News: 2014-03-08

News links for 8 Mar 2014

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North America

Snowden Says He Reported N.S.A. Surveillance Concerns Before Leaks – NYTimes.com

“Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents revealing the agency’s surveillance operations, said he raised his concerns to more than 10 officials, “none of whom took any action to address them,” before he decided to give the documents to journalists.”

New bonds in the time of the inverted yield curve | MuniLand

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U.S. Adds 175,000 Jobs; Unemployment Ticks Up to 6.7% – WSJ.com

Pace of Student Lending Shows Signs of Easing – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Upward Grind in Labor Markets Continues – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

Stanford Takes Away A Grad’s MBA Degree | LinkedIn

Canadian jobs picture dims as economy sheds 7,000 jobs in February | Toronto Star

Mexico’s auto sector revs up, says Scotiabank | Toronto Star

How Canada’s weak economy is ‘struggling to create many new jobs’

 

Markets

Junk-bond bears appear as rally seems to be near its end

 

Europe

Economia da zona euro caiu 0,5% no ano passado – Economia – DN

In 2013, GDP in the eurozone fell 0.5%, while it rose 0.1% in the EU as a whole.

Freihandelsabkommen TTIP: Grüne veröffentlichen geheimes EU-Dokument – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Interesting article here that says 3 Green Party MPs released the EU free trade negotiation positioning with the EU because they felt people needed to know. This comes ahead of European Parliamentary elections. I would note that, as with these kinds of agreements, the documents give corporations equal status with countries allowing them to sue for breaching the agreement. In that sense they supercede national law for the benefit of industry. 

ekathimerini.com | Car sales up 16.6 percent in February

Vodafone raises bid for Spanish company Ono – Telegraph

Dublin house price boom sparks fears over asset bubble | Money | The Guardian

 

Ukraine

Condoleezza Rice: Will America heed the wake-up call of Ukraine? – The Washington Post

Condoleezza Rice’s op-ed sees Putin correctly but is couched only in adversarial projection of American power terms. The projection of American power vision guiding Condoleezza Rice’s WaPo op-ed implicitly sees a hegemonic US protecting its status globally. The strategic benefits of this US-as-hegemon worldview are vastly outweighed by the economic and strategic costs

Henry Kissinger: To settle the Ukraine crisis, start at the end – The Washington Post

Very good historical and diplomatic perspective on Ukraine crisis from Henry Kissinger

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Seven Stocks at Risk in Ukraine – Barrons.com

“Based on their business operations, oil giant Gazprom (ticker: GAZP.Russia) is the most exposed, followed by Russian banks Sberbank (SBER.Russia) and VTB Bank (VTBR.Russia), and then telecom operators Mobile Telesystems (MBT) and VimpelCom (VIP). “

What the US Media’s Celebration of Protesting RT Anchors Conveniently Ignores | The Dissenter

Obama tut sich schwer mit dem Ex-KGB-Offizier – Ukraine – derStandard.at › International

A very good Austrian analysis of the world views and policy choices of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin in this Austrian paper

Bringing the Pain

This article is on the viability of sanctions against Russia

 

Emerging Markets

Q4 2013 ‘Flow of Funds’ and Geopolitical | Doug Noland | Safehaven.com

“We’re now fully five years into the “global government finance Bubble.” I have argued that the emerging markets (EM) have been a major recipient of post-mortgage finance Bubble reflationary monetary stimulus. I have posited that EM is this global Bubble’s “subprime.” Moreover, it is my view that the EM Bubble is in the initial phase of deflating.”

China exports hobbled by data distortions – FT.com

Handelsdefizit Chinas Exporte sinken, Importe steigen – SPIEGEL ONLINE

In this article, it says that the Chinese export slump and import rise is not purely a statistical aberration. What I make of it is that there is some rebalancing going on, lunar new year or not.

Venezuela renews $5 bln China credit line, seeks Russia financing | Reuters

Venezuela: Der staatliche Ölkonzern PDVSA ist ruiniert | ZEIT ONLINE

This is a great article which points out how Venezuela’s oil subsidy program is ruinous economically. And note that were the state to pass through the cost of oil, it would make the social problems worse. They have nowhere to go strategically.

YPF Profit Rises 88% on Higher Prices and Increased Production – Bloomberg

 

Technology

Finally a smartwatch concept that I could actually see myself wearing

T-Mobile Raises Price for Unlimited Plan – WSJ.com

T-Mobile adds more data, international texting to its Simple Choice plans | The Verge

Anonymous Messaging App Secret Raises Almost $10 Million – Digits – WSJ

How to setup 2-step verification to secure your Gmail account

The Satoshi Paradox : Columbia Journalism Review

Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon: Excerpt From ‘The Everything Store’ by Brad Stone – Businessweek

 

Elsewhere

Why Is Hotel Room Service So Expensive?

 

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