We Don’t Have a Deficit Problem, Cont’d

By: Monday December 17, 2012 6:59 am

Paul Krugman takes aim at something that should have been a major talking point for progressives, even if lawmakers couldn’t touch it, for the last four years. There has been a void in talking about the budget deficit in real terms, in what it’s composed of and what it really means. First of all, to [...]

Eurozone Officially Falls Into Double-Dip Recession

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 2:49 pm

The Eurozone experienced its second straight quarter of negative growth in the third quarter of 2012, fulfilling the technical conditions of a recession. This recession is so far mild, with a -0.1% quarter following a -0.2% quarter. This is actually a bit larger than it looks because Europe doesn’t annualize its GDP numbers, so in [...]

Greece Passes Yet Another Round of Austerity

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 10:00 am

With all the talk of elections and realignments and the like, it’s good to know that there’s still some things out there you can depend on. Like Greek politicians ignoring the people as well as economic reality and cutting their budget once again. Lawmakers in Greece have narrowly backed a fresh round of austerity measures, [...]

Greece Attempts to Pass Another Round of Austerity

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 7:45 am

The Finance Minister for Greece, Yannis Stournaras, claims that the country will be given more time by its international creditors to reach deficit targets, smoothing out the level of austerity required in the near term. But he might want to tell his international creditors about it. Greece had been asking for two more years to [...]

Homeowners Lost $2 Trillion in Housing Wealth By Living Near Foreclosures

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 7:03 am

“Why should we bail out the loser’s mortgages,” Rick Santelli yelled in his proto-Tea Party rant. And ever since, practically everyone in Washington has taken care to say that homeowner relief should only be available for “responsible” homeowners, as if there’s a formula to decide whether someone ripped off by a predatory lender is “responsible” [...]

IMF Rejects Own Research, Backs Austerity in Portugal

By: Friday October 19, 2012 12:24 pm

The EU wrapped up its summit, and the major policy announcement was an agreement for a single Eurozone bank regulator, a step on the road to common depository insurance. This is a couple years off, and leaders announced that no country would be able to get bailout funds for its banks until the regulator was [...]

Germany Seeks to Strip National Sovereignty from Eurozone Members

By: Wednesday October 17, 2012 1:27 pm

The EU will hold one of its regular summits, and the participants are all patting themselves on the back because they don’t believe they have an immediate near-term crisis to deal with. Except they do. That crisis isn’t about whether or not Spain will accept a bailout (the Spanish government is reluctant, because they would [...]

Why Europe’s Hopes for Austerity May Be Slipping Away

By: Monday October 15, 2012 10:00 am

Joe Weisenthal points out something I’ve been noticing ever since the European Central Bank announced its bond-buying program. It turns out this worked far too well for the ECB’s taste. They wanted to use the prospect of bond-buying as a spur to get Spain and perhaps Italy to agree to a strings-attached bailout, so they [...]

Total US Debt at a Six-Year Low

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 7:05 am

When politicians and partisans talk about “the debt,” they are almost always talking about publicly held debt, the balance sheet of the US government. Yet overall debt includes a number of elements. You have state and local government debt, corporate debt, and individual private debt plays a role as well. Household balance sheets are just [...]

Spain Unveils Austerity Budget

By: Thursday September 27, 2012 10:59 am

Spain released its austerity budget today, and it focuses on cuts to social spending much more than any tax increases. Government ministries saw their budgets slashed by 8.9 percent for next year, as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s battle to reduce one of the euro zone’s biggest deficits was made harder by weak tax revenues in [...]

Spain Will Set Conditions for an Imminent Bailout Request

By: Monday September 24, 2012 6:55 am

Spain has thus far resisted a formal request for a bailout, and the conditions that the European Union would surely impose. But they may not be able to wait much longer. Now it looks as if their spending program unveiled this week will serve as a prelude to the bailout, with more austerity in the [...]

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