BLS unemployment figures fall short of expectations

Today’s BLS report was disappointing as the [reported] unemployment rate went up to 9.8% and payrolls increased by only 39,000, which was significantly lower than the expected 150,000. Considering that the BLS unemployment rate is artificially lower than true unemployment, it is not a good sign for recovery- not that recovery is expected with the way Washington [...]

Belgium’s Didier Reynders looks to increase bailout fund

Didier Renders seems to be at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when it comes to the European Union’s bailout fund. The Finance Minister of Belgium told reporters that the fund could be increased as a permanent measure against future crises. The comments not only show a potential growing rift between the European nations putting [...]

Bernanke says more Fed easing possible

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired tonight, Bernanke said that more Fed easing is possible in response to weak jobs numbers. That potential easing would be in addition to the $600 billion of QE2. The central banker also said that it could take 4-5 years before we return to a normal unemployment rate. Once [...]

E-bonds: another proposal, another moral hazard

In light of continuing weak outlook in the Euro, some leaders are suggesting the issuance of “E-bonds”, Euro area common bonds. It’s another proposal that fails to consider incentives and just establishes moral hazards for the financially weaker nations to not go through with austerity measures. Thankfully, this option is likely to be even harder [...]

Build America Bonds set to expire; big spenders scramble

It looks like the Build America Bonds program will come to an end with this month after Congress didn’t even have a vote on it. The closure has some shocked as debt-burdened state and local governments across the nation may face severe financing issues over coming months. California, not surprisingly, has been especially vocal on [...]

Ireland downgraded, IMF approves new loans to Greece

Moody’s downgraded Ireland by 5 notches to Baa1 from Aa2 amid the continuing eurozone debt crisis. While late to the show, the credit rating agency upholds worries on Ireland debt and a potential contagion. The Euro is already taking a hit, which has apparently riled up the EU into considering further regulation of credit rating [...]

Fed Treasury holdings top 1 trillion

With today’s POMO, the Federal Reserve now owns over a trillion dollars in US debt. Not a huge surprise for anyone following the Fed recently, but a trillion is still a remarkable number. The Fed passes a trillion in US debt after recently overtaking China for being the largest holder.

Google’s 3% effective tax rate – a surprise?

There has been a small bit of hysteria on certain parts of the net over Google’s effective tax rate. Several sites have reported on how Google pays a cool 3% on international operations due to several subsidiaries in overseas markets, notably in low corporate tax rate Ireland. These sites have attempted to vilify Google for [...]

Fitch downgrades Portugal, Hungary

Fitch Ratings downgraded both Portugal and Hungary earlier today amongst speculation of difficulties with dealing with debt in both nations. The Portugal downgrade comes after warnings by both Moody’s and S&P ratings earlier this month as a result of worries that Portugal is headed in the direction Ireland has with it’s debt. The cuts on [...]