Bedtime reading: 2009-05-14
- Swine flu vaccine won’t be ready for next wave – health – New Scientist
“A VACCINE against the Mexican swine flu sweeping the world is likely to arrive too late for most people, vaccine officials told New Scientist between a flurry of high-level industry meetings this week.”
- Jealous female gorillas solicit unproductive sex – New Scientist
“Female gorillas get friskier when their silverback has sex with another female, even when they themselves cannot conceive. The finding suggests they use sex to gain an advantage over competing females.”
- Global Dashboard » Africa Climate and resource scarcity Key Posts » More on African land deals
“Imagine if China, following a brief negotiation with a UK government desperate for foreign cash after the collapse of the British economy, bought up the whole of Wales, replaced most of its inhabitants with Chinese workers, turned the entire country into an enormous rice field, and sent all the rice produced there for the next 99 years back to China. Such a scenario may appear far-fetched, but its early stages are already being played out on the fields of Africa.” Hat tip Gregor Macdonald
- Banks rejected nearly 60% of firms’ loan applications – The Irish Times
Debt deflation dynamics in action at Irish banks. Willem Buiter says they will only get through this as a result of an implicit guarantee from the Germans.
- Top economist says signs of economic recovery unlikely before early 2011 – The Irish Times
“Signs of economic recovery are unlikely to emerge before the end of 2010 or even early 2011, a leading economist said yesterday. Prof Willem Buiter said the recession of the real economy was only just beginning outside the United States and, because of the “tattered” state of the financial sector, it was likely to be both deep and long.”
- The ECB “Buys Into” Spanish Property – Edward Hugh
“Really, and to cut a long story short, refinancing the cédulas has become important since they were originally issued on a short term (5 or 7 year duration) basis (presumeably to keep debt servicing costs down), but since they were matched against mortgages which were issued with a 20 to 30 year maturity, they were always going to need rolling over (and over, and over), and again.”
- Nouriel Roubini – The Almighty Renminbi? – NYTimes.com
“If China and other countries were to diversify their reserve holdings away from the dollar — and they eventually will — the United States would suffer.”
- SEC proposes suit versus Countrywide founder Mozilo | Reuters
U.S. regulators have recommended filing a civil fraud suit against Countrywide Financial co-founder Angelo Mozilo for insider trading, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
- BBC NEWS – Spanish economy shrinks rapidly
GDP fell 1.8% from the previous quarter and was down 2.9% year-on-year, the National Statistics Institute said. It will release final data next week.
- FT.com – American Express sells $3bn of debt
“American Express sold $3bn of debt on Wednesday without a federal guarantee to help the credit card issuer repay government bailout funds. AmEx joined a string of banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, that have issued such debt in recent days after government stress tests found they did not need additional equity capital. US regulators have said banks that want to repay federal bail-out funds must be able to issue debt without government insurance. “
- FT.com – Steinbrück sees stress tests as pointless
“Peer Steinbrück, Germany’s finance minister, on Wednesday attacked proposals to conduct stress tests on individual European banks and labelled the financing checks of US institutions “worthless”. The outspoken minister’s comments came after the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday called for Europe to conduct stress tests of its banks based on the US model.”
- Greece Tells Google Street View to Park It Elsewhere – Mashable
You will start to see Google getting attacked everywhere: too much power, privacy issues, piracy. They are clearly he new Microsoft.
- Most U.S. homeowners think a bottom has been reached: Zillow | Reuters
Most American homeowners believe their home’s value has declined over the past year, but a majority also think a bottom has been reached, real estate website Zillow.com said on Thursday.
- FT.com – BT cuts dividend and 15,000 jobs
“BT on Thursday said it would axe 15,000 jobs, more than expected, and cut its final dividend by nearly 60 per cent – the first reduction in seven years – after an “unacceptable” performance at Global Services, the UK telecoms group’s troubled IT services division.”