Good morning

The headlines:

  1. Apple gets a slap.

    Link: can it cut a break, or do we all love to hate?

    Apple finally posted that apology on its website (for as long as it’s still up, which won’t be long, here’s the link). The basic summary is as follows:

    And/or: “But, like, either way, check out the result of the court cases in Germany and the USA, which say that they tried to anyway”. The parting shot, and I quote:

    So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad“.

    The Judge (Robin Jacob) has since announced himself to be “at a loss” at the “plain breach of the order”. The main complaint, from what I can tell, is that mentioning the other court cases makes it seem like the UK court was either wrong, or stupid, or both.

    Whatever. The whole thing is such douchery. What are we – two year olds? You have a dispute, you go to court, someone makes a ruling over who is right. And that should be enough. Not this: “and you should also right a sorry note and put it on the school noticeboard so that everyone knows that you’re wrong”.

    This was a legal question, not a moral one. The outcome smacks of moralistic discipline.

  2. Deutsche, Citi, JPM and HSBC.

    Link: “you need a surcharge”.

    Banking capital requirements are set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    But over and above this, the Financial Stability Board can ask for “surcharge” capital on “systemic” banks. In my mind, “systemic” implies that these banks are the ones that are too big to fail and/or getting too big to save. But in the FSB’s mind, it’s just whoever they put on the list.

    And there are some surprises there – because the FSB seems to think that Bank of America is less of a risk than JP Morgan Chase (many surprised analysts here), and Standard Chartered of much Iranian oil money fame is not on the list.

    For an easier read, here’s the BBC article.

  3. Greek stocks “tumble”.

    Link: and?

    The greek government and the troika have nominally agreed on the new measures that will secure the next tranche of the bailout.

    Only, the Democratic Left doesn’t feel that it can agree to them. And a Greek Court recently ruled that the pension cuts may be unconstitutional.

    Firstly – a Greek court made a ruling?! It’s meant to take years to get to that point! Secondly – constitutional entitlement to a certain amount of pension?

    But the raised eyebrows aside, the key issue here seems to be: can “austerity” and such work?

    Despite the objections of many voices, austerity has been shown to work in countries like Estonia. But the key issue is that austerity works better when structural reforms take place, not when taxes are increased. Greece has increased taxes, but failed on the structural reform front.

    It’s the structural reforms that need focus. The question is empirical and has been shown to work empirically. The barriers to competition, like limited licences and protectionism of interest groups – those are what need to change.

    In the meantime, those stocks will keep tumbling.

  4. Also, I went onto the Internet, and I found this:

    Obama Gangam style is apparently changing the way that Chinese voters feel about him.

    Except that they’re not voters because they’re in China. AND because they’re not American.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.