21 August 2018 FT — Articles to Read

Question: According to MSN:Money, what are items that no man over 40 should have in his home?


Venezuela devalues currency by 95% in effort to save off collapse – Pg. 1

–          Venezuela resorted to desperate measures to arrest economic collapse yesterday, lopping five zeros off the bolivar, devaluing it by 95% and tying it to an obscure state-run cryptocurrency

–          As it tries to curb hyperinflation – by some measurements, the worst in Latin American history – the government is also slashing fuel subsidies are raising the minimum wage by 3,000%

–          Annual inflation is running at more than 80,000%, and the IMF has predicted it will hit 1m% this year.  Prices are doubling every four weeks, making life desperately hard for millions of poor Venezuelans, many of whom are going hungry or fleeing

–          The massive rise in the minimum wage is to compensate workers for the dizzying price rises and comes into force next month.  It will take the monthly minimum wage from less than a dollar to about $30.  Business owners say it will have a devastating impact on employment


Germany to record world’s largest surplus for third years – Pg. 2

–          Germany is on course to have the world’s largest current account surplus for the third year in a row – a situation likely to bring further international pressure on Berlin to rebalance its economy

–          …7.8% of the country’s GDP, in 2018.  The figure is only slightly below the 7.9% recorded for 2017

–          The size of Germany’s surplus partly reflects its competitive companies and years of wage restraint, and the eurozone’s largest economy has also benefited from a relatively weak single currency

–          The US was set to record the biggest deficit at almost $420bn…


US banks tap the brakes on consumer credit – Pg. 12

–          …at the beginning of last year, household debt surpassed its last peak, in 2008, many pundits speculated about the possibility of a new financial crisis.  But US household debt – all $13.3tn of it, according to the New York Fed – is much lower, relative to both GDP and disposable income, than it was in the run-up to 2008

–          Quarterly write-offs of bad credit card debt at US banks peaked at nearly $19bn in the first quarter of 2010 and bottomed at below $5bn in 2015, … since then they have crept back above $8bn


Answer: (1) Figurines in boxes; (2) Posters without frames; (3) A condiment drawer; (4) Frozen dinner or snacks; (5) Instant coffee; (6) Sugary treats; (7) Soft drinks (Prof Note: GUILTY!); (8) Bar Décor; (9) Sports trophies; (10) Fake foliage; (11) Plastic shelves; (12) A futon; (13) A recliner with built-in cup holders; (14) Threadbare sheets and towels; (15) Clutter; (16) Sheets used as curtains; (17) A beer can or bottle collection; (18) A mattress with no frame; (19) Mismatched dishes; (20) A Bean Bag chair; (21) Sports paraphernalia; (22) DJ equipment; (23) Christmas lights as decoration; (24) A video game station (Prof Note: I just placed NES and SNES in my houses and was just playing MarioKart Saturday night.  Perhaps I should not admit to this!); (25) Novelty anything; (26) Glassware with Logos (Prof Note: I do have my Hopkins mugs!); (27) A grilled cheese maker; (28) Blankets as clothing; (29) A flimsy knife set; (30) Huge speakers; (31) Mounted weaponry; (32) Socks with holes; (33) Cheap cologne or body spray; (34) Ill-fitting clothing; (35) Wire or plastic hangers; (36) Fluorescent bulbs; (37) Bowling shirts; (38) A mess (Prof Note: I did very well on this one!)