27 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

27 April 2019


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


US economy brushes off slowdown fears to surge ahead with 3.2% growth – Pg. 1

–          The US economy defied fears of a first-quarter slowdown, overcoming a prolonged government shutdown, trade tensions and global economic uncertainty to deliver growth that trounced analysts expectations

–          GDP rose at an annualized pace of 3.2% during the first three months of the year, …

–          The benchmark 10-year yield was 4bps lower at 2.5%


US justice system’s predictive tools under fire – Pg. 4

–          …algorithmic risk assessment tools – which use statistical models to determine the probability of a future outcome – were not sufficiently accurate or transparent

–          Law enforcement agencies are suing such tools to predict, for example, whether someone will fail to appear in court based on their arrest history, demographic and how others have behaved in the past

–          Yesterday’s paper was prompted by proposed legislation in California that would mandate the use of risk assessment tools in pretrial detention decision-making

–          As part of an effort to combat the US’s growing prison population, the US attorney-general is required to develop an “evidence-based” risk assessment system by July 2019 to help decide how long inmates remain incarcerated.

–          The use of artificial intelligence has become increasingly controversial in recent years.  Amazon has come under heavy criticism for selling its facial recognition tool to law enforcement, Google has disbanded its AI ethics board and Microsoft was revealed to have worked with a Chinese military-run university on AI that could be used for censorship and surveillance


Leveraged loan rout continues as US rate momentum wanes – Pg. 13

–          An exodus from funds that invest in floating rate leveraged loans is in its sixth month, cementing a shift away from one of the hottest corners of debt markets last year

–          Fund managers said the driving force had been the Federal Reserve’s decision to pause further interest rate increases

–          Because leveraged loans pay a floating rate of interest, which rises or falls along with market interest rates, they have greater allure when central banks are raising rates

–          Financial markets are pricing in a 59% chance that the Fed will cut interest rates before the end of the year as a softer global economic outlook sets in


Answer: 9% in 1995 vs 4% today