Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday roundup (03-31-13)


Clarke and Dawe - Slight problem with the Cypriot Banking System (Youtube)



Monte Paschi says lost billions in deposits after February scandal (Reuters)

Bank Confiscation Scheme for US and UK Depositors by Ellen Brown [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog) How the U.S. is Planning the "Cyprus" Approach (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

New sheriff of Wall St. is racking up insider trading convictions: Preet Bharara has carved out a reputation for being a tough prosecutor who has overseen some of the most high-profile white-collar criminal cases since the 1980s. (The Los Angeles Times)

     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, March 30, 2013

Saturday roundup (03/30/13)


Cyprus details heavy losses for major bank customers (Reuters) Bank of Cyprus depositors get costly ‘haircut’; Bailout could shave off 60 percent (The Associated Press) Cyprus: Big depositors will lose up to 60% of savings (EuroNews)



Cyprus, Luxembourg, Italy or Malta: Which country will unravel the euro zone? (The Washington Post blogs)

Unofficial [US] Problem Bank list declines to 791 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

ZeekRewards scam leaves N.C. town millions poorer (The Associated Press) A look at the key facts in what authorities say was a $600M Ponzi scheme (The Associated Press)

Income At Home, Herbalife, and the $8 billion pyramid: Exposing the iconic brand behind Scamworld’s most visible ‘biz opp’ (The Verge)

     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, March 29, 2013

Friday roundup (03-29-13)


France misses budget deficit target: Latest budget blow comes as President Hollande attempts to reassure voters he can steer France out of economic rut (The Guardian) Hollande faces major challenge in curtailing France’s budget deficit: Strong pressure to cut public spend bill in country without balanced budget since 1974 [The Financial Times via] (The Irish Times)

The real mistake over the Cyprus bail-out would be to think it can’t happen here in Britain: The financial omens that led to the banking crisis in Cyprus are only too familiar (The Telegraph)

Canada Discusses Forced Depositor Bail-In Procedures for "Too Big To Fail" Banks in 2013 Budget (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

The Debate on Bank Size Is Over by Simon Johnson (The New York Times blogs) The White House’s dangerous stance on ‘too big to fail’ (The Washington Post blogs)

How the Banking System Is Destroying America [Washington's blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms (The New York Times)

     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, March 28, 2013

Thursday roundup (03-28-13)


Cyprus bank controls to last a month, minister says (Reuters) Suspicious Transactions: Cypriot Parliament Investigating Capital Flight: Banks have been closed and accounts frozen in Cyprus recently. Nevertheless, large amounts were moved out of the country's crippled financial institutions on the eve of the bailout package. Lawmakers are suspicious and are investigating both the government and the Cypriot central bank. (Spiegel Online)

Mobius: 'You Have to Have a Default': Mark Mobius, executive chairman at Templeton Emerging Markets Group, says the only way to solve the euro zone's debt crisis is for a default to happen (CNBC)



'Run for the Hills' Now, I'm Doing It: Jim Rogers (CNBC) (CNBC)


Slovenia’s borrowing costs have rocketed over recent days as it grapples with a festering financial crisis, becoming the first victim of contagion from Cyprus. (The Telegraph) Slovenia could be next candidate for eurozone bailout: Former Yugoslav republic is struggling with troubled banking sector that threatens to bring down economy (The Guardian)

France's Leader Lashes Out at Austerity (The Wall Street Journal)

Portugal deficit at 6.4 percent, exceeding target (The Associated Press)

British Banks Told to Raise $38 Billion in Capital (The New York Times blogs) Doubts over Bank of England's £25bn confidence game: Is Britain on the right path to make the financial system safer? (The Telegraph)

BoJ chief slams Japan debt as ‘abnormal’ [and 'not sustainable']: Maintaining confidence in financial and bond markets extremely important, says Haruhiko Kuroda (Agence France Presse)

Are Food Stamps Becoming a De Facto Guaranteed Minimum Income [in the United States]? (The Daily Beast) The Most Important Thing to Remember About America's Food Stamp Boom: The reason a record number of Americans are on food assistance is that a record number are in poverty. (The Atlantic)

Middle-class folk need to stop spending like they are rich—and start saving instead (Quartz)

Madoff email to MarketWatch: Banks knew all along (Marketwatch 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, 03-28-13)


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.)

"The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits rose 16,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 23, reaching the highest level since mid-February." (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, March 27, 2013

Wednesday roundup (03-27-13)


Shredded Social Safety Net: European Austerity Costing Lives: As the euro crisis wears on, the tough austerity measures implemented in ailing member states are resulting in serious health issues, a study revealed on Wednesday. Mental illness, suicide rates and epidemics are on the rise, while access to care has dwindled. (Spiegel Online)

Cyprus: Last-Minute Bailout Doesn’t Address Eurozone’s Underlying Systemic Issues (The Heritage Foundation blogs)

Cyprus has finally killed myth that EMU is benign: The punishment regime imposed on Cyprus is a trick against everybody involved in this squalid saga, against the Cypriot people and the German people, against savers and creditors. All are being deceived. (The Telegraph)

Illegal bank withdrawals could cripple Cyprus bailout (CBSMoneywatch)

France Is Still In Trouble (the bonddad blog)

'Surge' in Britons mulling euro transfer, says firm (Agence France Presse)

Another Call To Break Up Big Banks [in the US] But Don't Expect Much Action (Forbes)

‘Too big to fail’ fears rise as banks bulk up; lessons from past forgotten? (The Washington Times) The White House’s dangerous stance on ‘too big to fail’ (The Washington Post blogs)

NZ's Telecom to slash over 1,000 jobs, more cuts to come (Reuters)

Cisco lays off 500 or 1% of workforce (NetworkWorld)

     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, March 26, 2013

Tuesday roundup (03-26-13)


Europe Reels In Shock As Politician Tells The Truth (Forbes) Dijsselbloem forced to reassure markets about euro-zone banking: Euro group president issues statement after comments on change in banking policy cause market storm (The Irish Times) Portugal Finance Minister Fights Cyprus Bailout Template Remarks (FoxBusiness)

[Washington Post columnist Charles] Krauthammer compares Cyprus bailout to assassination that led to World War I (The Daily Caller)



Stricter Rules but Signs of Disarray in Cyprus Deal (The New York Times)

Cyprus readies capital controls to avert bank run (Reuters) In Cyprus, Big Losses Expected on Deposits (The New York Times)

SOCGEN: 'Depression For Cyprus' (The Business Insider)

Italian banks well capitalised but still face risks-IMF (Reuters)

Gloom enveloping Portugal as austerity drags on (Reuters)

Spain’s central bank offers grim forecast: more recession, higher unemployment (The Associated Press) Bank of Spain Says Recovery in Sight If Austerity Softened (Bloomberg)

Men in Black Seek Answers; Troika to Return to Spain in May Asking "What Happened to €42 Billion in ESM Bank Recapitalization Tranches?" (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Osborne defends austerity, says on right track (Reuters)

Banks are best judge of their own capital, says [UK's] IEA: Banks should be allowed to decide themselves how much capital they need to hold instead of being told by regulators, according to a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs. [?!?!!] (The Telegraph)

Mr Yen cautions on Japan's 'unsafe' debt trajectory: Japan's public debt has reached worrying levels and could lead to a bond buyers' strike unless the government brings the budget deficit under control, the country's top currency official has warned. (The Telegraph)

China’s Debt Crisis Looms, Economists Say (The Epoch Times)

Canada’s big banks told to hold more capital on books by 2016 (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

[US] Home Prices Growing As Fast As Before The Housing Collapse: Case-Shiller (Forbes)

The Five Ways Deflation Has Already Taken Hold (Bloomberg)

If Alan Greenspan Wants To 'End The Fed', Times Must Be Changing (Forbes)

Why Congress Won't Act on 'Too Big to Fail' (NationalJournal)

The London Whale and the real link between the US economy and Cyprus: Washington policy-makers say the deficit is the greatest threat to the US economy. In reality, it's the failure of banking reform by Dean Baker (The Guardian)

Citigroup's Money Laundering Controls Must Be Improved: Fed (The Huffington Post blog)

GSE Investigation Into Force-Placed Insurance (finally) (The Big Picture blog)

EPA: More than half of rivers, streams have poor living conditions for aquatic species (Minnesota Public Radio)

BNP Paribas Fortis to Cut 1,800 Jobs, Close 150 Branches (Dow Jones Newswires)

Newfoundland cutting 1,200 government jobs in face of $564-million deficit (Canadian Press)

Supervalu to Cut 1,100 Jobs to Trim Costs as Sales Fall (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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday roundup (03-25-13)


Sir Mervyn King warns that the crisis in the global economy is 'far from over' (This is Money)

IT'S OFFICIAL: Banks In Europe May Now Seize Deposits To Cover Their Gambling Losses (The Business Insider) Saving Cyprus Means Nobody Safe as Europe Breaks More Taboos (Bloomberg)

El-Erian: Cyprus Fix to Be 'Very Challenging' (CNBC)

Cyprus banks remain closed to avert run on deposits (Reuters) Stricter Rules but Signs of Disarray in Cyprus Deal (The New York Times) With or Without Bailout, Cypriots Lose Trust in Banks (The New York Times)

After UPS takeover fails, [Dutch company] TNT Express to restructure, cut 4,000 jobs (The Associated Press)

Cold weather makes triple-dip recession [in the UK] more likely, economists fear: Heavy snow may be crucial factor in whether economy expands or contracts in first three months of 2013 (The Guardian)

[US] Senators Give Unanimous Support [in a Non-Binding Measure] to Ending Too-Big-to-Fail Banks (Bloomberg)

Top Economists, Financial Experts and Bankers Say We Must Break Up the Giant Banks (The Big Picture blog)

JP Morgan Is Out Of Control (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Pension Funds Wary as Bankrupt City [of Stockton CA] Goes to Trial (The New York Times)

perfect storm: energy, finance and the end of growth (Tullet Prebon)

Teen's multimillion-dollar Yahoo payday before 18th birthday (The Sydney Morning Herald)

     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, March 24, 2013

Sunday roundup (03-24-13)


Revamped Cyprus deal to close bank, force losses (Reuters) Cyprus deal terms will protect small depositors: Island’s second largest bank to be wound down, hitting deposits over €100,000 (The Irish Times)

Cash rationed in Cyprus after eurozone inflicts losses on biggest bank: Cyprus's two biggest banks have rationed the amount of cash savers can withdraw every day as the authorities scramble to prevent the collapse of the country's financial sector over the next 24 hours. (The Telegraph) Cypriot economic model is broken, warn financial advisers: Wealthy investors are believed to have put financial advisers under orders to withdraw their funds any way they can (The Guardian)

Head of Cyprus's Orthodox church urges exit before eurozone collapses: Archbishop Chrysostomos II says single currency will not last and appeals to Russian investors not to flee the island (The Guardian)

Banks Still Too-Big-To-Fail: Six Things The Fed Must Do (Forbes)

Senator Elizabeth Warren, encouraged by nonbinding vote, says time to end subsidies for 'too big to fail' banks (The Republican of Springfield MA)

Deregulating Derivatives: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Big Picture blog)

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (Mercola)

     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, March 23, 2013

Saturday roundup (03-23-13)


Euro zone finance ministers to meet on Sunday over Cyprus (Reuters)

Cyprus bailout talks "at very delicate [and very difficult] stage" - govt (Reuters)  Cyprus weighs big bank levy; bailout goes down to wire (Reuters) Cyprus faces hard choices, tough future: EU's Rehn (Reuters)

"Lex Cyprus" will set precedents for closer EU union (Reuters)

Bank of Italy warns political impasse dents economic recovery (Reuters)

Half Of Americans Want To Break Up Banks That Are Too Big To Fail: Poll (The Huffington Post blog)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 797 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

[New Zealand] Telecom to slash 1500 jobs: Labour (Business Day)

Boeing plans to lay off 800 machinists: Boeing says total number of positions cut this year will be between 2,000 and 2,300. (The Seattle Times)

Daimler Trucks to cut 600 jobs at NC, Ore. factories, down from 1,300 forecast in January (The Associated Press)

The Crash of 1929: It was a time when the stock market epitomized the false promise of permanent prosperity. (PBS American Experience)

Watch The Crash of 1929 on PBS. See more from American Experience.


Credit watch: A new book argues that investors should focus on the credit cycle, not economic growth (The Economist)

     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, March 22, 2013

Friday roundup (03-22-13)


When do we call it a solvency crisis? (Credit Writedowns blog)

France ‘heading into triple-dip recession’ (EuroNews) Le Monde Headline "No, France is Not Bankrupt" (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Europe Has A Week To Prevent Another Lehman [Brewing in Cyprus] (Project Syndicate) Nightmare scenario awakens euro zone from slumber: Key question now is what will ECB do (The Irish Times) The scary politics of the euro zone (The Washington Post blogs) Eurozone's mistakes could destroy Cyprus, warns former president: Widely respected ex-leader George Vassiliou says whole European system may suffer if corrective measures not taken (The Guardian) Euro Finance Heads Said to Weigh Closing Two Cyprus Banks (Bloomberg)

Cyprus Passes Parts of Bailout Bill, but Delays Vote on Tax (The New York Times) Cyprus passes bills for EU bailout; Greece to take over bank branches (NBCNews) Cyprus closes in on EU bailout, U-turn on levy (Reuters)

Is Cyprus the Canary in the Coal Mine?: Carrington Investment Services' Chris Whalen and Tangent Capital's James Rickards discuss the crisis in Cyprus and Federal Reserve monetary policy with Alix Steel on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Bloomberg)



Forget Cyprus, Nobody Is Stealing from Depositors More than Bernanke (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



IMF says resolution of mortgage debt crisis key to recovery [in Ireland]: Fund approves payment of €970m in latest tranche of financial support (The Irish Times)

The truth is that austerity in Britain has barely begun: Why can’t politicians learn to tell it as it is? (The Telegraph)

Recession recedes [in the US], but student debts worsen (The Washington Post)

Fed's Raskin says economy too reliant on low-wage jobs (Reuters)

Postal Service Can’t Cut Saturday Delivery, U.S. GAO Says (Bloomberg) Saturday Mail Delivery: Safe For Now? (National Public Radio blogs)

Bernanke Fails to Answer Concerns about a Cyprus-Style Seizure of American Bank Deposits (Washington's Blog)

Justice Department Probing Whether JPMorgan Traders Tried to Hide 'Whale' Losses (CNBC)

Masked by Gibberish, the Risks Run Amok (The New York Times)

Financial Reform Is Being Dismantled. Why Doesn't President Obama Seem to Care? (The New Republic)

2013 Junk Bonds are to 2006 Home Equity Loans as… (Iacono Research)

Chicago closing 54 schools in face of $1 billion deficit (NBCNews)

Boeing to lay off 800 in Everett, Wash., cut up to 1,500 by attrition and other means (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.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday roundup (03-21-13)


Euro zone economic downturn deepening, even before Cyprus - PMI (Reuters) Euro Zone Economy’s Slide Accelerates, Data Show (The New York Times)

Euro Area Said to Weigh Closing Two Cyprus Banks, Asset Freeze (Bloomberg)

European Central Bank gives Cyprus 4 days to find bailout solution (The Associated Press) EU gives Cyprus bailout ultimatum, risks euro exit (Reuters) Mood Darkens in Cyprus as Deadline Is Set for Bailout (The New York Times) With Bailout in Question, Cyprus Teeters on Financial Ruin (FoxBusiness) It's Austerity That's Causing Chaos in Cyprus (The Daily Beast)

How Did Cyprus Become This Important? (the bonddad blog) Cyprus poses 'systemic risk': Eurogroup chief (Agence France Presse) Exclusive: Euro zone call notes reveal extent of alarm over Cyprus (Reuters)

Outgoing government hikes Italy's deficit, debt targets (Reuters)

Bank of Japan vows 'all means available' to smash deflation: The Bank of Japan's new governor Haruhiko Kuroda vowed to deploy "all means available" to end two decades of stagnation and kick-start economic revival, but insisted that there would be no attempt to steal a march on trade competitors by driving down the yen. (The Telegraph)

Fox News Poll: Voters say [US] debt is immediate problem, nervous about economy (FoxNews)

With JPMorgan Settlement, MF Global Clients Move Closer to Payout (The New York Times blogs) JPMorgan Pays $100 Million in MF Global Trustee Accord (Bloomberg)

AstraZeneca To Cut 2,300 More Jobs, Now Sees $2.3 Bln Restructuring Charges (RTTNews)
AstraZeneca to Cut 5,050 Jobs by 2016 (FoxBusiness)

Coca-Cola to Fire 750 Workers After Paring Distribution Regions (Bloomberg)

Eating locusts: The crunchy, kosher snack taking Israel by swarm (The BBC)

[Owing to your blogger's need to have the rest of the day off, this post is being made notably earlier than the usual daily roundup.]

     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, 03-21-13)


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 2,000 to 336,000 in the week ended March 16, Labor Department figures showed today." (Bloomberg)

Labor Department says average for US jobless claims at fresh 5-year low: Layoff decline helps strengthen job market (KERO)

Jobless claims point to layoffs at lowest level since 2008 (CNNMoney)

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, March 20, 2013

Wednesday roundup (03-20-13)


Why Global Economies Face an Age of Deflation by A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg)

A very clear explanation of why the euro zone keeps exploding (The Washington Post blogs)

Cyprus scrambles to avert meltdown, EU threatens cutoff (Reuters) As Bailout Deadline Approaches, Cyprus Scrambles to Find Funds (The New York Times) Cypriot banks on brink in Icelandic flashback (Reuters)

Darling: Cyprus savings raid could trigger bank runs across Europe: Bank runs and financial panic could spread across Europe after Cyprus proposed raiding people's savings for a new bail-out, Alistair Darling has said. (The Telegraph)

Britain's growth halved, Osborne turns to Bank of England for help (Reuters) U.K. Gambles on Yet More Debt (The Wall Street Journal) UK to borrow more than expected, debt to rise longer: Osborne (Reuters)

Federal Reserve sees slow [US] recovery for years to come (CNNMoney)

Ben Bernanke: 'I Agree With Elizabeth Warren 100 Percent' On Too Big To Fail (The Huffington Post blog) Bernanke: 'Too big to fail' remains a problem (The Hill blogs)

ScooterStore seller implements [1,800] Texas layoffs (KHOU)

Veolia Environnement to Cut 1,500 Jobs at French Water Division (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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday roundup (03-19-13


Cyprus Tax: 'Blowing Capitalism's Brains Out': Steve Keen, professor of economics at the University of Western Sydney, argues that if you destroy the trust depositors have in their bank accounts then you destroy the oil of capitalism (CNBC)



Cyprus Raises Risk of EU Breakup, Blanchflower Says: Bloomberg Television contributing editor David Blanchflower, an economics professor at Dartmouth College and a former Bank of England policy maker, talks about an unprecedented levy on Cyprus's bank savings to help fund the cost of the latest bailout. He speaks with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Bloomberg)



Orphanides on Cyprus Bailout, Europe's Banks: Athanasios Orphanides, former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, talks about a proposed unprecedented levy on Cyprus's bank deposits and the potential impact on Europe's financial system. Orphanides speaks with Tom Keene and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance." Megan Greene, chief economist at Maverick Intelligence, also speaks. (Bloomberg)



Cypriot lawmakers reject deposits seizures plan, casting doubt over bailout, financial future (The Washington Post) Cyprus lawmakers reject bank tax; bailout in disarray (Reuters) Cyprus is rejecting its bailout. Now what? (The Washington Post blogs) Cyprus rejects bank levy, bailout in doubt (CNNMoney) Rejection of Deposit Tax Scuttles Deal on Bailout for Cyprus (The New York Times) CYPRUS VOTES AGAINST BAILOUT DEAL — 0 VOTES IN FAVOR (The Business Insider) Cyprus – A Total Fiasco (The Big Picture blog)

Europe Weighs Cyprus’s Fate After Lawmakers Reject Bailout Deal (Bloomberg)

European Car-Sales Drop Accelerates on Decline in Germany (Bloomberg)

Outgoing Bank of Japan head warns no quick fix to Japan's deflation (Reuters)

[In the US] Odd Political Bedfellows Agree: Banks Still Too Big To Fail: There's concern on Washington's far left and right that large banks still pose a risk to taxpayers (National Public Radio)



     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, March 18, 2013

Monday roundup (03-18-13)


Resistance in Cyprus Grows to Europe’s Bailout Plan (The New York Times) Cyprus bailout plan re-ignites eurozone fears (CBSMoneyWatch) 5 reasons Cyprus bailout matters (CNNMoney)

The Deeper Meanings of Cyprus by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog) Daylight robbery in Cyprus will come to haunt EMU (The Telegraph blogs) German Economist: 'Europe's Citizens Now Have to Fear for Their Money':For the first time, bank customers in a crisis-plagued euro-zone country are being forced to contribute to its bailout. In an interview, German economist Peter Bofinger warns the strategy is "extremely dangerous" and could lead to a run on banks. (Spiegel Online) Cyprus Bailout Proposal 'Unprecedented': O'Neill: "This is not a good idea at all," said Jim O'Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman, explaining how the euro zone's bailout plan for Cyprus could impact global markets (CNBC)



Japanese students deep in debt with $5 billion in loans (The Japan Daily Press)

The long slog ahead for jobs [in the US]: We are 9.45 million jobs short of where we should be and are unlikely to reach normal levels of employment before 2019. (MyBudget360)

Report: HSBC Eyes Another 5K Job Cuts as Part of $1B Savings Plan (FoxBusiness)

Drugmaker AstraZeneca will cut 1,600 jobs (The Associated Press)

STMicroelectronics, Ericsson to Dissolve Joint Venture, Expects 1600 Layoffs (Wireless Week)

     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, March 17, 2013

Sunday roundup (03-17-13)


EU raid on savings to fund bail-out for Cyprus 'threatens recovery': The decision to raid people’s savings to fund a bail-out for Cyprus sets a “worrying precedent” that could jeopardise the European economic recovery, financial experts have warned. (The Telegraph) Cyprus Bailout 'Disaster' Risks New Euro Crisis (CNBC) The Cyprus bail-out: Unfair, short-sighted and self-defeating (The Economist blogs) Cyprus Update (Calculated Risk blog) The Stunning Bailout Of Cyprus Is A Reminder Of Who's Really In Charge ... (The Business Insider)

Savers across Europe will look on in horror at the Troika's raid on Cyprus: It's now become clear: the threat to European savers and banks isn't anti-austerity parties but the Troika (The Guardian) What will savers do? (The Economist blogs) Sowing the wind (Coppola Comment blog)

Paul Krugman: Cyprus Bailout Will Push Europeans To Stage A Run On Their Banks (The Huffington Post) Cyprus bank levy risks dangerous euro zone precedent (Reuters) The high price of saving Cyprus -- ["The real question is whether this unprecedented raid won’t trigger a run on banks elsewhere."] (The Independent) "The levy is 'a worrying precedent with potentially systemic consequences if depositors in other periphery countries fear a similar treatment in the future,' Joachim Fels, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in London, wrote in a note to clients." (Bloomberg)

Cyprus parliament postpones vote and debate on controversial bank deposit tax to Monday (The Associated Press)

CYPRUS PRESIDENT: Nation Faces Total Financial Collapse And Euro Exit Without Bailout (The Business Insider) Cyprus Faces Risk of Disorderly Exit From Euro -Cyprus President (The Wall Street Journal)

Italian president urges unity as poll pressure grows (Reuters)

There's no immediate [US] debt crisis, Boehner says, agreeing with Obama -- [but there is "one that lies dead ahead"] (The Los Angeles Times) Ryan: U.S. doesn't have a debt crisis yet -- ["But, Ryan added, a crisis is 'irrefutably' on its way."] (CBSNews)

     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, March 16, 2013

Saturday roundup (03-16-13)


Economist Stiglitz warns not to expect a quick global recovery (Bangkok Post)

Euro Finance Ministers Grant Ireland, Portugal Eased Debt Terms (Bloomberg)

After Negotiations, Cyprus Agrees to a Euro Zone Bailout Package (The New York Times)

Why today’s Cyprus bailout could be the start of the next financial crisis (The Washington Post blogs) Facing Bailout Tax, Cypriots Try to Get Cash Out of Banks (The New York Times) Hitting the Savers: Euro Zone Reaches Deal on Cyprus Bailout: After fraught negotiations, euro-zone finance ministers reached a deal early Saturday to provide up to €10 billion ($13 billion) bailout funds to Cyprus, which faces bankruptcy in May. For the first time, deposits at banks in a country are being seized to assist in the rescue. (Spiegel Online)

Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor (Reuters)

Paul Ryan says nation’s [= US's] debt is bigger than the economy (Tampa Bay Times Politifact)

Fed's Fisher: Too-big-to-fail banks are "crony" capitalists (Reuters) Fed’s Fisher Says Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Should Be Shrunk (Bloomberg)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 801 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

LA County Courts to Cut 511 Jobs: The nation's largest trial court system will have lost nearly a quarter of its workers in the last four years (NBC Los Angeles)

     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, March 15, 2013

Friday roundup (03-15-13)


I.M.F. Says Euro Zone Remains Vulnerable (The New York Times) Europe financial sector is fragile, says IMF (CNNMoney) IMF tells EU to act boldly and fix the banks (Reuters)

European leaders change views on austerity: Signs grow that cuts retarding growth (The Associated Press)

Bailout lenders grant ailing Portugal easier debt targets amid recession, rising unemployment (The Associated Press)

[Bank of England Governor] King Sees Case for Supporting Recovery With More Stimulus (Bloomberg)

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Falls to Lowest Point in Year (Bloomberg)

JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon is accused of hiding information about big losses (The Washington Post) JPMorgan Faulted on Controls and Disclosure in Trading Loss (The New York Times blogs)

‘Too Big to Fail’: Conservatives and Liberals See Eye to Eye (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker) Greenspan Says Too Big To Fail Problem 'Is Getting Worse, Not Better' (The Huffington Post blog)



Bankistan Vanquishes America (The Big Picture blog)

'It's not just Detroit,' hundreds of Michigan cities face huge unfunded liabilities (Michigan Radio)

BP Seeks to Block Gulf Spill Settlement Payments (The Associated Press)

How Monsanto outfoxed the Obama administration: The inside story of how the government let one company squash biotech innovation, and dominate an entire industry (Salon)

Turkey plant closing in Raeford will eliminate 950 jobs (The News & Observer of Raleigh NC)

PVH says expects to cut 900-1000 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.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday roundup (03-14-13)


Greek unemployment reaches record 26 percent (The Associated Press)

Dispute over job cuts imperils Greece's hopes of more aid: Troika of international lenders leaves country after failing to agree over future of 25,000 civil servants (The Guardian)

Ireland mulls selling forests to pay debt (AlJazeera)



U.S. Fed balance sheet grows to record large size (Reuters)

Headwind to Housing Recovery? Foreclosures Flare-Up Again (CNBC)

Michigan takes over Detroit in "Olympics of restructuring" (Reuters)

Big Banks Have a Big Problem by Simon Johnson (The New York Times blogs)

Too-big-to-fail Banks Will Kill the Global Economy (The Huffington Post blog) Awaiting Our Archduke Ferdinand Moment? (Iacono Research)

JPMorgan: MF Global-like Segregation of Client Funds (The Big Picture blog) ‘London Whale’ Isn’t Dead Yet: JPMorgan Is Out of Control, Rosner Says (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



     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, 03-14-13)


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 fell to 332,000, from an upwardly revised 342,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday." (CNNMoney)

Weekly Jobless Claims Closing In On Five-Year Low (The Capital Spectator)

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.