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March 19th – The BESA Times

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Thirty-Fifth Edition - Sunday, 19th

Every week, a complete snapshot of what happened around the world in the past seven days


Notable Headlines

“Deconstruction of the administrative state” - that is what Stephen Bannon, Trump's chief strategist promised. On March 16th a budget that makes steep cuts to domestic programs was proposed by Trump administration. Obviously not all departments are going to suffer; the majority of spending would go toward the urgent warfighting readiness needs like fighter jets, drones, weapons.

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates from 0,75% to 1% just a few days ago. The Fed announced that is more than prepared to increase rates several times this year in order to keep a lid on inflation as it overtakes the 2% target level. US interest rates proceeded to rise to the highest level since the Financial Crisis.

UK government pulls ads from Youtube! The government has removed its ads from being displayed since as they were deemed to be inappropriate and not to be shared.


What to remember of last week's news?

North Korea has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country's space program, the North's state media said Sunday. It launched its latest satellite — the Kwangmyongsong 4, or Brilliant Star 4 — into orbit on Feb. 7 last year, just one month after conducting what it claims was its first hydrogen-bomb test. The Hermit Kingdom put its first satellite in orbit in 2012, a feat few other countries have achieved. In 2013, rival South Korea launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time, though it needed Russian help to build the rocket's first stage.

A United Nations committee asked the U.K. to suspend work on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant pending assessment of the environmental impact. The UN Economic Commission for Europe requested the pause, it said in a document on its website. Electricite de France SA, the French state-controlled utility, won approval to build an 18 billion-pound ($22.3 billion) nuclear plant on England’s western coast in September. To help shoulder the construction costs, EDF convinced China General Nuclear Power Corp. to take 33.5 percent of the project. The UN committee recommended the halt until it established whether the Espoo Convention, which sets out the obligations of countries to assess the environmental impact of certain activities, is being adhered to.

Microsoft is putting the final nail in the coffin of its 10-year old – and often maligned – operating system, Windows Vista. After April 11, the U.S. technology giant will end support for Vista, meaning customers will no longer get crucial security or software updates. The operating system came under fire not long after it was released from users and the press. Windows Vista currently has less than 1 percent global market share in terms of PC operating systems, according to Net Applications.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said he wants to renew short-duration military service for the nation’s youth. The service would have to be completed within three years of the 18th birthday of all French men and women, drawing in about 600,000 of them a year. It would have startup costs of between 15 billion and 20 billion euros ($16 billion to $21.5 billion) and then an annual operational cost of between 2 billion and 3 billion euros, Macron said. France suspended military conscription two decades ago.

Investment? All a matter of timing! When it comes to investing, everyone is looking for a way to beat the market. One approach is to select shares based on specific elements such as their dividend yield. This trend has been defined “smart beta”. What are the advantages? The best argument for smart- beta is that they replicate at a very low cost what funds managers are already doing. A computer software can pick the stock methodically based on the factors you have previously chosen. Carry out statistical tests but look out for data mining! According to researchers by the end of January 534 billion dollars were invested in smart-beta exchange trade funds.


Understand in Pictures...


A Week in the Financial Markets


Our Homemade Article

by Felix Lim


What to expect for next week?

Donald Trump plans to cut Meals on Wheels to pay for the Mexican border wall. Community project like Meals on Wheels are losing out all of the government funding if Donald Trump’s budget blueprint is passed. The proposals include the elimination of the 3 billion Community Development Block Grant program which funds those programs along with other community assistance efforts. What the President is doing is pretty clear: prioritizing his wall along the US-Mexico border which will soon receive 1.5bn dollars as a start point. Trump stated that the wall is going to be financed by Mexico, with all the costs incurred. However it seems that US taxpayers will pay for it. As Mr. Trump has put it, “A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority-because without safety, there can be no prosperity”.





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