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Economics and Investing:

Reader IJS flagged this: Ron Paul: Obama Will ‘Destroy the Dollar’ [1]

Jim Sinclair (of JS Mineset [2]) mentioned this chart posted at Contrary Investor, showing levels of derivatives exposure [3]. Jim Sinclair raises and interesting question: Where does Goldman Sachs actually have the majority of their derivatives plays? And this chart [4] is also illuminating. In the same piece, Sinclair included a link to this: Mobius Says Derivatives, Stimulus to Spark New Crisis [5]. I have been warning folks for years that the derivatives market is like a ticking time bomb! [6] A full-scale derivatives implosion could make the current economic crisis seem trivial, by comparison!

Buckle up! FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair is predicting that the bank failure rate will increase tenfold [7]. (A hat tip to IJS for the link.)

Greg C. spotted this: California tax officials: Legal pot would rake in $1.4 Billion [8]. Greg’s comment: “Well they ended prohibition during the depression so they could collect a new source of tax revenue. I guess we should’t be surprised by this new development.”

The latest over at the Dr. Housing Bubble blog: Foreclosure Nation: Highest Foreclosure Quarter in History [9].

No Great Surprise Department: Foreign demand for US financial assets down in May [10]. [JWR Adds: “First prize for our contestants is a suitcase full of US Treasury Bonds. Second prize is two suitcases full of US Treasury Bonds.”]

Items from The Economatrix:

Rising Unemployment Accelerates Foreclosures Crisis

CIT Group, Inc. Won’t Get Bailout, Raising Bankruptcy Prospect [11] Shares tumbled 70% Thursday. “It is unclear how a bankruptcy filing by a company that lends to thousands of small and mid-size businesses would affect shaky financial markets hobbled by an economy in recession and bleeding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Small businesses are seen as keys to economic recovery.”

Minimum Thought [12] (The Mogambo Guru)

Map: Broad Unemployment Across the Country [13]

Stocks Make Push at End to Keep Rally Alive [14] Is this more manipulation?

World Bank Warns of Deflation Spiral

House Bill to Hit Millionaires with 5.4% Surtax [15] More BHO “share the wealth” philosophy, in action.

Republicans Criticize Agency for Consumers [16] “Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee called the proposal “an example of this administration being Big Brother” and “a tremendous overreach” that would limit what companies could sell and consumers could buy.”

CalPers Sues Rating Agency Over Losses
“Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, has sued the three largest credit rating agencies for giving perfect grades to securities that later suffered huge subprime mortgage losses. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System said in a lawsuit filed last week in California Superior Court in San Francisco that it might lose more than $1 billion from structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that received top grades from Moody’s Investors Service Inc, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Inc.”