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Remarkable!

November 20th, 2013 · No Comments

Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

The Bundesbank always like to spoil the party. Tucked away on page 33 if its November monthly report is a reminder that the banking systems and sovereign states of southern Europe remain stuck in a vicious circle

Bundesbank says Italian and Spanish banks still hooked on home state debt – Telegraph Blogs

In response to the public outcry over mass Internet surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA), the engineers who develop the protocols that underpin the Internet are deep into an effort to encrypt all Web traffic, and expect to have a revamped system ready to roll out by the end of next year.

By Next Year, Parts of the Internet Could Be Encrypted by Default | MIT Technology Review

So is it the end of fiat currency as we know it, or just a mega short squeeze in an asset class that is by design intended to create short squeezes in itself?

A crypto crisis or a crypto triumph? | FT Alphaville

A U.S. debt default would create significant confusion and uncertainty in financial markets and could prove as catastrophic as the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a new report.

US debt default would be like Lehman crash: OECD

“Combining the current P/E [price-to-earnings ratio] of over 19 for the S&P 500 and a return on sales about 42 percent over the historical average, we would get an estimate that the S&P 500 is approximately 75 percent overvalued,”

The S&P 500 is 75% Overvalued: GMO

A rise in shadow banking, from practically nil five years ago to about 50% the size of the GDP at the current level, has contributed to a re-rating of the benchmark MSCI China index, of which banks constitute 1/3 of the weight. This index has been trading at between 1 and 2 times price-to-book for two years now, making China one of the cheapest destinations in Asia Pacific but also a possible value trap.

Chinese Equities Could Have a Rally If Only The Government Fixes Banks’ Bad Debt Problem – Emerging Markets Daily – Barrons.com

While Chinese equity markets have rallied on the country’s landmark reform agenda, skepticism is setting in over how long the party in stocks will last.

Another false dawn for Chinese stocks?

What if a computer chip could think – and react – just like a human? IBM’s Cognitive Computing Group believes such a breakthrough is just around the corner.

BBC – Future – Technology – Building computer brains that can reason like humans

Many companies find that they can make quarterly earnings reports look a lot prettier by publishing homemade metrics alongside required financial results. A look at a few of those non-GAAP results this earnings season shows just how creative these metrics can be.

Non-GAAP Results: More Distorted Than You Think

The charts, from the latest global economic monitor by the Institute of International Finance, show the stabilisation of developing-country capital markets following the Fed’s surprise September decision not to taper.

The EM flow turnaround | FT Alphaville

It’s a win-win for equity investors: if markets go up, they gain. And if markets go down, well then the central banks, led by the Fed, will loosen the liquidity taps still further and markets will go back up again. One can’t lose!

Invest in equities – you can’t lose!

Japan’s exports rose a stronger-than-expected 18.6 percent in October from a year before, notching up the fastest gain in over three years thanks to the weak yen and a pick-up in overseas demand, data on Wednesday showed.

More signs of Japan rebound: Exports soar

Joining a list of other experimental under-the-sea hotel rooms in Florida, Sweden and the Maldives, the underwater room at Manta Resort on remote Pemba Island in Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago immerses guests 4m below the surface. The room sits on the bottom of a three-level floating structure, located 250m from shore in the Indian Ocean.

BBC – Travel – An underwater hotel opens in Africa : Hotels, Tanzania

We’ve all seen the market appear to dive when QE appeared imminent and leap upwards when this appearance dissipated. The McKinsey report notes that there have been “significant market reactions” around unanticipated announcements about QE expansion or tapering. But these reactions tended to be short-lived, according to the report.

Is the Fed really driving up stock prices?

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