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On March 16, 1968, governors and leaders from central banks then operating the London Gold Pool met in Washington, DC, to review operations and conditions for their cartel. Joined by the Managing Director of the IMF as well as the General Manager of the BIS, all the Bretton Woods heavies were in attendance, with the notable exclusion of French officials (the chief agitator of gold conversion). The presence of officials drawn from international bodies wasn’t unusual at these gatherings, but in 1968 this later Bretton Woods modification had become threatened more seriously than at any other…

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When Nick Bollettieri first saw a teenage Andre Agassi play tennis, he was floored. That he was says a lot about Agassis game. Figure that Bollettieri had famously been coaching some of the worlds best players for years, but after watching Agassi hit he called Mike Agassi to excitedly tell him Your boy has more talent than anybody Ive ever seen come through this academy.
While the initial plan was for Agassi to spend three months at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy given the schools nosebleed tuition, Bollettieri quickly let Agassis father know that his son would…

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The Government of Chinas unilateral reduction of tariffs last month on almost 200 consumer products provides further testimony to the fact that the goal of trade is not just to increase exports, but also imports. The Chinese have become tired of being poor people living in an increasingly wealthy nation.
In fact, after years as the worlds biggest exporter, China is on track to becoming the worlds biggest importer over the next few years, according to a paper prepared by two leading economists for the China International Capital Corporation, the countrys first joint venture…

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The Southern California sky is known for beautiful sunsets. Yet one evening last month, there was something extra to behold. Something spectacular.
I was driving, about a mile from home, when I saw it. An object steadily cascading across the aqua and golden sky. It looked like an orb. In its wakea long, glowing trail. It was unlike anything Id ever seen before.
Are other drivers noticing this thing, I wondered?
Cars began tapping their breaks. One driver pointed their phone toward the sky, capturing a photo. Yepother people were noticing alright.
I was hoping the object would stay…

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While every business handles personnel differently, one well-regarded approach is to annually make redundant the bottom 5 to 10 percent of employees. Such a policy redounds to business and worker alike. Businesses shed the workers who arent producing a multiple of their pay, while employees gain by virtue of exiting the kind of work that doesnt reinforce their skills.
Crucial here is that businesses have no choice. They have shareholders for whom theyre striving to earn profits. For them to retain individuals whose lack of productivity holds the business down is for them to…

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Grace Hopper was an extraordinary human being. She was one of the pioneers of computer science, helping to develop some of the first programming languages used, some of which are still used today. She was also extraordinary because she did these things in a military dominated by men and a field that over time became dominated by men. When she graduated from Vassar College in 1928, less than 5 percent of women were college graduates and roughly 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees were granted to women. Even fewer were in STEM fields. This restricted the number of women who could become a Grace…

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Those who fear Amazon is on the verge of becoming a monopoly that eats all competitors and locks up the retail market should take note of an announcement last week by Sears Holdings: The company will be closing another 100 stores this year.
Some will see Sears downward trajectory as proof that Amazon is on the verge of assuming near-monopolistic dominance of the retail market. In fact, it proves the opposite: No one can blithely assume that kind of power, at least not for long. Just look at Sears history: Back in the 1960s, many feared the Sears chain would mow down all that stood…

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For President Trump, a lot is riding on the economy in 2018. If it continues to do well, it should bolster his popularity and his claim that he understands it better than his critics. But if it slows or drops into a recession, it would weaken that claim perhaps his strongest selling point.
So, whats the economic prognosis?
First, the usual caveat: Presidents have only limited influence over the business cycle, which is heavily driven by outside events, past policies and the Federal Reserve. No matter. People still tend to credit or blame the sitting president for the economys…

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Lets stop kicking around immigrants, and instead recognize that three big reasons exist to love immigrants when it comes to the U.S. economy. As the broad numbers show, immigrants have higher rates of labor force participation, employment and entrepreneurship than the native born.
As noted in the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the total foreign-born civilian noninstitutional population, 65.3 percent were participating in the labor force (i.e., employed or seeking a job) in December 2017. That compared to 61.9 percent among the native born.
Broken out by…

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As we begin a new year, it’s worth reflecting on the paradoxical and frustrating nature of progress. Progress is often disappointing, because even when it indisputably occurs (as it often does), it spawns new problems or reveals that old problems were underestimated in their complexity or inertia.
Gains are forgotten and taken for granted. They become part of society’s norms, no longer celebrated because their existence is assumed to be permanent. Meanwhile, younger generations focus attention and discontent on new disputes and conflicts, as if the earlier advances had never…

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There were two big money-and-politics stories in the first week of the new year: The Dow Jones soared 577 points and Steve Bannon ended his political career.
Are these two events related? Perhaps more than you might think.
Bannons peculiar notions of populism were essentially anti-growth. He believed higher taxes, ultra-protectionism, and a cheap dollar would help the middle class. Supply-siders like me know these policies only damage the economy, with the middle and lower classes suffering the most.
And though Bannon was pushed out of the White House months ago, he apparently still had…

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NEW YORK (AP) The Dow Jones industrial average burst through the 25,000 point mark Thursday, just five weeks after its first close above 24,000.
The Dow passed five 1,000-point barriers in 2017 on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound skeptics.
Strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings have analysts predicting more gains, although the market may not stay as calm as it has been recently.
The Dow has made a rapid trip from 24,000 points on November 30, partly on enthusiasm over…

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The International Monetary Fund was created as part of the Bretton Woods global monetary framework. Its primary task was to aid in keeping a stable global reserve currency regime. Once the gold exchange paradigm had fully collapsed in August 1971, the IMF was left somewhat twisting in the wind. It had in many ways lost its original mandate, even a clear reason for its existence. Floating currencies, many believed, made the institution obsolete.
The IMF had anticipated its precarious future position. In 1969, the Fund devised the Special Drawing Right (SDR) as a possible replacement for the…

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WASHINGTON (AP) If President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are right, the $1.5 trillion tax cut plan they sped into law last month will make individuals and businesses more prosperous. Paychecks will grow. Stocks will surge further. Consumers will spend more. The economy will accelerate.
Critics counter that the tax plan will mainly enrich the already wealthy and swell corporate profits while leaving most ordinary households with comparatively modest tax cuts and, eventually, tax hikes.
So how best to judge whos right?
As soon as summer, it may become clear whether the tax…

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In 2017, the popular jobs and recruiting website Glassdoor listed some of the more generous corporate perks on offer in the workplace. Ikea offers up to four months of paid parental leave not just for HQ employees, but also to part-time workers at its retail stores. Ikeas benefit is plainly and properly about employee retention, so the only requirement is that the full or part-time employee have already worked at the company for at least one year.
Notable here is that Ikea is hardly alone. While its common on the left and right to suggest that wages are stagnant as prosperous…

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