Concern grew for the stability of Spain's place in the fragile eurozone economy after reports of a rise in the level of bad loans on the books of its banks and word from the government Friday that it may have to revise its 2011 budget deficit upwards for a second time.
Time to breathe a sigh of relief, with resolution of the Greek bailout? Not so fast. Greece is likely to need re-adjustments to its plan  Plenty of challenges remain in the eurozone; PIMCO's El-Erian says Portugal is next . In fact, as Jeffry Frieden and I argue, the resolution of the problems facing eurozone policymakers is likely to be contentious and prolonged.
By Valentina Za and Silvia AloisiMILAN (Reuters) - A drive by Italian banks to come clean on bad loans during a European bank health check may force them to raise as much as 20 billion euros in capital, three times more than that penciled in so far, to shore up their balance sheets.
Reuters reports Eurozone Unemployment Reaches Near 15-Year High
Unemployment in the euro zone reached its highest level in almost 15 years in February, with more than 17 million people out of work, and economists said they expected job office queues to grow even longer later this year.
Having recently exposed the mainstream media's lack of objectivity in "slanted and distorted" interviews, Rand Paul has turned his focus to another staple of the status quo - his father's arch-nemesis, The Fed. As WSJ reports, Sen. Rand Paul unleashed a blistering attack on the Federal Reserve in Iowa on Fridasy evening, calling for an audit of the institution’s books and blaming it for fueling income inequality.
One of the mysteries surrounding the insolvent, and already once bailed out Spanish banking sector, has been why are reported bad loans - sharply rising as they may be - still as low as they are currently. Courtesy of the just completed bank earnings season, and a WSJ report, we now know why: it turns out that for the past several years, instead of accurately designating non-performing loans, banks would constantly "refinance" bad loans making them appear viable even though banks have known full well there would be zero recoveries on those loans.
From a technocratic point of view, I agree with the idea that it makes sense to pair short-term stimulus (i.e., bigger deficits) with measures that reduce the long-term deficit. In practice, however, I don’t think it makes sense to spend 2010 & 2011 worrying about what the deficit may or may not look like in 2047.
On an exciting phone call with progressive internet writers earlier this evening, a senior administration official outlined the Obama administration’s plan to call for a freeze in non-security discretionary spending spending starting with the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.