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November 11th, 2013 · No Comments

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

But what’s left in President Mario Draghi’s arsenal if the bank needs to unleash further accommodative steps after this week’s cut?

Draghi running out of bazookas from ECB’s arsenal

It’s not just that we should expect early enrollment to be slower—we should expect it to be slower, older, and sicker. And we shouldn’t expect it to ramp up until the mandate’s just about to kick in, which happens after open enrollment ends on March 31. This is a key takeaway from the Massachusetts experience

This chart should be getting more attention | The Incidental Economist

You will see massive cross-country differences in private debt/GDP ratios. The ratios range from near 0% to well over 100%. What explains these massive cross-country differences? You will also see that rich countries tend to have higher private debt/GDP ratios than poor countries. The cross-country relationship between per capita GDP and private debt/GDP ratio looks roughly linear (though with a lot of noise), which means that if per capita GDP doubles, per capita private debt quadruples.

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: What determines long run private debt/GDP ratios?

Whereas a reduction in leverage is needed, the Fed is in effect encouraging it. Leveraging at the personal level was what got us into this mess in the first place and to create an environment that is doing nothing to quench credit demand whilst at the same time stifling credit supply through increased bank regulation and balance sheet restriction is similar (and probably as equally short sighted) as most government policies towards drug addiction

Macro Man: The Fed’s Bubble Solution.

So what should we do about it? Today, I will evaluate three broad sets of choices: 1) Building a credible resolution regime and more resiliency in the financial system that together reduce the systemic costs of failure sufficiently so that large, complex firms can be allowed to fail; 2) taking steps, such as tougher prudential standards, that further reduce the probability of failure of such firms; and 3) breaking up the too big to fail firms so that no firm is so large that its failure would threaten financial stability in the first place.

Ending Too Big to Fail – Federal Reserve Bank of New York

It warns too that France is on borrowed time with a state sector over 56pc of GDP, now higher than Sweden, but without Swedish labour flexibility and free enterprise. We all know this.

France’s ‘AA’ Hollande pays price for kowtowing to EMU deflation madness – Telegraph Blogs

It is not often you come across what looks like a simple solution to a big problem, but in this programme on air pollutants, that’s what we seem to have done. The World Health Organisation claims that each year around 1.3 million people die because of outdoor air pollution. Another two million suffer premature deaths as a result of air pollutants in their own homes.

BBC – Horizons – Air Pollution

An announcement by Singulus Technologies, a maker of replication machines that produce Blu-ray discs, points toward a new standard for 4K Blu-ray.

100GB discs point to 4K Blu-ray | TV and Home Theater – CNET Reviews

Anderson faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted of tampering with evidence in the 1987 murder trial of Michael Morton, who wrongly spent nearly 25 years in prison.

Texas prosecutor to serve 10 days for innocent man’s 25-year imprisonment | World news | theguardian.com

Last month the WHO issued a scientific report detailing the link between air pollution and a number of different diseases and illness. It estimated that breathing in fine particles contributed to 3.2 million premature deaths a year across the world and killed more than 200,000 from lung cancer.

BBC News – Smoggy Beijing sees lung cancer cases soar

One should never assume chickens are stupid. They may be baffled initially by a sudden downpour, or by a short length of fence that stands between them and an open gate, but once these problems are figured out, they know what to do. They know the difference between a crow and a hawk flying high overhead, and they can tell if a fox watching them from 100 feet away is hungry or just taking stock

What a Blind Chicken Can Teach Us About Humanity – NYTimes.com

Frau K. had prepared for this. She now knew everything about women in Islam (my mother), and about male domination (my father). She knew about oppression, honor killings, and the distribution of tasks and rights between men and women in Turkish families — in other words, my family. Now she explained it to my father: “Herr Gezer, I know your origins and understand your culture, but when you oppress the girl at home like this and don’t allow her to speak, just because she is a girl, she lets it all out at school.” My father held his tongue, the teacher did not. She had looked up phone numbers for therapists that work with problem families who have an immigration background, like us. My father is a patient man, but he eventually interrupted her: “Frau K., if you knew how much Özlem speaks at home, you would be delighted with how much she speaks here at school,” he said. Then he stood up and left.

Essay on Racism: Growing Up Turkish in Germany – SPIEGEL ONLINE

The decision by the European Central Bank to lower interest rates on Thursday is proof that the debt crisis still plagues the euro zone. The move is controversial in Germany, where editorialists warn it could affect savings and pensions.

World from Berlin: ‘A Last Warning Shot’ for Southern Europe – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Meanwhile, every valid valuation measure I look at suggests that stocks are at least 40% overvalued and, therefore, are likely to produce lousy returns over the next 10 years.

Be Prepared For Stocks To Crash – Business Insider

High debt and the simultaneous deleveraging of firms, households, banks, and the public sector can weigh on growth through various channels. High debt increases private agents’ vulnerabilities to asset price shocks, financial volatility, and uncertainty.

Private deleveraging in the Eurozone | vox

California, which leads 10 states that require automakers to sell zero-emission vehicles, may alter its system of tradable credits to stop favoring plug-ins over hydrogen-powered cars. That would hurt Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) while helping Honda Motor Co.

Diesels to Fuel Cells as Spotlight Dims on Plug-In Autos – Bloomberg

Euro-area growth data this week may show the region’s nascent recovery slowing to a crawl, supporting Mario Draghi’s case for an interest-rate cut to help the economy get back to its feet.

Euro Zone’s Fizzling Growth Seen to Back Draghi Cut Case – Bloomberg

Citigroup Inc.’s Inflation Surprise Index for Group of 10 economies dropped to negative 21.80 in October, the lowest since April 1998 and signaling data fell short of analyst estimates. A BOJ board member was monitoring whether domestic consumer prices could keep rising with disinflation overseas, minutes of the Oct. 3-4 policy meeting released last week show.

Draghi to Bernanke Inflation Slump Dims BOJ Target – Bloomberg

As inflation in the euro zone languishes at its lowest level in four years, some analysts argue that the region is at risk of a Japan-style deflationary rut.

Is the euro zone at risk of Japan style deflation?

In advance of Japan’s GDP figure later in the week, have some 3rd arrow pessimism from S&P’s Paul Sheard who, while reasonably fine with the first two of Shinzo Abe’s missiles, is deeply underwhelmed with what passes for a “growth strategy” these days (with our emphasis)

(Still) fretting about Abenomics | FT Alphaville

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