In the first month after Brexit, Great Britain posted heavy foreign trade losses, collapsing by 41% in exports to the EU in January, coupled by a loss of 29% in imports. According to the British Statistical Authority, the foreign trade numbers are dramatically bad as the transition is problematic for many companies trading with the economic zone. It cited the export of fresh food such as fish to the EU which fell by two thirds in January. The new bureaucracy and the regulations brought about by Brexit are complex for many fishermen, noted the authority.
SAO PAOLO – Despite a weak increase in sales of 1.2%, retail trade in Latin America’s largest economy suffered its biggest pullback since 2016 — when the country was in the midst of the worst recession in memory — according to data from the National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism of Brazil. The figure reflects the net loss taking into account new store openings and new jobs versus closings and job losses.
Dividing the past year in two, however, the report noted a trend showing that losses in the first 6 months were of 62k stores and that the second half lost only 13k stores, fueling speculation that a recovery is under way, awaiting the figures for the first half of 2021.
The government gave the diplomat, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the country after supporters of the president were accused of “violating human rights or acts against democracy and the rule of law” and sanctioned by the EU.
Fueled by low mortgage rates, pent-up demand, and Americans working from home seeking larger quarters, new home sales shattered predictions and drove up the median sales price 5.3% to $346k from a year earlier, marking the highest for any January on record. Government data showed a 4.3% increase in new home purchases in January to a total beating the forecasted 856k with a 3-month high of 923k units. The data released Wednesday suggests the trend can continue in the months ahead, according to industry analysts.
SAO PAULO, Brazil – After replacing the state-controlled oil company’s CEO with a retired general, the Brazilian president blasted its pricing policies and said they should be changed to lower gas and diesel prices, causing a 21% drop Monday in the company’s shares on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.
In the 3-way see-saw to be at the top African economy, Egypt beat out South Africa again taking its place as the continent’s second-biggest economy, leaving Nigeria at the top, a position it has held since 2020 when it overtook South Africa.
The International Monetary Fund records show that for years the three counties have been in constant competition for the #1, #2 and #3 spots.
While non-competes are required by employers to protect trade secrets, they are found everywhere, including regular minimum wage workers and volunteers. Around 20% America’s 130 million workers are in a non-compete right now, and 40% have signed a non-compete at some point in their lives.
What Starr has found is that workers are acting as though they are bound by employee contracts based solely on their false belief that the contracts are always enforceable. In many states the contracts are not.
“[W]orkers are chilled just by the existence of the contract regardless of whether it’s enforceable or not, and when you ask workers, ‘What do you know about the law,’ most of them don’t know what the law is, but their default is they believe that contracts they put their name on are enforceable, and they abide by them, even in states like California where they wouldn’t be enforceable if they went to court.
“When it comes to workers choosing to move between jobs what we see is the use of these provisions appears to be what matters, not necessarily their enforceability in court.”
And, according to Starr, one of the results is workers making less money throughout their careers.
“I did one study where we tracked workers over 8 years of their career. We had every single worker in 30 states over roughly a 20-year period, and what we found was that if you start your career in kind of an average enforcing state, you are going to earn 5% lower earnings relative to a non-enforcing state like California, over those 8 years, regardless of where you end up, regardless of where you go.”
Numbers are uncertain as to exactly how many Americans are affected in this way, because states vary so much in regards to non-compete enforceability.
“There’s tremendous heterogeneity across the US in what states will do. In some states you can be fired from your job, and if you get sued over the violation of a non-compete it can still be enforced even though you were fired. In other states it won’t be enforced, and everyone else is kind of in the middle.”
But Starr said it was safe to say that many millions of Americans assume they are bound by non-binding contracts. In California, to use a state he studied recently, there are approximately 20 million workers, so around 4 million may be involved in non-binding contracts. Those numbers can be roughly extrapolated to the rest of the 130 million U.S. workers who live in the other states.
“And that number is most certainly an underestimate given that non-competes are used for workers in states that wouldn’t enforce them for such workers, even though they would enforce them for other workers,” Starr added.
The drop started last Friday, and continued over the weekend and on Monday. The big tech stocks, like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, which have been on a long upward trend, have dropped significantly.
The drop is considered possibly overdue given the high out-performance and positioning of the stocks.
According to Alexei Kutrin, speaking at the SPIEF economic forum this week, “The oil sector should be fully privatized in the next 7-8 years. No state companies are required there now as the statehood brings more harm than benefit to those companies.”
He added that oil companies are able to deal with business issues without assistance from the state.
The popularity and value of dealing in cryptocurrency has been established over the past couple of years, with Bitcoin the most prominent of many new digital moneys.
The Russian Central Bank’s Deputy Chairman Olga Skorobogatova spoke at SPIEF 2017 spoke about Russia’s interest in developing their own.
“Regulators of all countries agree that it’s time to develop national cryptocurrencies, this is the future,” said Skorobogatova. “Every country will decide on specific time frames. After our pilot projects we will understand what system we could use in our case for our national currency,”
She wasn’t the only Russian banking official to speak in favor of it at this year’s economic forum. Part of the interest comes from the current state of cryptocurrencies, including that transactions can’t be traced to any person, and that recently there have been new legislative restrictions imposed by various countries.