Links 4th January

Here’s a list of things Reynard read overnight.


North America:



  • Putin grants Depardieu russian citizenship ABC
  • Germany’s downward trend NYT
  • Germany ILO Employment recovered in Nov, Jobless rate stable MNI
  • Barclays: Why Spain might not be forced into an ESM program in Q1 after all eFXnews
  • Latvian austerity fervor outstrips IMF after loan payback Bloomberg and a but more on Latvia Krugman
  • Greek bad loans increase by 50 percent in 2012 Ekathimerini
  • Lagarde list probe unveils large-scale tax evasion Ekathimerini
  • UK house prices fall in 0.1% as property market ends fragile year Bloomberg
  • UK construction PMI tanks in December Markit
  • Italian car sales continue to fall Cigilo
  • French funding cost hits record-low despite gloomy outlook WSJ
  • Spanish UE sinks at record rate in December Telegraph UK
  • Spanish city’s locksmiths say they’ll no longer assist with evictions
  • Portugal warns EU-IMF troika to back off on austerity demands Ambrose
  • John Brumby calls for reform timetable as ex-premier defends COAG TheOz
  • Qld government considers scrapping compulsory voting ABC
  • CBA shares at record high AFR
  • ‘Bed tax an option’ for tourist hot spots SMH
  • Smokers set to be taxed out of habit TheOz
  • New power for ATO ‘puts business at risk’ TheOz
  • Tinkler could face supreme court over debt AFR


  • To thwart hackers, firms salting their servers with fake data Washington Post
  • Benjamin Netanyahu losing support ahead of election Telegraph UK
  • Paying with ‘kisses’ as Brazil social currencies spread BBC



  1. Krugman solution to everything is continuing and more debt.
    Latvia, almost totally without resources, has improved its unemployment. USA with massive natural resources, the world’s reserve currency, with rapidly rising internal and external debt, has unemployment virtually stuck and no solution in sight.

    Sometimes American arrogance really gets to me.

    • Indeed, I do however enjoy the Niall Ferguson vs Paul Krugman ongoing fight/debate. Mostly because in the real world they’re both wrong and neither of their long term stratergies could be applied without doing serious long term damage.

  2. Systemic Risk from Global Financial
    Derivatives: A Network Analysis of Contagion
    and Its Mitigation with Super-Spreader Tax


    A major hallmark of SIFIs (Systemiacally Important Financial Institutions)is their activity in financial derivatives markets. The analysis of this paper has one clear message. The global derivatives markets in the post Lehman period, despite considerable compression of bilateral positions, are unstable and they can bring about catastrophic failure. Quite simply, a threat of failure to any of the SIFIs is an immediate threat to the others. The network topology where the very high percentage of exposures is concentrated among a few highly interconnected banks implies that they will stand and fall together. This topological fragility of the derivatives markets as risk sharing institutions has an implicit moral hazard problem that undermines their social usefulness.”

    • Further evidence that the IMF would appear to be pursuing a brand new course.
      They even thought Latvia’s early loan repayment was going too far.
      My inner conspiracy theorist says DSK’s NY Sofitel fellatrix is to be thanked.

  3. The Aussie tourist hot spots (e.g. Byron Bay) could try introducing social currency (à la Brazillian ‘kisses’). At least it might clean up the rubbish.