Afternoon Links 1-5

January 5, 2010

Must ReadGlobal bear rally will deflate as Japan leads sovereign bond crisis (Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph) Points to Ambrose for making lots of predictions in a single column! (ht Yves)

How Visa, using card fees, dominates a market (Martin, NYT) A good, detailed article. Merchant processing fees aren’t the terrible thing merchants claim them to be. The trade-off, at least with credit cards, is that the merchant doesn’t carry a receivable on his balance sheet. There’s no credit risk that customers won’t pay. This article is about debit cards, however. There the issue appears to be much more complicated…

Iceland president vetoes compensation for depositors (Forelle, WSJ) Great article with lots of nuggets of information. On the one hand Icelanders don’t want to be put into debt slavery to pay off obligations of their failed banks. On the other hand, they need foreign currency to support international trade. They can’t get it while they’re an international financial pariah. Tricky. But walking away may be the best option…

Politico crushing it on revs (Ali, PaidContent) A $1 million operating profit for a news property is solid performance in this environment. Good piece, but hopefully Rafat can design more legible spreadsheets in future…

Net national savings rate still negative (Mike Mandel, ht Felix) This chart effectively shows the decline in America’s balance of trade over time. It will take a far deeper correction to change the trade dynamic of the West sending paper currency to the East in exchange for its goods. That’s great for us as long as it lasts. But it won’t last forever and the correction will likely be very painful.

Pending home sales crater (NAR) The title of the press release is interesting: NAR tries to spin as good news the fact that pending home sales dropped sharply after being inflated by folks rushing to capitalize on the first time homebuyers credit (which they didn’t know would be extended).

ESPN, Discovery launching 3D networks (Szalai/Hibberd, therfeed)

Refreshing beverage (imgur)

The man who is good at everything…

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