China Still Sees U.S. as Best Among Horrible Options
China offered a bid of (relative) confidence in the U.S. economy, stating its intention to continue buying U.S. debt, inspite of concern about the deterioration of American finances and potential depreciation of the dollar.
In a speech in New York, Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission, offered this bleak assessment: “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?”...Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.” This comes despite express concern from China about how the new stimulus package and multi-trillion banking bailout will erode value in the dollar and, so, in the value of China's treasuries.
China's admission of its own limited options underscores the degree to which decoupling between the U.S. and global economies has been overstated in recent years. Further, it suggests the degree to which a global recovery will have to be lead by the U.S.
The dilemma is that, just at the moment when the world is looking to the U.S. for economic leadership and reform, it appears to be as insulated as ever from global influence. Indeed, for the foreseeable future, the world economy will be driven by fiscal policy forged by the often narrow and overly politicized perspectives of Washington's insiders. Let's hope they've got more of a plan than they're letting on...
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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