News: 2014-02-11


Welcome to The Intercept – The Intercept

The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program – The Intercept

How Obama Officials Cried ‘Terrorism’ to Cover Up a Paperwork Error | Threat Level |

Errata Security: fails at security so far

Obama Officials Weigh Drone Attack on US Suspect – ABC News

The terrifying surveillance case of Brandon Mayfield | Al Jazeera America



Can bitcoin succeed in China? –

“The wild price volatility was a red flag to independent economist Andy Xie. He told me on CNN’s World Business Today, “It’s not a currency. People who accept it are usually selling it for real money like for U.S. dollars or the Japanese yen. It’s like you accept Chateau Lafite. There’s a price for Chateau Lafite everyday but that doesn’t make it a currency.””

U.S. post office considers becoming Bitcoin dealer | Toronto Star

Bitcoin plunges on Japan exchange halt –


North America

Big incentives likely as inventories of new vehicles pile up | Dallas Morning News

Comparing U.S. and Euro Area Unemployment Rates – Liberty Street Economics

U.S. jobless rate forces Yellen’s hand on Fed guidance | Reuters

U.S. consumer credit posts biggest jump in 10 months | Reuters

US to pursue Steve Cohen after Martoma found guilty – Telegraph

Tim Armstrong blames ‘distressed babies’ for AOL benefit cuts. He’s talking about my daughter.

California drought hits farmers hardest – The Washington Post

If You Thought You Couldn’t Go To Jail For Debt Anymore, You’re Wrong – Business Insider

Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties –

Consumer debt swells to $1.4 trillion, but Canadians able to pay it: Equifax | Toronto Star

“Overall consumer debt, including mortgages, also continues to rise — up 9.1 per cent to $1.422 trillion from $1.303 trillion a year earlier.”

The weak Canadian dollar is turning out to be less of a blessing for Canadian exporters than anyone thought

Natural gas drillers wary as some see year-long supply squeeze | Financial Post

‘U.S. crude wall looming larger than ever’: IEA | Financial Post

Keystone XL pipeline approval ‘inevitable,’ says Harper | Financial Post

Fed’s Rosengren Urges Patience in Pulling Back on Easy Money – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Fed’s Forward Guidance Is Working – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco | When Will the Fed End Its Zero Rate Policy?



Greece wants a return to bond markets –

“The average maturity on Greece’s outstanding debt is 17 years – exceptionally high by international standards – and just €29bn is held by the private sector.”

Fresh wave of super-rich looking to buy up London properties, says estate agent | Money | The Guardian

London Luxury-Home Sales Soar in 2013 as British Buying Rises – Bloomberg

Danske Bank Accused of ‘Serious’ Price Manipulation –

Geert Wilders outlines case for a Dutch ‘Nexit’ from the EU –

French Economy Continues to Sputter –

German Court Calls ECB Bond Buying into Question – SPIEGEL ONLINE

“Germany’s Constitutional Court ruling last Friday marks a significant escalation in efforts to rein in the European Central Bank. The ruling’s message? Either the European Court of Justice has to stop bond purchases or German justices will.”

ECB paralysed by German court decision as deflation threatens – Telegraph

Courts, voters and the threat of another euro crisis –

The ECB’s Bridge Too Far

“The program’s design, however, conceded that the market’s assessments of creditworthiness reflected a real default risk. As a lender of last resort to sovereigns, a central bank must stand ready to purchase sovereign debt unconditionally, in order to neutralize the effects of temporary market disruptions. But OMT is intended to operate more like the International Monetary Fund’s lending – that is, to rescue a particular government conditional on its pursuit of fiscal belt-tightening. If the ECB were truly convinced that risk premiums were unreasonably high, and that distressed countries’ debt was sustainable, conditionality would have been unnecessary.”

Schaeuble: German court decision no threat to eurozone – Telegraph

Berlusconi said to be planning to stand in European elections –

The Swiss vote for immigration curbs: how much immigration is possible without a backlash?

Eurozone banks face £42bn ‘capital black hole’ – Telegraph


Emerging Markets

Could China’s Yuan Be Overvalued? Lombard Street Analyst Says Yes. – Real Time Economics – WSJ

In Asia, Concerns About Inflation Re-Emerge – Real Time Economics – WSJ

EM currency contagion hits Kazakhstan, tenge tumbles | beyondbrics

Fitch downgrades Ukraine’s credit rating as currency controls are imposed | World news |

EM credit growth presents risk of “systemic global financial markets shock” warns JP Morgan | beyondbrics


Technology, Media and Telecom

Five reasons why 2014 is the year your mobile becomes your debit card – Telegraph

4 reasons the tablet market is far from dead

Nokia Prepares to Release Android Phone Ahead of Sale to Microsoft –

No Olympics for you: Comcast locks value customers out of Sochi streams

Facebook Is Watching How You Watch TV



Winning the lottery makes you more right-wing, study finds – Telegraph

BBC News – Shivering could count as exercise, study finds



Ideology Is Killing Your Investment Returns  – Bloomberg

Trends in metal prices for Olympic medals : The Editor’s Desk : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Tokyo Stocks: Foreigners Pull Back Hard on Reins – Japan Real Time – WSJ


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