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August 2018
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Professional Pensions (August 29)

2018/ 08/ 31 by jd in Global News

“The number of firms facing shareholder rebellions increased by a quarter in the 2018 AGM season.” There were an additional 237 individual resolutions involving “significant shareholder opposition” at FTSE companies. “Opposition to individual director re-elections more than doubled from 38 resolutions to 80, while FTSE 250 firms saw the largest rise, where rebellions more than doubled with 37 resolutions compared to just 18 last year.”0


Reuters (August 29)

2018/ 08/ 30 by jd in Global News

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly feasible in the eyes of investors who are hedging against the risk of the currency tanking if Britain is left isolated from the EU, its largest trading partner.” Bank of America Merrill Lynch has warned that central bank selling of more than 100 billion pounds in reserves “could be a major catalyst for a significant sterling downturn” should the UK leave the EU without a deal.


Wired (August 26)

2018/ 08/ 28 by jd in Global News

In a remote location, China built the Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest. To reduce radio-frequency interference (RFI), China “forcibly relocated thousands of villagers who lived nearby, so their modern trappings wouldn’t interfere with the new prized instrument.” Once FAST was completed, the government then built up a tourist mecca “just a few miles from the displaced villagers’ demolished houses” and now “plans to increase the permanent population by hundreds of thousands…. potentially undercutting its own science in an attempt to promote it.”


Financial Times (August 25)

2018/ 08/ 28 by jd in Global News

“The US stock market this week reached twin landmarks: an all-time high, and the longest bull run in history. Yet it is shrinking…. The tally of listed domestic companies in the US has almost halved from 8,090 in 1996 to 4,336 last year.”


The Economist (August 25)

2018/ 08/ 27 by jd in Global News

“America’s bull market in equities turned 3,453 days old” on August 22. “Since hitting a low of 666 in March 2009, the S&P 500 index has increased more than fourfold, driven by strong corporate profits, low inflation, stable economic growth and a boatload of central-bank stimulus. Despite five corrections of at least 10%, the index has never entered bear territory, defined as a drop of at least 20%. Most commentators are declaring this to be the longest bull market in history.”


Time (August 23)

2018/ 08/ 26 by jd in Global News

It is shocking “that more than 65% of Japanese medical doctors who responded to a survey said reducing the entrance exam scores for women is unavoidable, since the extreme working hours make it impossible for female doctors to work full time while taking care of their children. Japanese society still sees household chores and childcare as the main responsibility of women, whether or not they are in paid employment.”


BBC (August 23)

2018/ 08/ 25 by jd in Global News

Brexit is “akin to attempting to remove an egg from an omelette” and if there’s not a deal, it’s likely to become an even bigger mess. “Today’s “no deal” papers reveal the complicated exercise could carry significant costs for consumers and businesses if Britain and the EU fail to agree on a transition period and a subsequent trading agreement.” Failure to reach a deal would “very likely to have a negative impact on the economy and could mean higher prices in the shops as firms pass on the higher costs of doing business.”


Wall Street Journal (August 23)

2018/ 08/ 25 by jd in Global News

“The Fed has been able to slowly and predictably raise interest rates this year because the economy has performed largely in line with its expectations, but Wednesday’s minutes show how trade uncertainties loom large for U.S. businesses and Fed officials.”


Bloomberg (August 22)

2018/ 08/ 24 by jd in Global News

The European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program “has driven down European credit spreads.” In September, as the ECB scales down this operation, it’s “going to be a tough wrench seeing the biggest buyer in the room step away. Average spreads over benchmark government bonds may already be showing the strain.”


Washington Post (August 21)

2018/ 08/ 23 by jd in Global News

“For foreign countries that have made big bets on Donald Trump’s presidency — such as Russia, China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia — the U.S. midterm elections pose a significant problem: Trump’s maneuvering room may be sharply limited if Democrats win control of the House.” The Republicans hold on power looks “so precarious, that foreign commentators are debating what GOP losses in November could mean.”


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