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    Daily Digest 10/31 – Stockton CA To File Bankruptcy, Braving Ebola

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:47 PM


Hackers Probing Financial System’s Defenses Show Why Everyone Should Worry (jdargis)

Even more worrisome is what we don’t know — about the intrusion at JPMorgan, the hackers who did it and the potential vulnerability of the entire financial system. The bank has said little publicly about the breach beyond its description of the customer information that was and was not compromised and an assurance the company is cooperating with government investigations. U.S. intelligence agencies, federal prosecutors and attorneys general from at least two states have all launched probes.

Bank of Japan Unexpectedly Moves to Stimulate Economy (jdargis)

The Bank of Japan is hardly alone in struggling to keep consumer prices rising at a rate considered desirable by central bankers — typically at or about 2 percent, a level where increases are mild but still comfortably above deflation. Prices have been falling in parts of crisis-hit Europe. Even in the United States, where the economy is stronger and the Fed’s bond-buying program has been criticized by some inflation hawks, the rate remains below the official 2 percent objective.

Braving Ebola (jdargis)

Some of the workers will stay a few more weeks, or until the end of the year. Many of the Liberians vow to remain until the disease is gone, when they can go back to their old jobs or resume their former lives. They work toward a time after Ebola.

Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution? (jdargis)

Every day, here in Mexico City and around the country, there are marches and other civic actions, most of them peaceful. On Wednesday, students from Instituto Politécnico Nacional, a large university in Mexico City, took control of toll booths on the highways leading into the city and allowed traffic to pass without paying. In Guerrero, protestors continue to burn government buildings. There will be a march in Mexico City on October 31st, coinciding with the Day of the Dead holidays, and a “mega march” is scheduled for November 5th, the day that Mexico’s universities and colleges are planning a national strike.

Hong Kong’s Tycoons Should Take a Stand (jdargis)

Having seen the treatment meted out even to a loyalist like James Tien, will any other legislators dare to express their opinions about relations with the mainland? A year from now, will Hong Kong economists have the courage to question the veracity of China’s gross domestic product data? Might bank analysts pull punches in reports on state-owned enterprises for fear of reprisals and business losses? Will academics studying health risks associated with mainland pollution feel safe telling the truth?

Inflation? Deflation Is New Risk (jdargis)

The Swedish central bank, which began to raise interest rates in 2010, in part because of worries about a housing price bubble, completed its reversal of policy on Tuesday, cutting its target interest rate to zero after raising it as high as 2 percent in 2011. But Lars E. O. Svensson, a noted economist who resigned from the Swedish central bank board last year, warned that more steps might be needed, including negative interest rates.

Judge Approves Bankruptcy Exit for Stockton, Calif. (jdargis)

Stockton, like many places in California, offers its police a pension plan that allows officers to retire at age 50, with pensions of up to 90 percent of their pay with 30 years of service, plus annual cost-of-living increases. Many analysts say such pensions are unsustainable, especially for a distressed city like Stockton. And some have blamed California’s state pension system, Calpers, for locking Stockton into a plan it cannot afford by erroneously contending years ago that the benefits would not cost much because investment gains would pay for them.

How Much Income Puts You in the 1 Percent if You’re 30, 40, or 50? (jdargis)

The gap between the top 1 percent and tippy-top 0.1 percent has grown at every age level since 1983—by 16 percent for twentysomethings and by 25 percent for fiftysomethings. The gap between young and old 1 percenters has grown, too, as you can see below.

Gold & Silver

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