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December 2023
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Reuters (December 29)

2023/ 12/ 31 by jd in Global News

“Big bank mergers are no longer taboo. Ever since the 2008 crisis bosses have considered consolidation between large lenders unworkable, while regulators deemed it undesirable. UBS (UBSG.S) Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti may change that if he safely and profitably absorbs local rival Credit Suisse.”


The Economist (December 28)

2023/ 12/ 30 by jd in Global News

“It has been a tricky year atop the corporate ladder. Sluggish growth in many markets has set bosses scrambling to rein in costs just as inflation has spurred their workers to demand hefty pay rises. Fractious geopolitics and toxic culture wars have left corporate chieftains feeling like tightrope-walkers. The craze for generative artificial intelligence (ai) has had them fretting over looming technological disruption, too.”


Wall Street Journal (December 28)

2023/ 12/ 29 by jd in Global News

“The failure to anticipate how quickly the Fed would raise interest rates has upended banks big and small this year. Three bigger ones collapsed this spring, but it is community banks… that have been in a full-blown crisis. The losses on long-term bonds have unnerved depositors, investors and regulators who have questioned how bankers failed to properly protect themselves from interest-rate risks.”


Council on Foreign Relations (December 27)

2023/ 12/ 28 by jd in Global News

Development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to proceed at an exponential rate. Its rise “could mirror previous technological revolutions, adding billions of dollars worth of productivity to the global economy while introducing a slew of new risks that could upend the global geopolitical order and the nature of society itself. Managing these risks will be essential, and a global debate over AI governance is raging as major powers such as the United States, China, and European Union (EU) take increasingly divergent approaches toward regulating the technology.”


CNN (December 27)

2023/ 12/ 28 by jd in Global News

While the economic progress made during 2023 is remarkable, “there’s still a long way to go before inflation is where the Fed wants it,” partly because higher prices have been “pervasive” and “sticky.” They’re not easily reversible. “More than 90% of the items tracked in the Consumer Price Index are more expensive than they were in February 2020, with most price increases landing north of 20% and some (fuel and margarine) approaching 55%.”


ABC New (December 26)

2023/ 12/ 27 by jd in Global News

Due to unexpectedly high migration, “fears that Australia would enter a technical recession during 2023 didn’t eventuate.” Still, “for many, life in 2023 certainly felt recession-like as Australians faced more interest rate hikes, a rising tax bill and a still-increasing cost of living that again outpaced wage growth.”


New York Times (December 26)

2023/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.” It appears that “solid job growth is allowing people to spend more. And even though consumer prices have risen a lot in the last two years, wages have grown faster on the whole.”


Financial Times (December 23)

2023/ 12/ 24 by jd in Global News

“The UK economy shrank slightly in the third quarter.” Revised figures “highlight the country’s struggle to shake off its low-growth performance and raise the risk of a technical recession…. The UK economy is stuck in a lacklustre state as it struggles with high borrowing costs and the legacy of the worst inflationary upsurge for a generation.”


Reuters (December 23)

2023/ 12/ 24 by jd in Global News

In 2024, “the global trade war will shift from fossil fuels to metals and raw materials. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlighted the risk of relying on autocratic states for energy. Even if Europe’s gas crisis eases, Western manufacturers’ focus will switch to reducing China’s dominance in materials key to a cleaner economy.”


Wall Street Journal (December 22)

2023/ 12/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The Federal Reserve is winning its fight over inflation, boosting Americans’ spirits and offering greater reassurance that the U.S. economy can avoid a recession while bringing prices under control.” The PCE index favored by the Fed, “fell 0.1% in November from the previous month, the first decline since April 2020…. Prices were up 2.6% on the year, not far from the Fed’s 2% target.”


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