Eq: Dev ex-US

(New York)

Here is a fascinating, if tangential article in Bloomberg. It says that a major university study has shown that American workers, on average, put in 25% more hours of work than their colleagues in Europe. This equates to about an hour extra per day on average. While productivity measurements are king in employment studies, having accurate hours worked measurements are fundamental to measuring that productivity. So how do the authors account for the big difference in hours? The answer is a few key reasons: lower taxes in the US giving more incentive, the fact that the range of incomes is wider in the US, which makes a promotion worth more, the fact that labour unions are stronger in Europe, and finally, that pensions are more generous, incentivizing older people to work less.

FINSUM: We found this article an interesting cross-border cultural and structural comparison and thought readers might as well.

Source: Bloomberg


One of the best ways to judge whether Italy may actually reject constitutional reform in its vote in December, and thus puts itself on the path towards a Euro exit, could be to follow the money. The EU has a system where it measures depositary flows in and out of various member states’ banking systems. The data seems to indicate that many think Italy is going to leave the Euro. In total €354 bn Euro is now outside of the Italian banking system, up €118 bn from last year, and €78 bn this summer alone. That means a lot of Italian depositors are worried and moving their money out of Italy.

FINSUM: While this data could be interpreted in a number of ways, it seems to surely show that a lot of Italians are spooked.

Source: Bloomberg


Investors beware, another potentially big market-moving event is in the process of being plopped onto the calendar. Those who pay close attention will have noticed that the Pound has been hammered lately, dropping below $1.20 to a 168-year cumulative low. Now Scotland is reacting, with Nicola Sturgeon, the country’s first minister, announcing a new draft bill to start the process of officially calling another referendum to decide on Scotland’s fate within Britain and thus the EU. Scotland voted strongly to remain in the EU in June’s referendum, and Sturgeon is pushing back against the growing idea that Britain should have a “hard Brexit” as PM Theresa May’s speeches seemed to have called for.

FINSUM: If Scotland has a referendum we believe it will likely choose to leave Britain and try to negotiate remaining within the EU. The European domino to watch, however, is Italy in early December.

Source: Financial Times

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