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March 2019
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Reuters (February 19)

2019/ 02/ 21 by jd in Global News

“With no deal in sight as Britain’s March 29 exit date approaches, supermarkets are stockpiling, working on alternative supplies and testing new routes to cope with an expected logjam at the borders but say they face insurmountable barriers.” One of the biggest is that you simply can’t stockpile fresh produce and other perishables. “Intense competition and slim margins in the British supermarket sector have also made contingency planning more complicated.”


New York Times (June 20)

2018/ 06/ 22 by jd in Global News

“The United States should stop the scattershot, pointless nonsense on tariffs and go the other way, and hard: It should drop all tariffs, even if the rest of the world doesn’t follow.” Economists have long “understood that free trade is the best policy. Studies show that countries with freer trade have both higher per-capita incomes and faster rates of productivity growth. Economists have also long understood that barriers to trade, while pitched as a way to help domestic workers, always heavily penalize domestic consumers.”


Financial Times (April 11)

2018/ 04/ 13 by jd in Global News

“For decades, Japan has struggled to remove barriers to the growth of technology start-ups,” but risk aversion and social pressure caused job seekers to focus on established companies. “That may be changing” as economic stagnation “threatens lifetime employment at big companies. More young people are joining start-ups or even going freelance to enjoy flexibility in their working life. Part-time or contract workers now account for about 40 per cent of Japan’s workforce.”


The Economist (October 22)

2016/ 10/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Twentieth-century trade deals slashed tariffs. Newer ones between rich countries, such as CETA, focus on cutting other barriers to trade.” It took seven years to hammer out the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a trade deal that would eliminate duplicative safety checks, as well as about 99% of customs duties between the Canada and the EU. But gaining final approval of any trade deal is increasingly difficult. Last week, the regional parliament of Wallonia blocked the deal, which was estimated to “make Europe €5.8 billion a year richer.”


The Economist (April 4)

2015/ 04/ 05 by jd in Global News

“Poor land use in the world’s greatest cities carries a huge cost.” There isn’t much real shortage of land in even the most heavily populated areas. Instead poor regulations stifle efficient land use. “In the West End of London,” these regulations “inflate the price of office space by about 800%; in Milan and Paris the rules push up prices by around 300%.” But the effect on economic growth is even more profound. “Lifting all the barriers to urban growth in America could raise the country’s GDP by between 6.5% and 13.5%, or by about $1 trillion-2 trillion.”


Institutional Investor (July 3)

2014/ 07/ 04 by jd in Global News

“Japan is not without ambitious women who have been able to get ahead, as well as corporate leaders who are making an effort to promote more women…. But barriers persist.” Kathy Matsui, who coined the term womenomics, recently estimated that “Japan’s GDP could rise by nearly 13 percent if the employment rate of women rose to match that of men.”


Institutional Investor (May Issue)

2014/ 05/ 25 by jd in Global News

“New innovative business models by upstarts Tesla and Uber are poised to disrupt multiple industries at once.” Both companies have been driving around barriers thrown up by conventional businesses that feel threatened. “The real winners to watch — the companies that will shape the landscape of American business and tech — are those that seek to fill customers’ every need, that work themselves into new markets however possible.”


New York Times (January 29, 2014)

2014/ 01/ 30 by jd in Global News

President Obama delivered his sixth annual State of the Union address to Congress. It “acknowledged the obvious: Congress has become a dead end for most of the big, muscular uses of government to redress income inequality and improve the economy for all, because of implacable Republican opposition.” The President’s determination to bypass Congress and do whatever he can to get things done without legislation is realistic: “Mr. Obama should employ every tool in his box to bypass those barriers.”