Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday roundup (06-30-13)

Billionaire Sprott Warns - This Will Crash The Financial System (King World News)

Eurozone's new banking deal may be a two-edged sword: There's no doubt bankers led politicians a merry dance, but new rules agreed by the EU could endanger stability, writes Dan White (The Irish Independent)

France's triumphant 'Joan of Arc' vows to bring back franc and destroy euro: Marine Le Pen is spoiling for a fight. The leader of France's Front National vows to smash the existing order of Europe and force the break-up of monetary union, if she wins the next election. (The Telegraph)

Greece, lenders resume talks on 8.1 billion euro bailout tranche (Reuters)

Fed Officials Intensify Effort to Curb Surge in Interest Rates (Bloomberg)

Student loan rates doubling on Monday (CNNMoney)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 749 Institutions, Q2 Transition Matrix (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.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday roundup (06-29-13)

Central Banks and the Mother of All Bubbles? (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog) Is the U.S. Facing the Mother of All Bubbles? (Bloomberg)



Former Top Regulators Tell Congress to Rein in Big Banks: Three former financial regulators testify to the House Financial Services Committee in support of reinstating Glass-Steagall legislation and addressing Too Big to Fail Banks. (The Real News)



FDIC’s Hoenig Says Another Crisis May Resurrect Bailout Specter [June 26] (Bloomberg)

Fed’s Fisher Urges Bank Breakup Amid Too-Big-to-Fail ‘Injustice’ [June 25] (Bloomberg)

Method of extracting natural gas may contaminate drinking water (Agence France Presse) Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach (National Geographic)

Irish, German leaders slam Anglo bank's arrogance (Bloomberg)

Mired in recession, ex-Yugoslav Croatia joins troubled EU (Reuters)

Lord Lawson: City reform has a long way to go: After playing a key role in the Banking Commission on Standards, former Chancellor Lord Lawson explains why the reform of the City still has a long way to go. (The Telegraph)

Siemens to cut 1,700 jobs in energy operations: report (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, June 28, 2013

Friday roundup (06-28-13)

Bank recap could leave euro bailout fund ill-equipped (Reuters)

Carney Takes Bank of England Reins Amid Bond 'Carnage' (CNBC)

New Bank governor must confront banking industry that has shamelessly put its lobbying machines on full throttle (This is Money)

UK avoided double-dip recession as deficit grew: Disposable income fell 1.7pc in biggest quarterly drop since 1987 (The Irish Independent)

China top auditor warns on rising debt: report (Marketwatch)

China Bad-Loan Alarm Sounded by Record Bank Spread Jump (Bloomberg)

Wielding Derivatives as a Tool for Deceit (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, June 27, 2013

Thursday roundup (06-27-13)

Bank Bailout Deal Struck in EU Talks Decrees Writedowns (Bloomberg) EU makes bank creditors bear losses as Cyprus bail-in becomes blue-print for rescues: New European Union “bail-in” rules to impose the losses of failed banks on shareholders, bondholders and some large depositors were agreed early this morning by Europe’s finance ministers. (The Telegraph)

State Auditor Warns That France Must Cut Spending (The New York Times) France Likely to Miss Deficit Target, Auditors Warn (CNBC) Tempers fray in France as drastic cuts loom: France's budget watchdog has called for another round of drastic cuts and an immediate freeze in public sector pay and benefits, warning that public finances are badly off track as deep recession eats into tax revenues. (The Telegraph)

French consumer confidence at all-time low, outlook bleak (Reuters)

Portuguese anti-austerity strike hits mostly transport (Reuters) Portugal General Strike: Austerity Triggers Fourth Major Shutdown In 25 Years (The Associated Press)

Ireland in recession as bailout exit approaches (Reuters)

[US] Consumer spending, jobs data point to lukewarm growth (Reuters)

Mortgage rates soar to 4.46% - biggest jump in 26 years (CNNMoney) Mortgage rates leap amid fears that Fed will end stimulus: The average for a 30-year fixed home loan soars to 4.46% from 3.93% last week, the biggest jump in the Freddie Mac survey since 1987. Fed moves to calm investors. (The Los Angeles Times)

Housing Recovery Elusive for U.S. Homebuilders (The Big Picture blog)

Why the Recovery Has Been So Miserable in 2 Charts (The Atlantic)

Regulators file civil charges against ex-NJ Gov. Corzine over collapse of firm MF Global: Corzine is charged with violating his legal obligations to diligently supervise. (The Associated Press)

Public pension costs swamp revenues of 10 U.S. states - Moody's (Reuters) U.S. State Pension Underfunding Worsens With New Moody’s Formula (Bloomberg)

Exclusive - Josh Fox Extended Interview Pt. 1: In this exclusive, unedited interview, "Gasland Part II" director Josh Fox disputes the idea that natural gas is a boon for the environment. (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Exclusive - Josh Fox Extended Interview Pt. 2: In this exclusive, unedited interview, Josh Fox argues that government regulatory agencies are in the natural gas industry's pocket. (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Exclusive - Josh Fox Extended Interview Pt. 3: In this exclusive, unedited interview, Josh Fox warns of lobbying and PR solutions to technical and engineering environmental problems. (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



You have no idea how much we rely on honeybees and how much their collapse could cost us (The Financial 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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 06-27-13)

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 regular state unemployment-insurance benefits fell 9,000 to 346,000 in the week that ended June 22, the U.S. Department of Labor reported." (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, June 26, 2013

Wednesday roundup (06-26-13)

Italy Faces Restructured Derivatives Hit [The Financial Times via] (CNBC) About That €8 Billion Italian Derivatives Hit… (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Italy denies risk to public finances from debt derivative deals (Reuters)

BoE warns banks of risk of sharp global interest rate rise (Reuters) Millions face debt crisis if interest rates start to rise: Bank launches investigation into impact small increase may have (The Daily Mail)

More spending cuts for Britain, but austerity pill is sugared (Reuters)

The Canadian Banking System: Jason Jones teaches regulation-loving Canadian bankers the advantages of harmless free-market fun. [Juxtaposition of genuine interview with Peter Aceto, CEO & President of ING Direct Canada and satirical interview with "hedge fund manager John Tobacco".] (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)


Risk of 1937 relapse as Fed gives up fight against deflation: The US Federal Reserve has jumped the gun. It has mishandled its exit strategy from quantitative easing, triggering a global bond rout that it did not anticipate, and is struggling to control. (The Telegraph) It's About The Calendar (Tim Duy's Fed Watch blog)

The Ugly GDP Report Is A Sign That Americans Are Getting Slammed By Fiscal Austerity (The Business Insider) Slower US growth might lead Fed to delay tapering (The Associated Press)

Run-up in mortgage rates raises questions about housing recovery: The 30-year fixed rate home loan has jumped a full percentage point above recent record lows, raising borrowing costs and posing a threat to consumer confidence. (The Los Angeles Times) [versus] Housing Market Shrugging Off Rise in Mortgage Rates [The New York Times via] (CNBC)

Direct Line May Cut 2,000 Jobs in Effort to Cut Expenses (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, June 25, 2013

Tuesday roundup (06-25-13)

Rise in euro zone yields does not pose immediate risk - officials (Reuters)

Greece Bailout: Reshuffle As Deadline Looms: Top ministers are told to waste no time delivering on promises the government made in exchange for EU and IMF bailouts. (SkyNews)

Greek Bank Bailout Plan May Reward Some Involved in Collapse (The New York Times)

Greek PM says avoiding more austerity is govt's priority (Reuters)

Italy Could Be Riskiest of EU Coalition Governments: JPMorgan (CNBC)

Is Italy headed for a Greece-style bailout? (Marketplace)



Portugal Yields Need Draghi to Keep His OMT Promise: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)

Portugal Posts Wider Budget Budget Deficit as Spending Increases (Bloomberg)

Anglo Irish bankers 'tricked' government into bailout: Two top executives at the stricken Anglo Irish Bank have been caught on tape allegedly admitting that the lender suckered the Irish government into a €7bn (£6bn) bail-out knowing that far more was needed. (The Telegraph)

Fed’s Fisher Urges Bank Breakup Amid Too-Big-to-Fail ‘Injustice’ (Bloomberg)

Too Big to Fail: Some Questions for the House Financial Services Committee (The Heritage Foundation blogs)

Will Higher Capital Requirements Make The Banking System Safe? (Forbes)

U.S. Civil Charges Against Corzine Are Seen as Near (The New York Times blogs) CFTC likely to charge MF Global execs beyond Corzine: legal experts (Reuters)

NY Regulator Cracks Down on Sanctions Violations (CNBC)

     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, June 24, 2013

Monday roundup (06-24-13)

Stop 'Retarding' Economies With Ultra-Loose Monetary Policy: BIS -- ["current monetary policy employed in the euro zone, the U.K., Japan and the U.S. will not bring about much-needed labor and product market reforms and is a recipe for failure."] (CNBC) Making the most of borrowed time: Jaime Caruana, General Manager of the BIS on the occasion of the Bank’s Annual General Meeting in Basel on 23 June 2013 (BIS)

Crime Gangs Look to Clean Up as Europe's Black Market Balloons [The Financial Times via] (CNBC)

Italy could need EU rescue within six months, warns Mediobanca: Italy is likely to need an EU rescue within six months as the country slides into deeper economic crisis and a credit crunch spreads to large companies, a top Italian bank has warned privately. (The Telegraph)

The Bernanke Fed is playing with deflationary fire (The Telegraph blogs)

Why Recession Matters Now (Alhambra Investment Partners)

Four Years of Recovery in Charts (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

The banking system’s methodical way of punishing savers: How punishing savers is encouraging a low savings rate and high levels of debt. (MyBudget360)

76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck (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, June 23, 2013

Sunday roundup (06-23-13)

Increasing Bond Yields Risk Debt Spiral in U.S., Japan, BIS Says (Bloomberg) BIS fears fresh bank crisis from global bond spike: Soaring bond yields across the world threaten trillion of dollars in losses for investors and a fresh financial crisis unless banks are braced for the shock, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. (The Telegraph) I'm a central banker, get me out of here (The Economist blogs)

Central Banks Seeing Limits of Powers to Revive Growth, BIS Says (Bloomberg) Stimulating growth threatens stability, central banks warn: Monetary stimulus is not the answer, says the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, after share prices plunge (The Guardian)

France Is Looking Like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Austerity is a Four-Letter French Word by John Mauldin (The Big Picture blog)

Recession risk remains [in the UK], warns Osborne: George Osborne has warned that the economy could “relapse” back into recession unless it pushes ahead with austerity. (The Telegraph)

China Poses Global Growth Risk as Li Squeezes Credit (Bloomberg)

China's cash squeeze caused by shadow banking: Xinhua (Reuters)

[In the US:] Banks are starting to lend more freely: Creative financing, less money down and lower credit scores bring risk back to the mortgage market. (The Los Angeles Times)

Matt Taibbi reveals financial crisis smoking gun: Ratings agencies are expected to provide solid guidance about investments. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi joins Chris Hayes to explain how newly-revealed documents reveal corruption and dishonesty at the core of our financial industry. (MSNBC)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


More Than 25,000 Bees Die in Oregon (ABCNews 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, June 22, 2013

Saturday roundup (06-22-13)

EU bank bail-out talks deadlocked over saver protection: The European Union has failed to agree rules on who should pay in the event of a global banking collapse after eurozone countries clashed with those outside the single currency over how flexible the system should be. (The Telegraph) Ecofin fails to agree on wind-down rules for banks: Ministers will now meet on Wednesday in effort to hammer out a deal ahead of summit (The Irish Times)

IMF to Suspend Aid Payments to Greece Unless Bailout Hole Plugged [The Financial Times via] (CNBC) Greek PM Samaras says country on track to meet bailout goals - paper (Thomson Reuters)

Tens of thousands march in Rome against unemployment (Reuters)

U.S. Weighs Doubling Leverage Standard for Biggest Banks (Bloomberg)

Risky derivatives trading comes roaring back (The Washington Post)

Clock is ticking on [Washington] state budget deal as layoffs, shutdown loom (KOMO) Government shutdown would fully close 34 state agencies (MyNorthwest)

Student Loan Debt Endangers Graduates, Economy: Interests rates to double, debt reaches $1 trillion (Epoch Times) Should Student Loan Rates Be Allowed to Double at the End of the Month? (U.S. News & World Report)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 751 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, June 21, 2013

Friday roundup (06-21-13)

Another shameful day for Europe as EMU creditor states betray South: So much for the denials. The Cyprus "template" for banking crises is to be eurozone policy for other countries after all. (The Telegraph)

Creeping mistrust stops euro zone banks lending to peers across bloc (Reuters)

Indebted eurozone countries see borrowing costs rise on Fed statement (The Associated Press)

Greek debt costs surge on government collapse (Deutsche Welle) Greek government on knife edge as coalition party pulls out: Greece’s troubled coalition government lay in tatters on Friday after a leftist partner withdrew from the alliance amid a crisis over the sudden shutdown of the country’s state broadcaster. (The Telegraph)

In new dynamic, Portugal's former colonies bail out old master (The Christian Science Monitor)

Mervyn King picks up £6.3m pension from Bank of England despite not putting penny in pot: He will enjoy bumper annual increases – unlike millions of ordinary Britons whose packages have been hit by cuts (The Mirror) Anger as former Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King walks away with £6.3million pot (The Express)

[In the US:] Bernanke bond announcement 'inappropriately timed:' Fed's Bullard (Reuters)

Big Banks' Capital Requirements Should Be Doubled, Regulators Say [Reuters via] (The Huffington Post)

The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis: It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it by Matt Taibi (Rolling Stone)

Illinois' finances worst ever in FY 2012 - auditor (Reuters)

Navy Announces Layoffs for 745 Civilians (Government Executive)

     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, June 20, 2013

Thursday roundup (06-20-13)

Time to sober up as America and China remove punch bowl (The Telegraph blogs) Bernanke Stumbles Into a Major Policy Mistake as Deflation Is in the Air (The New York Sun)

Chinese, U.S. factories struggle, Europe still in slump (Reuters) As the US economy soars, the eurozone slumps ever deeper: French President François Hollande is deluding himself if he thinks the crisis in the eurozone is over (The Telegraph)

Eurozone finance chiefs agree on last resort bank recapitalizations by bailout fund ESM (The Associated Press)

Cyprus must stick to its bailout plan, Eurogroup says (Reuters)

Greek coalition in disarray, small party considers quitting (Reuters)

REPORT: IMF Playing Hardball With EU — Threatens To Suspend Greek Bailout Payments (The Business Insider) Greece to avoid funding problems if it delivers on bailout program: IMF (Reuters)

How Austerity Has Failed [particularly in the UK] (The New York Review of Books)

The [US] housing 'recovery' is built on false confidence: The housing numbers seem encouraging, until you look a little closer and see investment firms are doing much of the buying (The Guardian) Housing Recovery is “Precarious,” Says Economist Gary Shilling (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, 06-20-13)

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 unemployment benefits last week jumped by 18,000 to 354,000, putting initial claims back near the recent average and indicating little change in a modestly improving labor market." (Marketwatch)

Initial jobless claims rise, but still show labor market growth (The Los Angeles Times)

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, June 19, 2013

Wednesday roundup (06-19-13)

Taper Tipoff? Bernanke Hints Easing End Is Nearing (CNBC) [But ...] "Deflation is a central banker’s worst enemy, and the Fed is expecting prices to fall to dangerous levels this year." (Forbes)

California To Wal-Mart: Enough! No More Taxpayer Subsidized Profits For You (Forbes) The Low-Wage Drag on Our Economy (Democratic staff of the U.S. House 
Committee on Education and the Workforce)

Turk - Global Markets & Banking System Face Major Collapse (King World News)

Climate change threatens trouble in the near future, World Bank says (The Washington Post)

Germany's ascendancy over Europe will prove short-lived: Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces. (The Telegraph)

Commerzbank to Eliminate 5,200 Jobs by 2016 to Boost Profit [confirming the rumor of more than 5,000 jobs, as posted here yesterday] (Bloomberg)

Bank of Cyprus to slash 2,500 jobs (Famagusta Gazette)

Unemployed Texas teacher returns lost bag containing $20G (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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday roundup (06-18-13)

European Car Sales Fall to 20-Year Low Amid Unemployment (Bloomberg) EU car sales slide to 20-year low: European car sales slumped to a 20-year low in May as record unemployment took its toll and the eurozone’s recession spread to the core, with drastic falls in a string of countries. (The Telegraph)

REPORT: Cyprus Wants To Redo The Massive Bank Bailout (The Business Insider)

China Stimulated Its Economy Like Crazy After The Financial Crisis ... And Now The Nightmare Is Beginning (The Business Insider)

[In the US:] Key Measures show low and falling inflation in May (Calculated Risk blog)

If the Fed can’t rein in big banks, breaking them up won’t work either (MacLean's)

Ruinous promises: States cannot pretend to be in good financial health unless they tackle pensions (The Economist)

Commerzbank to shed more than 5,000 jobs: source (Reuters)

Stora Enso lays off 2,500 workers worldwide (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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday roundup (06-18-13)

G8 urges Europe to move on bank reform, Japan to fix budget (Reuters)

Lines Blur in U.S.-Europe Debate on Austerity (The New York Times)

Germany now biggest threat to euro: EU's biggest economy wants all the benefits of currency but none of the responsibilities. (The Irish Independent)

German economic growth likely to slow over the summer: Bundesbank (Reuters)

Silvio Berlusconi Urges Italian Government to Break EU Austerity Measures: Italy’s ex-PM said Enrico Letta’s government should exceed EU's 3% deficit limit (International Business Times)

Why [Spanish telecom] Telefónica’s debt is a grave European problem (Quartz)

IMF approves $1.27 bln disbursement to Ireland (Reuters)

UK's Co-op Bank agrees 1.5 bln stg "bail-in" rescue plan (Reuters)

Japan's Deflationary Destiny Ordained By Demographics And The BOJ (Forbes)

Japan PM Abe's true test; rising government bond yields (Reuters)

Detroit default, restructuring plan break new ground - Moody's (Reuters) In Embattled Detroit, No Talk of Sharing Pain (The New York Times) Detroit’s Recovery Plan Dips Into Pensions to Keep City Afloat (Bloomberg) Detroit Recovery Plan Threatens Muni-Market Underpinnings (Bloomberg)

[Also in Michigan:] Pontiac’s Emergency Manager To Lay Out Plans To Avoid Bankruptcy (CBSDetroit)

Illinois’ failing economic model: more food stamps, fewer jobs (Illinois Policy Institute)

Illinois gov. signs tough fracking regulations law (The Associated Press)

Pa. woman sues McDonald's store owners over prepaid debit card used for wages: Natalie Gunshannon worked at a Shavertown, Pa., McDonald's location when she learned that the franchise required employees to accept payment on a J.P. Morgan Chase payroll card. But the card, she contends, imposes fees on virtually every transaction, creating a monetary and physical barrier to her hard-earned cash. (The New York Daily News)

Broker on 'Million Dollar Listing' Caught Photoshopping Apt. Pictures (ABCNews)



OneWest to lay off 725 Austin workers (KXAN)

Staffing execs: 650 layoffs planned linked to unpaid DPS contract (Crain's Detroit Business)

     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, June 16, 2013

Sunday roundup (06-16-13)

Euro Zone Faces Make-or-Break Summer (CNBC)

A European Solution to the Eurozone's Problem [April 9 speech, in which investor George Soros speaks of "the deepening depression that is enveloping the Eurozone," which he suggests might be solved by Germany leaving the Eurozone, allowing debtor nationst to issue Eurobonds: "By contrast, if Italy left, its euro-denominated debt burden would become unsustainable and it would have to be restructured. This would plunge the rest of Europe and the rest of the world into an uncontrollable financial meltdown. The collapse of the Euro would likely lead to the disorderly disintegration of the European Union and Europe would be left worse off than it had been when it embarked on the noble experiment of creating a European Union. So, if anyone must leave it should be Germany, not Italy. ... There is a real danger that the euro will destroy the European Union. A disorderly disintegration would leave Europe worse off than it was when the bold experiment of creating a European Union was begun. That would be a tragedy of historic proportions."] (Project Syndicate) George Soros Lecture at the Center for Financial Studies, Frankfurt Germany. April 9, 2012 (Youtube)



Fitch says China credit bubble unprecedented in modern world history: China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned. (The Telegraph) Fitch warns on risks from shadow banking in China [June 10] (Reuters)

Homing in on housing, Fed’s latest moves: Effect of higher mortgage rates, bank’s bond buying in spotlight (Marketwatch)

     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, June 15, 2013

Saturday roundup (06-15-13)

Deutsche Bank "horribly undercapitalized" - US regulator (Reuters)

Italy's new measures to ease austerity pain (Agence France Presse)

Unofficial [US] Problem Bank list declines to 757 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, June 14, 2013

Friday roundup (06-14-13)

Europe rethinks its pursuit of austerity: European Union leaders are beginning to acknowledge that cutting spending too much too fast to solve the continent's debt crisis is crippling nations. (The Los Angeles Times)

Spain's Debt Reaches New High (The Voice of America)

Italy's public debt hits new record of 2.041 trillion: Up 52.6 bln from end 2012 and by 83.3 bln on 12 months ago (ANSA)

Italy sees no more fiscal tightening despite deficit problems (Reuters)

China braces for capital flight and debt stress as Fed tightens: China appears increasingly worried that monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve could trigger capital flight from the People’s Republic and set off a Chinese corporate debt crisis. (The Telegraph) China's credit is literally off the charts (The Telegraph blogs)

IMF warns U.S. not to scale back stimulus too soon: The International Monetary Fund also criticizes U.S. fiscal policy, calling for the repeal of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. (The Los Angeles Times)

Housing bubble: The "Wealth" is Gone, but the Debt Remains (Calculated Risk blog) Younger Households Are Slower to Make Gains in Net Worth (The New York Times)

Young Americans are ditching credit cards (CNNMoney)

On the brink, Detroit halts debt payments, plans pension cuts (CNNMoney) Emergency Manager: Detroit Won't Pay $2.5B It Owes (The Associated Press) Painful Options Ahead: Detroit to Default on $2.5 Billion Debt: The city of Detroit is facing difficult decisions in the face of billions of dollars of debt. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr laid out a last-ditch plan to 150 creditors to accept pennies on the dollar to keep the city running. Some residents are skeptical of Orr's approach. Ray Suarez talks to Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press. (PBS NewsHour)



What FDR Hated About Glass-Steagall (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, June 13, 2013

Thursday roundup (06-13-13)

60% chance of global recession ["in the next three to five years"]: Pimco (CNNMoney)

Euro zone inflation outlook ebbs, but ECB to stand pat: Reuters poll (Reuters)

Felix Zulauf: Japan Will Be the Root Cause of the Next Global Crisis: Also, if consensus is correct, bond markets are at serious risk (Financial Sense)

The Biggest Economic Mystery of 2013: What's Up With Inflation [in the US]?: Despite QE3, core inflation just hit a 50-year low (The Atlantic)

FDIC’s Thomas Hoenig on bank separation, safety nets and Basel III (Central Banking)

Senator Warren calls for tough cross-border swap rules (Reuters)

FHFA Nominee Melvin Watt Would Prolong Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Bailout (National Legal and Policy Center)

California, Illinois on Brink of Pension Crisis; New Actuarial Rules Will Force States to Admit Problems (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

A Great Sucking Sound [deals with the siphoning of wealth from global agriculture] Part 1 (Triple Crisis) Part 2 (Triple Crisis) Part 3 (Triple Crisis)

America's Worst Charities: You've given them more than $1 billion. They've given almost nothing to the needy. (Tampa Bay Times)

RBS to cut 2,000 more jobs as shares tumble: Decision comes after surprise exit of chief executive Stephen Hester (The Independent)

Symantec Layoffs Have Begun In Earnest: About 1,700 Jobs Will Be Cut, Sources Say (The Business Insider)

Labeling GMO-Foods Is Not a “Radical, Screwball Commie Plot” Says Mark Bittman (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



Download the True Food Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Foods Made with Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs] (The Center for Food Safety)

     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, 06-13-13)

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 claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits fell 12,000 to 334,000 in the week ended June 8, reaching the lowest level since early May, the U.S. Department of Labor reported." (Marketwatch)

U.S. jobless claims fall; labor market healing ongoing (Reuters)

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, June 12, 2013

Wednesday roundup (06-12-13)

The euro zone looks anxiously to Karlsruhe (The Economist blogs)

Hollande to Ask French to Work More as Pension Deficit Balloons (Bloomberg)

Greek PM faces coalition revolt over state TV shutdown (Reuters)

Italian showdown with Germany over euro looms closer: Italy’s simmering revolt against Germany, austerity and its own ultra-European elites is coming to a head again, in a reminder that the deep clash of interests between the euro’s north and south remains as bitter as ever. (The Telegraph)

Nation's CEOs say [US] economic recovery still on slow road (The Los Angeles Times)

Backdoor Bailouts Begin (The Heritage Foundation blogs)

Insurers fattening books with loads of risk (CBSMoneyWatch)

RBS To Unveil 2,000 Investment Bank Job Cuts: The latest slew of cuts will take total number of jobs lost at RBS since the 2008 crisis to nearly 40,000, Sky News learns. (SkyNews)

JPMorgan Cutting 1,800 More Jobs in Mortgage Unit (CNBC)

Sacramento County sheriff warns of big patrol cuts at budget hearing (The Modesto Bee)

WA [= Western Australia's] Government to slash 1200 public sector jobs (The Australian Broadcasting Commission)

TVA cuts 530 jobs, spending on Ala. nuclear plant (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

LA County court to eliminate more than 500 jobs (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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday roundup (06-11-13)

The euro zone crisis is over (apparently) (Reuters blogs) [The preceding is a somewhat sardonic comment on the French position, but then there's this headline just in from Italy:] Euro zone debt crisis largely over, Bank of Italy says (Reuters)

Germany's brother gladiators battle over euro destiny in constitutional court: Germany's two heavyweight members on the European Central Bank have fought an unprecedented duel at the country’s top court, taking opposing sides in a landmark case that could make or break the euro. (The Telegraph) Debate on the Euro’s Future in a German Courtroom (The New York Times)

Underpaid and underworked: Real legacy of recession [in Britain] is falling wages and productivity: Workers settling for less just to stay in a job, survey claims (The Independent)

[In the US:] Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office projecting $1 million budget deficit next year (The Times-Picayune of New Orleans)

Comment: Senator Elizabeth Warren and Short Sale Fraud (Calculated Risk blog)

Crazy Eddie fraudster says SEC can’t keep up: Corporate audits don’t work, give investors false sense of security (Marketwatch)

Siemens to scrap 1,000 energy jobs: Report (Agence France Presse)

The Amish Are Getting Fracked: Their religion prohibits lawsuits—and the energy companies know it (The New Republic)

     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.