Economics and Investing:

The welfare state, firmly entrenched: Benefit spending soars to new high (1 in 6 dollars of income come from governments checks. Let’s not forget: Every dollar that is “given”, must first be “taken” from someone.) Thanks to G.H. for the link.

Currie sent us this: Latvian debt crisis shakes Eastern Europe. When sovereign debt markets disintegrate, you can expect governments to topple. And it won’t just be pipsqueak nation states like Iceland and Latvia that are at risk.

From reader C.S.: Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies: study

Julian Robertson’s Steepener Swap Play (Shorting US Treasuries) When Julian talks, people listen. And now, he is clearly saying “mass inflation ahead.” (A hat tip to GG for the link.)
Also from GG comes this article at Barron’s: V-Shaped Recovery Outlook is in Vain The bulk of the economy’s credit problems are still to come

Items from The Economatrix:

Handwritten Notes Show Fed Oversight Bill Neutered On Senate Floor (No surprise)

Banks Run the Country

Biden Says Some Waste Inevitable Part of Stimulus Program

Paul Craig Roberts: as The Dollar Falls Off The Cliff

US Retailers Report May Sales Decline

Canada Mint Can’t Account For Missing Gold

Study: US Dollar “Seriously Overvalued”

US Private Sector Axes 532,000 Jobs in May

German Debts Set To “Blow Like A Grenade” “An internal memo by the regulator’s office suggested that likely write-offs may reach €816 billion, twice the entire reserves of the country’s financial institutions.”

Holes in the China Recovery Story “According to the CBRC (via Dow Jones), “the country’s economy faces growing downward pressure as the global financial crisis has yet to run its course.” The regulator added that “the banking industry faces ‘serious’ credit and market risks as the domestic economy encounters its ‘most difficult year in the new century.'”

Financial, Energy Stocks Pull Market Higher (Thursday)