Economics and Investing:

Nearly $8 trillion wiped off world stocks in January, U.S. recession chances rising: BAML – B.B.

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

David Stockman- 700 Days In No Man’s Land – Why They Can’t Keep It Up

Venezuela Default Imminent

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Moody’s Puts 175 Energy and Mining Companies on Downgrade Watch (Financial Times) Excerpt: “Several of the world’s biggest oil and gas groups— including Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Chesapeake Energy— are among 175 energy and mining companies at risk of rating downgrades following a collapse in crude and other commodities markets….”

Bonner: The Entire Recovery is One Giant Myth (Business Insider) Some analysts and commentators believe consumer driven activity will save the day and that the worst is over for the manufacturing sector; it seems reasonable, however, to question the underlying fundamentals and to consider whether or not (or to what degree) consumer support is sustainable. This article does just that… Excerpt: “We don’t know whether it will get uglier now… or further down the road. But sooner or later, markets will retest the myths that support today’s asset prices. They will begin by asking questions: Are stocks too expensive? Can investors repay their debt? Is the economy capable of real growth? Can a small bunch of PhD economists with no market or business experience really manage the entire world’s economy?”

International News

When Russia’s Money Runs Out, the “Real Trouble Starts” (CNBC) Excerpt: “I don’t think you can underestimate how bad the situation in Russia is right now, you’ve got oil below any measure where the budget can survive and you’ve got sanctions from the West. Russia is in what I’d call a real serious economic crisis….”

There’s a Worrisome Shift in the Way the Most Powerful People in the World are Talking about China (Business Insider) Excerpt: “China faces a falling currency that it is spending billions to keep stable, and massive companies in sectors that used to drive growth getting swallowed by debt and buried by overcapacity. The Chinese government has said it has plans to combat these problems, but the plans are yet to be made public.”

IMF: Venezuela Inflation to Surpass 700%(AP) Excerpt: “…Venezuela’s economic troubles are leading to widespread shortages and “exacting a tragic toll”. Zero Hedge is also reporting: This is What the Death of a Nation Looks Like Warning: ZH article commentary may contain bad language and/or inappropriate avatar images.

Brazil: Economy Shed 1.5M Jobs in 2015 (New York Times) Excerpt: “Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund said the recession affecting Latin America’s biggest country will continue in 2016 with output contracting 3.5 percent.”

Davos Leaders Fear “Brexit” May Be Deathknell for EU (The Telegraph) Excerpt: “Europe’s leaders have issued a passionate plea for Britain to remain in the European Union, fearing that Brexit could set off a disastrous chain of events at a time of existential crisis for the EU project.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

11 Ways to Save on Your Water Heating Bill (Frugal Living) Install a timer. Stop the leaks. Insulate your pipes…and more! This is a list of excellent reminders and ideas.

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