Feel free this Monday to go whatever direction you like. A few snippets first.
For those who follow twitter, the British Foreign Office is live time tweeting the cable traffic that began with the assassination of the Archduke. This is an example of the material. Mr Jones was pretty accurate!
The Australian Government has released the interim report on the restructuring of the country’s welfare system. A six week consultation period has now begun. I haven’t had time to read the document properly. I do agree current welfare benefits need simplification.
On the Bank for International Settlements’ annual report:
In its annual report, the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS) expressed serious concern that global share markets had reached new highs and the interest rate premium for many risky loans had fallen.
"Overall, it is hard to avoid the sense of a puzzling disconnect between the markets' buoyancy and underlying economic developments globally," the bank wrote.
The BIS says the disconnect is largely due to continued monetary stimulus in the form of money printing and record low interest rates by many developed economy central banks.
In the US, the latest GDP figures showed a contraction in the US economy. Economists do not appear too worried, attributing it in part to a harsh winter. I must admit that I am worried about the quantity of money sloshing around. A long time ago, I said that I could see no easy exit path for the US Fed’s quantitative easing. That remains my position.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s troubles over its financial planning arm continues. I am not a great supporter of more regulation because of the costs. I do think that the CBA need to be held accountable.
Proper cheer up session, isn’t it?!
Still, down on the Amalfi Coast, the tourists will shortly be joined by eldest. Just back from Copenhagen, she flies out again in just under two weeks. Half her luck!
kvd does not like the topic. To explain his position, he provided a link to this contribution by the Boomtown Rats: