1 September 2018 FT — Articles to Read

1 September 2018


Question: According to MSN:Money, what are six (6) signs the next recession might be closer than we realize?


IMF haunted by past Argentine mistakes – Pg. 2

–          Memories of the fund’s involvement in Argentina in the lead-up to the 2001 economic collapse run bitter and deep in the country, making the current involvement of the IMF, led by its managing director, hugely sensitive

–          Yesterday, the peso found its footing but only after a 12% plunge against the US dollar on Thursday which came despite the central bank’s decision to jack up interest rates by 15% to 60%.  Argentines, who have long preferred to save in dollars, have been on edge since the run on the peso began


Catholic Church – Pg. 5

–          Conservatives have regrouped to fight Pope Francis’s relaxation of old doctrinal anathemas, which he sees as vital to the spiritual renewal of a two-millennia-old institution serving a notional 1.2bn Catholics around the world.  Shortly after taking over from Pope Benedict XVI – who took the almost unheard of step of resigning in circumstances the Vatican has never explained – he said the Church had to find “a new balance” or it would collapse “like a house of cards”

–          Conservatives in the Church, who had things pretty much their own way for half a century but especially under popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are desperate to discredit Francis

–          Cardinals nominated by Francis, who will be 82 in December, are now thought to be close to a majority in the electoral college for the next pope

–          Famously, or infamously from a traditionalist standpoint, he has called for an inclusive, non-judgmental tolerance towards homosexuality

–          Francis has not changed core doctrine.  But he has cast orthodoxy in a new light

–          While this power battle may do immense damage to the Church, it will also prolong the anguish of abuse victims, who are already angry at Francis’s hesitant attempts to deliver them justice

–          (Prof Note: I remain aghast that the Pope has not visited PA)


California to be first US state to impose female quota for boards – Pg. 8

–          A bill requiring at least one woman on every public company board by next year, and two women for every board of five members and three for boards of six by 2021, passed the California legislature this week and was sent to the governor to sign into law

–          Woman comprised 19.8% of board seats on Fortune 1000 companies in the US last year, …

–          In California women make up 20.8% of directors of Fortune 1000 companies.  The state ranks eighth overall among US states for the percentage of women on boards, although it still only has an average of 1.65 women per board, …the national average is 1.75 women per board

–          Although this would be the first government-mandated quota for women on company boards in the US, there is precedent for doing so in European countries.  Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden all have government-mandated quotas for the number of women on boards

–          In the second quarter of 2018, almost 35% of new director seats went to women…


Answer: (1) The unemployment rate will struggle to push lower; (2) The yield curve is flattening; (3) Inflation has begun picking up; (4) Home sales are beginning to decline in key markets; (5) Credit card debt and late payments are on the rise; (6) The economic cycle suggests a contraction