News and Trends

December 19, 2014

For North Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids - Yahoo! Finance--12.19.14
The hacking attack on Sony may have been a practice run for North Korea's cyber army in a long-term goal of being able to cripple telecoms and energy grids in other nations.

Government hacks and security breaches skyrocket - CNN--12.19.14
Cyber security and intelligence say the Sony hack is only just the beginning. A CNN review shows that cyber attacks against federal agencies are skyrocketing. Last year there were almost 61,000 cyber attacks and security breaches across the entire federal government.

Swiss central bank imposes negative interest rates- Yahoo! Finance--12.18.14
The Swiss National Bank made a move force commercial banks to pay to deposit their francs in the bank. This was done in an effort to to prevent the Swiss franc from appreciating too much.

Russian Bank Run Could Be ‘in the Cards,’ UralSib Capital Says - Bloomberg--12.17.14
The Russian economy may come to "a sudden stop" and a bank run could be a possibility. A full blown currency and financial crisis has been occurring in Russia and experts fear a possible bank run in the event of a panic.

Plunging oil 'to spark more global tensions' in 2015 - Cent News--12.16.14
Oil prices are currently tumbling from global oversupply and causing geopolitical tensions in key producers of crude. Since June, oil prices have lost around half their value thanks to abundant supplies, a stronger dollar and weak demand.

Memories of financial crisis fading as risks rise - CNBC--12.15.14
It has been nearly six years since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers and the lessons of that financial crisis may already be fading from collective memory. The trend towards pre-crisis lending practices is starting to cause worry among analysts.

Paying Down The Debt Is Now Almost Mathematically Impossible - Zero Hedge--12.12.14
The U.S. has gone from being the biggest creditor in the world to its biggest debtor. Decades of spending have racked up such an enormous pile of debt that it has become almost impossible to pay it down.

The Rise of Men Who Don’t Work, and What They Do Instead - The New York Times--12.11.14
The chances of not working have changed in the last 15 years. Now, teenagers are far more likely not to work and older people are retiring later in life and working more.

I've never seen consumers more cautious: Langone - CNBC--12.10.14
Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone sees extreme wariness among consumers. According to Langone, "the consumer is more cautious now more than I've ever seen them."

These 7 Revealing Emails Show Federal Officials Scheming to Target Legal Businesses - The Daily Signal--12.8.14
Senior officials at the FDIC actively sought to crack down on legal businesses that they deemed morally objectionable, according to a new report. E-mails from the officials show them scheming to influence banks' decisions on who to do business with.

Where The Jobs Were: Secretaries, Waiters, Retail, Education, Leisure And Temp-Help - Zero Hedge--12.5.14
Retail Trade, Education and Health, and Leisure and Hospitality led the way for job gains this past month. All of these minimum wage or just above jobs.

Labor Force Participation Remains at 36-Year Low- CNS News--12.5.14
The labor force participation rate remained at a 36-year low in November, according to the BLS. Currently this rate stands at 62.8 percent.

Draghi Strives to Maintain Credibility of E.C.B. - The New York Times--12.4.14
ECB president, Mario Draghi, announced that the ECB was determined to honor its main objective to keep inflation in check. Now, inflation us dangerously low, falling close to zero.

Falling Oil Prices Create a Central Banking Conundrum - The New York Times--12.4.14
Falling oil prices is good news for global consumers. However, many central bankers are trying to attain higher inflation and falling oil prices cause inflation to fall further.

"News and commentaries posted at Swiss America does not necessarily express the opinions of Swiss America nor of its personnel. Swiss America attempts to post only credible news and opinions, however we do not take responsibility for the accuracy of external content nor should it be construed as an endorsement."

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