News links for 1 Mar 2014
This makes sense.
I wouldn’t say I agree but this is a view many hold: “The Fed could have cut it policy rate in both meetings and signaled it was committed to cycle of easing. It did not and that seems to be what turned an ordinary recession into something far worse. Note that this passive tightening of monetary policy preceded the worst phase of the financial meltdown. So yes, Robert Hetzel, Matthew Yglesias, Matthew O’Brien, Ramesh Ponnuru, James Pethokoukis, Scott Sumner, and Marcus Nunes are correct to claim that by doing nothing the Fed spawned the Great Recession. “
“Enthusiasm for Tesla must be balanced by a recognition of challenges ahead as the Palo Alto, California-based company works to boost sales more than 20-fold from 2013 to Musk’s goal of at least half a million, said James Albertine, an equity analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., who rates the carmaker a hold. “As a luxury manufacturer they’ve done very well, but they have a long way to go to get to the mass market,” Albertine said by phone. “I remain skeptical that they can get from 35,000 vehicles this year to 500,000 10 years from now.””
“Amazon gives away movies and TV shows to people who join its Amazon Prime subscription service. When will it start giving away music, too? Maybe this year. People have been predicting that Amazon would offer a Spotify-like music subscription service, most likely bundled with its Prime delivery option, for some time. But industry sources say Amazon is now engaged in more serious talks with big music labels about making that happen.”
“Today, Argentina remains Brazil’s No. 3 trading partner, after China and the U.S., and Brazilian companies export many of their cars, washers, refrigerators and other products to Argentina. However, the weight of Argentina in overall Brazilian exports is shrinking, falling from 15 percent a decade ago to 8 percent now. That’s been replaced in large part with more Chinese trade.”
“What was it that brought so many people out against Nicholas Maduro’s United Socialist Party? There’s no simple answer for that, but this week we discussed one idea: That the personal economic gains many of Venezuela’s poorer people had seen under Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, were eroding due to rampant inflation and a lack of basic goods. The theory is backed up by dramatic data from Gallup that appeared to show people were beginning to feel the pinch.”
“For Russia, matters in Ukraine are close to an existential crisis, as Ukraine is intimately tied up with Russia’s sense of itself as presiding over a mini-empire of sorts. Nor could an autocratic Russia tolerate a free and prosperous Ukraine, developing along the lines of Poland. America cares about Ukraine less, and cares more about Syria and Iran, or at least cares about saving face in those latter venues. Therefore there is a Coasean deal to be had between America and Russia, where Russia gets to partition part of Ukraine, create a buffer against Europeanization and democratization, keep the larger Ukraine unit weak, and also keep its Black Sea fleet.”
GDP in Sweden grew at a pretty robust 3.1% pace in 2013. The fourth quarter was a bit weaker at 1.7% growth pace compared to Q3 2013.
““There’s a flight-to-quality bid developing over the concerns about what’s going on in the Ukraine,” said David Coard, head of fixed-income trading in New York at Williams Capital Group LP, a brokerage for institutional investors. “There is concern the economy is going the wrong way, and it’s not necessarily weather-related.” “