Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday roundup (04-09-13)

US and Europe Deeply Divided on Austerity: The visit of US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to Europe this week has highlighted the deep trans-Atlantic divide over Brussels' austerity-driven response to the euro crisis. Washington would like to see measures to stimulate growth. But none are likely to be forthcoming. (Spiegel Online) Germany Can't Escape Its Own Crushing Austerity As Exports Fall And Imports Tank (Forbes)

Europe 'falling behind US and blighted by energy costs': Europe is falling dangerously far behind the US in productivity growth and is blighted by crippling energy costs, the pan-EU industry federation has warned. (The Telegraph)

France Faces 'Devastating Scandal' as Economy Stalls (CNBC)

Greece enters deflation for first time in 45 years: Greek consumer prices fell year-on-year in March, taking the battered economy into deflationary territory for the first time since 1968. (The Telegraph) Greece suffers deflation for first time since 1968 while resentment towards German austerity continues to mount (This is Money)

Speculation mounts over Slovenian bailout: Country may become sixth euro nation to need aid as credit rating deteriorates rapidly (The Irish Times) Slovenia faces 'severe banking crisis', warns OECD: Slovenia faces a "severe banking crisis" and must act fast to avoid the "daunting outcome" of a prolonged downturn and being cut-off from financial markets, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned. (The Telegraph) Slovenia Faces ‘Severe’ Banking Crisis in Recession, OECD Says (Bloomberg) Slovenia's prime minister tries to quell eurozone bailout rumours: Bratusek insists government committed to fixing country's banks, struggling with bad debts as double-dip recession continues (The Guardian blogs) 6 things you need to know about Slovenia, perhaps the next euro-zone domino (Marketwatch blogs)

Bank of England has 'no new toys to play with' to boost economy: The Bank of England has "no new toys to play with" to boost the economy, rate-setter Paul Fisher has said, despite being handed a more flexible remit by Chancellor George Osborne last month. (The Telegraph)

Five million [UK] households in debt to energy firms: The number of people who owe money to their energy supplier has risen by over one million in a year, with around one in five households now in debt, according to a study. (The Telegraph)

“Giant Bet” Could Trigger “the Mother of All Debt Crises” in Japan: Neil Irwin (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)

Japan's Debt Problem Visualized (Youtube)

Pres. Obama Crossing the Debt Threat Bridge: What does President Obama have to do to find balance between what Republicans and Democrats want in the Federal budget? David Walker CEO of Comeback America Initiative, weighs in. (CNBC)

Sherrod Brown and David Vitter have a new bipartisan bill to end Too Big to Fail. Here’s what it does. (The Washington Post blogs) Senate Bill May Solve Too-Big-To-Fail By Shrinking Banks By 70% (Dealbreaker) Analyst says Congress sending signal to regulators with too-big-to-fail bills (Marketwatch blogs) Senators urge bank regulators to hurry up on 'too big to fail' rules (The Hill blogs)

Bair: ‘Living Will’ Plans Are Key to Ending Too-Big-to-Fail (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Fed's Lacker: Living wills can end too big to fail (Marketwatch)

Banks used small business funds to pay off bailout (CNNMoney)

Michigan Lawmakers Cut 1,000 DHS Jobs (WILX)

Oshkosh to cut 900 jobs in defense unit (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.

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