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Plod has a bunch of questions

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From my order of requests, here it goes:

– What does New York do well? Conversely, what do they do wrong with it?
What is your theory about the increasing lack of male ambition?
Why don’t modern fiction authors (Martin, Rothfuss, and others) finish their work?
– If you were the chief economist, the tsar of the United States, what policy would you implement first? in the UK?
Will equal mood music without 12 beats become popular?
– What do you think of charter cities like Prospera?

I will do the answers by number:

1. The New York Times can publish great cultural articles, especially when you’re not a pimping on PC issues. Their music and movie reviews aren’t the best, but it’s definitely worth the time. International coverage is very diverse, but they have plenty of articles with information you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the coolest obituaries. The best parts of the Op-Ed section are indispensable, and the worst parts are important to read for other reasons. Perhaps most importantly, the New York Times has all kinds of just great random articles, even if I don’t always like the framing. attempt this in non-profit hospitals.

On the other side of the ledger, I don’t read much in the Metro and Sports sections (maybe you’ll be fine?). The business division has always been insignificant, and is not currently at its peak. Historical coverage can be with ethnic angles Horrible. The worst editorials are beyond pale in their imperfect thinking, and there are quite a few of them. In “Big Tech” the paper is very poor, and it refuses to consider issues of conflict of interest. that they Just blow it up In a new Covid study. The book review section was much better, and I think it became a low-cost way to please the Wokies.

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2. Male ambition in the United States is increasing in variance, not entirely waning. But on the left side of this distribution, I will blame (in no particular order): declining manufacturing, women who no longer need male financial support, marijuana, Internet pornography, better gauge of worker quality, the continued rise of the service sector, and a lot of Homework in schools, better entertainment options, and the increasing general competitiveness of the world, causing many to retreat into a preemptive defeat.

3. Male fiction writers do not finish their works because these works have no natural ending. There is always another kingdom, lost family members, new magical power to be discovered, etc. Successful fiction authors continue to get paid to produce more content, and their opportunity cost is otherwise low. Why exactly should they tie everything together in an elegant arc, as Tolkien did with the three major volumes of LOTR?

4. For the United States, I would have more freedom to build, broad deregulation of most things other than carbon and finance, and more immigration of the high-skilled, followed by some accompanying immigration of the low-skilled. For the United Kingdom, I would do the same broadly, but would focus more on the human capital problems of northern England as a way to boost economic growth.

5. For example, music with equal moods without 12 tones is very popular in the Arab world, and has been so for a long time.

6. I had intended to visit Prospera, but had not yet had a chance to go. I expect to. My general concerns about charter cities usually include size, and also whether they will be overwhelmed by host governments, which are almost by definition dysfunctional at first. Most of the successful charter cities in history had the support of a large outside dominant power, such as Hong Kong, which was dependent on Britain.

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Xi Jinping Hails “New Era” in China-Saudi Arabia Relations

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Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a “new era” in Beijing’s relationship with the Gulf region as he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Thursday and the two sides signed partnership agreements.

In an opinion article published by Saudi media, something He wrote, “The visit will carry forward our traditional friendship, and open a new era in China’s relations with the Arab world, with the Arab Gulf states and Saudi Arabia.”

Before being received in Riyadh by the kingdom’s daily ruler, Xi wrote this Kingdom Saudi Arabia China “respects each other’s sovereignty and development path.” [and] Respect each other’s history and cultural traditions.”

His plane was ceremoniously escorted by Saudi planes before it landed on Wednesday evening for his first visit since 2016. He was received by Prince Mohammed and a guard of honor before he met the prince and his aides on Thursday.

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The three-day visit, which will see the Chinese leader attend an Arab and Gulf summit, comes at a low point in US-Saudi relations after the kingdom led OPEC+ in oil production cuts, prompting warnings from Washington that it might reassess its relations with it. Riyadh.

Saudi and Chinese media reported that the two sides signed a strategic partnership agreement that would see the leaders of the two countries meet every two years. They have also drafted 34 investment deals in sectors including technology and energy.

The deals included a memorandum of understanding between Huawei and the Saudi Minister of Communications to establish a mobile internet at a speed of 10 gigabits per second and a cloud computing facility in the Kingdom, as well as construction deals for 300,000 housing units. Huawei’s business dealings in the West have come under scrutiny over security concerns.

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Enovate Motors has also agreed a memorandum of understanding with a Saudi holding company to set up a car factory in the country that will produce 100,000 vehicles annually.

The United States has opposed Huawei’s expansion in the region and recently warned that some sectors of engagement with China could affect cooperation between the United States and Arab countries.

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Washington said it would monitor the visit, which comes months after US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia and told Arab leaders at a summit that the United States would not leave a “vacuum” in the region for China, Russia and Iran to fill.

“We recognize the influence that China is trying to cultivate around the world,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, about Xi’s visit. “The Middle East is definitely one of those regions where they want to deepen their level of influence.”

Kirby said that while America did not ask countries to choose between Washington and Beijing, US policies were “more conducive to preserving prosperity and security for countries around the world than those that China exhibits or promotes.”

Despite Biden’s pledge, Gulf officials said the United States, Saudi Arabia’s main security partner and arms supplier, has grown distant as it focuses on other regions. Saudi officials have refrained from playing the role of the two superpowers, saying they want to diversify their foreign relations.

China is already the kingdom’s largest trading partner, while Saudi Arabia is its largest supplier of crude oil. Analysts say that Beijing does not seek to replace the United States in the region, and in no way will it be able to do so, but rather aims to expand its trade and influence.

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Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding

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South Korea issues second back-to-work order, strikes truck drivers to vote By Reuters

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2/2

© Reuters. Mixer trucks are parked at a ready-mix concrete plant as unionized truck drivers go on strike in Seoul, South Korea, December 8, 2022. Yonhap via Reuters

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By Heekyong Yang and Ju-min Park

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea ordered truck drivers in the steel and petrochemical industries to end their strike on Thursday, extending the scope of a return-to-work decree outside the cement industry after nationwide industrial unrest disrupted supply chains.

With pressure mounting on the government, the truckers’ union said it would vote on whether to terminate it.

A union official said members would cast their ballots on Friday.

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Tens of thousands of striking truck drivers are calling for the minimum wage program to be made permanent. The government refused, saying it would only extend the current program for another three years.

Party lawmakers told reporters that the Democratic Party, an opposition party with a majority in parliament, supported the government’s position.

“The government is still steadfast. We definitely have to break the vicious circle of unjustified organized action,” Prime Minister Han Duk-soo said at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The government said this week that the second strike in less than six months has disrupted supplies of goods from cars to fuel, costing the country 3.5 trillion won ($2.66 billion) in the first 12 days.

President Yoon Sok-yul said his administration will not give in to what it says are the “unwarranted demands” of the truckers’ union.

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Negotiations between the union and the government have not led to any progress, but some striking drivers say the loss of income while on strike means it is more difficult for drivers to maintain the industrial strike.

About a third of the 2,000 fuel tankers are on strike, government data showed. By late Wednesday, 78 petrol stations across the country, many of them in the Seoul metropolitan area, had run out of fuel.

Last week, the government issued a “start-up” order to force the 2,500 striking drivers in the cement industry to get back on the road. Media reports, citing the Ministry of Industry, said that 35% of the 2,600 fuel truck drivers across the country are on strike.

Today, Thursday, the Ministry of Transportation said that steel shipments are reaching 48% of normal levels, and shipments of petrochemical products have also declined to about 20%, which raises fears that these disruptions will affect the production of cars and ships.

Petrochemical companies are considering cutting production as early as this weekend due to a shortage of raw materials and space for unused inventory.

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Last month’s “start-up” order marked the first time the government forced striking workers to resume work. Failure to comply can result in licenses being revoked, three years in prison, or a fine of up to 30 million won (US$22,550).

The government has said its order has been effective in getting striking truck drivers back on the road, but the union says it will take legal action with the help of certified labor lawyers to challenge the order.

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The bond market indicates that the Federal Reserve is standing firm in its battle against inflation

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The gap between short- and long-term borrowing costs in the United States has reached its widest point since 1981, a sign that investors expect the Federal Reserve to stay the course in its battle to tame inflation, even as recession fears mount.

the two years treasury On Wednesday, the yield traded at 4.2 percent, while the 10-year yield settled at 3.4 percent, bringing the difference between them to 0.84 percentage points. This pattern, known as the “inversion” of the yield curve, has preceded every US economic downturn in the past 50 years.

The deepening of the reversal comes after last week’s report showed that American economy Job additions continued at a strong pace in November, and a significant survey indicated that activity in the broad service sector continues to grow rapidly.

While the data paints an optimistic picture of the state of the economy, some investors worry that it will also be encouraging feed it To continue to push interest rates higher next year, after moving them from near zero to a range of 3.75-4 percent so far in 2022. Higher borrowing costs, in turn, are expected to add pressure on the economy, potentially lead to stagnation.

The market was betting that the Federal Reserve would have to slow down. “We’ve learned in the last year that the market has been wrong time and time again on this assumption,” said Edward El-Husseini, senior analyst at Columbia Threadneedle.

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Shifts in the US bond market also show that investors are moving more in line with what the Fed said it expects for next year. Although the yield curve has been flat throughout the year, it has rebounded from its lows in late November and last week investors began pricing in two interest rate cuts by the end of 2023, both of which point to a backsliding in monetary policy.

This gap was between the Fed and the market particularly clear After President Jay Powell’s speech last week In which he indicated that although the US central bank will slow down the pace of interest rate increases at its December meeting, it will do so to allow interest rates to stay higher for a longer period. Markets focused on the first lot, not the second.

After the release of the US jobs report on Friday, the intense movement in the yield curve collapsed, although interest rate cuts next year are still priced in. Futures markets currently suggest the “final” Fed rate, or peak for this cycle, will be around 5 percent in May, from expectations as low as 4 percent in September.

“The [November] The payroll report reminded us that the labor market remains in a very good place, and we expect to see that reflected in a higher final rate in points,” said Ben Jeffrey, US pricing analyst at BMO Capital Markets, referring to the Fed’s quarterly survey of officials on where Economics and Monetary Policy in the Years Ahead – Also known as a “dot chart.” The next dot chart will be released at the Federal Reserve meeting in December.

The primary signal that a yield curve inversion sends is that investors believe that the Fed’s increases in short-term interest rates will succeed in slowing inflation sharply. Then the magnitude of that reversal reflects both the dramatic pace of interest rate increases, and the fact that the Fed has held onto that pace even as investors shifted their inflation and growth expectations.

“We think the shape of the yield curve is a measure of how much monetary policy can tighten, and the market clearly believes that tightening will continue for some time,” said Mark Cabana, head of US interest rate strategy at the bank. from America.

Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Cohn added that the deep inversion of the yield curve indicates that investors believe the Fed is committed to “moderating inflation even if it has to sacrifice forward-looking growth or stagnation.”

in December Exploratory study Conducted by the Global Markets Initiative at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in partnership with the Financial Times, 85 percent of economists said they expect the National Bureau of Economic Research — the arbiter of a US recession — to announce one within the next year.

Although the yield curve has been a reliable predictor of a recession, information conveyed on the depth and extent of the reversal is up for debate.

“An inverted yield curve is actually a fairly good signal of a recession, without providing information about its depth or severity,” said Jay Lepas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

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“In this case, the inversion probably tells us more about inflation and the direction of inflation risks than it does about the depths or severity of a recession.”

While strategists like LeBas argue that the degree of inversion of the yield curve may not directly predict the extent of the upcoming recession, the current deepening could have broader ramifications if it leads to changes in investor behavior.

“The most important aspect of the yield curve is what it does to risk,” said Gregory Peters, chief investment officer for fixed income at PGIM. “It’s a self-reinforcing mechanism.”


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