21 February 2019 FT — Articles to Read

21 February 2019


Question: What are seven (7) surprising facts about depression, according to Healthgrades.com?


Japanese exports fall on China slowdown – Pg. 4

–          Japanese exporters slumped last month in the latest sign that economies across Asia are suffering because of China’s slowdown and uncertainty over the outcome of US-China trade talks

–          Exports from Asia’s biggest advanced economy fell 8.4% in January compared with a year earlier, the steepest decline since October 2016, with china the biggest culprit

–          …may prompt Asian central banks to keep interest rates on hold this year

–          Japan’s exports to china fell by 17.4% compared with a year earlier

–          China’s exports unexpectedly rose 9.1% year-on-year in January


Brazil plans rise in pension age to cut deficit – Pg. 4

–          Spending on pensions absorbs more than a third of federal tax receipts and is one of the biggest causes of a budget deficit equal to about 7% of GDP

–          Among other changes to the system – under which many public sectdor woerks can retire on full pay in their early fifties – the proposal sets a minimum retirement agefor both public and private sector workers of 65 for men and 62 for women, to be phased in over 12 years


Illicit Drugs – Pg. 7

–          The DEA estimates that Mexican heroin production increased 37% …in 2017

–          Border seizures of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid produced in China and Mexico and increasingly mixed with heroin to make it more powerful, also rocketed 135% in 2017

–          (Prof Note: A few weeks ago I had a “Meth Head” jump into my car.  I was driving in Southern, MD, i.e. “Americana”, when a women with blond hair sprinted from the woods in obvious distress, arms waving as if she was being chased by her capture, to flag down the car for an emergency.  I stopped the car, unlocked the door and she leapt in.  Her yellow skin, missing teeth had not been visible in the 5 seconds I had seen her.  In panicked voice she had a crisis and needed to be taken somewhere.  Fearing for my own safety, I let loose a spate of loud words knowing one of us was getting out of the car in the next five seconds.  (note, I have a car that requires no key.  If I jump from the car, it is a 2,000lb paper weight.)  She leapt out and the next car coming picked her up.  What did I learn? NEVER pick anyone up regardless of an apparent emergency.  Call 911 and move yourself far enough from harms way.  Drugs have hit Americana!  Also, I confirmed the woman was a “Meth Head” as the head of the fire department showed me her mug shot and confirmed.)


Investors quaff US corporate debt in reaction to Fed policy pivot in January – Pg. 19

–          Corporate bond markets have staged their bets start to the year in two decades, roaring back from a bout of volatility after the Federal Reserve pulled off one of its sharpest policy U-turns

–          The strong start to the year comes after the Fed stunned markets in January, distancing itself from its December talk of another two rate-rises in 2019 and raising the possibility that the next move in rates could be down, rather than up

–          That shift – apparently prompted by the fierce market sell-off towards the end of the year – is prompting investors to funnel cash into bonds, whose fixed interest payments become more valuable if base rates flatline or fall

–          High-yield bonds have also benefited from a shift in sentiment away from the previously red-hot loan market, where typically lower-rated or already heavily indebted companies seek out financing


Answer: (1) Women are more likely to be depressed than men; (2) Your genes play a role; (3) You might not respond to the first treatment; (4) Talk therapy can work as well as medication; (5) Depression can cause hallucinations; (6) Magnets might relieve depression; (7) Children also get depressed