News

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Big oil CEO supports corporate tax reform. And this is news?

CNBC reported on Tuesday that John Watson, Chevron’s CEO, supports Donald Trump’s push for corporate tax reform. And this is news? Let’s ignore the merits of corporate tax reform. This post isn’t about politics or economics. This post is about what the financial media considers news. It’s hard for me to think about something that’s
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GE is helping Saudi Arabia transform its economy

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that General Electric is planning to invest $1.4 billion in Saudi Arabia. GE is joining with other investors to pursue opportunities in energy, water, and aviation. I find this news particularly interesting when I contrast it with Jeff Immelt’s commencement speech last week. Immelt, the GE CEO, noted that
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Microsoft sues US government, shows the politics of innovation

Microsoft sued the U.S. Justice Department yesterday. The issue at play is whether the Justice Department can (a) force Microsoft to hand over data about its customers and (b) not tell the affected customers about it. Interesting, right? If you have your own data on Microsoft’s servers, there’s a chance the Justice Department is forcing
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JPMorgan Chase argues its huge size is a huge advantage

I couldn’t have timed yesterday’s post about JPMorgan Chase any better. Right as I published that post, The Wall Street Journal reported on a proxy statement the bank filed. The proxy was in response to a shareholder proposal for the bank to explore breaking itself up. As Emily Glazer of The Wall Street Journal said,
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One Fed president sounds like an alarmist. And he's right.

Neel Kashkari is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He took office on January 1, 2016. While he’s new on the job, he’s grabbing a lot of attention. Over the past few weeks, he’s argued for breaking up the biggest banks, like J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup Inc. He has a unique
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Low interest rates shine the spotlight on innovation. That's either scary or exciting.

Bill Gross, a renowned financial manager, published his newest investment outlook on Wednesday. Gross uses his outlook column to discuss the financial markets and his expectations for the future. In Wednesday’s note, he wrote about the danger of near zero interest rates around the world. He’s concerned about our near future: Investors cannot make money when money
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Credit Suisse and the cost of financial engineering

Here’s the first paragraph of a recent Bloomberg article: Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam, who said he was blindsided by a buildup of illiquid trading positions that will probably spark a first-quarter loss, pledged to make deeper cost cuts. It seems like you can’t go a week without this kind of
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Old people get squeezed when the economy suffers

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Sunday titled “Low Rates Are Tormenting Insurers – And Their Customers”. The insurers that are most tormented are old people. And in an unexpected way, scientists and engineers might have a solution. Here’s the article’s thesis: Interest rates are low now, and have been that way since
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The Wall Street Journal, calculus, and your ticket to the party

Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Calculus Is So Last Century”. The main idea? Industry today is focused on big data. And big data analysis leans more heavily on probably and statistics than calculus. Here’s one quote from the article: Accompanying the proliferation of new data is noise, and a major
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The FBI Apple dispute links technology to business and so much more

The dispute between FBI and Apple, over unlocking the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooters, is all over the news. (Here, here, here, and basically everywhere else.) The central issue is whether the government can compel a private company to spy on its customers or not. Apple decided, well before the San Bernardino shooting, that it
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