Sunday, January 27, 2013


  • (FT) The salmon fish farming industry is now testing the use of protein from biological yeast and Norwegian spruce trees, in an effort to go to 0% fishmeal in the feed.

  • A document obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE indicates the German government is preparing to procure armed drones for foreign combat. Opposition politicians are outraged by the development and note that the use of weapons-equipped unmanned aircraft is legally dubious and possibly unethical.

  • Global Smartphone shipments grew 43% YoY to reach a record 700 million units in 2012. QoQ, Nokia's net sale of smart devices rose by 26%.

  • (BBC) Mussolini had been wrong to pass anti-Jewish laws but had otherwise been a good leader, said Mr Berlusconi.

  • According to global consultancy Ernst and Young, worldwide investments done in line with Islamic law, known as Shari'ah, will reach 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars globally in 2013.

  • British economy contracts 0.3% in Q4 of 2012.

  • Spanish economy contracts by 1.3%in 2012 -- unemployment reached 26.02% in December. Meanwhile, youth unemployment in Spain stood at 55.13%. Thanks A (Austerity) Merkel.

  • A think tank predicted that China's GDP would grow in 2013 at a rate of 8.4%, up by 0.6% from that of 2012.

  • (Telegraph) Apple shuttled $11bn (£7bn) into offshore tax havens in the fourth quarter of 2012, an analysis of its corporate filings has revealed. The iPad maker has slashed its tax bill by paying less than 2% on its overseas profits, as it moves money through offshoots in low-tax countries such as the British Virgin Islands. Apple's completely legal tax avoidance strategies bring the total the company has sheltered from the US tax authorities to $94bn, according to a Sunday Times analysis. Corporation tax on Apple's overseas operations amount to just 1.9pc of profits, compared with a tax rate of up to 24pc in the UK and 35pc in the US.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


  • Germany showed a paltry growth of just 0.7%.
  • German consumer prices rose by 2.1% in December

  • Eurozone inflation rose by 2.2% in December

  • (Bloomberg) Housing starts in the U.S. climbed 12.1 percent last month to a 954,000 annual rate, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists

  • (Spiegel) Young Europeans in countries hit hardest by the Continent's economic crisis are finding it difficult to move out of their parents' home. Data shows that over 50% of those aged 25 to 34 in some countries have yet to move out.

  • Pakistan Tumbles into Chaos again. A self-proclaimed revolutionary is attracting mass protests, while the highest court has ordered the prime minister's arrest and the military waits in the wings.

  • The Koch brothers are urging Republican/Tea to show restraint during US debt ceiling negotiations, representing quite a shift in position by the extreme right Americans for Prosperity.

  • World Bank estimates global economic growth rate at 2.4% in 2013.

  • Spanish inflation rate rose by 2.9 % in 2012

  • Global containership capacity grew 6% to 16.3 TEU million in 2012

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mario Draghi has saved the rich, now he must save the poor By then millions of people will have fallen into an "enormous poverty trap," to borrow the words of EU jobs chief Laszlo Andor. It is why Gustav Horn -- head of Germany’s IMK Institute and one of the country’s five `Wise Men’ -- called for an end to the contractionary torture last week. "It’s a vicious circle. Excess austerity is not reducing debt, it is causing debt to rise," he said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


  • The Obama administration killed the idea of minting platinum coins in the denomination of 1 trillion U.S. dollars to generate revenue and avoid the looming battle with Republicans on raising the federal government's debt ceiling

  • Arlan Suderman‏: Global corn stocks down to 48.8-day supply and trending lower - tightest in 39 years.
  • U.S. Domestic corn stocks at a 19.5-day supply - 2nd tightest of the past 50 years

  • The Japanese cabinet approved a stimulus package worth 20 trillion yen (about 224 billion U.S. dollars), aiming to shore up Japan's current stagnant economy by beating chronic deflation and tackling the strong yen.

  • S. Korean central bank cuts 2013 growth outlook to 2.8 %

  • China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.5% YoY in December.
  • China's producer price index (PPI), which measures inflation at wholesale level, fell 1.9 % YoY in December.

  • ECB holds key interest rate at 0.75%

  • Indonesia keeps key rate unchanged at 5.75%

  • Almost 200,000 New Zealanders are considering leaving the country to find work abroad, according to the results of a survey

  • Spanish unemployment rate reaches 26.6% in November

  • Greece's unemployment rate climbed to a record 26.8% in October.

  • (FT) Chinese exports and imports rebounded strongly in December, pointing to solid economic growth both in China and abroad. Exports rose 14.1 per cent YoY, the fastest in seven months and well above November’s 2.9 per cent pace. Imports increased 6 % in December from a year earlier after flatlining in November. Both outstripped most forecasts.

  • (Bloomberg) Steve and Amber Mostyn, wealthy Texas trial attorneys, said today that they are giving $1 million to help start the gun-control advocacy group formed by former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

  • Companies in the S&P 500 are sitting on a record cash pile of $1 trillion according to data from S&P Dow Jones indices.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Paying for It A man walks into a bar. He orders several rounds, downs them, and staggers out. The man has got plastered, the bar owner has got the man’s money, and the public will get stuck with the tab for the cops who have to fish the man out of the gutter.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff Deal and the Damage Done
The economy-as-family metaphor is familiar, emotionally intuitive—and incorrect. It’s a fallacy of composition: What’s true for the part is not necessarily true for the whole. While a single family can get its finances back on track by spending less than it earns, it’s impossible for everyone to do that simultaneously. When the plumber skips a haircut, the barber can’t afford to have his drains cleaned.


  • Friday's U.S. jobless rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics remained unchanged from its revised level the previous month, adding 155,000 jobs, roughly equal to the average 153,000 jobs added monthly over the first 11 months of the year. "At December's growth rate the labor market will not fill in (the) gap until the end of 2021," said Heidi Shierholz, economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

  • The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 4.3% from October 2011, the biggest 12-month advance since May 2010.

  • U.S. GDP expanded at a 3.1 % annual rate, the Commerce Department said. It was the fastest growth since late 2011.

  • Sales of existing houses increased 5.9 % to a 5.04 million annual rate, the most since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported.

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts reckons that nearly a third of Americans who, as teenagers in the 1970s, belonged to the middle class have slipped below it as adults.

  • The Fed is planning to continue suppressing interest rates so long as the unemployment rate remained above 6.5%. In addition, they will not relent in its focus on unemployment unless the medium-term outlook for inflation rises above 2.5%.

  • U.S. foreclosure starts fell 13% MoM and were down 28% YoY

  • Eurozone finance ministers agreed to cede power to a common bank supervisor in Frankfurt -- its first big step towards banking union.

  • The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 %. The figures suggest that the US economy has a little more momentum than previously thought.

  •  (Spiegel) The guns have been silent in Iraq for years, but in Basra and Fallujah the number of birth defects and cancer cases is on the rise. Locals believe that American uranium-tipped munitions are to blame.

  • All members of the U.N. Security Council, with the lone exception of the United States, have publicly condemned Israel's recent settlement expansion activities and called for them to end.