Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday roundup (02-20-13)

Rome will burn, regardless of Italian election result (Reuters)

Bad loans at Italian banks reached 125 bln euros at end 2012 (Reuters) Italian bank lending drops to record low: Association warns of more dud loans and deepening recession (Gazetta del Sud)

Portugal May Get Extra Year to Narrow Deficit: Gaspar (Bloomberg)

Euro zone bailout fund says Cyprus a potential contagion risk (Reuters) S&P ratings agency warns that Cyprus faces default (Deutsche Welle)

Losing our AAA rating [in the UK] could mean bank collapse and deflation: Like a condemned man, the British government awaits the sentence. It’s ceased to be a question of whether we’ll lose our AAA rating, but when. (The Telegraph)

Federal Reserve unlikely to end stimulus efforts soon, minutes signal (The Washington Post) Fed Officials Divided on Future of QE (CNBC) Has the Fed Gone Wobbly on QE3?: Most on monetary committee still support asset purchases, but worries are also growing (U. S. News & World Report)

Langone: Fiscal Storm Coming Due to Debt: Home Depot Founder Ken Langone told CNBC that pursuing President Barack Obama's politics are "generational theft of an enormous magnitude (CNBC)

U.S. Banks Bigger Than GDP as Accounting Rift Masks Risk (Bloomberg) Why The Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Even Bigger Than You Thought (Think Progress) THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE BIG BANKS (The New Yorker blogs)

Spain's Caixabank planning significant job cuts [= 4,000 jobs]: sources (Reuters)

Volvo Cars to Cut 1,000 Jobs in 2013 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Telstra to cut 648 Sensis jobs: Telstra has confirmed that it will cut 648 roles in a restructure of its ailing advertising subsidiary Sensis. (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.

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