Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday roundup (02-19-15)

Deflation can be a good thing. But today’s version is pernicious (The Economist) The high cost of falling prices: Low or negative inflation is spreading around the world. That is more of a worry than it sounds (The Economist)

ECB deflation fears sparked QE launch [according to minutes] (CNBC)

French inflation turns negative (The BBC) Inflation négative: bonne ou mauvaise nouvelle? (Le Figaro)

Greece, eurozone in last chance to end debt standoff (Agence France Presse)

Germany may have just put the nail in Greece's Euro zone coffin: In a shocking turn of events, Germany’s finance ministry rejected Greek’s request for an extension to its expiring bailout agreement. This has only accelerated the financial panic in Greece. (Fortune) Greece’s Request for Loan Extension Is Rejected by Germany (The New York Times) Germany refuses Greece an honourable surrender over austerity: Athens’ decision to accept a eurozone loan extension shows the troika did not really want to negotiate with Syriza - it wanted capitulation (The Guardian blogs) Greece defiant as Germany tears up last-ditch EMU compromise on austerity: 'There is no macro-economic argument for further fiscal tightening. The only reason for doing so is on punitive grounds,' says Greece's Yanis Varoufakis by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

The Catastrophic Costs of Extend-and-Pretend Are About to Crush Europe by Charles Hugh Smith (of two minds blog)

Ka-ching: Euro exit would cost Greece dear, shake eurozone (The Associated Press)

Greek Gov’t Could Collapse Before Grexit, Absent EU Debt Accord, Citi Says (Barron's blogs)

Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banks (CNBC)

Europe's firewalls may not be enough to stem Grexit investor panic (Reuters)

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis: 'Austerity Has Done Nothing to Solve Greece's Problems': Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis has had little luck convincing his EU counterparts that Athens needs a debt cut. He speaks with SPIEGEL about why austerity has failed, how aid conditions are like waterboarding and where the bailout money went. (Spiegel Online)

Is The Oil Price Decline a Sign of Impending Deflation [in the United States]? (American Thinker)

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey declines to 5.2 in February (Calculated Risk blog)

Subprime Rising (The Big Picture blog)

White House economic report: Higher wages needed to make up for past paycheck stagnation (The Associated Press)

Wal-Mart Raises Pay to Keep Workers as Labor Market Tightens (Bloomberg) Wal-Mart's raise underscores the poor condition of most low-wage workers (The Los Angeles Times) As Walmart Gives Raises, Other Employers May Have to Go Above Minimum Wage (The New York Times)

Cumbria County Council [in the UK] confirms 1,800 jobs will be cut (The BBC)

Kirklees Council [in the UK] to cut over 1,000 jobs (The BBC)

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

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