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A ban of gasoline-powered cars imposed in 2030 says California’s governor

“Let’s ban gasoline-powered cars”

It’s often said that national climate policy is Made in California and now Governor Jerry Brown reportedly wants to ban the internal combustion engine from its roads.

“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Mary Nichols, chair of the powerful California Air Resources Board, told Bloomberg. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”

China is planning to set a deadline by which its automakers must end production of fossil fuel–powered cars. If California did something similar, it would trigger a cascade of changes in the automotive world. Californians buy about 2 million cars a year, accounting for around 20 percent of national sales. Because people in the state buy a big percentage of the country’s cars, the industry designs all American vehicles to meet California standards.

A ban could come as soon as 2030, Nichols said.

http://www.grist.orgFri.,  29  September 2017

Next Financial Crisis

Where Deutsche Bank thinks the next financial crises could happen

Central banks unwinding quantitative easing, potential crises in China and Italy, elevated global trade imbalances and a backdrop of populism: Just some of the potential sources of the next financial crisis, according to the latest research from Deutsche Bank. In a report looking for the potential source of the next financial shock, Deutsche Bank strategists Jim Reid, Nick Burns, Sukanto Chanda and Craig Nicol warned that there are “a number of areas of the global financial system that look at extreme levels.”

“This includes valuations in many asset classes, the incredibly unique size of central bank balance sheets, debt levels, multi-century all-time lows in interest rates and even the level of potentially game changing populist political support around the globe. If there is a crisis relatively soon (within the next 2-3 years), it would be hard to look at these variables and say that there was no way of spotting them.” Although the strategists note that their list of potential sources for the next financial shock is “far from a prediction that they will occur,” their list is designed to show where some of the stresses are in the financial system and ones that could create global financial and economic problems.

http://www.cnbc.comThu.,  28  September 2017

J-Coin

Japan wants to launch a new digital currency: J-Coin

A consortium of Japanese banks are set to launch a new national digital currency in a bid to wean citizens off cash, the Financial Times reports.  The FT says that a consortium led by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch the new digital currency in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The new project, which has the support of Japan’s central bank and regulators, aims to develop technology to allow Japanese people to pay for goods and services with their smartphone.

http://www.businessinsider.comWed.,  27  September 2017

Apple shares flirt with correction territory

Suppliers asked to scale back shipments of parts for upcoming iPhone X

Shares of Apple Inc dipped on Monday and flirted with correction territory following a report that the company had told suppliers to scale back shipments of parts for its upcoming iPhone X.

Digitimes, citing unnamed sources, reported that Apple suppliers were shipping just 40 percent of the components originally ordered for the premium phone, which goes on sale in early November.

That added to concerns on Wall Street about demand for Apple’s new devices after the launch on Friday of the iPhone 8, a less expensive model than the iPhone X, drew smaller crowds than previous launches.

http://www.reuters.comTue.,  26  September 2017

Social Rights for ‘gig economy’ workers

EU seeks more protection for Uber-style jobs

The European Commission wants more social protection and rights for casual workers, such as those in the “gig economy”, and others with non-standard contracts to try to tackle growing social inequality.

The Commission’s consultation document on these plans, seen by Reuters, is part of a broader reworking of the EU’s economic priorities, after pressure from populist forces that accuse Brussels of having pursued ultra-liberal policies to the detriment of wo

http://www.reuters.comMon.,  25  September 2017

Will Trump reappoint Yellen?

Central Bank’s massive bond-buying program worries Republicans

From her early days as Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen has been the target of criticism from Republicans worried that the central bank’s massive bond-buying programs and near-zero interest rates engineered by her predecessor would be the ruin of the country. With little more than four months left in her term and questions swirling over whether the White House will ask her to stay on for another four years, Yellen has turned that story around.

The Fed has raised rates faster than markets had thought possible this year and, on Wednesday, it announced its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio would begin to shrink in October. All the while, unemployment has plunged to boomtime levels and inflation has remained well in check. Now Yellen’s stock appears to be rising, both among her critics and on a real-money exchange where traders can place bets on who they think will be the next Fed chair.

http://www.reuters.comFri.,  22  September 2017

Warren Buffett Says The Dow Might Climb Over 1,000,000 In 100 years

 Bullish

Step aside, pessimists. The only way is up for U.S. stocks.

That’s according to one of the most closely followed billionaire investors around — Warren Buffett, who was speaking at an event in New York Tuesday evening to mark the 100th anniversary of Forbes magazine.

The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A, +0.28% BRK.B, +0.44% said he thinks the U.S. is in pretty good shape, and even 100 years out, stocks are a solid bet.

http://www.marketwatch.com…  Thu.,  21  September 2017

Norway’s sovereign fund is now worth $1,000,000,000,000

The growth in the fund’s market value has been stunning

The fund’s managers announced Tuesday that currency shifts had helped push its value above $1 trillion for the first time.

“The growth in the fund’s market value has been stunning,” fund chief Yngve Slyngstad said in a statement. “I don’t think anyone expected the fund to ever reach $1 trillion when the first transfer of oil revenue was made in May 1996.” For comparison: $1 trillion is roughly the size of Mexico’s economy. Norway is a major oil producer, and it has plowed its energy earnings into the fund in order to fund pensions and other government expenses.

http://www.cnn.com…  Wed.,  20  September 2017

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy

Hundreds of millions in debt

Toys R Us, facing imminent deadlines to pay off hundreds of millions in debt, said Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.   The move comes on the cusp of the all-important holiday season, a period in which many retailers earn nearly half of their annual revenue, and a time of year that is particularly lucrative for the giant toy seller. The filing was long in the making.

The filing also strikes at the heart of one of the nation’s most iconic retailers, a household name for more than a generation. Toys R Us pioneered big-box toy retailing generations ago, a national chain that displaced many smaller, neighborhood toy stores. The company emphasized that its roughly 1,600 locations will remain open and it will continue to work with suppliers to make sure its shelves remain well-stocked with games, gadgets, and other toys.

http://www.usatoday.com…  Tue.,  19  September 2017

The bright future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China

Machine learning is the key

The present global verve about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies has resonated in China as much as anywhere on earth. With the State Council’s issuance of the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” (新一代人工智能发展规划) on July 20, China’s government set out an ambitious roadmap including targets through 2030. Meanwhile, in China’s leading cities, flashy conferences on AI have become commonplace. It seems every mid-sized tech company wants to show off its self-driving car efforts, while numerous financial tech start-ups tout an AI-driven approach. Chatbot startups clog investors’ date books, and Shanghai metro ads pitch AI-taught English language learning.

The surge of showmanship and investment in the private sector is paralleled by a new focus among officials and policy thinkers in academia, civilian and military sectors of government, and major companies. Questions about how to regulate AI, and how to develop and use it ethically, have become a major topic for China’s digital policy brain trust in recent months.

http://www.newamerica.org…  Mon.,  18  September 2017