Friday, November 30, 2012

Cyprus bailout: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

MoU with troika released to political parties, leaked to media (Nov 30th 2012, Cyprus Mail,pdf,29 pages)
(At bottom of page: either pdf or word file)

Operation bailout: the dramatic backstage scenes (Nov 25th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Aid tranche could come in January (Nov 30th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
First real taste of austerity unrest (Nov 30th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Shiarly says deal a positive force for bold change (Dec 2nd 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Crisis: Cyprus inflation drops to 1,2% in November (Dec 7th 2012, Ansa (ita))
Shiarly urges MPs to ‘avert catastrophe’ (Dec 8th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Gas profits should go to repay troika, says Antoniadou (Dec 8th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Crisis: Cyprus, PIMCO report on lenders under examination (Dec 10th 2012, Ansa)
Just days away from a default (Dec 18th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Shiarly: no issue of haircut (Dec 21st 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Russia might join solution of Cyprus’ financial problems – Russian president (Dec 21st 2012,Itar-Tass)
Mixed messages on Cyprus haircut (Dec 22nd 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Europe's Next Wild Card: Cyprus (Jacob F Kirkegaard podcast, Dec 22nd 2012, Peterson Institute)
Crisis: Cyprus unemployment rises to 12.1% in Q3 of 2012 (Dec 24th 2012, Ansamed)
Bank of Cyprus issues 2012 profit warning (Dec 27th 2012, France24)
Central Bank lashes out at critics (Dec 30th 2012, Cyprus Mail)
Moody's downgrades Cyprus's government bond ratings to Caa3 from B3; negative outlook
(Moody's, Jan 10th 2013)
Euro zone and Russia near debt compromise on Cyprus (Reuters, Jan 28th 2013)
Shiarly: we have nothing to hide (Cyprus Mail, Jan 29th 2013)
Cleanliness Meets Godliness as Russia Reeled Into Cyprus (Bloomberg, Jan 30th 2013)
Analysis: Small island, big problem: how Cyprus troubles the euro zone (Reuters, Jan 31st 2013)
ECB's Asmussen presses for Cyprus aid deal (, Feb 11th 2013)
To Be Ireland or Iceland?—The Real Choice Before Cypriot Voters (J. Kirkegaard, Peterson Institute, Feb 19th 2013)
Cypriot banks need up to 9 bln in aid (Ekathimerini, Feb 23rd 2013)
Eurogroup won't be rushed into decision on Cyprus -German Finance minister
(Reuters, Mar 2nd 2013)
Fiscal surplus of 61 million euros recorded in January (Cyprus Mail, Mar 2nd 2013)
Cyprus Needs to Find A Quick Debt Fix  (Simon Nixon,WSJ, Mar 3rd 2013)
Euro Chiefs Won’t Rule Out Cyprus Depositor Losses  (Bloomberg, Mar 4th 2013)
Money-Laundering Suspicion Stalls Europe's Latest Bailout  (WSJ, Mar 4th 2013)
Lenders want Cyprus capital gains tax, Russia could join bailout  (Reuters, Mar 7th 2013)
To bail-in, or not to bail-in: that is the question (now for Cyprus) (Z. Darvas, Bruegel, Mar 14th 2013)
EU finance experts burn midnight oil over Cyprus deal  (Reuters, Mar 15th 2013)
‘Gas for export now much more urgent’ (Cyprus Mail, Mar 15th 2013)
Russia may lose over $50 billion should Cyprus default (RT(Russia), Mar 14th 2013)
Cyprus set to receive international bailout (DW(.de), Mar 16th 2013)

You can follow Cyprus Mail on Twitter: @cyprusmail

'older' articles on Cyprus

Monday, November 19, 2012

France loses its 'AAA' rating

Moody's downgrades France's government bond rating to Aa1 from Aaa, maintains negative outlook (via @MoodysRatings)

Most certainly there will be some newspaper comments on this important decision by this one rating agency. Once they will become available they will be added here.

articles/pieces before Moody's decision:
Hugo Dixon: Is Hollande more like Rajoy or Monti? (Nov 19th 2012, Reuters)
Wolfgang Münchau:Five unfounded European fears (Nov 19th 2012,FT via BusinessSpectator)
France: 2012 Article IV Consultation--Concluding Statement (Oct 29th 2012,IMF)
Here's What's In That Economist Article That Has The Nation Of France Outraged  (Nov 17th 2012,BI)
France as Europe's next timebomb? Not with Hollande in charge (Nov 18th 2012, The Guardian)

and after:
Moody's abaisse la note de la France de "Aaa" à "Aa1" (Nov 19th 2012, LeMonde)
Moody's dégrade le « AAA » de la France (Nov 20th 2012,Les Echos)
Dégradation du triple A : Copé sonne l'heure de "la mobilisation générale" (Nov 20th 2012, Le Monde)
Pierre Moscovici: Mon point presse de ce matin suite à la décision de Moody’s
(Nov 20th 2012, his blog) =>engl.: My briefing this morning following the decision by Moody's
France is Downgraded, Europe Goes 'From Bad to Worse' (Nov 20th 2012, Businessweek)
EFSF Says Bond Sale Delayed After Moody’s France Downgrade (Nov 20th 2012, Bloomberg)
Noyer Says Moody’s Reasoning Wrong in France Rating Downgrade (Nov 29th 2012, Bloomberg)

related blog entries [EZR]:
Position(s) of France
French Investment Bank to launch in 2013
France and Germany 2007 - 2011; GDP, 10-year bond yield, unemployment, PMI, debt to GDP, deficit to GDP (charts by Thomson/Reuters) (10 charts by Thomson/Reuters)

Insight: Making France work again (Dec 9th 2012, Reuters)

Global shadow banking monitoring report 2012

Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2012 (,pdf,engl,45 pages)
Shadow Banking: Economics and Policy  (IMF:Claessens,Pozsar,Ratnovski,Singh,pdf,37 pages)

'Shadow Banking' Still Thrives, System Hits $67 Trillion (Nov 18th 2012, CNBC)
Money out of the shadow (Nov 18th 2012,R. Fernandez (Dutch+some charts)(via @FTM_nl)
The Netherlands: Failing journos (Nov 22nd 2012, E.Engelen - @ewaldeng)
Dutch shadow banking sector smaller than it seems at first sight (Nov 29th 2012,Dutch Central Bank - DNB)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Transatlantic ties

Feb  26th 2013 EU-US trade deal is 'unique opportunity' (
Feb  18th 2013 Time to Breathe New Life into Ties with Europe (German Marshall Fund)
Feb    5th 2013 Obama seeks $5T European trade deal (The Hill)
Feb    5th 2013 US, UK leaders make push for trans-Atlantic trade deal (The Hill)
Dec   6th 2012 A free-trade agreement with Europe? (Op-ed,Washington Post)
Nov 29th 2012 Secr. Clinton: U.S. and Europe: A Revitalized Global Partnership (video,Brookings)
Nov 17th 2012 Converging world (The Economist)
Nov 17th 2012 Transatlantic Divergence (P. Krugman, NYTimes)
Nov 12th 2012 U.S. to Be World’s Top Oil Producer in 5 Years, Report Says (NYTimes)
Nov   8th 2012 Trans-Atlantic ties: Drifting together or apart? (
Nov   5th 2012 The Transatlantic Test (
Nov   6th 2012 Elmar Brok: 'EU and US need each other' (
Oct  27th 2012 German FM calls for EU-North America free trade zone (

Nov 12th 2012 World Energy Outlook 2012 (IEA)
Trade:Countries and regions-- United States (European Commission)
US & eurozone industrial production 2002 - 2012 by Scott Barber/Reuters (EZRcharts)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - Emergency communication setup using Twitter

Dear reader,

as it was announced by a US grid operator that is unfortunately impossible to provide more info on Twitter about power outages or schedule for the restore of power to certain precincts here are some hints about Twitter:

1.) In a catastrophic event such as now effecting the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US, vital companies   must rewrite their 'textbooks' in order to cope with the suddenly and completely changed situation. As those brave men of Apollo 13 and their ground crew in Houston had to adapt rapidly to a situation unforeseen before the mission the moon started. Everything had to be rearranged in order to bring back those three astronauts back to Earth.

2.) When vital telecom & electricity grid infrastructure is damaged or completely down, everyone should take this new situation into account. It is not enough to rely on 'old' and 'proven' ways of communication, but one should be willing to adapt to every technology available at the time. Phone lines are 'old' bidirectional communication tools , while website are a bit 'newer', offer both uni- and bidirectional ways of communication.

3.) When there is no power available to citizens, trying to get in touch with their grid operators in order to restore service, it's rather necessary to understand that those who try to make contact have only a few Watt (hours) of power to their disposal to keep in touch with the outside world. If the mobile network is available at all, that is. So battery power of communication equipment is super precious, since it cannot be recharged while there is a wide-spread power outage.

When forced to make a call and perhaps even wait in line before any human being responds to the caller, some minutes may have passed draining the mobile phone's battery considerably. Even more so when some masts of the mobile network aren't working either, and so the phone increases output power in order to reach a cell station further away than usual. Most likely the phone will use it's maximum power in order to establish a cell connection. When it manages to hold that connection it uses some 3000-9000 Bits per second --for minutes-- in order to transmit the human voice back and forth (2-way communication) and when too many people try to call at once the network of limited bandwidth could get into difficulties. However the number of callers is limited, and by using Twitter which uses just roughly some 1400 Bit for 1 or 2 seconds, the bandwidth can be saved e.g. for urgent 911 or 311 calls.

Internet websites
Although very useful, and even more so when phone network is down or congested, it's sometimes is tricky to load many of those modern websites filled with graphics and cross-links while using rather slow mobile networks. So again it's a bandwidth problem when loading some internet websites could involve some Megabytes of data being transmitted through the network. In 'normal times' less of a problem than in times of already reduced capacity and increased demand. So when a natural disaster wipes out some 20% of capacity of mobile networks, such websites would even take longer to fully show up on the user's screen.

Since this author also uses an Android based smart phone there is also a 'power consumption issue' with  browser based internet access: A Twitter client like Twicca app uses far less power than any browser app necessary to access websites.  Twitter client apps like Twicca only send/receive data when user confirms such an 'net update' by pressing a button. So the smart phone battery last at least twice as long on my smart phone when no browser is used to access the internet.

Organisations, corporations can create X additional Twitter handles e.g. for every borough or service area they want to cover.  They can send regional messages to all users of the designated area, and receive direct information from users living in that region and who are following that handle. By sending out very specific regional information it can also contribute to reducing number of help request, often only expressing a need for information. Thus perhaps this will even reduce number of callers currently congesting the phone lines of customer centers !

Those 'regional handles' can be announced from time to time by the 'known official account' and this main Twitter handle could also create a public list perhaps called 'Sandy emergency assistance'

Even if sensitive customer information is to be exchanged like exact address, phone number, customer ID number etc. the service center of a corporation can easily 'follow back' the customer in need and then afterwards use 'private mail' or 'direct mail' for exchange of non public information. 

known official Twitter handle:

emergency 'offsprings':
1. @PCStatenIsland
2. @PCConeyIsland
3. @PCHoboken

@PowerCompany can create list: 'Emergency assistance' consisting of: 1+2+3
and reminding their followers from to time that this new list is created.

if your Internet connection fails you send twitter messages via SMS:
Getting Started with Twitter via SMS (Twitter)
How to use Twitter when you lose Internet access (Washington Post)

please note: Data traffic rates are just 'rough estimates' by this author without having checked every detail. Just to make a point that reducing data traffic in fragile mobile networks is supporting availability and might prevent congestion or even collapse of such vital communication networks. 
Legal notice: You may copy all text or parts of it as you like. Would be nice if you mention source.

Technical references:
GSM 200 kHZ bandwidth

related articles:
Citizens of Munich kept informed mainly via Twitter (Nov 15th 2012,Hamburger Abendblatt)(German)
First lesson of Superstorm Sandy: Improve communication (Nov 13th 2012,The Hill)
Why Twitter helps during catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy (Nov 4th 2012, India Times)
Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time (Nov 4th 2012)
Prevention strategies to limit impact of catastrophic events  (Nov 2nd 2012, EZRdevelop)

Last updated: Nov 4th 2012 20.30 CET or 2.30pm EST


(via Twitter @nycarecs)