14 May 2019 FT — Articles to Read

14 May 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are eight (8) signs that you should leave retirement?


Fannie and Freddie privatization in doubt – Pg. 4

–          Congress is likely to resist attempts by US president Donald Trump’s administration to privatize the two companies that guarantee most American mortgages, ….

–          The two companies were bailed out at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 and have since been officially in “conservatorship” – under government control but without their liabilities being listed on the public balance sheet


Japan employers struggle to fill jobs – Pg. 4

–          Shortages of drivers, construction workers, shop clerks, chefs and carers have become the number one issue for business across Japan as the population ages and the economy enjoys a sixth year of growth under PM Abe…

–          Mr Abe’s stimulus programme, dubbed “Abenomics”, has seen the BoJ purchase financial assets equal to 100% of Japanese economic output, delivering a weaker yen and a drop in the unemployment rate to 2.5%

–          In trucking, there are three open jobs for every applicant.  Yet the industry also highlights a paradox: for all the intense shortages of blue-collar staff, there is little upward pressure on wages or prices, which the BoJ is counting on it hit its 2% inflation target

–          In Japan, however, hiring only gets harder and no matter how severe the labour shortages there is little appetite among businesses to buy growth with higher wages


China’s slowing pains –Pg. 7

–          …6.5% increase in GDP last year was the weakest since 1990 – a process that has dep implications for business, society and policies in the world’s second-largest economy

–          State-owned companies secured 83% of banks loans in 2016, up from 36% in 2010…

–          Private companies account for 90% of exports and Washington’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese exports has unnerved the country’s equity markets, further eroding private businesses’ ability to raise money


Bed Bath & Beyond chief quits under pressure – Pg. 12

–          The group has argued the retailer needs to recruit a new CEO, reverse its weak sales by streamlining the number of products it offers and improving its inventory, and turn around the company’s culture through employee training and new technology

–          It has also called for a cut in the advertising budget and development of a direct sourcing strategy and a private label programme to cut out extra costs form vendors (Prof Note: I have had two arguments in as many months with BB&B managers over coupon policies.  At one point I said, “I am wearing the white hat here!  I am actually fighting for your job.  Do you realize what is happening with your stock price?!”  Then sanity returns and I went to Target for my purchase.)


First negative-fee investment fund highlights battle for clients’ money – Pg. 19

–          The structure applies a 34bp fee waiver to the fund’s 29bp management fee

–          This means the fund will have a negative fee of 5bps, meaning customers will receive $5 for every $10,000 they invest

–          The race to the bottom appeared to reach its natural conclusion last year when Fidelity Investments, the $2.4tn US asset manager, offered the first free mutual funds

–          (Prof Note: My motto (bank focused): “Fees are theft, interest is a cost of doing business!”)


Answer: (1) You are having trouble making ends meet (Prof Note: That should be a sign to expand side hustles always); (2) You are becoming too sedentary (Prof Note: Envision retirement.  My grandfather spent his time greeting the tourists at Cat Ghaut and reveling in the history of the property and the island.  He was far from sedentary and always doing what he loved, i.e. sharing the beauty of Nevis); (3) You just cannot adjust to your new life (Prof Note: Again, envision retirement); (4) You have lost social connections (Prof Note: So much of working is social.  Some of my best mates I have met through work.  This is what I do not think HR considers in a down-sizing and/or termination.  The social loss to individuals.); (5) You love being in the workplace (Prof Note: think about your position in the workplace…you can remain but on the opposite side of a table, e.g. equity in a deal rather than employee); (6) You are ready to start over in the workplace (Prof Note: Most of my “bosses” are younger than me now.  I enjoy supporting their pursuit to greatness.); (7) You have a great idea for a new business (Prof Note: Perhaps retirement affords one the ability to focus on a business with a sustained, but small, loss for social reasons.  Is profit always the goal?!); (8) It is time to pursue your passion (Prof Note: This should always be the case, provided responsibilities are met)