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Inflation or deflation–or maybe something worse

Inflation is a sexy worry. We can photograph it. A photo of a one billion dollar bill next to a pile of apples from Zimbabwe’s recent bout of runaway inflation stuns the imagination. It’s the stuff of national nightmares.  The German electorate and German bankers are...

Don't expect the bond markets to cheer the G20 results

Maybe they shouldn’t have issued a joint statement at all. Certainly the meaningless promise that the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies cobbled together after this weekend’s meeting of the G20 isn’t going to increase anyone’s confidence in the direction of...

Germany makes the euro crisis worse

All attempts to figure out how bad a crisis will get depend on the assumption that none of the parties will do something stupid. Germany just did. Yesterday, May 18, without any discernable coordination with the other members of the European Monetary Union, Germany...

Will they make SpongeBob do a perp walk?

 Where will the madness stop? Is no one innocent? The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn today arrested two top executives at SpongeTech Delivery Systems (SPNG) for conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The company makes soap-filled SpongeBob SquarePants bath sponges...

Greek bonds get junk rating from S&P

You know that your country is in trouble when investors want 15% to buy your bonds. If you still needed confirmation of the depth of the Greek debt crisis, today Standard & Poor’s lowered its long- and short-term rating on Greek government debt to BB+ and B,...

How bad is the Greek crisis? 14% bad

The yield on 10-year Greek government bonds briefly hit 14% yesterday, April 26, before finishing at just 13.52%. That was an increase of 3.4 percentage points on the day. (Just for reference the total yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries is 3.75%.) So much for the...