News: 2014-03-05

North America

Risk Aversion, Global Asset Prices, and Fed Tightening Signals – Liberty Street Economics

“We find that the initial signal of a possible change in U.S. monetary policy coincided with an increase in global risk aversion, which put downward pressure on global asset prices. “

Americans borrowing record amount to buy cars

Long winter costs US states millions as salt runs low and plows work overtime | World news |

Scotiabank raises dividend on higher first-quarter profit of $1.7 billion | Toronto Star

Vancouver house prices hit new high – The Globe and Mail

“The average price for single-family detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver has soared to a record high of more than $1.36-million.”

Philadelphia to Sell Its Gas Works Utility for $1.9 Billion –

Washington DC votes to decriminalize marijuana | The Verge

Problems in the pipeline for Pemex | beyondbrics

Radio Shack to close up to 1,100 U.S. stores after big Q4 loss | Toronto Star



Australia’s economy grew 2.8% in 2013 | World news |

Japan Base Wages Rise for First Time in Nearly Two Years – Japan Real Time – WSJ



Dívida pública aumenta para 129% do PIB

Portugal’s government debt to gdp was 108,3% in 2011, 124,1% in 2012 and 129% in 2013.

Moody’s sube la nota del Santander y el BBVA tras la mejora de la de España | Economía | EL PAÍS

Moodys has raised ratings on the two largest Spanish banks.

Santander emite 1.500 millones de deuda en ‘cocos’ para reforzar su capital | Economía | EL PAÍS

Santander issues 1.5 billion in contingent convertible debt.

Spain’s employment figures show first increase since 2008 –

ECB readies back door step to loosen policy | Reuters | Greece sells 1.137 bln euros of 6-month T-bills, yield falls

rate down to 3.6% from 4% | Greek factory activity grows for second straight month in Feb – PMI

Number of Irish Home Loans in Arrears Falls –

“The number of Irish home loans in arrears for more than 90 days fell at the end of 2013 for the first time since the start of the country’s economic crisis, central bank data showed Tuesday, but household debt problems are likely to last for years to come.”



Crimea invasion revives thoughts of euro for Poland | beyondbrics

“With Russian soldiers occupying a part of Poland’s eastern neighbour, Marek Belka, the governor of Poland’s central bank, is calling for his country to take another look at joining the common currency. “This crisis shows that it is worth investing more in the European Union and as well it might be worth it to once again consider Poland joining the eurozone,” Belka said in Warsaw. “

BBC News – Russia’s trade ties with Europe

Putin says Gazprom to scrap gas price discount for Ukraine | Reuters

Classic performance as Russia’s Vladimir Putin breaks his silence –

Guest Post: Parsing Putin’s thinking on Ukraine | beyondbrics

“Now that Mr Putin has signalled in his press conference on March 4 that Russia’s military operations in Ukraine will not extend beyond the Crimea, and that Russia has no intention of annexing Crimea, the “punishments” which the US and EU hand out to Russia will probably be fairly symbolic. But this crisis will still deal a serious blow to the Russian economy. The risk of a recession is already heightened by the pro-cyclical rate hike announced by the Russian Central Bank on March 3 to prevent a run on the currency. Looking further ahead, a more serious issue for an economy in which all growth drivers except fixed asset investment are exhausted will be the blow to the confidence of investors – very much including domestic business owners, as well as foreign portfolio and strategic investors.”

RT Host Abby Martin Condemns Russian Incursion Into Crimea – On RT – The Intercept

“American media elites awash in an orgy of feel-good condemnation in particular love to mock Russian media, especially the government-funded English-language outlet RT, as being a source of shameless pro-Putin propaganda, where free expression is strictly barred (in contrast to the Free American Media). That that network has a strong pro-Russian bias is unquestionably true. But one of its leading hosts, Abby Martin, remarkably demonstrated last night what “journalistic independence” means by ending her Breaking the Set program with a clear and unapologetic denunciation of the Russian action in Ukraine”


Emerging Markets

Para la CGT de Moyano, la inflación de febrero alcanzó 4,65% y la anual, 31%

Estimates for inflation in o are running at 31% in the year to February

Ecuador $9.5 billion ruling against Chevron was corrupt: U.S. judge | Reuters

Turkish PM says rival will pay price as new recordings emerge | Reuters



How the US dollar destabilises the world | South China Morning Post

Lack of investment is stifling the global economy | Business |

“rather than deploy their abundant cash in new investments to expand capacity and tap new markets – which they have been very hesitant to do since the global financial crisis erupted – many companies have so far preferred (or have been pressured by activist investors) to give it back to shareholders.”



Global oil and gas drilling hits 30-year high: Kemp | Reuters



Intel buys smartwatch maker Basis for reported $100M to $150M 

Bitcoin bank Flexcoin shuts down after theft | Reuters

Secure Bitcoin Storage

Japan to regulate bitcoin – Telegraph

“Gains from trading bitcoins on online exchanges, purchases made with bitcoins and companies earning revenue from bitcoin transactions will be subject to Japanese tax”

Will Google Maps Ever Come to Apple CarPlay?

PC Shipments Dropped 9.8% in 2013 – IDC –

Video-Streaming Power of Roku Channeled Into a Stick –

FreedomPop Announces The Privacy Phone, A Fully-Encrypted Smartphone For $10 A Month | TechCrunch



Your tooth plaque can reveal diet, diseases hundreds of years after death | The Verge

GSElevator’s Open Letter To Haters – Business Insider

“For the avoidance of any doubt, any person who actually thought my Twitter feed was literally about verbatim conversations overhead in the elevators of Goldman Sachs is an idiot. Newsflash: GSElevator has never been about elevators. And, it’s never been specifically about Goldman Sachs; it’s about illuminating Wall Street culture in a fun and entertaining way.”

Is Airline Elite Status Only for Elites? – Bloomberg View

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