11 May 2019 FT — Articles to Read

11 May 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, “Never mind lattes: Here’s where you’re really wasting money.”  What are these ways?


Germany surprises with exports surge – Pg. 2

–          Germany unexpectedly reported a rise in exports in March, adding to recent indications that the eurozone’s largest economy is showing more resilience to global economic challenges than previously forecast

–          Exports rose 1.5% from February and 1.9% from the same month a year earlier…


Canada’s record jobs growth in April defies slowdown fears – Pg. 3

–          Canada added a record 106,500 jobs in April, the strongest sign yet that the economy has remained remarkably resilient despite uncertainty over the direction of oil prices and the outlook for the global economy

–          Wage growth held steady, rising 2.3% year-on-year in April, unchanged from March

–          The Canadian economy got off to a rip-roaring start to 2018, with GDP rising at an annualized pace of 1.3% and 2.9% during the first and second quarters, respectively.  But growth began to decelerate in the third quarter and ground to a near halt in the final three months of last year…this contributed in part to the Bank of Canada’s decision to take a dovish stance on further rate rises


Can universities pass a tricky admissions test? – Pg. 6

–          …Cambridge university has long been vehemently opposed to anything that smacks of parents “buying” places for their kids, whether through connections or money

–          This may sound bizarre in the US, where the notion of using “legacy” connections is regarded as par for the course.  In the UK, however, Cambridge’s stance is unremarkable

–          Money and class still buy privilege in the UK, albeit in a more subtle way

–          …half of all Oxbridge places go to children at private schools, though only 7% of kids in the UK attend these

–          The perception that some American parents can use legacy links and donations to boost their children’s chances pushes many of them to try to do precisely that, …

–          …system penalizes middle-class kids who lack connections and wealth but are not poor or “diverse” enough to qualify for aid

–          …while Americans from families with university degrees are 6.8 times more likely to attend college than people from families without a degree, this ratio is only slightly better, at 6.3, in England

–          Put crudely: is it right for US universities to accept some rich-but-dim kids as just the “price” for subsidizing poor-but-bright ones?

–          So the next time you get a letter from your old college begging for a donation, ponder these moral quandaries.  There are no easy answers here.  But dealing with difficult philosophical questions is one thing that university is supposed to teach in the first place


Turkey accelerates dollar borrowing to prop up lira – Pg. 11

–          Turkey’s central bank has boosted its short-term dollar borrowing to new heights, padding out official reserves after authorities sparked a fresh bout of instability in the lira by ordering a rerun of a critical Istanbul election

–          The Financial times revealed last month that a surge in short-term borrowing by the central bank was helping to obscure the scale of the decline in net foreign currency reserves


Answer: (1) New Cars (Prof Note: STOP losing depreciation!  Start a side hustle and purchase the car through the side hustle.  Remember that setting up a business just to house personal expenses is illegal.  But get smart about capturing the depreciation.); (2) Premium gasoline (Prof Note: Car care is important.  I leave this to the experts to determine); (3) Rental car insurance (Prof Note: Oh no…from experience, when on holiday, purchase the FULL insurance.  Holiday time is so precious that if an issue occurs, you want to hand them the keys and take another car with no hassle); (4) Name-brand prescriptions (Prof Note: I leave this to the experts…do not cheat your health); (5) Paper towels (Prof Note: I get their point.  Value decision…); (6) Lottery tickets (Prof Note: If a dollar a day buys hope, I question the wisdom in denial.  Note that I do not purchase lottery tickets but for when there are pools.  I fear the pool winning and me being left out!); (7) Unnecessary laundry products (Prof Note: These are as great a mystery to me as may of the Millennial Apps.  I remember one trip to Target.  I needed Johnson’s Baby shampoo to clean my train’s wheels.  I was in the shampoo section.  I had scoured all the shelves along the aisle.  I ran through the alphabet both horizontally and vertically.  There was no Johnson Baby shampoo.  It had to be there!  In defeat I asked the woman also in the aisle (not a Target employee, another customer like me).  She said, “You do not do the shopping do you?”  I said, “No but I am intelligent.  I have cross referenced, by alphabetical order the entire section for “Johnsons” and “Baby”, confirmed this is the shampoo aisle, and the location of ‘Johnsons Baby Shampoo’ remains a mystery as great as how the Great Pyramids were constructed.”  She smiled and said, “There is a baby section.  It is located there.  Let me take you!”  I was appreciative but completely dumbfounded.); (8) Gym memberships you do not use; (9) Sale items (Prof Note: You are NOT saving 50%, you are spending 100% more than you would have had you not seen the sale!); (10) Prepared food (Prof Note: Guilty!)