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August 2016
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National Geographic (August 29)

2016/ 08/ 31 by jd in Global News

While much focus is on surging tension with China, “another less publicized, also potentially disastrous, threat looms in the South China Sea: overfishing. This is one of the world’s most important fisheries, employing more than 3.7 million people and bringing in billions of dollars every year. But after decades of free-for-all fishing, dwindling stocks now threaten both the food security and economic growth of the rapidly developing nations that draw on them.”


LA Times (August 28)

2016/ 08/ 30 by jd in Global News

The U.S. is undergoing de-masculinization. “Our gender turfs were once distinct—women never grabbed a grease gun, nor men a flour sifter. But they become more intermingled with each passing year.” There are now more female drivers than male drivers. Stay-at-home dads, rather than moms, are now present in over 2 million homes. And “women are now the majority of top-performing college students headed toward jobs in middle and upper management.”


The Economist (August 27)

2016/ 08/ 29 by jd in Global News

The discovery of the star Proxima Centauri is piquing imaginations. “What is exciting about this new world is not what is known—which, so far, is almost nothing…. It is what is unknown and the possibilities it may contain. It is the chance that there is life beneath that turbulent red sun, and that humans might be able to recognise it from 40 trillion kilometres away.” 


Washington Post (August 26)

2016/ 08/ 28 by jd in Global News

“To appreciate what’s at stake for the world in this year’s U.S. presidential election, it’s useful to visit a place such as Australia that has been one of our most faithful allies.” Laid back Australians are “mortified at what’s happening in American politics.” Only 11% support Trump (versus 77% for Clinton) and, “most amazing, in a country that has backed every U.S. military action for a century, 59 percent of Australians say their country shouldn’t join in U.S. military action if Trump is elected.”


USA Today (August 25)

2016/ 08/ 27 by jd in Global News

Most U.S. middle and high schools “still start earlier than 8:30 a.m.,” despite growing scientific evidence that older students should sleep later. Next month, “Seattle will become one of the largest urban districts to push back start times…. Less tardiness and more attentive students should be enough to awaken more districts to the benefits of later start times for teenagers.”


Wall Street Journal (August 23)

2016/ 08/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Robots are coming. Don’t worry, be happy. It’s the path to growth and higher living standards.” Despite the gloom of some prognosticators, very few jobs can be entirely replaced by robots. Many, however, can be enhanced by robots, freeing humans up for higher level activities. “Workers are augmented, not replaced. Salesmen with Google Maps, realtors with 3-D home views, carpenters with laser tape measures. Doctors doing robot assisted minimally invasive surgery.”


New York Times (August 22)

2016/ 08/ 24 by jd in Global News

“A string of recent scandals has shown that the United Nations has been unwilling to police itself, learn from its errors, correct course and make amends. When a new secretary general takes over next year, she or he should make it a priority to revamp the organization’s oversight entities and create a culture of accountability.”


Institutional Investor (August 21)

2016/ 08/ 23 by jd in Global News

Black swan events “will continue to jolt global markets. But when even the best of human forecasters struggle to predict with accuracy the outcomes of these events, how can pension plans, for example, effectively make decisions to better weather the volatility that follows.” Big data may hold the key. “Using big data to track media sentiment, volume, tone and correlation can help institutional investors understand the diffusion of ideas and outliers that can serve as clues for unexpected risk.”


The Economist (August 20)

2016/ 08/ 22 by jd in Global News

“What are the most dysfunctional parts of the global financial system?” While here are many candidates, “if sheer size is your yardstick, nothing beats America’s housing market.” At $26 trillion, “it is the world’s largest asset class” and “the slab of mortgage debt lurking beneath it is the planet’s biggest concentration of financial risk.” This wasn’t fully sanitized in the wake of the financial crisis. “Vast, nationalised, unprofitable and undercapitalised, it remains a menace to the world’s biggest economy.”


Reuters (August 18)

2016/ 08/ 21 by jd in Global News

“Short-sellers who made their names and fortunes wiping billions off Chinese and Southeast Asian companies are setting their sights on Japan after a series of accounting scandals amplified concerns about weak corporate governance there. Until recently, corporate managers in Japan have enjoyed relatively limited scrutiny of their governance standards and accounting rigor.”


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