31 August 2018 FT — Articles to Read

31 August 2018


Question: According to MSN.com, what are 10 things most people forget to check when viewing a home for sale?


Argentina raises rates to 60% in drastic bid to arrest peso’s slide – Pg. 1

–          Argentina ratcheted up interest rates to 60% yesterday, a 15% point increase aimed at arresting a plunge in the peso that has threatened the credibility of its three-year-old reformist government


Harvard discriminates against Asian-Americans, says DoJ – Pg. 3

–          Harvard University’s admissions process “significantly disadvantages” Asian-Americans, the US DOJ said yesterday…

–          …Harvard’s use of a “personal rating” harmed the chances of Asian-Americans compared with other ethnic groups and alleged the “value” metric “may be infected with racial bias”

–          The justice department’s civil division is separately investigating the college’s admissions policies

–          In July, the justice department rescinded Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to promote diversity and instead reissued a document from George W Bush’s administration that called on colleges to use “race-neutral” application criteria

–          Harvard has acknowledged using race as a factor in its admissions decisions in order to boost campus diversity but has denied discrimination


Director resigns over MoviePass governance – Pg. 12

–          …stepped down…saying a lack of communication between management and the board, meant his “ability to effectively discharge my duties as a director has been compromised beyond repair”

–          The average cost of a cinema ticket in the US was $9.38 in the second quarter of 2018, …


Spate of female hires at top Valley start-up funder – Pg. 14

–          After almost a decade as an all-male preserve, the senior ranks of venture capital firm Addreessen Horowitz have been opened a bit further to admit a third woman in just over two months

–          One problem has been a shortage of experienced female entrepreneurs ready to switch to VC, a traditional path taken by new start-up investors

–          …40% of all investors came from just two elite university – Harvard and Stanford


Hunt for yield drives stronger demand for riskier slices of US mortgage securities – Pg. 17

–          Investors are stomaching the lowest premium in over a decade for taking on more risk in the US commercial property market as a humming American economy encourages money managers to reach for higher returns

–          The difference between the return on the safest slices of commercial mortage-backed securities – a pool of mortgage bundled into a bond – and the riskier slices has dropped to its lowest level since the build-up to the financial crisis,…

–          CMBS bundle pools of mortgages on commercial buildings such as offices and malls into a single bond, with the interest paid by the mortgage repayments of borrowers

–          The debt is sliced into tranches with higher returns offered to those prepared to absorb potential losses on the underlying mortgages first

–          As the US Federal Reserve has tightened monetary policy, higher quality fixed-rate investments such as the triple-A tranches of CMBS have fallen in price, prompting investors to seek out floating rate assets like company loans, or take more credit risk to boost returns


Answer: (1) The neighbourhood; (2) Cell Signal; (3) Your commute; (4) Noise; (5) Association fees and rules; (6) Resale value; (7) Neighbours; (8) Water pressure; (9) Bedroom-to-Bathroom ratio; (10) Is there room to expand? (Prof Note: One final item, rental rate, i.e. will the home rent and will the rental rate cover the mortgage?)