After six years of non-stop deficit spending that has added $8.2 trillion to the national debt, the U.S. Treasury has announced that it expects to reduce the country's debt by $35 billion this quarter.
Given that national debt growth has rocketed past $16.7 trillion and is on track to exceed $17 trillion at some point in the fall, a $35 billion reduction is laughably tiny. It's just 0.02% of what we as a nation owe.
And in the very same...
The Eurozone Hangs On By a Whisker
Four days after the Italian elections only one thing is clear: A majority of Italian voters have rejected austerity.
The problem is their victory came up short by the slimmest of margins.0.36%. That's the difference between a firm new government that could move Italy out of the Eurozone and the constitutional logjam Italian voters woke up to the next day.
As it is, they could roll the dice on a new election, but that...
Berlusconi is Back, and So Is the Eurozone Debt Crisis
Since the beginning of the year, the markets have been behaving as if the Eurozone debt crisis has been magically solved.
Yields on Spanish and Italian debt are trading more than 1% lower than at their peak, while world stock markets have soared close to all-time highs.
Unfortunately, you can expect that all of this euphoria will fade when the Italian elections take place on February 23-24.
Why?...It's summed up in two words:...
Spain Squeezed by Eurozone Bailout Deal
In attempts to ease its mushrooming financial pains, Spain unveiled new austerity measures today (Wednesday) that aim to reduce 65 billion euros ($80 billion) from the public deficit by 2014.
The move is part of an agreement Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made when he accepted a Eurozone bailout for his country's ailing banking system. Rajoy surrendered to mounting pressure to at least make an effort to avoid...
Stock Market Today: Do You Own This 30% Winner?
It was no surprise that the stock market today was quiet with little volume and not much movement.
In a day when the U.S. markets closed at 1 p.m. positive economic reports on motor vehicle sales and factory orders sent the markets slightly higher, and one company was up more than 30%.
Factory orders for U.S. factories rose 0.7% which was the first increase in bookings in three months. Last month's revised figure showed a 0.7% drop...
Why the Eurozone Debt Crisis Never Really Went Away
How many times have we been told the Eurozone debt crisis is resolved, only to have it turn up again like a bad penny?
Last year's string of good news/ bad news on the Eurozone debt crisis had the markets going up and down like a yo-yo until the routine grew so tiresome that most people stopped paying attention.
But while the crisis faded into the background, it never really went way.
Remedies that were sold as solutions...
As Greek Debt Default Nears, Investors Need to Take Cover
At this point a Greek debt default is virtually unavoidable, and it could happen in a matter of weeks.
The ensuing chain reaction will upend markets around the world and will almost surely lead to more defaults among the European Union's (EU) other debt-plagued nations, collectively known as the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain).
The bond markets have already passed sentence, with the yield on two-year Greek bonds spiking to an astronomical 76% yesterday (Tuesday). Yields on 10-year Greek...
Don't Look Now but the National Debt Could be $23 Trillion by 2021
There was a lot of back-patting in Washington this week after U.S. President Barack Obama signed a debt-ceiling deal that he and members of Congress claim will reduce the national debt.
But here's the truth: This deal does nothing to reduce America's debt burden. In fact, the $14 trillion we owe now could every easily exceed $23 trillion by 2021.
That's a 62% increase.
Does the Eurozone Have Its Own Lehman Bros?
Does the Eurozone have its own American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), or worse, its own Lehman Bros. when it comes to Greece?
I believe it does.
Why else would the European Union have bent over backwards to "save" a member nation that: A) Accounts for 2.01% of the EU by trade volume; and B) Would essentially be like letting Montana go out of business - no offense to Montanans or Montana!
More to the point, if things...