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The price of everything “Giarre, a town in eastern Sicily, sits above the sea on the slopes of Mount Etna. It was once a collection point for the wine produced on the hills above, which was rolled down its main street in barrels to the port below. Today, Giarre bears a far more dubious distinction. The city of 27,000 hosts the largest number of uncompleted public projects in the country: 25 of them, nearly one for every 1,000 inhabitants. So spectacular is the waste that some locals have proposed promoting Giarre’s excess as a tourist attraction, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 8 edition. "On an afternoon in September, I toured some of Giarre’s most notorious eyesores with Turi Caggegi, a journalist who has been writing about government waste since the 1990s.
Financial Market Outlook for 2013 Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has just bought a second home, this one in the Hamptons, the fabled playground for New York’s bankers and hedge fund managers. It was on the market for $33 million, and its sale in December contributed to a splurge of estate buying last year that saw record prices being set for country manors in the Hamptons. The luxury segment of the real estate market in the US had a very good year, and not just in New York. California mansions which would have sat idle two or three years ago were being snapped up in weeks, with multiple bidders pushing offers up well beyond the asking price. Nor were expensive properties subject to a buyers’ frenzy. All throughout the US, once-devastated real estate markets saw a remarkable recovery in sales volume.
dShort S&P 500 Snapshot: The Index Rises After a Confusing Employment ReportJan 10, 2014 Doug Short The much anticipated December Employment Report was a bizarre mixed bag -- weak job creation but a surprising decline in unemployment. Treasuries rallied in no uncertain terms. The yield on the 10-year note dropped nine bps to close at 2.88%. The S&P 500 was a bit more ambivalent in its reaction. The index hit its 0.27% intraday high a few seconds after the open and sold off to its -0.31% intraday low two hours later.
Insights and Research Joe Calhoun passed along the data for residential remodeling permits (according to the BuildFax Remodeling Index) for November 2013 (latest data available) and it was ugly. Total permits issued were 2,542,000 (seasonally-adjusted annual rate), 20% below October and 18% lower than November 2012. As usual, this “unexpected” decline, actually collapse, had a convenient though not-convincing .. read more Though we have passed through the event horizon on taper finally, it is still difficult to understate how much the threat of it upset the various settled mannerisms of credit and dollar markets this past summer. Though there is a degree of calm in appearance now, there are certainly more than a few hints of .. read more
Scott E.D. Skyrm
The new deal on Cyprus does not only have the right intentions, but averts the two major flaws of the previous deal: It fully protects insured deposits up to the €100,000 amount guaranteed by deposit insurance in all banks, andIt bails-in all bondholders and shareholders. The deal has other remarkable elements as well: Marfin Laiki Popular Bank (the second biggest bank accounting for about one-third of banking assets in Cyprus), the most troubled bank, will be closed down immediately with full contribution of shareholders, bondholders and uninsured depositors. blog > Detail
ppola Comment: A central bank crisis Vox has an excellent article by the LSE's De Grauwe about the austerity measures in the Eurozone periphery that were imposed by policymakers in response to a buyer's strike among sovereign bond investors. As yields soared, particularly in Greece, there was a growing belief that the cause was high levels of public debt and structural inefficiencies, and that to bring yields down it was necessary to slash public borrowing and make structural reforms. There was also concern about the lack of competitiveness of periphery economies and their high unit labour costs: had they had their own currencies, devaluation would have been the corrective for this problem, but because of the Euro this was not possible and the only solution was to force down wages.
Many thousands of articles have been written purporting to explain Bitcoin, the online, peer-to-peer currency. Most of those articles give a hand-wavy account of the underlying cryptographic protocol, omitting many details. How the Bitcoin protocol actually works
The Diplomat Magazine China has made dramatic economic progress during the last five years, weathering the global financial crisis and becoming the world’s largest exporter and second largest economy, surpassing Japan.
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Teach/Me Data Analysis Scaling of data may be useful and/or necessary under certain circumstances (e.g. when variables span different ranges). There are several different versions of scaling, the most important of which are listed below. Scaling procedures may be applied to the full data matrix, or to parts of the matrix only (e.g. columnwise). Range Scaling Range scaling transforms the values to another range which usually includes both a shift and a change of the scale (magnification, or reduction). The data samples are transformed according to the following equation:
Japan Investment as percent of GDP
Research | Artemis Capital Management The following is an excerpt from the research article “Volatility of an Impossible Object: Risk, Fear, and Safety in Games of Perception” from Artemis Capital Management LLC. Click for PDF Download The global financial markets walk on the razors edge of empiricism and what you see is not what you think, and what you think may very well be impossible anyway.
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Efforts to Strengthen Sino-Mongolian Relations in Fall 2013 December 5, 2013 Sino-Mongolian relations improved during the fall, with a pair of official visits demonstrating progress on both economic and military ties. JamesTown Foundation
Janet Yellen, the Nation's New Chief Slumlord January 9, 2014 Janet Yellen's role as the nation's slumlord is masked by her apparent distance from the Fed's money spigot and the resulting institutional ownership of the nation's rental housing stock. Please welcome the nation's new chief slumlord, Janet Yellen. The previous top slumlord, Ben Bernanke, has retired from the position of Chief Slumlord (i.e. chair of the Federal Reserve) to the accolades of those who benefited from his extraordinary transfer of wealth from the many to the few. Weblog and Essays
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