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Eastern European economic growth to crater in 2009

This comes via Angus Robertson over at Research Recap: Fitch Ratings forecasts that Emerging Europe (EE) will suffer its steepest fall in real GDP since the collapse of the Communist planned economic system in the early 1990s, reflecting the severity of the trade and financial shocks that have hit the region. However, the aggregate forecasts conceal a wide range in […]

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U.S. banks’ derivatives exposure explodes to $200 trillion

U.S. banks’ derivatives exposure explodes to $200 trillion

The OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities
for the Fourth Quarter 2008 is out. And derivatives exposure is way up. U.S. commercial banks now have a massive $200 trillion in derivatives exposure, which is 14x U.S. GDP.

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More credit card writedowns are coming

Of course you know I think credit cards are going to produce a tsunami of writedowns, right? Things are looking more and more like that tsunami is right around the corner: Credit card writedowns soared to record levels in February, representing an all-time high in the 20-year history of the Moody’s Credit Card Index, as job losses mounted, the rating […]

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ISM: U.S. manufacturing contracting slower

ISM: U.S. manufacturing contracting slower

The March 2009 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business is out.  The widely-followed figure of 36.3 for the purchasing manager’s index (PMI) shows a manufacturing sector contracting quickly, albeit at a slower pace.  Last month, the PMI was 35.8 and it was 35.6 in January.  So this marks the second consecutive month of gain in the figure. Nevertheless, with 50 as […]

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Obama sacks Geithner and Summers, calls for change

This post was an April Fool’s joke. We all know this is not going to happen anytime soon.

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Links: 2009-04-01

Lessons from Japan’s failed fiscal stimulus – Vox Eu Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism – Joseph Stiglitz, NY Times hat tip Mark Thoma The Future of Investing: Evolution or Revolution? – Bill Gross NBER: Household and NFP Differences Are Cyclical – Barry Ritholtz Sacked workers occupy car factory – BBC News Emerging-Market Stocks Extend Best Monthly Rally in 16 Years – Bloomberg.com […]

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G-20: China is clearly looking for a new world order

I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but the Chinese have been making a lot of muscular moves diplomatically. While shifts in balance of power often take decades, it is increasingly apparent that China is making a strategic move in that direction right now. We have been chronicling these moves here in a series of posts at Credit […]

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Will Goldman’s Jim O’Neill change his bullish outlook?

Will Goldman’s Jim O’Neill change his bullish outlook?

Back in February I posted an article called “The bullish argument for the global economy” highlighting Goldman Sachs’ Chief Economist Jim O’Neill’s bullish view for the economy. O’Neill believed in February that a economic rebound was certainly possible due to fiscal and monetary stimulus. Paul Kasriel has made similar arguments.

While I do agree that fiscal and monetary stimulus have been great and may induce a cyclical rebound, I wanted to point out that he mentioned the Philly Fed Survey and the ISM surveys as potential leading indicators of recovery.

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Muncipalities can tear up contracts

Marshall Auerback here. Remind me again what Larry Summers was talking about when he spoke of the US as being a “nation of laws”, where “sanctity of contract” is sacrosanct? In a case of first impression that could have far-reaching implications, a bankruptcy judge in California recently determined that municipalities that file petitions under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code […]

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Mexico goes hat in hand to the IMF

Mexico goes hat in hand to the IMF

This comes from Win Thin, a senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman: Mexico President Calderon is now saying that Mexico stands ready to take a $30-40 bln IMF credit line. This was a surprise to us, and we view this as a negative for Mexico since no country until now has gone to the IMF for any sort of […]

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Arianna Huffington asks why the banks are getting a better deal

This clip is very much in line with my thinking from a previous post.

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Ukraine: economy shrank 25-30% in first two months

If you want to know what a modern-day depression looks like, try Ukraine. Growth in the ex-Soviet state, hit by shrinking markets for its steel and chemical exports, stood at 5.8 per cent of gross domestic product in the same period of 2008. ”We were ill-prepared to confront the crisis and its first blow was painful and difficult…,” Mr Yushchenko […]

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