- FT.com / Lex – The eurozone’s terrible recession
“This has to be the worst of it. If it is not, then the eurozone’s prospects are grim indeed. The German economy shrank by 4 per cent in the first quarter compared to the last three months of 2008. That is far from the astonishing 11 per cent shrinkage suffered by Slovakia over the same period, but it was still by far the lousiest performance of any major eurozone country. If the German economy continues to shrink at this rate it will be a fifth smaller by the year-end, entirely reversing the past decade and a half of growth since unification.”
- Home repossessions rise 50% but pace will slow – Times Online
Some 12,800 homeowners were evicted by their lender between January and March after falling behind with mortgage payments, up 50 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2008. Repossesions rose by 23 per cent from 10,400 repossessions in the final three months of last year.
- Temasek dumps 3.8% Bank of America stake – Times Online
The sale of the shares, worth $2.14 billion at yesterday’s closing price, was completed before March 31 and was revealed in a US securities filing. At the end of January, Temasek held 189 million shares in Bank of America, converted from a 13.7 per cent investment in Merrill Lynch for almost $5 billion made during early 2008, when the financial crisis was gathering pace.
- At the ripe old age of 104, Ivy Bean is the worlds oldest Twitterer.
“There’s no stopping Ivy. Already an avid Facebook user, she couldn’t resist the urge to explore other social networks. Fortunately IT support service the ‘Geek Squad’ recommended she join the cool kids on Twitter and less than 24 hours ago, Brit Ivy Bean posted her first updates.”
- Past Experience Is Invaluable For Complex Decision Making, Brain Research Shows – Science Daily
“They show that learning from experience actually changes the circuitry in our brains so that we can quickly categorise what we are seeing and make a decision or carry out appropriate actions.”
- RBS, Fortis Lead Surge in Banks Tapping Corporate Bond Market – Bloomberg.com
It isn’t just American banks that are using the massive uptick in share prices to grab a little capital. The Europeans are playing that game too.
- ‘Slumdog’ Child Actor Homeless – WSJ
“The young “Slumdog Millionaire” actor Azharuddin Ismail was left homeless when Indian authorities bulldozed his slum home, as well as 12 others in Mumbai, with no warning. Video courtesy of Reuters.”
- Trade Wars Launched With Ruses, End Runs – Washington Post
Hat tip Mark Thoma. “Outrage spread in Canada, with the Toronto Star last week bemoaning “a plague of protectionist measures in the U.S.” and Canadian companies openly fretting about having to shift jobs to the United States to meet made-in-the-USA requirements. This week, the Canadians fired back. A number of Ontario towns, with a collective population of nearly 500,000, retaliated with measures effectively barring U.S. companies from their municipal contracts — the first shot in a larger campaign that could shut U.S. companies out of billions of dollars worth of Canadian projects.”
- German, Italy Economies Shrank at Record Pace in First Quarter
“The German and Italian economies contracted more than forecast in the first quarter, slumping the most on record after the global financial crisis crippled exports and investment across Europe.”
- Record 16% dip forecast for quarterly GDP | The Japan Times Online
“GDP contracted an annualized 16.1 percent in the three months that ended March 31, following a fourth-quarter drop of 12.1 percent, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Cabinet Office will release the GDP report Wednesday.”
- Merrill Tries To Muzzle a Blog – CNBC.com
“Yesterday Zero Hedge’s anonymous lead blogger, who goes by the name Tyler Durden, received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notice for six posts in which he cites Merrill Lynch reports authored by Rosenberg or his staff.” Hat tip egghat.