19 August 2019 FT — Articles to Read

19 August 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are seven (7) surprising ways retirees waste their savings?


Investors take up position for fresh wave of stimulus – Pg. 1

  • Investors are anticipating a fresh wave of stimulus measures to tackle flagging growth, as the White House said it was considering a new round of tax cuts to boost the economy
  • The US yield curve – which reflects market expectations of future interest rates – turned upside down last week for the first time since the summer of 2007, a move seen by many as a leading market indicator of recession
  • Concern over the global economy has sent investors fleeing into the perceived safety of government bonds, driving yields to record lows – the 30-year US Treasury yield fell below 2% for the first time last week – and boosting the pile of debt that offers a negative interest rate to more than $16tn. In Europe, several countries have no sovereign debt offering positive yields


WeWork’s city leases leave landlords exposed to $40bn in rent liabilities – Pg. 1

  • Hundreds of landlords are exposed to WeWork via $47.2bn of rental commitments, with little recourse if the office space company fails to pay
  • …company expanded rapidly to become the largest office tenant in Manhattan and central London
  • …TIAA-CREF, Boston Properties, Beacon Capital Partners and Moinian Group are among the biggest landlords in the US to WeWork…
  • WeWork sublets the space to businesses, from start-ups to large corporations, on a short-term basis. The mismatch in rental periods is seen by many in the industry as a potential weakness in its model during a recession
  • The company – like its rivals – creates special purpose vehicles for its leases, meaning landlords do not have direct recourse to the parent company if it fails to pay rent
  • WeWork’s $47.2bn of lease obligations dwarf the $8bn held by its largest rival, IWG


Shareholder returns feel chill of slower global growth – Pg. 6

  • Global dividend payments grew at their slowest pace in more than two-and-a-half years in the second quarter, as trade tensions and the spluttering world economy began to take their toll
  • …slowdown in the growth rate: payouts were 1.1% higher year-on-year, the lowest quarterly growth since the end of 2016. On an underlying basis, which strips out special dividends and adjusts for other factors including currency fluctuations, the 4.6% growth rate was also the slowest since 2016
  • Shareholders have had good returns in recent years, thanks to strong corporate profits and US tax cuts that made it easier for companies to return cash to investors


Rush by US homeowners to remortgage bolsters banks – Pg. 6

  • As of last week, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.6%…that is the lowest level since November 2016 and close to the record low of 3.3% set in late 2012
  • …mortgage refinance activity rose by 12 and 37%…
  • Non-bank lenders now originate 60$ of the mortgages guaranteed by Freddie Mac and its peer Fannie Mae, up from 47% five years ago, …


Answer: (1) Ignoring senior discounts; (2) Buying unneeded insurance; (3) Supporting grown children financially; (4) Maintaining two cars; (5) Refusing to downsize; (6) insisting on brand-name medications; (7) Donating to every charity that calls