News links for 7 Mar 2014
Starting today, I am going to have a heavier round of foreign-language links because I want you to see the news flow that I am saying. Before, I didn’t include all those links because I was unable to comment on the stories or translate them. But I think it makes sense to put them in even so and let you do a translation if my short comment on what is important catches your eye. This will be most relevant in Europe and Argentina.
Apple has overestimated demand for the lower price 5c version of the iPhone
Good article on how cable and internet service providers like Verizon have used mergers in a way to reduce competition in the US and ultimately keep data rates low and prices high.
“Singapore police are investigating what they have called the “unnatural” death of a 28-year-old American woman who ran a small exchange that traded virtual currencies, including bitcoins, from the Asian city state”
Even though we have heard that Spanish house prices have stopped declining, this article says this is false, that house prices are still declining, though at a slower rate. The fall from peak is now 37%.
Hedge Fund guru John Paulson is now investing in Spanish property
Unemployment in Switzerland is 3.5%
S&P raised its outlook for Flanders, yet another example of the easing of the European sovereign debt crisis.
Moody’s has raised the outlook for 20 German and Austrian banks. Will this mean they get a clean bill of health in the stress tests? We’ll see.
“Piraeus Bank is poised to become the first Greek bank since the eurozone crisis to return to capital markets, in a crucial test of investor readiness to lend to banks in the region’s recession-battered periphery. The bank wants to do a “benchmark” senior unsecured deal of at least €500m ahead of European regulators’ assessments of the region’s banks’ balance sheets later this year, according to a person familiar with discussions.”
“Spain’s 10-year yield fell nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 3.35 percent, the lowest since January 2006. Similar-maturity Italian yields declined five basis points to 3.37 percent after reaching 3.36 percent, the lowest since October 2005. Portugal’s 10-year yields slid 13 bps to 4.71 percent and Greece’s fell 12 bps to 6.81 percent.”
MUST READ article from Simon Johnson
Apparently, Timoshenko has said that Russia is using the west’s weakness to gain advantage in Ukraine
Good article on media bias and journalism
More on media bias
“The relative calm observed since Tuesday reflects investors’ calculations that a balance of economic interests between Russia and the west will prevent the crisis becoming a systemic threat to the global economy, even if it develops into a prolonged, 21st century version of the Cold War.”
“If you take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe exactly what the statistics tell you to believe. You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland and I show you what the statistics just can’t see. What we’re talking about is hidden debt. The debt that’s out there but which we can’t currently see or assess.”
“Bernanke was paid at least $250,000 for his first public speaking engagement, in Abu Dhabi, since stepping down in January, according to sources familiar with the matter. That compares to his 2013 paycheck of $199,700, and the appearance was only the first of three around the world this week.”
“Delta Air Lines (DAL) is making a radical change in its frequent-flier program designed to win more business from its biggest-spending customers, including corporate travelers. These “elite” fliers account for just 2% of Delta’s customers but generate over 20% of the revenues, numbers typical of the industry.”