Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday roundup (10-31-14)

Eurozone Inflation Ticked Up in October, but Is Still Far Below Target (The New York Times) Eurozone inflation edges up – but not enough to ease concerns about deflation: European Central Bank remains under pressure as economists expect renewed downward pressure on inflation (The Guardian) Deflation Hit More Eurozone Products in October (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Why Deflation Is Such A Big Worry For Europe: Some of the weakest countries, such as Spain and Italy, are experiencing a broad drop in incomes and asset values. Deflation is a painful process that can be hard to reverse once it starts. (National Public Radio)



German inflation slowdown shows deflation risk remains (Reuters)

Japan’s Central Bank Unexpectedly Moves to Stimulate Economy (The New York Times) Japan risks Asian currency war with fresh QE blitz: The Bank of Japan is mopping up the country's vast debt and driving down the yen in a radical experiment in modern global finance by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Inflation? Deflation Is New Risk [in the US] (The New York Times)

Can Walmart's holiday plans get shoppers back? (CBSNews) Wal-Mart to Cut Prices on 20K Items to Spur Holiday Sales: Wal-Mart, working to reverse six straight quarters of stagnant U.S. sales, will cut prices on more than 20,000 items tomorrow to get a jump on competitors before the holiday season. ilt Groupe Founder and Chairman Kevin Ryan and Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman speak on “In The Loop.” (Bloomberg)



Sony Says Half-Year Loss Nearly $1 Billion; Will Cut 1,000 Jobs (Agence France Presse)

World Bank to cut 500 jobs in some units as part of revamp (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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday roundup (10-30-14)

Shadow Banking* Grows to $75 Trillion Industry [Globally], FSB Says [*"which includes hedge funds, real estate investment trusts and off-balance sheet investment vehicles"] (Bloomberg)

Euro zone haunts Spanish economy as growth slows, prices fall (Reuters)

South of Italy in 'catastrophic decline' after recession: Southern Italy is undergoing catastrophic demographic and industrial decline after six consecutive years of recession, report warns (The Telegraph)

US and China tighten in unison, and damn the torpedoes: The world has changed abruptly for investors as the US Federal Reserve and the People's Bank of China both brush aside deflation warnings and press ahead with monetary tightening by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

The U.S. recovery is frustrating — but it’s the envy of the advanced world (The Washington Post blogs) The economy just grew 3.5 percent, but the recovery is still incredibly mediocre (The Washington Post blogs)

U.S. prosecutors reopen probes against several big banks: NYT (Reuters)

Some MF Global creditors to get first payout, 3 years after bankruptcy (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, 10-30-14)

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 3,000 to 287,000 in the week ended Oct. 25, 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, October 29, 2014

Wednesday roundup (10-29-14)

Bank of England chief economist wants global coordination on financial risks (Reuters) Global financial system ‘incendiary’ risk to stability, says Bank regulator: International flow of funds now a ‘genuine system’ that requires new and stronger regulatory tools, says Andy Haldane (The Guardian)

As deflation deadline nears, BOJ faces prospect of failure (Reuters)

Fed declares economy strong enough for bond-buying stimulus to end (The Los Angeles Times) Fed ends bond buying, shows confidence in U.S. recovery (Reuters)

Homeownership drops to two-decade low (Marketwatch)

     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, October 28, 2014

Tuesday roundup (10-28-14)

The case for a global recession in 2015 (Fortune)

Child poverty up in more than half of developed world since 2008: Unicef report finds number of children entering poverty during global recession is 2.6 million greater than number lifted out of it (The Guardian) UK child poverty soaring due to Government’s austerity measures, Unicef says (The Independent)

Italy cuts 2015 deficit goal to win EU approval for budget (Reuters)

Swedish central bank cuts interest rate to zero to fight deflation risk (Reuters) Riksbank cuts rates to zero and mulls currency war to fight deflation: Sweden's central bank is having to pick its  poison, choosing between deflation or an asset bubble by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Bank of England set to impose higher leverage ratio on banks - sources (Reuters)

Israeli deflation not a big concern, aids consumers - central bank official (Reuters)

Erskine Bowles: Urgency of [US] federal deficit remains: The recent decline in the budget deficit can’t distract us from real structural and tax reforms. (USAToday)

Lloyds Bank to Cut 9,000 Jobs in Digital Push (The New York Times blogs)

Dutch arm of Air France-KLM to shed 7,500 jobs: report (Reuters)

Amgen to cut up to 1,100 more jobs (The Los Angeles 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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday roundup (10-27-14)

ECB stress tests vastly understate risk of deflation and leverage: Ignoring the deflation danger for the banking systems of southern Europe has reduced the latest stress test to another 'farce', says EU economist Philippe Legrain by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) The Chart That Crushes All Credibility Of The ECB's Latest Stress Test (ZeroHedge blog)

Under full capital rules, 36 EU banks would have failed test (Reuters)

Deflation dangers in euro zone: Policy conservatism thrust upon by bigger economies needs to be abandoned. Else, the bloc could disintegrate (LiveMint)

[In Fighting Deflation,] Draghi May Help Europe’s Rich Get Richer (Bloomberg)

German economy could lead Europe back into recession (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

France and Italy offer to trim deficit further to win EU clemency (Reuters)

Deflation looms as Fed policy sputters (The San Diego Union-Tribune) Specter of no-inflation world looms over Fed's return to normal (Reuters)

We Don't Have One Problem--We Have Three Interlocking Sets of Problems by Charles Hugh Smith (Of Two Minds blog)

The Decline of California Agriculture Has Begun: Photos from the changed Central Valley. (Slate)

     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, October 26, 2014

Sunday roundup (10-26-14)

ECB fails 25 banks in health check but problems largely solved (Reuters) 13 European banks fail 'stress test' review, must raise $12.5 billion: The European Central Bank reviewed the financial institutions and found 25 banks, one in five European institutions, did not have enough resources to withstand an economic downturn and needed stronger capital buffers. 12 of the banks have already made up the shortfall. (The Associated Press) Four in five eurozone banks pass ECB health test (Agence France Presse)

There Is One Huge Thing Missing [= threat of deflation] From The ECB's Stress Tests (The Business Insider) ECB stress test scenario did not consider deflation: Constancio (Reuters)

Italian Banks Are the Weakest Performers in E.C.B. Review (The New York Times blogs)

[Italian bank] Monte Paschi has biggest capital gap in ECB tests, may seek merger (Reuters) Monte Dei Paschi looks at strategic options (Marketwatch)

Fed set to finally get out of the market (CNNMoney) Federal Reserve to take away the punch bowl (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, October 25, 2014

Saturday roundup (10-25-14)

Italy’s public debt skyrockets to 134% of GDP (Press TV of Iran) Italy on brink of socio-economic breakdown (Youtube)



Britain's huge debt pile poses risk to UK recovery: Britain paying annual debt interest bill close to size of Government's education budget, while more discipline needed to reduce the deficit, accountancy body warns. (The Telegraph)

China State Economist Sees 2015 Growth Slowest in Over 2 Decades (Bloomberg)

No, Americans Are Not All To Blame for the Financial Crisis: Exposing the big lie of the post-crash economy [not necessarily the opinion of your blogger] (The New Republic)

Something Is Dangerously Wrong at the New York Fed (The Fiscal Times)

Largest Bank Failure of 2014 – The National Republic Bank of Chicago [failure was posted here yesterday] (Problem Bank List)

Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 423 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, October 24, 2014

Friday roundup (10-24-14)

"Deflationary pressure bearing down" on global markets: Alpert: "We've leveled the wings of the plane, is it really flying or are we actually going to fall into the same disinflationary or deflationary trap as Europe?" (Yahoo!'s Yfinance Biz Economics)



The world’s biggest economic problem [is the Eurozone]: Deflation in the euro zone is all too close and extremely dangerous (The Economist)

Euro zone risks "relapse into recession" without structural reforms - Draghi (Reuters)

Back to reality: The debt of some euro-zone economies looks unsustainable (The Economist)

The Conflict Between Germany and the E.C.B. That Threatens Europe (The New York Times) Stagnating euro zone seeks to persuade Germany to shift (Reuters) Mario Draghi's German problem (Reuters)

[In the United States,] Regulators close National Republic Bank of Chicago (The Associated Press) The National Republic Bank of Chicago of Chicago IL had a troubled assets ratio of 327%. (BankTracker)

     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, October 23, 2014

Thursday roundup (10-23-14)

Is A Global Economic Storm Brewing? (Forbes) The pendulum swings to the pit: Politicians and central bankers are not providing the world with the inflation it needs; some economies face damaging deflation instead (The Economist)

German economy minister stands up to US on stimulus: On his first visit to the United States, Sigmar Gabriel has rejected a suggestion that Germany shoulder the weight of a European growth spurt. Soon, the vice chancellor will also have talks on an EU-US trade agreement. (Deutsche Welle)

France and Italy Tell Germany: Take Your Austerity and Stuff It (The American Prospect)

EU seeks clarification on Italy's breach of debt-cutting goals (Reuters)

Italy’s in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it: Everything that’s wrong with France is worse here (The Spectator)

Interest rates could stay low permanently, says Bank of England deputy governor: Global interest rates declined "before as well as since the financial crisis", Ben Broadbent, deputy governor of the Bank of England says. (The Telegraph)

Mapping China's Bursting Real Estate Bubble (ZeroHedge blog)

How [in the United States] Quantitative Easing Contributed to the Nation’s Inequality Problem (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.

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 10-23-14)

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 U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 17,000 last week to 283,000, but initial claims remained near historically low levels that reflect the small number of layoffs taking place in the economy." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. at 14-Year Low Over Past Month (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, October 22, 2014

Wednesday roundup (10-22-14)

Eurozone Economy Still 'In Danger Zone,' Mersch Says (Dow Jones Newswires)

EU to warn France and Italy on budget plans [The Financial Times via] (CNBC)

Eight charts showing where it all went wrong for France: From chronic unemployment, to the mess in its public finances, here are the numbers illustrating how France became the "sick man" of Europe (The Telegraph)

Bank of England committee sees little scope to raise rates as eurozone crisis returns: Minutes of the Bank's committee of rate setters revealed concerns about lower global demand, particularly from the struggling eurozone. (The Telegraph)

Lloyds To Cut 9,000 [UK] Jobs In Three-Year Plan: Lloyds will announce next week that it is to cut around 9,000 jobs as consumers turn to digital banking, Sky News learns. (SkyNews) Lloyds Said to Cut 9,000 Jobs Amid Online Banking Shift (Bloomberg)

U.S. Consumer Prices Barely Rise as Inflation Remains Muted (The New York Times) Inflation Short of Goal Means Fed Can Keep Rates Low: Economy (Bloomberg)

Water Crisis Seen Worsening as Sao Paulo Nears ‘Collapse’ (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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday roundup (10-21-14)

Eurozone’s Economic Woes Deepen (The Big Picture blog)

EU budget 2014: European commission set to warn five countries [= Italy, France, Austria, Slovenia, and Malta] that their contributions breach new fiscal rules (CityAM) EU budget timetable points to Italy budget being rejected (Reuters)

Eurozone Risk to U.S.: Low Inflation More Than Weak Growth (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Germany risks recession, in Bundesbank's bleak outlook (Reuters)

George Osborne set to miss deficit targets as Government borrowing jumps: Government borrowing, excluding public sector banks, rose to £11.8bn in September, £1.6bn greater than in the preceding year. (The Telegraph) It is truly shocking that our already huge budget deficit is still growing: The public finances are an Achilles’ Heel that could derail the Tories (The Telegraph)

China's economic growth slows to more than five-year low (The BBC) China's growth slowest since global crisis, annual target at risk (Reuters)

China GDP figures are bogus: Rickards: Jim Rickards, Chief Global Strategist at West Shore Funds, explains why he's not closely watching China's gross domestic product figures. (CNBC)



Democracy will lead to 'poor' dominating politics, say Hong Kong's China-backed governor: CY Leung makes controversial claim that "the poor" will have the largest say in politics if election candidates are chosen by public (The Telegraph) Hong Kong’s Leung Says Patience With Protesters Wearing Thin (Bloomberg)

America’s ugly economic truth: Why austerity is generating another slowdown: The global economy is ailing, and the damage done by fiscal policy is going to come crashing. Here's our sad fate (Salon)

Telefonica to Cut 18% of German Jobs [= about 1,600] After E-Plus Deal (Bloomberg)

Kimberly-Clark to cut up to 1,300 jobs after spinoff (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, October 20, 2014

Monday roundup (10-20-14)

BIS chief economist warns of dangers of easy money: The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel warned on Monday (Oct 20) that the current ultra-expansive monetary policy around the world could pose a threat to financial stability. (Agence France Presse)

Eurozone stagnation is a greater threat than debt: Monetary policy can boost markets in the shortrun, but this cannot be sustained indefinitely [Oct. 19] (The Financial Times) Portugal’s Debt Falls With Spain’s on Stagnation Concern (Bloomberg)

Unity on Eurozone Growth Eludes Germany and France (The New York Times)

France will cut deficit at appropriate pace: Sapin (Reuters)

France calls on Germany to invest 50 billion euros in eurozone: Ahead of a visit to Berlin, two French ministers have called on Germany to invest 50 billion euros. It is the same amount by which Paris is to reduce public spending. (Deutsche Welle)

Russia Rating Cut by Moody’s on Sluggish Economic Growth (Bloomberg)

Bank of England tells bankers to get used to lower pay: Sir Jon Cunliffe says shareholders have lost out as falling profitability at banks has failed to translate into lower pay packets (The Telegraph)

[In the US,] Dudley [who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY] Warns Banks Must Improve Culture or Be Broken Up (Bloomberg)

Rising Inequality: Janet Yellen Tells It Like It Is (The New Yorker)

     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, October 19, 2014

Sunday roundup (10-19-14)

European Leaders Pivot to Debt Crisis After Wake-Up Call (Bloomberg)

The euro zone is slipping again: The problem this time could be more serious as the unease is emanating from Germany (LiveMint)

The rise in periphery bond yields is sovereign debt crisis, round 2 (Credit Writedowns 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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday roundup (10-18-14)

Why the eurozone’s woes have become the world’s problem: The explanation for the plunge on global financial markets comes down to one word: Europe (The Observer)

Why To Worry About Deflation by Paul Krugman (The New York Times blogs)

Unofficial Problem Bank list [in the US] declines to 426 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

NBRS Financial, Rising Sun, MD, Becomes 15th Bank Failure of 2014 [as posted here yesterday] (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, October 17, 2014

Friday roundup (10-17-14)

Stock market turmoil and the global debt trap (The Washington Post)

EU Should Consider Suspending Debt Rules, Dallara Says (Bloomberg)

Eurozone crisis, five years on: no happy ending in sight for Greek odyssey: Currency bloc is locked into a low-growth, low-inflation, high-unemployment paradigm (The Guardian)

Before a Bailout, E.C.B. Minutes Showed Doubts Over Keeping a Cyprus Bank Afloat (The New York Times blogs) ECB minutes leaked out for first time (Marketwatch)

Spanish public debt reaches 1.01 trillion euros in August (Cihan/Xinhua)

Bank of England may keep rates low for longer, says chief economist (Reuters)

Citing U.S. values, Yellen says greatly concerned by rise in economic inequality (Reuters)

Regulators Close Small Maryland Bank (The Associated Press) NBRS Financial of Rising Sun MD had a troubled assets ratio of 143.2%. (BankTracker)

Telefonica Deutschland to cut 1,600 German jobs by 2018 - source (Reuters)

BB&T cutting about 800 jobs (The Winston-Salem Journal) [versus] Reports of BB&T job cuts exaggerated, spokeswoman says (Charlotte Business Journal)

iPhone glass maker to cut 727 jobs at Mesa factory (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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday roundup (10-16-14)

5 Reasons to Worry About Deflation (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

World braces as deflation tremors hit Eurozone bond markets: 'The forces of monetary deflation are gathering. Global liquidity is declining and central banks are not doing enough, either in the West or the East to offset the decline,' warns CrossBorderCapital by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Euro zone back in firing line over growth, lowflation, Greece (Reuters)

Deflation stalks Europe's periphery as inflation hits 5-year low (Reuters)

Specter of Renewed Crisis Polarizes Europe (The New York Times)

ECB bank health checks will not solve problems, EU warned (Reuters)

Germany reads the riot act to spendthrift France and Italy: Angela Merkel warns Eurozone countries that recovery is 'too fragile' to be threatened by more borrowing (The Daily Mail) Merkel urges EU to keep up reforms as [, she says, the] crisis [is] not over (Reuters) Why Germany won't fight deflation (The BBC) Germany's Merkel Warns France Over Budget Deficit (The Associated Press)

ECB eyes extra funding for Greek banks as Athens markets plunge (Reuters)

China Inc's spending cuts deepest in six years as economy slows (Reuters)

Will deflation fears [in the United States] prolong QE or delay the rate hike? (The Washington Post blogs) Bullard Says Fed Should Consider Delay in Ending QE (Bloomberg) [Nonetheless,] Fed likely to end bond buying, may signal caution on rate hikes (Reuters)

Inside the Fed’s ‘Doomsday Book’ (The Wall Street Journal blogs) [compare:] Crisis may make 1929 look a 'walk in the park': As central banks continue to splash their cash over the system, so far to little effect, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that things risk spiralling out of their control [Dec. 22, 2007] (The Telegraph)

Economic Jitters Are Back As American Debt Soars To $18 Trillion in 6 Years (The New York Sun)

The U.S. Economic Recovery Is Still On Food Stamps (Real Clear Markets)

Office Depot to cut 1,100 jobs in Europe (Reuters)

Advanced Micro Devices plans [about 700] layoffs (Marketwatch)

Va. to cut 565 jobs, shut Powhatan prison to close money gap (The Richmond Times-Dispatch)

     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, 10-16-14)

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 U.S. jobless benefits fell 23,000 to 264,000 in the week that ended Oct. 11, hitting the lowest level since April 2000, showing that employers are laying off few workers, according to government data released Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Decrease to 14-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, October 15, 2014

Wednesday roundup (10-15-14)

Risk of Deflation Feeds Global Fears: Falling Commodities Prices Pressures Central Banks (The Wall Street Journal) The Depressing Signals the Markets Are Sending About the Global Economy (The New York Times) Europe Is Flirting With A Bizarre New Kind Of Economic Meltdown That Hasn't Been Seen Since The 1930s (The Business Insider)

World economy so damaged it may need permanent QE: Markets are realising that the five-and-a-half year recovery since the financial crisis may already be over, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

U.S. warns Europe on deflation, says ECB actions may fall short (Reuters)

EU Starts Two-Week Austerity Scrutiny as Crisis Reawakens (Bloomberg)

Italy Joins France on Potential Collision Course With Europe Over Budgets: Renzi Plans Tax Cuts to Try to Jump-Start Economy, Delaying Deficit Reduction (The Wall Street Journal)

Portugal to Stick With Austerity Program in 2015 (The Associated Press)

Ukraine’s economy choking under Russian pressure, but Western help is scarce (The Washington Post)

In 2014, U.S. Budget Deficit Falls To Pre-Recession Level (National Public Radio) Federal deficit down, debt still rising (McClatchy Washington Bureau)

Weaker Retail Sales Signal Smaller Spending Boost: Economy (Bloomberg) Big Misses for Retail Sales, NY Manufacturing (The Mess That Greenspan Made blog)

Why Can't People Feel the Economic Recovery?: Unemployment may be down, but getting ahead remains out of reach. (The Atlantic)

France to cut 7,500 military jobs in new budget cuts (Radio France International)

Siemens to cut 1,200 jobs: media (Xinhua)

Va. to cut 565 state jobs due to budget shortfall (WWBT)

     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, October 14, 2014

Tuesday roundup (10-14-14)

The World Is Now Rolling Over Into A Frightening Deflation (King World News)

To G-20 Leaders: Urgent Need to Boost Demand in the Eurozone (EconoMonitor)

Eurozone industrial production falls sharply in August: Official data on Tuesday (Oct 14) showed industrial output in the eurozone fell a steep 1.8 per cent in August, in another sign that recession in the 18-nation currency bloc could return. (Agence France Presse) Euro zone industrial output falls; ministers debate weak economy (Reuters)

Economists Theorize Eurozone May Experience Triple-Dip Recession: To find out what's going on with the economy, Rachel Martin talks to David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal. (National Public Radio)



Deflation Threatens Economic Recovery in the Fragile Eurozone (Newsweek) Europe reels under new barrage of awful economic data: Prices plunge in Eurozone, U.K. as economy weakens (Fortune)

[Meanwhile] European Policy Makers [Are] At Odds As Eurozone’s Economic Woes Deepen: ECB Concerned Bolder Monetary Policy Won’t Work Without Government Moves to Revive Recovery (The Wall Street Journal) Germany's Fischer warns of looming political crisis in Europe (Reuters)

Germany Seen Close to Recession After ZEW Investor Sentiment Survey Plunges: Any Recession Likely Short-lived in Eurozone’s Most Powerful Economy, Says ZEW’s President (The Wall Street Journal) German investor morale tumbles as contraction looms (CNBC) German investor morale plunges to lowest level in almost two years (Reuters)

Germany Rejects Calls to Spend More to Stave Off Recession in Europe: German Government Officials Say Signs of Slower Growth Won’t Derail Plans for 2015 Balanced Budget (The Wall Street Journal) Merkel Vows Austerity Even as Growth Projection Cut (Bloomberg) Merkel says Germany will not soften its strict budget stance (Reuters)

Italy says will not increase planned deficit cut in 2015 budget (Reuters)

Italy's Renzi announces tax cuts as EU scrutinizes budget (Reuters)

Irish Unveil Growth Budget, End 6 Years' Austerity (The Associated Press)

Falling inflation [in the UK is] 'nail in the coffin' for interest rate rise before Christmas: Markets [now] expect Bank of England to lift rates "at the back end of next summer" [at the earliest] as inflation continues to slip (The Telegraph)

Bankers caused crash and got away with it, says Carney: Bank of England chief says bosses should have paid a higher price (The Daily Mail)

     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, October 13, 2014

Monday roundup (10-13-14)

Trade engine shifts down just as global growth needs a boost (Reuters)

"Prepare For Runs", IMF Warns Policymakers Of "Elevated Financial Stability & Liquidity Risks" (ZeroHedge blog)

Europe Fears Dominate as Bankers Press Politicians at Global Meeting (Bloomberg)

This is the most important chart in the world right now: The European Central Bank's key indicator of medium-term inflation expectations is "flashing red". The markets are watching to see what happens next (The Telegraph)

Germany's Austerity Obsession Could Take Down The Global Economy (The Huffington Post) Europe Now Consists Of Two Factions: Germany, And Everybody Who Disagrees With Germany (The Business Insider) Euro zone seeks to soften German opposition to stimulus spending (Reuters)

E.U. and France on Collision Course Over Budget (The New York Times) France Is Living Fat and Giving the Finger to Germany: Paris isn't even trying to pretend that it cares anymore about hitting the eurozone's debt targets. But now a showdown with Brussels looms. (Foreign Policy)

Economic hardship worsens for Greeks despite easing recession (Reuters)

Greece might get more credit from EU after bailout exit - source (Reuters)

The great Lira revolt has begun in Italy: The biggest single party in the Italian parliament by votes has thrown down the gauntlet, calling for a euro referendum to end depression and save democracy, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Italy's 'UKIP' launches drive for euro referendum as five-year depression drags on: Italy's Cinque Stelle throws down the gauntlet, warns Europe to come "well-armed" if it means to encroach any further on Italian sovereignty by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Goldman Cuts Japan Growth Outlook Citing Consumer Mood (Bloomberg)

James Rickards - Next Crash Exponentially Larger than Any Financial Panic in History (Youtube)



Unofficial [US] Problem Bank list declines to 429 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

Ben & Jerry's Renames Flavor to Aid Oregon's GMO Labeling Ballot Measure: Two states have initiatives on the ballot that would require labels for foods containing GMO ingredients — Colorado and Oregon. (Bloomberg) Voters Will Get Their Say On GMO Labeling In Colorado And Oregon: Similar measures calling for labeling genetically modified foods have failed in recent years in California and Washington, and Vermont is being sued for the labeling law it enacted earlier this year [Oct. 7] (National Public Radio)



Consumer Reports throws its support behind GMO labeling [Oct. 7] (The Washington Post blogs)

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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday roundup (10-12-14)

Banks accept derivatives rule change [intended] to end 'too big to fail' scenario (Reuters)

Greece tells IMF it wants early exit from rescue programme: Largest such programme in global financial history had aimed at preventing debt crisis from spreading through the eurozone (The Guardian)

Saudi prince rides in to save France's debt-ridden Euro Disney as he joins £330million rescue deal (This is Money)

Elizabeth Warren on Barack Obama: “They protected Wall Street. Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. And it happened over and over and over”: "There has not been nearly enough change," she tells Salon, taking on Obama failures, lobbyists, tuition. So 2016? (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, October 11, 2014

Saturday roundup (10-11-14)

Financial Leaders Pledge 'Bold' Action on Recovery [these leaders = " finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 20 nations"] (The Associated Press)

European Central Bank to launch fresh stimulus as eurozone stutters: Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has suggested that full-blown quantitative easing is an option if inflation expectations drift down further. (The Telegraph)

Draghi Says Growing ECB Balance Sheet Is Last Stimulus Tool Left (Bloomberg)

German downturn casts shadow over world economy (The Associated Press)

Fischer Says Fed May Slow Tightening If World Growth Disappoints (Bloomberg)

Fed's Evans says dollar putting downward pressure on inflation (Reuters)

ZUCKERMAN: US HAS 'MAYBE THE WEAKEST RECOVERY' SINCE WWII [with video] (Breitbart)

They won, we lost: How corruption became America’s national pastime: How the nation's corporate elite "extorts hard working people for their own political and financial gains" (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, October 10, 2014

Friday roundup (10-10-14)

Dam breaks in Europe as deflation fears wash over ECB rhetoric: 'We are reaching the end game in Europe. If they don’t launch real QE soon, the consequences are too awful to contemplate,' warns RBS by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) An extraordinary state of ‘managed depression’: In the eurozone, more action is needed if a widely shared and successful recovery is to be achieved by Martin Wolf (The Financial Times) ECB's Nowotny: would not rule out QE perpetually (Reuters

Eurozone recession is biggest risk to UK, says George Osborne: Chancellor says 'serious clouds are gathering on the horizon' for the global economy (The Telegraph

Europe growth pact floated as euro zone recession fears mount (Reuters)

Germany is killing its economy – and Europe’s, too (The Washington Post blogs)

France’s Debt Outlook Cut to Negative by S&P on Growth (Bloomberg)

S&P strips Finland of AAA rating, cites weak outlook (Marketwatch)

Why is the recovery so weak [in the United States]? It’s the austerity, stupid. (The Washington Post blogs)

The Deep Roots of the Great Recession by Christopher Whalen (National Interest)

California aquifers contaminated with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater (Russia Today)

Apple supplier seeks 890 layoffs (AZCentral)

MicroStrategy to cut 770 jobs, 200 of them in North America (The Washington Post)

Severn Trent to Cut 500 Jobs as U.K. Water Company Pares Costs (Bloomberg)

Couple Donates Millions to Zoo Miami Anonymously: Albert and Winnie Sami gave nearly $5 million to Zoo Miami on the condition that they remain anonymous until after their 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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday roundup (10-09-14)

IMF warns period of ultra-low interest rates poses fresh financial crisis threat [to global economy]: Almost zero borrowing costs has encouraged speculation rather than hoped-for pick up in investment, says Fund (The Guardian)

IMF: The Eurozone Will Slide Back Into Recession 'If Nothing Is Done' (Agence France Presse)

IMF chief: eurozone showing symptoms of Japan’s chronic economic ills: Lagarde calls for fresh moves to avert recession and hints that she expects Germany to use budget surplus to boost growth (The Telegraph)

Stagnation for five years is best eurozone can hope for, says Nobel laureate: Michael Spence says bold decisions are needed to lift the 18-nation bloc out of its moribund state (The Telegraph)

Eurozone inflation rate: Mario Draghi calls on governments to help fight deflation (CityAM) The European Central Bank May Have to Defy Germany (Bloomberg)

Germany needs ‘small miracle’ to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8%: Decrease in August biggest since January 2009 when global economy was in turmoil following collapse of Lehman Brothers (The Guardian) Five charts that show Germany is heading into recession: Europe’s largest economy is on the verge of recession following contraction in the second quarter and weak data for the third (The Guardian) German recession fears mount as exports plunge (Reuters)

Eurozone on cusp of triple-dip recession as German exports crumble: Germany's Wise Men slash their growth forecasts for next year and call for fiscal stimulus, warning that the ECB's 'QE-lite' will achieve nothing by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

One anecdote that brilliantly explains Germany's austerity problem (Vox)

France on brink of having its budget torn up by the EU over its refusal to cut deficit to less than 3% (The Daily Mail)

Bad loans at Italy banks up 20 pct in August to record high (Reuters)

George Osborne: Britain's economic recovery at 'critical' juncture as eurozone 'risks slipping back into crisis': The UK will 'not be immune' from the effects of another eurozone crisis, the Chancellor warns (The Telegraph) Rates held at 0.5% as signs of slowdown weaken case for early hike and Chancellor warns eurozone poses growth threat (This is Money)

IMF Chief: Ukraine Will Need More Bailout Funding (Dow Jones Newswires)

Is Japan’s Economy on the Verge of a Recession? (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Does energy collapse signal deflation? (Marketwatch)

WA job cuts: Barnett announces 1,500 public sector job cuts through voluntary redundancy (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

     The aim of this blog is to show (mostly from reports in mainstream respected news sources) that there is reason to believe that both the United States and the global economies remain fragile in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and that a number of threats 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, 10-09-14)

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 edged down by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in the week ended Oct. 4, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall as Average at 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, October 8, 2014

Wednesday roundup (10-08-14)

OECD leading indicator points to eurozone slowdown (Marketwatch)

Where did the German ‘strongman’ go? (CNBC) German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe: France may look like the sick of man of Europe, but Germany’s woes run deeper, rooted in mercantilist dogma by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Confidence in Obama on economy sinks to new low (CNBC)

GOP senators urge Boehner to block funds for ObamaCare ‘bailout’ (Politico) Insurance companies can’t get Obamacare bailout unless Congress approves (Watchdog)

     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, October 7, 2014

Tuesday roundup (10-07-14)

IMF says economic growth may never return to pre-crisis levels: World economic outlook expects global growth to be 3.3% in 2014, down from its April forecasts as countries fail to recover strongly from recession (The Guardian)

IMF cuts economic growth outlook, citing ‘uneven global recovery’ (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Five charts that show why the global economic recovery is so very disappointing (The Washington Post blogs)

Eurozone Faces a 1-in-3 Chance of Reentering Recession Soon, IMF Says (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Eurozone deflation a global threat, warns IMF (The Times of London)

Rift Opens Among Eurozone Leaders Over Germany’s Insistence on Austerity (The New York Times)

German recession fears grow with latest industry data: August industrial output slumps 4%, the biggest drop since January 2009 (The Guardian)

[In France,] Euro Disney getting a [$1.3 billion] bailout from Walt Disney Co. (The Associated Press) Why Euro Disney's bailout won't be the last (Bloomberg)

IMF tells rest of Europe to copy George Osborne's austerity drive (The London Evening Standard) Britain has fastest growing economy: But eurozone may halt global recovery, says IMF (The Daily Mail)

Problem debt is costing the [UK] economy £8.3bn (The Independent) ["Problem debt means being in arrears on at least one bill or credit commitment"] (The BBC)

Rickards: Fundamental U.S. Economy Is Very Weak: West Shore Group Chief global Strategist Jim Rickards discusses Fed Chair Janet Yellen, gold and concerns over inflation. He speaks on "Market Makers." (Bloomberg)



Does A New Eurozone Recession Threaten US Growth? (The Capital Spectator)

Austerity has been an even bigger disaster than we thought (The Washington Post blogs)

Consumer Credit in U.S. Increases at Slowest Pace Since November (Bloomberg)

Too Big to Jail?: A veteran bank regulator [= William K. Black] lays bare how Washington and Wall Street are joined in a culture of corruption. (Moyers & company) (Vimeo)

Too Big to Jail? from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

The Housing Crisis: How the Fed Turned a Blind Eye (Moyers & company)

Secrets of the bailout, exposed: Why you should be watching the AIG trial: To this day, information on the banks' heist and how it went down is pathetically scant. That's about to change now (Salon)

Turner Broadcasting, Home of CNN, TBS and TNT, Will Cut 1,475 jobs (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.