9 April 2019 FT — Articles to Read

9 April 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what is the Average American’s Rent?


Memory in elderly improved by electrical stimulation –Pg. 1

–          Electrical stimulation of the human brain can produce a stroking improvement in short-term memory of the elderly, with people in their 60s showing memory functions equivalent to 40 years younger….

–          While receiving this stimulation for 25 minutes the older participants’ speed and accuracy improved markedly, making them perform as well as the twenty-somethings.  The improvement lasted for almost an hour after the current was switched off

–          One area in which the research could be applied is in treating Alzheimer’s disease


Beware the lossmaking behemoths rushing to market – Pg. 11

–          ….in 1980 only 25% of US companies had negative earnings when they came to market.  Last year, it was 80%

–          From that perspective, massively lossmaking, venture capital-backed companies seeking to cash out on the public markets near the top of the cycle should probably be avoided like drunk drivers on a Saturday night


Bad loans at small China banks spark fears – Pg. 15

–          China’s central auditing authority has sounded the alarm on a surge of bad debt at small banks, raising the question of whether Beijing will continue to bail out struggling lenders or eventually allow some to go bankrupt

–          Tackling China’s bad debt problem is a priority for Beijing, which views it as a core component to maintaining financial and social stability

–          Ultra-high rates of bad debt above 40% have prompted questions over whether some banks could be allowed to fail

–          The government’s tolerance for allowing state-owned companies to default on bonds has increased over the past year, as shown by a number of missed payments.  One such company failed to repay a US dollar bond in Hong Kong in February, the first offshore default in 20 years and a sign that the government was not rushing to rescue state groups


Bets against euro jump to highest level since 2016 – Pg. 21

–          A run of disappointing data in the Eurozone and mounting concerns about the health of the global economy have prompted hedge funds and other speculators to amass the biggest bet against the euro since late 2016

–          Futures trading makes up only a small portion of the $5.1tn a day forex market but data on outstanding positions provide an insight into broader trading patterns

–          Signs of a weakening German economy have already dragged the euro 2.1% lower this year against the US dollar, adding to a fall of 4.4% in 2018


Answer: $1,307/mo