financial meltdown

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Canada's New Money Melting

'Indestructible' bills can't take the heat

(Newser) - The Canadian dollar is melting. No, it's not sinking in value again, it's physically melting. Canada switched to "indestructible" polymer $50 and $100 bills a few months ago, but it turns out that both are prone to melting and curling in intense heat "like bacon in... More »

Why Obama Won't Nail Wall Street 'Crooks'

Even Eric Holder is linked to elite financial world

(Newser) - With President Obama's campaign officially underway , two journalists examine why his promise to end "business as usual" on Wall Street has amounted to more, well, business as usual on Wall Street. "Casting Romney as a plutocrat will be easy enough," write Peter Boyer and Peter Schweizer... More »

Ex-World Leader Indicted Over Financial Crisis

Iceland's Geir Haarde says charge 'borders on political persecution'

(Newser) - Iceland’s legislature has decided to file charges against the country’s ex-prime minister over his role in the financial crisis. After a contentious vote yesterday, lawmakers voted 33-30 to refer charges against Geir Haarde to a special court, the AP reports. That’ll make Haarde the first world leader... More »

Blankfein Will Deny Goldman Bet Against Clients

Goldman Sachs CEO plans to strike apologetic tone in Senate testimony

(Newser) - The CEO of Goldman Sachs will tell a Senate panel tomorrow he understands Americans' distrust of the bank, but its "functions are important to economic growth and job creation." Lloyd Blankfein's remarks, released ahead of the eagerly awaited hearing, are his most accommodating yet, reports the New York ... More »

Goldman Withers in SEC Spotlight

Fraud charges kneecap stock price; observers play wait-and-see

(Newser) - The SEC's civil suit against Goldman Sachs is hardly a slam-dunk, experts agree, but the scrutiny is certainly not doing the firm any good . Some reactions:
  • This "is explosive stuff," Felix Salmon blogs for Reuters . "Goldman Sachs has lost more than $10 billion in market capitalization today,
... More »

Stocks Close In on Big 2009 Gains

Dow up 61% since the low point in March

(Newser) - Stocks have rebounded mightily since the dark days of March, though analysts warn the dazzling recovery could make for a lackluster 2010, or even auger a double-dip recession or '30s-style yo-yoing markets. The good news first: Barring a disastrous close today, the Dow will be up around 61% since March... More »

Michael Moore Wants to 'Save Our CEOs'

Teaser trailer is actually stunt for new movie

(Newser) - Let the viral marketing begin. Michael Moore pulled a fast one on New York moviegoers Friday night when, instead of a conventional trailer for his new film, he appeared onscreen Will Rogers-style asking for donations to “save our CEOs,” the New York Daily News reports. Audience reactions were... More »

Krugman in 'Despair' Over Toxic Asset Plan

Dressing up Paulson's failed solution is no solution at all

(Newser) - Paul Krugman has been downbeat for weeks on the Obama efforts to rescue the economy, but today he hits a new low. “This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair,” writes Krugman in the New York Times of the White House... More »

Frank Targets Fannie, Freddie Execs' Bonuses

(Newser) - Executives at government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are scheduled to receive six-figure retention bonuses, but Barney Frank wants the payments canceled, MarketWatch reports. “In this troubled economy, and in this job market, it is difficult to imagine that the companies would not be able to find... More »

'Viking Bankers' Pillaged Iceland

How Iceland went from fishing to finance to ruin

(Newser) - The bankers who ruined Iceland’s economy possessed the mentality of its fishermen—daring, aggressive, and devoted to the “lucky catch," Michael Lewis writes in Vanity Fair. It's no surprise—after all, they were the sons of fishermen whose massive profits helped modernize Iceland in the 1970s. But... More »

Bjork Banks on Girl Power to Save Iceland

Singer promotes venture-capital fund run by women

(Newser) - Quirky Icelandic singer Bjork is promoting a venture-capital fund run by women that will invest in socially and environmentally sustainable companies and, she hopes, help rebuild her economically stricken country. "Instead of talking about the problems we have, she is on a mission to build a sustainable Iceland that's... More »

2008 Inflation Slowest in 50 Years on Oil Prices, Economy

Slow spending, sliding energy costs lead to 0.1% CPI increase last year

(Newser) - In 2008, consumer prices crept up at the slowest rate since 1954, climbing just 0.1% for the year and missing the Fed’s preference of 1.5% to 2% by a wide margin, the Wall Street Journal reports. Just months after inflation hit 17-year highs, a 75% drop in... More »

Vindicated in 2008, Some Experts Foresee Gloomy '09

A few who called last year's calamities correctly see grim days ahead

(Newser) - Labeled overly pessimistic for years, a few Wall Street prognosticators became the oracles of 2008 by correctly predicting the unwinding of the global economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. The doomsayers correctly anticipated bank failures, stock market declines, and the housing market collapse of the second half of 2008. As... More »

How Iceland Went From Codfish to Meltdown

Country built a huge financial bubble based on a vulnerable currency

(Newser) - How did a chilly nation of cod fishermen play a key role in the world's crumbling financial markets? Seeking to avoid the boom-and-bust of fish catch, Iceland started by privatizing banks in the mid-1990s. It built a colossal banking system on a puny currency and attracted international deposits with high... More »

Russia Tycoons Seek $78B Kremlin Bailout

Looming foreign debt forces oligarchs to return power to state

(Newser) - A dozen years after bailing out the Soviet government, Russia’s oligarchs are seeking $78 billion in Kremlin handouts to weather the credit crunch, Bloomberg reports. Russian businesses have racked up some $110 billion in foreign debt due in 2009. The one-year loans, sought by more than 100 companies, would... More »

White House Slams NYT Story as 'Gross Negligence'

Perino: Shoddy 'reporting' behind housing crisis story

(Newser) - The White House accused the New York Times of “gross negligence” today in response to a page one story that largely places the housing and financial messes at the feet of Bush policies, Politico reports. “The Times’ ‘reporting’ in this story amounted to finding selected quotes to... More »

Madoff Fraud Will Hit Hedge Funds Hard

$50B Ponzi scheme will stagger funds, send investors to exits

(Newser) - Even as hedge funds face their worst yearly returns ever, they may take another collective $10 billion hit on money invested in Bernard Madoff’s namesake firm, which was revealed to be a giant Ponzi scheme yesterday, Bloomberg reports. Madoff was arrested and charged with fraud after admitting that his... More »

Feds Under Pressure to Broaden Bailout

Treasury already needs to ask Congress for next $350B installment

(Newser) - With nearly half of the $700 billion bailout committed, a growing array of distressed companies is lobbying the government, the Wall Street Journal reports, increasing the likelihood the Treasury will ask Congress for the rest of the bailout cash soon. But varied interests among legislators and emerging unemployment risks could... More »

US May Buy Equity in More Firms

After seeing some thawing in key credit markets, Treasury may expand program

(Newser) - Treasury is considering using some of the $700 billion at its disposal to buy stakes in a range of financial companies beyond banks, the Wall Street Journal reports. The idea comes after seeing measured success in thawing credit markets by taking equity stakes in several banks. Treasury may also abandon... More »

As Investors Seek Cover, Central Banks Slash Rates

Seeking to loosen credit, central banks plan another round of cuts

(Newser) - Central banks worldwide are slashing interest rates, attempting to stem the bleeding in financial markets as investors dump holdings, credit remains tight, and currencies spasm in value, the Washington Post reports. The Federal Reserve is set to cut rates for the second time in as many weeks tomorrow, while the... More »

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