Readings & Viewings: March 2, 2018
Weekly insights and news items from around the globe.
Welcome to this week's Readings & Viewings, a collection of news, analysis and other interesting snippets we've spotted from around the world during the latest week for your reading pleasure.
So, we're ending the week on a sour note thanks yet again to US President Donald Trump. It's the Trump bump, but in reverse. So that makes it a Trump slump. This time he has shaken global markets by proposing tariffs be imposed on steel and aluminium imports to protect US manufacturers. The New York Times sounded the trade alarm loudly.
Then there was the Powell play that shocked markets earlier in the week (although, didn't we already know that US rates are on the rise?). The new Fed Chair has softened his views on rising inflation, but he's flagged four possible rate rises this year (instead of the expected three). That's the new part.
All up, quite an interesting week on the economic front. But it was also an interesting one in the investment world.
The SEC is issuing subpoenas in the hunt for fraudulent ICOs. These types of offerings have come back a bit, probably in response to the long build-up to regulation. It's the first, and easiest, part of the crypto market to be regulated. If the evidence against isn't sinking in, the New York Times makes a solid case that mining for coins is a waste of more than just electricity.
Warren Buffett also wants to get clear on one thing; he is keen to make big buys with his $US116 billion cash pile in 2018. He is also keen to offload one of his personal assets, but it doesn't seem to be attracting any prospective buyers.
Spotify has kicked off its unusual IPO, seemingly just one small part of the very ambitious vision of its CEO Daniel Ek. Considering the unusual offering, here's a rundown on what the shares could be worth.
Where do Tesla owners pay the most at the supercharger? Not the country which has the most Teslas.
In the more traditional corners of that market, the Saudis are shaking things up. Lower oil prices have forced the Saudis to widen their circle of friends.
Amsterdam, always ahead of the curve, now has the world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle.
Time for a credit (card) check. Citibank is refunding credit cards to the tune of $US335 million in the US.
The tech boom seems to be going the way of others that have come before it, where power is corrupting its key figures. This author is exploring the new gold rush of California.
One thing the tech boom has certainly done is change advertising forever. The world's biggest advertising agency, WPP, has posted its worst year for growth since 2009 in light of the changing of the guards.
Speaking of big tech and little trust, this chart based on a survey conducted at the end of last year speaks for itself.
We wonder if Trump is adding to Twitter trust issues. After losing his communications director this week, how will he keep crafting such world-class tweets?
On cutting ties, several companies renounced their partnerships with the NRA last week, now Walmart and another major US retailer have raised their minimum age for gun buyers.
Better luck next time Sharkies, or Amazon. The same business that got shut down on Shark Tank has just been snapped up by Amazon for $1 billion.
On that note, Amazon now appears cheaper than three leading ASX-listed Australian retailers, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley. That's before accounting for the shipping costs though.
In news that could turn back a nation's clocks, South Africa is planning to strip land from white farmers.
More about the anti-ageing pill we have been hearing about in dribs and drabs in the recent edition of Time. And while we're waiting on the efficacy of that one, this stem cell startup could extend lifespan by decades.
Which city is home to the world's highest paid expats? Meanwhile, expats in Australia rank pretty poorly, or not at all.
And if you've forgotten what you've read here already, the forgetting curve explains why we struggle to memorise certain things, and provides some helpful pointers.
Enjoy your weekend.
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