Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday roundup (04-30-13)


Euro-Area Unemployment Increases to Record 12.1% Amid Recession (Bloomberg) Eurozone unemployment hits new high: Eurostat data released as Spain's economy shrinks for seventh consecutive quarter and Slovenia suffers ratings downgrade (The Guardian)

Eurozone inflation falls to new low (The Irish Independent)

Eurozone risks Japan-style trap as deflation grinds closer: The eurozone is one shock away from a Japan-style deflation crisis after a key measure of prices fell to the lowest since the launch of the single currency. (The Telegraph)

Euro zone inflation fall, record jobless point to ECB rate cut (Reuters) ECB Rate Cut Just Became Even More Likely (CNBC) Euro inflation eases, unemployment at new record - economy (EuroNews)



At $72.8 Trillion, Presenting The Bank With The Biggest Derivative Exposure In The World [= Deutsche Bank] (ZeroHedge blog)

Germany accuses France of being 'Europe's biggest problem child': A scathing German assessment of France's economic weakness – in which the country is labelled "Europe's biggest problem child" – has reopened divisions between Europe's two biggest powers. (The Telegraph) Germany will think twice before saving France next time (The Telegraph blogs) François Hollande's vision of an anti-austerity Europe was just a dream: Italian and German politics have stymied French socialists' plans for a shift in the balance of European power (The Guardian)

Italy PM urges EU to drop austerity drive: Enrico Letta, visiting Germany, says initiatives fostering growth should be prioritised over budgetary discipline. (Al Jazeera) Italy's Letta tells Merkel Europe needs more growth (Reuters) Criticise it all you want, Germany is not going to drop austerity (The Telegraph blogs)

Italy Unemployment Rate Remains Close to 20-Year-High Amid Slump (Bloomberg)

Greece suffers more misery as retails sales slump by nearly a third: With a eurozone record of 27.5% of Greeks unemployed, the country's retailers say the economy has gone into freefall (The Guardian)

Spain's economy shrinks for seventh straight quarter (Reuters)

Slovenia Bank Rescue at 20% GDP Means No Escaping EU Aid (Bloomberg)

Ireland may spend any spare budget cash rather than ease austerity (Reuters)

George Osborne warns Bank of England over economic recovery plans: Chancellor tells Sir Mervyn King that financial policy committee must consider impact of its actions over bank capital (The Guardian)

[In the US] Wealth Gap Among Races Has Widened Since Recession (The New York Times)

Diebold cutting 700 jobs as part of companywide efforts to slash up to $150 million in costs (The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio)

Ecolab Quarterly Sales Rise 2%, to Cut 500 Jobs in Restructuring (Bloomberg)

Influential economist says Wall Street's full of 'crooks' (The New York Post) Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash: The IMF adviser also blamed 'a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system' (The Independent) Columbia Economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs speaks candidly on monetary reform [Full version speech] (Youtube) [See also initial Economic Signs of the Times blog 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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday roundup (04-29-13)


JEREMY GRANTHAM: We Are In A Race To Prevent The Collapse Of Civilization (The Business Insider)

The era of austerity is over (for now) (The Washington Post blogs)

In Europe, widening impatience over austerity hits politicians hard (The Washington Post) OECD Fears Euro-Zone May Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

EU votes for two year ban on pesticides to protect bees (The BBC)

France to keep defence budget stable, cut 34,000 jobs (Reuters) Crisis-hit France to slash defence jobs: Nearly 10 percent of armed forces jobs to go, with 24,000 military posts to be axed by 2019, according to white paper. (Al Jazeera)

‘Selfish’ Merkel phrase reveals French rift with Germany: Row over leaked document threatens Franco-German relations (The Irish Times)

Moody's says Italy may still eventually need bailout (Reuters)

Italian showdown with Germany as Enrico Letta rejects 'death by austerity': Italy’s new premier Enrico Letta is on a collision course with Germany after vowing to end death by austerity, and warned that Europe itself faces a “crisis of legitimacy” unless it charges course. (The Telegraph) Italy’s new PM rips up austerity plans (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Italy's Letta wins confidence vote after pledging growth drive (Reuters)

S&P sees deepening house slump in Spain, France and Holland: Spanish house prices are to fall a further 13pc by the end of next year as the authorities flood the market with a backlog of repossessed properties, Standard and Poor’s has warned. (The Telegraph)

El Erian: Fed will struggle to unwind its giant trade (CNNMoney)

Brown-Vitter Rearranges Financial-Reform Battlefield by Simon Johnson (Bloomberg) Big Banks’ Tall Tales by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate)

A grand bargain is still possible. Here’s how by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson (The Washington Post)

For the unemployed, no reprieve on budget cuts (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.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday roundup (04-28-13)


[World Economy is] Still stuck on central-bank life support (Reuters)

The Priesthood of Central Bankers by Christopher Whalen (The National Interest)

ECB moves closer to rate cut as euro zone recession deepens (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Europe must fix its broken banks: The EU 'policy' of hoping for something to turn up that will somehow resolve this issue is a cop-out (The Irish Independent)

European Leaders’ Softening on Austerity May Accelerate (Bloomberg)

[Meanwhile...] Greek parliament approves 15,000 civil service job cuts (The BBC)

[US] Banks Have Become “Too Big To Fail” Again. Uh-Oh.: And there’s only so much governments are willing to do about it by Simon Johnson [Project Syndicate via] (Slate)

Brown-Vitter banking bill aims to address an unhealthy situation [editorial] (The Washington Post)

While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Apiece in Foreclosure Settlement, Consultants Who Helped Protect Banks Got $2 Billion [contains some vulgar language] (Rolling Stone 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.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday roundup (04-27-13)


As Europe rebels against austerity, Berlin shows signs of giving way: Confronted by furious voters and soaring youth unemployment across southern Europe, it looked as if the tide had finally turned on Berlin's policy of austerity. (The Telegraph)

French attacks on Merkel up heat on Hollande (Agence France Presse)

French minister says Merkel's austerity drive has failed: Benoit Hamon says the German leader is the only one still backing the policy (The Observer)

Italy Forms New Government After 2-Month Stalemate (The Associated Press)

Euro zone set to approve 2.8 billion euros for Greece on Monday (Reuters)

Fresh Slovenian protests amid bailout fears (Reuters)

LAKSHMAN ACHUTHAN: Yes, It's Possible [For the US] To Be In A Recession With GDP Growth At 2.5% (The Business Insider)

The Government’s Mortgage Fix Is Failing [at an "alarming rate"] (CNBC)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 775 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, April 26, 2013

Friday roundup (04-26-13)


Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever: The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There's no price the big banks can't fix by Matt Taibi (Rolling Stone) Is He A Conspiracy Theorist? or Is He Telling You How The World Really Works? (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Europe More Divided Than Ever Over Austerity (FoxBusiness) Pace of EU austerity is slowing, says Rehn: Commissioner signals eurozone move towards growth policies (The Irish Independent) Shrinking EU Economies Deepen Austerity Divisions (The Voice of America)



Germany's Merkel: austerity is part of solution to Europe's problems, but reforms needed too (The Associated Press)

Bundesbank declares 'war' on Mario Draghi bond bail-out at Germany's top court: Germany’s Bundesbank has issued a devastating attack on the bond rescue policies of the European Central Bank, rendering the eurozone’s key crisis measure almost unworkable. (The Telegraph) Bundesbank confirms sent ECB report to German court (Reuters)

Spain Says Deficit Target Must Wait 2 More Years Amid Slump (Bloomberg) Spain admits recession worse but gets deficit leeway (Reuters) Spain needs more time to meet austerity targets (CNNMoney)

Plan to Jail Bankers Who Behave Recklessly Eyed by UK Lawmaker (The Financial Times via) (CNBC)

Bank of Japan stands firm while deflation worsens (CNNMoney)

[US] Economy grew at 2.5 percent in 1st quarter, amping fears of a stalled recovery (The Washington Post) Growth too fragile to gamble with austerity: U.S. economy poised for long slog (Marketwatch) Oops! Economic Growth Wasn't So Great After All (Reuters) Current Slow-but-Steady Recovery Still Dismal by Historical Standards (The Wall Street Journal) Economists React: ‘Persistent,’ but ‘Underwhelming’ Growth (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Regulators shutter banks in North Carolina, Georgia; brings this year’s US bank failures to 10 (The Associated Press)

Parkway Bank of Lenoir NC had a troubled assets ratio of 204.5%. (BankTracker) Parkway Bank, NC, Closed By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Douglas County Bank of Douglasville GA had a troubled assets ratio of 2085.8%. (BankTracker) Douglas County Bank, GA, Biggest Bank Failure of 2013 (Problem Bank List)

An Post to cut another 1,300 jobs in major shake-up after €17.5m loss: Pension plan under microscope and price of stamps may be linked to inflation rises (The Irish Independent)

Bristol Twp.'s Jones Group to close 170 stores, cut 800 jobs (PhillyBurbs)

Suzlon’s German REpower to Cut 23% of Jobs [as many as 750] on ‘Volatile’ Outlook (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.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday roundup (04-25-13)


Euro may only last five years, says senior German government advisor: The euro has a “limited chance of survival” and may only endure another five years, Kai Konrad, one of the German government’s closest economic advisers, has claimed. (The Telegraph)

Austerity blamed as unemployment soars in Spain and France: More than 6 million without jobs in Mariano Rajoy's Spain while figure in François Hollande's France is 3.2 million (The Guardian)

Southern Europe’s Recession Threatens to Spread North (The New York Times)

Schaeuble Ready to Give France More Time to Cut Budget Deficit (Bloomberg)

Spain Jobless Rate Breaches 27% on Recession Woes (Bloomberg)

The great Spanish nation can end its crucifixion at will by leaving EMU (The Telegraph blogs)

Italy's New Leader Throws Down Gauntlet on Austerity (CNBC)

As Forewarned, The Irish Savers Have Just Been "Cyprus'd", And There's MUCH MORE "Cyprusing" To Come (ZeroHedge blog)

Japan’s Bigger Price Decline [the Most in Two Years] Shows Size of Kuroda Task: Economy (Bloomberg)

Wealth of nearly all Americans fell after the recession: The richest 7% of U.S. families saw their average wealth soar 28% from 2009 to 2011, while the remaining households lost 4% of their net worth over the same period, a new report finds. (The Los Angeles Times)

Everything you ‘know’ about the Fed is wrong: 5 misconceptions about the effects of QE and monetary policy (Marketwatch)

Two Senators Just Introduced A Bill That Could Neuter Wall Street (The Business Insider)

David Rosenberg: 12 Signs the Economy is Weaker Than we Think (Pragmatic Capitalism)

Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption (Politico)

Michael Pollan: Home Cooking Will Solve America’s Obesity Epidemic (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



Sugar industry's secret documents echo tobacco tactics: Sugar Association's intent to use science to defeat critics uncovered by dentist (The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)



Is the Press Too Big to Fail? (The Nation)

Outokumpu cuts 2,500 jobs to save $455 million: Finnish metals group Outokumpu Oyj says it will slash 2,500 jobs worldwide in the next four years to cut costs by 350 million euros ($455 million) and improve profitability as stainless steel demand continues to fall. (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 04-25-13)



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 dropped by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 in the week ended April 20, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless claims fall, point to improving job market (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, April 24, 2013

Wednesday roundup (04-24-2013)


ECB says ditching austerity would not help euro zone (Reuters)

Italy's President Invites Letta to Form Government (CNBC) Italy needs Churchillian leader to fight 'war damage' of EU austerity: Old ways die hard. Two months after Italian voters rebelled in fury against the establishment, the country’s elites have chosen yet another insider to be leader. (The Telegraph) Relief in Italy, but the challenges ahead are huge: After weeks of undignified political scrapping, a grand coalition government led by Enrico Letta could offer a glimmer of hope (The Guardian)

OECD says Japan should pay down debt (United Press International)

[US] Durable goods orders plunged in March as demand for aircraft fell (The Los Angeles Times)

Bill stands up for smaller banks (Politico) Too-Big-to-Fail Bill Seen as Fix for Dodd-Frank Act’s Flaws (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, April 23, 2013

Tuesday roundup (04-23-13)


US witness claims BP gas explosion cover-up: Massive oil spill in Gulf of Mexico in 2010 caused one of world's worst environmental catastrophes. (Al Jazeera)



Factory orders slide across the world, despite booming stock markets: A rash of weak manufacturing data from America, Europe and Asia has cast serious doubts on the strength of the global economy and was starkly at odds with surging stock markets in the West. (The Telegraph) Slowing Growth Around the World (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

CONFIRMED: The Economic Crisis Has Infected Europe's Core (The Business Insider) Euro zone slump moderates but German worries appear: PMIs (Reuters)

ECB rate-cut odds rising as fears of deeper recession intensify (Marketwatch) ECB Should Not Cut Rates: Top German Adviser (CNBC)

Angela Merkel: 'Austerity makes it sound evil, I call it balancing the budget': Angela Merkel tried to contain her irritation when asked at a podium discussion in Berlin whether southern European countries could take much more German-ordered austerity. (The Telegraph)

Spain cuts deeper, brushing aside IMF warnings over deficit reduction: Prime minister Mariano Rajoy announces further round of austerity even as EU pledges to cut savings target (The Guardian)

Even Abenomics can't ignore Japan debt (CNNMoney)

Factory data a new sign of slowing U.S. economic growth (Reuters)

Just As People Were Starting To Relax, The Sequester News Has Taken A Turn For The Worse by Mohamed El-Erian (The Business Insider)

Too-Big-to-Fail Bill Would Boost Big-Bank Capital Standards (Bloomberg)

Corzine sued by MF Global trustee over firm's collapse (Reuters)

Senator Warren Questions Consultants On Illegal Foreclosures (The Big Picture blog) Senator Elizabeth Warren Continues Ruthless Questioning Of Panelists On Illegal Foreclosures (Youtube)



HSBC to shed 1,149 UK jobs in new round of cutbacks (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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday roundup (04-22-13)


Era of austerity has run its course, EU says (Reuters)

France, Spain miss deficit goals; EU seeks focus on growth (Reuters)

Merkel warns eurozone that the EU 'has the last word' on national budgets ahead of crunch talks on saving the single currency (The Daily Mail)

ECB’s Noyer Says Cyprus Bailout Is No Template (Bloomberg)

New Bowles-Simpson plan takes aim at [US] deficit [April 19] (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.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday roundup (04-21-13)



[Jeffrey Sachs says:] "I Regard the [Wall Street] Moral Environment as Pathological" by Janet Tavakoli (The Huffington Post) Jeffrey Sachs Calls Out Wall Street Criminality and Pathological Greed (Naked Capitalism blog) Explosive Video: Jeffrey Sachs Economics Professor at Columbia University Says Just How 'Pathologically Corrupt' Our Banking System Is (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Fixing the Banking System for Good [pdf publicizing the event] (Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) SR 76 Wall Street: This is Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University speaking at the "Fixing the Banking System for Good" conference on April 17, 2013. This audio is absolutely EXPLOSIVE! (Youtube)



Nicole Foss – Relocalising the Trust Horizon [audio] (Earthsharing Australia)


IMF lurches from one disaster to the next in eurozone: As part of the Troika, global fund has failed to resolve problems of flawed currency (The Irish Independent)

Chart of the Day: Why Global Recovery Has Been So Slow (Mother Jones)

Is the Cyprus bailout doomed already? (Kathimerini)

Sabic to Cut About 1,050 Jobs, Close Some Assets in Europe (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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday roundup (04-20-13)


IMF calls for more action to spur global economic recovery (Reuters)

EU Rebuts Austerity-Obsessed Image, Defends Growth Plans (Bloomberg)

Wage Deflation Next for the Euro Zone (Global Economic Intersection)

Deficit-cutting is European, not German policy: Schaeuble (Agence France Presse)

Greece may get bailout cash advance to pay bills - reports (Reuters)

IMF steps up call for Osborne to slow down austerity plans as row escalates: A row between George Osborne and the International Monetary Fund over Britain’s economic strategy has escalated after the fund’s deputy managing director joined those urging the Chancellor to consider slowing down his austerity plans. (The Telegraph) George Osborne's austerity plan has slashed more than £830 a year from workers' pay packets: New figures show the average weekly pay packet was £464 in February – compared to £480 in the same month last year (The Mirror)

Forecasters warn of 'triple dip' recession: George Osborne is bracing himself for more grim economic news with figures expected to show this week that Britain has lurched into its first “triple dip” recession. (The Telegraph)

At the Royal Bank of Scotland, the business of rescuing the world’s worst bank (The Washington Post)

[In the United States] Drought Worsens, Scorching Much of the Country (CNBC)

‘Catastrophic’ budget laid out by Philly schools (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 781 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Chipola Community Bank, FL, Closed By Regulators [see yesterday's Economic Signs of the Times blog] (Problem Bank List)

A Turning Point: Defining the Financial Structure; [speech by] Thomas M. Hoenig, Vice Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation presented to 22nd Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College; New York, NY -- "... the actions of two presidents stand out as our country determines how to define the structure and role of the financial system going forward. President Teddy Roosevelt, the trust buster, changed the competitive landscape of America for the good. President Franklin Roosevelt enacted the Glass-Steagall Act, from which coincided with decades of relative economic stability and financial growth." (The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

Big Banks and "The Number": A government watchdog agency is calculating the size of the implicit regulatory subsidy enjoyed by banks deemed too big to fail [= "The Number"]. It could lead to legislation requiring the banks to bolster their capital cushions. (Barron's)

Windows 8 says goodbye to the Start button: Microsoft's newest OS contains the biggest changes seen since Windows 95, including a completely new interface and no more 'Start' button. [off topic ... obviously] (CNN Money)



     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, April 19, 2013

Friday roundup (04-19-13)


G20 backs off austerity drive, rejects hard debt cut targets (Reuters)

Greece, Cyprus May Be Forced to Exit Euro: Citi (CNBC)

Fitch cuts UK credit rating on 'weaker economic and fiscal outlook': Britain has been stripped of its AAA credit rating by a second rating agency as a result of poor growth. (The Telegraph)

Regulators close small lenders in Florida, Kentucky; brings US bank failures this year to 8 (The Associated Press)

First Federal Bank of Lexington KY had a troubled assets ratio of 354.2%. (BankTracker) First Federal Bank, Lexington, KY, Closed By Feds (Problem Bank List)

Heritage Bank of North Florida of Orange Park FL had a troubled assets ratio of 441.4%. (BankTracker) Heritage Bank of North Florida, FL, Shuttered By Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Chipola Community Bank of Marianna FL had a troubled assets ratio of 278.4%. (BankTracker) [Problem Bank List story for this bank was not available at time of posting.]

     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, April 18, 2013

Thursday roundup (04-18-13)


Monetary Fund Chief Warns Against ‘3-Speed’ Recovery (The New York Times)

Cyprus bail-out vote stirs fresh jitters as slump fears grow in Europe: Cyprus has stunned EU officials by ordering a vote in its parliament on the terms of the EU-IMF Troika bailout for the country, risking a rejection by angry lawmakers and a fresh eruption of the crisis. (The Telegraph)

German MPs vote in favour of bail-out for Cyprus: German MPs have voted in favour of a bail-out for Cyprus, after the country’s finance minister said that the island’s banking sector would be “sharply down-sized”. (The Telegraph) Schaeuble says Cyprus bailout averts contagion (Reuters)

More Children in Greece Are Going Hungry (The New York Times)

Bailed-out Portugal launches another round of spending cuts to meet deficit target (The Associated Press)

Lagarde Says Spain Needs More Time to Bring Down Budget Deficit (Bloomberg)

George Osborne told by IMF chief: rethink your austerity plan: Christine Lagarde says IMF has changed its mind on UK's deficit reduction strategy due to weak economic figures (The Guardian) If the IMF is criticising UK austerity, things must be bad: Britain has been singled out by one of the troika for its weak growth, proving the failure of Tory ideology and economic policy (The Guardian)

BOJ's Miyao: QE has risks, but needed to end deflation (Reuters)

The Commodities Market Sell-Off Stinks Of Deflation (The Business Insider)

Why the Fuss Over Reinhart and Rogoff Is Overblown (CNBC)

Insurer Aviva to cut 2,000 jobs and redundancy payouts (Reuters)

Boeing Plans to Cut 1,700 Engineer Jobs Amid Gap in Work (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, 04-18-13)


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 number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits last week rose by 4,000 to 352,000, indicating little change in a soft U.S. labor market." (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, April 17, 2013

Wednesday roundup (04-17-13)


EU banks need to reduce size of their debt by £1TRILLION, warns IMF (The Daily Mail) IMF: Euro-zone companies face massive ‘debt overhang’ (The Washington Post)

Bundesbank’s Weidmann: Debt-crisis recovery will take years: Comments contrast with EU president, who says worst is over (MarketWatch)

ECB chief Draghi says eurozone governments must press on with creating full banking union (The Associated Press)

France plans spending cuts as fiscal targets slip (Reuters)

Italy May Need $9.2 Billion of Spending Cuts, Official Says (Bloomberg)

Plan for new Cyprus vote casts uncertainty on bailout (Reuters) Cyprus central bank failed in its job, president tells ECB (Reuters)

Fed and Bank of Japan caused gold crash: Commodity prices have been falling since September, culminating in a rout over the past two weeks. That is a classic warning for the global economy. (The Telegraph)

High student debt is dragging down the U.S. economy (The Washington Post blogs) How Student Debt Is Holding Back The Housing Market (Think Progress)

Insider Trading in Our Nation's Capital Just Got Easier (CNBC)

Small Banks Will Benefit From Big-Bank Breakup (American Banker)

A Study That Set the Tone for Austerity Is Challenged (The New York Times blogs) Error Sparks Austerity Debate (CNBC) Is the evidence for austerity based on an Excel spreadsheet error? (The Washington Post blogs) REINHART AND ROGOFF: 'Full Stop,' We Made A Microsoft Excel Blunder In Our Debt Study, And It Makes A Difference (The Business Insider) Influential economists acknowledge errors in debt paper (Reuters) Did Harvard Economists Make an Excel Error that Led to Economic Austerity? (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



Greece to Cut 15,000 Jobs as Part of Bailout Terms [Benzinga via] (International Business Times)

Job centres to slash 4,000 jobs [in the Netherlands] (Dutch News)

Air Force cutting 1,000 civilian jobs; hopes to transfer workers to open positions (Stars and Stripes)

     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, April 16, 2013

Tuesday roundup (04-16-13)


IMF lowers outlook for world economy (The Associated Press)

IMF: Euro Zone at Risk of Long Stagnation (The Wall Street Journal)

Francois Hollande faces austerity revolt from own ministers: French president Francois Hollande is facing an anti-austerity revolt from his own ministers as he pushes through a fresh round of tax rises and austerity to meet EU deficit targets. (The Telegraph)

IMF sees France falling into recession (Agence France Presse)

Is France the Next Cyprus?: Millenium Wave Advisors President John Mauldin on concerns about France’s financial sector. [There is a VIDEO. I have embedded the video, but at time of posting it refuses to display in the blog.] (FoxBusiness)


Italy in grips of liquidity crisis, Confindustria warns (Gazzetta del Sud)

Monte Paschi Prosecutors Seek Seizure of $2.4 Billion (Bloomberg)

Republicans embrace Obama’s offer to trim Social Security benefits (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.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday roundup (04-15-13)


Europe Split Over Austerity as a Path to Growth (The New York Times) Europe's Austerity Era Could Be Coming to an End (CNBC)

Spotlight on the [US] economy: Watching for signs of deflation (Marketwatch blogs)

German parts maker Schaeffler to cut up to 750 jobs - union (Reuters)

Vodafone To Cut 500 Jobs in Germany Over Two Years - Document (Dow Jones Newswires)

     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, April 14, 2013

Sunday roundup (04-14-13)


Euro zone bank troublespots don't come down to size (Reuters)

German 'Wise Men' push for wealth seizure to fund EMU bail-outs: Two top advisers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for a tax on private wealth and property in eurozone debtor states to force the rich to fund rescue costs, marking a radical new departure for EMU crisis strategy. (The Telegraph)

Wealth tax to pay for EU bail-outs: Wealthy households would face new taxes on property and other assets under German plans to prop up the struggling eurozone. (The Telegraph)

Leading German economist calls for dissolution of eurozone to save EU: Joachim Starbatty speaks out as breakaway Eurosceptic party Alternative für Deutschland holds founding conference (The Guardian) Anti-euro party offers alternative to German voters frustrated by bailouts and Nazi jibes (The Associated Press) German Elites Drawn to Anti-Euro Party, Spelling Trouble for Merkel (The New York Times) 1,000 Germans abandon Angela Merkel for Eurosceptic party: More than 1,000 Germans have abandoned Angela Merkel's ruling coalition to join a new Eurosceptic party, as its founder claimed a "double digit result" in the election was within grasp. (The Telegraph)

     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, April 13, 2013

Saturday roundup 04-13-13


IMF frets on sidelines while global economic divides widen: A 'three-speed' world is emerging, and the International Monetary Fund fears the consequences (The Observer)

G20 to consider cutting debt to well below 90 percent/GDP: document (Reuters)

ECB struggles with "D" word as price rises slow - even fall (Reuters)

EU's six largest members [Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland] agree to fight tax havens (Reuters)

EU Set to Clash on Bank Deal as Germany Sees Treaty Limit (Bloomberg)

The Wheels Are Coming Off In Cyprus - This Is Bad News For the U.S. (The Golden Truth blog)

Thousands rally against poverty in Portugal (Agence France Presse) Portugal's people paying the price as PM promises more austerity: On Friday night Portugal managed to wring concessions from the eurozone and was granted an extension on paying back its bailout. But with further austerity measures still on the horizon, the people are wondering how much more they can take. (The Telegraph) Portugal's fed-up youth pack and go as their nation slides into reverse: Job prospects are grim, health and education are in crisis and, with more austerity to come, emigration is increasingly the only solution (The Observer)

Spain to rescue its indebted regions with 15 billion euros (Reuters)

Austria defies mounting pressure to end bank secrecy (Reuters)

DERIVATIVES: WALL STREET'S TICKING TIME BOMB That could blow up your bank account by Ellen Brown (The Sky Valley Chronicle of Monroe WA)

Are We Heading Towards Cyprus or Socialism? (The Huffington Post)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 786 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Drought risk alive this year in U.S. crop belt - meteorologist (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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday roundup (04-12-13


The Euro Zone Crisis Is Back—On Multiple Fronts (CNBC)

'The Crisis Isn't Over in the US or Europe': In a SPIEGEL interview, Harvard economist Carmen Reinhart argues governments are incapable of reducing their debts and that central banks are now stepping up to resolve the crisis themselves. In the end, she argues, everyday savers will pay the price. (Spiegel Online) Carmen Reinhart: "No Doubt. Our Pensions Are Screwed." (Zero Hedge blog) Why Europe’s Debt Crisis is Barely Getting Started (The Daily Reckoning)

Jim Rogers 'I Suspect They'll Take The Pension Plans Next' (Youtube)



Recapitalize European Banks Now: Expert: Dirk Schoenmaker, dean of the Duisenberg School of Finance, tells CNBC that European banks are weak and need to be recapitalized in order to kick-start the recovery. (CNBC)



Cyprus faces economic meltdown as EU-IMF refuses extra aid: Cyprus must take on an extra €5.5bn in the cost of its bail-out, a sum equivalent to a third of the island's annual GDP, without any additional help from the European Union and IMF. (The Telegraph) Confusion Over Cyprus' Bailout Funding Grows (CNBC) Cyprus causing fresh market pain as doubts grow over ability to meet bailout terms (Marketwatch) Euro ministers back 10 billion euro Cyprus bailout (Reuters)

Bailout Terms Are Eased for Ireland and Portugal (The New York Times)

Portugal’s elder statesman calls for 'Argentine-style' default: Portugal's leading elder statesman has called on the country to copy Argentina and default on its debt to avert economic collapse, a move that would lead to near certain ejection from the euro. (The Telegraph) Factbox: Portugal's painful austerity path - likely new spending cuts (Reuters)

Slovenia eyes bank sell-off, budget revision to avoid bailout (Reuters)

Chinese officials even more pessimistic on local debt than Fitch (Reuters)

U.S. to Press Japan to Refrain From Competitive Devaluation (Bloomberg)

Fed's Lockhart decries "agonizingly slow" recovery from crisis (Reuters)

Retail Sales in U.S. Decline by Most in Nine Months (Bloomberg)

April consumer sentiment hits nine-month low (Reuters)

Big Banks Attempt Secret Coup Against Cheap Loans [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

Don’t Depend on Bank Deposit Insurance: Mike Shedlock (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



In Financial Reform, Keep It Simple Like Glass-Steagall (Bloomberg)

A taxpayer bailout may be needed at FHA (CNN Radio)



What Student Debt Is Doing to the Economy and a Generation (ABCNews)

     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.