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Wall Street Journal (April 30)

2014/ 04/ 30 by jd in Global News

“It is good to push racism down when it rears up in such a public way.” By suspending the owner of the LA Clippers for life, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed out a harsh sentence to a tarnished Donald Sterling. “The widespread public revulsion over Donald Sterling’s truly stupid private remarks and the punishment imposed on him by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver show that holding racist views will cause you to be drummed out of the public sphere.”


4/30 Issue

2014/ 04/ 30 by jd in IRCWeekly

Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers, managed to offend just about everybody with his abhorrent racist remarks. The Wall Street Journal cheered the response, especially that of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who meted out a severe sentence, banning Sterling for life from the NBA.

A developing diabetes epidemic in India and China requires a new response, according to the New York Times. Solutions that work in affluent communities with a strong medical infrastructure just don’t suit the realities of many people at risk of falling prey to this disease. Unless there are new approaches, the number of diabetics is expected to skyrocket to 100 million in India and more than 140 million in China within 2 decades.

Across the globe, firm responses are essential to accommodate an aging population and escape secular stagnation. The Economist notes that within two decades the population aged 65 or older will double. Skilled workers have already begun extending their professional lives, but less skilled workers need to be convinced to continue working.

A new response may also be in order given that so many large banks are offloading their commodities businesses to strengthen their balance sheets. According to Institutional Investor, the smaller trading companies snapping up many of these commodities operations will have potential conflicts of interest and may lack the deep pockets to provide market liquidity.

The Washington Post asserts NASA should take a more practical approach to achieve its mission. Embracing unmanned exploration could accomplish more with less.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the U.S. a newly introduced economic measure called gross output could provide more insight than the widely known GDP. By including intermediary value, gross output should provide a more comprehensive and accurate measure of the economy.

And, lastly, NBC News points out that Chinese tourist have become the new super shoppers, reporting that they account for 60% of sales on Rodeo Drive.


Links are provided to the original source so you can get further detail, but please note these are frequently updated and links that were valid at publication may later be broken. To see the media’s takes on these and other developments from around the globe, you can browse Global News highlights below and also at


New York Times (April 27)

2014/ 04/ 29 by jd in Global News

“If nothing changes in the next two decades, India will need to provide chronic care for more than 100 million people with diabetes — close to the entire adult population of Russia.” In China, diabetic numbers are also skyrocketing and expected to mushroom from 98 million to 142 million by 2035. And these numbers understate the challenge. We know how to manage diabetes “in Kansas City or Tokyo.” In developing countries without sufficient chronic care medical infrastructure and with incomes that can ill afford medication, diabetes becomes a devastating affliction. “If we’re going to be any help at all, we need to make a conceptual shift.”


NBC News (April 26)

2014/ 04/ 28 by jd in Global News

“The wheels of commerce along Rodeo Drive are no longer greased by oil money (“black gold, Texas tea”) or by much American money at all.” Sales to international travelers now “fuel” the economy and “Chinese alone account for 60 percent of sales on Rodeo Drive.”


The Economist (April 26)

2014/ 04/ 27 by jd in Global News

With the population of those aged 65 and over nearly set to double in the next two decades, many economies seem poised for stagnation. In actuality, there are new possibilities for older workers to continue contributing to the economy. Skilled workers are already doing this, but “politicians need to convince less-skilled older voters that it is in their interests to go on working. Doing so will not be easy. But the alternative—economic stagnation and even greater inequality—is worse.”


Institutional Investor (April 24)

2014/ 04/ 26 by jd in Global News

To strengthen their balance sheets, large banks (including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays) have been reducing their commodities businesses, mainly through sales to independent trading companies. With these sales “to smaller players, conflicts of interest remain a potential problem” and nobody’s sure whether new problems will accompany this major shift. Given the skinnier balance sheets of the new players, market liquidity could conceivably suffer. In addition, “concerns abound that the underlying problems that have traditionally beset the commodities markets are simply being pushed onto a new and less tightly regulated set of actors.”


Washington Post (April 23)

2014/ 04/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Budget realities require a modest approach to human space exploration and not an Apollo-style moonshot.” NASA needs to adopt a more practical approach. “Rather than attempting to send people to Mars on the cheap, there’s a compelling argument that we could accomplish more with a less expensive strategy of unmanned exploration.”


Wall Street Journal (April 23)

2014/ 04/ 24 by jd in Global News

On Friday, “the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release a new way to measure the economy each quarter.” Gross output is a supply side figure, nearly twice as large as GDP, and “the first significant macroeconomic tool to come into regular use since gross domestic product was developed in the 1940s.” Gross output is “a better, more comprehensive measure of the nation’s economic activity than GDP, and a better indication of the economy’s growth prospects.”


4/23 Issue

2014/ 04/ 23 by jd in IRCWeekly

With President Obama’s visit approaching, Asia was much in the news. The New York Times suggested the President should use the chance to clarify that America’s strategic tilt will not make Asia its only priority, but rather a top priority. Other parts of the world will continue to demand attention.

The Financial Times observes that the security alliance between Japan and the U.S. has provided the “bedrock of Asian security.” With the alliance showing signs of strain, his trip to Japan “could help determine” its future.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Japan has surpassed the rest of the world in aging, with over a quarter of its population now over 65. At 21%, however, Germany and Italy, are not so far behind.

Countries throughout ASEAN look much more resilient today, having taken the lessons of the late 1990s crisis to heart. Investor confidence in the region shows and Institutional Investor observes that over 42% of Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) is now in Southeast Asia, surpassing even China’s footprint in the region.

While the financial system throughout the ASEAN region appears much more stable, Euromoney notes that continuing massive investment in infrastructure will be needed. Based on estimates from the Asian Development Bank, necessary investment could total $60 billion annually through 2020.

Not only in Asia, but around the world, coal will remain a fuel of choice. Despite its drawbacks, the Economist asserts that dirty coal will regrettably “be the fuel of the future.”

And despite tilt to Asia, Russia and Ukraine did not escape notice. The Washington Post points out that the Russians instigating invasion and insurrection are “entirely flexible” in the short-term though their eye is firmly fixed on annexing eastern and southern Ukraine in the long term.


Links are provided to the original source so you can get further detail, but please note these are frequently updated and links that were valid at publication may later be broken. To see the media’s takes on these and other developments from around the globe, you can browse Global News highlights below and also at


Financial Times (April 22)

2014/ 04/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The US-Japan relationship has been the bedrock of Asian security but some see it as the remnant of a bygone era.” President Obama’s state visit to Japan comes at a “pivotal time” and could help determine the future of the alliance.


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