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Economic News Articles in the Great Recession — Archive for Week of 02-05-2012

All the king’s men re-evaluated their economic predictions during the past week because of the most positive job figures in the U.S. to date. However, even Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, cautioned that the job statistics that are collected leave a lot unsaid. I feel the market was overly optimistic.

The Europeans went all week without reaching an agreement on a Greek debt crisis deal, in spite of several top-level meetings, so the problem spilled over to the present week where it appears, as this synopsis of the past week’s news is completed, the Greeks have finally accepted a deal. Optimism is premature here, too, as Greece has yet to implement what it has accepted, and it has failed to implement things it has accepted in the past. Brussels still has to meet on Wednesday to give final approval to the package, and the streets of Greece are rioting over the deal with new elections scheduled for April, which could result in an overthrow of the present government that would overthrow any deal, too. (See Why Greece Won’t Go Away.)

Meanwhile, tensions, as predicted at the beginning of the year, continue to mount with Iran.

One bit of news not to overlook last week was the single story that many more foreclosures may soon hit the market, which would cause another drop in housing prices. The U.S. just gave a gravy deal to all the big banks that were involved in a class-action law suit over their fraudulent foreclosure policies and actions. This clears a lot of confusion out of the way for banks, greatly settles their unease about the cost of wrongful foreclosures, virtually assuring that the rate of foreclosures will rapidly pick up now that the foreclosure case is behind them.

 Economic indicators tracked in this week’s headlines

  • Bernanke: 8.3% Unemployment Understates Job Market Weakness “It is very important to look not just at the unemployment rate…. We still have a long way to go before the labor market can be said to be operating normally.” Bernanke indicated many have just fallen off the count because of long-term unemployment.
  • Job Openings Jump To Near 3-Year High Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September.
  • Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall The number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly declined last week by 15,000 to a total of 358,000. The 4-week avg hit the lowest since April 2008 … three month’s before that summer’s financial crash.
  • Jobs rebound dampens QE3 prospects-Fed officials The pick-up in U.S. jobs has caught the eye of two top Federal Reserve officials who said on Wednesday that continued improvement in the beleaguered labor market dampens prospects for more economic stimulus measures from the central bank.
  • U.S. Stocks Fall Amid Greek Debt Talks U.S. stocks snapped a three-day rally as Greek leaders wrestled over possible default. European leaders stepped up pressure on Greece, saying time was running out, but a Euro crisis decision was once again postponed, causing market impatience.
  • Unemployment report: January job gains have economists rethinking outlooks An unexpectedly rosy jobs report set off a chain reaction Friday, upending economists’ gloomy predictions for the coming year, leading to a surge on Wall Street and potentially boggling the political calculus of the 2012 presidential campaigns.

Euro crisis updates in the economic news this week

  • Euro ministers cautious on Greek bailout deal Focus has now shifted from Greece to its European neighbors who must give their blessing to the austerity plan and who indicate the Greeks have not agreed to enough. “The agreement, as far as I understand, is not at a stage where it can be signed off.”
  • European shares extend gains on Greek deal news European shares extended gains in afternoon trade on Thursday, closing in on a six-month high after a government source said Greek political leaders had agreed on an austerity measures deal with the European Union and the IMF leaders.
  • Greece crisis bailout talks delayed again Negotiations between parties over Greek austerity broke down and have been delayed until Tuesday. A European Commission spokesman said Greece was already “beyond the deadline” to end the talks. Anti-austerity protests are expected to take place Monday.
  • Greeks stall on elusive bailout deal as EU tempers fray Greek government leaders showed little sense of urgency, despite demands from euro zone leaders to make up their minds fast because Greece faces bankruptcy next month unless it gets the rescue funding. Greek parties will try yet again on Wednesday.
  • Greeks strike bailout deal in time for EU meeting Greek leaders clinched a long-stalled deal on reforms and austerity measures needed to secure a bailout and avoid a messy default, government sources said, hours before the country’s financial backers were to meet in Brussels on Thursday.
  • Luxury brands in Europe untouched by euro zone crisis. Sales boom despite EU slump The European luxury industry boomed in 2011, seemingly untouched by the global economic slowdown, with demand from China helping to swell profits at companies from LVMH to Coach and Burberry.

Housing crisis articles

The Iranium reaction in the news

Articles of Justice during the Great Recession

  • Settlement Worth $26 Billion Reached for Homeowners After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could bring relief to nearly two million American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble. (Not much justice here.)

Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Movement news articles

  • Occupy protesters march through Oakland streets Dozens of Occupy Oakland demonstrators burned an American flag and marched through the streets Saturday night, a week after police fired tear gas to quell violent demonstrations and hundreds were arrested following a mass break-in at City Hall.

Other economic updates / news articles

  • China growth could halve if Europe crisis worsens China’s annual economic growth could be cut nearly in half this year if Europe’s debt crisis tips the world economy into a recession, putting pressure on Beijing to unveil “significant” fiscal stimulus
  • Student Loans Could Be America’s Next ‘Debt Bomb,’More than 80% of bankruptcy attorneys say the number of their potential clients with student loan debt has increased significantly. “Take it from those of us on the frontline of economic distress … this could … be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.

One Comment

  1. Comment by Phil Davis:

    I cannot see how anyone on the left can say things are getting better. The robo-siging issue has been resolved, giving banks a sweet deal, but many homeowners are soon going to be out in the cold, again. Europe is burning and Iran is sabor-rattling (again and again and again). Israel is sure to attack Iran, and the Chinese economy bubble will likely burst. And BO just offered a budget that was very much more political than reality. THEY JUST DON’T CARE!!! Any idiot who maintains a checking account (successfully) knows that spending does not create prosperity. More business creates prosperity. So I guess we can all assume that all those wackos on the left either don’t have checking accounts, or they are so damn wealthy, it just doesn’t matter.

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