13 September 2018 FT — Articles to Read

13 September 2018


Question: According to MSN, what three (3) traits do happy people have in common?


Oil heads towards 4-year high as hurricane heightens supply fears – Pg. 1

–          Oil prices rose to more than $80 a barrel yesterday, nearly a four-year high as traders braced themselves for a series of tropical storms barreling towards the US, which are coinciding with the mounting concerns about a global supply shortfall

–          A second tropical storm, Isaac, is also being watched as it may have a bigger impact on the oil sector if it heads towards the Gulf of Mexico – a hub for production and refining operations

–          The start of the US storm season has coincided with other jolts to the oil market, including an expected hit on exports from Iran as US sanctions come into effect in November, which is likely to create a squeeze despite Mr Trump’s calling on other producers to lift output

–          Big Asian consumers, such as India and China, have begun to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil while South Korea has already dropped imports to zero on the orders of the White House

–          Saudi Arabia and allies inside and outside Opec, such as Russia, have pledged to raise output but the increase has been slower than expected, helping propel prices


Incomes at pre-crisis level after 3 years’ growth – Pg. 3

–          Incomes in the US have returned to their levels before the recession after growing for a third consecutive year in 2017, as strong growth and hiring improve the fortunes of middle-class households

–          Median household income rose by an inflation-adjusted 1.8%, putting it at $61,372 in 2017

–          The share of the population lacking health insurance also stagnated at 8.8%, or 28.5m people

–          Male workers saw a 3% increase in incomes from 2016, while the change in median earnings for female workers was not statistically significant,…


China steps up collection of payroll taxes – Pg. 4

–          …the move to increase the collection of social security contributions is rubbing against an effort to cut corporate taxes to support a slowing economy.  Strict enforcement of social security requirement would cut corporate profits 2.5% and nominal growth in GDP 0.6%…

–          China’s employer-side payroll taxes for social insurance – including pension, medial insurance, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation – are high.  The average rate in China was 29% of payroll in 2015, compared with 8% in the US,….

–          China’s public pension system is facing a big shortfall because of an ageing population and shrinking labour force

–          Now, as part of a broader overhaul of its personal income tax system, China is transferring authority for collecting such contributions from local social security bureau to local tax authorities, which have stronger enforcement capabilities.  The change takes effect at the beginning of 2019


Financial Crisis – Pg. 7

–          …JPMorgan…one of the biggest banks in the world, with a market capitalization of $382bn…

–          Mr Dimon will become the last surviving pre-crisis chief executive on Wall Street when Lloyd Blankfein steps down from Goldman Sachs this month

–          The bank’s four main rivals – BofA, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley….

–          …even the best Wall Street returns on equity of about 14%…

–          The result is a behemoth of a bank.  With assets of $2.6tn and more than a quarter of a million staff, only China’s Big Four lenders and HSBC are larger


Answer: (1) They don’t let what they cannot control affect what they can; (2) They live and die by their values; (3) They believe that life is a learning process