Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, June 18

To Devalue or Not to Devalue: That is the question in Latvia, which is facing the worst recession in the former Eastern bloc. So far they're not devaluing their currency; it's risky, but if it works, it could set a powerful precedent for other small, struggling economies.Uncle Sam $68 Billion Richer: Ten of the nation's largest banks paid back portions of their TARP money yesterday.BRICs Still Down with Dollars: Remember that whole spat about the demise of the dollar as the global reserve...

Breakfast Buffet, Wednesday, June 17

Circling Above Wall Street: Could foreign banks do to Wall Street what Japan once did to Detroit? They're busy buying up lots of assets, but questions remain as to whether they can sustain the expansion, given how frequently past efforts to grab business from their US rivals have fizzled.Brave New Banking World: The Obama administration is set to announce new rules for the banking system today.

Breakfast Buffet, Wednesday, June 10

It's the Economy, Mahmoud: As Iran gears up for its presidential election, the economy--not Israel, the nuclear program, or social freedom--is taking center stage.

Aging Flight Attendants and a Changing America

Store this one away in your data bank of random trivia: flight attendants are getting older. Between 1980 and 2007, the median age of flight attendants jumped up 14 years--from 30 to 2004--according to a new study by two Texas A&M researchers.Why?

Breakfast Buffet, Tuesday, June 9

Not So Fast, Fiat: The Supreme Court put a hold on the bankruptcy sale of Chrysler to Italian carmaker Fiat, citing the objections of three Indiana state funds and consumer groups.

Breakfast Buffet, Monday, June 8

Not Out of the Woods: So much for the green shoots theory. This weekend was full of forebodingabout the future of the American economy, most pointedly with thisTimes op-ed critiquing Obama's confidence-restoring efforts as"dangerously misguided." (It's a must-read).

Breakfast Buffet, Friday, June 5

Welcome Back to Work?: Job losses slow! Job losses slow! Unemployment in the U.S. grew to a staggering 9.4 percent, but the number of job losses--345,000--was the smallest since last September.

Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, June 4

New Worry of the Day: Interest: What happens when governments around the world spend themselves silly to fight recession? Interest rates go up, potentially tacking hundreds of billions dollars onto already swollen public debt.

The Mergers and Acquisitions of America's Towns

Soul-searching has become standard fare these days, but apparently it's taking on a particularly existential tone in certain corners of America. Weighed down by the recession, even with stimulus dollars making their way down to the local level, some mayors and supervisors are thinking about cutting public costs by way of apoptosis: aka, dissolving their own governments.

Economics + Comics = Ecocomics

If you lived in a world where exploding buildings, crashing cars, and robbed banks were regular fixtures of everyday life, which type of insurance system would function best?

Today in Casualties of the Recession: Human Rights

The Amnesty International annual report that came out today has some sobering revelations about those bearing the brunt of the global recession. That's why NEWSWEEK'S Rebecca Shabad flipped through it and chatted with Amnesty's Secretary General about her findings.

Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, May 28

No Go on the Opel Deal: Emergency talks between German and American negotiators failed to produce a deal for GM's ailing European branch, despite lasting into the wee hours of the morning.

Dan Gross: Wherefore Sovereign Wealth Funds?

Newsweek biz columnist Dan Gross wonders what the deal is with sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), those enticing, terrifying state-owned investment funds that came into vogue in Asia and Arabia about two years ago.

Breakfast Buffet, Monday, May 26

As Goes California So Goes the Nation?: Paul Krugman, optimistic as always, worries that it might be so. He points to the shrinking and increasingly extreme ranks of the Republican party to explain why it will be especially difficult for the state to climb out of the fiscal hole--a scenario he can easily foresee playing out at the national level.

Breakfast Buffet, Friday, May 22

The Banality of Tiananmen: Two decades after the protests at Tiananmen Square captured the attention of the world, a new generation of college kids is ambivalent about the grievances that drove Chinese students into the streets demanding democracy.

Breakfast Buffet, Wednesday, May 20

Capitalism Is Dead; Long Live Capitalism!: We're living through an historic moment, alright, but is it a defining one? FT's Martin Wolf doesn't think so. Part of FT's running series on the future of Capitalism, headquartered here.The No-Work Jobs of Japan: No money for sheet metal?

Breakfast Buffet, Tuesday, May 19

Too Close for Comfort: Has Treasury gotten too cozy with the  firms it's hired to help value and manage bailout assets? The NYT muses on this as it shines the spotlight on BlackRock, which is managing the rescues of Bear Stearns, AIG, and Citi at the same time that it is advising private clients.

Breakfast Buffet, Friday, May 15

Check us out, huh? Welcome to the brand spankin' new, snazzy, jazzy, redesigned It's business as usual content-wise here at the WON blog, but we'd love to know what you think of our new digs.

The Curious Case of the Globalized Non-Barbies

 Today in bizarre byproducts of globalization: black Barbies with blue eyes clad in African wraps. OK, this ain't a post about PPIP or renminbi, but I couldn't resist.Here's the back story from the photographer, who snapped this shot at a women's conference in Liberia recently.

Uneven Developments in the Foreclosure Saga

A few words on Realtytrac's new housing and foreclosure data for this month. Interesting snippets from the press release:The report shows that one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing inApril, shattering records throughout the land.Much of April's activity is at the initial stages of foreclosure, suggesting that many lenders are cracking down on delinquent loans that had been delayed by government-imposed and industry-embraced moratoria. [My note: we'll see how those...

The Wisdom of Winston?

I am loving this Churchill quote from a Seeking Alpha post: Americans will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives Here's hoping he had more insight into American habits than, say, this guy.

Breakfast Buffet, Monday, May 11

There's Something About Boise: We journalists are always on the hunt for nice, neat microcosms of broad trends and big ideas. The NYT's Peter Goodman thinks he found his in Boise, Idaho, a town that may be poised to blossom if (when...?) this whole economic recovery thing works out.

Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, May 7

Drumroll, Please: The long-awaited stress test results are out this afternoon, though we already have a pretty good idea of what they'll be. In the runup, Tim Geithner is hitting the streets for a publicity tour, stops of which you can see here and here.

Breakfast Buffet, Wednesday, May 6

Please, Sir, May I Have Some More: The latest leak ahead of tomorrow's stress test results has Bank of America needing an extra $34 billion in bailout money.

Breakfast Buffet, Tuesday, May 5

Back to the Bailouts: Bits are already starting to leak out about the results of the bank stress tests, set to be released Thursday. The early word: 10 of the 19 will need more capital, but the problems aren't as bad as some have said.

Breakfast Buffet, Tuesday, April 28

More on that Freaky Swine Flu: This Reuters blogger has a good take on how past flu outbreaks affected the economy, and how this one might stack up. If you just can't get enough, they also have a full coverage page with all the latest updates, photos, and backgrounders your panicked heart could desire.Shall We Call Them Stress Quizzes?: Results of the stress tests applied to 19 banks will be published Monday, but it looks like there won't be a hopping release party.

Breakfast Buffet, Monday, April 27

I Iz in Ur Fed, Meeting Wit Ur Bank Execs:  Want to know exactly what Tim Geithner was up to the day Lehman failed? Or when Fed officials said the economy was sound?

Breakfast Buffet, Thursday, April 23

Reconsidering the Reconsideration of Aid: Two recent books have put aid to Africa on trial, arguing that it often does more harm than good. The idea has become vogue in the do-gooder zeitgeist, but Johannesburg-based Greg Mills says it's not the whole story.Another One on the Up: Credit Suisse joined Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan in returning to profitability.

The Consumer Is Fickle

As promised, here's a more well-digested take on the Nielsen consumer trend report. The basics: Nielsen aggregated consumer trend data from 11 major GDP countries to come up with the key performance indicator (KPI) chart at left (tip for how to read the thing: the greener, the better).