Tradeoffs: The Currency of Decision Making
- If you feel like you’re always behind on some area of your life, it’s probably a sign to reconsider tradeoffs.
- We often end up allocating our time, and other scarce resources like money, by default, not in the way that gets us what we want.
- One of the most important areas where we need to pay attention to tradeoffs is when we make decisions.
- We’d all agree that we’d rather devote our time to activities we value, yet we can end up not acting that way out of habit or obligation or simply because we haven’t considered what we’re forgoing.
- Multitasking as a way of getting more out of our time without making tradeoffs doesn’t work.
- When we actively choose which tradeoffs we want to make, we can feel much better about it than when we’re forced to let things slide.
The Aramco attack was an 'act of war' by Iran: Senior State Department official
- The September attack on Saudi Aramco's facilities that temporarily shut down half of the kingdom's oil production represented an act of war by the Iranian state, U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook told CNBC on Saturday.
- In response to the suggestion that nothing has been done to Iran as a result of its suspected attack, Hook emphasized the role of diplomacy and the United Nations — something that the Donald Trump administration has been accused of ignoring.
- But the measures, which Tehran calls "economic terrorism," have so far failed to deter the kind of destabilizing behavior that the U.S. accuses Iran of carrying out in the region — whether it's backing Houthi rebels in Yemen, funding Hezbollah, Shiite paramilitary groups in Iraq, or the accused Aramco attacks.
What the interim US-China trade deal means -- and doesn't
- The two countries on Friday agreed to halt additional tariffs on nearly $160 billion of Chinese consumer electronics and toys that were set to take effect on Sunday morning, reduce economic penalties on goods that were imposed in September by half and unveil new commitments by the Chinese to buy US farm and other products.
- Adding uncertainty to the initial agreement was the noted reluctance by Chinese officials to confirm any details offered by Trump, including on $200 billion of purchases of American farm and other products by China.
- A senior administration official on Friday told reporters that China had promised in the trade pact to increase their purchase of manufactured goods, agricultural goods, energy products and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years, including $40 billion to $50 billion in farm commitments.
There are profitless companies far beyond Silicon Valley. One market expert explains how they're a lethal factor setting the market up for a meltdown.
- Silicon Valley unicorns are in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
- As investors, we like to think that pockets of market turmoil are generally sequestered and free of contagion.
- Vincent Deluard, the director of global macro strategy at INTL FCStone, doesn't think these issues are going away anytime soon.
- What's more, he sees them popping up in places outside of Silicon Valley.
- Deluard aruges that, at some point, investors are going to stop tolerating these types of business models and start unwinding positions.
- His comments on unprofitable companies were echoed recently by billionaire Bond King Jeffrey Gundlach, who warned of "zombie companies" that are still in business solely because of artificially low interest rates.
- But Gundlach takes Deluard's market-correction forecast and does it one better: he's expecting a full-fledged economic contraction.
5 Reasons Why US-China Trade Tensions Won't Be Fully Resolved Until 2024
- A second term for Trump might suggest that U.S.-China trade tensions will finally be resolved.
- If anything, Trump’s second term could turn out to be another four years of wild market volatility based on Trump’s latest trade tweets.
- Among the sticky issues that led to the U.S.-China trade war were the trade deficits, the forced transfer of intellectual property, and restrictions facing U.S. businesses seeking entry into the Chinese market.
- Before the U.S.-China trade war kicked off, Trump got rid of moderate voices in the White House who objected to his approach.
- Another Democratic party loss in 2020 will deplete the field of rivals as Trump takes on legendary status.
- Efforts to bring China to heel in his second term would be the perfect way to keep his political instincts sharp and his base glued to the Trump show.
Alberta asks Ottawa to 'expedite' approval of Teck's Frontier oilsands mega mine
- CALGARY – Alberta’s environment minister Jason Nixon is asking his federal counterpart to “expedite” approvals for Teck Resources Ltd.’s Frontier oilsands mega mine, to show Ottawa understands Alberta’s needs.
- In a letter sent to federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on Dec. 6, seen by the Financial Post, Nixon references economic hardships in Alberta and noted that the project will create 7,000 jobs during construction and contribute $70 billion in federal, provincial and municipal taxes over 41 years of production.
- Nixon’s letter lays out eight steps the Alberta government has taken to address recommendations from the arms-length Joint Review Panel, which recommended the federal government approve the oilsands mega-mine on July 26, 2019.
- At the time the recommendation was issued, then-environment and climate change minister Catherine McKenna’s office said that if the minister determined there were significant adverse environmental impacts, the decision would be referred to the wider Liberal cabinet.
Boris Johnson won the election but he may struggle to keep the UK together
- While Johnson's Conservative Party punched huge holes in Labour's red wall in the north of England and Wales with a dominant performance in England outside London, it fell back in Scotland -- in a set of results that reverse surprising gains from 2017 and may set a constitutional time bomb ticking.
- Across the water in Northern Ireland, the pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party leader in Westminster Nigel Dodds, who propped up the minority Conservative government after its disastrous 2017 election lost his seat in North Belfast.
- And Johnson, who after all leads the Conservative and Unionist Party, has said he will not grant Scotland another referendum and his big majority means he won't have to.
- But if the SNP follows its bumper night on Thursday with another landslide in the elections for the Scottish parliament in 2021 -- probably on an independence vote platform, the tensions between Scotland and London could become unsustainable.
Relief all round as uncertainty lifts
- Investors and policymakers hopeful for a global economic rebound in 2020 were delivered an early Christmas present with the proposed detente between trade war belligerents China and the US, and a Conservative landslide in the UK election that possibly offers a clearer pathway to Brexit.
- The victory of the Boris Johnson-led Conservatives offers the hope of progress on Brexit and a trade deal between the UK – the world's fifth-largest economy – and an economic bloc that collectively is the world's second-largest economy.
- Having referenced the US-China trade and technology disputes after each board meeting in the second half of the year, Lowe now sees the economy undergoing a "gentle turning point" after cutting rates three times this year – the most active year for monetary policy since 2012.
Tax reform critical to boost the economy: IMF
- The International Monetary Fund is pressing the Morrison government to broaden the GST and cut business taxes to boost the subdued economy, which it forecasts will grow at a below-par 2.2 per cent next year.
- The independent assessment comes on the eve of Monday's mid-year federal budget update, which most market economists tip will show a slight downgrade to the $7.1 billion surplus forecast for 2019-20 and weaker wages, softer consumer spending and lower economic growth.
- But the IMF stops short of agreeing with the pressure from Dr Lowe, Labor and a growing number of market economists who have pressed the Morrison government for a larger fiscal stimulus to support the RBA as it nears running out of room to cut interest rates much below the record low of 0.75 per cent.
- The International Monetary Fund is pressing the Morrison government to broaden the GST and cut business taxes to boost Australia's subdued economy, which it forecasts will grow at a below-par 2.2 per cent next year.
New NAFTA deal lifts cloud of uncertainty hanging over Canadian business: Poloz
- Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz suggested Thursday that the ratification of a new North American free-trade deal is key to finally eliminating uncertainty that has hovered over businesses trying to make investment decisions since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.
- Following a lunchtime speech to a business crowd in Toronto, Poloz told reporters there was no question that uncertainty about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement “began to bite almost immediately” after Trump came to office, as the president had made the renegotiation of the pact a top priority.
- The apparent forecast for slow economic growth is likely to mean low interest rates should persist as well, Poloz added, although the governor stressed he was not making “a near-term prediction” about the Bank of Canada’s policy rate.