1 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

1 April 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what is the average American Savings?


Belt and Road property boom stalls as Beijing tightens reins – Pg. 1

–          A global real estate boom fueled by China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative has slowed to a crawl, as Beijing seeks to rein in rogue building projects across the globe

–          So far this year, less than $1bn has been invested in overseas commercial property projects by Chinese developers in designated BRI countries.  That puts this year’s total on tract to be far below last year’s figure of about $14bn and marks another sharp drop from the peak of $23.6bn in 2016….

–          Capital flight has been a key concern among Chinese policymakers.  Overseas investments that require companies to sell renminbi and buy dollars are carefully vetted to make sure the investments are in line with governments policy and not just a means of moving money out of the country

–          Some of the biggest private investors in BRI real estate have been forced to begin selling assets


Zuckerberg’s ‘mea culpa’ on regulation fails to check backlash against Big Tech – Pg. 1

–          …his recommendations, which included updating rules concerning online political advertising and rolling out a global framework for data protection, failed to win over privacy advocates and politicians

–          A backlash is growing among the public and government officials against big technology companies, driven by privacy and antitrust concerns


Biden denies allegations of inappropriate touching – Pg. 3

–          …denied he made inappropriate sexual advances to a female state lawmaker at a 2014 political campaign stop in Nevada

–          (Prof Note: Why does there need to be touching at all?!  Lets get rid of the handshake and go with the slight bow!)


Mobilising political leaders and donors – Pg. 9

–          Reflecting on the lessons learnt Mr Gates, 63, stresses the need for data, systems and holding people to account as he seeks to spur policymakers to tackle big global problems

–          But with the adoption of vaccines sluggish, he has had to place greater focus on management, politics and health systems in his efforts to ensure that new products are also widely used

–          He has increasingly focused on Africa, where the population is projected to double by 2050

–          Mr Gates stresses the need to prioritize.  Initially, he concentrated his philanthropy on global health issues and US domestic education.  He has since diversified, adding agriculture, financial inclusion and more recently exploring international education


How freelancers are fighting back in the battle against late payments – Pg. 12

–          On May 15, 2017, New York became the first US city to enact a law giving freelancers the right to a written contract, timely and full payment and protection from retaliation.  The so-called Freelance Isn’t Free Law also established penalties for violations of these rights, including damages payments and legal fees, enforced by authorities

–          It may provide a model for how to address precarious work and slow payment for the rising numbers of self-employed workers in the UK, who made up 15.15 of the workforce in 2017

–          UK freelancers are entitled to claim interest on late payments under the Late Payment Act, introduced in 1998.  But the only way to enforce the fee is through the courts, where the freelancers must be able to provide a contract was in place and that the work was delivered

–          (Prof Note: One thing that really bothers me is late pay.  We must pay our employees and contractors on time and, for us, this is a matter of pride.  However, when paid late, it requires us to provide trade credit.  Not many small- to medium-sized businesses have the ability to provide trade credit and float.)

–          (Prof Note: This is also a reason to charge an initial retainer.  Our view is basically, “no payee, no workee.”  When the retainer is received, if not paid past the retainer, it simply means a reduction in hourly rate.  Note, we have never not been paid, to date.)

–          (Prof Note: Also, we work VERY hard at providing trust with each new relationship.  It may take 1 – 3 days for an ACH/wire to hit the account.  However, we will start work immediately on a promise to pay the retainer.  I will also state, I cannot remember a case where we delivered a result without the initial retainer being received.  Also, the retainer is only initial, then it is monthly billing afterwards, i.e. there needs to be trust.)


Answer: 58% of Americans have less than $1,000