The Even Darker Side of Corporate "Survival Mode"
Duke University's Laura Brinn cautions that all the panicking that seems to be going on inside American corporations in response to the financial crisis—"canceling investments, scaling back projects, drawing on lines of credit and selling assets"—will dim long-term economic prospects. This is according to new research from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which examines the difference between what companies say they do and what they actually do.
The researchers surveyed the chief financial officers of 1,275 firms in the U.S., Europe and Asia regarding their outlooks for their companies and the economy in general, according to the Duke News Office. "Of 569 U.S. firms surveyed, 59 percent said that they were directly affected by credit constraints." The consequence is that new projects are not getting launched. And as Professor Harvey gravely points out, "If these projects were completed in years to come, they would generate profits and additional employment opportunities. But, sadly, this is a future these projects will never see. This is a less well-known consequence of the credit crisis.”
The full video version of the research is available for download here. Professors Campello, Graham, and Harvey’s full paper “The Real Effects of Financial Constraints: Evidence from a Financial Crisis,” is available via SSRN here.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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