Economics and Investing:

Moody’s takes rating actions on nine Hong Kong banks. JWR’s Comment: The timing of this is suspect. Is it a coincidence that Hong Kong just dragged its feet on the rendition of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, under the U.S./Hong Kong extradition treaty of 1996? The payback, apparently, is a down rating by an “independent” ratings firm.

Venezuela on the Brink of Hyperinflation. (Thanks to Jim W. for the link.)

Mortgage Rates on the Rise; Repeat of Lead-Up to 2008? JWR’s Comment: Interest rates are crucial. Once rates rise substantially then it will become impossible to service the Federal debt without massive money creation. Doom for the markets and doom for the U.S. Dollar will surely follow. This will make the 2008 credit collapse seem like a small hiccup, by comparison.

The money mattress: A Spanish invention stores cash in beds

Some bad but inevitable news from Germany: EU Bankers Consider an 8% Grab of Depositor Accounts. (The Google Translate tool is available for those who don’t read German.)

Items from The Economatrix:

Many Firms Indicate Pre-Recession Workforce Levels Are History

Good Data, Bad Results; Cash Crunch, Placing Blame

Sector Snap:  Homebuilder Shares Sink On Fed Plans

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