Good morning

The headlines:
  1. The European Central Bank is to restart its controversial government bond purchases rather than offering banks more financing. I copied the Bloomberg title, because I was at first confused – is it controversial for them to be buying government bonds, or are they only buying the bonds of controversial governments? I think that the answer is “both”. The Germans are not happy. But the alternative of “Longer Term Refinancing Operations”, or LTROs, which saw the ECB roll out a trillion euros worth of 3 year loans to banks last month, seems to be a fail. The yields are back up on Spanish and Italian bonds, and “tensions are rising”. I’m not sure why the Germans are too upset just yet – last I saw, no one enacted a CAC on the ECB… Link: ECB favours bond buying.
  2. There is a new name to watch in the JPM Voldemort story: Achilles Macris. It seems that Mr Macris was the man behind the Bruno Iksil trading strategy. We’re running out of Harry Potter characters. Sauron? Link: JPM said to transform treasury to prop trading bets.
  3. Apple has denied allegations of price-fixing. But still probably guilty of trying to remove Amazon as a competitor. I guess that the message is “Do it well, but not too well”. But to be honest, I still don’t entirely understand. If Apple is acting as an agent for the publishers, then so long as there is reasonable competition between them, surely it’s all good from a consumer perspective? Ah well. And forgive me – I was trying to type this last news item from an SAA aircabin, but apparently that’s not allowed when the flight is ON THE GROUND!! Hence the absence of a link. I shall update later… 
  4. And the African Business News in brief. Link: ABN Briefs. The highlights:
    • South Africa’s gold production fell by 11.5% in February. 
    • Impala Platinum has been charged with culpable homicide following a fatality at one of its mines five years ago. Not a great year for Implats.
    • Ghana’s government has banned public institutions from spending plans that were not included in the 2012 budget.
That’s all for now.
Have a good day.