6 August 2019 FT — Articles to Read

6 August 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are forty (40) things you should know about a home by age 40?


China allows currency to weaken in escalation of trade war with US – Pg. 1

  • Global equities took another battering yesterday after China allowed its currency to weaken below a key threshold, in a marked escalation of its trade war with the US that also triggered in a rally in bonds as investors fled for safety
  • The S&P 500 was down 2.7%….
  • The demand for US government bonds, where investors typically flee in times of trouble, saw the difference between the yields on 3-month and 10-year Treasuries fall to their most negative since April 2007. The inversion of this so-called yield curve has preceded every US recession of the past 50 years (Prof Note: Take Note!!!)


China deals blow to US farmers and halts purchase – Pg. 2

  • Beijing has told its state-owned enterprises to halt US agricultural goods purchases in a fresh blow to US farmers and traders….
  • Agricultural products, especially soyabeans, have been at the centre of the escalating US-China trade war, with the US insisting China must make substantial purchases of the crop as part of any trade deal
  • The US delivered just 5.3m tonnes of soyabeans to China in the first five month of this year, against 15.2m tonnes in the first five months of 2018
  • Beijing’s new measures are in addition to the 25% tariffs on soyabeans and many other US agricultural goods it imposes in July last year. Since the tariffs were implemented, US soyabean prices, which were trading at around $10 a bushel in early 2018, have fallen 15% to $8.50
  • As a substitute for soyabeans from the US, the Chinese commerce ministry last week said it would seek to “expand soyabean imports from Russia”


Can a genderless language change the way we think about equality? – Pg. 8

  • …Turkish: the absence of grammatical gender (Prof Note: Did not know this! Go Turkey!)
  • Turkish has just one word – the simple “O” – to mean he, she or it. Verbs are not gendered.  Nor are nouns such as “teacher” or “actor”.
  • When someone talks about an unnamed friend, it is possible to listen to an extended discussion without knowing if they are female or male
  • …Turkey has the lowest rate of female workforce participation in the OECD, and patriarchal structures run deep
  • There seems little evidence to show that removing bias from language has a meaningful impact (Prof Note: I have been fascinated by language and association. Should we call a per”son” a “perper”?  A “Chairman” a “ChairChair”?  Then there is the issue of names.  Should we go to random number selection, especially for resumes?)


Baht’s ascent flies in the face of slowing Thai economy – Pg. 17

  • Thailand’s economy is slowing, arrivals for its core tourism industry have hit a plateau, and a draught is hurting a farming sector that employs millions – but the baht is buoyant
  • Foreign portfolio money is flowing into Thailand, …because of the kingdom’s healthy current account surplus, an election in March that laid to rest investors’ worst fears about political risk and the Bank of Thailand’s hawkish stance on interest rates
  • Thai assets are yielding healthy returns relative to the rate at which investors can borrow money elsewhere, at a time when many central banks are easing, with the most recent example being the US Federal Reserve, which cut rates last week
  • The soaring baht is a paradox and a burden for an economy not performing at its best. The resultant drag on competitiveness could further fuel the slowdown in south-east Asia’s second-largest economy
  • The BoT’s single rate rise in December gave it far less leeway to ease than the US Fed, which before last week’s cut had tightened nine times since 2015


Answer: (1) How to flush the toilet when the power’s out (Prof Note: I have a 3.5 gallon tank.  I have 12 gallons of water on hand for just such an emergency!); (2) Deal with drainage (Prof Note: Drainage is no joke and not doing it correctly may be a crime!); (3) Understanding electrical (Prof Note: Be certain you know the location of the breaker box and that it is accessible); (4) Test the sump pump (Prof Note: Avoid, if possible, houses with sump pumps); (5) Clean dryer vents (Prof Note: Careful as these can cause a fire); (6) How to stop under-the-door air leaks; (7) How to fix a loose doorknob; (8) How to sharpen lawnmower blades; (9) Touch-up without clean up; (10) Suck out drain clogs (Prof Note: Love my Dewalt cleaner); (11) Sizing a ceiling fan (Prof Note: No idea!); (12) Tennis Ball parking guide; (13) How to seal outlets and ceiling boxes; (14) How to fix leaks and drips (Prof Note: Hello YouTube!); (15) How to change locks; (16) Paint like a pro; (17) How to fix a running toilet; (18) How to fix squeaky floors; (19) How to fix a crack in drywall; (20) How to fix cracked grout; (21) How to fix an unbalanced washing machine (Prof Note: Hello YouTube); (22) How to fix common refrigerator problems; (23) How to fix a water heater pilot light; (24) HVAC (Prof Note: Replace those filters); (25) Garbage Disposal (Prof Note: Stop using it!); (26) Light switches; (27) Decks; (28) Fix windows; (29) How to replace a toilet; (30) Foam a loose showerhead; (31) Solution for a small leak; (32) Lubricate a lock with a pencil; (33) Fix a broken light fixture; (34) Fix a shutoff valve; (35) Air filter; (36) Clothes Dryer repair guide; (37) Restore free flow to a faucet; (38) How to adjust oven temperatures; (39) Electric stove repair; (40) How to remove carpet yourself