Links: 2013-09-18

iOS 7: A Complete Guide To New Features & Changes

Chinese Home-Price Increases Pick Up Steam –

“Average new-home prices in 70 Chinese cities rose faster in August than at any time since January 2011 despite government measures to keep property prices in check, spurred by strong home-buying in major cities.

It was the seventh straight month of price increases compared with year-earlier levels, data released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.”

François Hollande admits French taxes are ‘too much’ –

“Mr Hollande has promised a “tax pause”, backing up his finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, who last month triggered a political tremor when he said he was “very conscious that the French are fed up with taxes”.

French business leaders have been clamouring for relief from a relentless increase in the tax burden, which government projections show will rise to 46.5 per cent of gross domestic product next year, one of the highest levels among developed economies.”

Cyprus to End Capital Controls in January, President Says – Bloomberg

“Cyprus plans to lift all restrictions on the movement of money in January, almost a year after becoming the first euro member to seize bank deposits and impose capital controls to avert a financial collapse. “

U.S. Telcos Have Never Challenged NSA Demands for Your Metadata | Threat Level |

““To this date, no holder of records who has received an Order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an Order,” reads the ruling. “Indeed, no recipient of any Section 215 Order has challenged the legality of such an Order, despite the explicit statutory mechanism for doing so.””

Apple Reinvents Its Wheel With iOS 7, Takes Developers Along For The Ride | TechCrunch

“Today brings the release of the most dramatic iOS update that Apple has ever made. More people will experience this change in a shorter period of time than at any point in computing history.

“Measured by the number of people that are going to see a big change within the same 24-hour period,” says Evernote CEO Phil Libin, “I think iOS 7 is the biggest day in technology ever. There’s never been another day like this in the history of the universe where hundreds of millions of people will see a big change to something that they’re used to. Nothing of this scale has ever occurred.””

BlackBerry reportedly slashing workforce by 40% this year — Tech News and Analysis

“BlackBerry’s employee head count of 12,700 may be down to under 8,000 before the end of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The company continues to slash costs as it is losing smartphone market share to iOS, Android and, most recently, to Windows Phone.”

CyanogenMod Forms Cyanogen Inc With $7 Million in Funding, to Release CM Installer App Through Google Play – Droid Life

“The CyanogenMod that you have come to know intimately over the last several years is now Cyanogen Inc., a company funded by Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures that wants to make installing CyanogenMod easier than ever on your phone. Announced this morning via the official CM blog, Cyanogen Inc. (with $7 million in Series A funding) can now dedicate their resources full-time to continuing to build “best mobile OS—created by the users for users.” “

Secret court declassifies opinion providing rationale for metadata sharing | Ars Technica

“The new opinion also reminds us that no telco has ever challenged the legality of such an FISC order, even though there is a legal means for them to do so. Currently, the only way that this order could be challenged would be if Verizon or another recipient of a government order did so. At present under the court’s logic, Verizon customers, or the customers of another telco, would have no standing to challenge the court’s order.”

Productivity gap between UK and other G7 nations widens to largest in 20 years | Business |

“Output per hour in Britain is 29% lower than in US and 24% lower than in Germany and France, ONS says” | Cyprus jobless increase faster than anticipated, commission says

“Cyprus’s unemployment increased at a faster pace than anticipated under its bailout program and constitutes a serious challenge for the future, the European Commission said in a report on Wednesday.

The jobless rate will increase to 19.5 percent in 2014 from 17 percent this year, the European Union’s Brussels-based executive arm said in its assessment of Cyprus’s compliance with the terms of its aid plan.”

China’s credit boom is spiralling out of control, warns Fitch – Telegraph

“China’s massive credit boom is rapidly growing to unsustainable levels and over-extended financial institutions risk being pushed over the edge by rising interest rates, according to rating agency Fitch. “

Merkel election campaign gathers pace in east Germany heartland –

“CDU is also gaining support across the east as a whole. According to the latest poll from the Infratest market research agency, some 37 per cent of easterners will vote CDU on Sunday, up from 30 per cent in the last election in 2009. That’s the highest since the early 1990s, when the party basked in post-reunification euphoria.”

Obama braces for budget showdown with hardline Republicans | World news |

“Bowing to internal pressures, John Boehner announced GOP would try to withhold funding from Affordable Healthcare Act”

One-Hundred-Year Bond Wipeout in Mexico Triggered by Fed – Bloomberg

“Three years after Mexico took advantage of the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus effort to sell the world’s longest-dated government debt, the Latin America nation’s timing is proving to be prescient.

Mexico’s bonds due 2110 have plunged 21.2 cents since Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on May 22 that policy makers may taper their monthly asset purchases of $85 billion. On a total return basis, the 17.4 percent decline was the most among investment-grade sovereign notes maturing in 30 years or more, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At 92.94 cents on the dollar, the 100-year bonds currently trade below their issue price of 94.276 cents and yield 6.19 percent. “

U.S. mortgage lending up 38 percent, racial disparities persist | Reuters

“U.S. mortgage lending increased by 38 percent last year, boosted by significant refinancing activity, with white and Asian borrowers continuing to enjoy greater access to credit for purchases than blacks or Hispanics, regulators said on Wednesday.”

No Taper – Yet – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

“The FOMC pulled yet another rabbit out of the hat by holding off on the expected taper, slamming down on analysts (including yours truly) who thought the Fed would pull the trigger today. “

Google’s Eric Schmidt says government spying is ‘the nature of our society’ | World news |

“Tech giant’s executive chairman calls for greater transparency but declines to ‘pass judgment’ on spying operations”

A shield law for journalists might seem like a good idea, but it isn’t — it’s actually a terrible idea — paidContent

“A proposed “shield law” for journalists is intended to protect them from government pressure and intervention. But what it really does is allow the government to define who gets to be a journalist and who doesn’t. And that’s dangerous.”

John Sculley Just Gave His Most Detailed Account Ever Of How Steve Jobs Got Fired From Apple – Forbes

“On Thursday, Sculley gave perhaps his fullest public account ever of the circumstances surrounding Apple’s firing of Steve Jobs, spending eight extemporaneous and uninterrupted minutes on the most infamous human resource decision in business history.”

The European Consequences of Germany’s Election by Kemal Derviş – Project Syndicate

“A German government coalition that includes the SDP or the Greens (now a central player in German politics) could thus accelerate the reform and integration that the eurozone needs. That would enable Europe, now with the full support of Germany, to recover more rapidly from its economic malaise and to take on the global leadership role that has eluded it for so long.”

Ignore the doomsayers: Europe is being fixed –

Self-congratulation from Wolfgang Schäuble, a prominent promoter of the disastrous austerity policies that have wracked Europe. Read and learn.

Triple shocks threaten Europe’s sickly and deformed recovery – Telegraph

This sums it up well:

“Europe has not recovered. It has begun to stabilise, but only just, amid mass unemployment, with debt trajectories still spiralling out of control in Italy, Portugal, Spain and once again in Greece. “

The Banality of Systemic Evil –

“what happens when people play their “proper” roles within a system, following prescribed conduct with respect to that system, while remaining blind to the moral consequences of what the system was doing — or at least compartmentalizing and ignoring those consequences.”


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.

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