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Must Read Financial Blogs: Why Rakuten's Kobo Is Amazon's Only Global Competition


Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Feel free to send along your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Link: Why Rakuten's Kobo Is Amazon's Only Global Competition

"When I look at global publishing, I do the math in my head, I see the pieces coming together, all the different possible futures, the perils of bridging such a fragmented system, and the tremendous payoff for anyone who can pull it off - and I whisper: 'Yes. This is the future - for me, for you, for all of us.' This vision of the future can be hard to explain, because it doesn't usually come with giant, orchestrated, triumphant multimedia presentations like last Thursday's Apple iBooks announcement. It comes piece by piece, territory by territory, with little news items with innocuously 'Kobo Continues International Expansion Launching In the Netherlands With Libris Blz.' Here's why you should care about that second announcement, too...." (Also Read Watch Out Amazon, Here Comes Rakuten!)

FT Alphaville
Link: The Price of Land on the Interweb

"Are internet domains an asset class? If so, what is the risk-return profile like? In an effort to answer these questions, MIT researcher Thies Lindenthal has taken the very important step of creating a price index for domain names. With an index, one can benchmark. More exciting though is that this index may (like PMIs, for example) serve as a leading indicator - for internet companies like Google, that is."

Free Exchange
Link: The Zero-Sum President

"State of the Union addresses tend to be long, winding affairs, filled with a grab bag of policy ideas that will altenatively appeal to and irk people across the political spectrum. Barack Obama's latest address had plenty of sensible ideas in it: tax reform, including reductions in corporate rates; more spending and accountability on education and infrastructure investment; streamlining of the regulatory environment; and so on. He led off, however, with a call for a reshoring of manufacturing jobs seemingly calculated to cost him The Economist's endorsement.

Total Return
Link: Fed Forecasts: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Over and over again, the Federal Reserve has promised to keep rates low for a really, really, really long time-at least until 2013. But clearly that's not enough. In a decision revealed on Jan. 3 in the December FOMC minutes, the Fed said it will release forecasts for short-term interest rates, as well as other important monetary-policy instruments, at its next meeting. That meeting would be today.

Capital Spectator
Link: The IMF Downgrades Global Growth But Sees No Fallout For The US

Does the International Monetary Fund's diminished outlook for the global economy lay the groundwork for thinking that recession risk is elevated for the U.S.? Perhaps, although the IMF's latest numbers suggest otherwise. Indeed, IMF projections for US GDP remain intact.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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