Wolf Richter

The Most Despised Tax-And-Retreat French President Sinks Deeper Into Economic Quagmire

“Insurrection” is showing up in the French media, though it’s still more an exaggeration than a description. “Fiscal discontent” is better, but not broad enough. Now François Hollande, the most despised French President in the history of polls, is going to turn this mess around.

Gagging Doubt: French Crackdown On French And American Bloggers Who Question Megabank Balance Sheets

France’s Financial Markets Authority slapped fines on two bloggers, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Chevallier and American Mike “Mish” Shedlock, “for having spread inexact information about the level of indebtedness” of megabank Société Générale. Instead of going after banks, bank regulators are going after bloggers! It’s more convenient.

Use Bitcoin As A Currency, Get Wiped Out (The Government Likes It That Way)

Four years after its creation, folks are still arguing over what bitcoin is: “investment opportunity of the millennium,” “part of a societal revolution,” a security, a currency, a casino token? Whatever. But US regulators now have a strategy for killing it as a currency.

Here Is Proof (Provided By Japan Inc.) Why Abenomics Fails The Real Economy

The beneficiaries of Abenomics are now coming out of the woodwork with soaring profits – but they’re doing the opposite of what Abenomics promised they’d do: they’re diversifying away from Japan.

Extortion Over Minimum Wage In Germany: BMW, Daimler, VW Threaten to Offshore Production

Germany has neither a minimum wage nor a government. Someday it might. If not, there will be new elections, and Chancellor Merkel might get pummeled because she’d be blamed for them. So she’s trying to form a coalition with the left-leaning SPD on whose list of campaign promises was a decent minimum wage.

Municipal Bankruptcy? Why Not! And so The Floodgates Open

Individual investors have a unique opportunity now to buy sewer bonds – yup, that’s where they belong – issued by a bankrupt county to pay off holders of defaulted sewer bonds who’ll get a fashionable haircut as part of the deal – a deal made in bond-bubble heaven.

NSA Spying Crushes US Tech Companies in Emerging Markets (“An Industry Phenomenon,” Says Cisco’s Chambers)

Cisco CEO John Chambers had a euphemism for it during the earnings call: “challenging political dynamics” in China, without ever naming the NSA. Then there was India and others, including Russia where Snowden is holed up, and where sales outright collapsed.

EU Citizenship Goes On Sale, Price War Breaks Out

The huddled masses yearning to breathe free in the EU drown by the boatload in the Mediterranean. They languish in detention centers in Greece and elsewhere. They’re maligned, hounded, sometimes killed. But it’s getting cheaper and easier for the rich.

“Confessions” Of A Master Of Revolving Door Between Wall Street And The Fed

We’ve known it all along, but now a former Fed insider confirmed it. QE, despite the Fed’s relentless efforts “to spin it as a tool for helping Main Street,” was “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.” But it’s complicated. He’s a revolving-door Wall-Street banker.

The Day The Bubble Became Official, And Everyone Was Happy

A new era has dawned: there is now a consensus that this is a stock market bubble. We’re back where we were during the last bubble, or the one before it. How do I know it’s not just some intrepid souls on the bleeding edge who are claiming this, but a consensus?