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Asia Markets: Most Asian markets strengthen after Fed raises rates: Asian stock markets outside mainland China strengthened Thursday, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates but stopped short of signaling a faster pace of increases for this year.

http://on.mktw.net/2G1Jn0P
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Have a home equity loan? Here's what you need to know about your taxes: If you don't know how President Trump's new tax law will affect you, you're not alone.

http://on.mktw.net/2FZ1gxm
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Who gets your IRA when you die? It's not so simple: If you want your assets to go to certain people upon your demise, make sure the paperwork reflects your wishes.

http://on.mktw.net/2DAoaJe
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A startling amount of land in Japan has no official owner:


Property, period

THE tsunami of 2011 left gaping holes reminiscent of war zones in the landscape along the coast of Tohuku, in the north-east of Honshu, Japan's main island. Car navigation systems gave directions to landmarks that had vanished into the sea. The subsequent reconstruction effort hit an unexpected roadblock: missing landowners. Officials were stunned to find that hundreds of plots were held in the names of people who were dead or unknown.
The deluge threw the problem into particularly sharp relief in Tohuku, but it is widespread elsewhere too. A report last year for the government by a panel of experts estimated that about 41,000 sq km of land, or 11% of Japan's surface, was unclaimed, most of it in rural regions. By 2040, it warned, the area could more than double. The cumulative cost in lost productivity could be as high as ¥6trn ($56bn).

The countryside is littered with vacant plots and empty houses. Some date from Japan's great post-... http://econ.st/2FPvqTr
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Do credit booms foretell emerging-market crises?: ON THE morning of December 7th 1941, George Elliott Junior noticed “the largest blip” he had ever seen on a radar near America's naval base at Pearl Harbour. His discovery was dismissed by his superiors, who were thus unprepared for the Japanese bombers that arrived shortly after. The mistake prompted urgent research into “receiver operating characteristics”, the ability of radar operators to distinguish between true and false alarms.
A similar concern motivates research at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland. Its equivalent to the radar is a set of economic indicators that can potentially detect the approach of financial crises. A prominent example is the “credit gap”, which measures the divergence between the level of credit to households and non-financial firms, expressed as a percentage of GDP, and its long-term trend. A big gap may reflect the kind of unsustainable credit boom that often precedes a crisis. Anything above 9% of GDP is reason to worry, according to Iñaki Aldasoro, Claudio Borio and Mathias Drehmann of the BIS.

The biggest blips on the oscilloscope include Canada (9.6%), Singapore (11.1%) and Switzerland (16.3%), according to the latest readings, released on March 11th. But the one that has kept everyone's eyes peeled is China, with a gap of 16.7% in the third quarter of 2017 (the latest BIS figure... http://econ.st/2FRM4BK
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A lose-lose trade war looms between America and China:




PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has not yet started a global trade war. But he has started a frenzy of special pleading and spluttered threats. In the week since he announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, countries have scrambled to win reprieves. Australia, the European Union and Japan, among others, have argued that, since they are America's allies, their products pose no risk to America's security. If these appeals fail, the EU has been most vocal in vowing to retaliate, in turn prompting Mr Trump to threaten levies on European cars.
In China, ostensibly the focus of Mr Trump's actions, the public response has been more restrained. Officials have said the two countries should strive for a “win-win outcome”, a favourite bromide in their lexicon. As a rival to America, China knows that an exemption from the tariffs is not on offer. It also knows that it needs to conserve firepower. If this is the first shot in a trade war, it is, for China, small bore. Its steel and aluminium exports to America amount to roughly 0.03% of its GDP, not... http://econ.st/2FOYzhC
A lose-lose trade war looms between America and China - Global trade
A lose-lose trade war looms between America and China - Global trade
https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21738906-if-china-cannot-placate-donald-trump-it-will-fight-him-instead-lose-lose-trade?fsrc=rss|fec?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=Goulash&utm_campaign=RSS
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A primer on blockchain-based versions of central-bank money:




BITCOIN, Ethereum, XRP, Stellar, Cardano: the infant world of cryptocurrencies is already mind-bogglingly crowded. Amid the cacophony of blockchain-based would-be substitutes for official currencies, central banks from Singapore to Sweden have been pondering whether they should issue digital versions of their own money, too. None is about to do so, but a report prepared by central-bank officials from around the world, published by the Bank for International Settlements on March 12th—a week before finance ministers and central-bank heads from G20 countries meet in Buenos Aires—offers a guide to how to approach the task.
The answer? With care. For a start, it matters who will be using these central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Existing central-bank money comes in two flavours: notes and coins available to anyone; and reserve and settlement accounts open only to commercial banks, already in electronic form (though not based on blockchain) and used for interbank payments. Similarly, CBDCs could be either widely available or tightly... http://econ.st/2DugWqd
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America's public markets are perking up. Can it last?:




FOR years, discussions of America's public markets have usually featured a lament for their dwindling appeal. According to Jay Ritter of the University of Florida, the number of publicly listed companies peaked in 1997 at 8,491 (see chart). By 2017 it had slumped to 4,496. True, many of the companies that went public in the internet's early days should never have done so. But the decline worries anyone who sees public markets as the best way for ordinary investors to benefit from the successes of corporate America.





The mood right now is more buoyant. Bankers and lawyers who usually chat with journalists in their offices are on... http://econ.st/2GBQ5Md

America’s public markets are perking up. Can it last?
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The Moneyist: My sister lent my father the down payment for his home and put her name on the mortgage — then he refinanced: She's concerned her sister will end up carrying the can for even more debt.

http://on.mktw.net/2DtvYwp
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Why Japanese houses have such limited lifespans:




EVERY 20 years in the eastern coastal Japanese city of Ise, the shrine, one of the country's most venerated, is knocked down and rebuilt. The ritual is believed to refresh spiritual bonds between the people and the gods. Demolishing houses has no such lofty objective. Yet in Japan they have a similarly short life expectancy.
According to Nomura, a brokerage, the value of the average Japanese house depreciates to zero in 22 years. (It is calculated separately from the land, which is more likely to hold its value.) Most are knocked down and rebuilt. Sales of new homes far outstrip those of used ones, which usually change hands in the expectation that they will be demolished and replaced. In America and Europe second-hand houses accounted for 90% of sales and new-builds for 10% in 2017. In Japan the proportions are the other way around.

The reasons for Japanese houses' rapid loss of value lie partly in tradition. In many countries people buy when they pair off, when they move to a... http://econ.st/2FK6JrG
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