Weekend reading links – 19.12.2015

This one is almost three weeks too late. I doubt, however, if the links have lost their relevance. Hence, posting them now. Hope to resume regular duties from the weekend of Jan. 9. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

In my previous ‘Weekend reading links’,  I had linked about the decline in Global Planetary GDP. This week, I add to the story. IMF Research Staff dismisses the talk of errors and says that the calculation is in USD which has strengthened and hence, the drop in planetary GDP.

This article has interesting arguments against central banks and negative interest rates.

A tweet with an interesting excerpt from BofA-ML research on the divorce of the US dollar and the Chinese yuan

The head of China’s fourth-largest state bank has stepped down citing personal reasons on December 4. The departure of Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. president Zhang Yun is linked to a separate graft probe on another executive, who headed a regional branch, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Missing Chinese executives are either being investigated or assisting investigations. That is very comforting. List of top bankers who disappeared or died unnatural deaths this year.

Party workers in China’s rust belt falsified and inflated growth numbers. What about the rest of the country?

China more than triples Macau’s size with new maritime jurisdiction

Andy Mukherjee on stock analysts’ bullishness on mining companies. The more things change, the more….

It is a bubble and someone who has seen it before, says so.

I have a blog post on the Indo-Japan announcement of a new bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad with Japanese assistance.

India’s own ‘Li Keqiang’ index shows that economic growth in the fiscal second quarter (July – Sept.) slowed down and is around 6%. Feels right.

Fascinating philosophical questions that driverless cars throw up.

Very useful link to articles that appeared in FT in 2015 on Finance.

Sri Lanka clears the deck for a controversial port project with China.

Michael Lewis’ ‘Big Short’ is a movie now.

Cathay Pacific experiences YoY slump in cargo traffic, first time in two years.

Lucy Kellaway introduces Guffipedia and many existing Guff entries here. She is the eternal bullshit-buster.

Rudolf Guiliani calls for less finessing in confronting terrorism in the name of Islam

Bloomberg features best books of 2015 from its famous clients.

Wells Fargo warns of stresses in its Energy Portfolio.

Lucidus Capital Partners, a high-yield fund, started by people with some pedigree, has decided to shut. Third high-profile one, in as many days.


Paris Climate Change Links

How the pact was won with a ‘typo’ tweak. So, it appears that there are no binding targets based on differentiated responsibilities, on the developed world.

On balance, did India really win more than what it had lost in this summit? It was a clear loser in the previous two summits, thanks to Jairam Ramesh. Check out the link. It is interesting to see how India’s ‘Wins’ and ‘Losses’ have been visually presented.

This is not a legally binding treaty, as was the Kyoto Protocol, says this Reuters report.

No legal rights to compensation for vulnerable countries.

Bloomberg report focuses on the shift in fossil fuels.

Audrey Chia in South China Morning Post writes a brief note about India’s chotukool

How ‘Indaba’ – a negotiating and discussion technique – helped achieve breakthrough in climate talks.


Italy bails out retail creditors after bailing them into the rescue of four banks. Who sold them subordinated bank debt? Good question to ask.

Russia launches its own credit rating agency. What happened to Dagong?

John Kemp’s analysis of the current oil market situation with that of the 1980s is a good read. Well written.

Story in Nikkei Review on Saudi Arabia selling stocks of Japanese companies to raise money.

Euromoney has a good story on HFT in UST. Quite what the message of the story on HFT is, is unclear though.

Dominic Elliott in Reuters has a story on how the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has rolled back a provision requiring banks not to use credit rating agencies’ assessment to measure the credit riskiness of certain assets. Another case of more they change, the more they remain the same.

Barry Eichengreen adds his own anecdotal tale to the debate on the paradox of missing productivity. The article feels incomplete. Perhaps, that is par for the course.

Attali said the impending risk of a financial crisis contributes to his belief that “we are not far from World War III.”

India’s small companies have lower debt and lower financing costs. They are driving investment. Good to hear that.

Black swans (or base case scenarios) for 2016.

Danes have three-times of their disposable income as gross debt. Central banker is concerned about financial and macro stability. Surprised!

America’s cronyism at the heart of financial markets:

(1) Accounting industry and the SEC hobble America’s audit watchdog. This is part 3 of a series.

(2) How Wall Street captured Washington’s effort to rein in banks. (Part 2)

(3) US banks moved billions of dollars in trades offshore (Part 1)

How to get the Federal Funds rate to rise when there is so much excess reserve in the system? Some technical details here.

U.S banks have lowered their underwriting standards, warns OCC


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