Posts from Friday Feb 1 2013


This week on FT Alphaville…

– We made a video asking whether robots would take all the jobs. Read more

A cap and trade proposal… for immigration

Political change in a democratic republic can be painfully slow, and thus even the improved chance of a meagre and incremental positive change is a good enough excuse to celebrate when it comes.

The two immigration proposals that emerged early this week from the Senate and from the President could well meet this standard, though it all depends how the politics shakes out. Read more

He isn’t the Prime Minister, he’s a very naughty statistician, part two

Andrew Dilnot strikes again:

 Read more

It’s not a collateral shortage, it’s a scarcity of collateral

Further dispatches from the Danish Institute for International Studies’ conference in Copenhagen on “Central Banking at a crossroads”.

Today we focus on the new age of collateral-based finance and the presentation given by Manmohan Singh (speaking in an independent capacity rather than as a representative of the IMF). Read more

January payrolls: +157,000, unemployment rate 7.9 per cent

Another month, another payrolls number in the 150k range — except this one comes with big positive revisions to the prior two months. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly, but careful with this report, as it includes an updated population estimate in the household survey, and also the annual benchmarking in the establishment survey to reflect a new count of total jobs. Read the explanations at the bottom of the release for detail.

From the BLS: Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 1st February, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

US banks squeezed as mortgage profits hit || Hagel grilled by angry Republicans || US challenges AB InBev’s Modelo deal || Explosion at Mexico’s Pemex HQ kills 25 || Wasendorf jailed for 50 years for fraud || Markets update: a tentatively positive start to month Read more

On SWFs being paid to borrow

The big story on Friday concerns the terms and structure of Qatar’s life-saving support for Barclays at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. As Daniel Schäfer, Caroline Binham and Simeon Kerr report, the key issue is whether Barclays lent Qatar the money to buy shares in the bank. Read more

What to make of the contradictory China manufacturing PMIs

China’s official January manufacturing PMI fell to 50.4 from 50.6 while the HSBC survey rose to 52.3 from 51.5.

And yet it seems like only yesterday we were puzzling over why the HSBC survey seemed so much more bearish than the official figures…  Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

– Relax: banks’ risk measurements are rarely off by much more than a factor of ten.

– OCC leadership gets another surprise overhaul.

– Why the markets cannot influence financial institutions. Read more

The 6am Cut London

China’s official manufacturing PMI falls, HSBC rises || Asian markets mixed, Japan rises on positive earnings || Barclays probed over whether it loaned money for Qatari stake || ‘London Whale’ warned others about his trades || US challenges AB InBev’s Modelo deal || Explosion at Pemex kills at least 14 || Samsung’s share of tablet market doubled in Q4 Read more