The Social Security surplus, which was expected to survive until 2017, has been wiped out completely by the stock decline. To cover it, the Treasury Department could be forced to borrow an additional $700 billion from reluctant foreign investors like China and Japan.
Link to article
Bottom line: "Some banks are going to have to be nationalized," he argues. "It's going to be bumpy ahead of us."
Link to full article
With a series of coordinated pronouncements and media events, the Obama Administration has recently been trying to send a signal to investors. But the message received may not have been the one intended. Reading between the lines, the Administration is indicating the financial crisis has become so overwhelming to them that there is no alternative but to throw infinite amounts of taxpayer money at it until, they hope, it passes. But what if the very measures meant to hold the dike until the storm passes are actually undermining whatever protection we have left? [more]
There is an old adage on Wall Street that no one rings a bell at major market tops or bottoms. That may be true in normal times, but as many have noticed, we are now completely through the looking glass. In this parallel reality, Ben Bernanke has just rung the loudest bell ever heard in the foreign exchange and government debt markets. Investors who ignore the clanging do so at their own peril. The bell’s reverberations will be felt by everyday Americans, whose lives are about to change in ways few can imagine. While nearly every facet of America’s economy has been devastated over the past six months, our national currency has thus far skipped through the carnage with nary a scratch. Ironically, the U.S dollar has been the beneficiary of the global economic crises which the United States set in motion. As a result, our economy has thus far been spared the full force of the storm. [more]
This week Citigroup shocked Wall Street by announcing that the company would be profitable in the current quarter. At the same time, the Obama Administration indicated that it would be unlikely to nationalize American banks, preferring to provide low cost funding to encourage the private sector to buy distressed assets from the banks. The two developments sparked a vigorous rally in financial stocks, which had been drifting downward for weeks, caught in what appeared to be an unending death spiral. But have the good times really returned? [more]
I'm not sure I agree, but I thought it was an interesting enough argument for discussion amongst Fools: [more]
HAS the world turned upside down? America, the capital of capitalism, is pondering nationalizing a handful of banks. Meanwhile, Canada, whose banking system had long been notorious for its stodgy practices and government coddling, is now being celebrated for those very qualities.
Link to Article