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February 2018
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US News & World Report (February 27)

2018/ 02/ 28 by jd in Global News

“New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a message Tuesday that wasn’t quite what Wall Street had expected: The U.S. economy is doing well, maybe even better than he thought late last year.”


Website Magazine (February Issue)

2018/ 02/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Mobile traffic is past its tipping point with roughly 52 percent of web traffic currently deriving from smartphones versus desktops…To date, forward-thinking ecommerce companies have worked to ensure their sites were primed for mobile viewing, turning to responsive web design (RWD) as the solution.” Now, however, the move is toward adaptive design. Although it requires more coding, “it offers a whole range of other prioritizing features on mobile that customers crave versus receiving a shallow, shrunk-down version of the desktop site that leaves too much to be desired.”


Financial Times (February 26)

2018/ 02/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Four months after a historic Chinese Communist party congress was expected to answer most questions about Xi Jinping’s second five-year term in office, China’s president has demonstrated that he can still ‘shock and awe’ his political rivals.” The Central Committee’s recommendation to scrap the ten year presidential term limit, almost ensures this protection will be written out of the constitution, further tightening Xi’s powerful grip on China.


Fortune (February Issue)

2018/ 02/ 26 by jd in Global News

The cost of “suffocating air pollution” is higher than imagined. The World Bank had estimated in 2016 that air pollution resulted in health costs of $5 trillion a year, but other losses could especially hit developing countries. “High pollution levels are capable of causing net out-migration of 5%—a potentially devastating economic blow, especially because those most likely to leave are wealthy and educated.”


The Economist (February 24)

2018/ 02/ 25 by jd in Global News

“It is futile to speculate how much Russia’s efforts succeeded in altering the outcomes of votes and poisoning politics. The answer is unknowable. But the conspiracies are wrong in themselves and their extent raises worries about the vulnerabilities of Western democracies. If the West is going to protect itself against Russia and other attackers, it needs to treat Mr Mueller’s indictments as a rallying cry.”


Bloomberg (February 23)

2018/ 02/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Beijing’s interventions in the economy don’t always merit applause, but the government’s unprecedented seizure of Anbang Insurance Group Co. deserves a round. Anbang was a toxic threat to China’s financial system.” With total assets estimated to be “a staggering 3.4 percent of China’s GDP,” Anbang had the potential to deliver a shock “comparable to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. or American International Group Inc. in the U.S.” Chinese authorities have “nipped a potential disaster in the bud.”


Reuters (February 21)

2018/ 02/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The recent surge in market volatility, by some measures one of the most dramatic on record, will have zero impact on investor returns beyond a few months. Literally zero.” Investors are better to hold tight to their investments. “In fact, the turbulence that wiped $4 trillion off the value of world stocks earlier this month is already fading.”


Barron’s February 21)

2018/ 02/ 22 by jd in Global News

“Retailers had a great holiday season to end 2017…but not all of them will be able to hang on to that momentum throughout the year.” Despite some gains, such tighter inventory control and higher gross margins, “investors will be more focused on whether or not companies can sustain that momentum, given how retail was trounced last year by worries about and e-commerce in general.”


The Straits Times (February 20)

2018/ 02/ 21 by jd in Global News

“In spite of a substantial budget surplus,” Singapore is planning to raise taxes to meet “the challenges that lie ahead—in the form of financing healthcare in an ageing society, meeting infrastructure needs and ensuring security.” This approach starkly contrasts with the U.S., which has cut taxes despite running an enormous budget deficit, but fiscal sustainability has been “a mainstay of Singapore’s economic planning since independence.”


Washington Post (February 18)

2018/ 02/ 20 by jd in Global News

While it could simply be Trump’s infinite vanity, “the more sinister hypothesis is that he has something to hide and, having benefited from Russia’s assistance once, hopes for more aid in 2018 and 2020. Either way, we are at war without a commander in chief.”


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