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Institutional Investor (March 29)

2016/ 03/ 31 by jd in Global News

“The LSE and Deutsche Börse have tried to merge twice before, but both attempts ended in acrimony.” This time looks different, but it’s still far from certain. “U.S. predators are lurking, with Atlanta-headquartered Intercontinental Exchange saying it’s considering an offer for LSE; there’s also talk that Chicago-based CME Group and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing could enter the fray and spark a global bidding war.”


USA Today (March 29)

2016/ 03/ 30 by jd in Global News

“We thought the race for president couldn’t get any cruder or more embarrassing…. that was not the case.” Trump and Cruz have moved standards lower and lower. “Today’s grade-school political repartee makes us long for the days when candidates were classy instead of crude.” The majority of Republicans “are embarrassed by their party’s race for the White House.” But “it’s not just Republicans—Americans are embarrassed. If only the candidates were.”


New York Times (March 28)

2016/ 03/ 29 by jd in Global News

“The recent attacks in Belgium and elsewhere would have been catastrophic if the terrorists had gotten their hands on nuclear weapons or even a primitive ‘dirty bomb,’ which combines nuclear material with conventional explosives. International efforts to prevent access to such weapons have made significant progress in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.”


Washington Post (March 27)

2016/ 03/ 28 by jd in Global News

“What would the world look like today if Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower had shared the foreign policy inclinations of Barack Obama or, far more dangerous, Donald Trump?” In the past, there have always been “politicians who would take up the hard work of making the case for U.S. leadership, beginning with presidents such as Truman and Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton. That’s a tradition that stands in danger today,” which is a problem because U.S. leadership still matters.


The Economist (March 26)

2016/ 03/ 27 by jd in Global News

There is “a corrosive lack of competition” among big firms in the U.S. “The naughty secret of American firms is that life at home is much easier: their returns on equity are 40% higher in the United States than they are abroad. Aggregate domestic profits are at near-record levels relative to GDP. America is meant to be a temple of free enterprise. It isn’t.”


Bloomberg (March 25)

2016/ 03/ 26 by jd in Global News

There are lots of questions for the Bank of Japan about its negative rate strategy, which “has caused bond yields to fall below zero, money market funds to stop accepting money, and lawmakers to summon Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to parliament a record number of times to explain it.”


Wall Street Journal (March 23)

2016/ 03/ 25 by jd in Global News

“A majority of the board has been in place for at least 10 years” at nearly a quarter of the largest companies in America. This is prompting investor concerns. “Long-tenured directors can offer companies institutional memory and deep insight into company operations across a variety of economic and competitive environments…. Yet some investors worry that longtime board members may grow too close to the companies and management teams they are supposed to oversee, and lack the critical eye and fresh ideas that newer directors likely bring.”


Financial Times (March 22)

2016/ 03/ 24 by jd in Global News

Many hope that negative interest rates will “encourage banks to lend more plentifully and cheaply and help support economic recovery.” This might instead prove “a dangerous experiment with diminishing positive impact.” The optimistic forecasts overlook “how financial intermediaries may actually respond.” Negative rates “erode banks’ margins. They give lenders an incentive to shrink, not grow. They encourage banks to seek out opportunities overseas rather than in their home markets. They also risk disruptions to bank funding. All go against the grain of the central banks’ desire to ease credit conditions and support financial stability.”


Wall Street Journal (March 22)

2016/ 03/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Europe seems determined to keep treating this as a policing problem, or at least as anything other than a call to bolster military efforts in Syria…. There’s a role for policing in a counterterror strategy, but also a limit. Brussels…can’t live in perpetual lockdown. Until the West is prepared to fight this terrorist threat at the source, Tuesday’s victims in Brussels won’t be the last.”


Institutional Investor (March 21)

2016/ 03/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The Internet and all its mixed blessings are currently in full flower with the Internet of Things (IoT).” Connected things are forecast to grow by 30% this year and by 2020, there will probably be over 20 billion things connected to the Internet. “The pressing question: Is the IoT floor too far along for security to be, as technologists like to say, baked in?” To hackers, the IoT represents the ultimate honeypot” and already a significant share of botnet attacks are taking place not on PCs, but from connected things. “Welcome to the insecurity of things.”


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