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October 2016
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Wall Street Journal (October 30)

2016/ 10/ 31 by jd in Global News

“Recent cases show that foreign companies need to be more cognizant of Chinese laws and the nuances of the country’s political system.” Two weeks ago, China detained 18 employees from Crown Resorts Ltd., but authorities “have declined to give details, and no charges have been made public.” More aggressive enforcement has some business consultants “advising foreign executives to steer clear of mainland China for now.”


The Economist (October 29)

2016/ 10/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Irredeemably dull by reputation, less brash and bellicose than America, Canada has long seemed to outsiders to be a citadel of decency, tolerance and good sense.” Especially now, “in this depressing company of wall-builders, door-slammers and drawbridge-raisers, Canada stands out as a heartening exception,” both in terms of immigration and free trade.


Financial Times (October 27)

2016/ 10/ 29 by jd in Global News

Investment flows with China “are becoming unsustainably one-sided,” an imbalance that cannot endure. “There is no problem in Chinese companies buying abroad — but Beijing sets up big obstacles at home.” Either China will open up inward investment or the West will clamp down on China’s outward investment.


Reuters (October 27)

2016/ 10/ 28 by jd in Global News

AT&T’s $85 billion “offer for Time Warner lacks strategic rationale, has politicians of all stripes criticizing it and has destroyed shareholder value while denying owners a vote. All it lacks–so far–is an activist shareholder demanding it be scrapped.”


Time (October 26)

2016/ 10/ 27 by jd in Global News

“The approval of Heathrow’s extension risks being not a symbol of Britain’s openness to global investment, but a reminder that the country is frequently hamstrung by turgid, centralized bureaucracy, deficient planning laws that act as a brake on growth, and a thornily complicated legal system that can bind up investors in court for decades.” Though the British Government approved expansion of Heathrow Airport, this is just the beginning of the process, which still requires a vote of Parliament next year and subsequent approvals from various governmental bodies. The earliest construction start for the new runway is 2021, with most experts agreeing 2030 is realistic for completion. Some, however, “think it may never be built, that the roadblocks in its way are insurmountable.”


U.S News (October 25)

2016/ 10/ 26 by jd in Global News

The Islamic State has proved remarkably hard to stamp out, partly due to its media agility. “The rise of the Islamic State group resembled a digital media start-up, using the same strategies that social media sites like Buzzfeed, Vox or Upworthy have employed…. Their content is relevant, acculturated, localized and focused: an audience-first approach that perfectly matches our 21st century media culture.” The Obama administration also “embraces digital technology,” but in stark contrast “finds itself in the role of a traditional company being disrupted by an agile digital media start-up.”


New York Times (October 25)

2016/ 10/ 25 by jd in Global News

“The Chinese government plans to introduce codes for some 3,000 Chinese characters as part of a grand project, known as the China Font Bank, to digitize 500,000 characters previously unavailable in electronic form.” Admirable in many respects, this massive expansion of the 80,000 or so current Unicode characters will also bring a downside. “Netizens who have been using obscure characters for secret or playful language to avoid government scrutiny can expect to have fewer words to hide behind.”


Chicago Tribune (October 23)

2016/ 10/ 24 by jd in Global News

“It’s been 71 years since the Cubs made it this far.” The Cubs will now move onto the World Series. “This city piled all those years of hope and expectation on the shoulders of this year’s players — and they delivered. They closed the deal Saturday night with aggressive batting and surgical, minimalist pitching…. For now, savor the present and salute a cast that, dare we say, could soon have us readying the confetti.”


The Economist (October 22)

2016/ 10/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Twentieth-century trade deals slashed tariffs. Newer ones between rich countries, such as CETA, focus on cutting other barriers to trade.” It took seven years to hammer out the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a trade deal that would eliminate duplicative safety checks, as well as about 99% of customs duties between the Canada and the EU. But gaining final approval of any trade deal is increasingly difficult. Last week, the regional parliament of Wallonia blocked the deal, which was estimated to “make Europe €5.8 billion a year richer.”


Institutional Investor (October 21)

2016/ 10/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Negative interest rates are nothing new in Europe, where some central banks have effectively been charging depositors since 2014. But if rates stay below zero much longer, the region’s banks and institutional investors may have to rethink their portfolios to keep afloat.”


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