Hopes in Havana, a world without borders and oil's decade of debt

Technology Eye | March. 22, 2016

Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has questioned the US role in Nato and suggested that Washington could no longer afford to maintain its commitment to the 28-member military alliance.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Mr Trump said America should focus on domestic challenges and pay less attention to problems in other parts of the world. He also questioned whether the US should maintain its posture in Asia, in contrast to the Obama administration’s “Asia pivot”. (FT, WaPo)

In the news:

Starwood backs new $13.6bn Marriott bid

A last-minute cash-and-stock deal has edged out a rival bid from China’s Anbang, in the fiercest bidding war dealmakers have seen in recent history. (FT)

Bondholders take $150bn oil price hit

Investors have suffered massive losses in the value of oil and gas company bonds as the crude rout has fuelled fears of a wave of defaults in the US and emerging markets. (FT)

US Supreme Court to hear Samsung-Apple case

The South Korean company, which has been ordered to pay $930m in damages to the iPhone maker in a heated and long-running battle, will now have its appeal considered. (WSJ)

Information powerhouse

Data providers Markit and IHS are to combine in a $13bn stock deal to create a financial and corporate information powerhouse to challenge Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, the largest merger in a wave of takeover activity among market intelligence companies over the past two years. (FT)

Hopeful in Havana

Barack Obama met Cuban president Raúl Castro in Havana for the first official talks between the leaders of the two countries, amid tentative hopes the visit by the US president will prod the Cuban government towards faster reform . (FT)

It’s a big day for:

Nike, which was served disappointing news this month when Maria Sharapova was found to have failed a drugs test, forcing the company to drop its sponsorship of the tennis star. However, investors are expecting an ace from the world’s biggest sports brand when it reports its third-quarter earnings. (FT)

Food for thought:

Central banks prove Einstein’s theory

The theoretical physicist defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Diana Choyleva argues that the world’s main central banks are proving him right. (FT)

Boaty McBoatface

That is the name that gained the most votes in an online competition conducted by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council to dub a new polar research vessel. It is currently leading by a (nautical?) mile, but the final decision will be made by the chief executive of the NERC. (BBC)

Decade of debt

From 2006 to 2014, the global oil and gas industry’s debts almost tripled , from about $1.1tn to $3tn, according to the Bank for International Settlements — a debt mountain that now looks unstable amid low commodity prices. (FT)

World without borders

Millions of people leave their home countries behind every year. Other states have the right to restrict immigration, but should borders be abolished ? (BBC)

Is Britain heading for Brexit?

The British debate about Brexit reminds Gideon Rachman of discussions he heard in the US late last year about Donald Trump. The conclusion? Both contests have taken populist and unpredictable turns, and all bets are off. (FT)

Video of the day

John Authers looks at the evidence that the US is emerging from a brief, brutal bear market — while the rest of the world is still in a much longer one . (FT)

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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