Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday roundup (05-31-15)

Little Progress On Greece Rescue Talks; Agreement Failing Over The Same Old Things (Forbes) Greece Pins Hopes on Merkel as Talks Yield Little Progress (Bloomberg)

Greece’s Endgame Nears as Tsipras Warns Bell May Toll for Europe (Bloomberg) Alexis Tsipras lambasts 'absurd proposals' for Greece debt-deal failure: Greek leader lashes out at EU, European Central Bank and IMF for months of fruitless negotiations as strains show within Syriza-led government (The Guardian) Defiant Tsipras threatens to detonate European crisis rather than yield to creditor "monstrosity": The Greek prime minister has accused Europe's leaders of 'issuing absurd demands' by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Politicians 'waiting for accident to happen' in Greece: José Manuel Barroso, the former head of the European Commission, says policymakers are in danger of letting Greece slip out of the euro as ministers signal Athens is ready to compromise (The Telegraph)

EU's Juncker warns against Greek exit from euro: paper (Reuters)

Confidence in UK property market dips despite wage rises, deflation, low interest rates and rising house prices (This is Money)

Texas floods: Enough rain fell in May to cover entire state 8 inches deep (CNN) What's causing the devastating floods in Texas and Oklahoma?: The severe flooding in Texas and Oklahoma is caused by an El Niño pattern that has split the jet stream in two. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Ten years since its last hurricane, Florida more vulnerable to catastrophe than ever, experts say (The Tampa Bay Times)

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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday roundup (05-30-15)

Greece open to compromise to seal deal this week: interior minister (Reuters) Greek Talks With Creditors Deepen as Payment Clock Ticks (Bloomberg)

Greek Bank Run Continues; Greek Domestic Deposits Lowest In Decade (Forbes) Greek Bank Deposits Bleeding Worsens in April: Deposits hit their lowest level since 2004 (Bloomberg)

Greece suffering as insecurity surrounding debt crisis kills businesses across the country (The Independent)

[Candidate for US President] Gov. Martin O'Malley Says 'New Leadership' Needed to Rein in Wall Street (ABCNews) Prevent another crash, reform Wall Street by former Gov. Martin O'Malley (The Des Moines Register) ["We need to prosecute cheats, we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall, and if a bank is too big to fail without wrecking our nation’s economy then it needs to be broken up before it breaks us again."] (The Washington Post blogs)

May 2015: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 324 Institutions (Calculated Risk blog)

How Comedians Became Public Intellectuals: People look to Amy Schumer and her fellow jokers not just to make fun of the world, but to make sense of it. And maybe even to help fix it. (The Atlantic)

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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday roundup (05-29-15)

Former U.S. Treasury Official Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Warns Black Swans Will Engulf The World: “It’s A Perfect Storm” (King World News)

Greece, EU partners pressed to resolve debt crisis at G7 finance meeting: The US and Japan pressed Greece and its European partners to resolve Athens' debt crisis and avoid rattling the Eurozone and the global economy. (Agence France Presse)

Jacob Lew Warns Time Is Running Out to Reach Greek Debt Deal (The New York Times)

"The Greek Endgame Is Here": Probability Of IMF Default Now 70%, Says Deutsche Bank (ZeroHedge blog)

Greece slides back into recession, data confirm (Marketwatch)

Spain’s Syriza Moment: Spanish voters are ready to boot the corrupt establishment parties from office. It’s about time. (Foreign Policy)

Deficit [in Argentina] soars to 58B pesos in first quarter (The Buenos Aires Herald)

Economy in U.S. Shrinks for Third Time Since Expansion Began (Bloomberg)

Chicago PMI falls back into negative territory in May (Marketwatch)

U.S. Government Is Extracting Legal Fines From Banks (Cliff Küle’s Notes blog)

[Detroit] Bankruptcy judge 'deeply concerned' about unfunded pensions (The Associated Press)

[Meanwhile] States Turn To Pension Ponzi Scheme To Close Funding Gaps (ZeroHedge blog)

California’s largest lake is slipping away amid an epic drought (The Washington Post)

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday roundup (05-28-15)

Finance Officials Focus on Economic Growth at Group of 7 Meeting (The New York Times) Greek crisis overshadows G7 growth talks (Reuters)

ECB fears 'abrupt reversal' for global assets on Fed tightening: The ECB’s financial stability report describes a 'fragile equilibrium' in world markets, with a host of underlying risks by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

ECB Warns of Contagion Risk If Greece Deal Not Reached Fast (Bloomberg)

Varoufakis says Greece committed to reforms, rules out more austerity (Reuters)

IMF warns of Grexit risk as judgment day approaches: Christine Lagarde admits that she cannot 'preclude' a Greek exit from the eurozone as bail-out talks take Athens to the edge of the abyss (The Telegraph) Christine Lagarde's strong stance reveals weakness of Greek position: IMF chief’s comments that a Greek exit from the eurozone is a possibility show that the country’s creditors have tired of Syriza (The Guardian) IMF's Lagarde says still much work to do in Greek debt talks (Reuters)

Moody's says Greek euro exit would change nature of euro (Reuters)

[Maybe there's nothing to worry about right now?] Less than one-in-three chance of Greece leaving euro zone this year: Reuters poll (Reuters)

Greece could use 'Zambia' IMF repayment option [= combining replayments into a single payment at the end of the month] as progress on bailout deal unclear (The Associated Press)

Deflation is a “very real threat” to farming incomes [in the UK] warns NFU (Pig World - The Voice of the British Pig Industry)

[In Japan,] Abenomics Heads Toward Debt Meltdown, Reflation Enemies Warn (Bloomberg)

The median household [in the United States] is still worse off now than before the recession (Marketwatch)

How Healthcare Is Dooming the U.S. Economy (Three Charts) by Charles Hugh Smith (of two minds blog)

A customer left a $2,000 tip in a D.C. restaurant (CNNMoney)

J.P. Morgan Set to Lay Off 5,000 (Dow Jones Newswires)

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

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 05-28-15)

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. ["'I think that we're hoping for the numbers to stay below 600,000, and not until we get below 500,000 can we be more certain that there is an economic recovery,' said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh." (Reuters)]

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 in the week from May 17 to May 23 rose by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Although that’s the highest level in five weeks, new claims are still near a 15-year low." (Marketwatch)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday roundup (05-27-15)

Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm: The IMF says we can no longer afford the economic wastage of fossil fuels, turning the green energy debate upside down as world leaders plan a binding climate deal in Paris by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

EU Rules Prescribe More Austerity For Crisis-Weary Nations (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Negative Rates in Europe Prompt Demand for Investment Safeguards (Bloomberg)

El-Erian: Greece 'accident' 55% to 60% probability (CNBC)



U.S. Urges European Leaders to Solve Greek Crisis Quickly (The New York Times) Lew adds his voice to warnings of a Greek 'accident' (CNBC) US warns against game of brinkmanship over Greece: Treasury secretary Jacob Lew says policymakers need to "double-down" and reach a deal that will secure Greece's future in eurozone (The Telegraph)

Greece looks to buy time for bailout talks with combined repayment to IMF: Eurozone officials close to talks with Athens say Greece could delay payment of €1.6bn until end of June as deadline looms for first instalment (The Guardian) Greece Risk Timeline -- Why July 20 Matters Most: Check out the key dates ahead... (Bloomberg)

Risk of Greece debt default rises as deadline looms (CBSMoneywatch)

Germany's Schaeuble sees no real progress in Greek debt talks - ARD (Reuters)

Italy central bank warns growth held back by credit crunch (Europe Online)

Finland embarks on 'painful' austerity blitz: Former PM takes finance minister job as Nordic country prepares for five years of belt-tightening (The Telegraph) Finland appoints eurosceptic, anti-bailout foreign minister (Reuters)

Recovery effort continues after flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; death toll rises to 19 (The Washington Post)

More seniors are going hungry (CNNMoney)

Rosenberg says strong possibility Fed does not raise rates this year (Reuters)

Big Banks Still Seen as Too Big to Fail, Fed’s Lacker Says (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Fed's Lacker says letting banks fail will restore market discipline (Reuters)

Overdraft fees top $1 billion at the big 3 banks [= JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo] (CNNMoney)

Despite bond-selling spree, cities, states spending less on infrastructure (Marketwatch) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Infrastructure (HBO) [March 2] (Youtube)



Gulf Marine Fabricators Announces Layoffs at Local Headquarters (KIII)

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday roundup (05-26-15)

Growth rates are 'anemic': Economist: Steve Keen, head of the School of Economics, Politics & History at Kingston University in London, warns that private sector debt is too high. (CNBC)



Fears over economic meltdown as Greece 'set to default' NEXT WEEK without EU cash loan: EUROPE is gearing up for disaster next week as a looming Greek default and exit from the eurozone is poised to spark economic meltdown. (The Express) Eurozone leaders attempt to quell fears of Grexit panic: As time runs out for Greece to pay its IMF debts, eurozone officials attempt to assure markets that the currency union will not fall apart (The Telegraph) Pray For Graccident—–It Will Trigger The Demise Of The ECB And The World’s Toxic Regime Of Keynesian Central Banking (David Stockman's Contra Corner)

Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday (Reuters)

Russia recovery talk premature as sanctions threaten to cripple economy (The Washington Times)

Fed rate hikes may trigger global volatility: Fischer (Reuters) Four [regional] Fed banks renewed call for discount rate hike: minutes (Reuters)

U.S. Senator Warren calls for public hearings on bank waivers - FT (Reuters)

Hold bankers accountable for their crimes (The Washington Post)

The 8 biggest job-killing companies: Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007, but some companies are still cutting lots of jobs. (CNNMoney)

Malaysia Airlines to lay off one-third staff [= about 6,000] as restructuring concludes (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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday roundup (05-25-15)

The world is drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs: Ageing populations mean countries' debt piles risk growing out of control, warns European head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (The Telegraph)

How Iraq has left us with the biggest financial bubble in history: Iraq has been a catastrophe on many fronts, but its dire economic and financial consequences are only now becoming fully understood (The Telegraph)

How banks went from ‘too big to fail’ to ‘too big to nail’: Until bank directors fear for their pension and liberty when things go seriously wrong, nothing will change, argues Stephen Platt, author of Criminal Capital: How the Finance Industry Facilitates Crime (The Irish Times)

Greece to make debt payments 'for as long as possible' (France24)

Greek PM convenes emergency meeting of his bailout negotiation team: Tsipras says technical talks with Greece’s creditors would resume amid fears Athens is close to running out of money as €1.6bn IMF debt repayment looms (The Guardian)

Greece says wants to make debt payments but needs aid urgently (Reuters)

Greece Rules out Capital Controls If Bailout Talks Fail (The Associated Press)

Greece, The EU And The IMF Are Dancing With Death (Forbes)

Spain follows Greece as anti-austerity parties sweep local election: Spain’s political future has been thrown up in the air after local elections saw the dominance of its two big political parties destroyed, and sparked unwelcome comparisons with Greece (The Telegraph)

We're now in deflation [in the UK] and sorry, but it's not good news: Lots of economists are telling everyone that we shouldn’t worry about this negative inflation by David Blanchflower (The Independent)

Our $58 trillion love affair [in the United States] with debt, in one crazy chart [May 21] (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, May 24, 2015

Sunday roundup (05-24-15)

HSBC fears world recession with no lifeboats left: The world authorities have run out of ammunition as rates remain stuck at zero. They have no margin for error as economy falters by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Protests [from Paris to Ouagadougou] against GMO crops and pesticides target Monsanto, international agribusiness giant (Agence France Presse)

Unemployment is a big threat to eurozone economy (Marketwatch)

Greece to miss IMF payments amid fears of 'catastrophic' eurozone rupture: A Greek reversion to the Drachma would be an irreversible "disaster" for the entire euro project, Yanis Varoufakis warns (The Telegraph) Greece warns it is set to default on debt repayment loans: Interior minister says Athens simply cannot satisfy IMF deadline next month unless it works out a deal with eurozone creditors (The Guardian) Greece hasn't got the money to make June IMF repayment - interior minister (Reuters) Greece will not make June IMF repayment: interior minister [The Financial Times via] (CNBC)

The Heat Is on Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, From Inside and Out (The New York Times)

Default alone will not bring any deliverance for Greece: Greece may escape its current plight by first defaulting, and then exiting the euro, writes Roger Bootle (The Telegraph)

Greece’s misery shows we need Chapter 11 bankruptcy for countries: Argentina defaulted in 2001, and is still not free of its creditors. There needs to be a clear resolution to the blight of vulture funds and neverending austerity (The Guardian)

Study: 41 percent [of Americans] expect no Social Security benefits (CNBC)

What the left still doesn’t understand about Fox News: The impact of the cable profit behemoth on American political life is wildly exaggerated. (Politico) [A response to an item in the Friday roundup] (Economic Signs of the Times blog)

What Will Drive Illinois to Ask Washington for a Bailout (The Daily Signal)

Alabama's dilemma: choosing between gambling or taxes to plug budget deficit: The debate in the conservative state over asking voters to approve casinos and a lottery as an alternative to raising taxes is producing some unlikely bedfellows (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.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday roundup (05-23-15)

Europe Said to Weigh Contingency Plans in Greece Impasse (Bloomberg)

Schaeuble: no alternatives to Greece fulfilling reform vows (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.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday roundup (05-22-15)

Greece's new currency would be 'rubbish': Citi's Buiter (CNBC)

'Grexit' poses medium-term risks to euro: Italy (Agence France Presse)

Secret Bank of England taskforce investigates financial fallout of Brexit: News of undercover project emerges after Bank staff accidentally email details to the Guardian including PR notes on how to deny its existence (The Guardian)

IMF urges Japan to take 'bold action' on reforms, debt mess (The Associated Press)

Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane - Yellen (Reuters)

The Agency That Barely Moves: The SEC is paralyzed by politics and poor leadership, staffers say (Bloomberg)

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics (The Big Picture blog) [Meanwhile, back at the ranch:] The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally. (Politico)

Providence faces potential budget deficit of $11.5 million (The Providence Journal of Providence, Rhode Island)

Puerto Rico’s Debt Payments Set to Take Up 16% of Next Budget (Bloomberg)

Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises (The Independent)

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday roundup (05-21-15)

Why Europe Will Lead the Charge to Eliminate Cash – the Next Step in a Global Meltdown (Armstrong Economics)

Eurozone Economy Continues to Grow Modestly, Survey Finds (The New York Times) ECB head Draghi: Growth is ‘too low everywhere’ in Europe (The Associated Press)

EU considers another bailout extension for Greece: reports (Marketwatch) [versus] Greece, creditors not in talks on extending bailout: Commission (Reuters)

Greek optimism about imminent deal not justified: Schaeuble (Reuters)

Until Europe writes down Greece's debt, the drama will continue to run (The Independent) History tells us how the Greek drama could end (CNBC)

Grand bargain emerging on Europe as Germany adjusts to Cameron victory: 'Everybody is very aware that Britain is the next big problem on the horizon. The mood is that we’ve got to save the British from themselves,' says Friends of Europe by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

EU chief warns Ireland on need to reduce public debt: European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen – reforms best in benign conditions (The Irish Times)

Obama's trade deal clears key Senate hurdle (CBSNews) Senate Narrowly Advances President Obama's Trade Bill: Here’s Why It Was So Close (ABCNews)

Obama Trade Agenda Clears Elizabeth Warren Opposition Again (International Business Times) I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned. (Politico)

No. 4 House Democrat Says Obama Doesn’t Have Trade Votes (Bloomberg)

Fast Track a Bad Deal for Farmers and Our Food System, 110+ groups say (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)

Fewer Homes for Sale Makes U.S. Housing Recovery Painstaking (Bloomberg)

5 questions for Hillary Clinton on Wall Street (CNN)

Murray Energy expects to lay off up to a quarter of workforce [= up to 1,800 workers] (Trib Total Media)

[UK's] Magnox to cut up to 1,600 jobs at nuclear power sites (The BBC)

HealthPlus to lay off 500, sell state contracts (The Detroit News)

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

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 05-21-15)

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. ["'I think that we're hoping for the numbers to stay below 600,000, and not until we get below 500,000 can we be more certain that there is an economic recovery,' said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh." (Reuters)]

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 average of new claims over the past month ... fell by 5,500 to 266,250 to touch the lowest level since April 2000, the Labor Department said Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall Over Past Month to 15-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, May 20, 2015

Wednesday roundup (05-20-15)

Six [of the World's Biggest] Banks Pay $5.8 Billion, Five Guilty of Market Rigging (Bloomberg) Barclays handed biggest bank fine in UK history over 'brazen' currency rigging: Financial Conduct Authority's £284.4m penalty comes amid $6bn in fines for six banks for foreign exchange manipulation (The Telegraph)

Despite rise in growth, eurozone economy is still below 2008 level and faces a lost decade (The Associated Press)

Noyer: ECB will act if inflation target isn't met (Marketwatch)

Greece to default in June absent new loan: A senior spokesman for the Greek government has said Athens will have no choice but to default if the country's bailout lenders do not provide fresh funding by early June, when a repayment to the IMF comes due. (Deutsche Welle) Greece can't repay IMF on June 5 without a bailout deal, governing party official says (The Associated Press)

Defiant Greeks force Europe to negotiating table as time-bomb ticks: EMU creditors have Greece's Alexis Tsipras by the scruff of the neck, but he has a knife to their throats by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

ECB raises emergency funding for Greek banks by 200 mln euros - source (Reuters) The ECB's in a Tight Spot Over Greece (Bloomberg)

Germany says 'Grexit' is possible (Dow Jones Newswires)

Portugal Sells Debt With a Negative Yield for the First Time (Bloomberg)

Bank of England rate-setters vote 9-0 to keep rates on hold, echo recent views (Reuters) Bank of England still firmly against interest rate rise (The BBC)

Japan debt plan needs BOJ to keep rates low for years - sources (Reuters)

'Debt monster' will devour West Australian assets, cash for decades, Opposition warns (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Fed minutes show doubts about strength of US recovery (The Financial Times)

Half of college graduates expect to be supported by their families (Marketwatch)

For Many American States, It's Like the Recession Never Ended (Bloomberg)

As Illinois runs out of options in budget crisis, tax rises seen in the cards (Reuters)

San Bernardino council backs bankruptcy plan that hammers bondholders (Reuters)

Why Every American Should Care About Puerto Rico's Austerity Crisis (The Huffington Post)

NetApp to cut 500 jobs (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, May 19, 2015

Tuesday roundup (05-19-15)

France warned to curb 'critically high' public spending by IMF: International Monetary Fund says "high and rising government spending has been at the heart of France’s fiscal problems for decades" (The Telegraph)

IMF Chief: Greek Bailout Talks Making Some Progress (Dow Jones Newswires) [Eurogroup chair] Dijsselbloem: Greece bailout talks 'progressing' (ekathimerini)

Europe faces second revolt as Portugal's ascendant Socialists spurn austerity: Germany is worried that any concession to Greece will set off political contagion and cause fiscal discipline to collapse across southern Europe by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

UK inflation negative for the first time since 1960 (CNBC) It's official - Britain is in deflation: The UK has tipped into deflation - with overall prices for goods and services falling - for first time since records began (The Telegraph)

Japan Finance Ministry draft reveals deep rift on fiscal reform (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, May 18, 2015

Monday roundup (05-18-15)

Greece says must strike debt deal in May as money runs low (Reuters) GREEK LEFT OVER-PLAYED THEIR HAND–NOW DESPERATE FOR EU DEBT DEAL (Breitbart) Greece nears ‘endgame’ as large June payments loom: Letter reveals Tsipras warned IMF of default risk (Marketwatch) A Greek Default May Be Close At Hand (Forbes) The 'endgame' is here as Greece gets crunched on 2 fronts (The Business Insider)

Greece debt crisis: Bank run gains pace as default fears grow: SAVERS are clearing cash out of Greek banks as the prospect of total economic meltdown is just days away. (The Express)

Eurozone crisis: EU's siege mentality looks likely to squeeze Greece: Athens’s capitulation to Brussels in the Greece debt crisis is only a matter of time once Alexis Tsipras and Syriza realise the rules of the game have changed [Project Syndicate via] (The Guardian)

Italy to make one-off payment to millions of pensioners (Reuters) Italy to pay pensioners over 2.0 billion euros in budget blow (Agence France Presse)

Portugal receives 3 offers in attempted privatization of debt-heavy national airline [= TAP] (The Associated Press)

UK inflation picked to turn negative for the first time in more than 50 years: Prospects of an annual dip in overall shop prices comes after last year’s halving of the oil price, a decline in raw materials costs and a drop in the cost of food (The Guardian)

China gets serious about reflation (The Financial Times blogs)

China Retakes Top Spot as the Biggest Foreign Owner of U.S. Debt (The Wall Street Journal blogs)

Japan machinery orders rise, but weak outlook hampers economic rebound (Reuters)

Wall Street is on the verge of saying 'recession' (The Business Insider)

Don’t Be So Sure the Economy Will Return to Normal (The New York Times)

U.S. Home Builders' Confidence Falls for Fourth Time in Five Months (Dow Jones Newswires)

USDA allocates $21 million to help farmers, ranchers [in eight states] battle drought (The Los Angeles Times)

Facing $1 billion deficit, Arizona cuts welfare program to most restrictive in nation (The Associated Press)

Rolls-Royce to Cut [600 More] Jobs at Marine Unit Amid Slowing Business (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, May 17, 2015

Sunday roundup (05-17-15)

Disaster For Markets And Economies Worldwide And Chaos On A Global Scale (King World News) David Stockman – We Are Now Entering The Terminal Phase Of The Global Financial System That Will End In Total Collapse (King World News)

The Coming Crash of All Crashes – but in Debt (Armstrong Economics)

Now's the time to tackle the great debt distortion: It's time to end harmful subsidies [in the global economy], starting with a mortgage deduction. (The Economist)

The world economy’s titanic problem: Coping with the next recession without policy lifeboats [as posted here May 14; Zero Hedge blog via] (Scribd)

Free from creditors' control, Portugal still struggles with austerity (Agence France Presse)

Britain faces first deflation in 55 years: Supermarket price wars and fall in cost of oil have led to drop in cost of living over past 12 months (The Daily Mail)

China Calls On Banks to Support State Projects as Economy Slows (Bloomberg)

The Warren-Vitter "Bailout Prevention Bill" [Introduced In The United States Senate] Won't Prevent Bailouts (Forbes)

Tom Brady isn't the only one that should fear deflation—the economy should too (CNBC)

California's drought drama and how we got here: The historic California drought explained, and how some scientists forecast a mega-drought in the coming decades. (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.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday roundup (05-16-15)

Greece Aid Accord Looks Elusive as Tsipras Sticks to Red Lines (Bloomberg)

Greek PM warned lenders of not repaying IMF debt in May - report (Reuters)

Will Britain fall into deflation?: Economists divided over whether Britain dipped into deflation in April, though analysts stress that any price falls are likely to be temporary (The Telegraph)

OREO MAKER MONDELEZ TO CUT UP TO 600 JOBS AT CHICAGO BAKERY (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.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday roundup (05-15-15)

Next Greek bailout will be all about protecting Italy from contagion (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Ukraine Recession Deepens as GDP Falls 17.6% (The Dow Jones Newswires)

Factory Production in U.S. Stalled on Machinery Cutbacks (Bloomberg)

Weak U.S. data point to modest second quarter economic rebound (Reuters)

F. A. O. Schwarz to Close Its Doors on Fifth Avenue (The New York Times)

Blue Bell will lay off 1,450 employees: Move follows recall after listeria outbreak (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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday roundup (05-14-15)

Global debt binge casts shadow over fragile recovery (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

HSBC WARNS: The world economy faces a 'titanic problem' (The Business Insider) HSBC: Central Banks Are Running Low on Ammunition: Does a "titanic" policy problem loom? (Bloomberg)

ECB's Draghi says central bank stimulus will continue in Europe for "as long as needed'' (The Associated Press)

Varoufakis refuses any bailout plan that would send Greece into ‘death spiral’: Finance minister continues war of words with eurozone policymakers, saying he wished Greece still had the drachma and had not entered monetary union (The Guardian)

Spain's public debt rises to over 1 trillion euros in March (Cihan)

The U.S. Economy Just Had Its Worst Month Since the Recession (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Fox News Poll: Voters believe White House incompetent, US still in recession and ISIS has moved next door (FoxNews)

Senate Advances Bill to Give Obama Trade Negotiating Power (Bloomberg) Forget The Senate: Obama's Real Problem On Trade Is In The House (The Huffington Post) AFL-CIO chief: White House trade bill argument is ‘unadulterated horse waste’ (The Washington Post blogs)

GMO-free foods could get government labels (The Associated Press) GMO Labeling 2015: USDA's First Government Label For Non-Modified Foods Could Help Set National Standard For Certification (International Business Times)

Chipotle is now GMO-free [April 26] (WDJT)

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) Millions Against Monsanto by OrganicConsumers org (Facebook)

Bombardier to slash 1,750 jobs, cut business jet production (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

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

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

A recovery would be indicated by weekly initial jobless claims holding below 500,000. ["'I think that we're hoping for the numbers to stay below 600,000, and not until we get below 500,000 can we be more certain that there is an economic recovery,' said Linda Duessel, market strategist at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh." (Reuters)]

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 in the period stretching from May 3 to May 9 dipped by 1,000 to 264,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday." (Marketwatch)

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall as 4-Week Average at 15-Year Low (Bloomberg) Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 264,000, Lowest 4-Week average in 15 years (Calculated Risk blog) Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims as a Percent of Labor Force ["are at an all time record low"] (Calculated Risk blog)

SEE LAST WEEK'S POST HERE.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday roundup (05-13-15)

Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning: IEA (Reuters)

Eurozone Economy Improves [Modestly], but Finland and Greece Stumble (The New York Times) Modest Eurozone Growth Keeps ECB Asset Purchase Program on Track: Growth figures not sufficient for supporting any kind of debate on tapering asset purchases, says economist (The Wall Street Journal)

EU Commission says Germany should invest, France must reform (Reuters)

Finland, Once a Eurozone Point of Pride, Is Now Faltering (The New York Times)

Tsipras calls emergency meeting as crisis-hit Greece plunges back into recession: Economy shrinks by 0.2pc in the first quarter of the year, as Leftist government maintains it wants an "honourable compromise" with creditors (The Telegraph) Greece Back in Recession as Bailout Impasse Drains Economy (Bloomberg) Greece Is Back In Recession; This Does Not Bode Well For A Debt Deal (Forbes)

Bank of England cuts forecasts, dims rate hike prospects (The Associated Press)

EU faults Britain over missed deficit targets (Agence France Presse)

Obama’s Fast-Track Trade Bill Not Dead Yet (Slate blogs) Obama trade bill revived after bipartisan deal sets new votes (The Washington Times) Sen. Warren: If Obama is confident about trade deal, he should make details public: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of the more vocal opponents in the debate over granting President Obama fast-track authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Judy Woodruff talks to Warren about her concerns about transparency and how American workers may be hurt. (PBS)



Retail sales flat in April as gas savings continue to be pocketed: Purchases flatten out in April after spike in March (Marketwatch)

Fed said to have emergency plan to intervene if U.S. defaulted on debt (Reuters)

Student debt doesn't keep new grads from mortgages: Study (CNBC)

Elizabeth Warren's Next Crusade: Clamping Down On The Federal Reserve's 'Too Big To Fail' Bailouts (International Business Times)

Bee Die-Offs Second-Highest Ever in Past Year (Discovery) 42% of honeybee hives killed off in U.S. last year: 2nd highest loss rate in 9 years [the highest being two years ago] (The Associated Press)

Drilling begins 3 miles from epicenter of BP oil spill (The Associated Press)

Trican Declines After Cutting Workforce [by 2,000 workers], Suspending Dividend (Bloomberg)

McDermott cuts nearly 1700 jobs (Offshore Engineer)

Fortescue to cut hundreds of jobs [= about 700] despite partial rebound in iron ore price: Andrew Forrest says his company is still making profits but took another swipe at rivals BHP and Rio Tinto for raising output when prices were low (The Guardian)

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday roundup (05-12-15)

OECD says signs of U.S. economy flagging, China loses more steam (Reuters)

Greece depletes emergency reserves at IMF for debt payment [to the same IMF; Reuters via] (The Globe and Mail of Toronto) Greece confirms repayment of €750m loan instalment to IMF: Move aims to banish fears of insolvency in Athens but little optimism exists about a breakthrough in bailout talks any time soon (The Guardian) IMF paid but how much money does Greece have left? (Reuters blogs)

Greece Inches Closer to an Accident (BloombergView) Facing Vicious Debt Cycle, Greece Sprints to Apply Fixes (The New York Times)

How Greece’s liquidity problem could cause an unplanned Grexit (The Conversation)

Greece to rehire cleaning ladies, school guards laid off under austerity (Reuters)

Krona Falls as Sweden Sinks Back Into Deflationary Quagmire (Bloomberg)

Household Debt Barely Rose in First Quarter, New York Fed Says (Bloomberg)

[In the United States,] Democrats Plot Revolt Behind Closed Door, Sink Trade Bill (Bloomberg) Senate Democrats gang up to delay fast-track trade bill (Reuters) Here's The Senator [= Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)] Who United Democrats To Block Obama's Trade Agenda (The Huffington Post)

Banks brace for Bernie Sanders (The Hill)

[Meanwhile,] GOP Bank Legislation Would Roll Back Regulations For 30 Large Financial Firms (International Business Times) Proposed banking overhaul sets up high-stakes battle (The Hill) Banks Face Uphill Battle to Soften Too-Big-to-Fail Rules (Bloomberg)

SEC charges executives at for-profit college ITT with fraud (The Washington Post)

Consumers are still getting hit with huge overdraft fees (CNNMoney)

Janet Tavakoli: Sequel to Wall Street Horror Show Is Coming: Tavakoli talks to ThinkAdvisor about three banker suicides, why another global meltdown is coming and how JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon holds onto power (ThinkAdvisor)

Moody's cuts Chicago's credit rating to junk (Marketwatch)

Subsea 7 plans to eliminate 2,500 jobs globally (FuelFix blogs)

Houston engineering company cuts 1,700 jobs amid first quarter loss (FuelFix 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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday roundup (05-11-15)

Big banks flag dangers of financial bubble in oil and commodities: Barclays warns that the latest commodity boomlet has charged ahead of economic reality across the world: 'Watch out: this rally may not last' by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Some eurozone banks 'just as likely to fail' as they were before 2008 crisis: University of Portsmouth research shows some banks just as vulnerable to collapse despite efforts to improve their resilience (The Guardian)

IMF draws up contingency plans for Greek default: Working with authorities in southeastern Europe [The Wall Street Journal via] (Marketwatch)

Greece seemingly has no Plan A or Plan B on debt (Reuters blogs)

Could Greece ever pay off all its debt? Tomorrow's IMF repayment is just the tip of the iceberg (CityAM) Greece to repay IMF but eurozone deal far off (Agence France Presse)

Merkel Pressed to Give Up Greece as Germans Urge Strong Euro (Bloomberg)

Bad debt at Italian banks rises to 189 bln euros in March (Reuters)

Fear of ruin as disease takes hold of Italy's olive trees [The New York Times via] (CNBC)

In Spain, with a recovery like this, who needs recessions?: After years of stagnation, Spain’s economy is growing. But the recovery feels shaky, and for good reason. (Fortune)

Bank of England Holds Rates Steady (The New York Times)

Why UK’s EU referendum [on a "Brexit"] may be sooner than you think (CNBC)

More evidence U.S. job creation has lost sizzle: Fed index of labor-market conditions weakest since mid-2012 (Marketwatch)

Young Americans have yet another debt burden: The unfunded pension liabilities of state governments are being deferred to those who can afford them least (Marketwatch)

Lonmin aims to cut 3,500 South African jobs due to weak platinum price (Reuters)

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

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday roundup (05-10-15)

China cuts interest rates for third time in six months as economy sputters (Reuters) China Adds Stimulus With Third Interest-Rate Cut in Six Months (Bloomberg) China Cuts Rates to Halt a Slide in its Economy (The New York Times)

Eurozone Ministers to Meet Again on Greek Debt (The New York Times)

Greece Readies for Another Week of Deadlines (Bloomberg) Greece's 'war cabinet' prepares to battle EU creditors as anger mounts: The country's radical-Left leaders have concluded that there is little be gained from any further concessions to EMU creditors by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph) Tsipras' Greek Dilemma; Default Or Betray His Electorate (Forbes) Greece debt repayment uncertain amid fresh round of talks: Cash-strapped nation is due to repay €770m on Tuesday, with its finance minister indicating it could avoid a default it was thought to be heading for (The Guardian)

I.M.F. and Central Bank Loom Large Over Greece’s Debt Talks (The New York Times blogs) How the European Central Bank became the real villain of Greece's debt drama: Discretionary power exercised by the central bank has put it at the heart of Greece’s euro turmoil (The Telegraph)

Anti-austerity group plans protest outside Bank of England: People’s Assembly calls for demonstration on ‘doorstep of the very people who created the crisis’ after Downing Street protest marred by violent clashes (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.