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Originally posted by HimWhoHathAnEar
Congress not going to pass a budget this year! When you refuse to sit down with your bills, you are in the final stages of denial and just about to pay the piper.
Deutsche Bank has a new and improved index of U.S. financial conditions, and this index just slumped back towards the lows of our recent crisis.
Deutsche Bank's Peter Hooper:
Financial conditions appear to have worsened substantially in recent quarters based on our update of the broad index of US financial variables presented earlier this year at the US Monetary Policy Forum. In the wake of recent developments in Europe, increased stress in financial markets has pushed that index halfway back to its immediate post- Lehman crisis lows.
A Conservative-led (i.e. centre-right) government is now 99% certain (in conjunction with the Liberal Democrats [left of centre], who have never held power).
Labour/Lib Dem talks have failed
This bodes well for the stability of the UK economy, as the Conservatives stood for election on a distinctive platform of introducing measures this year that will begin to deal with the current run-away national debt.
(Hats off to the British electorate, who have chosen austerity over profligacy.)
Expect an announcement within hours, and watch sterling climb...
The Euro is fundamentally on the rocks, whereas the pound still has at it's disposal every conceivable mechanism to see it through the rough times ahead (-which so many other states relinquished when they signed up to the Euro). The ability to vary the value of one's currency in response to the prevailing national economic climate epitomises the numerous important options available to the UK, but lost by states who gave up their independent currencies.
The UK might just blaze a trail for all those budding Greece-immitators out there...
Stirling? Waves off the starboard bow, calmer waters forecast.
The Euro? "When you hear three blasts of the horn, make your way to the nearest exit where members of the crew will issue life jackets..."
The pound has hit a 19-month high as debt woes weigh down on the euro.
Sterling touched 1.2222 euros on Thursday, the highest it has been since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis in November 2008.
Markets continue to worry about the European debt crisis, with the perceived risk of a default by Greece hitting an all-time high.
The pound was also boosted by disagreement at the Bank of England about whether to raise interest rates.
At the Bank's latest monetary policy committee meeting, Andrew Sentance broke with colleagues - including governor Mervyn King - to vote in favour of a rate rise.
This raised market expectations of future rate rises, making sterling a more attractive investment...
The US Congress has all but finalised the biggest reform of US financial regulation since the Great Depression.
President Obama said the reforms would "hold Wall Street to account".
Legislators stayed up all of Thursday night for 19 hours of non-stop negotiations to reconcile separate versions of the bill that had been passed by the two houses of Congress.
Agreement was reached to impose strict limits on banks' ability to take risky speculative bets on markets...
...Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the bill that had emerged was "strong" and described it as "the most sweeping set of financial reforms since those that followed the Great Depression"...
"There is no dramatic streamlining of the alphabet soup of regulatory agencies," according to the Economist. "Indeed, the new consumer bureau potentially creates another monster. Nor does it tackle the future status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to the chagrin of Republicans, who rightly view the two mammoth mortgage agencies as having played a leading role in causing the financial crisis. The final document may run close to 2,000 pages, but some very important issues are being left for another day."
(Sec. 9002) Requires employers to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employee's gross income (excluding the value of contributions to flexible spending arrangements).
If it persists, Byrd’s death could complicate the financial reform bill’s path to President Barack Obama’s desk. Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, one of four Republicans who voted for the original bill, has said he might vote against the version that emerged from the reconciliation of the House and Senate versions because it adds a $19 billion bank tax.
Should Brown vote no and Byrd Die, it would leave the bill one vote shy of the 60 needed to close debate and move to final passage.
Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.
We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.
The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: "The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."
"Early on in the crash, the weakness was in the lower-price tiers. In the past year, most of the biggest price declines have been in the upper tiers," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "That suggests high-end households are coming under increasing pressure."
First American CoreLogic, which tracks U.S. real estate and mortgages, says the percentage of $1 million-plus loans more than 90 days delinquent rose to 13.3 percent in February, half again as high as the 8.6 percent overall delinquency rate.
The million-dollar delinquency rate has exceeded the overall delinquency rate since April 2008.