24 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

24 April 2019


Question: What percentage of couples met online in 95’ vs today?


Prospective Fed nominee’s chances hit by comments on women – Pg. 4

–          …eh criticizes equal pay for women in sport have touched on a sensitive topic for the Fed and the economics profession

–          In columns published in the 2000s, Mr Moore complained about the notion there should be equal pay for equal work among male and female athletes, and about the employment of female referees in men’s basketball games

–          Mr Moore already faces uncertain prospects after it emerged he owes tax debts to the government and was held in contempt of court by a judge in Virginia for failing to pay spousal and child support to his former wife


China slum clearance strains local authorities – Pg. 4

–          A scheme to demolish nearly 25m homes in designated “slum” areas in China – forcing the relocation of 100m people over the past four years – is straining local government finances amid a downturn in land sales

–          Beijing aims to redevelop all shanty towns by 2020 and has said residents should be given a new house of the same floor area, or monetary compensation based on market prices when their homes were demolished

–          More than 24m properties have been demolished since 2015

–          Local governments borrowed from state-run banks to fund renovations…

–          Cash payments, which accounted for 54% of national compensation awarded in 2017, were used to buy pre-built properties, helping China clear its huge supply of unsold houses

–          …China is now braced for a land sales market slowdown.  Land sales fell 34% in the first two months of the year, while the 5% drop in local government revenues from land sales was the biggest since a period of economic turmoil in 2015

–          Average prices for land sales in Chinese cities fell 11% in the last quarter of 2018, …


American’s dollar privilege exists but it is not exorbitant – Pg. 24

–          Under the old Bretton Woods exchange rate system, continental Europeans spent decades railing at the freedom enjoyed by the US to run unending deficits on its balance of payments.

–          Since then, concerns have focused more on the ability of the US to win competitive advantage by depreciating the dollar

–          As for the other source of resentment, seigniorage – the profit governments make on the difference between the value of interest-free notes and coins and their production costs – it is generally recognized as trivial

–          …the US accounts for nearly a third of the world’s $65tn of government debt

–          At 104% of GDP….there is no immediate problem, though, because the US is in the happy position of paying interest rates on its government bonds that are lower than the rate of growth of nominal GDP.  The IMF currently projects real growth of 2.3% for 2019 together with inflation of 2%

–          The dollar’s survival as the primary reserve currency despite the US’s shrinking share of the global economy reflects the extraordinary liquidity of the treasury market and the Fed’s success since the mid-1980s in keeping inflation under control

–          The financial crisis provided proof of the depth of that belief in the dollar.  Despite the fact that the US was at the very heart of the maelstrom that posed a serious threat to the global financial system and the world economy, investors sought the safety of the dollar and Treasuries as a haven in the storm

–          It was a paradox: the custodian of the primary reserve currency was rewarded by foreign money for grotesquely mismanaging its own financial system


Answer: 2% in 1995 vs 39% today