Death Star Economics



No trillion-dollar coin, and no budget either – the US on hold

The White House has announced to delay the submission of the 2014 budget talks until the fiscal cliff is dealt with entirely. In other words, the US might enter 2014 (fiscal year begins three months before) without any clue where to spend how much money on what. read article

After much hoping that Ben Bernanke would help re-enacting The Simpson’s episode “The Trouble with Trillions” and mint a trillion-dollar coin (coin, note, same difference), he responded to questions regarding said piece of metal saying “I’m not going to give that any oxygen.” Fine then. He continued defending his policies and claiming that their ineffectiveness was merely due to a too small scaleread article

Even Norway is now jumping on the QE band wagon. The deputy governor of the Norwegian central bank indicated that something would have to be done about high interest rates if the NOK continues to be so strong.

The preliminary reading of Germany’s fourth quarter GDP says the country’s economy contracted by 0.5% from Q3, bringing annual growth down to 0.7% from 3% in 2011. Ouch. But not actually that far off what economists had predicted. At least Germany is running a teeny tiny surplus of 0.1% again – the first one since before the financial crisis. Yay. read article

After solar panels and telecommunicationsChina and the EU are fighting about another traded good: steel. The European Commission says China has paid illegal subsidies to steel companies to dodge the market price of organic coated steel, making Europe’s manufacturers pay higher import tariffs on Chinese products. read article

The British business press is full of American Pie (The Day the Music Died) puns, as high street music retailer HMV is going into administration. Considering Virgin closing one superstore after the other, this is just another battle won by AmazonApple and co against the old world of retail.

And while Apple shares dropped 3.6% to a still ridiculous $501.75 yesterday, Dell is struggling to find a new direction in life. For months, reports the WSJ, the computer company has been in talks with Silver Lake and TPG Capital, two huge American private equity buyers, who could emerge as dis-/joint bidders for the business. Delisting a $19bn company would be quite expensive and mark the largest buyout since KKR’s acquisition of First Data Corporation in 2007. Founder Michael Dell owns 14% of the company’s shares, which rose almost 13% in response to the news. read article

So long.


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