Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday roundup (02-29-16)

The Central Bankers' Greatest Blunder Yet: Negative Rates = Deleveraging (ZeroHedge blog)

Euro zone dips into deflation, raising heat on ECB (Reuters) Deflation is back: Cue more money printing (CNNMoney) ECB under mounting pressure to step up eurozone support: Bloc slips into negative inflation for third time in a year prompting fears eurozone is heading for deflation (The Guardian)

Budget woes mount as Osborne struggles to control debt mountain (The Telegraph)

Britain in the red again as credit card debt soars by 9% fuelling fears of another bubble (The Daily Mail)

U.K. Retailers Could Cut 900,000 Jobs in Decade, Group Says (Bloomberg)

Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says (Bloomberg)

China’s PMI Deteriorated in February as Old Growth Drivers Slow (Bloomberg)

China plans to cut 1.8 million coal and steel jobs (CNNMoney)

[United States Presidential Candidate] Donald Trump Hits 49 Percent Support [Among Republicans] in New National Poll (ABC News)

With Donald Trump Looming, Should Dems Take a Huge Electability Gamble by Nominating Hillary Clinton? (The Intercept)

Stamp prices set to go down two cents in April [= first time prices have dropped in nearly 97 years] (CNNMoney)

Job cuts [totalling 1200 are] part of Sysco plan to boost its bottom line (The Houston Chronicle)

Venezuela is making 'surreal, suicidal' debt payments (CNBC)

Argentina Reaches Settlement With Hedge Funds, Ending 15-Year Dispute (National Public Radio) Argentina’s Debt Drama: How We Got Here: A guide to investors' 15-year battle over defaulted bonds (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Argentina’s Debt Settlement Ends 15-Year Battle (The New York Times blogs)

U.N. Warns the Declining Bee Population Is Going to Devastate Our Food Supply (Grub Street)

Senate GMO Labeling Bill Would Keep Consumers in the Dark: Like a House version, the bill would preempt state laws (Consumer Reports) The GMO Dark Act Cannot Survive the Light. The Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods (Global Research) The DARK Act Puts GMO Labeling at Risk: The DARK Act is one step closer to becoming law. We need our senators to protect our right to know what we’re eating. (Food & Water Watch) THE DARK ACT STRIKES BACK (Center for Food Safety)

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 (TheBoycottList) GMO Free USA (Facebook) Millions Against Monsanto by OrganicConsumers org (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, February 28, 2016

Sunday roundup (02-28-16)

ECB's Villeroy Sees Deflation as Preeminent Danger for Euro Area (Bloomberg)

[Former Bank of England Governor] Mervyn King: the eurozone is doomed (The Telegraph)




Mervyn King: new financial crisis is 'certain' without reform of banks: The former Bank of England governor says in his new book that imbalances in the global economy makes a crash inevitable (The Guardian)

Vampire Attack: Debt-Laden Companies Imperil China's Growth (The Associated Press)




The case against Hillary Clinton: This is the disaster Democrats must avoid: She's not the candidate of economic fairness, peace or a genuine progressive agenda. She's also not more electable (Salon) Hillary Clinton is not the progressive she claims to be: Bernie Sanders is too much of a gentleman to tell the truth about his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination (The Star 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.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday roundup (02-27-16)

Irish election: Ireland facing grand-coalition after no clear winner emerges from election: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are the country's traditional governing parties, however neither of them have gained enough votes to govern individually or as a coalition (The Independent) Irish PM Kenny Pleads for Time as Grand Coalition Pressure Grows (Bloomberg) Yanis Varoufakis: Electorate has rejected ‘dead-end policies’: Former Greek finance minister says ‘old regime is dead but the new regime is struggling to be born’ (The Irish Times)

Deepening default fears cast shadow over Venezuela's oil flows (Reuters)

Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right (The Washington Post)

February 2016: Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 228 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, February 26, 2016

Friday roundup (02-26-16)

No Inflation In Sight [In The Developed World], Say Two Bond Masters: Hoisington’s bond managers doubt the global economy will rebound soon thanks to low industrial output, heavy debt, and the commodities collapse. (Barron's)

Euro zone economy hits wall of worry, deflation concern (Reuters)

Bank of England's Carney says lack of structural reforms to blame for weak growth (CNBC)

Chinese central bank chief hints at more stimulus for slowing economy: China still has more room and tools in its monetary policy to tackle the slowdown, People’s Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan tells G20 finance meeting (The Guardian)

Anglo American to cut 2,000 platinum jobs in S.Africa (Agence France Presse)

Chicago State University sends layoff notices to all 900 employees (The Chicago Tribune)

     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, February 25, 2016

Thursday roundup (02-25-16)

IMF warns the global economy is 'highly vulnerable' (The BBC)

Global Recession Risk ["sub-2% growth"] Rising, Says Citi: Citi thinks the risk of a global recession is rising, with the latest deterioration driven by advanced economies (The Wall Street Journal blogs) Here's The Latest Bank to Predict a Global Recession (Fortune)

OECD's William White: In Terms of Debt, the Situation Is Way Worse than 2007 (Financial Sense)

Eurozone Inflation Revised Down, Bolstering Stimulus Case (The Associated Press)

Fears EU is self-destructing on migrant crisis (CNBC)

Brexit referendum could destabilise UK recovery, says IMF: Christine Lagarde warns that uncertainty over outcome ‘will be bad in and of itself’ in months leading up to vote (The Guardian)

1 in 4 Americans on verge of financial ruin (Marketwatch)

Recession 2016: In Some States, A Very Deep Economic Downturn Has Already Arrived (The Economic Collapse Blog)

Break up big US banks like Ma Bell: Fed's Bullard (CNBC) Fed's Bullard says largest banks may still be too big: CNBC (Reuters)

U.S. Congress needs to 'act now' to save Puerto Rico, Treasury official says (Fox News Latino) US: Puerto Rico could shut down if no debt restructuring (The Associated Press)

As Roads Crumble, Infrastructure Spending Hits a 30-Year Low (The Fiscal Times)

Trump as CEO and commander in chief? (CNBC)



Biggest Wave Yet of U.S. Oil Defaults Looms as Bust Intensifies (Bloomberg)

Oil crash: Halliburton slashes another 5,000 jobs (CNNMoney)

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

Is it a recovery yet? (Weekly report, 02-25-16)

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 number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by 10,000 to 272,000, but remained nearly a postrecession 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, February 24, 2016

Wednesday roundup (02-24-16)

G-20 Needs to Take Bold Action on Global Growth, IMF Report Says (Bloomberg)

Banks Can't Fail as Europe Rolls Out Post-Crisis Stress Test (Bloomberg)

IMF urges UK to ease austerity should economy slow further: Fund’s report says risks of more severe downturn are mounting as UK government battles sluggish productivity growth (The Guardian)

Former Goldman exec wants to downsize big banks (PBSNewshour)



How the US Went Fascist: Mass Media Make Excuses for Trump Voters: Trump's racism and xenophobia violates America's core beliefs — yet the media and many Americans are okay with it. (Moyers & Company blog) The best predictor of Trump support isn't income, education, or age. It's authoritarianism. (Vox)

[Australian Mining Company] South32 to Slash 1,750 Jobs as First-Half Profit Slumps 94% (Bloomberg)

[US Telecommunications Manufacturer] Arris Laying Off 10% Worldwide: Cuts, Numbering 800 Plus, Follow Recent Acquisition of Pace (Multichannel)

Lexmark to cut about 550 jobs [Reuters via] (The Business Insider)

     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, February 23, 2016

Tuesday roundup (02-23-16)

Is the sovereign debt crisis coming back to haunt Europe[?] (The Telegraph)

Carney: Bank of England could cut interest rates to zero, but not below: Bank governor dismisses setting negative interest rates even in the event of an economic downturn (The Guardian)

Bank of England poised to act if household debt spirals (The Telegraph)

[Canada Prime Minister] Trudeau Drops Campaign Promises and Goes All In With Deficits (Bloomberg)

[In the United States,] Donald Trump is on course to win the 1,237 delegates he needs to be the GOP nominee (The Washington Post) President Donald J. Trump—It Could Happen: His promise to protect jobs and change trade policies could win over blue-collar workers, especially in the industrialized swing states. (The Nation) Why I'm more worried about Marco Rubio than Donald Trump (Vox)

Bernie Sanders will take it all the way to the convention. Here’s why. (The Washington Post blogs)

Bank Whistleblowers United to Issue Corporate Crime Challenge To Presidential Candidates (Corporate Crime Reporter)

Fife Council [in UK] to cut up to 2000 jobs (Fife Today)

     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, February 22, 2016

Monday roundup (02-22-16)

The World's Debt Is Alarmingly High. But Is It Contagious?: Welcome back to a familiar anxiety: global debt contagion. (Bloomberg)

Why According To One Bank, Massive Central Bank Intervention Is Imminent (ZeroHedge blog)

Trouble ahead? Euro zone business activity declines further (CNBC)

Japan February flash manufacturing PMI shows growth slowing sharply as export orders shrink (Reuters)

Global clouds darken U.S. economic outlook (CBSMoneywatch)

     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, February 21, 2016

Sunday roundup (02-21-16)

Trump, Clinton ride key groups to clear front-runner status [in United States presidential primaries] (The Associated Press) It's getting late: Donald Trump wins again in South Carolina (The Economist blogs) Time Is Running out for Donald Trump's Rivals to Stop Him (The Associated Press) Rubio, Cruz Tout Themselves as Best Challenger to Trump After South Carolina (Bloomberg) Jeb Bush Bows Out of Campaign, Humbled and Outmaneuvered (The New York Times) Jeb Bush Suspends 2016 Presidential Campaign (ABCNews)

The average price of gasoline has dropped 5 cents over the past two weeks, to $1.77 a gallon (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.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday roundup (02-20-16)

Fannie Mae at risk of needing a bailout [The Financial Times via] (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.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday roundup (02-19-16)

Chilling ways the global economy echoes 1930s Great Depression era (Marketwatch)

If recession strikes, central banks might be out of ammo: The Fed has more room to maneuver than the ECB and BOJ (Marketwatch)

Bridgewater's Prince Says Deflation Fear Behind [Global] Market Selloff (Bloomberg)




Eurozone bank supervisor: banks must raise capital (Marketwatch)

China Unleashes A Debt Tsunami: Creates $1 Trillion In Debt In First Two Months Of 2016 (ZeroHedge blog)

Firming U.S. inflation keeps Fed rate hike on the table (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, February 18, 2016

Thursday roundup (02-18-16)

'Puzzled' OECD Cuts Global Growth Projection for 2016: Estimates were revised lower Thursday as reality continues to diverge from economic theory. (U. S. News & World Report)

ECB expected to take further action to boost eurozone economy: Minutes of ECB governing council meeting indicate bank’s readiness to cut credit costs further to improve bank lending (The Guardian)

European Union Struggling With How to Keep Britain in the Fold (The New York Times) How the ‘Brexit’ Summit Will Unfold and Why You Should Care: Q&A (Bloomberg)

How mounting job cuts could threaten UK's economic recovery: Tens of thousands of workers are being laid off in key sectors, prompting fears of a ripple effect through the British economy (The Guardian)

Global downturn spurred Fed to consider changing rate path: minutes (Reuters)

Analysis Finds Structurally Deficient Bridges [in the United States] 'Need to Be Fixed' ASAP (ABCNews)

     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, 02-18-16)

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 claims declined by 7,000 to 262,000 in the seven days stretching from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13, the government said Thursday. That’s the lowest level since the last week of November." (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, February 17, 2016

Wednesday roundup (02-17-16)

What's holding back the world economy?: QE and low interest rates have disproportionately created wealth in the financial sector and inflated asset bubbles. It has done little for the real economy. The rules of the market need to be rewritten by Joseph Stiglitz and Hamid Rashid [Project Syndicate via] (The Guardian)

High risk of bankruptcy for one-third of oil firms: Deloitte (Reuters)

Negative interest rates are a 'gigantic fiscal failure': When the debt-laden world faces the next global downturn, it will need the full power of helicopter money, not interest rate gimmicks by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

The eurozone can’t survive another banking crisis: Politically, there’s no way Germany can bail out its biggest banks (Marketwatch)

Europe’s banks still too big to fail, but our new response remains to be tested (The Globe and Mail of Toronto)

Eurozone crisis IMMINENT as debt-ridden Italy and Portugal on verge of being new Greece: TROUBLES in the Italian and Portuguese economies could blow up this year to shatter the eurozone, as disastrous Greece almost did last year. (The Express)

Spain’s public debt nears 100% of GDP at end of 2015: Public debt rose €2 billion to €1.070 trillion by the end of December, new figures show [Reuters via] (The Irish Times)

China Debt Binge Spurs S&P Warning as Magnus Sees 'Big Problems' (Bloomberg)

China just began printing an unexpectedly large amount of money (The Business Insider)

Puerto Rico government cites "substantial doubt" about solvency (Reuters)

[Canadian aircraft maker] Bombardier to cut 7,000 jobs (USAToday)

     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, February 16, 2016

Tuesday roundup (02-16-16)

4 Billion People at Risk as 'Water Table Dropping All Over the World': Global scarcity of key life source far worse than thought, new study finds (CommonDreams)

Oil Holds Near $29 as Saudis, Russia Freeze Output Amid Surplus (Bloomberg)

ECB back in court as German group seek[s] to curb its power (Reuters)

BOJ launches negative rates, already dubbed a failure by markets (Reuters) Why Would Anyone Buy a Negative Interest Bearing Bond? (Pragmatic Capitalism) Why Negative Interest Rates Will Fail (Mises Institute)

[In the United States,] Banks blindsided by former Bush official: 'The biggest banks are still too big to fail and continue to pose a significant, ongoing risk to our economy.' (Politico) Architect of 2008 bailout says US banks still pose 'nuclear' threat to economy: Neel Kashkari, head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, said US’s biggest banks are still ‘too big too fail’ and Congress should consider ‘bold solutions’ (The Guardian) Lessons from the Crisis: Ending Too Big to Fail by Neel Kashkari (The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Left-Leaning Economists Question Cost of Bernie Sanders’s Plans [-- saying "increase [in the] size of the federal government ... could exceed 50 percent" in a Sanders administration] (The New York Times)

Anglo American set to slash 85,000 jobs and sell off assets to reduce debt following £3.9bn loss (This is Money)

     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, February 15, 2016

Monday roundup (02-15-16)

Major central banks tear up interest rate plans as market turmoil forces them into reverse: Carnage in the markets forces G7 central banks to put rate rises on hold and raises prospect of further cuts this year (The Telegraph)

We will not hesitate to act: Draghi (CNBC)

ECB's 'Whatever It Takes' May Be Too Much for German Top Court (Bloomberg)

German 'bail-in' plan for government bonds risks blowing up the euro: 'If I were a politician in Italy, I'd want my own currency as fast as possible: that is the only way to avoid going bankrupt,' said German 'Wise Man' by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Keiser: Deutsche Bank ‘technically insolvent’, running a ‘ponzi scheme’: Max Keiser hit out against Deutsche Bank in the latest episode of his RT program Keiser Report, saying the bank was “technically insolvent” despite assurances from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that he had “no concerns” over his country’s biggest bank. (RussiaToday)

France and other EU nations raise doubts on reaching deal to avoid 'Brexit': France has raised a number of objections about Britain's calls for safeguards for countries that do not use the euro. The push for a deal to keep Britain in the EU faces growing skepticism. (Deutsche Welle)

Global woes will delay UK interest rate rise until 2020, say analysts: Weak global economy and sharp slowdown in UK growth will prevent any rise from 0.5% for at least four years, says EIU (The Guardian)

LA [Louisiana] budget deficit top priority for first day of special session [--  "On July 1, it becomes a $2 billion deficit."] (KSLA) La. budget crisis leaves conservative state stark choice (CBSNews)

Freightliner [Daimler] to lay off 1,250 employees in Mt. Holly, Cleveland [in North Carolina] (WSOC)

     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, February 14, 2016

Sunday roundup (02-14-16)

Japan economy shrinks more than expected, adds to fears of global slowdown (Reuters) Japan's Economy Contracted Again in Final Quarter of 2015 (Bloomberg) Off target: Is it the end of 'Abenomics' in Japan? (The BBC)

Chinese Start to Lose Confidence in Their Currency (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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saturday roundup (02-13-16)

Central Banks Are Trojan Horses, Looting Their Host Nations (Washington's Blog)

Euro PIIGS Starting To Squeal Again (ZeroHedge 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, February 12, 2016

Friday roundup (02-12-16)

The world can't afford another financial crash – it could destroy capitalism as we know it: A new economic crisis would trigger a political backlash in Britain, Europe and the United States which could drag us all down into poverty (The Telegraph)

Eurozone economy ends 2015 with whimper as dark clouds grow (The Associated Press) Eurozone recovery falters as Greece slips back into recession: Italy slows to near stagnation as eurozone GDP expands just 0.3% in final quarter despite ECB stimulus and cheap oil (The Guardian) Germany fails to lift euro zone GDP (CNBC)

The Deutsche Bank Saga Proves We Haven’t Fixed Too Big to Fail (The Fiscal Times)

Italian Economy Barely Expands, Casting Doubts on Outlook (Bloomberg) Stagnating Italy poses new headache for stuttering eurozone: Prime minister Matteo Renzi hits out at Brussels' austerity medicine as euro's third largest economy grinds to a halt (The Telegraph)

UK student loans: 'we will trace and prosecute borrowers who don't pay': Universities minister Jo Johnson promises stronger action on student debtors, including tracking expats in Australia (The Guardian)

Where Did El Nino Go? Heat, Dry Spell Stoke Drought Worry (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, February 11, 2016

Thursday roundup (02-11-16)




Negative interest rates? Deflation risks mean they could be here to stay: Australia avoided quantitative easing thanks to Labor’s stimulus, but for other countries it has become the norm and now more rate cuts are a possibility (The Guardian)

Is the sovereign debt crisis coming back to haunt Europe?: "It is only the ECB that is holding Europe together. If the ECB was to step back you would have a massive sovereign debt crisis" (The Telegraph)

If there is another economic crash, Europe’s far right is ready for it: History should be warning enough: the left must prepare a coherent alternative to the slash and burn of austerity – and fast (The Guardian)

Sweden Cuts Rates Deeper Into Negative Territory, Says May Go Further (Bloomberg) Sweden cuts main interest rate further below zero (Marketwatch)

Spain May Ask EU to Relax Deficit Target: The country ended 2015 with a wider-than-projected fiscal deficit (The Wall Street Journal)

Global turmoil? Four things the Bank of England could still do if we were plunged back into a financial crisis (City AM)

Bank of Japan loses control as QE hits the limits: 'This could go down in the history books as the death of Abenomics' by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Yellen on negative rates [in the United States]: 'We wouldn't take those off the table' (CNBC)

U.S. oil bankruptcies spike 379% (CNNMoney)

University of Copenhagen to cut more than 500 jobs (Times Higher Education)

     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, 02-11-16)

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 declined by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 269,000 in the seven days stretching from Jan 31 to Feb. 6, the government 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, February 10, 2016

Wednesday roundup (02-10-16)

Eurozone concerns building again after period of calm (The Associated Press)

Greek central bank chief says delay in bailout review threatens recovery (Reuters)

Bank of England's recovery policies have increased inequality, finds S&P: QE and low interest rates have handed extra wealth to richest households by propping up stock markets and supporting booming house prices, says report (The Guardian)

Ukraine's huge bailout is at risk (CNNMoney)

Yellen: "Financial conditions in the United States have recently become less supportive of growth" (Calculated Risk blog)

Trump Win, Rubio Collapse in New Hampshire Primary Plunge GOP 2016 Race Into Chaos (NBCNews) Christie, Fiorina suspend 2016 campaigns (FoxNews)

What Bernie Sanders' Crushing Win in New Hampshire Means for the Democratic Race (ABCNews)

Chancellor Says UC Berkeley Faces Tough Decisions Amid $150M Deficit (CBS SF Bay Area)

Fitch Sees High Default Probability for 10 Latin America Issuers (Bloomberg)

Telecom Italia’s Tim Said to Cut 1,000 Brazilian Jobs by March (Bloomberg)

Broadcom to cut nearly 700 jobs at Irvine campus (The Orange County Register)

     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, February 9, 2016

Tuesday roundup (02-09-16)

Creditors must brace for a tsunami of losses in a world awash with debt: Countries have taken on far more debt than can ever be repaid. As the European banking sell-off is already signalling, creditors are in for a brutal awakening. Get ready for debt restructuring mayhem. (The Telegraph) Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we've seen before: A pernicious cycle of collapsing commodities, corporate defaults, and currency wars loom over the global economy. Can anything stop it from unravelling? [Dec. 6] (The Telegraph)

Central Banks [Through Ultra-Loose Monetary Policy] Make Global Economy Vulnerable, OECD's White Says (Bloomberg)

European banks face major cash crunch: European banks may have to pare down assets to bolster capital reserves as cheap oil is taking a toll on portfolios of energy-exposed loans. (CNBC) Bank of America: This Chart Shows 'Deteriorating Liquidity' Is at the Heart of Market Carnage (Bloomberg) Europe's 'doom-loop' returns as credit markets seize up: 'We all know that QE2 is not really going to work but the market says "I’m a smoker, I know it kills me, but so long as I can get cigarettes, I’m happy"' by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

ECB's Villeroy de Galhau says deflation battle is not over (Reuters)

German output drop raises doubts about growth prospects (Reuters) EU facing IMMINENT recession? Germany on brink as warning issued over Deutsche Bank: FEARS of a recession in the Eurozone are rising as Germany's economy shows yet more signs of buckling under global and domestic financial pressures. (The Express)

Deutsche Bank Is ‘Absolutely Rock-Solid,’ Cryan Tells Employees (Bloomberg) The Market Isn't Buying That Deutsche Bank Is 'Rock Solid' (Forbes) No easy way out for Deutsche Bank as investors 'lose faith' (Reuters) How bad will it get for the banks? (USAToday)

Bank of England poised to act if household debt spirals: Bank deputy Sir Jon Cunliffe warns consumer debt remains 'large by historic standards', leaving the economy 'vulnerable to shocks' (The Telegraph)

Banks [in the United States] eye more cost cuts amid global growth concerns (Reuters) Goldman Sachs 'to slash jobs' amid global economic slowdown: US bank intends to slash at least 5pc of its workforce this year, according to reports (The Telegraph)

Financial Reform: It's About Improving the Financial System, Not 2008 by Dean Baker (Truth-Out)

Hillary Clinton won't rule out Wall St. Treasury Secretary (CNNMoney)

Fed May Lack Legal Authority for Negative Rates: 2010 Memo (Bloomberg)

Americans Can’t Help Themselves From Borrowing More on Credit Cards: The typical American is always carrying credit-card debt. (Bloomberg)

MF Global customers recover $8.1B from brokerage's failure (USAToday)

Don't look now: $1 gas may be close (USAToday) Are we returning to the days of 99 cent gas? (CBSMoneywatch)

[Off Topic:] Donate Your Old USB Drives to Fight North Korean Brainwashing (Wired)

     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, February 8, 2016

Monday roundup (02-8-16)

What the ‘Chart of Doom’ is saying about a global recession (Marketwatch) This 'Chart of Doom' explains when a global recession will begin (The Business Insider) [See lead item posted here yesterday] (Economic Signs of the Times blog)

Southern European borrowing costs jump on banks, growth worries (Reuters)

CBO: [United States] Federal budget deficit, national debt to soar [Feb. 1 Editorial] (The Orange County Register)

Hillary Clinton won't rule out Wall St. Treasury Secretary (CNNMoney)

The Case for Breaking Up Too-Big-To-Fail Banks [-- "Capital is the first line of defense against bank failure"] (EconoMonitor)

Siemens to slash [more than 1,000] jobs at energy-related unit: Handelsblatt (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, February 7, 2016

Sunday roundup (02-7-16)

The Chart of Doom: When Private Credit Stops Expanding... by Charles Hugh Smith (of two minds blog)

German, French central bankers call for euro zone finance ministry (Reuters)

Volkswagen to offer generous compensation for U.S. customers - fund head (Reuters)

China's economy: slowing distorted and debt-addicted (RBS Economics)

Capital flight, not debt, could shock China's economy: BTIM's Gor warns (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Starting 2016 With A Bang [in the United States]: Challenger Reports Highest January Layoffs Since 2009 [Feb. 4] (ZeroHedge blog)

Is Democracy Broken? (The Brennan Center for Justice) Election Spending 2014: Outside Spending in Senate Races Since Citizens United (The Brennan Center for Justice)

Lloyd Blankfein charges for investment advice — but his political wisdom is free by Matt Taibi (Rolling Stone) Election 2016: Elizabeth Warren Defends Bernie Sanders From Goldman Sachs Criticism (International Business Times) The Vampire Squid Tells Us How to Vote Insiders: Bernie scored in debate with Wall Street slams: But 2 out of 3 Democrats in the POLITICO Caucus think Sanders would suffer a landslide defeat as party nominee. (Politico)

     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, February 6, 2016

Saturday roundup (02-6-16)

As the world economy again flirts with recession, prepare for years to come of zero interest rates: In the face of a slowing economy, central banks have again abandoned the quest for higher interest rates (The Telegraph)

Kyle Bass: China banks months away from ‘danger territory’ (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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday roundup (02-5-16)

The World’s Most Famous Case of Deflation (Part 1 of 2) [The Visual Capitalist via] (Equities)

Toxic Loans Around the World Weigh on Global Growth (The New York Times)

Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS: An 'illusion of sustainability' has blinded borrowers and debtors, lulling them into a false of security. The BIS says liquidity is now drying up by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegraph)

Citi: The Global Economy Is Trapped in a ‘Death Spiral’ (New York Magazine) Citi: 'We Should All Fear Oilmageddon': A feedback loop of the U.S. dollar, crude, capital flows, and emerging markets. (Bloomberg)

U.S. jobs growth slows to 151,000, but jobless rate hits 8-year low (Marketwatch) Chart of the Day: Net New Jobs in January (Mother Jones) Sluggish jobs report raises questions about the direction of U.S. economy (The Los Angeles Times) The big question: How long can our little-recovery-that-could keep chugging along? (The Washington Post blogs)

The Unemployment System Can’t Handle Another Recession (The Fiscal Times)

HSBC Reaches $470 Million Accord Over Foreclosure Abuses (Bloomberg)

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Brawl Over His “Insinuation” That She’s Corrupt (The Intercept) What Clinton and Sanders Are Really Fighting About: The Democratic candidates have revived an old progressive debate about whether big business can be regulated, or must be broken up. (The Atlantic) Sanders sounds like FDR on banks (The Hill blogs)

Hillary Clinton Losing Her National Lead Over Bernie Sanders, [a national Quinnipiac] Poll Shows (ABCNews) Presidential hopefuls Sanders, Clinton in dead heat - Reuters/Ipsos poll (Reuters)

The Conservative Playbook for Keeping ‘Dark Money’ Dark: In internal memos, groups opposing tighter state campaign finance rules coach their local supporters on how to battle disclosure of political donors. (ProPublica)

     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, February 4, 2016

Thursday roundup (02-4-16)

Euro zone cuts economic growth forecast (The Sydney Morning Herald) EU Slashes 2016 Inflation Forecast to 0.5% as Growth Seen Slower (Bloomberg)

France, Italy, Spain, Portugal seen breaking EU deficit rules-Commission (Reuters)

Bank of England votes 9-0 to keep interest rates on hold: Prospect of UK rate rise recedes further as Bank cuts forecasts for economic growth, wages and inflation (The Guardian)

Negative rates in US? Here's why it could happen (CNBC)

Announcing the Formation of the Bank Whistleblowers United by William K. Black (The Huffington Post) An Explanation of the Bank Whistleblowers United 60-Day Plan (New Economic Perspectives blog) Sanders vs. Clinton on Wall St. Reform: Former financial regulator Bill Black and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal take on the policies of the two contenders for the Democratic nomination (The Real News) Sanders vs. Clinton on Wall St. Reform (Youtube)



Weatherford to cut 6,000 jobs in first half of 2016 (FuelFix blog)

Credit Suisse announces 4,000 job cuts (USAToday)

Peugeot to cut 850 jobs at Poissy factory-sources (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, 02-04-16)

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.)

"New claims rose by 8,000 a seasonally adjusted 285,000 in the seven days stretching from Jan. 24 to Jan 30, the government 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, February 3, 2016

Wednesday roundup (02-3-16)

Euro-Area Price Cuts Intensify Pressure on Draghi to Act (Bloomberg)

Eurozone Economy 'Losing Steam' Amid Market Turmoil (The Associated Press)

Consumer debt default risk at post-crisis high: According to official figures, the average British household will owe £24,000 more by 2020 (The Week) Average Briton will be in debt until they are SIXTY-NINE - 12 years longer than they think says new study (The Daily Mail)

How large is the UK’s national debt, and why does it matter?: George Osborne has made it his mission to start paying down the Government's debts - why is he so devoted to this cause? (The Telegraph)

The World Bank is contemplating bailouts for two of the most corrupt petro-states on the planet (Quartz)

[In the United States,] Rand Paul suspends presidential campaign (The Washington Post) With Rand Paul gone, which candidate will ask the tough questions? (The Los Angeles Times) With Rand Paul out of the race, is there anyone left to fight the NSA? (The Verge) A Lament for Rand Paul: Without the Kentucky libertarian, the 2016 GOP race is all about more and bigger military interventions. (U. S. News & World Report)

Autodesk to cut jobs by 10 percent [= about 925] as it transitions to cloud (Reuters)

Dow Chemical to cut [500] more jobs ahead of DuPont merger [Reuters via] (CNBC)

British Gas to cut 500 jobs as it shuts insulation business: Supplier seeks cost efficiency by shutting down energy efficiency division (The Telegraph)

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday roundup (02-2-16)

New financial MELTDOWN set to sink EU as German banks lose £14,292,610,000.00 in 90 DAYS: EUROPE'S biggest economy was plunged into fresh chaos tonight amid warnings a new financial crisis in Germany could destroy the EU. (The Express)

Iowa Caucus Results [in Race for President of the United States] (The Des Moines Register) New Hampshire Is Next: Here Are 5 Things To Know (WBUR) Polls Were Way Off on Donald Trump. Here’s What It Means. (The New York Times) Coin toss broke 6 Clinton-Sanders deadlocks in Iowa — and Hillary won each time (Marketwatch) Democracy of the Billionaires: The Most Expensive Election Ever Is A Billionaire’s Playground (Except for Bernie Sanders) by Nomi Prins (CommonDreams)

White House says Republicans co-own legacy of record $19 trillion debt (Marketwatch)

Recent SEC Actions Charging Dark Pools (The Big Picture blog)

Exxon Faces First [Credit] Downgrade Since Depression as Oil Rout Worsens (Bloomberg)

Is Yahoo up for sale? CEO Marissa Mayer fires 1,700 workers, closes five offices and 'explores strategic alternatives' as she fights for her job (The Daily Mail)

BP to cut another 3,000 jobs after $5.2 bln loss (Marketwatch)

Sanofi plans to cut 600 jobs in France over 3 yrs (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.