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Sunday, March 18

18th Mar – Weekender: Economics & Off-Topic

For market views and crisis reads, see Weekender: Crisis & Views and for other people's market-induced hallucinations, see Weekly Support. But for now, Economics and Off-Topics in MoreLiver's Sunday play school. More off-topics available in Goldman Sachs Letter - The Collection.

Fears of a hard landing The Economist
China ran a massive trade deficit in February. What does it say about the economy?

Where Will the Jobs Come From? – John Mauldin / The Big Picture
Getting Back to Full Employment · Who’s Participating in Employment? · 4 Million New Jobs a Month! · Where Will the Jobs Come From?

Chart of the day: Growth and debtFelix Salmon / Reuters
Maybe the long-term potential GDP curve is too high – unreachable, without increasing debt.

Opening Ceremony, China Development Forum 2012IMF
Lagarde’s guest speech from 18-Mar

The Gap In Monetary and Fiscal PolicyEconomist’s View
One of the big questions for policymakers is how much of the current downturn represents of temporary cyclical fluctuation and how much of it is a permanent reduction in out productive capacity… shocks themselves can be both permanent and temporary, and some people may be confusing one for the other.

The world economy: Can it be…the recovery?The Economist
The outlook for the world economy is better than it was, but there are still big risks out there

Peak Taxes?Macro Man
It really doesn't matter what the Right do with 50p tax rates or the Left scream about for justice and retribution, the most any of them will receive is a cyclically-adjusted 35% of GDP. Expenditure will have to take account of that no matter which party is in power.

JPMorgan’s Elliott Says Consumer Deleveraging EndingBB (mp3)

Inflation in the Cost of CorruptionTestosterone Pit
Corruption in Germany would cost the economy €250 billion ($325 billion) in 2012. In 2005, that amount was €220 billion ($286 billion). An increase of 13.6% over seven years.

100-year gilts and the madness of (crowds of) actuariesalphaville / FT
In the 1930s, a number of high profile trials helped the public feel that some measure of justice was being done. Stripping Fred Goodwin of his K hardly assuages the public anger at the bankers today.

A new era for global financial standards – Nicolas Véron /
Are the regulators finally fighting back? This column argues that behind the headlines, those responsible for setting global financial standards are growing steadily more confident and assertive. Rather than simply set the standards, they are finally making sure they get enforced.

Italian bureaucrats learned Rate Swaps 101 at HarvardSober Look
These are just interest rate hedges gone terribly wrong. Apparently the Italian bureaucrats responsible for these hedging programs went to Harvard to learn how it's done.

Why I gave up my six-figure salary and quit Bay StreetThe Globe and Mail
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to work in finance. Though Gordon Gekko wasn’t exactly my idol, I yearned to be rich like him. The funny thing is, once I got what I thought I wanted, including a robust six-figure salary in my early 20s, I wasn’t nearly as enamoured.

Now Here Are Some Guys Who Knew How To Rip Off A ClientDealbreaker
Stock lending schemes or how to steal money.

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)Wired
Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013.

H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is DeadThe Morning News
Today marks the 75th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death. From Stephen King’s It to “The Call of Cthulhu,” a survey of the 20th century’s greatest horror writer’s afterlife of influence.

Travels in London’s sewersrose george
‘Sign it there,’ says a man dressed identically to me, except that his paper hood is drawn over his head under his hard hat, because he knows what’s down there and I don’t. He doesn’t allow me time to read the form, but I suppose it doesn’t matter. I’ll be harnessed. I’ll be roped. I have breathing apparatus, and I’m with experts.

How one man escaped from a North Korean prison campThe Guardian
There was torture, starvation, betrayals and executions, but to Shin In Geun, Camp 14 – a prison for the political enemies of North Korea – was home. Then one day came the chance to flee…

Book Bits For SaturdayThe Capital Spectator

Tuck into our latest round-up of the best psych and neuro links.