US seeks more aggressive IMF policing, how not to deal with a PR crisis and the books worth rereading

Technology Eye | April. 12, 2016

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew called on the IMF to play a more aggressive role in policing exchange rate fluctuations, global imbalances and its members’ failures to live up to commitments to boost ailing global demand. Mr Lew’s comments came ahead of spring meetings of the fund and the World Bank in Washington.

The meetings will see the world’s central bankers gather against a backdrop of lacklustre growth as they grapple with the — largely successful — implications of negative interest rates . (FT)

In the news

Rousseff edges towards the precipice A congressional committee in Brazil has voted in favour of impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff in the latest blow to the country’s leader. All eyes will now be on a full vote in the lower house of parliament in a week’s time . (FT)

Goldman Sachs’s $5bn settlement Another day, another big bank payout . Goldman inked the $5.1bn settlement with US authorities over mis-sold mortgage-backed securities — which the Department of Justice said it knew “were full of mortgages that were likely to fail” — that went on to cause an economic meltdown. (FT)

China seeks to capitalise on growth signs Premier Li Keqiang pushed for debt-for-equity swaps and more aggressive measures to reduce the burden on struggling local governments as Beijing tries to take advantage of improved indications for economic growth in the first quarter. (FT)

EU considers retaliatory visas The European Commission is set to discuss what steps, if any, to take against the US if Washington ignores Brussels’ demand for a visa waiver to apply to all EU citizens — including central and eastern Europeans who currently must obtain a visa. (FT)

An officer and a spy Military authorities have charged a US Navy officer born in Taiwan with espionage on suspicions that he passed secrets to foreign governments . Meanwhile, a colonel working for North Korea’s spy agency has fled to South Korea in one of the most significant defections since the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean war. (WSJ, FT)

The legacy of the bomb The US has begun laying the groundwork for what would be a historic trip to Hiroshima by President Barack Obama. No sitting US leader has ever visited the city — which was obliterated by a nuclear bomb at the end of the second world war — out of concern that such a trip might be interpreted as an apology . (NAR, WaPo)

It's a big day for

Taiwan-China relations Tensions are rising between the two nations after eight Taiwanese acquitted of fraud in Kenya were deported to mainland China. Taiwanese officials have said the actions amount to an “uncivilised act of extrajudicial abduction”. (BBC)

Global growth The IMF will issue its World Economic Outlook, in which it is widely expected to revise down its 3.4 per cent 2016 growth forecast. (FT)

Food for thought

The morning after Brexit Gideon Rachman imagines Britain waking up on June 24 , the day after it has voted narrowly to leave the EU. (FT)

How not to deal with a PR crisis Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the Panama leaks scandal, last week laid down a masterclass in how not to deal with the corporate nightmare scenario, writes Sam Leith. “Rounding on the media is a natural reflex in these circumstances — and it’s almost always the wrong one. It’s impossible to say too often that successful persuasion is about putting yourself in the position of your audience.” (FT)

Tech: breaking the law Despite sneering by some lawyers that it can’t be done, the widening gap between legal fees and what most companies can afford to pay makes the profession ripe for “Uberisation” . (FT)

Hunting for truffles in Iraq Last year two Kurdish men went hunting for the delicacy past a peshmerga outpost. They were captured by Isis militants and later beheaded. Why are these men risking their lives ? (Slate)

The Santa Claus of ‘gangster Islam’ Khalid Zerkani, a potbellied, bushy-bearded 42-year-old Belgian, was more versed in the ways of the street than those of the mosque. But his diligent work in the Brussels district of Molenbeek helped nurture a network of disaffected young Muslims , including a number connected to the recent attacks in that city and Paris. (NYT)

Books that deserve another read Whether a book’s insights will endure is one criterion for the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. To launch the 2016 award, FT columnists pick one business book they believe is worth rereading . (FT)

Video of the day

Cameron’s new tax evasion rules The prime minister seeks to regain popularity following a week of intense scrutiny into his personal finances as a result of the Panama Papers leak . (FT)

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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