Economics and Investing:

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Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Peter Schiff: Clueless in Davos – While I agree with Schiff, I however don’t agree that this is just misguided policies, rather it is intention in my view. Also, not sure many foreign currencies will rise either.

Why A Former Fed Official Fears A Global Meltdown

Video: Bill Holter- This Is It, The Collapse Is Here – Bill is always interesting, and I am not deep enough into the derivatives world to know there are defaults happening, but it is worth the watch/listen.

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Bank Mortgage Settlements Total $144B: Where Did It Go? (Contra Corner) Excerpt: “Surely after losing track of TARP funds, you’d have put some sort of mechanism in place somewhere so we could keep a better count than we did last time when we went… 1, 2, 3, 4… 9 trillion, and then it was all lost. We did better than that this time though, didn’t we. Say we did, I need to hear it.”

Too Big to Tax: Settlements are Tax Write-Offs for Banks (Newsweek) Excerpt: “At the Justice Department, senior officials like to congratulate themselves on the headline-making, big bucks settlements they have imposed upon banks and lenders for their part in causing the 2008 mortgage meltdown that sparked the biggest American financial crisis since the Great Depression. But wait a moment. Those settlement figures are not quite what they seem.”

Only the Wealthy are Building Homes and They’re Bigger Than Ever (Market Watch) Excerpt: “It isn’t that all Americans, in general, are clamoring for huge homes. Rather, it’s mainly the wealthy that are building right now, and they’re building big—skewing the overall average. Meanwhile, buyers between the ages of 25 and 34 are basically absent from the new-home market.”

Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Just Got Worse (CNN Money) Excerpt: “The island has even less money than everyone thought….”

International News

Smuggling Soars as Venezuela’s Economy Sinks (Reuters) Excerpt: “Driven by a deepening economic crisis, smuggling across Venezuela’s land and maritime borders – as well as illicit domestic trading – has accelerated to unprecedented levels and is transforming society.”

European Regulators Pressure Big Banks to Increase Capital (Wall Street Journal) Excerpt: “European regulators are turning up the pressure on large banks to raise more capital, as authorities globally are trying to fix a financial system still ailing from the crisis six years ago.” Note: The Wall Street Journal requires subscription access for some content.

Deutsche Bank to Cut 2015 Bonuses After Record Losses (Reuters) Excerpt: “…expects to post a record loss for the year on writedowns, litigation charges, restructuring costs and tough trading conditions….”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Financial Planning and Your Emergency Fund: Understanding the Importance of Cash (Innovative Wealth) Excerpt: “If you want to figure out what your optimal emergency fund amount should be, here are a few steps to take…”

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