Fixing the Financial Crisis Was the Easy Part: Five Things We Learned This Week
How Will Markets React When Central Banks Tap the Breaks?
It made sense during the financial crisis to throw money at the problem. Since then, balance sheets of the central banks in Europe, China and the U.S. have ballooned to $13 trillion, at least double their levels in 2008—largely through buying government bonds, and even debt and shares in companies, such as a French yogurt-maker and Japan’s top soy-sauce brewer. Now markets and analysts are seriously pondering what will happen if and when policymakers reverse course. What they don’t want is another “taper tantrum,” when yields quickly rose in 2013 after then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talked about buying fewer bonds. Markets are going to have to find a way to absorb the banks’ moves. “You know what they say about mountaineering right? The descent is always more dangerous than the ascent,” said Stephen Jen, London-based chief executive of hedge fund Eurizon SLJ Capital Ltd.
Apple Will Finally Give Us a Reason to Upgrade
We rely on the world’s most valuable company to offer life-changing products. But it’s been something of a snoozer recently. Not since September 2014 has the flagship iPhone gotten a big revamp, with the larger 6 and 6 Plus series. Last year’s iPhone 7 not only brought little new to the table, it took away the headphone jack. Now, 10 years after the release of the first iPhone, Apple is preparing three phones, including one with design changes that might actually be worth upgrading for. The company is testing curved glass, bigger screens and advanced cameras.
We May Have Hit Peak Gadget
Silicon Valley’s hottest gadget has been Juicero, a $400 juice machine that squeezes $5 juice pouches. Investors thought the internet-connected device, with 400 custom parts, could replicate the subscription-model success of Nespresso and Dollar Shave Club. So they handed the founders $120 million to make a machine that ... well ... squeezes juice out of a bag. Turns out, you can also squeeze juice out of its pouches with your own hands, without even being connected to the internet. Venture firms wouldn’t have taken a meeting with someone just “hawking bags of juice that didn’t require high-priced hardware,” one investor said, Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski reported.
The Next Housing Crisis Will Probably Start in Florida
Climate change is already showing up in dramatic ways, like with the disappearance of a 300-year-old Canadian river in just four days. Its effects are becoming pretty clear in South Florida, too, where sea levels have risen 4 inches since 1992. Bloomberg’s Christopher Flavelle reports:
Tidal flooding now predictably drenches inland streets, even when the sun is out, thanks to the region’s porous limestone bedrock. Saltwater is creeping into the drinking water supply. The area’s drainage canals rely on gravity; as oceans rise, the water utility has had to install giant pumps to push water out to the ocean.
The extent of the flooding—and risk—has taken some new homeowners there by surprise. In some cases, people are selling just to get out of the market before everyone else tries to bail. Some are worrying about the ripple effects of a plunge in coastal property values, spreading to banks and insurers across the nation. In case you’ve ever wondered what’s really warming the world, these charts will help.
Here’s Where London’s Bankers Are Moving
Banks warned they would have to move people from London if the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Now they’re following through, even before the political and economic ties are cut. Where are the jobs going? We have you covered. We’ll be tracking the moves in the wider banking sector, which represents 12 percent of the British economy. So far, 2,500 jobs are headed to Frankfurt, 1,000 to Paris and 150 to Dublin. In total, TheCityUK lobby group estimates that 70,000 jobs are at risk.