Chris Whalen: California Will Default on Its Debt

A Global Panoply of Ugly Tidings(BusinessWeek) Inflation in Asia. Debt Crisis in Europe. Here in New York, the Dow down 200. And commodity prices fall, presumably on demand fears. All in all, not a great day in the market.


More Pressure on Ireland to Accept Bailout (New York Times) With bond yields spiking, the heat is rising on the Irish leadership. Big time. "With its political survival at stake, the Irish government was locked in discussions with its European partners and the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday over a financial rescue package intended to support Ireland’s failed banks, a top official from the European Union said."

GOP Infighting Turns Ugly in the House (Wall Street Journal) "In one corner is Rep. Joe Barton, an unpredictable Texan who was scorned by leaders of both parties" Yike! Let's attempt to parse that lede, from today's Wall Street Journal. Strike one: Anytime a political story begins with the phrase "In one corner," it's not an auspcious beginning. Strike two: When the sentence continues "scorned by leaders of both parties," it's a very bad sign. Strike three: When the story ultimately turns out to be about members of the same party, it devolves into an unmitigated disaster.

Chris Whalen: California Will Default on Its Debt (Wall Street Journal) NetNet Editorial understatement of the day: This would be bad. "Municipal bonds have plummeted in recent days, as investors have suddenly focused on huge state and city budget deficits that there's no easy way to fix. Nowhere has this collapse been more visible than California, which faces a massive $25 billion shortfall and red ink for as far as the eye can see." And: "But, eventually, the debts will have to be restructured, and this will result in those who own California's bonds receiving less than 100 cents on the dollar."

Dying With Debt: A Dirty Little Retirement Secret (CNBC) CNBC's Cindy Perman delivers an interesting take on a morbidly fascinating subject.