– Plunging assets have cost global economy $50,000bn, report says (Financial Times):
Falls in the value of financial assets worldwide might have reached more than $50,000bn, equivalent to a year’s global economic output
– World Bank offers dire forecast for world economy (IHT):
The World Bank also warned that global trade would contract for the first time since 1982, and that the decline would be the biggest since the 1930s.
– Thanks to the Bank it’s a crisis; in the eurozone it’s a total catastrophe (Telegraph):
As it is we have seen industrial production collapse in every region. The drops in January were: Japan (-31pc), Korea (-26pc), Russia (-16pc), Brazil (-15pc), Italy (-14pc), Germany (-12pc). Falls that took two years from late 1929 have been compressed into five months. (Yes, this will be the ‘Greatest Depression’. Krugman is not a economist worth listening and you should be very carefully with Mr. Deflation-Evans-Pritchard.)
– Trillions Have Dissappeared Into The Ether (International Forecaster)
– Britain ‘nation of form fillers watched by quarter of world’s CCTV cameras’ (Telegraph):
National debt is running at £175,000 per household, five times more than thought, while each year the Government has passed 3,500 regulations, along with 100,000 pages of rules and explanation.
– Mortgage lending sinks 43% in January (Times)
– British house prices fall 2.3% in February (Times Online)
– Japanese household benefit claims hit record high (Telegraph):
Around 1.17 million households received welfare benefits during January, 30 per cent more than the previous month, according to figures compiled by the daily Asahi newspaper.
– Obama urged to let banks fail (Financial Times):
Two powerful Republicans on Sunday called on Barack Obama, US president, to let some big banks fail instead of propping them up with public money. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate banking committee, warned that the US would end up following the same path as Japan, which suffered a lost decade of economic growth by tackling its banking crisis too slowly, unless some big institutions were allowed to fail.
– Scandal at Treasury: Official Quits Amidst Fraud Scandal (ABC NEWS):
The man at the center of a fraud scandal at the Treasury Department has been allowed to quietly quit and retire from his job as a government regulator, despite allegations that he allowed a bank to falsify financial records and amidst outcries from investigators who say the case shows how cozy government regulators have become with the banks and savings and loans they are supposed to be checking on.
– Pentagon’s nuclear weapons theory bombs (Winnipeg Sun):
UN inspectors report Iran has produced 1,010 kg of 2% to 3% enriched uranium for energy generation. Theoretically that is enough for one atomic bomb. But to make a nuclear weapon, U-235 must be enriched to over 90% in an elaborate, costly process. Iran is not doing so, say UN inspectors. Iran would be wiped off the map by even a few of Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons. Iran is no likelier to use a nuke against its Gulf neighbours. The explosion would blanket Iran with radioactive dust and sand. Much of the uproar over Iran’s so far nonexistent nuclear weapons must be seen as part of efforts by Israel’s American partisans to thwart President Barack Obama’s proposed opening to Tehran, and to keep pushing the U.S. to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. They and many Israeli experts insist Iran has secret weapons programs that threaten Israel’s existence.
– Unemployment ‘to hit 3.2 million’ (Telegraph):
Unemployment will hit 3.2 million as the economy shrinks by even more than had been feared, business leaders at the British Chambers of Commerce have predicted.
– Workers losing jobs to be offered counselling for ‘recession depression’ (Telegraph):
Thousands of extra therapists are being trained amid Government fears that the financial crisis could drive up levels of mental illness and long-term unemployment.
– Former Israeli president faces rape charge (Guardian):
Moshe Katsav, the former Israeli president, is to be charged with raping a former female employee and with other sex crimes against three women who also once worked for him.
– Sen. Joe Lieberman now sings Obama’s praises (AP):
WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Joe Lieberman has changed his tune on Barack Obama. After campaigning across the country for Republican John McCain in 2008 and attacking Obama as naive, untested and unwilling to take on powerful special interests, Lieberman now showers praise on the popular new Democratic president. “He’s shown real leadership,” Lieberman told The Associated Press in an interview. “Bottom line: I think Barack Obama, president of the United States, is off to a very good start.” (Just take a look at the DOW JONES.)
– Tourists flee Category Five cyclone in Australia (Times Online)
– Bomb Explodes Outside Citibank Branch In Athens (CNN Money)
– Auschwitz is a beer, schoolchildren tell researchers (Telegraph)