The Gold Standard | Reading links

It is about 1520 hours on Monday on Feb. 13th, 2012. The FT.COM page that I see has two interesting headlines and they are very insightful. We should not be wondering why there is the protest movement in Wall Street. We should be wondering why there are not many more.

Here are headlines:

(1) Athens passes demanded austerity bill: MPs vote for deal as violence rages outside Parliament. (Link)

(2) Greece austerity deal cheers Asia (the headline is referring to the trading pattern in Asian bourses on Monday morning) – Link

Bourses celebrate when the Greeks are protesting the administering of pain by the rest of Europe without painkillers!

Gillian Tett’s piece in FT on Feb. 9th on the widening probe into LIBOR fixing (literally and figuratively) by banks is insightful:

Firstly, and most obviously, the story shows that journalists – or any other outsider – should never give up trying to grope around in the murkier bits of finance; society desperately needs outsiders to peer into the financial weeds, asking naive questions, even – or especially – in the face of formidable, well-funded PR teams.

Secondly, the pieces of finance which most badly need probing are probably not the most exciting or visible parts. [Full article here; subscription may be required]

This may be old news but the blog post at macrobusiness.com.au on the Skyscraper index report (a friend from Chennai had sent me this a month ago) of Barclays Capital is interesting and useful. It is both unsurprising and disappointing that both China and India are in the top two positions globally on the number of skyscrapers being built. They are a useful contrarian indicator.

However, TGS think that its contrarian value is higher when countries go for a trophy tower (with record heights) rather than when countries build skyscrapers in general.

The average height of skyscrapers has been going up in China. That, indeed, is a useful warning sign.


DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.