News: 2013-12-30


BBC News – Why many of Ghana’s gold miners are giving up

Don’t fret about soaring asset prices – this time is different –

2013 was a great ride, but reality is returning | Star Tribune

Mortgage debt threatens overstretched UK households –

“In a scenario where rates rise gently to 3 per cent by 2018 – still far below their historic average – some 1.12m people would be spending more than half of their take-home pay on debt repayments. That is the widely accepted yardstick for indebtedness.”

German Yields Rise to 3-Month High on Improving Economic Outlook – Bloomberg

Stocks $3.7 Trillion Year Beats Bonds Most Ever as Funds Revive – Bloomberg

Miami dopée par une frénésie de construction

The frenzy of construction in Miami has returned, buoyed by Asian capital and South American clients.

Home Prices Back at Peaks in Some Areas –

“Values are up more than 13% from their 2007 high in Oklahoma City and by more than 6% in the Denver metro area. Prices are back to all-time highs in 10 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of price data from Zillow, an online real-estate information service. Prices are within 5% of their previous peak in San Jose, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Dallas. “

Japan shares end bumper year on high note | Reuters

“Japan’s Nikkei has risen 56.7 percent in 2013, its best annual performance since 1972, urged on by aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus.”

Rising Rates Favor Shorter Junk Bonds –

Bitcoin Is Evil –

An Ubernerd Weighs In –

“My current guess is that the Bitcoin bubble will collapse when there is some bad news, e.g., a regulator demands registration of Bitcoin wallets, people try and cash out, and find that that while it’s easy to buy bitcoins, it’s much harder to find people willing to buy back nontrivial amounts, very hard to collect the sales proceeds, and completely impossible without revealing exactly who you are.”


Emerging Markets

Indonesian Rupiah Caps Worst Year Since 2000 on Taper, Deficit – Bloomberg

Baht Drops to Lowest Since June 2010 on Speculation About Coup – Bloomberg

Turkey first of Fed Taper victims as political crisis scares investors – Telegraph



Chinese local government debt balloons –

Loan Sharks Smell Blood in China Waters –

China formally eases one-child policy –

Chinese Students in U.S. Boost Luxury Car Sales – Businessweek



Google, Apple Forge Auto Ties –

Inside TAO: The NSA’s Shadow Network – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices – SPIEGEL ONLINE

NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware | The Verge

For Tor, Publicity a Mixed Blessing | Threat Level |

Encrypted chat service Cryptocat for iPhone rejected by Apple | The Verge

A Look Back At How The Content Industry Almost Killed Blockbuster And Netflix (And The VCR) | TechCrunch

I Can’t Believe I’m Saying This, But T-Mobile Is Awesome | TechCrunch

8 Best Music Players For Android



Freizügigkeit für Rumänen und Bulgaren ist keine Gefahr | ZEIT ONLINE

This German article is about the coming free labour movement in the EU for Bulgarians and Romanians. From a wage arbitrage perspective, this will suppress wages in western Europe as it was when previous labour mobility waves from the east came into the EU. Some are fearful, particularly in the UK where the PM is inveighing against foreigners living on state benefits.

BBC News – France’s 75% tax rate gains approval by top court

Monte Paschi faces nationalization threat after cash call delay | Reuters

Spain retail sales jump 1.9 percent in November | Reuters

Germans Bury Inflation Angst as Merkel Offers New Agenda – Bloomberg | Bundesbank chief says no to Greek haircut, yes to | Greek prison system collapsing – labeled ‘inhuman’

Michael O’Sullivan says that other peripheral eurozone countries cannot replicate Ireland’s recent economic upturn – nor should they want to. – Project Syndicate


North America

Inflation, Wages, and Policy – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

On Challenging the Fed – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

USAA to Geico Test Voice Apps Seeking $12 Billion Savings – Bloomberg

Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope – Bloomberg

Welcome to the Police State, by David Henderson

The Aleph Blog – Warm up the Helicopter of Happiness



Special Report – Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up | Reuters

Japan mid-tier camera makers face shakeout as smartphones shatter mirrorless hopes | Reuters

Why Yasukuni Matters: The Snarls of Asian History – James Fallows – The Atlantic

Reagan Joins Kohl in Brief Memorial at Bitburg Graves –

An analogous moment to Yasukuni

How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan – Bloomberg



The remarkable figure of Pope Francis –

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