20120715-215849.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. Bernanke predicts slow progress on the job front.

    Link: bad job.

    It’s all been “frustrating”, apparently. And now the Fed is trying to decide whether it should engage in more stimulus.

    Last month, the Fed extended Operation Twist*. But as I wrote here last week, the market doesn’t seem to be playing ball on that one.

    Which didn’t stop Bernanke from claiming that Operation Twist has been “effective in easing financial conditions and promoting strength in the economy”. I’m not sure how easy it is to quantify that statement – but I guess if things are relatively stable as it stands, then it’s justifiable.

    And then he pointed the finger at Congress with the “unsustainable path” and the fiscal cliff.


    *Buying back long-term bonds from investors (thereby increasing cash in the economy) and selling more short-term securities (which are more liquid). The debt level is unchanged, but the debt composition has changed. The composition is more liquid (ie. more biased to the short-term stuff), and therefore stimulative/more active, as people no longer just sit with their money in long-term securities.

  2. The US Postal contract.

    Link: Fedex versus UPS.

    The last time I read about Fedex and UPS? I think it was a case study about how one of the two won by being more awesome. I can’t remember the specifics, but I feel like Fedex won when we began to use its name as a verb.

    Anyway – the United States Postal Service is putting its contract back up for grabs. This money-losing state enterprise contributes to more than 3% of Fedex’s current sales**. Which makes the contract worth about $1 billion when you take it all into account (so I’m told).

    UPS is desperate to break itself off a chunk. Or, at the very least, bid in low enough for Fedex to be forced to offer more favourable terms.

    Excuse me. I just need to go UPS this package quick.

    **Presumably why the Postal Office is losing money… Just kidding. The Postal Office is losing money because of, you know, email. And also because, if it’s not important enough to Fedex, we’ll scan it through to your inbox. And stuff.

  3. HSBC allowed money laundering.

    Link: the continuing scandal of banks.

    Wrote about it here.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.