- Oil rises near $71 after large fall in U.S. crude stocks
“Oil raced toward $71 a barrel on Wednesday, after settling above $70 for the first time in seven months on a larger-than-expected fall in crude oil stocks and a forecast that falling oil demand may have bottomed.”
- 1.6% GDP growth forecast for second quarter | The Japan Times Online
Is this purely a first derivative effect? I find it hard to believe that the Japanese economy is back to growth. If they get positive GDP in Q2, that will be amazing.
- Supreme Court allows Chrysler sale to Fiat
- Lifehacker: Google Apps Will Soon Support Outlook Sync with Email, Contacts, and Calendars
“Windows only: Google Apps Sync is a new free utility from Google that syncs your Google Apps (Premier or Education edition) email, contacts, and calendar directly with Microsoft Outlook.”
- Speeding up brain networks might boost IQ – New Scientist
“the researchers found no link between the total number of connections in a subject’s brain network and their IQ. “We show that more intelligent people don’t have more connections, but they have more efficiently placed connections,” he says”
- ECB Official Warns on Europe’s Banks – WSJ.com
“The European Central Bank expects further financial-sector weakness could help keep the euro-zone economy from expanding before the middle of next year, a top policy maker said in an interview. ECB officials believe the euro-zone recession could weaken the 16-nation bloc’s strained banking system. “That is the reason why we are also cautious about the gradual recovery path in our scenario,” said Yves Mersch, who sits on the ECB’s 22-member Governing Council.”
- Waving Goodbye to the TARP – DealBook
This is a good one showing what the CEOs really think about getting off the government breast. A must read for anyone wanting to understand how each individual company feels about having received TARP funds.
- Chart of the day: Household equity
You can see the bubble-like rise and fall in equity. Pretty dramatic chart. You should notice the rise begins in 1997, demonstrating that the bubble began long before the recent past.
- IMF tells Europe to come clean on bank losses – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Translation: get your head out of the sand. Look at Germany with WestLB almost collapsing at the weekend, The Germans seem to think that because they had no bubble their financial system will be just fine. Not at all, weakness is all around in Europe: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, the UK, AUstria, Switzerland.
- German exports fall 29% in April – BBC News
“It was the biggest fall since the recession began, suggesting the economy has some way to go before it recovers. Industrial production fell 21.6% in April compared with April 2008, according to the economics ministry.”
- Joseph Stiglitz: Too Big to be Restructured – Economist’s View
“The Obama administration has, however, introduced a new concept: “too big to be financially restructured”. The administration argues that all hell would break loose if we tried to play by the usual rules with these big banks. …I think this judgment is wrong. I think the Obama administration has succumbed to political pressure and scare-mongering by the big banks. As a result, the administration has confused bailing out the bankers and their shareholders with bailing out the banks.”
- The hills are alive with the sound of Austrian bond auctions – Tracy Alloway, FT Alphaville
It looks like nervousness over Eastern Europe is back and that’s bad for Austria, as they are the most exposed of Eurozone countries to lending in the CEE.
- Gross Reduces Mortgage Holdings to Lowest in a Year – Bloomberg.com
“Pimco’s founder and co-chief investment officer cut the holdings to 61 percent in May from 64 percent in April, according to the Newport Beach, California-based company’s Web site. Gross also reduced his holdings of government-related debt to 25 percent, while boosting the investment grade holdings to 18 percent.”
- Let Me Sleep On It: Creative Problem Solving Enhanced By REM Sleep – Science Daily
“Research led by a leading expert on the positive benefits of napping at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep enhances creative problem-solving.”
- More Firms Cut Pay to Save Jobs – WSJ.com
Basically, you should see this as more evidence that a wage-price spiral is never going to happen. Inflation can only come through commodity price increases. And given the limited bargaining power of workers, any inflation is going to hurt.
- Finance Reforms Pared Back – WSJ.com
Change you can believe in? “The Obama administration is backing away from seeking a major reduction in the number of agencies overseeing financial markets, people familiar with the matter say, suggesting that the current alphabet-soup of regulators will remain mostly intact.”
- WestLB Dodges Closure After Guarantee Is Struck – WSJ.com
This German Landesbank was almost shut down at the weekend. WestLB was the most aggressive of the Landesbanks, really looking to compete with the likes of Commerz and Deutsche. Another example of how weak the German financial system is because of prudent foreign risk-taking.
- Lloyds closing all C&G branches – BBC News
“Lloyds Banking Group is to close all 164 branches of Cheltenham & Gloucester, risking up to 1,500 job”
- Nobel Winner Krugman Sees U.S. Recession Ending Soon – Bloomberg
““I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer,” he said in a lecture today at the London School of Economics.” Need I say more? The holdouts are capitulating. The question now is what kind of recovery we get.