Links: 2013-07-29

There are a lot of links because I haven’t posted since Thursday. Four big topics: The Fed, Google, tech earnings and the NSA scandal


The Fed

Senate letter backs Yellen for Fed role –

In Tug of War Over New Fed Leader, Some Gender Undertones –

Quiet Rivalry Over the Next Fed Leader Comes Out of the Shadows –

Summers Faces Hit on Potential Fed Nod Over His Wall Street Ties –

Obama Bonding With Summers Over Tennis No Ace in Decision at Fed – Bloomberg

“Obama considers whether he “has a relationship with the person he’s about to name,” said former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “I wouldn’t call it the factor, but it’s a factor.” “

Econbrowser: The case for Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair

Federal Reserve ‘Doves’ Beat ‘Hawks’ in Economic Prognosticating –

Summer(s) time at the Fed | Gavyn Davies

This seems right:

“The FOMC will probably want to leave a likely September tapering firmly on the table, without making this irrevocable right now”

This part is interesting though:

“As Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs writes this weekend, if there is a firm nod in the direction of tapering in September, it is likely to be offset by a move towards easing in the forward guidance on rate hikes, either by reducing the 6.5 per cent unemployment threshold, or by announcing a minimum floor for inflation.”

What They’re Saying About Larry Summers and Janet Yellen – Real Time Economics – WSJ 

Why Janet Yellen should succeed Ben Bernanke – The Term Sheet: Fortune’s deals blogTerm Sheet

“Janet Yellen is clearly the most qualified person to follow Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. It’s also time to break that glass ceiling.”

Is Summers as Potential Fed Chief Spooking Bond Market? – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Summers dismissed QE effectiveness –

QE IS ineffective but this isn’t what markets will want to hear. What Summers is saying is that he prefers loose fiscal to loose monetary or put another way fiscal stimulus over monetary stimulus.

Greg Valliere: Why Larry Summers Won’t Be Fed Chair –



Afghanistan Audits Reveal Billions in U.S. Taxpayer Waste | Danger Room | 

How not to compete with payday lenders | Felix Salmon

China Cuts Capacity in Some Industries to Reshape Economy – Bloomberg

BBC News – Japan consumer prices rise for first time in 14 months

Drugmaker Perrigo to buy Ireland’s Elan for $8.6 billion | Reuters 

US economy takes Olympic leap to add 3% to GDP –

Spain’s banks face uphill battle despite dramatic profits boost | Reuters

Debatte über mögliche EZB-Hilfe: „Frankreichs Entwicklung ist besorgniserregend“ – International – Politik – Handelsblatt

IW-Chef Hüther: „Keine Verschärfung der Euro-Krise wegen Frankreich“ – Deutschland – Politik – Handelsblatt

The German Economy Institute head Hüther says that he does NOT expect the euro crisis to flare because of events in Spain, contrary to what former ECB chief economist Jürgen Stark is saying. Hüther says Strk is trying to justify his resignation from the ECB. Me, I expect more problems but am more concerned about Spain and Portugal than France. Nonetheless, the crisis can metastisize in any number of directions.

Ex-EZB-Chefvolkswirt Stark: „Die Euro-Krise wird sich im Spätherbst zuspitzen“ – Konjunktur – Politik – Handelsblatt

Jürgen Stark, the former ECB chief economist, expects the euro crisis to reach a boil again this Fall with France in the hot seat. He talks about the OMT coming into play with Spain and Italy as I have done.

US drugmaker Perrigo to buy Ireland’s Elan for $8.6bn | Business |

Lending to small business grows at fastest pace on record – Telegraph

The headline is a bit inflated if you read the prose:

“Lending to non-financial businesses shrank by a net £1.3bn. However, within that, lending to smaller firms rose by £238m, compared with the average monthly fall of £500m over the previous six months.

It was also the largest increase since records began in April 2011, although on the yearly basis it was still down more than 3pc.

The last time lending to SMEs rose was in February.”


Google Nexus 7 review (2013) | The Verge

Keeping it simple: Chromecast, Google TV, and the zen of a $35 dongle | The Verge

Google Chromecast review | The Verge

Review: Google Chromecast | TechCrunch

Google appears ready to ditch Android over its intellectual property issues

I don’t buy this title thesis, especially after the purchase of Motorola and the work being done there. At the same time, this article is a very in-depth take on the Google-Apple rivalry. Good read

I should also mention that the Chromecast dongle is attached to the TV via HDMI, not to the phone via the USB port as I stated last week. Nevertheless, there is a LOT of buzz about this project. 

Google’s Chromecast is a Roku alternative, not a cheaper Apple TV AirPlay option  

Chromecast review and full walkthrough [VIDEO]

Google Chromecast Review & Rating |

How Android’s new App Ops controls could encourage privacy by design — Tech News and Analysis

Android 4.3 Includes Hidden App Permissions Manager That Could Bolster Privacy & Security | TechCrunch



Facebook’s Desktop Ad Revenue Grew Only $69M In Q2, Mobile Rev To Outpace Desktop By EOY 2013 | TechCrunch

Samsung Boosts Capital Spending as High-End Phone Demand Slows – Bloomberg

Samsung’s Profit Soars on Smartphone Sales, but Margins Feel Pressure –

Samsung overtakes Apple as world’s most profitable mobile phone maker | Technology |

Samsung Ships 72.4 Million Smartphones During Q2, Holds 30.4% of Global Market Share – Droid Life

Samsung Electronics has not dethroned Apple, Inc. in mobile profits

Insight: How Samsung is beating Apple in China | Reuters

Why Apple is revving iOS in the Car for an aggressive 2014 launch

Mobile OS loyalty: how iOS, Android and others stack up — Tech News and Analysis

Amazon hits new high on optimism about its U.S. business | Reuters

Amazon Hiring 5,000 in Warehouses to Meet Customer Demand – Bloomberg

These are hard and not great-paying jobs but this is the kid of work that pops up more and more now in the US.


NSA Scandal

NSA surveillance leaks are costing U.S. tech firms money – Tech News and Analysis

“According to a survey by the Cloud Security Alliance, 10 percent of the organization’s non-US members have cancelled a contract with a US-based cloud provider in the wake of the revelations about the participation of technology companies in the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program, and 56 percent said they were less likely to use an American company.”

Do You Wanna Know a Secret? –

Schneier on Security: Secret Information Is More Trusted

PRISM as windfall for non-U.S. cloud providers — Tech News and Analysis

Democratic establishment unmasked: prime defenders of NSA bulk spying l Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free |

PRISM turned up the volume on cloud security conversations — Tech News and Analysis

Where PRIVACY and security concerns ARE relevant is in business. Consumers are less likely to take action because of the NSA scandal. But businesses might do something.

“Use of public clouds can lower capital expenditures, lessen technical complexity and help the cause of scalability — well, at least vendors say so. The security of that model is less widely agreed on, even years after Amazon came out with EC2 and S3 and got the public cloud moving.

The conversation about cloud security got more interesting following revelations on the National Security Agency’s PRISM program, even if many people figured that such government snooping was possible if not already happening. After talking with executives at a few cloud providers, it sounds like the PRISM news hasn’t necessarily lowered inquiries about public cloud services. What it is has done is prompt more questions about security.”

Privacy as the next green movement? Study says companies will compete on data practices — Tech News and Analysis

The author is sceptical that people really are becoming more privacy-minded en masse. While there will be a lot more focus on privacy at the margin, I think scepticism is warranted because the average user doesn’t know what to do to enact privacy.

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