Shane's Feed
Jan 24, 2014
via Counterparties

The currency vigilantes

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Welcome to what’s possibly “phase one” of the emerging markets rout, Reuters’ Natsuko Waki reports. For no apparent reason, currencies in Argentina, Russia, and Turkey hit record lows on Friday in what Bloomberg called the worst emerging market currency sell-off in five years. This had all sorts of side effects, including sending Spain’s IBEX down about 3.5%.

Jan 24, 2014
via Data Dive

Argentina leads the emerging markets ‘bloodbath’

The Argentine peso had a terrible day on Thursday, falling 11% against the dollar. It was the worst day since the country’s 2002 financial crisis. In fact, there’s a broader rout in emerging markets going on.

This week, the Argentine central bank “gave up its battle against the peso’s decline” as foreign reserves sank lower, according to Reuters. Here’s what those reserves look like: 

Jan 22, 2014
via Counterparties

The value store

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This week Marc Andreessen, whose VC firm has invested almost $50 million in Bitcoin-related ventures, writes in the NYT that we should take Bitcoin seriously. Google, for one, is. Andreessen says there’s a gulf between the conventional wisdom on Bitcoin and what “technologists” believe it to be. Bitcoin, Andreessen writes, is a breakthrough in computer science and cryptography that allows truly secure internet payments:

Jan 17, 2014
via Counterparties

L’affaire demande

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“L’offre crée même la demande”.

With those five words François Hollande set off his second scandal in as many weeks. A French president having an affair is one thing, but for a European Socialist leader to state that “supply creates demand” is another entirely, particularly in the econoblogosphere.

Jan 17, 2014
via Equals

The depressing reason women are gaining labor market share

The mancession continues. What seems like a step forward for women in the workplace is actually bad for both genders*.

Last week’s BLS data revealed that all of the job gains in the labor market in December went to women.

Jan 17, 2014
via Data Dive

Morgan Stanley earnings fall — thanks to legal bills

Morgan Stanley reported earnings this morning, announcing that its quarterly profit fell to $192 million ( 7 cents per share) in the fourth quarter from $661 million (33 cents per share) in the same period of the previous year. The drop was largely due to some $1.2 billion in legal bills.

Here’s how Morgan Stanley’s quarter stacked up against rival bank Goldman Sachs:

Jan 14, 2014
via Counterparties

Speed 2

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Imagine an internet where the biggest companies can pay for high-speed websites, while the rest of the web loads at dial-up speed. You end up using YouTube instead of Vimeo, not because it’s become a better platform, but because Google shells out money for faster upload times.

Jan 14, 2014
via Data Dive

JPMorgan’s fourth quarter earnings hit by Madoff settlements

JPMorgan reported its fourth quarter earnings this morning, beating expectations despite the numerous regulatory penalties, including settlements related to the Madoff case.

Here’s Reuters with the details:

The bank, which agreed last week to pay $2.6 billion to settle government and private claims over its handling of accounts of fraudster Bernie Madoff, said fourth-quarter net income fell 7.3 percent to $5.28 billion, or $1.30 per share.

Jan 10, 2014
via Data Dive

The terrible December jobs report

The jobs report is out today, and it’s weak. The economy added 74,000 jobs in December — the lowest growth the economy has seen since January 2011 and far below the expectation of 196,000. Because of people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% from 7.0% in November. Here’s Reuters’ chart of U.S. non-farm payrolls over the last year:

One theory of why the job growth number was so weak in December, put forth by a number of people including Felix Salmon, is because of unusually bad weather. This chart from Justin Lahart shows the number of people, in thousands, who had a job but who weren’t paid during the survey week because of weather:

Jan 9, 2014
via Equals

Is there an education penalty for women?

New stats out on women with graduate degrees are, quite simply, depressing.

The percentage of graduate students in economics who are women is down to 11% from a high of 16% in the 1990s, according to a new study by Wendy Stock and John Siegfried. What’s more, those who do make it to the end of a PhD program still face pitfalls. From the study (pdf):

For males, getting married within the first five years after graduation was associated with a 25 percent salary growth premium relative to other males. For females, however, getting married was associated with a 23 percent salary growth penalty relative to other females, perhaps reflecting compromises incurred in a two-career job search.