Economics and Investing:

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California renter apocalypse: Why the rise in housing values is a reflection of a disappearing middle class. California rents up 5.7 percent last year.

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Will Lehr: Jim Willie Interview

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Fed’s “Accommodation” Outrun by Tightening Credit (Reuters) Excerpt: “Judging by recent market action and what’s happening in many economies around the world, it is an appropriate time to take recession risks seriously….”

The Cozy Relationship Between the Treasury and the Fed (Mises) Excerpt: “Since the Fed does not exist to generate profits, some may be confused as to how it could have such a great year at doing so. Here’s how it works.” There are important implications for the transfer of Fed profits to the Treasury as well as to ending those remittances. Read on.

Plunging Oil Prices Nip at Retirement Savings (US News) Excerpt: “One of the nation’s largest pension funds lost $135 million from oil and gas holdings.”

Citi: We Should All Fear “Oilmageddon” (Bloomberg) Excerpt: “”But, the collapse in oil/commodity prices and sharp fall in the pace of world trade means that these same economies will likely experience an aggregate current account deficit for the first time since 1998,” says Citi. “In turn, this is likely to put pressure on SWF and broader emerging market liquidity as governments and emerging market economies would need to ‘lean’ on reserves in order to maintain economic, political and social stability. This has clear feedback loops across emerging markets.”

Budget Chief: Congress “Losing Control” Over Federal Spending (Washington Examiner) Excerpt: “Deals cut between party leaders are “as un-transparent as you can,” Whitehouse said, “and things come in basically based on favoritism, clout, influence — it’s kind of the worst of all possible worlds that we create for ourselves when there isn’t a proper process and there’s just a crisis negotiation at the end.”

International News

New Financial MELTDOWN Set to Sink EU as German Banks Lose 14B in 90 Days (Express) Excerpt: “Shares in Germany’s two biggest lenders – Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank – fell sharply again as panic gripped global markets. They have now seen their combined market value plummet by more than £14BILLION in the past three months.”

Greece’s Economy is Getting Crushed Between Austerity and the Refugee Crisis (The World Post) Excerpt: “This state – a bankrupt state – is trying to develop a mechanism to manage the largest refugee crisis in the past few decades. This is absurd….”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Every Second Americans Get Buried Under Another $3,055 in Student Loan Debt (Market Watch) Excerpt: “…this student-loan debt clock provides a window into the growing risks to the economy as well as to student loan borrowers and their families.”

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