Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday roundup (11-30-13)

Illinois Gives Plan Details for Bailout of Pensions (The New York Times) Illinois legislators reach pension deal (The Associated Press)

$3 trillion headache on the way for corporations (CNBC)

Big Banks’ Shadow Dance by Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 645 Institutions (Calculated Risk)

Seattle man’s frugal life leaves rich legacy for 3 institutions: A Seattle attorney who amassed a fortune through frugal living and stock investments has left $187.6 million to Seattle Children’s, the UW School of Law and the Salvation Army. (The Seattle Times)

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

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday roundup (11-29-13)

Quote of the Day:  [In regard to Europe's lower unemployment rate this month:] "While this is encouraging news, unemployment remains worryingly high across the eurozone, and it seems unlikely to come down markedly any time soon, which will likely limit the upside for consumer spending." -- Howard Archer, chief U.K. and European economist for Capital Economics, in a research note (CBSNews with The Associated Press)

Eurozone youth unemployment reaches record high of 24.4%: With 3.58 million under-25s in the euro area jobless in October, youth unemployment is a scar that shows little sign of healing (The Guardian) [Meanwhile] Euro-zone unemployment rate [over all age categories] ticks down from record high (Marketwatch blogs)

Tepid Data From Euro Zone Leaves Open Debate on Price Downdraft [= deflationary pressure] (The New York Times)

S&P removes Dutch from triple-A club, lifts outlook for Spain (Reuters) Downgraded Netherlands is another victim of EMU money mess -- ["It is dangerous to flirt with deflation when debt ratios are so high, yet that is exactly what is now happening in Holland."] (The Telegraph blogs)

UK household debt hits record high (The BBC)

Do-Nothing [US] Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears (Bloomberg)

Default, Deflation and Financial Repression (ZeroHedge blog)

Playing with fire? Margin debt most since crisis (CNBC)

Monsanto, the TPP, and Global Food Dominance by Ellen Brown (The Web of Debt blog)

Download the True Food Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Foods Made with Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs] (The Center for Food Safety) Say "No" to GMOs (Non-GMO Project)

     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, November 28, 2013

Thursday roundup (11-28-13)

Quote of the Day: "Low/falling inflation suggests that right now deflation is maybe more of a risk than rising inflation in developed countries. ... Falling wages and prices would make it harder to service debts. And when prices fall people put off decisions to spend and invest, which could potentially threaten a relapse into recession." -- Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital (CNBC)

Eurozone M3 money plunge flashes deflation alert for 2014: Eurozone in danger of Japanese-style deflation, crippling Club Med nations, as money supply drops to record low levels, ECB monetary data shows (The Telegraph)

Euro zone loans contraction increases pressure on ECB (Reuters)

Euro banks face ‘capital crunch’: PwC (CNBC)

Bank of England cuts mortgage support to avoid housing bubble (Reuters)

Britain's debt problems 'epidemic', warns think tank (The Independent) tomorrow’s borrowers: personal debt by 2025 and the policy response (The Smith Institute)

The Fed has created a huge global bubble: Stockman (CNBC)



Bank Austria says to cut up to 850 jobs in Austria (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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday roundup (11-27-13)

Dust to Dust: a man-made Malthusian crisis: We must wake up to the global land crisis or face a very real threat of famine (The Telegraph)

Central Banks Struggle Vs Deflation/Bubbles (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

ECB mulls new loans to banks, with conditions - paper (Reuters)

Greece to stay in recession in 2014, may need new bailout: OECD (Agence France-Presse) Global slowdown threatening Greek debt progress (The Associated Press)

Berlusconi expelled from Italian parliament over tax fraud (Reuters)

The Great Sell-Off: Milan Mired in Crisis of Money and Spirit: The days when Milan could call itself a bastion of growth and progress in Italy seem to be gone. As the crisis swells the ranks of the poor, members of the city's business elite are jockeying for foreign investors while squabbling with courts over various legal entanglements. (Spiegel Online)

U.K. Recovery Seen at Risk as Rebalancing Eludes Economy (Bloomberg)

RBS faces criminal probe of small business allegations: Serious Fraud Office considers criminal investigation into allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland mistreated struggling small businesses (The Telegraph) Mark Carney: RBS allegations 'deeply troubling and extremely serious': Bank of England governor says that, if true, claims bank deliberately wrecked small businesses would be 'fundamental violation' of integrity of banking relationship (The Guardian)

Bank of Canada Should Factor Deflation Risk into Policy, IMF Says (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Fed Reveals New Concerns About Long-Term U.S. Slowdown (Bloomberg)

Jobless claims back to pre-recession levels (CBSNews)

[But ...] Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy (The Washington Post)

ALBERT EDWARDS: A Key Precursor For A Recession Has Now Fallen Into Place (The Business Insider)

Drop in Durables Orders Points to Slow Investment: Economy (Bloomberg)

Another HealthCare .gov delay announced (USAToday) White House: Enroll in Obamacare, but not too fast (CNN) Even if health website works, Obamacare could see trouble ahead (Reuters) For Republicans, Obamacare is the gift that will keep on giving (Reuters)

White House keeps up food stamp pressure on Congress (Reuters)

The new American retirement nightmare: Many Americans find they are completely unprepared for retirement. (MyBudget360)

Npower to cut 1,400 UK jobs in outsourcing to India: Union leaders warn the moves will backfire and further tarnish the reputation of npower, which came bottom for customer service in a recent survey (The Guardian)

     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, 11-27-13)

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

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

"Initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, the Labor Department said Wednesday." (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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday roundup (11-26-13)

Pope attacks "tyranny" of markets, urges renewal in key document (Reuters)

Portugal's Latest Austerity Budget Wins Approval (The Associated Press)

Nine million in 'serious' debt across the UK (The BBC)

US Consumer Confidence Falls to 7-Month Low (The Associated Press) Consumer confidence falls in November: Third straight decline does not bode well for retailers as holiday season nears (Marketwatch) As Black Friday nears, consumer sentiment drops further (The Los Angeles Times)

A new wave of U.S. mortgage trouble threatens (Reuters)

Dolphins dying in droves and scientists can't stop it (Tampa Bay Times) Sea stars are wasting away in larger numbers on a wider scale in two oceans (The Washington Post)

Sears Canada to slash 800 jobs in services units, head office (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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday roundup (11-25-13)

ECB's Noyer: Rates must remain low, could go lower if needed [to combat deflationary pressure] (Reuters)

Portugal budget vote [scheduled for Tuesday] to trigger challenges to austerity (Reuters)

Merkel tried to bounce Spain into IMF bailout: ex-PM (Reuters)

Pending home sales in U.S. drop to 10-month low in October (The Los Angeles Times) Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Drop for Fifth Month (Bloomberg)

Taking Stock of the 21st Century: What's Fundamentally Different by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Failure To Punish Wall St Weighs on Economy [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

A bogus NY Post piece sets off a frenzy: Serious problems with column alleging Census rigged unemployment for Obama [posted here on Nov. 19]  (The Columbia Journalism Review)

     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, November 24, 2013

Sunday roundup (11-24-13)

Reinhart and Rogoff's latest paper warns on financial repression: Harvard duo argue that advanced countries will not be able to return to more sustainable levels of debt through austerity and growth (The Guardian blogs)

GOP on Obamacare: Don't fix it, "scrap it" (CBSNews)

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday roundup (11-23-13)

German finance minister says no more risks of contagion in euro zone (Reuters)

Greek PM Samaras expected to seek debt relief from Merkel (Kathimerini)

Anti-austerity protests in 55 Spanish cities (The Associated Press)

Unofficial Problem Bank [in the US] list declines to 654 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday roundup (11-22-13)

Bad Loans Could Spark an Emerging-Markets Crisis (Bloomberg)

ECB's Praet warns of deflationary pressures in euro zone (Reuters)

Euro zone mulls cheap loans as incentive for economic reforms - document (Reuters)

Italy pledges privatisations to show EU it can cut debt (Reuters) Italy Plans to Sell 3% of Eni as Letta Seeks to Reduce Debt (Bloomberg) Italy to sell stakes in eight firms (SkyNews)

Irish fiscal watchdog warns government may miss deficit target (Reuters)

Ukraine risks financial meltdown after break with EU (United Press International) Russia 'blackmailed Ukraine to ditch EU pact': Yulia Tymoshenko calls for Ukrainians to take to the streets as President Yanukovych comes under pressure from Kremlin (The Guardian) Ukraine says decision on EU is tactical, motivated by economics (Reuters) Historic defeat for EU as Ukraine returns to Kremlin control: Ukraine bowing to pressure from Russia is the first major defeat for the EU in its eastward march since the fall of Communism (The Telegraph) Factbox: Facts about Ukraine's ties with Russia and Europe (Reuters) EU loses out on Ukraine, but may have dodged a bullet [as Ukraine is "a highly indebted country of 46 million people stricken by corruption and unpredictable politics"] (Reuters)

Federal cuts biting into home heating aid (CNNMoney)

U.S. Deleveraging Cycle Drawing to a Close (Financial Sense)

The House GOP's Hypocrisy on "Too-Big-To-Fail": Republicans in the House worry Dodd-Frank financial reforms won't prevent future bank bailouts. Meanwhile, they're trying to make it easier for banks to get bailouts. (Mother Jones)

Baltimore's leaky infrastructure seeping into city's budget (CNBC)

Scranton School District faces $8 million budget deficit (The Scranton [Pennsylvania] Times-Tribune)

     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 roundup (11-21-13)

Deflation Is Crushing QE Right Now [Globally] (Forbes)

Euro zone economy losing steam as PMIs disappoint (CNBC) Eurozone slows as 'sick man' France hits recovery: Disappointing eurozone PMI survey signals slowing growth for second month in November with activity in France shrinking and the bloc's service sector weakening (The Telegraph) Euro zone business recovery weakens unexpectedly in November - PMI (The Irish Independent)

Mario Draghi: ECB needs "safety margin" against deflation: European Central Bank President defends cutting rates to near-zero levels amid criticism from Germany (The Telegraph) Germany's Schaeuble says ECB must not give "false stimulus" (Reuters)

Schaeuble Says EU Debt Sharing Would Spell Europe’s Decline (Bloomberg)

France May Be Returning to Recession, New Data Shows (The New York Times) French private sector falls back into contraction in November - PMI (Reuters) French woes hurt Europe's tepid recovery (CNNMoney)

China hard landing is likely: Real reform may not come fast enough for bubble economy (Marketwatch)

Wholesale Prices in U.S. Fell in October for a Second Month (Bloomberg)

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey indicates Slower Expansion in November (Calculated Risk blog)

Fed Casts About for Endgame on Easy-Money Policy (The Wall Street Journal) Desperate to Taper (Tom Duy's Fed Watch blog) Fed Looks for Other Ways to Aid Economy (The New York Times) As Fed Searches for Solutions, Its Power Wanes (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

More work needed to prevent ‘too big to fail’: Treasury official (Marketwatch blogs)

I was a modern-day slave in America (CNNMoney)

First Data Corp. to cut 550 jobs in metro Denver (The Denver 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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 11-21-13)

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

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

"Initial jobless claims fell by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 in the seven days ended Nov. 16, 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, November 20, 2013

Wednesday roundup (11-20-13)

UK Faces Personal Debt As Millions Struggle To Pay Rent Or Mortgage (The Huffington Post) Average household debt 'doubled in last decade': The Centre for Social Justice, the think tank founded by Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, warns that families are falling into a "debt trap that is proving very difficult to escape” (The Telegraph) MAXED OUT: Serious personal debt in Britain (The Centre for Social Justice)

Bank of England sees 'uncertainties' in recovery (CNBC)

Italy PM Letta calls for banking union, end of austerity (Reuters)

Italian Banks' Bad Loans Keep Rising in September (The Wall Street Journal)

Australia Sees Grimmer Economic Outlook Amid Debt Row (Dow Jones Newswires)

Household debts in S. Korea grow faster than income (Xinhua)

Could austerity give rise to American fascism?: Europe's lesson: When parties on the right and left fail to deliver relief to the people, extremism takes hold (Salon)

Bernanke Signals Fed Target Rate to Stay Low After QE (Bloomberg)

Inflation falls as gas prices plummet: Overall inflation for the last year hit its lowest level since 2009, as core inflation rose 0.1% in October. (USAToday)

Yellen: Fed policy will stay easy if inflation stays low (Reuters)

US homes sales drop for second straight month (Agence France-Presse) Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Drop to Lowest in Four Months (Bloomberg)

Poverty Is America’s “Only Growth Sector”: Howard Davidowitz (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



House panel to investigate unemployment data (CNNMoney) Political Questions About the Jobs Report (The New York Times blogs)

Marco Rubio: No Bailouts for ObamaCare: The health-care law's 'risk corridors' could result in a huge taxpayer burden. (The Wall Street Journal)

JPMorgan and Uncle Sam Now Partners in Pillaging of America: Ritholtz (Yahoo!'s Breakout)



ATO reveals it will slash 900 jobs (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Tribune to cut 700 jobs at its newspaper division (Reuters)

Middlesbrough Council to axe 600 jobs to save £22m (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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday roundup (11-19-13)

OECD Cuts Global Growth Forecasts (The Associated Press)

Eurozone told to turn on money presses or dice with deflation (The Independent) OECD calls Europe's crisis policy unworkable, fears 'virulent episodes' in emerging markets: OECD's chief economist says current European policies are pushing a string of countries into deflation and onto a much lower growth path (The Telegraph) ECB, urged by OECD to buy assets, says all options on the table (Reuters)

£1,430,000,000,000: Britain's personal debt timebomb (The Independent)

US debt default would be like Lehman crash: OECD (CNBC) U.S. Budget Battles Seen [by the OECD] as a Global Drag on Growth (The New York Times)

Bernanke: Recent jobs reports are 'disappointing' (CNNMoney)

Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report [exclusive story] by John Crudele (The New York Post)

Obamacare botches could derail all of health reform, advocates fear (NBCNews)

Is the muni bond market about to blow up? (CNBC)

All of a Sudden Students Have Stopped Paying Their Loans, Again—Why?: After declining for 6 months, delinquency rates have shot back up. (The Atlantic)

Student Loan Data Gap Hinders Government Understanding Of Risks To Economy, Official Says (The Huffington Post) Rising Student Debt Could Be An Economic Drag (St. Louis Public Radio)

'Values, Not Just Math': Why Sen. Warren's Latest Speech Matters (Crooks and Liars blog)



JPMorgan finalizes $13 billion settlement with Justice Dept. over toxic mortgages (The Washington Post) JPMorgan says 'mea culpa' in $13 bln settlement with U.S. (Reuters) In Extracting Deal From JPMorgan, U.S. Aimed for Bottom Line (The New York Times blogs) JP Morgan Pays the Biggest Bank Settlement Ever: Billions of dollars were paid to help struggling homeowners keep their homes. [Nov. 18] (ABCNews)



  More World News from ABC


How MF Global's 'missing' $1.5 billion was lost -- and found: Last week a trustee won a court order that will likely lead to a complete recovery of the $1.5 billion shortfall left in customer accounts after Jon Corzine's MF Global crashed and burned in October 2011. So, was the money never really missing in the first place? And is Corzine off the hook? [Nov. 15] (Fortune blogs)

Never Saw It Coming: Why the Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise by Alan Greenspan (Foreign Affairs)

"It's Worse Than You Think" (The Golden Truth blog)

Today Was A First (Peak Prosperity 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday roundup (11-18-13)

Euro zone rebound weaker than hoped: ECB's Nowotny (Reuters)

ECB's Nowotny warns on euro-zone inflation [being below what the bank desires] (Marketwatch)

Zombie banks are just one of the problems the eurozone still faces: European governments are resorting to tricks to resolve their banking problems by Satyajit Das (The Independent)

Greece resumes talks with European lenders amid anger over austerity: Greek relations with troika of lenders soured by mistrust, anger and thinly disguised panic (The Guardian)

Spain Bank Bad Loan Ratio Climbed to 12.7% in September (Bloomberg)

Bundesbank says Italian and Spanish banks still hooked on home state debt (The Telegraph blogs)

Fears of UK interest rate shock highest on record, Bank of England says: Bank of England survey reveals growing concern about potential interest rate rises (The Telegraph)

Japan's Banks Find It Hard to Lend Easy Money: Dearth of Borrowers Illustrates Difficulty in Japan's Program to Increase Money Supply (The Wall Street Journal)

America's broken cities holding back the recovery (CNBC)

Is the Affordable Care Act [= Obamacare] in serious jeopardy? (CBSNews) The Threat of Democrats Turning Against Obamacare: The president's own party may begin calling for repeal if the law's problems don't get resolved soon. (The Atlantic)

Justice Department Poised to Announce [$13 Billion] Mortgage Deal With JPMorgan (The New York Times blogs) JPMorgan’s $13 billion settlement to include deadline for assisting homeowners (The Washington Post)

PUTTING PLAGIARISM IN THE PAST: How Rand Paul can move on with his career (The American Spectator) Rand Paul has another problem [says conservative blogger] (The Washington Post blogs)

Alitalia may cut up to 2,600 staff to cut costs: 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 that an energy shock may be coming much closer in time than is generally imagined.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday roundup (11-17-13)

Quote of the Day:

[On Janet Yellen's performance in hearings examining her nomination for Federal Reserve System chair:] "She understood how to give an answer that was at least somewhat responsive to the question, without betraying any new information. It was an impressive performance." -- Stephen Oliner, a former senior Fed economist (Reuters)

Around the World, Inflation Is Falling to Levels Not Seen for Years (The New York Times)

Deflationary risks rising in the Eurozone; time for LTRO redux? [LTRO = Long Term Refinancing Operations] (Sober Look blog) Draghi: ECB could offer LTRO to keep rates low, if needed [Sept. 23] (Reuters)

Deflation fears spread beyond eurozone: A deflationary spiral is the newest development in Europe’s debt saga, causing many to worry the eurozone may enter a Japan-like ‘lost decade’ (Agence France-Presse)

[Thousands of] Greeks rally against austerity, mark 40 years since student revolt (Reuters)

Washington fiddles while the economy burns [Op Ed] (CNBC)

NY Fed: Household Deleveraging is Decelerating (Cliff Küle's Notes blog)

Chase's Twitter Gambit Devolves into All-Time PR Fiasco by Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone blogs)

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

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday roundup (11-16-13)

Deflation could drag Ireland back into the eurozone crisis: Just as Enda Kenny announces his nation's break with its creditors, the threat of another meltdown rears its ugly head (The Observer)

[In the US,] Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 655 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Tepco aiming to cut 1,000 jobs via voluntary redundancy (The Japan Times)

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday roundup (11-15-13)

Eurozone inflation falls to record low sparking deflation fears (EuroNews) (Youtube)



Eurozone crisis: Europe’s imperceptible recovery is worrisome by Satyajit Das (The Economic Times of India)

EU uses new budget powers to demand more austerity in Italy and Spain: The European Commission has exercised historic new EU powers allowing it to revise national budgets for the first time (The Telegraph) In Economic Review, Italy and Spain Get Warnings on Debt and Deficit (The New York Times)

Students protest over austerity cuts in Italy (The BBC)

Slovenian PM wins confidence vote, but bailout risk remains (Reuters)

China’s Economic Reforms Are More Sweeping Than Anybody Realized: But it remains unclear if change will go deep enough to solidify the country’s economic miracle. (Time) China unveils boldest reforms in decades, shows Xi in command (Reuters)

Will China’s New Economic Reforms Be Enough? (Bloomberg) China pledges free-market blitz but necessary freedom lags: Analysts said China's document amounts to a “sweeping reform plan” but the real test is whether the Communist machinery delivers on the pledges (The Telegraph)

How this [US] economic recovery is different (CNBC)

Postal Service lost $5 billion despite first revenue gain in five years (The Washington Post blogs)

Moody's cuts ratings of four big banks on reduced bailout chance [JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bank of New York Mellon] (The Los Angeles Times)

JPMorgan reaches tentative $4.5B settlement: The settlement covers securities sold by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns, the investment bank it bought in 2008. (USAToday) JPMorgan Reaches $4.5 Billion Settlement With Investors (The New York Times blogs)

How to Prosecute the Elite Bank CEO that Led the Frauds that Drove the Crisis by William K. Black (New Economic Perspectives blog)

Democrats Defect on Health Rules: GOP Proposal on Canceled Coverage Garners 39 Votes From Across Aisle Despite Obama Veto Threat (The Wall Street Journal) House passes Republican health bill with 39 Democratic votes (Reuters) Most Vulnerable House Democrats Side With GOP on 'Obamacare' Vote: Eight of the nine Dems who represent districts Obama lost in 2012 voted for the GOP bill. (The National Journal)

After Obama Meeting, Insurers Question Plan’s Workability (The New York Times)

California's unemployment benefits fund is mired in debt: The fund owes nearly $10 billion to the federal government — so much, the problem won't fix itself even if disbursements fall to pre-recession levels, the Employment Development Department says. (The Los Angeles Times)

The Comex Fraud Is Growing Larger - 69 Times More Paper Than Gold (The Golden Truth blog)

Why Rand Paul's plagiarism matters (The Hill 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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday roundup (11-14-13)

Germany and France hold back eurozone's fledgling recovery: Expect a prolonged period of sub-par activity with high unemployment and intensifying deflationary pressure (The Guardian blogs) Euro Recovery Wanes as Germany Slows and France Contracts (Bloomberg) Call this a recovery? (The Economist blogs) Though recession in the eurozone is over, recovery is proving lackluster (The Associated Press)

Why euro zone slowdown should worry the world (CNBC)

ECB ready to print, Germany ready to scream (The Telegraph blogs)

With France stalling, euro zone recovery comes to near halt (Reuters) French Economy Shrinks as Businesses Hold Off on Investment (Bloomberg) French officials warn of social tinderbox as economy contracts again: Francois Hollande called on France to judge him on his success in “bending the curve in unemployment”, but this has come back to haunt him (The Telegraph)

Italy Contracts in Third Quarter as Recession Enters Third Year (Bloomberg)

What housing recovery? Home values and ownership [in the US] are down post-recession (The Washington Post blogs) Unfortunately, I'm Going to [Be] Right About the Housing Market - Again (The Golden Truth blog)

Occupy Wall Street buys $15 million of Americans' medical debt (Reuters) Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15m of Americans' personal debt: Rolling Jubilee spent $400,000 to purchase debt cheaply from banks before 'abolishing' it, freeing individuals from their bills (The Guardian) Occupy's Plan To Cancel Consumer Debt Has Been A Big Success So Far (The Business Insider)

McCain Tears Into Cruz Over Shutdown: 'Stop! You're Wrong, You're Crazy!' (Crooks and Liars blog)



Rand Paul releases footnoted speech, still plagiarizes (Charleston City Paper of Charleston, South Carolina)

Npower owner RWE to cut 6,750 jobs across Europe (The BBC)

Lockheed to Cut 4,000 Jobs on U.S. Defense-Spending Cuts (Bloomberg)

BAE staff told 1,775 job losses 'over next three years' (The BBC)

Barclays to cut 1,700 UK branch jobs due to automation (Reuters)

Heinz closing 3 plants, cutting 1,350 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, 11-14-13)

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

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

"Initial jobless claims dropped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 in the seven days ended Nov. 9, 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, November 13, 2013

Wednesday roundup (11-13-13)

Quote of the Day: "It is quite unfathomable for most Europeans that you would start your adult life tens of thousands of dollars in debt." -- Holly Oberle, author of College Abroad. (U. S. News & World Report)

Central Banks Risk Asset Bubbles in Battle With Deflation (Bloomberg)

Euro zone output drops more than expected, recovery 'stuck in first' (Reuters)

Greece, lenders at odds over how to close 2 billion euro 2014 budget gap (Reuters)

Deflation fears stalk eurozone as Spain reports fall in prices: Economists fear low inflation plus high unemployment and the economic malaise may drag eurozone towards Japan-style slump (The Guardian) Spain inflation hits zero for first time in four years [raising risk of outright deflation]: Official data from Spain has shown the country's inflation rate stands at zero, temporarily pleasing consumers, but worrying economists. They fear the trend might stifle nascent economic recovery in the months ahead. (Deutsche Welle)

Pope Francis 'is mafia target after campaigning against corruption': Prosecutor says pope's attempt to bring transparency to Vatican is making mobsters agitated (The Guardian)

Economists Are Starting To Wonder Whether The US Economy Can Ever Again Grow Like It Used To (The Business Insider)

The real loser of the recession is rural America (The Washington Post blogs)

Judge criticizes lack of prosecution against Wall Street executives for fraud (Reuters) Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis? by Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Judge [speech in pdf format] (The Financial Times)

Health Law [= Obamacare] Enrollment Figures Far Lower Than Initial Estimates (The New York Times) Obamacare's first month: 106,000 signed up (CNNMoney) First Take: Obamacare data are simply grim (USAToday) Low Obamacare enrollment figures turns up heat on White House (Reuters)

Obamacare Angst Among Democrats Approaches A Tipping Point (The Huffington Post) White House officials get earful from Democrats on Obamacare (CNN) A reversal of fortune for Democrats after Obamacare (The Washington Post blogs) Dems Seek Cover From Obamacare’s Promise of Keeping Health Plan (ABCNews blogs)

[Republican House Speaker John] Boehner Predicts Obamacare Will ‘Never’ Work (ABCNews blogs) GOP [including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] pounces on Obamacare enrollment figure (NBCNews)


Republicans [led by Fred Upton of Michigan] shift to chipping away at ObamaCare with vote this week on keeping health plans (FoxNews) The Insiders: The Upton bill is the biggest threat to Obamacare so far (The Washington Post blogs) [A senior congressional Democratic source says:] "In the absence of a solution that Democrats can support from the White House, you will see more and more Democrats voting for the Upton bill" (CNN)

Pressure building on Obama for health care fix: Bipartisan push is on to let people keep old coverage (The New York Times) BILL CLINTON TO OBAMA: 'Honor Your Commitment' On Obamacare (The Business Insider) Bill Clinton identifies 3 big problems with the Obamacare rollout (The Washington Post blogs) Bill Clinton urges Obama to keep health care promise: Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that even if it means changing the law, President Barack Obama should keep his promise that those who liked their health insurance before Obamacare could keep their coverage. How is the White House reacting to the suggestion? Major Garrett reports. (CBSNews)



Obamacare is in much more trouble than it was one week ago (The Washington Post blogs)

New Obamacare mess: Poor could get into premium crunch (CBSMoneyWatch)

Taxpayer Loss From From General Motors (GM) Bailout Near $10 Billion And Rising (International Business Times)

Default ‘Wave’ of $1.6 Trillion Looming for Junk, Fridson Says (Bloomberg)

How a $2 debt almost turned into $90,000 by Sheila Bair (CNNMoney)

City [of Chicago] hit with 1 more debt downgrade of bonds: Pension problems need addressing, Fitch Ratings says (Chicago Tribune)

Follett Lays Off 570 Bookstore Employees (Publishers Weekly)

     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, November 12, 2013

Tuesday roundup (11-12-13)

The price is a blight: The rich world, and especially the euro zone, risks harmfully low inflation (The Economist)

Skeptics See Euro Eroding European Unity (The New York Times)

Sweden’s Return to Deflation Raises Bets on December Cut (Bloomberg)

BOI: Italy Must Accelerate Austerity Program To Ensure Recovery (MNI)

[In more austerity news] David Cameron makes leaner state a permanent goal: PM reverses 2010 claim that he was imposing cuts out of necessity in speech that calls for permanently reduced state spending (The Guardian)

In Philippines, typhoon survivors desperate for food; aid workers say progress is slow (The Washington Post) Philippine president puts typhoon death toll at 2,000 to 2,500 [and not 10,000 as originally estimated] (Reuters)

Major U.S. Cities Still Not Recovered From Crisis (The Wall Street Journal blogs) America's Big Cities in Volatile Times (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

Forget the Fed, Interest Rates Are Heading Lower [Owing to Deflationary Pressure], Shilling Says (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



The Big Lie: Lunch (and Debt) Are Free by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Elizabeth Warren says growth of Wall Street banks poses threat of another economic meltdown (The Boston Globe) Elizabeth Warren Slams Regulators for Keeping Banks "Too Big to Fail": "Since when does Congress set deadlines, watch regulators miss most of them, and then take that failure as a reason not to act?" (Mother Jones) Elizabeth Warren: 'Too Big To Fail' Is Worse Than Before Financial Crisis (The Huffington Post)

Why Elizabeth Warren Should Run for President (Bloomberg) Wall Street’s nightmare: President Elizabeth Warren (Politico) Hillary's Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren (The New Republic) Elizabeth Warren keeps heat on Wall Street amid 2016 chatter (CNNMoney) Interest in Warren presidential run raises questions (The Boston Globe)

Congress Is Starving the Agency [= CFTC] That's Supposed to Prevent Another Meltdown (The New Republic) With Treasury official Massad named as CFTC chairman, advocates hoping for his independence (The Associated Press)

WesTrac to cut 630 jobs as part of restructure at Caterpillar heavy machinery distributor (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

     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.