Facts To Scare You

From Megan McArdle…..

One of the enduring mysteries of the last month has been how fourth quarter GDP could have been falling faster in Europe than in the United States. Now we have an answer: our first GDP estimates were way too optimistic. The revised estimates now put the annualized rate of decline in the fourth quarter at 6.2%, rather than the 3.8% initially predicted. That’s roughly in line with the decline in Europe and the UK, though Japan still has a commanding lead in the race to the bottom.

From Felix Salmon…

It’s pretty much impossible to get one’s head around the sheer enormity of the numbers in Barack Obama’s first budget. But it’s important to try, and one anonymous commenter has a very good point: the entire federal budget, as submitted by President Clinton in 1996 through 1999, was smaller than the budget deficit that Obama is proposing for next year.

From Spiegel…..

And how about subprime companies? European corporations are deeply in hock, with $801 billion in corporate debt maturing this year-nearly one-third more than in the U.S. Some, such as Munich-based chipmaker Qimonda and Swedish automaker Saab, say they are insolvent.

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