave the euro zone (Reuters)

European austerity measures reach the Vatican budget (Religion News Service)

Incoming Bank of England governor warned to stay out of British politics: Liberal Democrats call for clear demarcation lines between governor and parliament to maintain Bank's independence (The Guardian)

Boehner Invokes ‘Plan B,’ Dismissing Obama’s Offer (The New York Times) White House rejects Boehner's 'fiscal cliff' Plan B (USAToday) John Boehner's fiscal cliff ‘Plan B’ going nowhere in Senate (Politico) Boehner’s backup tax plan shakes up ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations (The Washington Post) Budget Plan Offers Laid Out in Negotiations, But Deal Remains Elusive: President Obama raised the threshold for higher tax rates to households making $400,000 annually and offered spending cuts, but Republicans held that the White House's plans don't go far enough on spending cuts. Judy Woodruff talks to The Wall Street Journal's Carol Lee and WNYC's Todd Zwillich about the battle for an agreement. (PBSNewshour)



Uncertainty in Washington hurting economic recovery (The Hill blogs)

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke (Rolling Stone blogs)

Pfizer to cut 600 jobs as Lipitor sales decline: report (Reuters)

Texas Instruments To Cut 517 Jobs In France (The Associated Press)

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday roundup (12-17-12)

ECB Chief Defends Austerity Measures (The Wall Street Journal)

Bundesbank sees "noticeable" German GDP shrinkage (Marketwatch)

Merkel Says Euro Crisis Recovery Is Worth Austerity Pain (Bloomberg)

Greece's lenders warn of "very large" risks to bailout (Reuters)

Greek Debt Unsustainable Without Official Sector Losses - Moody's (The Wall Street Journal)

Spanish PM defends year of austerity amid protests (The Associated Press)

Italian president [Giorgio Napolitano] urges austerity as election looms (Agence France Presse) Most Italians oppose second term for PM Monti - poll (Reuters)

Monte Paschi bailout gets preliminary EU clearance (Reuters)

Will Japan’s New Prime Minister Start a Debt Crisis? (Time) Japan's Shinzo Abe prepares to print money for the whole world: Japan’s incoming leader Shinzo Abe has vowed to ram through full-blown reflation policies to pull his country out of slump and drive down the yen, warning Japan's central bank not to defy the will of the people. (The Telegraph)

Five years after the recession, a slow recovery plods on: The recession began in December 2007. Officially, it’s been over for more than three years. The damage remains. (The Miami Herald)

In new 'cliff' bid, Obama seeks $1.2 trillion in revenue - source (Reuters) President Delivers a New Offer on the Fiscal Crisis to Boehner (The New York Times)

Obama, Boehner meet amid hard bargaining over tax hikes, debt ceiling (FoxNews) Obama, Boehner meet again as fiscal cliff talks heat up (CNN)

Manufacturing in New York Area Shrinks More Than Forecast (Bloomberg)

RAIL INDICATORS: The Economy Continues To Soften (Pragmatic Capitalism)

     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, December 16, 2012

Sunday roundup (12-16-12)

Europe’s worries about Italy: Italy’s latest mess has shocked European leaders. But their problems run even deeper (The Economist)

French paper says actor Gerard Depardieu wants to surrender passport in dispute over taxes (The Associated Press)

Japan's war on deflation runs into psychology of hard times (Reuters)

Boehner offers debt-ceiling increase in cliff compromise (The Washington Post) Boehner opens door to tax hikes, shifts U.S. fiscal cliff talks (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, December 15, 2012

Saturday roundup (12-16-12)

Economic slowdown throughout euro zone a worry for ECB: Liikanen (Reuters)

Galbraith: ‘I cannot imagine how a sane person can believe in austerity’: Leading economist slams austerity policies (New Europe)

UN economist: Portugal needs partial debt renegotiation
(Reuters)

Portugal’s unemployment up since bailout (The Washington Post)

On Capitol Hill, Fiscal Talks Now Turn to U.S. Borrowing Limit (The New York Times)

Potential fiscal cliff deal still being debated (The Washington Post)

Number of the Week: Popular Policies Won’t Balance Budget (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Community Bank of the Ozarks, Sunrise Beach, MO, Closed By Regulators [as posted in yesterday's blog] (Problem Bank List)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 845 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, December 14, 2012

Friday roundup (12-14-12)

Latest eurozone summit ends in stalemate: Two-day summit was supposed to lay out a grand plan and timetable for reforming and stabilising the euro regime (The Guardian)

Italian debt at record high above 2 trillion euros: Italian public debt has swelled to its highest ever level, reaching (EURO)2.014 trillion ($2.64 trillion) in October, the Bank of Italy said Friday - highlighting the country's fragile financial state in spite of the raft of austerity measures and reforms imposed by Prime Minister Mario Monti. (The Associated Press) Italy's debt tops 2 trillion euros in new headache for Monti (Reuters)

American People Are Against Reducing the Deficit (The Big Picture blog)

Regulators seize lender in Missouri, bringing to 51 the number of US bank failures this year (The Associated Press) Community Bank of the Ozarks of Sunrise Beach MO had a troubled assets ratio of 726.9%. (BankTracker)

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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday roundup (12-13-12)

Quote of the Day:

"Well, what the Fed's really fighting is a depression. They won't use that word. We've been in a depression since 2007. We've had zero interest rates since 2008. We'll probably have them until 2015. So what they're fighting is deflation and a depression. ... And also we have very low growth. When you can have growth in a depression, the problem is. you don't get trend growth. Trend growth is sort of 4 [percent], 4-and-a-half percent, something like that. We're getting 1 [percent], 1-and-a-half percent, sometimes 2 percent in a good quarter. So we're nowhere near trend growth. So it's the gap between trend growth and actual growth that is depressionary and also deflationary. The Fed's fighting that." -- Jim Rickards, senior managing director at Tangent Capital partners. (Russia Today)

Greece gets new EU aid, declares "Grexit" era dead (Reuters)

Italy at ‘point of no return’ on austerity, PM front-runner says
(The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Squatters of Rome scrape by at the margins in Italy's crisis (Reuters)

Japan Tankan Business Confidence Falls to Near 3-Year Low (Bloomberg)

U.S. Manufacturing May Already Be in Recession
(Bloomberg)

No Sign of Progress After Boehner-Obama Meeting
(CNBC)

Fear the Debt Ceiling, Not the Fiscal Cliff (U. S. News and World Report blogs)

Get Basel III right and avoid Basel IV: To protect banks and the taxpayer, we must insist on strong capital for all banks by Thomas M. Hoenig, vice-chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (The Financial Times)

Barclays may cut up to 2,000 investment banking jobs: WSJ (Reuters)

California prison health care receiver issues [2,200] lay off notices [for 829 positions] (The Sacramento Bee 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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 12-13-12)


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 fell by 29,000 to 343,000 in the week ended Dec. 8, the fewest since reaching a four-year low in the period ended Oct. 6, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

Initial Jobless Claims Fall to 343,000, Second Lowest Rate of 2012 (The Associated Press)

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, December 12, 2012

Wednesday roundup (12-12-12)

Euro zone factory output falls again, recovery far off (Reuters) Eurozone factory output continues to fall steeply: Industrial production drops by 1.4% in October across the bloc despite expectations among economists of modest growth (The Guardian) Euro zone recovery hopes fade further into 2013: Reuters poll (Reuters)

Berlusconi Adds to Italy Turmoil by Signaling He’d Step Aside (Bloomberg) What Mario Monti’s Exit Tells Us About Europe’s Debt Crisis (Time) The Bungover 4: Six weeks after being convicted of tax fraud, controversial former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announces his intention to seek reelection. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



U.S. budget deficit reaches $172B in November (The Associated Press)

Fed ties stimulus to jobs, inflation in unprecedented steps to bolster economy (The Washington Post) Fed Links Rates to Joblessness, Expands Bond Purchases (Bloomberg) QE4 Could Be The Cure For The Coming Austerity Of The Fiscal Cliff (Forbes)

Boehner: Serious differences in U.S. "fiscal cliff" fight (Reuters) Republicans say Obama is risking new recession: Battle over budget as spending cuts and tax increases loom (The Independent)

While The Fiscal Cliff Keeps You Distracted, The AMT Will Rob You Blind
(Forbes) On a Clear Day in D.C., You Can See the AMT… (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

The GOP’s dangerous debt-ceiling gamble (The Washington Post blogs)

Too Big to Jail: Our Banking System's Latest Disgrace by Neil Barofsky (The New Republic blogs)

Elizabeth Warren assigned to Senate banking committee (CBSNews)

Consumer Confidence Continues to Fade (Iacono Research)

Peugeot to Cut 1,500 More Jobs: This cut is in addition to 8,000 cuts announced recently. (Agence France Presse)

Cosmetic giant Avon will cut 1,500 jobs globally (Reuters)

The Hollowing Out of America (History News Network) Looking backward, 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (Archive)

     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, December 11, 2012

Tuesday roundup (12-11-12)

Mr. Berlusconi’s Shameless Return (The New York Times) Berlusconi move could undermine Monti agenda in Italy (Reuters)

[US] Debt-ceiling hysteria rears its ugly head — again (The Providence [RI] Journal) As U.S. Approaches Debt Limit, Treasury Readies ‘Extraordinary’ Measures (The Wall Street Journal blogs) ‘Cliff’ Plans Exchanged; Reid Says Deal Unlikely Before Christmas! (CNBC)

The FHA: Next Government Bailout? (Bloomberg)

Bailout Over, U.S. Treasury Plans to Sell A.I.G. Shares (The New York Times blogs) Huge AIG Bailout Profit 'Misleading', Says Ex-TARP Watchdog (The Huffington Post blog)

Too big to fail means too big for jail (NBCNews) ‘Too big to fail’ becomes ‘too big to indict’ (The Washington Post blogs) HSBC to Pay Record Fine to Settle Money Laundering Charges (The New York Times blogs)

US student loans: The trillion dollar debt trap
(The BBC)

A Public Sector Worker Paradise in California (Iacono Research)

"Watch for Market Dislocations" - Karl Denninger (Youtube)



Peugeot to Cut Added 1,500 Jobs as European Sales Plunge (Bloomberg)

Kaiser staffers protest layoffs of 530 workers (The Press-Enterprise of Riverside CA)

Detroit to Lay-Off 500 Workers Amid Bankruptcy Rumours (The Point Daily)

Tests Say Mislabeled Fish Is a Widespread Problem (The New York Times) ["mislabeling"]

     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, December 10, 2012

Monday roundup (12-10-12)

EU's Rehn says euro zone must pursue structural reforms (Reuters)

Germany, engine of Europe, faces looming recession (CBSMoneywatch)

Italy industry output dives, dashing recovery hopes (Reuters)

Euro Zone Crisis Is Back as Italy Loses Its 'Savior' (CNBC) Italy Vote Will Test EU Nobel Winners After Greek Buyback (Bloomberg)

Mario Monti's exit is only way to save Italy: Italy has only one serious economic problem. It is in the wrong currency. (The Telegraph)

Shrinking Dutch economy in worse shape than thought (Reuters)

HSBC Nearing $1.9 Billion Settlement Over Money Laundering (The New York Times)

Foodstamps Soar By Most In 16 Months:
Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months (ZeroHedge blog)

Falling Incomes, High Unemployment, Rising Taxes and Tight Credit = Housing Recovery? (The Big Picture blog)

Google Winding Down Motorola in S. Korea, Laying Off About 500
(AllThingsD)

     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.