Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday roundup (05-31-14)

European Union dream threatened by austerity and disharmony: Structural problems with the eurozone and economic blunders have dragged the postwar project into a critical phase (The Observer)

Draghi Gets Ready to Go Negative as Inflation Sinks (Bloomberg)

Italy economy minister warns deflation would be 'disaster' (Reuters)

Portugal's supreme court knocks down austerity measures (Reuters) Portugal PM says austerity rejection a 'huge frustration' (Agence France Presse)

Spain to pass $8.6 billion plan to boost jobs, cut taxes in June: prime minister (Reuters)

Irish swing to the hard Left as voters tire of austerity: Ireland has moved in the opposite direction to Britain and much of Europe in recent elections, which may threaten the Celtic Tiger’s revival (The Telegraph)

America's growing housing affordability gap (CNNMoney)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 496 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday roundup (05-30-14)

Drop in Italian, Spanish inflation feeds euro zone deflation worries (Reuters)

IMF board approves $4.6 billion in aid for Greece (Reuters)

BoE sets out plan to restore confidence in 'toxic' loans: Bank of England and European Central Bank set out proposals to make securitisation safer and enhance competition (The Telegraph)

US GDP Even Worse Than It Looks, Again (SafeHaven)

Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Declines (Bloomberg)

The Next Big Financial Crisis That Could Cripple Cities: Pension pay-outs are a ticking time bomb. (CityLab)

Fink Says Leveraged ETFs May ‘Blow Up’ Industry (Bloomberg)

Wall Street Mega-Banks Are Buying Up The World’s Water (Popular Resistance)

US regulators close small lender in Maryland (The Associated Press) Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Bel Air MD had a troubled assets ratio of 282.1%. (BankTracker)

FDIC Reveals That Over 400 Banks Remain on the Problem Bank List (Problem Bank List)

[German engineering company] Siemens to Shed 11,600 Positions as Company Cuts Costs (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday roundup (5-29-14)

IMF chief says banks haven't changed since financial crisis: Christine Lagarde tells London conference banking sector is still resisting reform and taking excessive risks (The Guardian)

The chart that's pushing Draghi to act [= annual growth in M3] (CNBC)

Russia Sanctions Threat Seen Abating Amid [Country's Own] Recession Risk (Bloomberg)

BOJ official: Easing likely to continue for years (Marketwatch)

U.S. economy stumbles in first-quarter, but prospects brighter (Reuters) [However ...] Contracting GDP Is Rare Outside of Recessions (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

US money slump flashes warnings as economy contracts: The US seems caught in a Japan-style trap, endlessly masking the effect by stealing a little extra growth from the future with artificial stimulus by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

GM made $22.6 billion. We lost $10.6 billion (CNNMoney)

Wall Street Threaten to Blow Up Economy If They’re Prosecuted [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

The Ultimate Failure of Tim Geithner by Christopher Whalen (The National Interest)

One in 10 Illinois banks not profitable in 1Q (The Chicago Tribune)

Why Are Food Prices so High? Because We're Eating Oil by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 05-29-14)

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 27,000 to 300,000 in the week ended May 24, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

U.S. jobless claims drop, continuing claims lowest since 2007 (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday roundup (05-28-14)

World's largest banks still pose major threat to global economy, international leaders warn (This is Money)

Specter of deflation in Europe spooks economists (The Washington Post) Krugman warns ECB about getting stuck in Japan-like scenario (Reuters)

Europe has an even bigger crisis on its hands than British a exit: British people will vote to leave the EU unless offered a new dispensation, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Whither the Euro? (The International Monetary Fund)

German Unemployment Unexpectedly Rises as Growth to Slow (Reuters)

French jobless total hits new high in April (Reuters)

France faces 14 BILLION-EURO black hole after it overestimates tax income in the last year (The Daily Mail)

Hollande Rejects Slower Deficit Reduction Plan for France (Bloomberg)

French political meltdown follows EU elections: Marine Le Pen sounds off as leadership of UMP resign, writes Lara Marlowe (The Irish Times)

Yellen Has Scant Power to Relieve U.S. Housing Slowdown (Bloomberg)

The U.S. National Debt: Can The Federal Reserve Perform Fiscal Alchemy Forever? (The Huffington Post)

Amazon says quick end unlikely in dispute with Hachette (Reuters) Amazon’s War on Hachette Is Vintage Jeff Bezos—Controlling, Ruthless, Vicious… and Probably Good for Consumers (Time) [versus] How the Amazon-Hachette Fight Could Shape the Future of Ideas: While the bookseller and publisher are battling over mundane business specifics, the state of publishing hangs in the balance. (The Atlantic)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday roundup (05-27-14)

Economist A. Gary Shilling on Why the Potential Deflation Crisis in Europe Affects Us All (Equities)

ECB's Nowotny warns of deflation risk (Reuters)

Populists’ Rise in Europe Vote Shakes Leaders (The New York Times)

BoE's Carney says solving 'too big to fail' still top priority (Reuters) Carney tears into bankers for spreading inequality: Bank of England governor turns his fire on City greed and calls for more to be done about scandal-hit financial markets (The Daily Mail)

Capitalism is doomed if ethics vanish, says Bank of England governor: Mark Carney issues strong critique of City behaviour and warns of growing sense that basic social contract is breaking down (The Guardian) Bank Of England Governor Mark Carney Puts 'Ethics' At The Top Of List For Business (Forbes)

Britain's Secret Debt Mountain: 5.4m People Keeping Debts from their Partner (International Business Times)

Mail delivery to your door [in the US] at risk (CNNMoney) Darrell Issa's Not-Unreasonable Push to Cut Door-to-Door Mail Delivery (Bloomberg)

The Housing "Recovery" in Four Charts by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Walmart Canada Layoffs To Hit 750 Workers (The Canadian 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday roundup (05-26-14)

ECB president warns Eurozone at risk of "negative spiral" (Xinhau)

E.C.B. Plots Strategy for Staving Off Deflation (The New York Times) ECB watching deflation risks and ready to act, says Draghi (Reuters) Draghi’s Drive for Asset-Backed Action Rouses Academic Skeptics (Bloomberg)

Mario Draghi hints at ECB rate cut to avoid deflation: European Central Bank may launch 'pre-emptive action' against deflation, and quantitative easing remains an option (The Guardian)

Draghi: Cramped credit hurting recovery (The Associated Press)

Far-right posts strong gains in Europe elections: Showings reflect anger over economic austerity (Marketwatch)

EU faces uncertain future with eurosceptic wins (dpa)

EU crisis talks after populist parties claim big victories: [British] Prime minister to demand treaty change and the return of powers to national governments in crisis talks following EU election triumphs for far-Right and Left (The Telegraph) Euroskeptic election surge gives EU a headache (Reuters) Protest parties will force EU rethink (The BBC) Established Parties Rocked by Anti-Europe Vote (The New York Times)

European elections: Where are we going and how are we getting there?: Fears about the rise of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance have arisen with the rise of far-right-wing parties across Europe. (The Jerusalem Post)

French political class in turmoil after Front National's European 'earthquake' victory: The far-Right party has taken a quarter of the popular vote, beating both president Hollande's Socialists and the centre-Right UMP (The Telegraph) French Gov't Regroups After Far Right Victory (The Associated Press) The National Front's victory: France in shock (The Economist) EU election: France's Hollande calls for reform of 'remote' EU (The BBC) French PM pledges more tax cuts after far-right poll win (Reuters) French National Front Win Needs EU Response, PM Valls Says (Bloomberg)

Austria pushes Hypo debt bail-in despite Moody's warning (Reuters)

[Center-left Prime Minister] Renzi Posts Italy’s Biggest Election Victory in 50 Years ["turning away a populist tide"] (Bloomberg)

Greece supports left-wing Syriza as Europe takes lurch to the right (CNN) Greek radical leftists' win complicates reform programme (Reuters) Greece: Left-wing opposition calls for early elections after winning European vote (The Associated Press) Greek surprise for Brussels in Euro elections (euronews)



'My dream has become a reality': Jubilant Farage cannot contain his glee at triumph over the main parties but Blair warns Britain should be 'worried' about the rise of UKIP and 'its anti-immigrant rhetoric' (The Daily Mail) Ukip voters will not 'go home' to old parties in general election, pollsters say: Numbers suggest 50% of Ukip voters last week will stick with party in 2015, enough to profoundly alter electoral arithmetic across UK (The Guardian) Ukip have torn up the map: After their success in the local elections, Ukip are poised to wreak havoc in 2015. Robert Ford and Ian Warren explain where and how the battle will be fought (The Telegraph)

Financial Crisis, Over and Already Forgotten [in the United States] (The New York Times)

The Recession Blew A Hole In Middle-Class Jobs (Think Progress)

Why the housing recovery isn't for real yet, in three charts (Vox)

Why War Is Inevitable — Paul Craig Roberts (Research Dynamics) (Paul Craig Roberts) War Is A Racket by Major General Smedley Butler (Ratical)

How many more times can the world be twice as big?: PBS NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman speaks with former pharmaceutical executive Chris Martenson, who now lives in rural Massachusetts, about exponential growth and the danger of rising debt. (Youtube) (PBSNewsHour)



What is peak oil, and will fracking buy us time?: PBS NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman speaks with former big pharma executive Chris Martenson about why the money the U.S. printed after the financial crash would have been better spent on alternative energy rather than on the banks. (Youtube) (PBSNewsHour)



Why solar technology cannot save us: PBS NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman hears from former big pharma executive Chris Martenson about how our economy requires unsustainable resources. But technology cannot make alternative sources of energy; it can only help us find them. (Youtube) (PBSNewsHour)



Hooray for Oregon: two counties vote for no GMOs [= no planting of genetically modified crops on their territory] (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogs) Jackson County GMO crops ban: What happens now? (FAQ) (The Oregonian)

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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday roundup (05-25-14)

That 'earthquake' in Europe? It's far-right gains in Parliament elections (CNN) European elections 2014: EU citizens vote against immigrants, austerity and establishment: France's Front National and Greece's Golden Dawn are among the parties to triumph in European elections (The Telegraph)

French far right in 'earthquake' win as Europe votes (Reuters)

'The most extraordinary result in 100 years': Farage hails UKIP triumph as Labour and the Tories are humiliated and the Lib Dems are left with just one MEP (The Daily Mail)

State [of Ohio in the US] owes feds $1.6 billion for jobless benefits (The Columbus Dispatch)

The Ripple Effects of Rising Student Debt (The New York Times)

Many Americans fear going broke in retirement: But some aren't willing to cut back on their current lifestyle to save for the future. (USAToday)

It's Geithner Vs. Warren In Battle Of The Bailout (National Public Radio)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 499 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Seven states running out of water [=Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, and California] (USAToday)

Drought Worse Than Dust Bowl In Some States (Forbes)

University of Nevada Professor Predicts "Megadrought" [May 5] (KTVN)

Texas Town Is 45 Days From Running Out of Water: A severe drought could have catastrophic results for Texas. One town already is shipping in water just to fill its waterpark and keep tourism going. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)



2014 rainfall: second lowest on record: Drought could make Oklahoma wheat harvest worst in decades [May 13] (The Tulsa World)

Drought conditions in Arizona: Williams facing major water crisis: Restrictions placed on washing cars; no new building permits [May 13] (The Associated Press)

More than half of Kansas in drought emergency: Governor's declaration puts 56 counties in most serious category [May 21] (KMBC)

USDA: Drought taking toll on New Mexico farms [May 5] (The Associated Press)

Drought Prompts Irrigation Water Cuts in Nevada [May 9] (The Associated Press)

California Drought Threatens Food Supply of All Americans; Collapsing Aquifer Sinking the Land [May 22] (The Weather Channel) 100 Percent of California Now in Highest Stages of Drought: The state got no rain relief during the December–March wet season, according to a new national drought report [May 18] (Scientific American)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday roundup (05-24-14)

Credit Suisse Is Too Big To Jail (Forbes) [versus] Not too big to jail: A big financial firm pleads guilty to a criminal charge and lives to tell the tale (The Economist)

Columbia Savings Bank, Ohio, Eighth Bank Failure of 2014 [as posted here yesterday] – Hundreds of Zombie Banks Remain Open for Business (Problem Bank List)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday roundup (05-23-14)

Deflating Expectations: Economists [in the US] have inflation on the brain, but they’re missing the point. (Slate)

Detroit not alone, expect more bankrupt cities: Expert (CNBC) America's pension crisis: Richard Ravitch, "So Much to Do" author, discusses the growing pension crisis in the U.S. R. Donahue Peebles, The Peebles Corporation CEO, provides perspective. (CNBC)



Are some banks still too-big-to-jail?: The Justice Department needs greater transparency when prosecuting or not prosecuting banks. (USAToday)

US Regulators Close Small Lender in Ohio (The Associated Press) Columbia Savings Bank of Cincinnati OH had a troubled assets ratio of 330.3 percent. (BankTracker) [In reference to Columbia, on April 26: "Historically, once a bank exceeds a troubled asset ratio of 100%, failure of the bank becomes almost inevitable."] (Problem Bank List)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday roundup (05-22-14)

ECB Ready to Tackle Deflation Risk, Italy’s Padoan Says (Bloomberg)

Portuguese debt rises to 132.4 pct of GDP (Xinhua)

Interest bill on UK's £1.27 trillion debt to hit £1bn a week: Larger-than-expected deficit keeps debt interest on track to hit £52bn this year (The Telegraph)

Moody’s warns Canadian provinces on debt and credit ratings (You listening, Ontario?) (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

America’s college students are graduating more indebted than ever (MSNBC)

Bailout for teachers' pensions to cost California school districts (The Los Angeles Times)

Christie Pension Move Adds $2 Billion to Funding Deficit [in New Jersey] (Bloomberg)

Former treasury secretary reflects on ‘deeply unfair’ nature of financial crisis recovery: Timothy Geithner, key architect of the government’s response the financial crisis, joins Gwen Ifill to discuss his new book, "Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises." As the former treasury secretary, Geithner offers perspective on the government’s response to the crisis, what response Americans deserved and how close the country came to another Great Depression. -- ["We came exceptionally close" to another Great Depression; "we were three days away from the ATMs not working".] (PBSNewshour)



Geithner and Stewart Don’t See Eye to Eye on ‘The Daily Show’ (The New York Times blogs)

Timothy Geithner Extended Interview Pt. 1: "Stress Test" author and Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner describes the terrible panic that surrounded the 2008 financial crisis. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Timothy Geithner Extended Interview Pt. 2: Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner expands on his view that bailouts were the only reasonable course of action in response to the financial crisis. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Timothy Geithner Extended Interview Pt. 3: Timothy Geithner argues that the stimulus package was the best possible solution to the housing crisis given the conditions that the Obama administration faced. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Timothy Geithner Extended Interview Pt. 4: Timothy Geithner asserts that it was not possible to deliver a stimulus program that would have been more popular or more effective in the wake of the financial crisis. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



Timothy Geithner Extended Interview Pt. 5: Timothy Geithner describes the difficult reality that constrained the Obama administration's ability to address the financial crisis. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)



HP To Cut An Additional 11k to 16k Jobs As Quarterly Revenue Falls (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 05-22-14)

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

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

"The number of people who applied for new benefits climbed by 28,000 to 326,000 in the week ended May 17, 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday roundup (05-21-14)

The final, bitter cost of austerity is yet to play out here [in Ireland] (The Irish Independent)

Retail recovery under way [in England] as consumers spend more and worry less: Growth, driven by Bank of England policies, represents upbeat mood among public, which sees an end to financial squeeze (The Guardian blogs)

Bank of England officials closer to voting for rate rise, minutes show (Reuters) Bank of England debate on interest rates to intensify in coming months: Bank of England minutes show vote to hold rates still unanimous but rate-setters say decision on rate rise becoming more 'balanced' (The Telegraph)

Timing of mortgage rate rise looks less certain after Bank of England meeting: Minutes of May meeting show policymakers disagreed over the strength of the recovery and when to raise rates (The Guardian) Raising interest rates may be only tool to control housing market, says Bean: Interest rate rises could be the "only game in town" to deal with an overheating market, says BoE deputy governor Charlie Bean (The Telegraph)

Consumers [in the US are] ready to break free from recession habits [and spend more], report says -- ["Meantime, though, fewer people are saving money."] (The Chicago Tribune)

Larry Summers: Student Debt Is Slowing the U.S. Housing Recovery (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Lloyds closes Warrington call centre as 645 jobs go: Redundancy total since António Horta-Osório took the helm in March 2011 reaches 13,055 (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday roundup (05-20-14)

Europe's Debt Time Bomb (BloombergView)

EU Commission charges HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole with rigging (Reuters)

Berlusconi issues stark warning over eurozone's future (Agence France Presse)

Swiss regulator says [Switzerland's] mortgage market is too big to fail (Reuters)

Swiss Face [Currency] Conundrum as ECB Signals Further Stimulus (Bloomberg)

Why Is Credit Suisse Still Allowed to Do Business in the United States?: The conventional wisdom is that revoking a large bank’s license can trigger potential systemic consequences. But that's not the case here. (The Atlantic)

Obamacare costing more than previously expected (The Pittsburgh Press) Will Republicans Fight Obamacare's Illegal Insurance Company Bailout? (TownHall)

Home Depot Leads Weak Retail Sector Ahead of Spring Spending Thaw (The New York Times)

Record Drought Expected To Leave Thousands Jobless, Cost $1.7 Billion In Agriculture (The Associated Press)

Elizabeth Warren vs. Wall Street: Senator Elizabeth Warren's crusade against consumer fraud threatens to take the high-risk adventure out of banking. (The Colbert Report)



Elizabeth Warren: "A Fighting Chance" author Elizabeth Warren discusses the erosion of America's middle class and makes the case for tougher regulation of the banking industry. (The Colbert Report)



9 Simple Statements That Will Make You Think Differently About the World (The Motley Fool)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday roundup (05-19-14)

It’s Far Worse Today Than At The Beginning Of 2008 Collapse [= global levels of debt] (King World News)

Combatting the Crunch: ECB Plans Negative Rate on Bank Deposits: When it meets on June 6, SPIEGEL has learned, the European Central Bank may implement a negative interest rate for financial institutions seeking to park their money at the Frankfurt powerhouse. The move is aimed at spurring loans. (Spiegel Online)

Credit Suisse pleads guilty in tax evasion case (CNNMoney) Feds say Credit Suisse helped Americans dodge taxes (CBSNews) Credit Suisse’s Guilty Plea Casts a Spotlight on the Bank’s ‘Teflon’ Leader (The New York Times blogs)

Weak retail sales can be blamed on one thing, says Howard Davidowitz [= "Eighty percent of America is in a recession"] (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



Metallwoche International: The Death of Money - Das Interview (Youtube)



Sen. Warren takes on Washington to give working class Americans ‘A Fighting Chance’: Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins Judy Woodruff to discuss her new memoir, “A Fighting Chance,” in which she criticizes the big banks and Washington politicians for weakening America’s middle class. Warren advocates for a hike in the minimum wage to ensure today’s middle class gets the same opportunities her family had, and discusses reform for banking and student loans. (PBSNewshour)



“It’s total moral surrender”: Matt Taibbi unloads on Wall Street, inequality and our broken justice system: Matt Taibbi, author of "The Divide," tells Salon about Geithner's excuses, Piketty's success and Nixon's cronies (Salon)

The Case Against the Bernanke-Obama Financial Rescue (The New York Times)

Sheila Bair: Why I recommend Tim Geithner's book: Tim Geithner's new book is important more for what it says of Wall Street's future than its past. (Fortune)

Clueless Geithner: Never saw the meltdown coming (The New York Post)

Retiree suit threatens to tip Flint into bankruptcy (The Detroit News)

[Australian mining company] Bradken to cut more than 500 jobs (SkyNews)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday roundup (05-18-14)

The eurozone's problems have not gone away, and elections won't change much: Mainstream parties will still be in charge, and Europe will condemn itself to an even longer period of economic stagnation (The Guardian blogs)

Greek voters spell out their disapproval of austerity: Anti-bailout candidates backed strongly in local and regional elections in major setback for Greece's governing coalition (The Guardian)

Mark Carney outlines triple threat to UK recovery: Governor of the Bank of England says lacklustre eurozone growth, "knock-on" effects of Chinese financial reform and market volatility could threaten UK recovery (The Telegraph)

Britain's wealthiest people are richer than ever, study finds (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday roundup (05-17-14)

Bank of England Governor issues warning over housing inflation: The Governor of the Bank of England is warning that Britain's housing inflation threatens the entire economy (The Telegraph)

At big-ticket dinners, a blunt Bernanke sounds theme of low rates [= "easy-money policies and below-normal interest rates are here for a long time to come"] (Reuters)

The Latest Way American Banks Are Avoiding Regulation (The Motley Fool)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 502 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

US regulators close small lender in Illinois (The Associated Press) AztecAmerica Bank fails; one of area's last Hispanic-run lenders (Crain's Chicago Business) AztecAmerica Bank of Berwyn IL had a troubled assets ratio of 470.9 percent. (BankTracker) AztecAmerica Bank, Berwyn, Illinois, Seventh Bank Failure of 2014 (Problem Bank List)

How to save the world’s bees before it’s too late: The U.S. is failling to protect one of our most valuable resources, says biologist Dave Goulson (Salon)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday roundup (05-16-14)

Global Growth Worries Climb: Policy Makers in Europe, U.S. and China Grapple With What Steps to Take Next (The Wall Street Journal)

Plans to de-risk "too-big-to-fail" banks face hurdles in Europe, Asia (Reuters)

Does the Euro Zone Need Deflation? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Full Recovery Still Years Away for Many in Euro Zone (The New York Times)

Portugal exits bailout [on Saturday] poorer and long way from recovery (Reuters) Portugal Laden With $293 Billion Debt Exits Bailout Plan (Bloomberg) Portugal's bailout ends but austerity stays as Europe tries to leave crisis behind (The Associated Press)

The Italian Disaster by Perry Anderson (The London Review of Books)

Households [in the UK] face lifetime of debt with rise in longer term mortgages: Proportion of borrowers who took out mortgages for terms of 30 years or more hit an all time high in the first quarter, figures show (The Telegraph)

America's homeless: The rise of Tent City, USA (CNNMoney)

Hedge fund billionaires sleepless over deflation: SkyBridge’s Scaramucci (Marketwatch blogs)

‘We can expect to see more Detroits,’ says bankruptcy adviser (Marketwatch blogs)

Five horrifying maps of America's massive drought (Vox)

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday roundup (05-15-14)

Eurozone Recovery Flounders, Inflation Danger Climbs (Forbes) Recovery stalls in Europe as austerity grinds on: ECB needs to launch "shock and awe QE" to arrest slump in eurozone, says think tank by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Eurozone setback after 'dismal' growth figures dent talk of recovery: Calls grow for further ECB stimulus as GDP data shows France and Italy flatlining and Netherlands suffering shock contraction (The Guardian) Euro zone Q1 growth disappoints, puts pressure on ECB to act (Reuters)

More Easy Money Won’t Fix Global Deflation, Will Worsen Inequality (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

IMF warns on targets as French economy hits a wall in first-quarter (Reuters)

IMF sees major risks to French savings drive (Reuters) France must not renege on spending cuts programme, warns IMF: International Monetary Fund says sticking to €50bn cuts plan is essential if France is to bring its deficit down (The Guardian)

Italian GDP Unexpectedly Falls Threatening Recession Exit (Bloomberg)

Italian public debt continues to grow: central bank (Xinhua)

How The Debt Trap Swallowed Asia In Three Charts (ZeroHedge blog) Asia: Addicted to debt: Policy makers are seeking a new model as a period of rapid economic expansion draws to a close (The Financial Times)

Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Falls to Lowest in a Year (Bloomberg)

Are Student Loans Really Killing the Housing Market?: It's obvious: Student debt is crushing demand for homes. So, why doesn't the realtor data show it? (The Atlantic)

Student debt hurts household wealth for decades (PBSNewshour)

[Germany's] SAP to cut between 1,500-2,500 jobs as cloud takes over (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 05-15-14)

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 declined by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000 in the seven days ended May 10, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Reach Lowest Level in Seven Years (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday roundup (05-14-14)

IMF Chief Warns That Low Inflation Poses Risk to Global Economy: Lagarde's Comments Highlight Concern That Euro Zone Might Be Heading Toward Deflation (The Wall Street Journal

Euro zone industry output unexpectedly falls in March as energy production slumps (Reuters

IMF sees 25 percent chance of euro zone deflation by end: 2015 (Reuters

Greece’s Papandreou Sees Deflation and Debt Plaguing Europe (Bloomberg

ECB readies package of rate cuts and targeted measures (Reuters

EBRD [= European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] cuts growth forecasts in half, warns of Russian recession (Reuters

BoE's Cunliffe tells banks to prepare for post-"too big to fail" world (Reuters

2.5 million children in the UK living in debt riddled families: A SHOCKING report out this month suggests that nearly 2.5 million children in the UK are living in families struggling with "problem debt". (The Daily Express

Is the Worst Yet to Come?: As the Dow sinks to a 12-year low, it's becoming clear even to Obama supporters on Wall Street that his reckless agenda will make a bad situation worse. (The Daily Beast

How Student Debt May Be Stunting the Economy (The New York Times) Student Debt Holders Retreating From Housing Market, NY Fed Says (Bloomberg) How Student Debt Keeps Young People From Buying Houses (Slate) College Graduates Can’t Buy Houses Because They’re Buried In Debt (Think Progress

Where can the middle class actually afford to buy a home?: Buying a home is still cheap relative to renting in much of the country, but for the middle class living in America's most desirable cities, homeownership is a pipe dream. (Fortune)

Why the Housing Bubble Tanked the Economy And the Tech Bubble Didn’t (FiveThirtyEight

     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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday roundup (05-13-14)

Eurozone deflation could derail UK recovery: Results of the second Centre for Macroeconomics survey (Vox)

German Investor Confidence Drops for Fifth Straight Month (Bloomberg)

Bundesbank ready to back ‘significant’ ECB easing: Will support array of measures if needed to fight low inflation (Marketwatch) Bundesbank ready to support ECB action if it is needed - sources (Reuters)

German Municipalities In Crisis (Armstrong Economics)

Only full separation [of the Glass-Steagall kind] will make our big banks [in the UK] safe: As long as retail and investment banking are contained within the same group, governments will never let them go bust, given the need to protect ordinary deposits (The Telegraph)

Tough Australian budget slashes welfare to rein in deficits (Reuters) Australia aims to nearly halve budget deficit (The Associated Press) Budget: 16,500 public-sector jobs to go in next four years: Cuts to government departments and agencies and a .25% increase in Labor's ‘efficiency dividend’ behind job losses (The Guardian)

China reverts to credit as property slump threatens to drag down economy: The Chinese central bank has ordered 15 commercial banks to boost loans to first-time buyers by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

U.S. Economy Contracted In First Quarter, Latest Figures Show (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Robert Reich: 10 ways to close the inequality gap: The former secretary of labor on American society's single greatest obstacle -- and what we can do about it (Salon)

William Black: How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is): William Black is a former bank regulator who's seen firsthand how banking systems can be used to commit fraud — and how "liar's loans" and other tricky tactics led to the 2008 US banking crisis that threatened the international economy. In this engaging talk, Black, now an academic, reveals the best way to rob a bank — from the inside. (Youtube)



     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday roundup (05-12-14)

Europe’s crisis not over yet: IMF’s Lagarde (CNBC) Remember The Eurozone Crisis? IMF Chief Lagarde, Joseph Stiglitz Aren’t Ready To Declare “Mission Accomplished;" Warn Of Lingering Threats (International Business Times)

Eurozone's economic troubles are far from over: If we have learned one thing from the last four years, it is that the European Union lacks the capacity to act decisively, writes Barry Eichengreen (The Guardian)

[Italian Bank] Monte Paschi Posts Eighth Straight Loss on Bailout Costs (Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse deal with U.S. authorities could top $2 billion - 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday roundup (05-11-14)

Real Conversations: Rickards, McCullough Unplugged on Fed, USD, Economy & More (Youtube)



Europe Deflation Risk Seen by 74% in Global Investor Poll (Bloomberg) Draghi must tackle threat of deflation: ECB should cut interest rates at its next council meeting [Editorial] (The Financial Times)

'It was the point where the eurozone could have exploded': How the euro was saved: In the first part of a series on the year that forever changed Europe, Peter Spiegel recreates the three bitter days in November when the eurozone crisis hit its lowest moment (The Financial Times)

The Truth About China's Economy: Some say it could pass the U.S. by the end of the year. There might be an even bigger story behind the scenes. [= "how and when the political monopoly of China’s communist rulers will ultimately end" is far more important] by Christopher Whalen (National Interest)

Why the Too-Big-to-Fail Banks [in the US] Keep Getting Bigger (The Motley Fool)

Big Crisis, Big Banks, Big Crimes [Washington's Blog via] (The Big Picture blog)

ZIRP [Zero Interest Rate Policy] Era in Pictures (Safe Haven)

Australian Tax Office to Cut 3,000 Jobs (International Business 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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday roundup (05-10-14)

Unofficial Problem Bank list [in the US] unchanged at 509 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

The $13 Billion Mystery Angels (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 exist today that could, if they worsened, bring about economic depression -- not just a minor depression, but a depression worse than the Great Depression. Key threats include excessive risk-taking by financial firms, unchecked by effective regulation; the continued existence of "too big to fail" institutions; and most especially, the amassing of levels of public and private debt which could become unsustainable.