Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday roundup (07-31-14)

Euro zone inflation falls again amid deflation fears (CNBC) Eurozone inflation falls to lowest level in almost five years: The overall inflation rate of 0.4% in June was lower than economists had expected, and indicated the threat of eurozone deflation would continue (The Guardian)

[In France, Bank] BNP Paribas posts $5.7B loss after record US fine (CNBC)

[In Portugal,] Banco Espirito Santo posts loss of €3.58B [The Financial Times via] (CNBC)

Japan must hike sales tax again to conquer debt: IMF (The Japan Times)

Argentina Declared in Default by S&P as Talks Fail (Bloomberg) Argentina accuses US of judicial malpractice for triggering needless default: Country threatens to take US to The Hague after defaulting on its debts for the second time in 12 years by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) How Argentina’s Default May Trigger $29 Billion in Claims (Bloomberg) Tracking the impact of Argentina's debt default: Jim Rickards, Senior Managing Director at Tangent Capital, discusses whether Argentina's second default on its sovereign debt will have a contagion effect on global financial markets. (CNBC)



[In the United States] Too-Big-to-Fail Is Still Too Dangerous (Bloomberg)

Substituting Debt for Income Is Not Success--It's Failure on an Epic Scale by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Students and parents borrowing less to pay for college (CNNMoney) Families are finding alternatives to student loans (The Washington Post blogs)

RadioShack's days are numbered (CNNMoney)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, 07-31-14)

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 climbed by 23,000 to 302,000 in the seven days ended July 26, retracing the entire decline in prior week, according to Labor Department data." (Marketwatch)

Initial jobless claims jump to 302,000 but remain low (The Los Angeles Times)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, July 30, 2014

Wednesday roundup (07-30-14)

Global QE ends as China opens second front in bond tapering: China's central bank, and others, have become "major players on world equity markets", effectively fuelling stock bubbles in much the same way they previously fuelled credit bubbles by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Europe Won't Admit It's Spiraling Into Deflation (BloombergView)

Spanish economy powers ahead, but deflation clouds outlook (Reuters)

Bank of England Sets Tough Rules for Banker Bonuses (The New York Times blogs) Bank of England imposes 7-year bonus clawback on errant bankers (Reuters) Bank of England Speaks Out In A Language The City Understands: Money (Forbes)

Record number of people [in UK] opt for insolvency after becoming overwhelmed by debts despite signs of economic recovery (The Daily Mail)

Ukraine economy shrinks faster as conflict takes its toll (Reuters)

Japan’s Output Drops Most Since 2011 as Consumers Spend Less (Bloomberg)

Argentina, holdout creditors still without deal: minister (Reuters)

GDP grows 4% in the second quarter [in the US]: Isn’t that good news? (Communities Digital News)

Unprecedented California Drought Restrictions Go Into Effect (Time)

SMA Solar to Cut 600 More Jobs as It Lowers Full-Year Forecast (Bloomberg)

Cargill to close Milwaukee beef facility, cut 600 jobs (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit: Mammoth companies are trying to collect water that all life needs and charge for it as they would for other natural resources (The Guardian)

Brazil farmers say GMO corn no longer resistant to pests (Reuters) Brazil: Pest resistance to Bt maize in third year of cultivation (GMWatch) Brazilian farmers demand Monsanto refund their money for GMO crops that don't work (Russia Today)

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 GREAT GMA COVERUP INFOGRAPHIC (WalkByTheWay) GMO FREE USA (Facebook)

     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, July 29, 2014

Tuesday roundup (07-29-14)

Quote of the Day:

"Such an outpouring of goodwill for a millionaire CEO from hourly wage workers confounds our sense of how business in America works today." -- Journalist Luke O'Neil, in reference to employee demands that Arthur T. Demoulas be restored as CEO of Market Basket supermarkets (Slate)

IMF: Rising rates, emerging market slowdown could dampen global growth (The Washington Post blogs)

Russia sanctions threaten to blow euro zone off course (Reuters)

Euro zone efforts to boost inflation are full of hot air: ECB policymakers are short on tools — and time by Satyajit Das (Marketwatch)

Europe's bond yields lowest since 15th century Genoa on deflation, Russia risk: German, French and Dutch yields have been sliding for months as the eurozone recovery wilts and several countries flirt with recession by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) European bond yields enter the death zone (The Telegraph blogs)

German Bund Record Shows All Is Not Right in Euro Area (Bloomberg)

IMF's Christine Lagarde says Ukraine may need more aid (Agence France Presse)  [In fact, according to] IMF Chief: Ukraine May Need a New Bailout Strategy [Altogether] (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

‘Do no harm?’: Calls [in UK] for banking Hippocratic oath (CNBC) Virtuous Banking: Placing ethos and purpose at the heart of finance by David T. Llewellyn, Roger Steare, Jessica Trevellick (ResPublica)

A third of Americans delinquent on debt (USAToday)

California couple spends retirement funds paying off deceased daughter's $200,000 student debt: Lisa Mason died suddenly in 2007, but her $200,000 student loan bill didn't disappear. Her parents, Steve and Darnelle, have used up most of their savings paying off her debt while caring for her three children. 'Getting (my daughter) an education has encumbered me for the rest of my life,' Steve said. (The New York Daily News) Daughter suddenly dies, grieving parents hit with $200,000 in student loans (Fox13)

U.S. homeownership at 18-year low in second quarter (Marketwatch)

Osram to cut almost 8,000 jobs in switch to LED (Reuters)

Amgen Says It Will Cut More Than 2,400 Jobs Worldwide (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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday roundup (07-28-14)

Why the super rich are running scared of inequality by Steve Keen [Commentary on the book The Next Economic Disaster: Why It's Coming and How to Avoid It? by Richard Vague] (Business Spectator)

We're in a private debt crisis that could lead to the next economic collapse: Richard Vague [March 28] (Yahoo!'s The Daily Ticker)



Understanding Debt Economics with Richard Vague and Steve Clemons [November 2012] (Youtube)



The Pitchforks Are Coming … For Us Plutocrats -- ["The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society.] (Politico)

Germany Has the Most Unequal Distribution of Wealth in the Eurozone (The Huffington Post)

Throw crooked [UK] bankers in jail: Clamour grows as Bank of England chief [Mark Carney] says Lloyds traders 'clearly broke the law' (The Daily Mail) Bank of England governor blasts 'unlawful' Lloyds over bailout funding: Taxpayer-owned bank must repay nearly £8m on top of £218 in Libor fines – and could face criminal action over repo rate (The Guardian)

Keep UK interest rate low for now, IMF tells Bank of England: International Monetary Fund warns Bank to be ready to raise rates if other measure fail to keep housing market in check (The Guardian)

Why the Fed could start raising rates sooner than you think (CNBC)

Pending Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Unexpectedly Decrease ["a sign residential real estate is struggling to strengthen"] (Bloomberg)

Did Dodd-Frank Work? [July 21] (The New York Times)

Changing Old Antitrust Thinking for a New Gilded Age [July 22] (The New York Times blogs)

When Media Mergers Limit More Than Competition (The New York Times)

Dollar Tree buying peer Family Dollar Stores for approximately $8.5 billion (The Associated Press) Dollar General may be in play ["The biggest obstacle to such a deal may be antitrust concerns..."] (Marketwatch blogs) Dollar Tree Agrees to Acquire Family Dollar for $8.5 Billion [antitrust comments in comment section] (Bloomberg)

Property website Zillow to buy rival Trulia to cut costs (Reuters) [Zillow's CEO "said he did not expect the merger to face opposition from antitrust regulators"] (The New York Times blogs)

Market Basket Boycott Enters Second Week [in New England] (WGBH) How Market Basket Keeps Prices Low ["First and foremost ... the fact that the company does not carry any debt is a big help ..."] (The Boston Globe)

Your chicken is about to get more full of feces: Obama is letting the poultry industry run wild (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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday roundup (07-27-14)

Eurozone Must Brace for New Shocks (The New York Times)

ECB backs Bundesbank call for higher German wages - Der Spiegel (Reuters)

The Typical [US] Household, Now Worth a Third Less (The New York Times) WEALTH DISPARITIES BEFORE AND AFTER THE GREAT RECESSION by Fabian T. Pfeffer, Sheldon Danziger, and Robert F. Schoeni, University of Michigan (Russell Sage Foundation)

My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats: A former Clinton aide on how Democrats lost their way chasing Wall Street cash, and new populism the party needs (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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday roundup (07-26-14)

Argentina is now very close to default [= "just a few days" away] (CNNMoney)

Severe Storms Threaten 100 Million Americans: The next 36 hours could bring dangerous and destructive weather, including tornado threats for parts of the Midwest. (NBCNews)



The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson & Ed McMahon (June 15, 1976) [audio only; reference to tornadoes and severe hail storm] (Youtube)



'Too big to fail' equals 'too eager to borrow' (The Los Angeles Times)

Regulators take over small bank in Illinois; brings US bank failures to 14 in 2014 (The Associated Press) GreenChoice Bank, fsb of Chicago IL had a troubled assets ratio of 349.4 percent, compared with a national median at this time of 8 percent. (BankTracker) GreenChoice Bank, fsb, Chicago, IL, Closed by Regulators (Problem Bank List)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 452 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, July 25, 2014

Friday roundup (07-25-14)

Huge electrical storm in 2012 nearly shut down modern life, CU researcher says (Colorado Public Radio) That was a close one! Study: Massive solar storm barely missed us in 2012 (CNN) ScienceCasts: Carrington-class CME Narrowly Misses Earth (Youtube)



Britain’s economy: 4 big problems with Osborne’s recovery (The Daily Mirror) Don’t get too excited about Britain’s economic recovery. It’s built on shaky ground (The Spectator)

[United States] Senate to Revisit ‘Too Big to Fail’: Next week a Senate committee will review a GAO study expected to show that large U.S. banks are still perceived as having implicit government backing. (CFO)

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought (PhysOrg) Satellite study indicates groundwater losses putting Southwest supply in jeopardy (The Associated Press)

California Tries to Measure Water Use as Drought Worsens (Bloomberg) California's Drought Turning the State Brown, NASA Images Show (Weather)

Family feud sparks workers' revolt at New England grocery store chain; workers want CEO back (The Associated Press) Thousands rally in Mass. for return of ousted Market Basket CEO (Reuters) Meet America’s Most Beloved CEO—Too Bad He Just Got Fired (Time) An ousted CEO so popular employees are protesting to get his job back (The Washington Post blogs)

Tyson Foods to shut three factories, cut 950 jobs (Reuters)

Merck Cuts 600 Sales Reps as Part of its Ongoing Reorganization (The Wall Street Journal 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 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, July 24, 2014

Thursday roundup (07-24-14)

IMF Cuts US and Global Growth Forecasts for 2014 (The Associated Press)

Germany's current-account surplus is partly to blame for eurozone stagnation: With Germany unwilling to spend, it is up to ECB president Mario Draghi to devalue the currency for a much-needed boost (The Guardian)

French Manufacturing Contracts in Sign of Sluggish Recovery (Bloomberg)

Rate rise [in the UK] to 3pc in 2018 would make 800,000 borrowers 'mortgage prisoners': Report warns of a sharp rise in those tipped over the edge by rising rates and that 800,000 "highly geared" borrowers may become mortgage prisoners (The Telegraph)

Japan walking 'tightrope' on public debt as yields set to rise: Amari (Reuters)

How High Debt [in the United States] From The Housing Collapse Still Stifles Our Economy: Seven years after the subprime mortgage crisis, the U. S. economy has not yet fully recovered. Now two economists have come up with new evidence about what's holding the economy back. (National Public Radio)



Record Student-Loan Debt Prompts Treasury Push to Stem Defaults (Bloomberg)

After Split Vote, S.E.C. Approves Rules on Money Market Funds (The New York Times blogs) The "Gates" Are Closing: SEC Votes Through Money Market Reform (ZeroHedge blog) ["New SEC fund rules are to 'prevent runs'. Translation: When you want your money, you can't have it. Bail-in is here."] [Jim Rickards @] (Twitter) ["ANYONE who keeps their money in a mutual fund of any sort is an idiot."] (Investment Research Dynamics)

Bombardier to cut 1,800 jobs, aerospace head retires (Reuters)

NASA contractor plans to make 500 layoffs (KPRC Houston)

     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, 07-24-14)

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.)

"Applicants for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits in the week that ended July 19 dropped by 19,000 to 284,000 — the lowest level since February 2006, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Drop to Eight-Year Low (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, July 23, 2014

Wednesday roundup (07-23-14)

Euro zone confidence falls in July, bodes ill for recovery (Reuters) Stalled recovery leaves Europe defenceless against economic shock from Russia: Stagnation is automatically causing debt ratios to spiral upwards yet again across a large part of the currency bloc by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Draghi Faces German Hard Line on Avoiding Deflation (Bloomberg)

S&P warns Europe debt market near pre-crash levels (CNBC)

Could another banking crisis happen in Europe?: Whenever a bank in Europe gets into serious trouble, the specter of systemic financial crisis raises its head again. Is the risk real or imagined? (Deutsche Welle)

Bank of England unease grows despite keeping rates at 0.5%: MPC votes 9-0 at leaving rate alone but some members see little risk in small rise in borrowing costs (The Guardian) Bank of England and business at odds over rate rise [business wants one] (The BBC) Bank of England will delay interest rate rise if wages don't go up: Growth is stronger and unemployment lower than expected but earnings fail to increase as Bank struggles to explain situation (The Guardian)

NY Fed found serious problems at Deutsche Bank's U.S. arms: sources (Reuters)

East L.A.'s Pan American Bank gets $6-million bailout from other banks (The Los Angeles Times) [Pan American Bank has a troubled assets ratio of 195.7 percent.] (BankTracker)

Barney Frank dismisses Elizabeth Warren's favorite idea [= a new Glass-Steagall act] (The Washington Examiner)

Broadcom cuts 2,500 jobs in wind-down of baseband unit (Reuters)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, July 22, 2014

Tuesday roundup (07-22-14)

Global Food Prices are Deflating (Pragmatic Capitalism)

Economic meltdown scenario [involving the whole world] piles pressure on Russia and the west: Policymakers dread [the possibility that an economic] slump in Russsia – from further sanctions by the west – would trigger another global economic meltdown (The Guardian) How far do EU-US sanctions on Russia go? (The BBC)

Eurozone public debt rises sharply: Eurostat (Agence France Presse) Eurozone public debt surges: Public debt in the 18-member eurozone soared to a record high in the first quarter of 2014. The embattled economies of southern European nations accounted for much of the increase. (Deutsche Welle)

Eurozone economy dead in the water, with crisis expected to carry on 'a long time' (The Telegraph blogs)

Europe Between Financial Repression and Regulatory Capture by Stefano Pagliari, Shahin Vallée and Éric Monnet [Bruegel Working Paper] (Archive of European Integration of The University of Pittsburgh)

Deutsche Bank Suffers From Litany of Reporting Problems, Regulators Said: Letter From New York Fed Said Some Reports From Deutsche Bank's U.S. Operations Were 'Inaccurate and Unreliable' (The Wall Street Journal)

Our rocketing national debt pile is the British economy’s Achilles’ Heel: The deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year stood at £36.1bn, 7.3pc more than the £33.7bn racked up during the same time last year (The Telegraph) George Osborne's deficit reduction plan under pressure as borrowing rises: Chancellor set to miss deficit reduction target for 2014/2015 after borrowing rises in first three months of fiscal year (The Telegraph)

China’s terrifying debt ratios poised to breeze past US levels by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph blogs)

Inflation Was Much Higher [in the United States] Pre-Crisis than Post-Crisis (The Big Picture blog)

Contrarian's Case: Why US Could Dip Into Recession (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 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, July 21, 2014

Monday roundup (07-21-14)

Espirito Santo crisis could affect Portugal's economy, warns president Anibal Cavaco Silva: President's warning comes just days after holding company of country's second-largest bank says it can't meet its obligations (The Telegraph)

In the Eye of the Debt Storm [in the US]: Don't be fooled by rosy talk; the long-term budget outlook is still terrible. (U. S. News & World Report)

Four years later, parties split on Wall St. reform (The Hill) Four years later, Dodd-Frank continues 'Too Big to Fail' by Sen. David Vitter (R) of Louisiana (The Hill) Derailing the American Dream since 2010: Thanks a lot, Dodd-Frank by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) of Texas (FoxNews) 4 years later, Dodd-Frank is still only halfway implemented (The Washington Post blogs)

Derivatives Meltdown Part 2 + Let’s See How Obama/Kerry Respond To This… (Investment Research Dynamics) Derivatives Part 2 - Casino Accounting: Heads Banks Win Tails You Lose (Youtube)



How Derivatives Will Trigger A Bond Market Melt-Down (Part 1) (Economic Signs of the Times blog)

A Grocery Store Chain Fired A Popular CEO — And Now Workers Are Making The Company Pay (The Business Insider)

Allergan to cut about 1,500 jobs to evade Valeant takeover (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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday roundup (07-20-14)

Eurozone needs quantitative easing: The European Central Bank has to hit its inflation target [editorial] (The Financial Times)

Flint [Michigan] manager warns of bankruptcy over retiree costs: 'A lot of cities are on the same train, and that train is headed for the cliff.' (Crain's Detroit Business)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, July 19, 2014

Saturday roundup (07-19-14)

UK economic recovery not 'firmly rooted', warns Kenneth Clarke: Former Tory chancellor expresses fears over productivity and warns against triumphalism over 'a bit of cyclical upswing' (The Observer)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 463 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, July 18, 2014

Friday roundup (07-18-14)

Bank of Italy cuts [Italy's] 2014 growth forecast (Marketwatch)

James Turk and John Rubino: John Rubino and James Turk discuss their new book, "The Money Bubble. What to Do Before it Pops?" and also our flawed monetary policy and also talk about what may happen when systems break down and then give their thoughts on how to prepare. [Actually the show ends before the get to the last point.] (Youtube)



US Regulators Close Small Bank in Georgia (The Associated Press) Eastside Commercial Bank of Conyers GA had a troubled assets ratio of 494.3 percent. (BankTracker) Eastside Commercial Bank, Conyers, GA, Becomes 13th Bank Failure of 2014 (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, July 17, 2014

Thursday roundup (07-17-14)

Deflation fears dog ECB as consumer price rises in the eurozone remain low at just 0.5% in June (This is Money) Deflation still threatens euro zone, growth steady at best: Reuters poll (Reuters)

ECB will give Eurozone banks just two weeks to devise plan to get their houses in order (CityAM) E.C.B. Sets Tight Deadline for Troubled Eurozone Banks (The New York Times)

ECB will disclose unprecedented data after bank stress tests (Reuters)

Eurozone tensions rise as French-German economic chasm widens: Divergence of eurozone giants to cause problems for economic policymaking (The Telegraph)

We need to rein in 'too big to fail' banks [in the United States] by Elizabeth Warren, John McCain, Maria Cantwell and Angus King (CNN)

Sizing Up a Potential Media Marriage [between Time Warner and 21st Century Fox; Bloomberg Visual Data via] (The Big Picture blog)

Downtown L.A. is now driest since rain records started in 1877 (The Los Angeles Times)

Microsoft to cut [up to] 18,000 jobs this year as it chops Nokia (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, 07-17-14)

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.)

"In the week that ended July 12, the number of initial filings for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits fell by 3,000 to 302,000, the fewest new weekly filings since May, the U.S. Labor Department reported." (Marketwatch)

US initial jobless claims drop; 4-week average at lowest since 2007 (The Associated Press)

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, July 16, 2014

Wednesday roundup (07-16-14)

A German recession would put the euro back in danger: Weak Europe is finally pulling Germany down (Marketwatch)

Yellen, Fed Still Worried About Slowdown in Housing Recovery (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Why America's Healthcare (Sickcare) System Is Broken and Unfixable by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Time Warner win would make Murdoch U.S. media king (Reuters) Time Warner rejected $80B offer from 21st Century Fox: Sources [The New York Times via] (CNBC) Rupert Murdoch 'determined' to take control of Time Warner after $80bn bid rebuffed: Potential for hostile takeover would create media behemoth bringing together Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers movie studios and television channels Fox, HBO, and TMT (The Telegraph)

     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, July 15, 2014

Tuesday roundup (07-15-14)

Despite dropping deficits [in the US], debt picture a concern, watchdog says (CNNMoney) Federal Debt to Reach 106% of Economy in 2039, CBO Says (Bloomberg)

Why We're Doomed: Interest and Debt by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Warren on JPMorgan: Warren destroys Yellen over JPMorgan and its living will. (C-Span)



     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, July 14, 2014

Monday roundup (07-14-14)

Quote of the Day:

"One could make the case that the tentative recovery in the euro area has come to an abrupt halt. If true, the implications — for asset markets, the global economy, monetary policy, and social and economic stability in Europe — would be considerable." -- Analysts at Credit Suisse in a note. (The New York Times)

BP’s Latest Estimate Says World’s Oil Will Last 53.3 Years (OilPrice)

Euro zone industry stumbles in May, recovery still frail (Reuters)

IMF warns further shocks would stall euro zone recovery (Reuters)

Eurozone is weak and risks falling into deflation, IMF report warns: Euro area should repair bank balance sheets, step up reforms to boost jobs and the ECB should get ready for quantitative easing (The Guardian) IMF warns ECB credibility at risk over deflation paralysis: Fund calls for a “large-scale asset purchase programme” if inflation fails to pick up by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Draghi Faces Age-Old Problem in Trying to Spur Europe Inflation (Bloomberg)

Draghi Seen Handing $1 Trillion to Banks in ECB Offer (Bloomberg)

Renzi struggling to rein in Italy's big-spending state (Reuters)

Italian public debt hits record 2.2 trillion euros: Debt +4.7% since beginning of year says Bank of Italy (Gazzetta del Sud)

Six million Italians in total poverty, says Istat: Italian public debt hits record 2.2 trillion euros (AnsaMed)

Serbian Finance Minister Resigns, Successor Sees Milder Austerity (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Serbia finance minister resigns over reform pace [saying PM is "soft-hearted"] (The Associated Press) Serbian finance minister quits over reform disagreements with PM [different translation says PM "has a good heart"] (Reuters)

Yellen says Fed easy money needed even after recovery: report (Reuters)

Forget Debt As A Percent Of GDP, It's Really Much Worse (Forbes)

Citigroup Agrees to $7 billion Settlement in Mortgage Probe (NBCNews) Citigroup pays $7B to resolve government probe; DOJ hints more banks could be investigated (FoxNews)

India's Reliance Communications to Axe 6,000 Jobs in Major Restructuring Move [July 7] (International Business Times)

Pentagon gives pink slips to thousands of soldiers [roughly 2,600 officers], including active-duty officers (FoxNews)

Trump Plaza to Close, Costing Atlantic City 1,000 Jobs (Bloomberg) Atlantic City's woes mount as Trump Plaza plans to close (CNNMoney) As Casinos Start to Fall, Atlantic City Struggles to Rise (The New York Times)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, July 13, 2014

Sunday roundup (07-13-14)

BIS chief fears fresh Lehman from worldwide debt surge: Jaime Caruana says investors are ignoring prospect of higher interest rates in the hunt for returns by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Japan investors bulk up on French bonds, bet on euro zone "Japanisation" [=" deflation and a long period of zero interest rates"](Reuters)

Charting a path to 'normalization' [in the US] (Reuters)

Citi, U.S. $7 billion settlement announcement expected Monday (Reuters) From Benghazi to the Boardroom: The Road to the $7 Billion Citigroup Settlement (The New York Times 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 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, July 12, 2014

Saturday roundup (07-12-14)

Who Turned Out the Lights? The Coming Mega Sun Storm (Bloomberg)

Merkel Warns of Euro Fragility, Citing Portugal Turmoil (Bloomberg)

Real threat to a UK recovery: Dig below the surface and there are good reasons for believing the recovery is fragile (The Telegraph)

[In the US,] Unofficial Problem Bank list unchanged at 465 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, July 11, 2014

Friday roundup (07-11-14)

Who Wants a Depression? by Paul Krugman (The New York Times)

How Derivatives Will Trigger A Bond Market Melt-Down (Part 1) (Investment Research Dynamics) Omens of a Derivatives Meltdown (Part 1) (Youtube)



Against Austerity in Detroit: ‘Water Is a Human Right’ (The Nation) Clergy members among 8 arrested at Detroit water shutoff protest (The Detroit Free Press)

A Reader Asks: How to Find Shelter from the Coming Storms? by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

Rooted In Recession: The Richest Families Whose Businesses Started During the Great Depression (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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday roundup (07-10-14)

Is the eurozone's debt crisis set to reignite? (CBSMoneywatch) Portugal banking crisis sends tremors through Europe: Portugal’s regulator suspends trading of Banco Espirito Santo after its share price crashes 17pc, reviving worries about the health of Europe’s banks (The Telegraph)

French Economy Minister Proposes Tapping the Brakes on Austerity: Arnaud Montebourg Says Tax Cuts, Crackdown on Professional Cartels Will Spur Consumer Demand (The Wall Street Journal)

Bank of England keeps rates low, policymakers' views seen splitting soon (Reuters)

There Will Be No Real Recovery [in the United States] Without The Middle Class (Forbes)

Pesticide blamed for bee deaths now linked to bird declines (The Los Angeles Times) Neonicotinoids linked to recent fall in farmland bird numbers: Research demonstrates for the first time the knock-on effects to other species of class of insecticides known to harm bees (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 07-10-14)

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 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 in the period of June 29 to July 5, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Initial jobless claims reach near 7-year low: While jobless claims are near seven-year lows, analysts expect an small uptick on account of summer shutdowns in the auto industry. (United Press International)

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, July 9, 2014

Wednesday roundup (07-09-14)

Massive debts mean Europe faces years of stunted growth (CityAM)

Can Anything Halt European Deflation? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Is Germany leading the euro zone toward the no-growth cliff? (Marketwatch blogs) Slowing German economy sparks fresh eurozone concerns: Signs that the German economy is losing momentum has helped spark renewed tensions in the eurozone with renewed calls for action to spur economic growth. (dpa)

Crisis Haunting Spain as Loan Costs Threaten Growth (Bloomberg)

U.S. productivity growth last year was worst since recession, new data show (Marketwatch blogs)

Citigroup may pay $7 billion to resolve U.S. mortgage probes: source (Reuters) Wall Street Payouts Over Mortgage Crisis Top $100 Billion: But U.S. assets lost $2.7 trillion in value between 2007 to 2010 (Time)

Jefferies CEO Warns of ‘Bad Behaviors’ Returning (Bloomberg) "These Are The Cancers That Will Cause The Next Crisis" (Cliff Küle’s Notes blog)

10 companies that put nearly all the food on supermarket shelves (Marketwatch blogs) BEHIND THE BRANDS: Food justice and the "Big 10" food and beverage companies (Oxfam International)

NKY-based General Cable to cut 1,000 jobs (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Lloyds to cut 500 more jobs amid organisational changes: Cuts bring the number of jobs lost at Lloyds to around 30,000 since the banking crisis unfolded in 2008, says Unite (The Press Association)

     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, July 8, 2014

Tuesday roundup (07-08-14)

Central banks ending era of clear promises, return to 'artful' policy (Reuters)

No softer European budget spending rules: Dijsselbloem: Italy and its allies will receive no special leeway in meeting EU budget rules, the influential chairman of euro zone finance ministers said on Tuesday, as Germany resisted attempts to soft-pedal on long-promised spending reforms. (The Irish Independent) EU at Odds Over Debt-Financed Stimulus Spending (The Associated Press)

Sarkozy party faced with 80 million euro debt mountain, audit shows (Reuters)

"This Is The Worst Of All Possible Worlds," The Fed "Is Borrowing Returns From The Future" (ZeroHedge blog)

Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank ‘in sanctions busting settlement talks with US’ (euronews) US scrutiny for banks shifts to Commerzbank and Germany [The New York Times via] (CNBC)

United Airlines to outsource more than 630 jobs at U.S. airports (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.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday roundup (07-07-14)

The European debt wish: There are no easy answers to solve Europe's public and private debt crisis - what worked for Germany hasn't worked for Spain (The Guardian)

German Industrial Output Falls in Sign of Slower Growth (Bloomberg)

Europeans Fear France Could Threaten Recovery (The New York Times)

EU must show 'all flexibility' to deficit-cutting: France (Agence France Presse)

Why interest rates [in the United States] may stay very low for a lot longer (The Los Angeles Times)

Inflation Hysteria Redux (Tim Duy's Fed Watch blog)

Student loan forgiveness may be coming in the future (CNBC)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, July 6, 2014

Sunday roundup (07-06-14)

Lagarde: Global economic recovery could be 'less robust than expected': International Monetary Fund chief warns "lacklustre" investment could lead to slower growth (The Telegraph) Lagarde Hints at Global Forecast Cut Even as U.S. Rebounds (Bloomberg)

ECB: We're aware of asset bubble risk (Marketwatch)

Responsibility for flawed design of eurozone rests with Germany: The EU will be led out 
of the current mess 
by Germany or it will not be led at all, says Colm McCarthy (The Irish Independent)

Italian minister delays goal of repaying commercial debts (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, July 5, 2014

Saturday roundup (07-05-14)

ECB’s Noyer Warns Euro Area Against Giving Up on Deficit Cutting (Bloomberg)

Greece clears hurdle for one billion euro aid tranche (Reuters)

How Every U.S. State Has Fared Since The Recession, In 1 Graph (National Public Radio blogs) 32 states trail US as a whole in job recovery (CNBC)

People voluntarily leaving jobs at highest rate since 2009 downturn (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Autopsy of America: Photos of dead shopping malls (CNNMoney)



Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 465 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

[Off Topic] Controversial Class Wants Babies to Learn to Swim Before Walking: The program teaches children how to float on their backs in hopes of preventing drowning deaths. (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams)



     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, July 4, 2014

Friday roundup (07-04-14)

European austerity failed, but what comes next may be worse (The Business Spectator)

Italy Accuses Germany of Undermining Its Economic Efforts (The New York Times) Italian PM attacks Bundesbank over claim Rome risks eurozone recovery: Matteo Renzi launches attack on head of German central bank, Jens Weidmann, accusing him of political interference (The Guardian) Renzi, Bundesbank Chief Face Off Over Stability and Growth (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

How EU politics pushed Merkel to lift Germany’s austerity policies (Reuters blogs)

Elizabeth Warren says the U.S. economy is rigged. Many conservatives agree. (The Washington Post blogs)

Grass Roots Grow Against Greed (Moyers & Company) Grass Roots Grow Against Greed: This Fourth of July weekend, as we celebrate our independence and democracy, we pay tribute to the champions of grassroots action fighting against the moneyed interests trying to buy and control government. (Vimeo)



California severe drought intensifying as Napa wildfire rages on: Map released by US Drought Monitor classified nearly 80% of California as in 'extreme' drought, the second highest category (The Guardian) California toughens enforcement of water violations (The Fresno Bee)

[UK's] Asda to cut 1,360 jobs: Supermarkets group Asda will radically restructure management of its stores as customers increasingly buy groceries online (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.