Economics and Investing:

This headline appeared yesterday: Stress Test Data to be Released May 4th. Since the pre-release rumors have been bad, Monday, May 4th could be a key event. Be ready for turmoil in the weeks following this announcement. Have plenty of cash on hand, since it will be difficult to predict what the sheeple will do on or after May 4th–when presumably the majority of US banks will be declared insolvent.

From DD: March existing home sales fall by three percent. “The results were ‘a little disappointing’ given that homes are more affordable than they’ve been in years and mortgage rates are near record lows, said Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist.” DD’s comment: “Words cannot express how absurd Yun’s statement is to me. After all, America is only facing the worst recession since the 1930s. Unemployment is out of sight and getting worse.The Federal government is overspending beyond comprehension. Not to mention that, American home buyers are too concerned about keeping what they are able to scrape together after new taxes amid their efforts to obtain food, shelter, water, transportation, et cetera. Then you throw in the fact that middle class jobs are being replaced by either unemployment or minimum wage work with little to no benefits. Finally, to top it all off some institutions require 20%+ for a down payment. Simple economics: If someone doesn’t have the means, the opportunity is irrelevant.”

Items from The Economatrix:

GM to Close Most US Factories Up to Nine Weeks

Majority Irish Expect Summer Civil Unrest

Volvo to Cut More than 1,500 Jobs

Bank Lending Keeps Dropping

US Advertising Famine Ravages NY Times and Yahoo Profits

Credit Card Giants Defy Plea to “Be Fair”

Bank Bailouts “May” Hurt Taxpayers, be Open to Fraud
” …the rescue program’s special inspector general concludes that a private-public partnership designed to rid financial institutions of their ‘toxic assets’ is tilted in favor of private investors and creates ‘potential unfairness to the taxpayer.'”

Fed Tests Harder on Regional Banks

Top Bailed-Out Firms Continue Lobbying “The top 10 recipients of the government’s $700 billion financial bailout spent about $9.5 million on federal lobbying during the first three months of the year.”

Geithner Says Most Banks Have Sufficient Capital to Keep Lending…. ” …but a pile of bad debts is fostering doubts about their health and slowing a recovery”

Tipping Point For US Treasuries?

Fed Shrouding $2 Trillion in Bank Loans “In Secrecy,” Suit Says

The Mighty Debt Purge of 2009

The Quiet Coup “The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”

A Meditation on Our Monetary System: A State of Permanent Siege

12 Major Brands that Will Disappear

Jobless Claims Show Double-Digit Unemployment Still Coming

If Banks Can Challenge Stress Tests, are they Tests at All?

The Land Mine on Bank Balance Sheets