News/video links of Interest
Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown 26 Oct:
The financial crisis spreading like wildfire across the former Soviet bloc threatens to set off a second and more dangerous banking crisis in Western Europe, tipping the whole Continent into a fully-fledged economic slump.
Currency pegs are being tested to destruction on the fringes of Europe’s monetary union in a traumatic upheaval that recalls the collapse of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.
“This is the biggest currency crisis the world has ever seen,” said Neil Mellor, a strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.
Experts fear the mayhem may soon trigger a chain reaction within the eurozone itself. The risk is a surge in capital flight from Austria – the country, as it happens, that set off the global banking collapse of May 1931 when Credit-Anstalt went down – and from a string of Club Med countries that rely on foreign funding to cover huge current account deficits.
The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that Western European banks hold almost all the exposure to the emerging market bubble, now busting with spectacular effect.
Thousands of Hedge Funds on Brink of Collapse
Emmanuel Roman, the co-chief executive of Europe’s biggest hedge fund GLG, has warned that thousands of hedge funds are on the brink of failure as the global economy contracts with unexpected severity.
Emmanuel Roman, of GLG Partners, said 25pc-30pc of the world’s 8,000 hedge funds would disappear "in a Darwinian process", either going bust or deciding meagre profits are not worth their efforts.
"This will go down in the history books as one of the greatest fiascos of banking in 100 years," said Mr Roman, who with Noam Gottesman.
His views were echoed by Professor Nouriel Roubini, a former US Treasury and presidential adviser known for his accurate prediction of financial crises, who estimated that up to 500 hedge funds would fail within months.
Both men were speaking at the same hedge fund conference in London yesterday, and Prof Roubini said he would not be surprised if the US and other countries soon had to close their stock markets for more than a week to halt descent into "sheer panic".
The economist warned that the world is heading for a protracted recession that will end the US’s financial dominance.
"It’s the beginning of the decline of the US financial empire. The Great Depression ended in a massive war. I hope that’s not going to happen
but it’s pretty ugly now," Prof Roubini said.
He added that turmoil over world trade, currency markets and debt is likely to cause geopolitical tensions between the Western world and emerging superpowers such as Russia, China and "a bunch of unstable oil states".
House Democrats Contemplate Abolishing 401(k) Tax Breaks
Powerful House Democrats are eyeing proposals to overhaul the nation’s $3 trillion 401(k) system, including the elimination of most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive and redirecting those tax breaks to a new system of guaranteed retirement accounts to which all workers would be obliged to contribute.
Ron Paul on CNN American Morning 24 Oct - 'Monetary system is fraudulent'
Huckabee and Chuck Norris FOX economic conspiracy exchange