The temptation of Trumponomics
Global investors’ equity holdings rose to six-month highs in December on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s promised fiscal splurge would spur higher growth and inflation, according to a Reuters monthly poll. The Reuters asset allocation survey, which questioned 45 fund managers and chief investment officers in mainland Europe, the United States, Britain and Japan, showed equity holdings at 45.3 percent, the highest since June.
A superbug’s life: uncounted and deadly
Across the United States, vague rules give healthcare providers lots of leeway in deciding when, or even whether, to report unusual clusters of infections. When they do alert officials, that information is usually kept from the public. A Reuters investigation, drawing on reports from 29 state health departments, identified at least 300 superbug outbreaks around the nation from 2011 to 2016. The number of people affected was impossible to determine because many reports didn’t include a count of the infected or the dead.
Trapped in Aleppo
Thousands of rebels and fighters were still waiting on Thursday to be evacuated from the last rebel bastion in the besieged Syrian city, but harsh weather was complicating the final phase of their departure, rebel officials told Reuters. Suleiman Al-Khalidi reports that 20 buses and over 600 civilian vehicles left the rebel enclave for opposition-held areas in rural western Aleppo and Idlib province since evacuations resumed last night, but a heavy snow storm and the numbers of civilians still remaining were among the factors slowing down the operation.
Failure of the drones
Millions of dollars’ worth of U.S.-supplied drones that Kiev had hoped would help in its war against Russian-backed separatists have proven ineffective against jamming and hacking, Ukrainian officials say. The hand-launched 72 Raven RQ-11B Analog mini-drones were one of the recent centerpieces of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, aiming to give Kiev’s military portable, light-weight, unarmed surveillance drones that were small enough to be used widely in the field. But U.S. officials told Reuters that Moscow’s electronic warfare capabilities were more sophisticated than thought when the conflict began.
Shhhh…Wall Street holiday parties are back
Big financial firms started downplaying their year-end bashes during the crisis of 2008. Now they’re cutting back on their cutbacks, holding parties this year in luxury venues and featuring fine wine, giant snow globe photo booths, game stations and women dressed as glowing angels. A Reuters review of the financial industry holiday scene found that companies sponsoring parties included Credit Suisse Group AG, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, BlackRock Inc, KKR & Co LP and PIMCO. Organizers of the soirées, conscious of tighter budgets and public scrutiny, are not eager to discuss the merriment.