Links 10/10/12

I am running behind schedule so today’s daily post won’t feature an overarching narrative. More tomorrow.


Specs for Samsung’s 4″ Galaxy S3 Mini fall well short of Apple’s iPhone 5

“While Samsung will compete with Apple’s iPhone 5 by offering its own 4-inch handset, leaked specifications suggest it will be a budget device with a low-resolution display and camera.”

Quality problems sour new Apple iPhone | South China Morning Post

“Apple’s iPhone 5 supply shortfall is being exacerbated by a quality-control crackdown at the mainland’s Foxconn Technology aimed at cutting the number of devices shipped with nicks and scratches, according to industry sources.

The scrapes, which sparked complaints on the iPhone’s debut last month, are due to Apple’s decision to use a type of aluminium that helps make the phone thinner and lighter. Late last month, senior Apple managers instructed executives at Foxconn to tighten production standards.” 

Beware the ‘central bank put’ bubble –

“Essentially, the Fed is inserting a sizeable policy wedge between market values and underlying fundamentals. And investors in virtually every market segment – including bonds, commodities, equities, foreign exchange and volatility – have benefited handsomely. In the process, many asset prices have been taken close to what would normally be regarded as bubble territory, with some already there.”

Conspiracy Jack | Felix Salmon

“Why has Jack Welch doubled down on the false, inflammatory, and slanderous tweet that he sent out five minutes after the jobs report came out on Friday?”

There Is No Jobs-Report Conspiracy: The Jobs Recovery Is Still Meh – Matthew O’Brien – The Atlantic

“Former GE CEO Jack Welch thinks the Bureau of Labor Statistics is cooking the books. He’s wrong.”

Jack Welch: I Was Right About That Strange Jobs Report –

This is Jack Welch doubling down on his negative comments about the last employment situation summary. It’s clear that the cognitive dissonance of a strong report and his view that the economy is not doing well is causing this reaction. A more nuanced response would say that the unemployment numbers don’t accurately reflect the economic distress in the US economy for a number of reasons, none of which has to do with manipulating data from month-to-month for political reasons.

How Central Banks Are Threatening the Savings of Normal Germans – SPIEGEL ONLINE

“Central banks are currently flooding cash-strapped industrialized nations with money. This may help governments reduce their debt load, but it also erodes the value of people’s savings. A massive redistribution of wealth is threatening to take place in Germany and Europe — from the bottom to the top.”

The Inflation Monster: The Return of Inflation – SPIEGEL ONLINE

The Inflation Monster: Financial Repression – SPIEGEL ONLINE

“After World War II, the United States, through a combination of growth, low interest rates and an average of four percent inflation, was able to reduce the ratio of debt to economic output from 109 percent to about 25 percent within three decades.

A similar scenario would also be conceivable today. The initial situation is similar, as US economists Joshua Aizenman and Nancy Marion have determined: Then, as today, the crisis was preceded by a period of borrowing and low inflation rates. “Both factors increase the temptation to reduce the debt burden through inflation,” Aizenman and Marion conclude.”

Obama ‘believed he had beaten Romney’ in Denver debate after ignoring advice of top aides | Mail Online

“Obama believes he’d got the better of Romney as he walked off stage to the dismay of his aides, according to a Democrat close to the campaign
The President failed to prepare properly, opting instead to visit the Hoover Dam the day before the showdown
Democrat claims he was so disdainful of Romney that he didn’t think he needed to even engage with him
Had one-liners on 47% prepared but chose not to use them”

The Illusion of Transparency — PsyBlog

“people tended to over-estimate just how nervous they appeared to others. And this is a consistent finding. We think others can read more from our expressions than they really can.”

Low rates raise pressure on Allianz to cut costs | Reuters

“The low interest rate environment is increasing pressure on Allianz to cut costs because it undermines the insurer’s ability to earn adequate returns on investment, Chief Financial Officer Oliver Baete said.”

Toyota recalls 7m cars worldwide over window fault | Business |

“In the biggest car recall since 1996, Toyota is calling back 7.4m vehicles worldwide after discovering faulty window switches in 12 models.”

IMF: eurozone capital flight will come back to bite UK | Business |

I don’t buy this at all. Basically, the IMF is saying that low rates in Britain, Japan and the US are due to safe haven status because of the euro crisis. Nonsense. That’s not true at all as Japanese yields have been low for years. It’s about interest rate expectations. Discount this report as false.

“Report warns that Britain’s safe haven status for global investors will not last and that non-euro countries are being complacent”

LendUp Offers Friendlier Alternative to Payday Loans – Liz Gannes – Commerce – AllThingsD

“LendUp, which launches today in California, will make loans of up to $250 for 30 days to people with poor credit.
LendUp has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, Kapor Capital, Bronze Investments, Founders Co-op, Data Collective, Y Combinator, the Start Fund and others, including debt that the company will use to fund its customers’ loans.
LendUp is less shy about sharing its loan pricing for its own customers: basically, borrowers will be charged interest of 15 percent of the loan amount, minus a small discount for paying early.”

USADA Releases Doping Evidence Against Lance Armstrong –

“In a startling day of allegations and confessions, core members of the cycling teams that helped Lance Armstrong win seven Tour de France titles acknowledged publicly, for the first time, that they had cheated by taking banned substances.

George Hincapie, Armstrong’s close friend and teammate during all seven of his Tour de France wins, broke his silence on the matter Wednesday, issuing a statement in which he confessed to doping and acknowledged providing testimony to investigators. Fellow Armstrong teammate Levi Leipheimer, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, also admitted doping for the first time.”

BBC Sport – Lance Armstrong: Usada report reveals doping evidence

“Cycling legend Lance Armstrong’s team ran “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen” according to a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
In its report, Usada said Armstrong, 41, “engaged in serial cheating” associated with doping.
The report contains testimony from 11 of his ex-US Postal Service team-mates.
He has always denied doping allegations but has not contested Usada’s charges.”

Antidoping Agency Details Doping Case Against Lance Armstrong –

“The United States Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday released details of its investigation of Lance Armstrong, calling it the most sophisticated doping program in recent sports history — a program in which it said Armstrong played a key role by doping, supplying doping products and demanding that his top teammates dope so he could be successful.”

‘9.79*’ Revisits ’88 HGH Scandal: Johnson comes off likable, Lewis a bit of a jerk – Sports Blog – The Austin Chronicle

“if Johnson was the sympathetic villain, Carl Lewis gets to play the role of the hero we learn to hate. I don’t know if anybody could ever come out as clean as Lewis and yet look as shitty as he did in this film. The self-centered Olympic legend admits early on that he only went to college so that he could get a degree in “Carl Lewis.” Usually an admission like that is a way of saying, “Yeah, I was immature as a kid, but I’ve since grown and learned from my mistakes.” I got no sense of that from Lewis.”

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