Recap 2015-03-09

Commentary:

The luxury Apple watch is probably the best example of a technology Veblen good I’ve seen in recent times. I can’t think of anything else so publicized that also will so clearly be deprecated over time. Kudos to Apple, I suppose, for a pricing strategy that so capitalizes on the global wealth disparities.

As someone not in the tech industry but with a tech background, this move toward wearables seems like a stepping stone toward augmented reality. The small screen size and limited interaction channels clearly present a limit to the watches’ usefulness. But the lessons from them are likely to carry over quite well, and potentially complement the use of the augmented reality technologies we’ve heard about so far.

Notable:

  • China Trade balance surprised sharply to 60.6Bn vs 6.0B exp, as exports surged and imports cratered.
  • Japan Eco Watchers Survey improved to 53.2 vs 50.4 exp and 50.0 prev
  • Eurogroup’s Dijsselbloem: Greece’s reform list is “far” from complete and probably wont receive aid disbursement this month. A leading lawmaker from Merkel’s conservative voting block has come out and said a Grexit would be a great opportunity for Athens to restructure and rebalance its economy
  • GM: Announces $5B Buyback, activist Harry Wilson agrees to give up request for board seat.
  • China has taken a keen interest in the boom-and-bust history of the Japanese economy w/economic officials in Beijing regularly reaching out to their counterparts in Tokyo so as to avoid making the same mistakes. China views Japan’s handling of the liberalization of capital flows and the yen over 30 years ago as key factors that led to the creation and subsequent bust of the asset bubble in the early ‘90s. Specifically, China believes it was the 1985 Plaza Accord, which sanctioned a stronger yen and opening of the capital account, as the beginning of the end. Reuters

Upcoming:

  • Mon: Australia Business Confidence, China CPI,
  • Tue: Japan Machine Tool Orders, US NFIB Survey, USDA Ag report, AU Home Loans
  • Wed: ChinaData, US Oil Data, RBNZ, UK RICS House Prices Balance, AU Employment
  • Thu: French CPI, US Retail Sales, Jobless Claims,
  • Fri: Canada Employment, US PPI, UMichigan Sentiment
  • Mon: US Empire Mfg, NAHB Housing Survey
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