11 February 2019 FT — Articles to Read

11 February 2019


Question: According to MSN: Lifestyle, what are ten (1) simple ways to support someone with depression? (Prof Note: I had a friend take his own life this week due to depression.  I am sad to lose my friend and sad that the world has lost a good person.  Depression is real.)


Congress talks ‘stalled’ over border force as cut-off looms – Pg. 2

–        Republicans and Democrats were bickering over proposed limits to the US border force yesterday just days before a deadline to avoid a second government shutdown this year

–        The US is still reeling from the record 35-day shutdown earlier this year, when Mr Trump refused to reopen the government unless Democrats agreed to $5.7bn in funding for a border wall.  The shutdown knocked billions of dollars off the US economy, and underlined the entrenched party divisions that are likely to continue for the next two years in the run-up to the 2020 elections (Prof Note: I grow tired of this “bickering” among our “leaders”.  Lock the doors, place chemical port-a-johns in congress, and lets see how long it takes to come to a resolution.)


Europe turns on spending taps as austerity comes to an end – Pg. 3

–        Economic thinking has shifted considerably since the early years of this decade, and is now comfortable with higher debt levels.  This is particularly true because the burden of servicing the debt has been falling as economic growth has improved

–        In a recent report on sovereign borrowing, the OECD said the balance between interest rates payable on government debt and the growth f advanced economies had “improved considerably and slowed growth in debt-to-GDP ratios in recent years”

–        With the aggregate deficit in the Eurozone projected to be running at 0.6% of GDP in 2019, compared with 5% in the US and the slowdown intensifying, the pressure for further fiscal stimulus is likely to mount


Private equity targeted by activists over prisons – Pg. 16

–        Private equity firms that try to profit from American prisoners have become the latest target of campaigners trying to stop public investment funds backing controversial businesses (Prof Note: Is this not the entire premise of the show, ‘Orange is the new black.’?)

–        State pension boards are among the biggest clients of private equity funds, a fact that activists are increasingly using to gain leverage over investment firms and score high profile victories against business practices they deem unfair or unethical


Answer: (1) Avoid telling them to “Just think positive”; (2) Try reaching out first (Prof Note: I read an article that stated telling someone, “Let me know what I can do.”, places the responsibility on the wrong person, i.e. the person in need of help.  Instead, like in my case, I called two days after my friend’s passing and showed up at his wife’s house with her permission.  I did not bring anything, did not really know what to say, but I made a point of being there.  I hope I helped.); (3) Validate their experiences (Prof Note: I try and acknowledge other’s perspectives as their own.  They may not be my perspective BUT they are theirs and deserve respect); (4) Be sensitive with what you talk about (Prof Note: I am working on listening to others more and talking less.  I am working on finding happiness in the successes and accomplishments of others much more than my own.); (5) Stay in touch and check in regularly (Prof Note: During my litigation case where my family was murdered my friend Bob R checked in weekly, if not more, with a, “Are you ok?”.  I always said, “Yes,” despite not being “ok” but often during that dark periods those random texts were a clear light in all the darkness); (6) Make sure they are getting enough sleep; (7) Give as continuous support as you can; (8) Learn about depression (Prof Note: This is a 2019 goal of mine.  Depression is real and I believe in existence in more people than we realize); (9) Encourage them to seek professional help; (10) Take care of yourself (Prof Note: I truly believe that the sun on one’s face brings happiness, regardless of anything else.  A walk, a bike ride, a slow jog, any movement is happiness.  Try and move about.)