16 March 2019 FT — Articles to Read

16 March 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are four (4) finance secrets rich people know?


Italy weighs loan from China-led bank to ease fears over joining Belt and Road – Pg. 1

–          Italy is considering borrowing from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as part of plans to become the first G7 country to endorse Beijing’s “belt and Road” global investment programme

–          ….resisting pressure from Washington and Brussels to drop those discussions as concerns rise over Beijing’s ambitions and its potential security threat

–          The Italian government intends to sign a “memorandum of understanding” on the BRI on March 22…

–          Until now, the overwhelming majority of BRI infrastructure loans have come from the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, two bilateral lenders that grant loans in secrecy that are almost always tied to construction contracts for Chinese companies


Bribery scandal reflects success of USC push for funds and status – Pg. 3

–          ‘University of spoilt children’ tries to limit damage from admissions scam

–          USC admitted more of Mr Singer’s clients – many of them falsely depicted as student-athletes – than any other school mentioned in the complaint

–          USC said on Thursday it would toss out any current applicants tied to Mr Singer while beginning the messy business of determining what to do with those previously admitted

–          Yet while the admissions scandal may be a black eye for the school, it is also a sign of its success.  In the criminal complaint, USC has joined the likes of Yale, Stanford and Georgetown as schools targeted by Mr. Singer’s clients

–          Its admissions rate has narrowed over that time from 70% to a stingy 13% (Prof Note: Hopkins is 13% according to my online research.  Bucknell, my alma mater, is 25%.)

–          The obsession with fundraising led some to question whether senior administrators had lost their bearings.

–          (Prof Note: I love to bash Academic Ethics BUT, from what I am reading, do the schools deserve such a black eye in this case?  The schools were not accepting money.  The more I read it seems there were just a lot of bad eggs willing to sell their souls to the devil.  Just my current thought as I continue to follow this fascinating story!  I also worry, and this is unusual for me to say, that athletic departments are receiving a black eye.  I support the automatic slots for a few talented athletes.  Do the academics not have the same for the top scoring students?!  While overhyped, in my opinion, athletics is a viable and honourable career path.  Athletics also earns revenue for the schools.)


Foreign business wary of cuts to Chinese investment law – Pg. 3

–          China has passed a foreign investment law that it hopes will help smooth the way to a new trade deal with the US, granting foreign companies equal standing with state-owned businesses

–          The foreign business community has complained that the law leaves out many details that were in a 2015 version drafted by the Ministry of Commerce, opening the door to hidden impediments being written into the more detailed regulation

–          The rule, which will come into effect on January 1 2020, establishes a “negative list”, meaning that any sectors that are not declared closed to foreign business are automatically open to investment


Pot stocks a big draw after Wall St gets hooked on weed – Pg. 13

–          Less than a year after Canada broke the mould in allowing adult recreational usage, hedge funds, individual investors and long-only mutual funds are piling in

–          In 2018, some Canadian groups also started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, a unit of Intercontinental Exchange, and Nasdaq, which allow companies to list so long as their business is legal in the jurisdiction where they operate.  In the meantime, some US-based companies that are operating under state and not federal approval have listed stock in Canada

–          Insiders point to cannabis a having a multitude of untapped applications across industries including pharmaceuticals, packaged foods and beverages as well as cosmetics and beauty

–          Many of the cannabinoids, or chemical compounds present in cannabis, are believed to have therapeutic effects

–          One getting a lot of attention is CBD, or cannabidiol, which can be used to treat anxiety, convulsions, depression and nausea as well as serving as a sleep aid or muscle relaxant,…


US equity funds benefit from fears in other regions – Pg. 13

–          ….mortgage bond funds have been enjoying a renaissance this year on indications that the Federal Reserve would take a more patient approach in its plans to raise US interest rates


Answer: (1) Your money should be working for you; (2) Keeping up with the Joneses will cost you every time; (3) Time is your most valuable currency; (4) Its best not to go it alone