Weekend reading links – 7th May 2016


On April 28, Finnish Parliament debated exiting the EU as the idea had gathered more than 50,000 signatures.

A good tour of the state of the European economy seen through six countries.

London’s Labour Party mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan points out that one could rent a hotel all year around in some European capitals cheaper than one could rent a flat in London. He won.

European Central Bank to abolish EUR500.00 notes in 2018. The IfO institute in Germany is not amused. Only one in three Germans trust the ECB anyway.

DBRS of Canada (heard of it?) maintains investment grade credit rating for Portugal keeping it eligible for ECB funding. Very convenient.


Two articles on the impossibility of reviving American manufacturing – both from the previous week.

Three weak theories on the weakness of productivity in the US. Misses the elephant in the room – monetary policy.

Matt Taibbi on the line that Hillary Clinton got away with.

Last week, we linked to a news-item on how Canada’s fiscal expansion is now feted. Here is proof of the needle turning – Michael Spence says that the debate should be on boosting public investment and not cutting debt. Shouldn’t it have been done before or together with bailing out the banks with public money?

American real yields are lower than in other countries and hence the dollar is weakening, says this Bloomberg article. Bring on negative rates further.

Puerto Rico misses a USD422mn debt payment. A debt default.

The identity of the popular ‘Zerohedge’ blog exposed.

ECB report says investors may be profiting from leaked US data. Why the hesitation in stating it?

A 15-year old shareholder activist wonders why the CEO of Bank of America got a pay rise in the year in which the share price fell.

An adapted version of Michael Bloomberg’s speech to the graduating class at the University of Michigan. Worth reading.

“People dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care” – medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States.


Sumita Kale highlights the good things happening as part of the PMJDY in India.

Jagannathan teases out the bleak implication for India. How to reconcile this with the USD10trn economy by 2032?

‘Wrong depiction of India map can land violators in jail, Rs100 crore fine.’ That is good.

“Nearly half of Indians survived on less than Rs38 a day in 2011-12. The Global Consumption and Income Project suggests that official statistics might be understating the extent of poverty.” – from April 21. I had missed it (ht: Urbanomics blog)

Urbanomics blog says that this is the low point of journalism – FT piece on Vijay Mallya. I agree.


China warns economists and analysts to fall in line

The difference in yield between USD-denominated and onshore CNY denominated bonds of Chinese companies signals huge devaluation and default risks.

“credit growth is probably running at about 25-30 per cent, or about twice as fast as official data suggest,…” – no prizes for guessing the country in question.

Gaps in China economic statistics emerge as China bans sale of some data

James Kynge on China’s debt fizz going flat – recommended reading.

Some great charts in this Bloomberg piece on China’s commodities speculation frenzy. Pay attention to the chart on the duration of the trades.

CLSA thinks that losses from China’s bad debts could be as high as USD1.0trn while the bad debts themselves could be a big portion of GDP, as they constitute 15% to 19% of total outstanding credit.

Capitalism and Financial markets

Warning signs of classic overheating in Cambodia. Vietnam redux all over again?

Noah Smith says that persistently high profits in Finance remain a puzzle.

Huge changes in financial market microstructure. Pay attention.

The low point of capitalismthe story of British Home Stores wrecked by Sir Philip Green


NYT covers the extraordinary journey of the Leicester City team in English Premier League. They are still within two points of clinching the title after drawing against Manchester United on Sunday, May 1. Here are some metaphysical explanations for their success.

No politically easy solutions to the global economy’s current quandary, says Nouriel Roubini. He is right.

Peter Boockvar’s sensible advice to central banks.

Haven’t you heard this before?: “The one thing that has really helped me in this regard is a concept that I call “the dispassionate pursuit of passion” in the book, and basically the concept boils down to not tethering your happiness to the achievement of outcomes.” [Link]

A conversation with the actors and the Director of ‘The man who knew infinity’

A Louisiana tribal community is relocated as land has been lost to the rising sea. As people leave the place, culture dies. (story from March 2016)


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