Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday roundup (10-31-13)

Eurozone inflation nears four-year low (The BBC)

Europe moves nearer Japan-syle deflation trap with shock price falls: ECB warned it must take immediate and pre-emptive action to head off he risk of full-blown deflation by next year. (The Telegraph) "Deflation, or even low inflation, is particularly bad news for Europe, whose particular burden is too much debt." (Reuters)

Euro zone unemployment stuck at record high (CNBC) Sharp euro zone inflation drop, record joblessness add to ECB conundrum (Reuters)

Norwegian man buys flat with forgotten $24 bitcoin investment (Phys Org)

Sins of past, present and future haunt [world's] banks (Reuters)

Italy’s Unemployment Soars to Record High on Recession (Bloomberg)

[In the US] Food stamps will get cut by $5 billion this week — and more cuts could follow (The Washington Post)

Fannie Mae sues banks over alleged Libor manipulation (The Washington Post) Fannie Mae sues nine banks for rigging Libor (Reuters)

Bank of Jackson County, Florida, Closed By Regulators [as posted here Wednesday] (Problem Bank List)

[Potential Presidential candidate] Rand Paul pledges caution amid more borrowed language (Politico) Rachel Maddow on Rand Paul's 'Absolute Incoherence' (Crooks and Liars blog) “Nobody is accusing you of pretending that you wrote ‘Gattaca’ or that you wrote ‘Stand and Deliver,’ that is not what this about. This is not about you explaining a plot line. This is about you lifting other peoples’ words verbatim and pretending that they are your own,” Maddow said. “This is something that high school students know not to do. And you are presenting yourself as potential candidate for president.” (Politico)



New Zealand Postal Service to Cut up to 2,000 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-31-13)


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.)

"Jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to 340,000 in the week ended Oct. 26 from 350,000 the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington." (Bloomberg)

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, October 30, 2013

Wednesday roundup (10-30-13)

US says German exports harming eurozone economy: US Treasury attacks Germany for harming global economy and says China has not done enough on yuan appreciation (The Telegraph)

Mediobanca hints at Italian euro exit unless Germany shifts on EMU policy: The exchange rate is bringing Italy's worrying matters to a head. (The Telegraph)

Italy Saccomanni: Debt Reduction, Reforms Key to Econ Growth (MNI)

U.S. private hiring slows, inflation stays muted (Reuters)

Why the Fed should worry about deflation: The Fed seems most concerned with inflation, but some economists see a bigger risk in prices declining. (Fortune)

Should the US be treated like an emerging market? (CNBC)

What Real Estate Bubble? Oh, You Mean the One That's Bigger Than the 2007 Bubble? by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

First Federal Bank of Florida acquires Bank of Jackson County (Jackson County Floridian) Bank of Jackson County of Graceville FL had a troubled assets ratio of 328.3%. (BankTracker)

Japan Tobacco Cuts 1,600 Jobs in Buyouts, Closes 4 Factories (Bloomberg)

[2016 Presidential Election:] Poll: Paul leads GOP presidential pack [Oct. 2] (The Hill blogs)

Rand Paul's Plagiarism, Part 2 (Crooks and Liars blog)



Rand Paul Addresses Plagiarism Claims: 'I Gave Credit' (The Huffington 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday roundup (10-29-13)

JP Morgan sees 'most extreme excess' of global liquidity ever (The Telegraph blogs) JPM Sees "Most Extreme Ever Excess Liquidity" Bubble After $3 Trillion "Created" In First 9 Months Of 2013 (ZeroHedge blog)

Bad loans at European banks hit $1.7 trillion (CNBC)

Deutsche Bank Profit Falls 94% on 1.2 Billion Euro Charge (Bloomberg)

[Dutch] Rabobank to Pay More Than $1 Billion in Libor Settlement; Chief Resigns (The New York Times blogs) Rabobank fined $1bn over Libor (The BBC)

Italy says 2013 recession to be deeper than thought (Reuters)

[UK's] Lloyds takes further hit on mis-sold insurance (CNBC)

As stimulus tab rises for Fed, worries grow it may require a bailout: The Fed's bond-buying binge could put the central bank's finances at risk if interest rates were to rise sharply, critics warn. (The Los Angeles Times)

U.S. reports $9.7 billion loss on General Motors bailout (Reuters)

Retail sales weak in advance of holiday season (The Los Angeles Times) Declining Auto Sales Push Retail Sales Lower (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

50%-70% Americans Getting Dropped On Insurance, Forced To Costlier Obamacare (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Reagan OMB Director [David Stockman]: Republicans are 'Ideological Gangs' [VIDEO] (Crooks and Liars blog) Reagan Admin official: This is the economy’s biggest threat [VIDEO] (CNBC) Congressional bargain doomed for failure: Bi-partisan commission of Paul Ryan and Bernie Sanders seems doomed for failure as Dems work together to protect the big 3. David Stockman & Ed Schultz discuss. (MSNBC)

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


Alan Greenspan owes America an apology: The former Fed chair is promoting his new book. He should admit his role in the housing crisis, not insult our intelligence by Dean Baker (The Guardian)

Thomson Reuters To Cut 4,500 Jobs By End Of 2014 (Agence France-Presse)

     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.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday roundup (10-28-13)

Europe must break free of banking doom loop: The next 12 months are make or break time for the struggling eurozone economy, writes Colm McCarthy (The Irish Independent)

Convalescent euro zone seeks to escape debt overhang (Reuters)

Austerity-hit Greeks can give no more, President Karolos Papoulias tells creditors (Agence France-Presse) Greece says can't take any more austerity, will not be 'blackmailed' (Reuters)

Italy Threatens Europe's Fragile Recovery (Bloomberg) Euro Jobless Fault Line Festers as Italy Scars Recovery (Bloomberg)

Bailout ending but Ireland still grappling with debt problems (The BBC)

New doubts about recovery [in the UK] as retail sales stall: New high street survey by CBI suggests consumers still under pressure (The Telegraph)

U.S. factory, housing data suggest economy losing steam (Reuters) U.S. pending home sales fall by most in more than three years in September (Reuters)

This could be the largest Fed stimulus yet (CNNMoney) In Fed and Out, Many Now Think Inflation Helps [because "deflation ... can cause an economy to stagnate" -- Bernanke] (The New York Times)

Detroit's finances 'shocking,' city manager testifies (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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday roundup (10-27-13)

BIS sees risk of 1998-style Asian crisis as Chinese dollar debt soars: The world's banking watchdog warns that foreign loans to companies and banks in China has tripled over the last five years and may be large enough to set off financial tremors in the West (The Telegraph)

Strained finances trip up French firms' recovery role (Reuters)

UK economic recovery built on shaky foundations - again: Growth will depend on easy money, rising debt and a temporary fall in inflation from falling food and commodity prices (The Guardian 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday roundup (10-26-13)

Pedestrian power to shape future cities: Modern city growth has been led by the car. But new walking apps – and maps that help journeys seem more walkable – may lead to healthier, happier urban environments. (The BBC)

Bank of England governor Carney strikes new, softer tone on banks (Reuters) [versus] Mark Carney: City must shrink if era of 'too big to fail’ doesn't end: Britain will have to give up its leading position in financial services unless the UK’s “too big to fail” banks can go bust without putting the taxpayer at risk, the Governor of the Bank of England has said. (The Telegraph)

Troika seeking tough post-bailout terms [in Ireland]: State under pressure to accept conditions in exchange for precautionary loan scheme (The Irish Times)

Thousands March Against Austerity in Portugal (The Associated Press)

Consumer Confidence Plunges To Lowest In 2013 (ZeroHedge blog)

American workers are way behind: Blame U.S. employers: The latest disappointing data about America's skill shortage underline the need for more American companies to provide on-the-job training and education. (Fortune)

Bank layoffs rise as mortgage refinances fall (USAToday)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 670 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

SEC Goes Fishing for Fraud in Puerto Rico (Bloomberg) Greece in the Caribbean: Stuck with a real debt crisis in its back yard, America can learn from Europe’s Aegean follies (The Economist)

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday roundup (10-25-13)

No global recovery yet -- ["We continue to be in a contained global depression"] (The Telegraph blogs)

ECB Official: Europe Needs US-Style Bank Oversight (The Associated Press)

Euro zone fate in Italy's hands, says ECB's Asmussen (Reuters)

U.S. durable goods orders, sentiment suggest politics hurting economy (Reuters)

Stagnant worker pay stunts U.S. recovery (CBSMoneyWatch)

JPMorgan paying $5.1 billion to Fannie, Freddie over mortgages (CNNMoney) JPMorgan settles with regulator of Fannie, Freddie: The bank agrees to pay $5.1 billion. A broader deal is still being negotiated. (The Los Angeles Times)

Electrolux to Cut Costs and [2,000] Jobs as Profit Misses Estimates (Bloomberg)

Truck Maker Volvo to Slash 2,000 Jobs (The Associated Press)

Brooklyn hospital lays off 500: Long Island College Hospital issued the notices as the ailing hospital prepares for possible closure. Unions are expected to seek court injunction. (Crain's New York 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday roundup (10-24-13)

Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (Bloomberg)

Euro-zone private-sector growth slows in October (Marketwatch) Euro zone business growth eases in October as demand falters - PMI (Reuters)

Debtors’ prison: The euro zone is blighted by private debt even more than by government debt (The Economist) Europe’s other debt crisis: It’s not just sovereign borrowing; there are too many zombie firms and overindebted households (The Economist)

Citi forecasts Greek devastation, unstoppable debt spirals in Italy and Portugal (The Telegraph blogs)

Italy’s Government Looks to Tap Pensions Funds (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Spain still trapped in 'perennial jobs slump' despite tourism surge (The Telegraph blogs)

Most Americans accumulating debt faster than they’re saving for retirement (The Washington Post)

Albert Edwards: It’s The Mother Of All Housing Bubbles (Value Walk)

Half of nation's foreclosed homes still occupied (CNNMoney)

Bank of America to eliminate up to 4,200 mortgage jobs (Reuters) BofA Said to Cut 1,300 More Mortgage Unit Jobs Amid Slowdown (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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-24-13)

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 fell by 12,000 to 350,000 in the week ended Oct. 19, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

U.S. jobless claims stay elevated, manufacturing slows (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, October 23, 2013

Wednesday roundup (10-23-13)

Eurozone debt keeps rising despite austerity: Debt levels in the eurozone have further edged up to reach a record total in the second quarter this year. Latest figures show the debt crisis is far from over, despite sweeping cutbacks and higher growth. (Deutsche Welle) Eurozone public debt reaches 90 per cent of GDP (City AM)

Europe already has one foot in 'Japanese’ deflation grave: Europe is sliding into a deflationary trap, displacing Japan as the world's epicentre of policy error. The effect is already causing debt ratios in half a dozen countries to ratchet upwards to the point of no return, making a mockery of the EMU debt crisis strategy. (The Telegraph) The euro zone’s next big crisis: Deflation: Prices falling in Greece, and perhaps soon in Italy, Spain, Portugal (Marketwatch)

Italy's debt hits record high of 133.3% [of GDP] in 2nd quarter (ANSAMed)

New Rules for Italy Banks "I'll Guarantee Your Derivatives If You Guarantee Mine" (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

The Scramble for Africa's Oil by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

[In the US,] BofA liable for Countrywide fraud, jury finds (Marketwatch)

JPMorgan: Fish Rot from the Head by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog)

Boston Scientific Will Cut 1,100 to 1,500 Jobs by 2015 (Bloomberg)

Broadcom to cut 1,150 jobs in restructuring (PCWorld)

Franciscan Alliance cutting 925 jobs across Ind. (The Associated Press)

BASF to Cut 650 Jobs, Invest In Asia (The Wall Street Journal)

University of Phoenix parent to lay off 500 workers on declining enrollment (AZ Central)

     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, October 22, 2013

Tuesday roundup (10-22-13)

Draghi: 'please don’t destroy Europe’s banks yet again' (The Telegraph blogs)

ECB Said to Use 8% Capital Buffer on Biggest Banks (Bloomberg)

Paper by EU Economist Backs Austerity’s Critics (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Osborne says growth alone won't fix British deficit (Reuters)

Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy (The Washington Post blogs)

The [US] jobs report was totally blech. And it may get worse. (The Washington Post blogs) Weak jobs report may extend Fed stimulus effort, analysts say (The Los Angeles Times) U.S. economy slows to crawl in September, debt crisis likely to crimp October growth (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Tepid U.S. job growth supports Fed's cautious stance (Reuters)

White House says shutdown cost economy 120K jobs (The Hill blogs)

Quantitative Easing: Miracle Cure or Dangerous Addiction?: Could quantitative easing create a bigger financial crisis than the one it was supposed to avert? Sunday Telegraph economic commentator Liam Halligan argues that it could. [AUDIO] (The BBC)

     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, October 21, 2013

Monday roundup (10-21-13)

Washington's open secret: Profitable PACs: Most Americans believe it's illegal for politicians to profit from their public office but, as Steve Kroft reports, that's not the case. (CBS News Sixty Minutes)



Obama says 'no excuse' for health care signup woes; website builders say they saw red flags (The Associated Press) Obamacare Tech Fail May Do What the GOP Couldn’t (The Fiscal Times) One insurer’s view of Obamacare [Oct. 18] (The Washington Post blogs) Obamacare a disaster that needs fixing (CNN)

Why Is JPMorgan So Quick to Agree to a $13B Fine?: Gordon Kerr, consultant at Cobden Partners, talks with Guy Johnson about the potential $13 billion settlement by JPMorgan to end civil claims over its sales of mortgage bonds. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Bloomberg)


JP Morgan's troubles reignite the debate on banks too big to fail: JP Morgan is too big to be managed well and US and European reforms still leave an uneven playing field on regulation (The Guardian 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.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday roundup (10-20-13)

Eurozone countries talk growth, wield rigour in budgets to EU (Agence France Presse)

Lew Says Debt-Limit Fight Hurt [the US] Economy and Can’t Be Repeated (Bloomberg)

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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday roundup (10-19-13)

Euro Zone May Not Have Emerged from Recession, CEPR Says: Economists' Conclusions Underline the Fragility of the Region's Economy (The Wall Street Journal)

Italian anti-austerity protesters clash with police (Reuters)

Italy court bans Berlusconi from public office for two years (Reuters)

Portuguese march against new austerity budget (Reuters)

The Real Obamacare Fight Is Between Establishment Republicans And The Tea Party (Forbes)

JPMorgan, U.S. in tentative $13 billion settlement (CNNMoney) Chase close to $13 billion deal with Justice Department over mortgage securities (The Washington Post) The key piece of the JPMorgan settlement may not be the record fine (The Los Angeles Times)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 677 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, October 18, 2013

Friday roundup (10-18-13)

European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi Comments On Gold (Youtube)



[British Bank] HSBC hit with record $2.46 billion judgment in U.S. class action (Reuters)

[In the US] Republican Civil War Erupts: Business Groups v. Tea Party (Bloomberg) Shutdown showdown widened GOP-tea party rift ahead of tough debates, 2014 midterm elections (The Washington Post) Tea Party’s shutdown tactics pose new challenges for GOP (The Boston Globe)

[Ireland's Health Minister] Reilly to cut 1,000 jobs in bid for €666m savings (The Irish Independent)

Exploring the Real Reasons Behind the Current Economic and Energy Crisis (OilPrice)

     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, October 17, 2013

Thursday roundup (10-17-13)

New global index exposes 'modern slavery' worldwide (The BBC) India's not-so-hidden shame: World leader in modern slavery (The Los Angeles Times) "This is the first edition of the Global Slavery Index. It is the first Index of its kind – providing an estimate, country by country, of the number of people living in modern slavery today." (Walk Free Foundation) Global Slavery Index 2013 - Index Launch (Youtube)



European Central Bank plans a clean sweep of the region’s banks to put a crisis to rest (The Washington Post)

Obama signs bill to end partial shutdown [of US government], stave off debt ceiling crisis (CNN)

Washington truce stretches out debt crisis, leaves economy in limbo: Analysts describe festering political conflict as "a Sword of Damocles", with politicians facing three more showdowns until March (The Telegraph) Shutdown deal averts catastrophe but leaves economy in peril (The Washington Post) Washington becomes the biggest risk to the U.S. economy (Reuters) Fitch to U.S.: This Is No Way to Run AAA Country (Bloomberg)

US debt: Lagarde tells America to get its finances in order: IMF head Christine Lagarde welcomes the end of the shutdown, but warns the US it must work towards long-term stability (The Telegraph)

Round two: Will GOP force another shutdown in three months? (NBCNews) With U.S. government reopened, conservative groups dig in (Reuters) Unbowed tea party Republicans could shut down government again (The Los Angeles Times)

Shutdown took $24 billion bite out of economy (CNNMoney)

Bill to spare U.S. economy from debt crisis also delivers favors (Reuters)

Fed's Fisher warns of potential U.S. housing bubble, MBS buys (Reuters)

Wells Fargo cuts 925 more mortgage jobs (Reuters)

Lockheed to lay off 600 workers in mission systems, training (Reuters)

Outotec to cut up to 500 jobs as miners slash spending (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-17-13)

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.)

"For the week ended Oct. 12, initial jobless claims declined by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 , the Labor Department said Thursday." (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, October 16, 2013

Wednesday roundup (10-16-13)

Quotes of the Day: "The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country's debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare. That fight will continue. But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us. In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts. With our nation's economy still struggling under years of the president's policies, raising taxes is not a viable option. Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president's health care law will continue. We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people." -- John Boehner (R) of Ohio, Speaker of the US House of Representatives (Speaker)

"We fought the good fight, we just didn't win." -- John Boehner in interview with WLW radio. (WLW)


Euro zone inflation drops to 3.5-year low in September as expected (Reuters)

The Return of Europe’s Debt Crisis by Satyajit Das (EconoMonitor)

Europe's debt crisis credibility hangs on thin Irish thread: Whether Ireland or any other EMU victim state can claw its way back to viability depends on the actions of the ECB (The Telegraph)

Bad loans at Italy's banks rose to almost 142 bln euros in August (Reuters)

Congress to Vote on Deal [to end the 16-day government shutdown and raise the U.S. debt limit] as Boehner Concedes Defeat (Bloomberg) Boehner urges House GOP to support Senate deal (CNN) The Deal (National Review blogs)

Conservative Group Warns GOPers on Debt Deal: "This Vote Is a Vote for Funding Obamacare" (Mother Jones)

KEY VOTE: “NO” ON SENATE-NEGOTIATED SPENDING AND DEBT DEAL -- ["Heritage Action opposes the Senate-negotiated proposal and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard."] (Heritage Action for America) Mike Needham on FOXNEWS America's Newsroom Re. Budget Deal and Obamacare (Youtube)



In defeat, Boehner may live to fight another day (CNN) Some key conservatives say Boehner's safe [= not "on the verge of losing his job"] (CNN blogs) Boehner sees his control of House Republicans slip away (The Washington Post) House leaders' canceled budget plan vote is a loss for Boehner (The Los Angeles Times) Boehner Formally Admits Defeat (The Slate blogs)

Tea party is loser in budget showdown (McClatchy Washington Bureau)

Vast majority of Obamacare exchange visitors [= 99.6 percent] don't enroll (CNBC)

Can U.S. prioritize payments as default looms? Many are dubious: Treasury officials are not sure they have the technical ability or the authority to prioritize payments as the U.S. runs low on cash. (The Los Angeles Times)

The problem is the debt, not the debt ceiling (The Boston Globe)

Former BofA employee accused of taking bribes to rig short sales [of real estate] (The Los Angeles Times)

Middlesbrough Council set to lose up to 1,500 staff (The BBC)

French bank Natixis plans to cut 700 jobs in savings drive (Reuters)

Lockheed Martin announces 600 more layoffs companywide (CNYBJ)

[Off topic:] Spanx founder's butt her inspiration (full interview): Spanx founder & inventor, Sara Blakely, shares the story of how she started her multi-billion dollar business by cutting the feet out of control-top panty hose. She was selling fax machines when she came up with the idea for Spanx. Blakely is the reason you have to be bullish on America, says Warren Buffett. (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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday roundup (10-15-13)

Quote of the Day: "The point is that with each passing day the debt limit is not increased the more damage it will do to our economy. If lawmakers don’t raise the debt limit by November 1, the economy will fall back into recession. If they can't raise it by the end of November, we will be dooming our economy and the entire global economy to a wrenching economic downturn with implications for years if not decades to come." -- E-mail from Economist Mark Zandi, one of the policy advisers to the McCain-Palin Republican campaign for US President in 2008 (Mother Jones)

EU finance ministers agree on new bank supervisor system: The single supervision mechanism is meant to prevent any repeat of the financial meltdown which plunged Europe into crisis (Agence France-Presse)

Letta Reshapes Italian Austerity With Tax Cut, Spending Curb (Bloomberg) Letta, Italy’s Premier, Says His Goal Is to Move ‘From Austerity to Growth’ (The New York Times)

Fears rise that Italy's 2014 budget could spark further trouble (CNBC)

Bailed-out Portugal cutting public sector pay, pensions in latest austerity measures (The Associated Press)

Ireland unveils 7th straight austerity budget seeking to narrow 2014 deficit, exit bailout (The Associated Press) Ireland eases back on austerity as bailout exit beckons (Reuters)

Japanese PM Abe pledges steps to end deflation, boost national security in policy speech (The Associated Press)

US must grasp global impact of debt crisis: Japan (Agence France-Presse)

China's soaring fiscal deficit rings alarm bells: Analysts describe rebound of world's second largest economy as “unhealthy” and likely to wither over coming months as Beijing is forced to tighten policy (The Telegraph)

Fitch puts US AAA rating on rating watch negative (CNBC) Reid’s Downgrade Remark Foreshadows Fitch Warning: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor a bit after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday that rating agencies are talking about downgrading U.S. debt "as soon as tonight." (Time blogs)

U.S. fiscal talks stumble as lawmakers race against time (Reuters)

House GOP floats a counter to Senate's debt idea (The Associated Press) [At Which Point, Democratic Senate Majority Leader] Reid accuses [House Republican Speaker] Boehner of trying to 'torpedo' progress toward ending stalemate [through this very bill] (NBCNews)

[But then the plot thickens as ...] House GOP pulls bill on debt, shutdown plan (USAToday) House vote pulled, chaos continues (Politico) [Just before bill was pulled:] Conservative groups [including Heritage Action] urge 'no' votes on House plan (The Hill blogs)

Senators glum about debt-deal prospects (Politico) [Nonetheless] Senate leaders restart negotiations (Politico)

U.S. debt ceiling crisis would start quiet, go downhill fast (Reuters)

Absolutely everything you need to know about the debt ceiling (The Washington Post blogs)

The default has already begun (Reuters blogs)

The Myth that U.S. Has Never Defaulted On Its Debt [Washingtons Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

Nobel prize for Robert Shiller who predicted the dotcom bust: Professor Robert Shiller shares the prestigious award with two other American academics (The Telegraph)

Most Americans expect to work during 'retirement,' poll finds (The Los Angeles Times)

Many fast-food workers are living in poverty: Report (CNBC)

South Dakota ranchers reeling from cattle losses: State officials said at least 10,000 to 20,000 cows were killed due to the cold and snow. (The Associated Press) 100,000 cattle feared dead after early South Dakota snowstorm (CBSNews)



Former Halliburton manager pleads guilty to destroying evidence of BP's massive oil spill: Anthony Badalamenti, the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine after prosecutors charged he instructed two employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out Macondo well. (The Associated Press)

SunTrust to eliminate Charlotte jobs as part of [800] nationwide cuts (The Charlotte Observer of Charlotte, North Carolina)

Finland's Tieto to cut up to 770 jobs (Reuters)

France's Natixis to cut 700 jobs in next two years: union sources (Reuters)

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday roundup (10-14-13)

SPECIAL EDITION

POLITICAL CRISIS IN THE US


U.S. senators hint at possible fiscal deal on Tuesday (Reuters) Senate leaders within striking distance of shutdown deal (The Washington Post) Closing in on shutdown and debt limit deal: Democrat Reid and Republican McConnell optimistic (The Washington Post)

U.S. May Join Germany of 1933 in Pantheon of Defaults (Bloomberg) The U.S. Can Survive a Shutdown but Not a Default (Bloomberg)

Debt-ceiling breach would push economy into free fall, without a government safety net (The Washington Post)

Hitting the debt ceiling would be terrible even if we didn’t default (The Washington Post blogs) Debt ceiling crisis could leave millions in lurch: Treasury would be left unable to borrow if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling. The result: Someone wouldn't get what Uncle Sam owes them - either in full or on time. (CNNMoney)

How to Know if You’re a Banana Republic (The New York Times blogs)

Kicking the can down the road is not enough: Removing the immediate threat of a global recession associated with a U.S. debt default would do little to strengthen business and consumer confidence that is so critical to a strong economic recovery. by Mohamed A. El-Erian (Fortune)

The US cannot avoid a soft default even if a hard default is avoided: Debt ceiling already breached and US Treasury operating in emergency mode while US is paying $415 billion in annual interest expenses. (MyBudget360)

Obamacare's Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are (Forbes)

     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, October 13, 2013

Sunday roundup (10-13-13)

Europe prepares to come clean on hidden bank losses (Reuters)

Italy's reform list reflects tough test for euro zone (Reuters)

US borrowing crisis 'days away' from danger, says World Bank head (The BBC)

US shutdown: IMF's Christine Lagarde tells America's lawmakers they risk tipping world into recession: Stark warning from IMF chief comes as search for deal to extend debt ceiling shifts to Senate (The Independent) US shutdown threatens global recovery, bankers warn: International Monetary Fund delegates press US policymakers to agree deal before debt ceiling deadline as talks break down (The Guardian)

Debt ceiling maneuvering threatens economy, analysts say (The Boston Globe)

Senate Leaders Talk but Fail to Reach Deal on Shutdown (The New York Times)

America’s default on its debt is inevitable (The Washington Post)

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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday roundup (10-12-13)

SPECIAL EDITION

POLITICAL CRISIS IN THE US


World top bankers warn of dire consequences if U.S. defaults (Reuters) Central bankers call for US default deal (The Financial Times)

U.S. fiscal negotiations sputter as deadline nears (Reuters)

Senate takes up shutdown talks after Obama-Boehner negotiations stall (CNN) Senate leaders try to end debt crisis; talks fail in House (The New York Times)

In budget and debt fight, White House finds unlikely alliance with business groups (The Washington Post)

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