News links for 12 Mar 2014
▶ Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama, Zach Galifianakis, Scott Aukerman, BJPorter, Funny Or Die, Between Two Ferns, rachelgoldenberg, Brian Lane, Aaron Ulrich, and BoTown Sound
This video is pretty funny
“With no information about the job “applicants” other than their appearance, the managers (of both sexes) were twice as likely to hire a man over a woman.”
“Merchandise piled up on wholesalers’ shelves in January, likely reflecting a shift in consumer spending toward heat and healthcare during a bad-weather month. Wholesale inventories climbed 0.6% from December, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales tumbled 1.9%, the sharpest decline since the tail end of the recession in March 2009.”
“Ukraine’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, said on Tuesday that the US plans to loan $1 billion to the country’s new authorities are illegal. “Indeed, in accordance with the amendments introduced to the 1961 law (Foreign Assistance Act) a few years ago the provision of foreign assistance is prohibited to ‘the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.’ The relevant provision is contained in 22 US Code § 8422,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “
““It’s my view that the Obama administration and other European leaders are deliberately raising the spectre of serious economic sanctions as a means to reach a political settlement in the short term,” said outgoing US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul. “They understand the long-term consequences of actively implementing these measures and would much prefer a resolution over having to implement difficult sanctions that would be very costly for the Russian economy and which would be difficult for European powers and the West to execute over the long term.””
“No successful Eastern European government has been asked to impose a dramatic austerity and reform program prior to democratic elections; it would be utter folly to start now.”
“The copper market is spooked. After falling 4 per cent on Friday, the red metal tumbled as much as 2.6 per cent on Monday on the London Metal Exchange. At $6,608 a tonne for three-month delivery, the price was within a whisker of its lowest price in nearly four years. “
“Mediobanca, Banco Santander, Bank of Ireland and CaixaBank opened books for new senior and covered bond issues and quickly attracted strong demand despite spreads being at five-year lows, showing that more and more investors are buying into the European banking system recovery story.”
“The five-year covered bond attracted strong demand with the order book of €2.2m about three times over-subscribed. The yield was 1.82pc with the issue sold to a range of over 140 international investors.”
“UniCredit has announced a record annual net loss of €14bn as Italy’s biggest bank by assets cleaned up its balance sheet by taking big writedowns on bad debts and goodwill ahead of European stress tests later this year.”
Spanish bond spreads to Bunds are at the lowest level since 2010 and yields are the lowest since 2006.
Labor costs rose 3.2%in Spain in 2013
House sales fell 17% in 2013 in Spain.
Spanish banks are the most exposed amongst developed economy sectors to the emerging markets.
Slight deflation in Spain on a year over year basis of 0.1%
Natural gas production fell 5% in Argentina last year.