Thursday, June 10, 2010

6/10/10 Post

Debt Spreading 'Like a Cancer': Black Swan Author
"I want to live in a society that is robust to adverse events. We don't live in that world," Taleb said.
Economists Expect Slow U.S. Growth
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are sticking with their forecasts for slow but steady growth in the U.S. economy through the middle of 2011 despite recent turmoil in European debt markets.
Bernanke Calls for Deficit Plan
On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke urged lawmakers to take the same approach as the Fed with the budget deficit: Devise a plan now, but act on it later.
US Debt to Rise to $19.6 Trillion by 2015
The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.
Treasury Secretary says China could become largest foreign market for US exports
China is already the third biggest market for U.S. exports. However, even with the big jump in U.S. exports, the United States still runs its largest trade deficit with China, one that last year totaled $226.9 billion.
Weekly initial jobless claims down 3,000 to 456,000
The number of initial claims made by people applying for regular state unemployment benefits fell 3,000 to 456,000 last week, the Labor Department reported.
Fee Increase for Immigration Papers Planned
Among several new fees, officials said, will be a $6,230 charge for foreigners proposing to invest $500,000

Research, Reports & Studies
Wells Fargo Economics Group: Monthly Outlook
While our forecast remains well below the consensus, we believe events over the past few weeks make a second-half slowdown more likely.
Fix Double Leverage Problem
When Fannie and Freddie preferred stock went to zero, losses were massive. The situation was naturally much worse because the stock was highly leveraged in the banks.
Lost Trust: The Real Cause of the Financial Meltdown
In the run-up to the credit-market freeze of 2008 assurance mechanisms collapsed under the weight of political and regulatory pressures to aggressively expand homeownership and other policies.

Economists' Commentary
Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism
For a proper progressive, anything short of a "comprehensive" solution to, say, the problem of illegal immigration is unworthy of consideration. For today's progressive president, the prospect of a jobless recovery is a comprehensive nightmare.
Why the Next Three Weeks Will Change Wall Street Forever
There are three main reasons why the next three weeks may be the most important time for Wall Street in decades.

The Hayek Revival
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek isn't just back on the bestseller list; it’s #1 on Amazon.
New York to Shut Down?
In his recent analysis of budget rules, University of Rochester Professor David Primo finds that states with automatic shutdown provisions spend $64 more per-capita compared to states that do not have automatic shutdown provisions.
Q1 Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth off $11.4 Trillion from Peak
A majority of the decline in net worth is from real estate assets with a loss of about $6.4 trillion in value from the peak. Stock market losses are still substantial too.

"Did You Know?"
Had his life ended three months earlier, billionaire Dan L. Duncan’s riches — Forbes magazine estimated his worth at $9 billion, ranking him as the 74th wealthiest in the world — would have been subject to a federal tax of at least 45 percent. If he had lived past Jan. 1, 2011, the rate would be even higher — 55 percent. Instead, because Congress allowed the tax to lapse for one year and gave all estates a free pass in 2010, Mr. Duncan’s four children and four grandchildren stand to collect billions that in any other year would have gone to the Treasury.

Graphic of the Day

See also: The U.S. trade balance widened from -$40.0 billion in March to -$40.3 billion in April as exports and imports declined by $1.0 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively,