Govt may record users’ web history, email data Delimiter. Don’t panic..unless you are in Oz.
General: Kandahar operation will take longer Washington Post. The news summary (via e-mail) had this priceless tidbit: “…a crucial campaign …will take longer than planned because local Afghans do not yet welcome the military-run operation.” Equally stunning stuff in the piece, such as complaints from US officials that Karzai hasn’t stepped up to act like “a partner.” It appears not to have occurred to anyone that the locals see him as a crook and a thug.
Short Bursts on a Long Road to Nowhere Chris Floyd
Can the U.S. Punish BP’s Shareholders? Room for Debate, New York Times
Some home truths on oil for president Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Europe’s antipathy to stress tests is well founded Gilian Tett, Financial Times. Unfortunately, this piece may reflect Miss Tett’s need to play politics now that she is one of the most senior editors at the FT. It has some very good observations (why the EU banks are in a mess and the authorities are afraid to turn any light on them) with a recital of the stress test party line (that it’s a sound process, as opposed to a clever and successful part of a concerted effort to goose bank stocks). Reader Scott pointed out another large omission:
Eurobanks would seem to have an “issue”, in that their most problematic, or largest problematic, holdings are sovereign debt. That makes their being strengthened by capital injections from those same sovereigns a little dicey. US banks leverage—the big 6, goes from 12x at GS to 17x at JPM and MS (12/31 figures). In Europe you go from RBS and STD at 21x to BNPP at 30x, UBS at 35, and DB at 49x. Hard to gussy those babies up.
Taleb: Debt Problems Are Worse Now Than in 2008 Ed Harrison
One almighty decoupling FT Alphaville
‘It Makes Sense to Be Gloomy’ Michael Panzner
Talk of Trade Wars with China, Tariffs, and Currency Manipulation Move to Forefront; US Trade Imbalance – Whose Fault is It? Michael Shedlock. A compilation of recent stories.
The Interchange Cross-Subsidy: False Analogies Adam Levitin, Credit Slips
Principal Reduction More Effective Than Load Mods to Avoid Default: Deutsche Housing Wire. This blog has been pointing that out for well over a year, but nice to see more data.
Antidote du jour: Every pet should have his own Eames chair!