Paul Krugman Throws In Towel, Says We’re Headed For Another Depression

For the last several months, Princeton professor Paul Krugman has become increasingly agitated about what he feels is a disastrous mistake in the making — a sudden global obsession with “austerity” that will lead to spending cuts in many nations in Europe and, possibly, the United States.Krugman believes that this is exactly the same mistake we made in 1937, when the country was beginning to emerge from the Great Depression. A sudden focus on austerity in 1937, it is widely believed, halted four years of strong growth and plunged the country back into recession, sending the unemployment rate soaring again.In Krugman’s view, the world should keep spending now, to offset the pain of the recession and high unemployment–and then start cutting back as soon as the economy is robustly healthy again.Those concerned about the world’s massive debt and deficits, however, have seized control of the public debate, and are scaring the world’s governments into cutting back.Which fate is worse? It depends on your time frame.Cutting back on spending now would almost certainly make the economy worse, at least for the short run. Not cutting back on spending later, meanwhile (and Congress has shown no ability to curtail spending), will almost certainly keep us on a road to hell in a handbasket.The White House’s own budget projections show the deficit improving as a percent of GDP to about -4% by 2013. After that, however, even the White House doesn’t think things will get much better. After a few years of bumping along at about -4%, the deficit will begin to soar at the end of the decade. And thanks to the ballooning costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security–along with inflating interest payments from all the debt we’re accumulating–the White House expects the deficit to soar to a staggering -62% of GDP by 2085.What Krugman and his foes agree on is that that’s no way to run a country. And it’s time we finally faced up to that.In the meantime, we’ll continue to fight about what to do in the near-term. And Krugman thinks he has lost that war and we’re headed for another Depression.

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Do You Know If Your Covered? Learn FDIC Insurance Limits

What does the FDIC do?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for up to $250,000 (through December 31, 2013).

What are the basic FDIC coverage limits?

  • Single Accounts (owned by one person):  $250,000 per owner
  • Joint Accounts (two or more persons):  $250,000 per co-owner
  • IRAs and other certain retirement accounts:  $250,000 per owner

What types of accounts are eligible for FDIC insurance?

FDIC insurance covers all deposit accounts at insured banks and savings associations, including checking, NOW, and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) up to the insurance limit.

The FDIC does not insure the money you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities, even if you purchased these products from an insured bank or savings association.

Need More Information? Go to:  https://www.fdic.gov/edie/fdic_info.html#04

Dick Bove Says, Banks Don’t Want Your Business – May Cancel Your Account and Give Customers the Boot

Not happy with your bank? The feeling is likely mutual.Don’t be surprised if your bank soon decides they don’t want your business anymore, says Rochdale Securities bank analyst Dick Bove.Why?Bank regulators and Congress are looking at ways at making the system more safe and sound in order to avoid another meltdown. What on the surface seems like a wise and prudent decision, however may have unintended consequences, most notably higher fees for bounced checks, credit card balances and the like.”The way a bank discourages a customer from doing business with it is to make the cost of doing business so high the customer gets upset and leaves,” Bove says. “I think that’s the methodology,” although some unprofitable accounts will be closed by the banks, as American Express has been doing. (AmEx canceled 3.3 million cards globally in the second and third quarters, TheStreet.com reports.)Update: In another example, HSBC “has decided retail customers aren’t profitable enough and is demanding those clients remove their gold to make room for more lucrative institutional customers,” The WSJ reports.Bove says as much as 30% of U.S. households could find themselves being forced out of their banks since they’re not deemed profitable.The shift will create investment opportunities as depositors look to other companies to provide banking services. In this scenario, Bove thinks consumer finance firms, payment system companies, pay-day loan companies and pawn shops will pick up the slack.As the government moves to make the cost of banking higher for the banks, they’re going to have to pass on those costs to the consumer,” Bove says. “If the consumer doesn’t like it, the consumer is going to have to rely on these less-established methodologies of getting finance and moving money.” ———————–The FDIC fund that insures bank deposits is $8.2 billion in the hole.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. released its latest set of grim banking data moments ago. The FDIC had to set aside $21.7 billion for expected losses on future bank failures as the total number of “problem” banks rose to 552 from 416.There were glimmers of hope. While bad loans continue to beat up bank balance sheets, revenues are returning to the banking sector. Overall, the banking sector was profitable after a $4.3 billion loss in the second quarter and saw just $879 million in earnings last year.

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Peter Schiff says, The Economy Is Getting Worse Not Better

The Fed upgraded its view of the economy Wednesday, declaring: “Economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn.”But forget all the talk about recovery, V-shaped or otherwise. The economy is actually worse today vs. during the depths of the recession, according to Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of Crash Proof 2.0.”Ben Bernanke is keeping his record of perfection intact of never getting anything right. Once again he’s gotten it wrong,” Schiff says. “If the Fed really thought the economy was sound, why does he have it on life support? If he pulls the plug, our sick economy is going to die.”Although the Fed never said the economy is “sound”, Schiff is referring to the FOMC’s renewed pledge that “economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”Nothing that’s occurred in the past six months has changed Schiff’s view that America’s economy is headed for disaster. In fact, he’s even more convinced a true “currency crisis” awaits, and that China will soon stop enabling our reckless borrowing, the basis our “phony” economy. The coming collapse of the dollar and bursting of the Treasury bubble will have devastating consequences for ordinary Americans, and any investors based in dollars, he says.The economy today is “worse [because] we are much more deeply indebted than in March,” Schiff declares. “We’ve dug ourselves a deeper hole.”

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Buffett Says, We Are Doomed – We’re Going to Be Crushed Under A Mountain of Debt

A highly influential American has finally hit the panic button about the tremendous mountain of debt the country is piling up.Last year, Warren Buffett says, we were justified in using any means necessary to stave off another Great Depression. Now that the economy is beginning to recover, however, we need to curtail our out-of-control spending, or we’ll destroy the value of the dollar and many Americans’ life savings.Some not-so-fun facts from Buffett’s editorial today in the New York Times: * Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in * Our deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP * Our debt is growing by 1% a month * We are borrowing $1.8 trillion a year$1.8 trillion is a lot of money. Even if the Chinese lend us $400 billion a year and Americans save a remarkable $500 billion and lend it to the government, we’ll still need another $900 billion.So, where’s it going to come from? Most likely the printing press. And, ultimately, Buffett says, that will destroy the value of the dollar.

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“The Worst Is Yet to Come” If You’re Not Petrified You’re Not Paying Attention: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

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The green shoots story took a bit of hit this week between data on April retail sales, weekly jobless claims and foreclosures. But the whole concept of the economy finding its footing was “preposterous” to begin with, says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates.”We’re in a complete mess and the consumer is smart enough to know it,” says Davidowitz, whose firm does consulting for the retail industry. “If the consumer isn’t petrified, he or she is a damn fool.”Davidowitz, who is nothing if not opinionated (and colorful), paints a very grim picture: “The worst is yet to come with consumers and banks,” he says. “This country is going into a 10-year decline. Living standards will never be the same.”This outlook is based on the following main points: * With the unemployment rate rising into double digits – and that’s not counting the millions of “underemployed” Americans – consumers are hitting the breaks, which is having a huge impact, given consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity. * Rising unemployment and the $8 trillion negative wealth effect of housing mean more Americans will default on not just mortgages but student loans and auto loans and credit card debt. * More consumer loan defaults will hit banks, which are also threatened by what Davidowitz calls a “depression” in commercial real estate, noting the recent bankruptcy of General Growth Properties and distressed sales by Developers Diversified and other REITs. As for all the hullabaloo about the stress tests, he says they were a sham and part of a “con game to get private money to finance these institutions because [Treasury] can’t get more money from Congress. It’s the ‘greater fool’ theory.””We’re now in Barack Obama’s world where money goes into the most inefficient parts of the economy and we’re bailing everyone out,” says Daviowitz, who opposes bailouts for financials and automakers alike. “The bailout money is in the sewer and gone.”