11 December 2018 FT — Articles to Read

11 December 2018


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are nine (9) things no one tells you about Social Security?


India central bank governor quits after disputes over independence – Pg. 1

–          The head of India’s central bank abruptly resigned yesterday in the midst of a bruising battle with the prime minister over the institution’s independence and the future direction of the country’s financial sector

–          Tensions between the RBI and Mr Modi have been building for months over the central bank’s hawkish monetary policy, use of its mounting reserves and the tough measures taken to clean up bad loans at India’s state-run banks

–          India’s rupee fell 1.8% against the dollar and analysts warned of a further sell-off unless the government moved quickly to restore faith in the central bank – particularly with three closely watched state elections scheduled for today see as dress rehearsals for next year’s general elections


EU refuses to renegotiate Brexit accord – Pg. 2

–          EU leaders have told Theresa May they “will not renegotiate” her Brexit deal but are prepared to offer assurances that would help convince the House of Commons to approve the exit treaty

–          Negotiators are looking at options for a supplementary declaration from EU27 leaders, including a possible target date, to provide the “further assurances” that the UK prime Minster wants to allay “widespread and deep concern” in Westminster over the backstop plan to avoid a hard border with Ireland


Britain can unilaterally cancel divorce, says bloc’s highest court – Pg. 2

–          Britain is free to cancel its notification to leave the EU without the consent of other EU states,…

–          In one of the most rapid decisions in its 66-year history, the Luxembourg court confirmed that the Article 50 exit clause can be “unilaterally revoked”, allowing a country to reverse its decision to leave the EU during the two-year period for negotiations

–          “A member state cannot be forced to leave the European Union against its will”, a summary of the ruling said

–          ….the judges did note that a decision to revoke Article 50 should be “unequivocal and unconditional”, suggesting the recision cannot be used as a tactic in a negotiation about membership terms

–          The ruling will mean the British parliament could prevent a no-deal Brexit by ordering the government to revoke Article 50

–          The judges said the revocation would be a “sovereign decision” to end the Article 50 process and would leave the member state’s status within the EU unchanged, since they were “neither suspended nor altered by that notification”


Turkey recession on horizon as growth slows – Pg. 3

–          Turkish economic growth cooled dramatically in the third quarter after a current crisis fueled record inflation rates and curbed consumer demand, raising the spectre of the country slipping into recession

–          The country’s GDP expanded an annual 1.6% between July and September, its slowest rate since 2016, when a bungled military coup hit economic activity

–          The construction sector, which makes up as much as a tenth of the economy, contracted 5.3%, and household consumption slumped to only 1.1% growth, compared with 6.4% the previous quarter, …

–          …inflation remains above 20% and the government could resume stimulus spending ahead of nationwide municipal elections in March

–          The central bank lifted its benchmark rate to 24% in September in its biggest single rise in 15 years, helping the lira recover from a record low in August, …

–          Households are feeling the pain of inflation that peaked at 25% in October, driven by prices rises in essential items such as food and housing…


Men are still winning 75% of new jobs in boardroom, research finds – Pg. 14

–          France had the highest proportion of women on boards, at 42%, compared with less than 6% in Japan, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the UAE

–          In the US, the percentage of female directors has risen just 3.2% since 2012.  Meanwhile, women make up less than 4% of chief executives, including Norway, Germany and Canada, there were no female CEOs (Prof Note: The best Boss I have had in my career (and I have had many great ones (crappy ones too)) was a woman, Dale R, in construction, Clark Construction.  One of my many favourite stories about her was my resignation.  I tendered my letter to her personally, she put her pen down and read the letter and asked of my new opportunity.  She said, “Roger, as you are aware, we will make extreme attempts to keep great employees and prefer they not leave.  We are NOT going to do that in your case!”  I stood there and I believe I said something like, “Thank you Dale.  Not sure there was a need to say that but I understand the implications.”  Then she said with a rare smile, “Roger, it is not that you are not worth the efforts.  It is that we have nothing better to offer you and you need to accept the offer.”  (I was leaving to be Managing Director Commodities at Constellation).  Then she said, “May I offer one piece of advice?”  I said, “Yes, of course.”  Then she said, “Take the blame for everything and give all the credit to others.”  Dale R was just that type of person!)


BNP Paribas given panda bond license in show of openness by Chinese regulators – Pg. 19

–          BNP Paribas received a license to underwrite bond sales by foreign companies in China, ….

–          BNP is the third locally incorporated foreign bank in China to receive a license to underwrite so-called panda bonds, ….no US bank has yet achieved such a license

–          Market participants expected that panda bonds would gradually replace dim sum bonds – the term for notes issues in Hong Kong’s offshore renminbi market – as a primary tool for foreign companies to sell renminbi-denominated debt

–          Issuers include the government of Hungary, Malaysian lender Maybank, the Canadian province British Columbia and the government of the Phillippines

–          Beyond panda bonds, foreign banks have long sought licenses allowing them to underwrite debt by Chinese issuers

–          But in China’s fragmented bond market – where different agencies regulate different categories of debt – no single licence enables a bank to underwrite all types of debt

–          China is seeking to expand foreign participation in its onshore bond market as investors as well as issuers.  A bond connect programme launched last year allowed foreigners to buy mainland bonds through Hong Kong brokers


Answer: (1) You can get a do-over if you file too early; (2) You can collect benefits even if you never worked; (3) Your benefits might be subject to federal taxes; (4) Your home state might tax your benefits; (5) If you’re self-employed, your payroll taxes are doubled; (6) You can collect benefits even when living outside the U.S.; (7) The programme cannot go broke; (8) Your benefits will not become available the moment you file; (9) It is designed to pay the same total lifetime benefit regardless of when you first file