13 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

13 April 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what % of Americans live paycheck to paycheck?


Japan population set to lose equivalent of a small city every year until 2013 – Pg. 1

–          The natural population fell by more than 430,000 people last year, ….

–          …partly offset by a record net inflow of more than 161,000 migrants but the overall pace of decline still hit a new high of minus 0.21%.  That has left the population at 126.4m, down from a peak of 128m in 2010

–          Population decline is hitting especially hard in rural and regional Japan, due to a high pace of migration to Japan’s cities, as well as rapid ageing

–          (Prof Note: Rural America suffers its own issue.  In Southern, MD the economy is dominated by Pax River.  Young individuals can, apparently, earn $19/hr washing airplanes.  This leaves little the labour pool for construction in the area sparse.)


China to extend credit-score system for public to business – Pg. 5

–          China’s attempt to build a credit-scoring system for its population based on behavior and past misdemeanors is being extended to business

–          This database will be shared with commercial banks “to improve information asymmetry of banks and to improve the credit scores and loan availability of small and medium-sized enterprises with good credit scores”…


Technology – Pg. 6

–          One of the key questions is whether advertisers will continue to stay loyal to services such as YouTube and Facebook.  In 2017, some advertisers turned off their YouTube advertising spending over fears they might be placed next to extremist or inappropriate content.  YouTube responded by announcing policy changes, algorithm updates and content takedowns, and most of the advertising dollars have flooded back

–          (Prof Note: My largest fear is censorship.  What is the cost of “Free Speech”?  In a recent presentation I stated the cost of “Free Speech” was individual net worth of eight figures.  One must have sufficient assets and passive income, free of public influence, to suffer the onslaught of public decry over non-conforming speech.)


The private equity bubble is bound to burst – Pg. 9

–          The average London home at the end of last month was worth 5% less than it was two years ago…

–          The global private equity market, worth more than $5tn at the last count, has been on a tear since soon after the 2008 crisis.  Its business model of buying up companies, cutting costs, adding debt and selling five or six years later has delivered juicy returns.

–          The sector has received a twin boost from the ultra-low interest rates of the post-crisis years: they made debt cheap and lured investors desperate for higher returns than are available from listed securities.  It recent years, it has generated an average return of 17%, compared with last year’s negative 4.4% for the S&P 500 and a negative 8.7% for the FTSE 100


US petrol at risk of hitting $3 a gallon this summer – Pg. 13

–          …backdrop of rising crude prices and strong fuel demand, ….

–          Petrol at $3 a gallon would reflect a spike of at least 20 cents from the current national average….prices at the pump average $2.784 a gallon, or 30 cents ore compared with a month ago


Asian bonds issued at record pace as Fed pulls back on raising interest rates – Pg. 13

–          Asian bond issuances in dollars and other major currencies are at a record pace this year, as companies rush to make the most of dovish signals on interest rates from the US Federal Reserve and a greater willingness by Chinese regulators to approve the allotment of offshore debt

–          The majority of new issuance has not been licensed for sale to US investors.  However, the value of dollar bond sales that unregistered foreign companies are permitted to raise from US institutional investors has also reached a record high for the year to day, amounting to $25bn across 25 deals


Answer: 31%