News: 2014-03-14

News links for 14 Mar 2014

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North America

Ticking Time Bomb: $1 Trillion Leveraged Loan/Junk Bond Issuance Record Cov Lite | David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Fear of Wages – NYTimes.com

U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud – NYTimes.com

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Retail Sales in U.S. Increase for First Time in 3 Months – Bloomberg

U.S. budget deficit smaller than expected in February | Reuters

Fannie investors may be using magic calculators | Considered View | Breakingviews

“Add it all together, and that’s $587 billion of value. That only just covers Fannie’s $555 billion in reported liabilities on its non-guarantee business at the end of 2013. The $32 billion difference doesn’t get close to covering the $117 billion of preferred stock owned by the Treasury, never mind leaving any cash left over for junior preferred or common shareholders like Fairholme.”

Shell to cut U.S. spending by 20 per cent after shale gas problems | Toronto Star

Retail Sales Rise 0.3% in February – WSJ.com

 

Technology

How to Keep the NSA From Spying Through Your Webcam | Threat Level | Wired.com

BBC News – Mark Zuckerberg ‘confused and frustrated’ by US spying

Target Didn’t Follow Up After Hackers Tripped Its Security System – WSJ.com

Facebook rolls out video ads, aims to capture part of TV-marketing budgets | Reuters

Here’s how Google Drive’s slashed prices compare to rivals – latimes.com

Amazon Raises Prime Subscription Price To $99 A Year – WSJ.com

 

China

China Shows Fresh Signs of Economic Weakness – WSJ.com

China Premier Li Keqiang Chooses ‘Softly, Softly’ Approach to Property Market – Real Time Economics – WSJ

China Housing to Face New Headwinds – WSJ.com

When will I Cu again | FT Alphaville

“Although a less attractive financing vehicle, the use of iron ore in import financing has gathered pace since the end of last year. This has been a function of elevated liquidity pressure at steel mills. In contrast to copper, we believe that iron ore financing is more vulnerable to unwind risks as iron ore positions are typically un-hedged thus subject to high volatility. Furthermore, as a low value product with greater difficulty for storage, iron ore financing is not sustainable, in our view”

China Steel Overcapacity “Beyond Imagination”: Official-Caijing

“The situation of China’s iron and steel industry, which has been afflicted by overcapacity and shaky debt, may be worse than expected, said an official with an industry association. Overcapacity in the industry was probably “beyond imagination,” said Li Xinchuang, executive vice-secretary general of the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA). The sector was facing an extremely complicated situation as a result of slowing growth, structural adjustments in the economy and policies to close old capacity, he warned.”

Ranking EM vulnerability to China | beyondbrics

“The chart below shows the most vulnerable countries –Chile, Colombia, Russia, South Africa and Peru – at the bottom and those least exposed at the top. NFC, by the way, stands for “non-food commodities” (more about that below).”

China is shaking, sending ripples from Perth to Peru | George Magnus

Barry Eichengreen offers two explanations for the renminbi’s depreciation in recent weeks. – Project Syndicate

China banks cut loans to bloated industries by up to 20 pct-sources | Reuters

“The squeeze has already caused a cash crunch for smaller steel mills and some commodity traders, especially in steel and iron ore.Some 16 steel mills in the top producing province of Hebei, around Beijing, have stopped production due to financial troubles, provincial governor Zhang Qingwei said last week. Some mills in northern Jiangsu province have also closed down.”

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China premier warns on economic slowdown as data fans stimulus talk | Capital City | IFRe

“Li skillfully dodged a question on how far Beijing would let economic growth slip before it steps in with policy measures to support activity. Still, he hinted at tolerance for below-target growth, as long as enough new jobs are created.”

 

Europe

Ireland Raises 1 Billion Euros in First Bond Auction Since 2010 – Bloomberg

Bundesbank president attacks Angela Merkel’s policies – FT.com

“Jens Weidmann, the president of the central bank and a former adviser to Ms Merkel, on Thursday said that the introduction of a minimum wage and attempts to cut the retirement age of some workers could damage the labour market. But his sharpest rebuttal was reserved for the coalition’s more conciliatory stance on the German trade balance. “

Royal Bank of Scotland nears junk bond status after Moody’s downgrade | Business | The Guardian

 

New Zealand

New Zealand raises interest rates – FT.com

 

Emerging Markets

Malaysian Airlines Jet Left Data Trail for Hours After Disappearing – China Real Time Report – WSJ

 

Ukraine

Russia counts cost as West tightens sanctions noose – Telegraph

$3 Billion for Ukraine Aid Would Go to Russia – NBC News.com

“As Western leaders prepare a bailout package for embattled Ukraine, they face a startling irony: Thanks to the almost bizarre structure of a bond deal between Ukraine and Russia, billions of those dollars are almost certain to go directly into the coffers of the Putin government.”

Austria arrests Ukraine oligarch Dmitry Firtash at US request – FT.com

“Dmitry Firtash, the Russia-linked Ukrainian oligarch, was arrested in Austria on at the request of the US, a move seen in Kiev as Washington putting pressure on Vladimir Putin over Moscow’s intervention in Crimea”

The Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun – PaulCraigRoberts.org

35 countries where the U.S. has supported fascists, drug lords and terrorists – Salon.com

Propaganda, lies and the New York Times: Everything you really need to know about Ukraine – Salon.com

Ukraine crisis: US warns of reprisals if Crimea poll goes ahead – FT.com

OECD Puts Russia’s Accession Process on Hold – WSJ.com

Russia Massing Military Forces Near Border With Ukraine – NYTimes.com

Russia starts military exercises near Ukraine | Reuters

Oekraïne richt vrijwilligersleger op | nu.nl/buitenland | Het laatste nieuws het eerst op nu.nl

Ukraine has formed a National Guard. Looking for 60,000 volunteers.

 

Economics

The money multiplier is dead

 

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