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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — May 21, 2009

Items of Interest:

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased 12,000 to 631,000 — More Americans than forecast filed claims for unemployment insurance last week, and the total number of workers receiving benefits rose to a record, signs the job market continues to weaken even as the economic slump eases...

United Kingdom Outlook Revised To Negative On Deteriorating Public Finances; 'AAA/A-1+' Ratings Affirmed -- Standard & Poor's has revised the outlook on the United Kingdom to negative from stable. -- The 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings were affirmed. -- The outlook revision is based on our view that, even factoring in further fiscal tightening, the U.K.'s net general government debt burden may approach 100% of GDP and ...
Standard & Poor's cuts U.K. outlook to negative from stable -- Standard & Poor's on Thursday lowered its credit outlook on the U.K. to negative from stable for the first time ever in view of the country's swelling debt, which may expand even as the economy recovers...

Financial Times:
Overview: UK debt alert a reminder for markets -- “The elephant in the room is the US,” said David Simmonds, head of research and strategy at ABN Amro. “There is a sense somewhere in this that S&P may be using the ratings outlook conversation around the UK as a key trial balloon for a potentially explosive US discussion further down the track.” ...

David Goldman / Inner Workings:
UKalifornia, or why there’s never going to be a recovery -- Now comes the matter of California. Governing by apocalypse is the only option left to the Governator, who cannot get the Democrats to accept budget cuts and could not persuade the electorate in this week’s referendum to accept tax increases. The state’s misery should be kept in perspective, though. The state’s 25-year bonds yielded 6.43% in late March, and yesterday yielded 5.6%. Like the UK, a deterioration in state finances doesn’t portend anything like default...
PIMCO's Gross: U.S. at risk of losing top AAA rating -- Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund, warned on Thursday the United States will eventually lose its top AAA credit rating, a fear that had already spooked financial markets on Thursday and could keep the dollar, stocks and bonds under heavy selling pressure.

The United States will face a downgrade in "at least three to four years, if that, but the market will recognize the problems before the rating services -- just like it did today," Gross told Reuters...
Largest bank failure of '09: Equity firms get BankUnited -- U.S. bank regulators Thursday closed troubled lender BankUnited Financial, Florida's largest bank, and sold its banking operations to a private equity consortium that includes WL Ross & Co.

BankUnited, which had $12.8 billion in assets and $8.6 billion in retail deposits, is the biggest of 34 U.S. banks to fail so far this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it estimates BankUnited's failure will cost its insurance fund $4.9 billion...
U.S. Prepares to Send GM Into Bankruptcy -- Under the GM draft bankruptcy plan, the company would receive just short of $30 billion in additional federal loans, a source said. A cash injection that large would boost the total U.S. investment in GM to nearly $45 billion...
CalculatedRisk: WaPo: Auto Bankruptcies Next Week: GM in, Chrysler out

Los Angeles Times: Faith in General Motors Has Hurt Small Investors
Sacramento Bee Rips California Taxpayers

Directorblue / Doug Ross:
Sacramento Bee publishes vicious screed bashing taxpayers, gets caught, then scrubs with milquetoast replacement -- Early this morning, the failing Sacramento Bee published a "vicious screed" that pilloried taxpayers for refusing to feed California's insatiable state government.

After a firestorm of criticism over the tone of the op-ed, it was replaced with a mild-mannered critique aimed primarily at state legislators...
La Shawn / La Shawn Barber's Corner:
SacBee Rants Against Voters, Then Lies About Rant -- After a flood of negative comments about the negative editorial, the SacBee published a new one aimed at politicians instead of voters...

The SacBee published the first time the editorial it intended. It wasn’t an error. The paper backtracked after readers criticized the disrespectful screed, then published a new editorial to cover its butt....

Gateway Pundit: Lib California Speaker Karen Bass Says Voters Rejected Tax Hikes …
Cranky / Six Meat Buffet: You Stupid, Stupid California Voters
Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org: California Paper Bashes Anti-Tax Hike Voters, Then Scrubs It

McClatchy Watch / CancelTheBee blog:
[This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company.]
An editorial board goof has the Sacramento Bee red-faced -- and voters now have a clue what the Bee really thinks about them

Melanie Sill, Sacramento Bee editor is embroiled in more elite journalismReplacement Editorial / SacBee.com:
Now Voters Have Judged Leaders; How will leaders take the rebuke?

note: The current Sacramento Bee editor is Melanie Sill, who became infamous for the character defamation, deception, and biased reporting she condoned as editor of the News & Observer during the Duke lacrosse rape hoax (2006-07).

McClatchy Watch / CancelTheBee blog:
Sacramento Bee editor finds 2 enlightened readers -- Sacramento Bee editor Melanie Sill has been "inviting Bee readers into a conversation" -- her annoying phrase -- about the Bee and the role of journalism.

In her column today she highlights two readers who have seen the light -- which of course means they hold the same view Melanie Sill does...

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia