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August 2018
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The Economist (August 18)

2018/ 08/ 20 by jd in Global News

“It is not just in Italy that questions should be asked about monitoring and maintenance regimes. Bridges throughout Europe, America and Asia are all showing signs of deterioration…. With the world covered in reinforced concrete, this is a problem that spans countries. The failure of the Morandi bridge shows that it must not be ignored.”


Financial Times (August 16)

2018/ 08/ 19 by jd in Global News

“It is only five years since so-called unicorns—private tech companies valued at $1bn or more—sprang on to the public consciousness. They were succeeded by “decacorns”—$10bn and up. What comes next could put all this in the shade.”


Reuters (August 16)

2018/ 08/ 19 by jd in Global News

“Banks still have to work to rebuild public trust, despite years of restructuring and paying fines and compensation for misbehaviour.” A YouGov survey found that “66 percent of adults in Britain do not trust banks to work in the best interests of society.”



Los Angeles Times (August 16)

2018/ 08/ 18 by jd in Global News

“The largest fire in California history continued to grow Thursday while firefighters worked to protect threatened communities…. Conditions have been ripe for the erratic fire behavior that has led to the explosive growth of the Ranch fire, which along with the River fire makes up the 364,145-acre Mendocino Complex fire. The days are so hot and dry that whatever gains firefighters see overnight when the humidity goes up quickly fade when the sun hits the fuels and sucks the moisture out.”


Traders Magazine (August 14)

2018/ 08/ 17 by jd in Global News

Despite the fear, “stock predicting AI will never take over the world,” markets are a level two chaos event (L2CE): they respond to predictions. There is “a feedback loop. The program would have to predict share prices based upon variables including the share price it has just predicted. In other words, the forecast given by a stock prediction bot can never be right, if the amount traded because of this prediction is great enough to make it wrong.”


Washington Post (August 14)

2018/ 08/ 16 by jd in Global News

“Even in a world where the United States’ military and diplomatic power seems to be in retreat, there is an element of the U.S.-led order that’s as strong as ever — our dominance of the global economy.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey “may think he can bluff his way through the Brunson crisis, but Turkish banks, construction companies and bondholders know better. In the still-global economy, going it alone really isn’t an option… This summer, as ever, we sink or swim together.”


Barrons (August 13)

2018/ 08/ 15 by jd in Global News

“Turkey makes up less than 1% of the emerging markets index, but its small size hasn’t kept it from creating big ripples during the dog days of summer. Most investors are steering clear of Turkey, as it grapples with the fallout from years of binging on dollar-denominated debt, but the bigger question is who else could get caught up in Turkey’s crisis.”


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.”


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