TheFinancialLandscape

The Financial Landscape: Is Italy the Next Greece?

As the eurozone sovereign debt crisis continues, focus is shifting to Italy as the next potential victim. But for worries closer to home, consider this: $37 billion in U.S. government benefits designed to help people through the downturn will expire by the end of 2011, leaving a hole twice that size in the economy.

GS Deal Exposed; BofA Deal Nixed

Two surprises in the finance biz: A small group of bond investors has thrown a wrench into Bank of America's massive mortgage securities settlement, while the Fed revealed a secret $15 billion loan it made to Goldman Sachs in 2008. But in retail, there are no bad surprises on same-store sales so far.

Financial Landscape: DSK Case and Portugal Get Shakier

Portugal's economic health is at risk of collapse after Moody's cut its rating of the country's debt to junk status. Also at risk of collapse: The case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn after The New York Post reported that his accuser was working two jobs -- as a maid and a prostitute.

The Financial Landscape: An Economic Spilt Personality

Is the American recovery fast or slow? Depends on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal sees corporate America merrily rolling along while Main Street suffers. The New York Times warns that Wall Street is about to feel the pinch too. But nobody is all that optimistic about Greece today.

The Financial Landscape: Geithner Gossip Groundless

Citing unnamed sources, news outlets reported Thursday evening that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner might leave the Obama administration soon. In response to the rumors, Geithner insisted, "I live for this work.... I'm going to be doing it for the foreseeable future."

Financial Landscape: Dreary Polls and Tax Loopholes

Nearly 90% of Americans still see owning a home as a key part of the American Dream, but 39% see us in a permanent economic downturn. Meanwhile, Obama has set his sights on closing tax loopholes for businesses and the rich, but the Fed just cut banks a break in new rules on debit card swipe fees.

The Financial Landscape: Dollar Losing Favor, Economy Losing Steam

The long term isn't looking good for the greenback: Central bank managers don't see it keeping its status as the world's reserve currency. The short term's not looking so hot for the U.S. economy either: Housing prices are down another 4% year over year, and confidence is falling.

The Financial Landscape: Gas Is Falling; Euro is Failing

Even before the International Energy Agency and the White House announced they were releasing billions of gallons or oil from fuel reserves, gas prices were falling. In the past two weeks, a gallon is down more than 11 cents. Also falling -- hopes for the euro, and the outlook for U.S. Treasury bonds.

The Financial Landscape: Big Pharma Wins; So Does Greece

It's a good day to be a drugmaker after two pro-business Supreme Court rulings favored the industry. And it's an even better day for those who are counting on the EU bailing out Greece. But the folks at Google may want to search for "defense lawyers" -- they may be seeing subpoenas shortly.

The Financial Landscape: SEC Fines JPM Over CDOs

The news across the financial world is good for unions, which will find organizing a bit easier; adequate for Greece, which will find getting bailed out a bit easier, and bitter for JPMorgan which had to accept a $153.6 million SEC fine for misleading investors about a mortgage securities transaction.

The Financial Landscape: No Bailout Yet for Greece

The financial world Monday morning is focused on Greece. E.U. finance ministers postponed agreement on a bailout until they see proof that its government will follow through on austerity measures. Meanwhile, some big U.S. firms say that a generous tax break would help them expand their domestic operations.