26 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

26 April 2019


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


Beijing agrees to address Belt and Road debt alarm – Pg. 2

–          China is seeking more international and private financing for its $1tn Belt and Road Initiative to counter concerns the infrastructure project can create debt traps for host countries

–          China is now supposed to take into account local currency financing ability and offer more transparency when lending


Rich nations urged to prepare workers for age of automation – Pg. 3

–          Governments are failing to prepoare their workers for the impact of artificial intelligence as they face a “process of creative destruction” that will radically change people’s jobs and careers, …

–          Many nations’ social security systems are outdated,…

–          Flexible workers struggle to gain access to benefits such a sick pay, parental pay, minimum notice periods, protection against unfair dismissal and redundancy pay

–          But some 14% of existing jobs could disappear as a result of automation in the next 15-20 years, …while a further 32% are likely to change radically as individual tasks are automated

–          (Prof Note: Look at the average age of appraisers!  Our spotted owls (meant with respect) are dying off.  We need trades, e.g. plumbers, electricians, HVAC workers, etc.  I still am unclear how these trades can be automated.)


BoJ vows to keep rates low until 2020 – Pg. 4

–          It is the first time Japan’s central bank has put a date on the “extended period” for which it intends to keep short and long-term interest rates low

–          The BoJ’s decision shows it is worried about slowing growth and the lack of progress towards its 2% inflation target, with prices up by just 0.4% compared with a year ago in March

–          Japan’s central bank launched a programme of monetary easing in 2013, expanding its balance sheet to more than 100% of annual economic output, and pushing overnight interest rates down to minus 0.1%.  The stimulus contributed to a fall in the yen and a six-year spell of solid economic growth but failed to ignite inflation

–          It forecast inflation of just 1.6% in the year to March 2022


US Economy – Pg. 7

–          The CBO’s latest outlook suggests deficits are projected to average 4.4% of GDP in 2020-29, far above the average set over the past 50 years of 2.9% of GDP.  That will ensure public debt as a share of GDP rises steadily to eventually exceed records set after the second world war

–          The trend towards looser fiscal policy led by the US marks potentially the greatest change in economic policy-making for a generation.  Persistently low inflation is allowing central banks to keep interest rates down, easing the cost of servicing public debt.  As a result, many economist now argue there is little pain and much to gain from further loosening budgetary shackles

–          Trump administration policies are now set to push the US into the deepest protracted budget deficits on record, outside wars and recessions, just as the US is near or at full employment


Answer: 19% in 1995 vs 27% today