News links for 8 Apr 2014
“growth is trending down and inflation is trending up – dangerously so.“
“The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines—particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin—is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm.There are notable exceptions, but a general pattern has developed. Even in the venerable New York Times and Washington Post, news reports, editorials and commentaries no longer adhere rigorously to traditional journalistic standards, often failing to provide essential facts and context; to make a clear distinction between reporting and analysis; to require at least two different political or “expert” views on major developments; or to publish opposing opinions on their op-ed pages. As a result, American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.”
” Never have young people been more disengaged from representative democracy: in the UK, this is less a matter of apathy than an abstention from voting for a political class seen as untrustworthy and remote. “I don’t vote because to me it seems like a tacit act of compliance,” says Russell Brand, a comedian who has spoken for many. “I know, I know, my grandparents fought in two world wars (and one World Cup) so that I’d have the right to vote. Well, they were conned. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing to vote for.” Nearly 10m people have viewed on YouTube a BBC Newsnight interview with Mr Brand, who wants a “total revolution of consciousness” to sweep away the social, political and economic system (details to follow in a book in October).”
“PIMCO shares these concerns and agrees that strong demand in both syndicated loans and high yield, driven by steady flows from retail and institutional investors, has indeed led to a deterioration of terms in leveraged credit.”
This article from Friday in the FAZ says that the ECB has modeled 1 trillion euros of QE in order to prevent deflation.
Here Weidmann and Rehn argue against giving France any leeway on the deficit. The fear is a repeat of 2004 when Germany and France broke the stability and growth pact.
This German article wonders if the chaos in eastern Ukraine is the beginning of another annexation by Russia
This German commentary argues that the Germans should not allow the French to break the EU deficit rules
“The surprisingly frank remarks seeking a lower yen by Mr. Honda is in stark contrast to restrained comments by Tokyo policymakers who have been careful in avoiding being seen as manipulating the Japanese currency. Following the yen’s drop early last year, overseas governments and central banks have pressured Japan not to resort to a weaker yen to boost its exports at the expense of foreign economies.”
Note that the title should read “Ukraine says Crimea cost it over $10 bln in lost natural resources”
“Seventy years ago, the US imposed a set of global institutions on the world that enshrined its universal values. Today, Bretton Woods and the UN are fraying. No country, even the US, has the power to reinvent them. Whether the US is led by a multilateralist or a unilateralist, the values underlying them are also under challenge. The world is drifting back into a situation of assertive regional powers and a weakening hegemon. It is hard to believe that whoever replaces Mr Obama will have better luck in reversing the tide.”