James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com
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Every year the US News and World Reports ranks the world’s most powerful countries. The study assesses the political and economic influences and alliances, plus the military strength it wields and the quality of its international leadership. The ranking was done together with the University of Pennsylvania, which questioned over 20,000 people about 80 countries and the global role they play. The result was “2019 Best Countries.” We will just give you a brief summary of the top ten.
South Korea: In 2018 this successful Asian country was ranked 11th last year. It is the world’s seventh largest exporter, and 11th largest economy.
Saudi Arabia: Described as “the giant of the Middle East” by US News, this country has huge oil reserves which it sells across the globe. The country’s reputation was severely tarnished by ongoing human rights issues, and especially the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
Israel: US News says: “For its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs.”
Japan: With the world’s third largest economy, this Asian powerhouse nation is “one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations.”
France: One of the oldest countries in the world, US News says that France’s reach “extends around the globe through science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture.”
United Kingdom: Struggling now with Brexit, nevertheless US News notes that the UK “exerts considerable international economic, political, scientific and cultural influence” on the world despite “new questions and anxieties about the country’s role on the global stage.”
Germany: With the most people of all the EU countries, Germany also has a highly skilled labor force.
China: This Asian powerhouse nation is the world’s most populated, and it wields the second biggest economy. Unfortunately, millions still live under the poverty line, but the country has seen fast economic growth which has the potential to continue.
Russia: The world’s largest country in square miles, Russia stretches from Europe to Asia and borders over a dozen different countries. It power is invested in its legacy from the Soviet Union, huge coal and oil reserves, and a great emphasis on military strength.
USA: Described by US News as the “world’s most dominant economic and military power.” This western power has exerted its influence culturally through the popularity of its books, films, music and television shows. However, the report also pointed out that some policy decisions made by the current president “have raised questions around the world, including from the country’s closest allies, about the nation’s future course on the global stage.”
Called the Mate X, Huawei unveiled its latest addition to the innovative cell-phone market place, further challenging market leaders Samsung of Korea and Apple of the USA. China’s powerhouse tech company introduced its phone immediately before the beginning of the four-day Mobile World Conference 2019, in Barcelona.
The phone is compatible with superfast, next-generation 5G networks, expected to replace older and slower networks over the next few years. The phone also folds in half, an innovation that the industry is hoping will get phones out of the current creativity slump. Others believe the market for folding phones is limited, at least in the near future. The Mate X is Huawei’s solution to the problem of bigger screens and longer battery life. Richard Yu, head of the company’s consumer business group asked at a fancy media launch party,
“How can we bring bigger innovation to this smartphone industry?”
The phone won’t be available for purchase for another few months and will cost about 2,299 Euros ($2600.) Samsung’s Galaxy Fold sells for almost $2000.
Users of the Mate X can still view it even when its closed, as the phone’s screen wraps around the outside. The Galaxy Fold’s screen closes shut and cannot be viewed unless its open. When open the Mate X is 8 inches on the diagonal, about the same size as a smaller tablet.
Huawei developers took three years just on the phone’s hinge, which does not leave a space when the phone is closed.
“No matter how innovative and technology-advanced the new device is, it will take a lot more time for a critical mass of consumers to experience the benefits of foldable phones and 5G technology,” one analyst said. Huawei still “has to find its own brand voice to differentiate from Samsung and Apple and stop acting as a technology challenger,” he added.
Setting a record for the ninth year in a row, United States colleges raised a whopping $47 billion during the 12 months beginning in June 2017. It appears that the long-lived stock market expansion played a role in the positive results.
The wealthiest school in the country had the best year. Harvard University raised an astounding $1.4 billion, said a study released in February 2019 by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Schools can thank the 14% growth of the S&P 500, which most likely helped many donors reach a bit deeper into their pockets. Three school surpassed the one-billion-dollar mark in money raised from June 2017 until June 2018. Seven schools were presented with single donations of at least $100 million, the highest number ever receiving such large gifts from one donor.
The second and third largest donations were made to Stanford University for $1.1 billion and Columbia University, which received $1 billion in gifts. Fourth and fifth runners-up were University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) which garnered $787 million and UC San Francisco with a nice $730 million.
The survey was taken by 927 schools. The survey relied on estimates for schools that did not respond to the survey.
The last week in January 2019 sent the US Midwest into a deep freeze that cost lives and about $1 billion.
At least one dozen people were reported killed by below zero temperatures which in some place reached record lows from Minnesota, Illinois to the northeastern USA. Thousands of planes were grounded or delayed, other forms of transportation, such as trains, were disrupted, and schools sere shuttered in Wisconsin and Minnesota. There were also several power and water outages reported.
Supply chains were disrupted as rail and barge transportation was halted or slowed. Retail shops and restaurants also suffered losses as most people sheltered indoors.
The $1 billion estimated price tag is still considerably less than the damage caused by the polar vortex of 2014, which came to about $5 billion.
Not everyone lost during the freeze. Stores selling winter items did a brisk business along with online sales and drive-through restaurants.
Chicago reported a bone-chilling minus-30 degrees Celsius, and Minneapolis recorded minus-32. Wind-chills factors made some places feel like minus-70 degrees.
Tyson Foods is recalling 18 tons of breaded chicken nuggets in the wake of consumers finding rubber in several packages purchased in stores. The US Food and Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall at the end of January and told people not to eat the nuggets which have the potential to cause serious health issues.
Consumers complained of having found “extraneous
material” such as “rubber” in packages of Tyson panko chicken nuggets, said the
FSIS. The specific product is the five-pound bag of Tyson’s White Meat Panko
Chicken Nuggets that have a use-by date of November 26, 2019. The case code is 3308SDL03
and the time stamp is 23:00 through 01:59, said the FSIS.
There have not been any reports of illness
or other reactions from eating the nuggets.
The case was labeled by the FSIS as “Class
I”, which the agency defines as “a health hazard situation where there is a
reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious adverse
health consequences or death.”
The FSIS is also worried that people put
the packages in the freezer and could forget about the recall when they do
finally pull the nuggets out of the freezer to eat.
Tyson’s tagline is “In life, as in chicken, it’s always better when you just keep it real. No filler. No nonsense. Just stick to the good stuff. The 100% real stuff.”