16 January 2019 FT — Articles to Read

16 January 2019


Question: Are Congressman paid during the shutdown in the U.S.?


German export machine shows signs of wear – Pg. 2

–        Germany’s economic growth slowed substantially in 2018, but the eurozone’s economic powerhouse appeared to have avoided a technical recession in the fourth quarter as strong domestic demand countered weaker export sales

–        The German economy grew by 1.5% in 2018, the weakest rate since 2013,…

–        The global economy in 2019 is forecast to grow less than 3% for the first time since 2009, …

–        Exports of goods and services make up a higher proportion of GDP than in any other big economy, at 47.2%.


US business fears profits cut because of government shutdown – Pg. 4

–        US companies are struggling to get decisions on everything from licenses to new regulations, as business groups warn that the longest government shutdown in the country’s history will soon take a toll on profits

–        Businesses say they have not been able to secure approval for new products, obtain import licenses or get clarity on rule changes for the past few weeks because of the political dispute that has brought Washington to a standstill

–        One big consequence is that 800,000 government employees have not been paid, leading to a slowdown in a consumer spending


Dimon warns over US shutdown – Pg. 11

–        …US government shutdown could bring the economy to a standstill

–        The US’s biggest bank reported a 16% decline in fixed income trading revenues for the fourth quarter, less than the drop its rival Citigroup reported this week


Fed extends Wells Fargo asset cap to year end – Pg. 12

–        Wells Fargo will continue to operate under the US Federal Reserve’s $2tn asset cap until the end of this year, rather than the cap being lifted “in the first part of 2019” as the bank had previously said

–        …the bank’s growth in both deposits and loans remain well below that of US rivals

–        Past instances of customer mistreatment in the auto loan, mortgage and wealth management business have emerged and, in October, two senior executives were suspended, reportedly after receiving letters from the OCC

–        (Prof Note: I continue to be bothered by the consistent lack of discussion concerning what happened to the honest employees that were pushed out for not making goals due to their ethics?  Has there been a study/effort to seek these individuals out and compensate?  If not, it begs the question, “What is the value of honesty and integrity?”)


Answer: Yes, it is guaranteed in the Constitution.  “Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows the lawmakers to still get paid their salaries, despite the federal government being shut down due to their inability to reach an agreement.”  (Prof Note: Basically, while they can cause suffering, they are insulated from that suffering!)