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December 2017
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Institutional Investor (October Issue)

2017/ 10/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s back, baby! No, you’re not hallucinating…. The world’s third-largest economy may finally have put its deflationary past behind…. Gross domestic product expanded for six straight quarters through June, momentum not seen in more than a decade, and private consumption, which accounts for two thirds of GDP, rose nearly 1 percent in the second quarter.”


The Economist (August 5)

2017/ 08/ 07 by jd in Global News

“It is odd that North Korea causes so much trouble. It is not exactly a superpower. Its economy is only a fiftieth as big as that of its democratic capitalist cousin, South Korea. Americans spend twice its total GDP on their pets.” And yet everyone is wondering what to do with this rogue. “There are no good options to curb Kim Jong Un.” But a first strike or “blundering into war would be the worst… The world must keep calm and contain Mr Kim.”


Bloomberg (March 3)

2017/ 03/ 05 by jd in Global News

There is a “big problem with China’s bridge and tunnel addiction.” It looks unsustainable. “China spent more than $10.8 trillion on infrastructure from 2006 to 2015…. Outlays for roads, airports, ports, railways, and the like rose 17.4 percent last year, far outpacing the country’s 6.7 percent expansion in gross domestic product.” To maintain the pace, Beijing is promoting public-private partnerships (PPP), but these look “unstable.”


Bloomberg (February 16)

2017/ 02/ 17 by jd in Global News

“Sleep deprivation is doing more harm in Japan than just making people grumpy and unhealthy. It is also holding back the world’s third-largest economy,” creating an economic drag of nearly $140 billion or roughly 2.9% of GDP. This is a much larger GDP slice than Canada (1.35%), Germany (1.56%), the UK (1.86%) or the U.S. (2.28%) lose to sleep deprivation. Moreover, periodic surveys by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, show the number of people averaging less than 6 hours of sleep per night has risen by about 10% since 2007 to nearly 40% of Japan’s population.


Chicago Tribune (December 23)

2016/ 12/ 24 by jd in Global News

“From the standpoint of personal health, getting at least seven hours is just common sense. But a case can be made that sleep equals productivity equals a robust economy. So, for yourself and for the sake of our country, do your part for the gross domestic product.” A recent Rand Corporation study found that lost sleep negatively impacts the U.S. economy by $411 billion each year.


Bloomberg (December 4)

2016/ 12/ 06 by jd in Global News

In India, “the chaos accompanying ‘demonetization’ hasn’t eased up noticeably. It seems likely the disruption to the economy…will hit growth sharply for at least a few quarters. It’s tough to say for how long and by how much; we are in uncharted territory here and guesses have varied widely.” There is a very loose consensus, however, that the move by Prime Minister Modi to invalidate 86% of the currency in circulation could cause GDP growth to fall by approximately 2 percentage points.


Newsweek (November 13)

2016/ 10/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Poor vision is not a life-threatening condition,” but it affects 4.3 billion people worldwide and “is having a seismic impact on the economic and social development of countries around the world. A landmark report by Access Economics recently demonstrated that current rates of poor vision are costing the global economy an estimated $3 trillion a year—roughly equal to the gross domestic product of Africa.”


CNBC (October 6)

2016/ 10/ 07 by jd in Global News

“The world is awash with $152 trillion dollars of debt, according to the IMF, an all-time high which sits at more than double the balance at the start of this century.” In 2002, debt represented 200% of global GDP. At the end of 2015, this figure had risen to 225% and “signifies the extent to which increases in borrowing have outpaced economic growth during the period.”


Institutional Investor (September 19)

2016/ 09/ 21 by jd in Global News

“A sense of dissonance” is overcoming global markets, according to the Bank for International Settlements. “Falling bond yields are normally associated with subdued growth…yet stock markets around the world have rallied even as corporate profitability has lagged.” Furthermore, the ten-year yield on many major sovereigns is “running well below the nominal rate of growth in gross domestic product, breaking a 65-year pattern in which the two have tracked each other closely.”


The Guardian (July 29)

2016/ 07/ 30 by jd in Global News

“It is a race to take charge of the world’s largest city—a metropolis with a population more than half the size of the United Kingdom and with a GDP greater than all but 10 countries.” But the Tokyo Governor’s race is probing new lows with “mud slinging and misogyny,” as well as “events that some say highlights the worst of Japan’s male-dominated politics.”


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