11 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

11 April 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what is the percentage Americans spend from their Emergency Fund for household repairs?


Fed rate-setters keep options open as global uncertainty weights on outlook – Pg. 1

–          Federal Reserve officials kept their options open for their next interest rate move at the last meeting as they weighted “significant uncertainties” over the global economic outlook

–          Minutes to the Fed meeting in March indicated a high degree of uncertainty, with some officials stressing their outlook could “shift in either direction” as they seek to determine whether a recent bout of weak growth will persist

–          At its March 19-20 meeting, the Fed held rates at between 2.25 and 2.50% and trimmed forecasts for this year

–          …still expected the growth rate to “step down” from the pace set last year, noting the economy received a boost from federal tax cuts in 2018


IMF warns over impact of high corporate debt – Pg. 3

–          High corporate debt is present across nearly three-quarter of the global economy, threatening to amplify any economic downturn and put financial stability in peril, …

–          The IMF said yesterday that the world should be able to deal with a moderate economic slowdown without a financial crisis, but companies’ borrowing levels made it vulnerable to anything more serious

–          Countries representing 70% of global GDP have elevated levels of corporate debt, …

–          Levels of borrowing are continuing to rise even as profitability is falling, …highlighting the US and China, the world’s two largest economies, as particularly vulnerable

–          The IMF said the sharp falls in stock markets at the end of 2018 had tightened financial conditions and tested the resilience of the system but had not stopped debt levels growing


Middle-class pain risks instability, says OECD – Pg. 3

–          Developed nations’ middle classes face “rocky waters” because of stagnant income growth, rising lifestyle costs and unstable jobs and this risks fueling political instability…

–          The costs of housing and education had risen above inflation, and middle-income jobs were facing an increasing threat from automation…

–          The squeezing of middle incomes is fertile ground for political instability as it pushes voters towards anti-establishment and protectionist policies….

–          Sixty-one percent of OECD countries’ populations were middle class in the middle of this decade, compared with 64% in the mid-1980s

–          …the report said it now took a family 10 years of annual income to afford a 60 sq metre apartment in their country’s capital, up from six years in the mid-1980s


Answer: 26.4%