Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday roundup (07-08-13)

French business leaders lash out at Francois Hollande: France’s business leaders have launched a blistering attack on President François Hollande, demanding drastic measures to halt the country’s industrial decline and shrink the ballooning public sector. (The Telegraph)

Greece Wins Release of Aid, Stays Lashed to Tight Conditions (Bloomberg) Euro zone grants multi-billion euro lifeline for Greece (Reuters)

Paul Krugman: I'm Worried A Full Recovery 'May Never Happen' [in the US] (The Huffington Post) Defining Prosperity Down by Paul Krugman (The New York Times)

Consumer credit rises by most in a year (Reuters) "... anyone who lived through the financial crisis and recession, in which excessive household debt was a major contributing factor, has to feel a little squeamish about how quickly consumer credit is rising." (The Washington Post blogs)

101M Get Food Aid from Federal Gov’t; Outnumber Full-Time Private Sector Workers (CNSNews) [Direct quote from the US Government:] "FNS estimates that a total of 101 million people currently participate in at least one of its programs, including over 47 million in SNAP, a historically high figure that has risen with the economic downturn and expanded eligibility and funding of food assistance programs. Accordingly, FNS’ FY 2012 budget for SNAP was approximately $88.6 billion. In total, FNS’ FY 2012 budget for its 15 other programs was approximately $25.4 billion." -- from "Overlap and Duplication in Food and Nutrition Service’s Nutrition Programs" (US Department of Agriculture)

Monopolistic Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Try to Crush Credit Unions as Competition by Removing Tax Exemption (Truth Out) Banks pushing for repeal of credit unions' federal tax exemption: Bankers say the tax break is an unfair advantage for large credit unions. Now they see an opportunity to get rid of it as lawmakers begin work on a major overhaul of the tax code. (The Los Angeles Times)

Think Your Money is Safe in an Insured Bank Account? Think Again. by Ellen Brown (The Web of Debt blog)

Oil & Gas Companies Are Setting ‘Our Democracy on Fire,’ Says Gasland Director (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)

Osram to shed 4,700 jobs and close plants (The Financial Times)

SMA Solar Technology AG Plans To Cut 800 Jobs (Solar Industry Magazine)

Hewlett-Packard to lay off 500 in Conway (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.

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