Rational Capitalist Speculator

Apr 14

Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations -

The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.

Berlin and Paris ‘ruled Irish taxpayer should bail banks’ -

Germany and France, rather than the European Central Bank, made the decision that Irish taxpayers should bail out the banks, states a new book.

The claim that Berlin and Paris initiated the move against Ireland, rather than the ECB, is made in a newly published book, Europe’s Puppet Master. It has caused some upset in the capitals and in Brussels as it is based on confidential reports made by diplomats who attended the EU leaders’ summits during the crisis and is supported by insights from insiders.

Their account calls into question the independence of the ECB.

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U.S. retail sales rise in March to highest level since 2012 -

Economic rebound continues. I’d like to see the YoY numbers though.  Will post those soon.  

Don’t bank on China’s financial reform Outside the Box -

China targets trust firms in shadow-bank crackdown: sources: Thomson Reuters -

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Amid Warnings of Low Inflation, J.P. Morgan says Prices Set to Rise - Real Time Economics - WSJ -

China's ADIZ defends regional stability: Global Times -

China’s controversial air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea is an important strategic move to improve national defense and regional stability, according to a commentary published Monday in the Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily…

…The nationalistic Global Times, however, has hit back at the criticism by claiming that the biggest threat to stability in the East China Sea is not the ADIZ, but rather the military bases the United States has been setting up all over the region and particularly in areas surrounding China.

The commentary says the US military has situated itself at the edges of China’s airspace and can use its AGM-86 subsonic air-launched cruise missile to strike China’s economic heartland, the part of the country stretching from northeast Heilongjiang province to southwest Yunnan province. This territory represents 36% of China’s land mass but accounts for 94% of the country’s population.

The Global Times commentary defended China’s new ADIZ on the basis that it is a tactic employed by more and more countries to improve their air defense position through extrapolating the range of enemy air raids and securing more valuable air defense warning time.

Further, the ADIZ also strengthen’s China’s ability to limit America and Japan’s aerial reconnaissance, Global Times said. Currently, US and Japanese drones have a radar imaging distance of about 200km and can conduct reconnaissance missions as far as China’s eastern inland provinces of Anhui and Jiangxi. But with the introduction of the ADIZ, China’s southeast coast is not within range for the drones.

The paper also accused US defense secretary Chuck Hagel of employing double standards when he slammed China for establishing the ADIZ with “no collaboration, no consultation” during his visit to Beijing last week. Japan had previously expanded its own ADIZ on two previous occasions, including as far as the vicinity of Taiwan’s territorial waters, but the US simply chose to remain silent, Global Times said.

Far from causing “misunderstandings” as Hagel had suggested, China’s ADIZ actually benefits the maintenance and promotion of national interests of countries in the East China Sea and improves regional stability, the commentary concluded. - (Want China Times)

'Phantom' protects marine resources -

Apr 09

Fed dropped jobless target in secret meeting - The Fed - MarketWatch

Apr 3rd Reports: Mixed Picture in Eurozone Services Sectors

Two largest economies:

Germany’s service sector grows at weakest pace in 5 months.

Meanwhile France’s service field went back into expansion territory.  

Overall a bullish shade to the data, since after all there is growth, but it remains choppy and uneven…though not in the usual scenario (Germany doing better / France struggling).

China services activity ticks up in March: HSBC PMI -

This data, in addition to firmer energy consumption numbers in February, imply that the China is not crashing and is cause for optimism.  

The Spider-Infested Mazdas Are Back -

This is pretty ridiculous and gave me a good laugh.

UPDATE 2-Brazil raises key interest rate to two-year high -