12 December 2018 FT — Articles to Read

12 December 2018


Question: What is quantitatively middle class according to the Pew Research Center in terms of 2017 dollars?


China moves to cut US car tariffs in first sign of trade war détente – Pg. 1

–          China has agreed to cut tariffs on imported US cars from 40% to 15%, the first concrete sign of a cooling in the trade war between the two largest economies…

–          The Chinese concession kicks off talks that come as the US has stepped up the pressure, taking Beijing to task for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and complaints about traditional and cyber espionage


Rethink the purpose of the corporation – Pg. 9

–          …Milton Friedman’s argument that the purpose of companies is only to make profits, subject to law and (minimal) regulation.  Today, this is presented in the obligation to maximize shareholder value

–          Profit is not itself a business purpose.  Profit is a condition for – and result of – achieving a purpose

–          …legislators allowed incorporation of limited liability companies, they were not thinking of profits, but of the economic possibilities afforded by huge agglomerations of capital, effort and natural resources.

–          …the core theory of the firm is that of the late Ronald Coase, who argued that the market could be a less efficient way of organizing production than a hierarchical organization, because of transaction costs.  This is another way of saying that markets are incomplete, especially where long-term commitments are concerned

–          Shareholders are least committed, because, unlike employees, dedicated suppliers and the locations in which businesses operate, they can divest themselves of their engagement in the company in an instant.  Shareholders are the least knowledgeable, because they are not engaged in the activity of the company


Why women who go to university are winning – Pg. 9

–          A team of researchers commissioned by the UK government analyzed education and earnings records for more than a million young people to answer an important question: is it really worth going to university?

–          They found that, for women, it is a no-brainer

–          By the age of 29, women who went to university were earning 26% more on average than women form similar backgrounds who did equally well at school but did not go

–          Only 1% of women took a university degree that had a negligible or negative impact on their pay

–          The finding for men were very different.  Their earnings were only 6% higher on average than people from similar backgrounds who chose not to go, and about a third of them took degree courses that turned out to have negligible monetary value

–          Women who graduated from university are earning roughly 31,000 (sterling) on average by the age of 29, compared with 37,000 (sterling) for their male peers

–          …we know that women who do not go to university tend to have children earlier, and are about twice as likely to be working part-time in their late 20s.  Simply put, university seems to take women down a different life-track

–          For a class of 17-year-olds making choices today about what to do next, their gender matters, far more than many of us would like to think


Answer: $40,224 – $120,672