Posts from Thursday Dec 5 2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Read Alec Russell’s fabulous salute/analysis here. Read more

The Closer


– Lew on funding financial reformRead more

How and why the Fed props up rates

The market vogue is to obsess about how the Fed is suppressing long-term rates.

But for years now, FT Alphaville has been trying to explain why, in reality, Fed intervention is as much focused on propping up short-term rates (preventing them from falling through zero) as it is about keeping longer-term rate expectations anchored. Read more

There’s nothing new under the sun, including Bitcoin

It’s not just the Chinese who are warning about the risks associated with Bitcoin. On Thursday, Business Insider reported that the former president of the Dutch Central Bank Nout Wellink warned that the hype around Bitcoin was worse than Tulip mania in the 17th century.

From BI: Read more

Zero mappa mundi

 Read more

The PBOC, Bitcoin, and Chinese aunties

Some are betting that Beijing will eventually endorse Bitcoin. This week Lightspeed Venture Partners of San Francisco and a China-based sister fund announced a $5m investment in BTCChina…

Financial Times, November 22


The People’s Bank of China even did a Q&A on Thursday to explain why it’s more or less forbidden the Chinese financial system from dabbling in Bitcoin… Read more

Markets Live: Thursday, 5th December, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Beijing has banned banks from Bitcoin transactions || Australia’s Qantas Airways on Thursday forecast steep first-half losses while announcing a further 1,000 job cuts and possible asset sales || German drugs and chemicals group Merck acquires Apple supplier AZ Electronic Materials || Siemens announced a plan for higher profits at its infrastructure unit at an analyst day on Thursday || BNP will buy Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej from Dutch lender Rabobank to boost its presence in Poland || A suicide bomber has attacked Yemen’s defense ministry || Markets update Read more

The peer problem for peer-to-peer lenders [update]

A friend of FT Alphaville who works in the real world, far from finance, asked us what we think about putting money with peer-to-peer lenders.

We advised him to buy gold-bitcoins instead, but it made us want to take a look. It turns out we’re not alone. The chancellor is expected on Thursday to launch a consultation on blessing peer-to-peer lending with inclusion in the UK’s popular ISA scheme for tax free savings accounts.*

But where we think we might be alone, for now, is worrying about something that has afflicted lenders from time immemorial: run risk. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

– When the 2-and-20 crowd drives economic research.

Fantasy economics.

– “I’m the largest victim,” said Mr. Shah, once India’s “exchange king”Read more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Equity markets are weaker across the Asia-Pacific region. Investors are cautious ahead of interest rate decisions in the eurozone and the UK on Thursday plus a highly-anticipated monthly US jobs report on Friday. The broad losses follow a 0.1 per cent pullback in the S&P 500, after a strong private payrolls survey increased speculation that the Federal Reserve could soon trim back, or “taper”, its stimulus measures known as quantitative easing. (Financial TimesRead more