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Wall Street Journal (August 11)

2018/ 08/ 14 by jd in Global News

Though “artificial intelligence has the potential to reinvent the world, from how businesses operate to the types of jobs people hold to the way wars are fought,”  the struggles of IBM’s Watson “suggest that revolution remains some way off.” Currently, “no published research shows Watson improving patient outcomes” while “more than a dozen IBM partners and clients have halted or shrunk Watson’s oncology-related projects” because of its “limited impact on patients.” Often, “the tools didn’t add much value. In some cases, Watson wasn’t accurate.”

 

The Economist (August 11)

2018/ 08/ 13 by jd in Global News

“Today’s tax systems are not only marred by the bewildering complexity and loopholes that have always afflicted taxation; they are also outdated. That makes them less efficient, more unfair and more likely to conflict with a government’s priorities. The world needs to remake tax systems so that they are fit for the 21st century.”

 

Bloomberg (August 10)

2018/ 08/ 12 by jd in Global News

“The slide in China’s currency paused this week after jawboning by the central bank,” but the rout may not be over. “The ripples of the yuan’s 4.7 percent drop this year may be just starting to spread to the country’s neighbors” such as Vietnam, where the “dong has been moving steadily closer to the edge of its 3 percent daily trading band against the dollar over the past two weeks, as traders bet on faster depreciation.” Moreover, Vietnam is only half caught up with the drop in China’s currency, “suggesting further depreciation is possible – particularly if the yuan resumes its decline.”

 

New York Times (August 9)

2018/ 08/ 11 by jd in Global News

The $30 trillion U.S. stock market hogs the attention, but “the larger domestic debt market—at around $41 trillion for the bond market alone—reveals more about our nation’s financial health. And right now, the debt market is broadcasting a dangerous message: Investors, desperate for debt instruments that pay high interest, have been overpaying for riskier and riskier obligations….  with little concern that bonds can be every bit as dangerous to own as stocks.” The mispricing of risk is still rampant and when spreads rise and defaults begin, “trillions of dollars in invested capital could be lost.” Although, we’re not necessarily “on the verge of a recession. But the corporate debt bubble inevitably will play a role in causing it.”

 

The Guardian (August 9)

2018/ 08/ 10 by jd in Global News

“The era of low interest rates will last for at least another 20 years, despite gently rising official borrowing costs in the coming years, one of the Bank of England’s leading policymakers has forecast.” Outgoing monetary policy committee (MPC) member Ian McCafferty said that “structural changes in the global economy meant UK borrowers and savers should get used to interest rates being “significantly” below the 5% average in the 10 years leading up to the financial crisis.”

 

Reuters (August 9)

2018/ 08/ 10 by jd in Global News

“The last thing the Bank of England wants right now, one suspects, is a precipitous fall in the value of the pound. Yet with the worst Brexit fears intensifying, that’s exactly what it may have to brace for.”

 

Chicago Tribune (August 7)

2018/ 08/ 09 by jd in Global News

Chicago experienced a “weekend from hell, when outbreaks of gunfire killed 12 people and injured at least 62″ Then, “the carnage” continued on Monday. But “gun violence in Chicago is random the way destructive wind gusts are random. You can brace yourself but still not anticipate the location or severity of a blast. Monday easily could have been the quiet after the storm.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t. “At least 10 people were shot in eight incidents Monday on the South and West sides.”

 

Institutional Investor (August 6)

2018/ 08/ 08 by jd in Global News

“For the world of institutional investing, the topic of our time is none other than fees.” Most of the solutions being touted, such as 1-or-30, are anything but revolutionary. “Any magic is really just sleight-of-hand meant to distract us from realizing how low our expectations are for any meaningful improvement in the existing misaligned fee structures.” We must overcome this built-in bias and “expand the window of possible choices to include those that will be seen as utterly unthinkable by today’s standards.” For example, a “rent” system could be adopted in which “the allocator no longer pays fees to the manager for the use of its own capital and is assured of receiving the investment outcome it seeks (i.e., the negotiated rent). The manager gets the capital and potential revenue it needs to run its business.” Such a revolutionary move would place the risk directly where it belongs: on the asset manager.

 

Newsweek (August 5)

2018/ 08/ 07 by jd in Global News

On Sunday, a Trump tweet asserted that the “fake media” desires to “purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!” His “latest outburst leaves us in a sort of cold war, with President of the United States Donald Trump lobbing nukes against a media that he deems his opposition…. Ultimately, this war, like all wars, will have no real winner. The media will outlast Donald Trump because of the First Amendment. But a price will be paid. We’re just waiting to see how big that price is.”

 

The Economist (August 4)

2018/ 08/ 06 by jd in Global News

“Earth is smouldering. From Seattle to Siberia this summer, flames have consumed swathes of the northern hemisphere.” And humanity is not rising to the challenge. Three years following the Paris Accord, “greenhouse-gas emissions are up again. So are investments in oil and gas. In 2017, for the first time in four years, demand for coal rose. Subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are dwindling.” While “it is tempting to think these are temporary setbacks and that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, will muddle through to a victory over global warming. In fact, it is losing the war.”

 

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