News Links: ECB contemplates buying non-government debt as QE
- ECB mulling alternatives to bond-buy plan: Nowotny | Reuters
Nowotny, who is also Austria’s national central bank chief, said there was skepticism on the policymaking Council about the bond-buy program "because we fear the market imperfections that we want to correct with this could emerge in another area." "We are discussing possible alternatives. But this discussion is not so far developed that we can dispense with the SMP (bond-buying program)," Nowotny told the Wall Street Journal’s German website.
- Fitch plant Rundumschlag gegen Euro-Länder – News Wirtschaft: Konjunktur – tagesanzeiger.ch
Fitch hatte die Euro-Mitglieder Spanien, Italien, Irland, Zypern, Belgien und Slowenien im Dezember als Kandidaten für eine Herabstufung unter verschärfte Beobachtung genommen und überprüft seitdem deren Länder-Ratings.
- Banken mit 18 Milliarden Euro Auslandstiteln – Banken – derStandard.at › Wirtschaft
Am häufigsten sind die heimischen Kreditinstitute in polnische, italienische, deutsche und ungarische Staatsanleihen investiert
- SAS fyrer 300 medarbejdere – Jyllands-Posten
En ny spareplan skal skære SAS driftsudgifter med 3-5 pct. Det betyder at luftfartselskabet blandt andet skærer 300 fuldtidsstillinger.
- It’s no fluke – iPhone closes the gap on Android in U.S. – Giga Om
IOS’ year end surge has helped close the gap on Android in the U.S., with December sales hitting 44.5 percent of all smartphones, just behind Android at 46.9 percent, according to new data from Nielsen. The numbers bolster a similar report from NPD, which announced last week that the iPhone had pulled within four percentage points of Android in October and November.
- IMF seeking to raise $600 billion in new resources: sources | Reuters
The International Monetary Fund is estimating it needs to raise up to $600 billion in new resources to lend to countries struggling with the fallout from the euro zone debt crisis, IMF sources said on Wednesday.
- Google’s Matt Cutts On Why SOPA Is Bad For Everyone – The Consumerist
Cutts points to the "countless examples of misguided or mistaken takedowns" that have already happened in the years since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act kicked in, "that hit completely unrelated targets as collateral damage." He gives the example of the ordeal that MetaFilter had to go through to prove that a five-year-old song on the site was not actually an unreleased, leaked Michael Jackson song, in spite of what Sony’s moronic web-scouring bots said.
- BBC News – Germany lowers growth forecast for 2012
Europe’s largest economy will grow by 0.7% this year, instead of the 1% the government predicted in October, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said.
- Michael Hastings on war journalists – Salon.com
Look, I went into journalism to do journalism, not advertising. My views are critical but that shouldn’t be mistaken for hostile – I’m just not a stenographer. There is a body of work that shows how I view these issues but that was hard-earned through experience, not something I learned going to a cocktail party on fucking K Street. That’s what reporters are supposed to do, report the story.
- Spain pushes for domestic Bankia merger – FT.com
Spain’s new government is pressing for Bankia, a group of savings banks listed last year, to seek a merger with another Spanish bank in a deal that would create the country’s largest domestic lender by assets if it materialised, according to bankers in Madrid.
- BBC News – Outlook in Latvia ‘looks bleak’
The opening of European borders, combined with the effects of the crisis, has meant that smaller towns in these countries are quite simply dying as young people leave to look for work elsewhere. One of Europe’s smallest countries, Latvia, has suffered more than most.
- Ex-mergers and acquisitions banker: ‘There’s no time for friends’ | Joris Luyendijk | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Proud of his time spent working for a large investment bank, a young finance worker tells Joris Luyendijk why he is leaving
- The Amazing Power of Regret to Shape Our Future – PsyBlog
The odd thing is that some psychologists argue that anticipated regret may be stronger than the actual regret we would feel if our choices don’t work out. Anticipated regret is such a powerful emotion that it can cause us to avoid risk, lower our expectations, steer us towards the familiar and away from new, interesting experiences.
- Your Storytelling Brain | Think Tank | Big Think
Cognitive science has long recognized narrative as a basic organizing principle of memory. From early childhood, we tell ourselves stories about our actions and experiences. Accuracy is not the main objective – coherence is. If necessary, our minds will invent things that never happened, people who don’t exist, simply to hold the narrative together
- El precio de las casas vuelve al nivel de 2005 – ABC.es
Retrocede en 2011 un 6,8%, la tercera mayor caída desde el pinchazo de la burbuja
- Nederland en Finland willen geen extra geld voor EFSF – De Standaard
Nederland en Finland zien meer heil in permanent noodfonds ESM dan in tijdelijk noodfonds EFSF.
- Why SOPA Is Dangerous
This bill turns us all into criminals. If it passes, then you either stop using the Internet, or you simply hope that you never end up in the crosshairs, because if you’re targeted, you will be destroyed by this bill.
- Five-Year Treasury Yield Hits All-Time Low | Crossing Wall Street
The yield on the five-year Treasury got down to 0.77% today. That’s the lowest yield ever. In 1981, the five-year yielded 16.27%. Five years ago, it was close to 5% and 11 months ago, it was going for 2.4%.
- O.J. Simpson faces foreclosure on Miami house
Court records indicate that O.J. Simpson is facing foreclosure on his Miami home while he is in prison in Nevada.
- Even Woz Thinks the Android Bests the iPhone – The Daily Beast
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak still loves his iPhone, but says in some ways, Android has leapt ahead. Wow.
- Triple A : Standard & Poor’s dégrade la note d’EDF et de la SNCF – Libération
Dans la foulée de la perte du triple A, l’agence de notation a abaissé d’un cran la note de ces entreprises publiques.
- SOPA and PIPA Far From Dead, Despite Concerns Of White House And Changes To Bills – The Consumerist
Although the White House this weekend expressed "serious reservations" about elements of the pending anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA, and House leaders have said they will not conduct hearings on their bill any time soon, the legislation is far from dead.
- Yuengling Is Now America’s Largest Brewer – The Consumerist
Did Yuengling suddenly get bigger than Miller or Bud? Nope. Both are now foreign-owned. According to AdAge, Yuengling has recently surpassed Sam Adams’ Boston Beer Company as the largest U.S.-owned brewer that manufactures all its beer in the U.S.
- Hungary faces ruin as EU loses patience – Telegraph
Hungary’s defiant premier Viktor Orbán has no hope of securing vital funding from the EU and the International Monetary Fund until the dispute is resolved, leaving him a stark choice of either bowing to EU demands or letting his country slide into bankruptcy.
- Greek protesters take to Athens streets as creditors arrive for debt talks | Business | The Guardian
EU hopes for quick deal on 50% debt write-off as Papademos government insists it can and will impose reform
- Matt Stoller: Quelle Surprise! The Federal Reserve Knew About the Housing Bubble in 2004 « naked capitalism
That the Fed engaged in extreme groupthink is not a surprise. But let’s not pretend like no one knew there was a bubble, or that no one knew that it could become a deeply serious problem. Many normal people knew. Non-corrupt policymakers and thinkers got it. And the Fed saw the signals; its officials even discussed the possibility internally. It simply ignored the pricing signals the market was sending.
- Oil prices rise on Iran’s threats to cut off Strait of Hormuz – Telegraph
Oil prices climbed 70 cents to $111.14 a barrel on Monday, after Iran issued fresh threats to cut off up to 17m barrels per day of oil supply from world markets by shutting down the Strait of Hormuz.
- Dylan Ratigan: Racism was rebranded ‘the war on drugs’ | The Raw Story
He noted that African Americans are ten times more likely than white Americans to be imprisoned for the same drug charges. He also noted there were more African Americans in prison or on probation today than there were slaves in America before the civil war. American taxpayers spent $74 billion on prisons in 2007, with a growing percentage of that money going to private prisons.
- Apple files German lawsuit against Samsung, targets Galaxy S II, nine other smartphones — Engadget
The suit was filed in Dusseldorf Regional Court — the same venue that the company used to target the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which was created specifically to sidestep a September injunction, also in Germany.
- Opposites Don’t Attract (And That’s Bad News) | Wired Science | Wired.com
Opposites attract. Although we love to repeat this optimistic cliche about human nature, decades of psychological research have demonstrated that the truism isn’t true. Rather, people seek out people who are just like them. This is known as the similarity-attraction effect, or SAE. Although there is slight variation in the strength of the effect, the SAE has been shown to exist in nearly every culture, from Western Europe to the remote tribes of the Brazilian rainforest. It doesn’t matter where we live or how we grew up or which language we speak – we still want to spend time with people who feel similar. It’s simply more comfortable.
- IMF Survey: Will House Prices Keep Falling?
Global housing downturn that began in 2007 continues. But price movements differ significantly across countries. In most countries, house prices expected to fall further.
- Confessions of a Rightmove addict | Money | guardian.co.uk
Serial property website surfer Hilary Osborne thinks others of her ilk, and a proliferation of smartphones, are the real reason behind Rightmove’s record viewing figures
- ‘Stop de anti-moslim-tirades van Geert Wilders. Vóór er gewonden vallen’ :: nrc.nl
de PVV is immers een belangrijke pijler onder het Nederlandse regeringsbeleid. "Hij moet naar het midden bewegen", zegt Hirsi Ali. "En onderscheid maken tussen gewelddadige islamisten en geweldloze moslims. Weet je, er zijn zoveel soorten moslims. Een aantal daarvan kan hij als bondgenoten gebruiken."
- BBC: China’s 2011 GDP Numbers « Patrick Chovanec
the Financial Times did interview Wei Yao, an economist at Société Générale, who made some of his own calculations. According to him, the real growth rate for real estate investment saw a rapid deceleration from 20.1% in November to 12.3% in December. That’s not quite zero growth, but if we plug even that growth rate into my own calculations, and carry it forward through 2012, it already knocks a full percentage point off total GDP growth – and the momentum is clearly downwards.
- Tale of Two Small Countries | Richard W. Rahn | Cato Institute: Commentary
There is no reason any country has to remain poor. Countries are not poor because of climate, lack of natural resources or race. Countries as locationally varied as Singapore, Mauritius, Korea, Chile, Estonia and Cayman have become relatively rich over the past few decades. Those countries that are still relatively poor are poor because they have not put in place the necessary institutions, political structures and policies.