Global Economic Crisis Accelerating

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama waves after speaking during the “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” event in Washington on Jan. 18, 2009. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

Obama Issues Call to Service to Help Repair Nation (Bloomberg):
Obama is using the latest state of the art manipulating techniques. Don’t fall for this puppet of the elite, rather listen to some of the few people – like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Marc Faber and Jim Rogers – that are telling you the truth:
Paul Craig Roberts On The U.S. Leadership: “They Are Criminals” – The Potential Here Is Far Worse Than The Great Depression or Peter Schiff: We are the United States of Madoff

More change: Obama Reaches Out for McCain’s Counsel (New York Times)

California Finds Public-Works Spending No Unemployment Cure-All (Bloomberg):
“What infrastructure spending can do is bolster employment in a group of industries, like construction, with workers who are ready to go,” said Brad Kemp, director of regional research at Beacon Economics in Los Angeles. “What it can’t do is stop the unemployment rate from rising currently because there are a lot of forces coming at consumers, who are holding back on spending.” California is totally broke: Here

– ! Bonds tumble as Government admits no cap on taxpayer risk (Telegraph)

Brazil Cut Record 654946 Registered Jobs in December (Bloomberg)

Brussels sees Eurozone economy shrink 1.9% (Financial Times)

Taxpayers are spending over $1 billion to send refined fuel to the Israeli military — at a time when Israel doesn’t need it and America does (Salon)

Spain Downgraded by S&P as Slump Swells Budget Gap (Bloomberg):
Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — Spain had its AAA sovereign credit rating removed by Standard & Poor’s in the second downgrade of a euro-region government in five days, as the country’s first recession in 15 years swelled the budget deficit.

China GDP Growth May Cool to Slowest Pace in 7 Years (Bloomberg)

Ruble Drops to Pre-1998 Crisis Low on 6th Devaluation This Year (Bloomberg):
Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — The ruble fell below the weakest level seen in the 1998 Russian crisis after the central bank devalued for the sixth time in seven days to protect reserves.

Fifty jobseekers chasing every vacancy in some parts of the country (Telegraph)

Treasury Yields Flattened as Fed Fights to Cut Mortgage Rates (Bloomberg):
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke helped spark a rally by reiterating Jan. 13 at the London School of Economics that he’s considering buying long-term Treasuries to reduce borrowing rates as the recession deepens.
(Bernanke helped to create the ultimate Bond Bubble: Here, here and here.)

Bonds no safer than houses (The Financial Standard)

Denmark agrees on 13.4-bln-euro line of credit to banks: govt (AFP)

How the Treasury Bubble Will Burst and Why (Seeking Alpha)

Investor puts pressure on HSBC to let US sub-prime unit go bankrupt (Times)

Tory chief’s firm cost councils £470m (Independent)

RBS on the brink as shares plummet by 69% and City is warned: ‘You’re about to become
(Mail Online)

RBS ready to write off £1bn loan to Russian oligarch (Scotsman)

RBS Plummets Amid Concern Bank May Be Nationalized (Bloomberg)

RBS shares dive 70% on mounting debt fears (Times Online)

Tax rise for rich won’t make society fair, says Mandelson (Guardian)

More Americans Joining Military as Jobs Dwindle (New York Times)

Circuit City to close remaining 567 stores in US (Los Angeles Times):
The failure of the No. 2 electronics retailer means the loss of 34,000 jobs.

BASF warns of possible job and production cuts (Houston Chronicle)

Ruble Falls to Record Low as Russia Devalues 4th Time in 5 Days

A pedestrian walks underneath sign advertising exchange rates for the Ruble against the U.S. Dollar and Euro, outside a currency exchange centre in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Bloomberg News

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Russia’s ruble tumbled to a record low against the dollar after the central bank devalued the currency for the fourth time in five days and Vedomosti reported the government slashed its estimate for oil prices by 20 percent.

The currency dropped to as low as 32.4112 per dollar, the weakest since Russia redenominated the currency at the start of 1998, before the financial crisis. The ruble’s trading band versus the dollar-euro basket has been widened, a Bank Rossii official who can’t be identified on bank policy said. The ruble has slumped 27 percent against the dollar since August.

“The bottom line is that they need to get this over with and the faster the better,” said Rory MacFarquhar, Moscow economist for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which forecasts a further 12 percent depreciation in the ruble versus the basket. “They’re still catching up with what happened in oil last year. They’re still getting it to a sustainable level.”

Russia cut its average oil forecast for this year to $40 a barrel, from a previous $50, Vedomosti cited government officials as saying today. That’s the below the $70 average the government says is needed to balance this year’s budget. Urals crude, the country’s main export oil blend, has slipped 64 percent to $43.47 since August, pushing the energy-fueled economy toward recession.

Read moreRuble Falls to Record Low as Russia Devalues 4th Time in 5 Days

Ruble Falls to Record Low Versus Euro as Russia Weakens Defense

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — The ruble fell to a record low against the euro as Russia devalued the currency for the 12th time in seven weeks after the government forecast its first budget deficit in a decade.

The managed currency weakened 2.6 percent to 41.7245 per euro, the lowest since the European currency started trading in 1999. It fell 0.7 percent to 29.1797 versus the dollar, a four- year low. Bank Rossii allowed the ruble to fall 1.7 percent against its basket of 55 percent dollars and 45 percent euros, the most since the measure was introduced in February 2005, according to a central bank official who declined to be identified, citing bank policy.

Read moreRuble Falls to Record Low Versus Euro as Russia Weakens Defense