Economy

(New York)

This great piece, run in the Financial Times, examines the evolution of the advertising industry, and argues that a lack of industry creativity, and a general unwillingness to change, has allowed the advertising business to lose a whole generation—the Millennials. The piece focuses on the industry’s utter inability to creating advertising revenue out of mobile devices and executive’s denial of change. TV commercials are no longer as viable an advertising source because younger generations spend much less time watching television, yet the advertising industry has devised no profitable ways to reach Millennials, who digest most of their digital content via videos on smartphones. The piece ends by focusing on the ideas that the industry is slowing creating, such as simultaneously broadcasting ads on TV and mobile devices, so that customers cannot “hide”. Another poses to use consumer data from smartphones and flash ads on store windows as the user walks by.


 

FINSUM: This is a great piece for understanding the relative failing of the advertising industry and how 21st century marketing is dramatically different than ever before.

(Tokyo)

In a statement that is affecting markets in just the opposite way as intended, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe yesterday announced an update to his “third arrow” economic reform policies. For markets, his statements were disappointingly short on details, but he focused on the fact that Japan would cut its corporate tax rate, reform the agricultural center, and change its massive state run pension management program into a more risk-taking, equity-driven, investment house. Various political statements indicate that Japan will likely cut the corporate tax rate from its current 35% to somewhere around 20-30%, but no specifics have been offered. Abe also announced the closing of a discriminatory tax against two-income families, and will now require companies to declare what percentage of executives are female, all in an effort to boost women’s participation in the labour force. Finally, Abe will introduce legislation which will allow employers to negotiate contracts directly with workers rather than following national guidelines.


 

FINSUM: For the most part these changes seem modest but attainable. However, they are not the earth-moving kind of reforms one hoped would accompany such a revolutionary course of monetary stimulus. It is ironic that Abe’s plans have been watered down by the very type of culture he is trying to change.

(New York)

In a sign of the growing size of the shale oil boom, newly released figures show that the United States’ petroleum production has hit a new 44-year high. The recent boom in output has reversed four decades of decline in just five years and is helping support a renaissance in American manufacturing. In terms of petroleum production, which includes products beyond crude oil, the US is currently putting out 11.27m barrels per day, nearly matching the average of 11.3m b/d in 1970. The US is now the top combined producer of oil and gas globally, and third overall in crude production behind Russia and Saudi Arabia. America’s performance is in direct contrast to the rest of the world, where production has dropped. New “fracking” techniques have allowed the US to exploit its unique geology and produce the boom, though analysts say production will peak once more in 2020 and then begin to decline.


 

FINSUM: This is a tangible statistic which shows just how prolific the US boom has been. It is one of the major factors that is driving the resurgence of American manufacturing.

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