Wolf Richter

A Dysfunctional System That Bankrupts A Generation

Tuition did it again: up 8.3% for universities and 8.7% for community colleges. For many students, the increases are even steeper. Here in California, they’re outright ridiculous. Student loans will cover much of it, though student loan debt already exceeds $1 trillion. Why? It’s the system.

Obama’s Refi: Special Tax For People Who Can’t Do Math

President Obama’s expansion of a mortgage refinancing program is a way for underwater homeowners to reduce their monthly payments. That would save them some money, he said, “…and it gets those families spending again.” But there is an insidious hook buried inside….

Just Say No, Germany … and Don’t Listen to Geithner

The German parliament has a historic opportunity to say no to the bankers: it gets to vote on expanding the European bailout fund to €1 trillion, though it had just been expanded to €440 billion. Since no one has any money, it will be in form of leverage, the very mechanism that has wreaked so much havoc already.

Berlusconi, waiting for money.

Tokyo Tidbit: Minister Calls Tsunami Victims ‘Idiots’

The new ministers just can’t keep their mouths under control—that’s the problem with the cabinet of Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, himself in office only since September 1. This time it was Tatsuo Hirano, ironically the Minister for Disaster Management, who issued the latest gaffe by calling tsunami victims “idiots.”

Regulators Knew of Dexia’s Problems But Were Silenced

When a bank is allowed to collapse, the lies behind its financial statements come out of the woodwork—and Dexia, the bailed-out French-Belgian mega-bank that re-collapsed in early October, is no exception: a report surfaced with the damning results of an earlier investigation by French regulators. And then? Nothing.

Tough Day For Our Calamity Economy

The ugly numbers speak volumes on how the Fed’s policies hurt the real economy. But those policies enable Congress and the White House to run up ruinous budget deficits that make those of the Eurozone look benign.

That’s inflation—not jobs, wages, or GDP.

German-French Fight Breaks Out Over Frigates

Germany and France kissed and made up before the G-20 powwow in Paris last weekend. A contrived show of unity to boost the markets. And it worked. But already, Germany is sniping at France again. Over money. Because German taxpayers might have to subsidize a French company. Via Greece.

Fighting over taxpayer money.

Tokyo Tidbit: High Radiation, False Alarm, Real Danger

All heck re-broke loose online when the Associated Press reported that a local resident, equipped with a dosimeter, had discovered a highly radioactive hotspot in a residential area of Tokyo, 145 miles from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. Foreign media jumped on the story and speculated. But this time, it was different. And what else is hidden under floorboards?