Monday, September 30, 2013

On Sunday's (missing) post

For some reason the work that I did for Sunday was not posted. Weekends usually have fewer items and I do not recall that yesterday was an exception. Unfortunately I erased my work on Sunday to make room for the items posted today, but I do recall this was among the items I intended to present:

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 690 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)


(Tuesday update): Having "slept on it," I figured out what happened. I prepared the Sunday post as usual but, before presenting it, I decided to watch the Bill Moyers video that was eventually placed in Monday's post, with the object of adding it to the items ready for posting on Sunday if I deemed it appropriate. By the time the video had finished (nearly an hour later), I had forgotten my original intention and imagined that I had already made the Sunday blog post and was watching the video for possible inclusion in the Monday blog post, which was an idea which I had also toyed with at one point. Having deceived myself in this way, I erased (the unposted) Sunday post and put the video information in my collection of things to post on Monday and felt satisfied about having done a good day's work, whereas in reality I erased a good day's work. I've had a lurking dread, from time to time, that I might do such a thing, and this could well have been a subtle factor in making the error.






Monday roundup (09-30-13)

Banks’ Off-Balance-Sheet Risks Come Under Basel Scrutiny (Bloomberg)

Europe’s Record Jobless Rate Seen Resisting Recovery (Bloomberg)

Eurozone inflation falls to lowest since February 2010 (The Associated Press) Eurozone inflation hits multi-year low at 1.1% (Agence France-Presse)

Italy turmoil puts fiscal targets at risk: Fitch (Marketwatch) ECB Backstop Mitigates Italy’s Crisis (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Austerity clobbers Portugal's ruling party in local votes (Reuters) Portugal cuts deficit despite austerity backlash (Agence France-Presse)

Portugal’s Debt Will Reach 127.8% of GDP This Year, INE Says (Bloomberg)

Spain's public debt to approach 100 percent of GDP end-2014 (Reuters)

Record Defaults Seen on $40 Billion Recast Loans: India Credit (Bloomberg)

Hours away from [US Government] shutdown, House GOP not backing down (CBSNews) Danger to economy worries experts weighing potential government shutdown, default (The Washington Post)

Another Day, Another Bailout (American Spectator)

Moody's, Which Rated Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Subprime Mortgage Backed Securities As Investment Grade, Claims Public Pension Liabilities are Much Higher Than Previously Reported (Center for Economic and Policy Research) Many big cities face serious pension debt, report says (The Washington Post)

Why do Conservatives Oppose Prosecuting Elite Corporate Frauds? by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog)

Inequality for All: Bill Moyers talks with Robert Reich about the film Inequality for All. Opening in theaters across the country next week, it aims to be a game-changer in our national discussion of income inequality. (Moyers & Company)



Toshiba to cut 3,000 staff in ailing TV division (Reuters)

Osram to cut 900 jobs in North America (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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday roundup (09-28-13)

Italy plunged into chaos as Berlusconi withdraws ministers from coalition: Move damned as 'mad and irresponsible' by prime minister of a country that is enduring its longest recession in decades (The Observer) Italian government breaks up after Berlusconi pulls out ministers (Reuters)

White House: Obama will veto House shutdown bill (CNBC)

$300 Million in Detroit Aid, but No Bailout [Sept. 26] (The New York Times)

Looting the Pension Funds: All across America, Wall Street is grabbing money meant for public workers by Matt Taibi (Rolling Stone)

     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, September 27, 2013

Friday roundup (09-27-13)

Obama chides Republicans as shutdown looms (The Washington Post) Here’s what Obama was really saying about the debt ceiling (The Washington Post blogs)

Federal Housing Administration needs $1.7-billion bailout (The Los Angeles Times) FHA needs $1.7 billion taxpayer subsidy (The Washington Post)

All the Reasons Why JP Morgan May Be Facing the Biggest Bank Fine Ever: Regulators want the bank to pay $11 billion to possibly settle investigations touching on everything from mortgage fraud to the Madoff scandal. (The Atlantic) JPMorgan's Dimon meets with U.S. Attorney General Holder (Reuters)

Simon Johnson: Too Big to Fail and the State of Finance Today (Youtube)



     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, September 26, 2013

Thursday roundup (09-26-13)

Lending to eurozone businesses drops sharply: The European Central Bank has said the volume of loans granted by eurozone banks to businesses and households has gone down further. Its monthly report showed declining figures despite an end to recession. [Reuters & Agence France-Presse via] (Deutsche Welle)

Italian president rebukes Berlusconi party members for threat to coalition: Giorgio Napolitano issues stern statement to People of Freedom party members who say they would resign if Berlusconi is removed from the senate (The Associated Press)

IMF urges Ireland not to ease off on budget cuts next month (Reuters)

U.S. GDP unrevised at +2.5 pct, Fed's preferred inflation gauge falls (Reuters) Where Is the Panic Over Deflation? (Bloomberg)

Poll: 68% Say Washington on Wrong Track (The Big Picture blog)

Fed official: It is time for resolve in fighting unemployment (The Washington Post blogs)

Top Secrets of Penny-Pinching Billionaires: Warren Buffett Has Company (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, 09-26-13)

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.)

"This morning, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted rate of 305,000 claims." (Forbes)

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, September 25, 2013

Wednesday roundup (09-25-13)

Great Graphic: US Deleveraging, Europe Still Leveraging? (Marc to Market)

Eurozone governments must give up more power to avoid another crisis, say IMF economists: Eurozone governments must cede more of their sovereignty, create a joint budget and move towards issuing eurobonds to complete a fiscal union and avoid another crippling debt crisis, according to an International Monetary Fund report. (The Telegraph) How to Avert the Next European Economic Crisis [editorial] (Bloomberg)

France public debt to hit record in 2014 (The BBC) France vows massive spending cuts for 2014 (France24)

Greece does not need third bailout, seeks debt 'reprofiling' - deputy pm (Reuters)

Greece's Piraeus Bank warns of rising bad loans (CNBC)

Austerity measures push Greek universities to point of collapse: University of Athens faces 'most serious crisis in its history' and suspends operations because of cuts, while others follow suit (The Guardian)

IMF approves next $1 billion for Ireland bailout program (Reuters)

More austerity may cripple Irish economy, ex-IMF official warns: Professor Ashoka Mody says Ireland needs new jolt of growth (The Irish Times)

U.S. has until Oct. 17 to raise debt limit–or risk default (MSNBC) Debt-ceiling doomsday comes Oct. 17. Here’s what happens next. (The Washington Post blogs) You Really Ought to Be More Terrified of the Debt Ceiling: The truly scary thing about going over the debt cliff isn't what we think will happen. It's that we actually have no idea what will happen. (The Atlantic)

U.S. housing agency [= the FHA] likely to tap Treasury funds - sources (Reuters) Federal Housing Administration Said to Take Taxpayer Subsidy (Bloomberg)

JPMorgan in talks to settle government cases for $11 billion, source says (The Washington Post) In JPMorgan Case, a Missed Opportunity to Charge Its Executives (The New York Times blogs) Is JP Morgan Out of Control? (The Reformed Broker)

'Massive fraud' at center of trial against BofA over U.S. mortgages (Reuters)

Banks find appalling new way to cheat homeowners: So much for the National Mortgage Settlement. Homeowners are now getting foreclosed on without their knowledge! [Alternet via] (Salon)

Telstra to Cut 3% of Workforce [= 1,100 jobs] Amid Australia’s Jobs Decline (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, September 24, 2013

Tuesday roundup (09-24-13)

[Global] Regulators haven't solved 'too big to fail' - Morgan Stanley exec (Reuters)

Why the euro zone debt crisis is not yet over: Economic recovery still faces many hurdles by Satyajit Das (Marketwatch) Eurozone still poses risk to global recovery, says OECD: The eurozone economy will not grow until 2014 and could still shatter the global recovery, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned. (The Telegraph)

It Begins: [Italy's Bank] Monte Paschi "Bails In" Bondholders, Halts $650 Million In Coupon Payments (ZeroHedge blog)

Washington to Wall Street - Threat of default is real (Reuters)

Federal Reserve considers explicit pledge: Low rates if inflation stays down (The Washington Post)

In U.S., Economic Confidence Slips Amid Fiscal Showdown: Americans' economic outlook sours as government shutdown looms (Gallup)

Illusion of Prosperity: Deflating the American Dream; No Recovery in "Real" Income (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog) Median Household Income Growth: Deflating the American Dream (Advisor Perspectives)

     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, September 23, 2013

Monday roundup (09-23-13)

2030: A "perfect storm" of global resource shortages (CNBC)

More cheap loans for Europe's banks? (The Associated Press)

Wrong Kind of Growth for Euro Zone? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Merkel mandate won't spur leap forward on Europe (Reuters)

Much theater, little action as [US] Congress ponders government shutdown [on Oct. 1] (The Los Angeles Times) How a shutdown could affect the economy (CNNMoney) A government shutdown will cost us billions (The Washington Post blogs)

U.S. disability rolls swell in a rough economy (The Washington Post)

Why are 47 million Americans on food stamps? It’s the recession — mostly. (The Washington Post blogs)

The state jobs recovery is nowhere near where it should be (The Washington Post blogs)

The Credit Bubble Is Not Only Back, It Is 94% Bigger Than In 2007 (ZeroHedge blog)

RWE Said to Plan 3,400 Job Cuts at Its Generation Unit (Bloomberg)

Citigroup to cut 1,000 mortgage jobs, mostly in Las Vegas (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.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday roundup (09-22-13)

Simon Johnson: The [Global] Problem of Too Big to Fail Is Even Bigger Than Before 2008 (Institute for New Economic Thinking blog)

ECB ready to act to help credit market if needed: Liikanen (Reuters)

For victorious Merkel, little incentive to change course on austerity (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Merkel romps to victory but faces tough coalition choices (Reuters)

Economy minister threatens to quit if Italy flouts deficit limit (Reuters)

Pope tells big business not to worship 'the god of money': The Pope has claimed that big business’s worship of money is causing misery for ordinary people, in one of his strongest attacks yet on the global economic system. (The Telegraph)

Keiser Report: Crimes & Cracks of Capitalism (E500) (Youtube)



Jim Rickards: We're Witnessing One of the Greatest Failed Experiments in Economic History (Youtube)



Jim Rickards*: Pentagon's Financial War Game Is Now Playing Out (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) (Financial Sense audio)

Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing (TEDTalks)



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, September 21, 2013

Saturday roundup (09-21-13)

Obama: GOP would plunge U.S. back into recession: Latest fiscal showdown threatens to unsettle financial markets (Marketwatch) Obama: GOP trying to ‘plunge this country back into a recession’ (The Washington Times)

Shutdown and default: What are the odds? (CNNMoney)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 692 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Bilfinger Plans 1,250 Job Cuts to Save 90 Million Euros (Bloomberg)

How long can the Communist party survive in China?: As the economy slows and middle-class discontent grows, it is the question that’s now being asked not only outside but inside the country. Even at the Central Party School there is talk of the unthinkable: the collapse of Chinese communism (The Financial Times Magazine)

     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, September 20, 2013

Friday roundup (09-20-13)

Who do you think you’re kidding, Mr Schäuble?: The eurozone may have avoided calamity, but all the underlying problems are still there - despite what Germany's finance minister. (The Telegraph) [In response to:] Ignore the doomsayers: Europe is being fixed: Fiscal and structural repair work is the basis for sustainable growth, writes [Germany's Finance Minister] Wolfgang Schäuble (The Financial Times)

Italy hikes 2014 deficit, debt forecasts (Reuters)

Recession ends [in Ireland] but Noonan warns of difficult budget: Exports and consumer spending rise but GDP growth fails to meet projections (The Irish Times)

[In the US] Republicans Warn of Shutdown as Confrontation Escalates (Bloomberg)

BlackBerry warns of big loss, 4,500 job cuts [rumors in this connection were posted here Wednesday]; shares dive (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats that exist today could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. This blog further attempts to show that the financial crisis of 2008 was largely a result of the devastating consequences of excessive risk taking and the absence of effective regulation of such behavior. Furthermore, this blog maintains that not only have the lessons that should have been learned from this experience not been learned, but that the risks to the economy, including the persistent building up of "too big to fail" institutions, have actually increased since the crisis began. Finally this blog also brings to light, from time to time, reports of a parallel threat to economic well-being developing in the energy industry, which suggest an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday roundup (09-19-13)

Euro zone’s ‘North-South divide’ to widen further (CNBC)

Portugal back in the spotlight as bailout risks return (CNBC)

IMF urges US to break budget stalemate (The Associated Press)

Postmaster says USPS may need emergency rate hike (The Associated Press)

The Fed's healthy fear of deflation (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Scaling back ‘too big’: The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act would reduce the risk of another crash by Elizabeth Warren (The Boston Globe)

JPMorgan Pays $920 Million to Settle London Whale Probes (Bloomberg)

Wells Fargo Cutting 1,800 More Jobs in Mortgage Business (Bloomberg)

Liberty Global’s Virgin Media Cuts As Many As 600 Jobs in U.K. (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, 09-19-13)

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. (See this post.)

IT'S A RECOVERY! (And it has been a recovery for every week since the Nov. 25, 2009 report, with the exception of the Aug. 19, 2010 report.)

"Applications for unemployment benefits climbed by 15,000 to 309,000 in the week ended Sept. 14 from a revised 294,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington." (Bloomberg)

Jobless Claims Rise, But Far Less Than Expected (The Capital Spectator)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats that exist today could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. This blog further attempts to show that the financial crisis of 2008 was largely a result of the devastating consequences of excessive risk taking and the absence of effective regulation of such behavior. Furthermore, this blog maintains that not only have the lessons that should have been learned from this experience not been learned, but that the risks to the economy, including the persistent building up of "too big to fail" institutions, have actually increased since the crisis began. Finally this blog also brings to light, from time to time, reports of a parallel threat to economic well-being developing in the energy industry, which suggest that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday roundup (09-18-13)

IMF says lesson of fiscal crisis is to not cut budgets too quickly (Reuters)

Italy deficit risks missing EU ceiling this year - source (Reuters)

S&P piles pressure on Portugal with credit warning (Reuters)

Bank of England backs away from more stimulus as economy picks up (Reuters)

WA [Western Australia] LOSES ITS AAA CREDIT RATING AS REVENUE DECLINES AND DEBT BLOWS OUT (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

China's credit boom is spiralling out of control, warns Fitch: China's massive credit boom is rapidly growing to unsustainable levels and over-extended financial institutions risk being pushed over the edge by rising interest rates, according to rating agency Fitch. (The Telegraph)

Fed Will Not Reduce Stimulus [in the US], Waiting for “More Evidence” of Recovery (Time) Fed recoils from 1937 tightening error as jobs evaporate: The American economy has shed 347,000 jobs over the past two months, roughly comparable with the rate of loss seen during the Great Recession. It is remarkable that the US Federal Reserve should even have been thinking of phasing out life-support in such circumstances. (The Telegraph) Fed Taper End Done In By Deflation and Labor Participation Rate (The Economic Populist)

Bernanke Warns That Lawmakers’ Budget Battles Could Tank Economy (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Debt Limit Showdown Could Be Catastrophic For Economy: Analysts (The Huffington Post)

Forget too big to fail: Some banks now too small to succeed: Small banks are finding it increasingly tough to survive, in part because of the cost of complying with regulations stemming from the financial crisis. (The Los Angeles Times)

Filmmaker bet on financial crisis, used profit to make documentary about Federal Reserve (The Washington Post) The Fed's 'Money For Nothing' Policy is an Illusion of Riches (Forbes) Review: “Money for Nothing” sets crisis-film high (Reuters blogs) Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserver Official Theatrical Trailer (Youtube)



BlackBerry Plans To Fire Up To 5,000 Employees (The Business Insider)

Boeing to Cut Almost 3,000 Jobs as Work Ends on C-17 Jet (Bloomberg)

Loss-making Air France warns of 2,800 more job cuts: Air France-KLM has scrapped its goal of breaking even at its main French unit this year and warned of another 2,800 job cuts after experiencing more turbulent trading than expected. [Increased from the 2,600 posted here yesterday] (The Telegraph)

Metso to cut 660 jobs in paper machine unit (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats that exist today could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. This blog further attempts to show that the financial crisis of 2008 was largely a result of the devastating consequences of excessive risk taking and the absence of effective regulation of such behavior. Furthermore, this blog maintains that not only have the lessons that should have been learned from this experience not been learned, but that the risks to the economy, including the persistent building up of "too big to fail" institutions, have actually increased since the crisis began. Finally this blog also brings to light, from time to time, reports of a parallel threat to economic well-being developing in the energy industry, which suggest an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday roundup (09-17-13)

Slumping car sales underline fragility of eurozone economy: The UK is the only major European market to record more new passenger car registrations in 2013 than last year (The Guardian)

My grovelling apology to Herr Schäuble (The Telegraph blogs)

U.S. debt now about 73% of GDP, CBO says -- ["higher than any point since around World War II, and twice the percentage it was at the end of 2007"] (Marketwatch) CBO: Interest Rates Will Spike Debt to 100% of GDP (The Fiscal Times) Report: After a decline, budget deficit will start growing again (McClatchy Newspapers)

Key Measures Show Low Inflation in August (Calculated Risk blog)

We're still 8.3 million jobs from full recovery: The economy isn't even halfway there yet, and at the pace we're adding jobs today we won't recover until 2020, according to the Brookings Institution. (Fortune)

U.S. poverty rises despite economic recovery (Reuters) 15% of Americans living in poverty (CNNMoney)

Exclusive - Robert Reich Extended Interview Pt. 1: In this exclusive, unedited interview, Robert Reich looks to the past for future economic solutions. (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Exclusive - Robert Reich Extended Interview Pt. 2: In this exclusive, unedited interview, economist Robert Reich discusses getting big money out of politics, interning for Robert Kennedy, and media mud wrestling. (Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Obamacare Is Secretly A Bailout Of State And Local Governments (The Business Insider)

Several banks considered too big to fail are even bigger: There is rare agreement among many Democrats and Republicans in Washington that a number of banks are still too big to fail, leaving the nation's economy even more at risk. (The Los Angeles Times)

BILL BLACK: I DON'T THINK HOLDER TAKES HOLDER SERIOUSLY ANYMORE (AOL)






Not with a Bang but a Whimper – the SEC Enforcement Team’s Propaganda Campaign by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog) The SEC Flacks Paint Lehman’s Looters as the Victims of a “Political” SEC by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog) Higher Bank Capital Requirements are Necessary but not Sufficient (New Economic Perspectives blog)

Turbulent market forces Air France to cut 2,600 more jobs (The Financial Times)

Vanderbilt Medical Center to cut more than 1,000 positions (WSMV)

James River Coal laying off 525, idling Ky. mines (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, September 16, 2013

Monday roundup (09-16-13)

ECB's Draghi says euro zone recovery "fragile" (Reuters)

Banks still 'too big to fail', says Bob Diamond: Banks are still "too big to fail", and [global] action must be taken to ensure no more taxpayer money is used to rescue financial institutions, Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays, has said. (The Telegraph)

Netherlands Will Not Achieve EU Budget Deficit Goal in 2014 (Bloomberg) Dutch Deficit Set to Worsen in 2014 (The Associated Press)

Finland's debt to breach Maastricht limit: government (Agence France-Presse)

Seeing potential ‘economic chaos,’ Obama warns GOP on shutdown threat over budget, Obamacare (The Associated Press) Obama: I will not negotiate about raising the debt ceiling (The Associated Press)

Amid slow economic recovery, more Americans identify as 'lower class': A small but surging share of Americans consider themselves 'lower class,' a surprise to some researchers and activists despite the bruising economy. (The Los Angeles Times)

THE UNEVEN ECONOMIC RECOVERY: ELEVEN THINGS WE’VE LEARNED AND SIX CHARTS (The New Yorker blogs)

Janet Yellen Did Not See The Crisis Coming (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Study Revises Estimate of Methane Leaks from U.S. Fracking Fields: Leaks are minimal during removal of fracking fluids but increase once gas is flowing (Scientific American)

Finnish Cruise Liner Yard to Shut, 700 Jobs Cut (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.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday roundup (09-15-13)

BIS veteran says global credit excess worse than pre-Lehman: Extreme forms of credit excess across the world have reached or surpassed levels seen shortly before the Lehman crisis five years ago, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. (The Telegraph)

China eyes private funds to tackle bad-debt buildup, avoid bailout (Reuters)

Big U.S. banks keeping door open to another financial crisis: Big banks have watered down rules aimed at keeping them from fobbing bad loans off on investors and ensured loopholes in transparency rules. 'Fundamentally not that much has changed,' an analyst says. (The Los Angeles Times) After a Financial Flood, Pipes Are Still Broken (The New York Times)

Jim Rickards* Interview "The U.S.$ Standard Is Collapsing" (Cliff Küle's Notes blog) Keiser Report: Deja Fraud (E497) (Youtube)



President Obama defends approach to financial crisis on fifth anniversary of Lehman Brothers collapse: Obama discussed the progress the banking system has made since 2008 during a wide-raning interview on ABC's "This Week." (The Associated Press) White House Warns Against Threats of Debt Default (The New York Times)

Five Years after Market Crash, U.S. Economy Seen as ‘No More Secure’: Household Incomes, Jobs Seen as Lagging in Recovery (Pew Research) Five years after Lehman, Americans still angry at Wall Street: Reuters/Ipsos poll (Reuters)

Former Obama aide Summers withdraws from Fed chairman consideration (Reuters) Summers Withdraws From Consideration for Fed Chairmanship (Bloomberg) Translated into Truth: On Summers Withdrawing Name (The Big Picture 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, September 14, 2013

Saturday roundup (09-14-13)

Banks [around the globe] are still 'too big to fail', says SNB chairman (Reuters)

The idea that the eurozone storm is over is delusional. It’s merely resting: It is either one extreme or the other with financial markets, and for the time being we are very much in what City old hands call the "risk-off mode". -- ["In the meantime, there appears no end in sight to the deep depression which has settled on large parts of the eurozone periphery."] (The Telegraph)

Five years after Lehman, could a collapse happen all over again?: When Lehman Brothers went bust, it seemed to represent an unforgettable public humiliation for the banking sector. But key figures at the heart of the rescue operation in 2008 [in the UK and US] fear that the risk of another meltdown is still very real (The Observer)

European Commission could demand changes to Ireland’s budget next month: EU member states to be examined to ensure they ‘practice what they preach’ (The Irish Times)

US Budget Deficit Shrinks 35 Pct. From Last Year (The Associated Press)

Deflation is the Danger (The Huffington Post)

5 years after financial crash, many losers — and some big winners: Corporate America, banks, the super rich and the index investing concept have gained. Savers, low-skilled workers, many homeowners, and stock exchanges have suffered. (The Los Angeles Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 700 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

First National Bank, Edinburg, Texas, Closed By Regulators – Largest Bank Failure In Over Three Years (Problem Bank List)  Uninsured Depositors Face Losses on The Failure of The Community’s Bank, Bridgeport, CT (Problem Bank List) [News of these failures was posted on this blog last night.]

     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, September 13, 2013

Friday roundup (09-13-13)

Euro zone, Spain added to IMF list of economies with economic imbalances (Reuters)

IMF warns France on austerity overkill: France’s socialist government has pushed austerity too far and risks inflicting needless damage on the economy, the International Monetary Fund has warned. (The Telegraph)

Spain’s Public Debt Rose Above 2013 Target Last Quarter (Bloomberg) Spain's debt hits 92.2 percent of GDP at end-June: central bank (Reuters) Spanish public debt reaches record level (The BBC)

IMF fears China is courting fate as credit soars again: The International Monetary Fund has warned that China is taking ever greater risks as surging credit endangers the financial system, and called for far-reaching reforms to wean the economy off excess investment. (The Telegraph)

U.S. retail sales, consumer confidence point to soft economy (Reuters)

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Falls to Lowest Since April (Bloomberg) U.S. consumer sentiment sinks in September on interest rate fears (Reuters) Consumer Confidence Collapses - Biggest Miss On Record (ZeroHedge blog)

Warren Criticizes U.S. Treasury Over Too-Big-to-Fail Research (Bloomberg)

Rich Man’s Recovery by Paul Krugman (The New York Times)

Our Insane Financial System (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Regulators shutter banks in Texas and Connecticut; 22 US bank failures so far in 2013 (The Associated Press) The Community's Bank of Bridgeport CT had a troubled assets ratio of 395.5%. (BankTracker) First National Bank also operating as The National Bank of El Paso of Edinburg TX had a troubled assets ratio of 359%. (BankTracker)

Intel will close Mass. plant, cut 700 jobs (The Boston Globe) Intel will close Massachusetts factory, eliminate 400 jobs in New Mexico ["1,100 jobs altogether"] (OregonLive)

Monsanto & Seed Patent Laws: Aasif Mandvi learns that greedy farmers have threatened the livelihood of Monsanto's heroic patent attorneys. (The Daily Show by Jon Stewart)



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.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday roundup (09-12-13)

Eurozone industrial slump dashes hopes of strong recovery: Eurozone industrial output fell sharply in July, eroding all the gains made so far this year and casting serious doubts on the strength of economic recovery. (The Telegraph) Euro zone output falls in July, points to shaky recovery (Reuters)

Eurozone collapse has been avoided but a hard landing is still possible: So long as European banks remain undercapitalised and overleveraged, a sustainable recovery supported by robust bank lending is unlikely (The Guardian)

Italy Industrial Output Unexpectedly Falls as Slump Persists (Bloomberg) Italy industry output dives, dampening recovery hopes (Reuters)

IMF warns Italy not to let up on reforms, sound finances (Reuters)

Italy floated plans to leave euro in 2011, says ECB insider (The Telegraph blogs)

Ireland at 'turning point' says OECD, but warns on toxic legacy: Ireland is "getting back on its feet", a leading think tank has declared, but warned that urgent steps were needed to address the "legacy of unemployment and debts" that was among the highest in the developed world. (The Telegraph)

Pushed to the limit as a banking intern [in the City of London] (The BBC)

Warren Says [US] Congress Should Act Now on Too Big to Fail Measure (Bloomberg)

Top Economists, Financial Experts and Bankers Say Giant Banks Are Hurting Economy [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world: After the Meltdown: Part one in our series looking at the impact of the financial crisis of 2008 (The Center for Public Integrity) Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash: After the Meltdown: Part two in our series looking at the impact of the financial crisis of 2008 (The Center for Public Integrity) Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms: After the Meltdown: Part three in our series looking at the impact of the financial crisis of 2008 (The Center for Public Integrity)

IU Health plans cutting 800 jobs at hospitals (The Associated Press)

Itron to Cut 9% of Jobs [= 750], Close Facilities to Boost Profit (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, 09-12-13)

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 sank by 31,000 to 292,000 in the week ended Sept. 7, marking the lowest level since April 2006. Yet a Labor Department official on Thursday said two states made changes to their computer systems that resulted in some claims not being processed in time." (Marketwatch)

Labor Dept. Reports Plunge in Jobless Claims, Then Says Figures Were Flawed (The New York 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, September 11, 2013

Wednesday roundup (09-11-13)

Jose Manuel Barroso: End is in sight for eurozone crisis, but recovery threatened by 'political instability': European Commission President appeals to member states to redouble efforts to quell financial turmoil (The Independent)

Millions more Europeans at risk of poverty if austerity drags on: Oxfam (Agence France-Presse)

German councils commit to austerity budgets to cope with 'excessive' debt (The Guardian)

Romantic Germany risks economic decline as green dream spoils: Germany is committing slow economic suicide. It has staked its future on heavy industry and manufacturing, yet has no energy policy to back this up. (The Telegraph)

France and Portugal to miss deficit targets: France will post weaker growth in 2014 and miss its deficit target this year, the country’s finance minister has said, as the government announced €15bn (£12.6bn) of “unprecedented” spending cuts to get the economy back on track. (The Telegraph) France to revise down 2014 growth forecast, raise deficits: report (Reuters)

Greece will need help once more, possibly twice: ECB's Coene (Reuters)

[In the US] Five years after the crisis, these 13 charts show what’s fixed and what isn’t. -- ["... there is considerable progress – but many key measures, like unemployment, commercial lending, and household wealth, are not back to where they were pre-crisis."] (The Washington Post blogs)

5 Years After The Crisis, Big Banks Are Bigger Than Ever (CHART) (The Huffington Post) Happy Anniversary Lehman Brothers, and What We Haven't Learned About Wall Street Over the Past Five Years by  Robert Reich (The Huffington Post)

Our Huge, Stinking Mountain of Debt: Student Loans by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Mortgage apps plunge, refinancing hits 4 year low as rates soar (Reuters) Rates rising, banks hit the brakes on mortgage business (CNBC) It’s about to get harder to buy a home: Why getting a mortgage will be trickier and costlier in 2014 (MarketWatch)

Citi Plans to Lay Off 2,200 in Mortgage Unit (FoxBusiness)

     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, September 10, 2013

Tuesday roundup (09-10-13)

Euro-Zone Unemployment Unlikely to Fall Quickly (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

French public deficit 'to exceed 3.7% target' (Agence France-Presse)

Italy's economy contracts more than estimated (Marketwatch)

[In the US] Top 1% take biggest income slice on record (USAToday) Richest 1 percent of Americans are collecting biggest share of household income since the ‘20s (The Associated Press) Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (University of California at Berkeley)

Great Recession cost each household between $50,000 and $120,000, according to Dallas Fed study (Marketwatch blogs) Assessing the Costs and Consequences of the 2007–09 Financial Crisis and Its Aftermath (The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

5 Years Later, We've Learned Nothing From the Financial Crisis: Why haven't we destroyed the idea that destroyed the world? by James Kwak (The Atlantic) Banks Seen at Risk Five Years After Lehman Collapse (Bloomberg)

Job Openings in U.S. Fell in July to Lowest in Six Months (Bloomberg)

1,400 to lose jobs in [Furniture Brands Interneational] plants' closure (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.