5 September 2018 FT — Articles to Read

5 September 2018


Question: According to MSN, what are 40 things no one told you about turning 40?


Japan eyes highest retirement age to curb damage from population decline – Pg. 1

–          …wanted to raise Japan’s retirement age beyond 65, and allow people to defer their pension beyond 70

–          Advocates believe keeping people in the workforce will boost the economy and save money for Japan’s cash-strapped social security system

–          Mr Abe was elected in 2012 on a promise to revive Japan’s economy and end 20 years of on-and-off deflation.  He has delivered six years of solid growth but inflation is still stuck close to zero

–          His comments suggest he wants to use the next three years to address the fiscal problems caused by the rapid ageing of Japan’s population.  The native Japanese population is falling by 300,k000 people a year, with the decline set to accelerate

–          Working longer will not only mean less time receiving a pension, but social scientists have found it often sustains good health and keeps important skills in the economy


S Africa in recession for first time in 9 years – Pg. 4

–          Output in sub-Saharan Africa’s most industrialized nation fell by 0.7% in the second quarter, on top of a 2.6% contraction during the first three months of 2018, …

–          The South African rand fell more than 2% against the US dollar, hitting its lowest level since early 2016

–          South Africa’s economy has failed to grow more than 2% a year since 2013, and faces serious structural obstacles such as unemployment of more than 27%.  Rising fuel prices have recently increased the pressure on South African consumers

–          Planned land reform – a controversial move to alter the constitution to allow expropriation without compensation – also risks souring South Africa’s investment environment

–          The bank is forecasting 4.8% inflation this year, around the middle of its target band


Why so little has changed since the crisis – Pg. 9

–          The chief aim of post-crisis policymaking was rescue: stabilize the financial system and restore demand.  This was delivered by putting sovereign balance sheets behind the collapsing financial system, cutting interest rates, allowing fiscal deficits to soar in the short run while limiting discretionary fiscal expansion, and introducing complex new financial regulations.  This prevented economic collapse, unlike in the 1930s, and brought a (weak) recovery

–          The financial system is much as before, albeit with somewhat lower leverage, higher liquidity requirements and tighter regulation

–          Beyond finance, it seems ever clearer that protection of intellectual property has gone too far.  Also, why not shift taxation on to land?  Why are we letting the taxation of capital collapse?  And why are we not trying to revitalize antitrust?


Answer: (1) Being 40 doesn’t feel especially Old (Prof Note: Accept when asked/needing to do manual labour!); (2) You feel more comfortable in your skin; (3) You don’t care as much about being cool (Prof Note: Due to the realization that I truly am the yardstick from which “cool” is defined! J); (4) You regret the friends you let slip away (Prof Note: But you also cherish those that have not and make greater efforts to get together); (5) You’re more acutely aware that time is precious (Prof Note: “Time” the most valuable commodity!); (6) Hair is a luxury (Prof Note: As a redhead that has retained my red hair today, I see it as my personal miracle!); (7) You start making weird noises; (8) You’re finally able to tell your inner critic to can it; (9) You ask for help when you need it (Prof Note: Many that have been on this list-serve for years know the dark history of my family.  I was successful in court and justice as I asked for help.  I was in trouble, put my hand up and said, “I need help.”  Every peer/friend/acquaintance helped me including organizations, e.g. ULI and Hopkins.); (10) You’re more discerning; (11) You understand now that success never walks a straight path (Prof Note: Also the definition of success is “happiness” but not singular but plural); (12) Your sex life is the best it’s ever been; (13) You stop freaking out about what you’re going to be when you “grow up” (Prof Note: I have learned and believed the ultimate titles are Friend, Peer, Husband, Wife, Philanthropist, Wife, Father, Grandparent, etc.); (14) You’re quicker to give up on toxic relationships; (15) You stop making decisions based on guilt; (16) You stop taking your health for granted (Prof Note: I just had a tooth removed and am reviewing a total treatment plan for my dentistry.  On a different note, getting narcotics at Walmart WITH a prescription is an experience.  They limit what they provided despite the doctor’s prescriptions and THEN one has to fight to get the written prescription back to take to another pharmacy.  Positive comment: Walmart did catch an allergy that the doctor did not.  The doctor LOVED me tracking him down at home to call in another prescription.); (17) You realize that most of your concerns aren’t the end of the world; (18)  You realize you should have traveled more when you were younger (Prof Note: What have I been telling everyone?!); (19) You wish you’d put more away in savings; (20) It’s easier to say no (Prof Note: I still struggle when asked if I want to see the dessert menu!); (21) Nobody condescends to you anymore because they think you’re too young; (22) You’re not afraid to ask for what you want; (23) You wear what you want (Prof Note: One of the greatest compliments was when a younger person in DC, with whom I was meeting, asked how he purchased a Cat Ghaut Golf shirt!); (24) You can no longer pull off a convincing fist bump (Prof Note: I have ALWAYS felt ridiculous doing fist bumps.  I also get confused when someone puts it out there.); (25) You have a paunch; (26) Your favourite music becomes “classic rock” (Prof Note: I will admit to being a closet Tae Tae fan); (27) Even if you get eight hours of sleep, you still wake up exhausted (Prof Note: Not really though eight hours is a bit of a stretch for me); (28) Your opinions have more gravitas (Prof Note: I notice I express my opinions much more infrequently (but for here on the list-serve).; (29) You trade the bikini for more conservative digs; (30) You start forgetting things more often (Prof Note: Absolutely though I often wonder if it is that I have so many more things to consider…write lists!); (31) Your lower back is kind of a jerk; (32) Laugh lines and crow’s feet are charming; (33) You no longer have to pretend like you know something; (34) Public speaking doesn’t feel so much like torture; (35) Gravity is no longer your friend; (36) Everybody in their 20s looks like they’re ten; (37) You kinda wish you had taken more racy selfies when you were younger; (38) You find the right balance between work and life (Prof Note: I would say, at least for me, one finds the best type of work that is life.  So many hours are spent at “work” that it is essential to be something one loves); (39) Reading the fine print is dang near impossible (Prof Note: Last month I had my vision checked and new reading glasses.  It was a miracle, I can now see again and have started reading books again, i.e. not just on readers where I can blow up font to 100); (40) You’re not susceptible to peer pressure anymore (Prof Note: In truth, peer pressure was never something that guided my actions)