News links for 19 Mar 2014
In the Netherlands, 76.9% of women who work do so part time. Is this “truly a free choice” asks the OECD secretary general.
Exports out of Portugal grew by 5% in 2013. Imports grew only 1% during that time
Labor costs in Spain rose at the fastest pace in four years in Q4 2013 at a 2.1% rate
Central banks – Money
The annexation of Crimea is starting to feel a bit like the Anschluss of Austria by Hitler. I hesitate to make the comparison but the rhetoric from Putin’s speech sounds like the Lebensraum stuff we heard then.
“The stronger Russia’s grip on Crimea becomes, the more support is needed for pro-Ukrainian residents and military personnel there. However, the past weeks have demonstrated that government officials in Kiev are failing to provide such support and the burden has fallen to self-organized groups of volunteers.”
“BIS data for September 2013 shows reporting European banks had claims in the amount of $156 billion in Russia, against less than $40 billion of the US (Figure 1). Within the EU, France is certainly the most exposed, at $51 billion (see Figure 3). Italy comes second with $28.6 billion, followed by Germany at $23.7 billion, the UK at $19 billion, the Netherlands at $17.6 billion and Sweden at about $14 billions. “
This could be prima facie evidence of a bubble
“the “corporate cash” narrative over the last 5 years is an anti-business one which claims that businesses are making gobs of money, but they’re not spending it. But you could spin this narrative however you wanted to.”
“The new FiveThirtyEight is up, and Tyler Cowen is not impressed. I’m sorry to say that I had the same reaction. Here’s hoping that Nate Silver and company up their game, soon.”
Much of the attention on the misuse of virtual currencies has focused on how criminals – from drug dealers to illegal weapons traffickers to computer hackers – have used virtual currencies for online trade in illicit goods and services. That attention is certainly well-deserved. But less attention has been given to the potential national security risks posed by virtual currencies.
“The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.”
“If the United States experiences secular stagnation, the condition will be self-inflicted. It will reflect the country’s failure to address its infrastructure, education and training needs and to take steps to repair the damage caused by the Great Recession”