Trade, fake news and diversity – 2017 in a day
- In the dying days of global free trade, trade deficits matter. China produced a trade deficit in February (a fact not mentioned on the overnight Trump Twitter feed). This is distorted by the effects of the Lunar New Year, just as with the enlarged US trade deficit.
- Chinese President XI declared that fake economic statistics must be "throttled," and only accurate facts should be communicated (not the "fake news" subordinates think the president wants to hear). Being in command of accurate and impartial information is an admirable desire of any leader.
- The UK's long walk away from the EU is again in focus. Prime Minister's Questions will require a response to government defeats over the exit plan in the House of Lords, and the UK budget should offer insights into government spending priorities once the EU is cut off from the UK.
- Last week a UBS Wealth Management report reiterated the corporate profit advantage of diverse leadership teams. Macroeconomic competitiveness is also correlated with the absence of prejudice. This is increasingly important as the fourth industrial revolution raises the value of human capital. Perhaps companies (and the profit motive) will replace governments (and regulation) as defenders of diversity.