Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday roundup (12-14-15)

Oil prices sink below $35 on fears of more Iran oil (CNNMoney) Emergency Opec meeting aired as Russia braces for sub-$30 oil: Oil markets are becoming dangerous with no grown-up in charge. Spare capacity is wafer-thin, despite the glut, and any upset could trigger an oil shock by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Angela Merkel warns eurozone crisis is far from over after 'year of crises': German Chancellor Angela Merkel reflects on a year of turmoil, including the Greek crisis and Paris terror attacks (The Telegraph)

Le Pen Vows Strong Return Despite Far Right's Failure in French Election (The Voice of America)

Deflation hits 11 big Italian cities: Annual rate down from 0.3% in October (ANSA)

Korean economy mired in growing debt, slowing exports (The Korea Herald)

Canada’s household debt burden hits record high in third quarter (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

"War Games" [in the United States] Show Fed Worried About Commercial Real Estate, Interest Rates; Fed Weighs Consequences of "Macroprudential Tools" (Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog)

Hillary Clinton Is Whitewashing the Financial Catastrophe: She has a plan that she claims will reform Wall Street—but she’s deflecting responsibility from old friends and donors in the industry. (The Nation)

Ted Cruz using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users: Documents reveal donor-funded US startup embedded in Republican’s campaign paid UK university academics to collect psychological profiles on potential voters (The Guardian)

Fannie and Freddie’s Government Rescue Has Come With Claws: Since 2008, the mortgage giants have been held to far more punishing standards than the big banks, opening the door to an attempted Wall Street takeover. (The New York Times)

Toshiba to cut up to 7,000 jobs: Nikkei (Reuters)

Shell Plans To Cut 2,800 Jobs After It Takes Over BG Group (National Public Radio)

     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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