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Fears of a global recession mounted this week, as a host of factors combined to send investors retreating to the safest havens they could find and forced policymakers to make plans to counteract a possible global economic slowdown.
The issues giving everyone pause are numerous and are largely interconnected. Looming over everything is the United States’ aggressive stance on trade with China, which has devolved into a trade war with global implications.
The Chinese and U.S. economies, which between them account for a major share of global economic production, are both suffering. Additionally, Germany, which counts on China as a major importer of its manufactured goods, saw its economy shrink in the second quarter of the year. Meanwhile, Britain stands on the brink of a disorderly exit from the European Union, with unknowable — but likely dire — economic consequences, and markets are nervous about another volley of tariff threats from President Donald Trump that would hit German cars and French wine, among other things.
While these may all seem only tangentially related, each of the different factors currently troubling the global economy is part of a larger question that economist Nicolas Véron, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, says everyone is currently trying to answer: “Is global economic integration as we have known it over the last few decades sustainable?”
Recent years have seen an unprecedented intertwining of global supply chains in manufacturing, retail and agriculture. Now, investors are asking themselves whether leaders of some of the world’s largest economies, Trump chief among them, are really going to try to pull those relationships apart, and what will happen if they succeed.
“Is the trade war a real thing, or is it going to peter out? Is the U.S. really going to decouple from China? These are big questions associated with apparent change of direction of U.S. policy with the Trump administration mostly, but are echoing various strands of economic nationalism in other places in the world,” said Véron.
The current uncertainty may be adding to the problems that a major realignment of global trade policies would create.
Across the globe, many investors are so spooked about the future that they are literally paying the governments of economically powerful countries to hold their money for them. Typically, sovereign debt issued by a major industrialized nation is viewed as a very safe asset. That’s why governments — particularly the United States, but also Germany, Britain, Japan and others — can borrow money at very low-interest rates.
However, over the past several weeks, the yield on many government bonds has turned negative, meaning that purchasers agree in advance to suffer a loss, presumably because they expect that they would lose even more in any alternative investment. Early this month, a Deutsche Bank analysis determined that 25% of current government bonds around the world now offer a negative yield, three times the percentage in October 2018.
This is bad news for multiple reasons, not least of all because it means that money that might have been invested in growing businesses is instead tied up in government bonds.
Bond market warning
Another negative signal from the bond market appeared in the U.S. this week when the price of two-year Treasury notes rose above the price of 10-year notes.
That phenomenon, known as an inverted yield curve, occurs when short-term investments in Treasurys pay more than the long-term kind. If that sounds economically nonsensical, that’s because it is. Lending for 10 years is riskier than lending for two years and ought to command a higher rate of return.
Inverted yield curves are driven by many factors. These include investor panic, but there are systemic issues at work as well, such as large investment funds that are required by their promises to investors to keep a certain percentage of their holdings in bonds — even when doing do requires them to overpay.
Whatever the ultimate cause, inverted yield curves have preceded every recession in the U.S. for the past 50 years, though often the inversion and the onset of the following recession were separated by as much as 18 months.
The increasing possibility of a recession in the U.S., particularly with an election year looming, has drawn mixed reactions from the Trump administration. While administration spokespeople continue to insist that the economy is strong and getting stronger, the president himself seems to be preparing for the possibility of recession by preemptively deflecting blame from himself.
Pointing toward Federal Reserve
Trump has suggested that any downturn in the economy will be the responsibility of the Federal Reserve, which sets interest rates. Trump has consistently criticized the central bank for slowly increasing rates over the past few years, accusing the Fed of hampering economic growth.
Even after a quarter-point cut last month, which left the rate target in a range of just 2% to 2.25%, Trump called for an immediate additional cut to forestall the possibility of a recession.
However, there is sometimes only so much policymakers can do. Economies move in cycles, and those cycles inevitably include periods of recession.
“The U.S. has its own cycle,” said Véron, of the Peterson Institute, and that cycle is separate from those of other countries. However, the U.S. is now in the longest economic expansion in its history, and factors like the yield curve inversion suggest that it may be reaching its end.
“There is an indication that we’re at the late stage of an expansion,” he said, “but that doesn’t necessarily mean it ends tomorrow.” (VOA)
Between zoom meetings, webinars, you're walking a tight rope to balance work from home and domestic chores, in all this its easy to forget about taking care of yourself. It's imperative to squeeze in a few hours to indulge in yourself, whether its a massage or a hair spa treatment.
It comes with a range of accessories which includes the 40mm Airwrap long barrels, 30mm Airwra barrels, a Firm smoothing brush, a Soft smoothing brush, a Round volumising brush, the Pre-styling dryer, a non-slip heat-resistant mat to place your styler on, a Storage case and even a Filter cleaning brush. A Storage bag (Iron/Fuchsia) securely stores your Dyson Airwrap when you're on the move.
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. | File
The different styling attachments cater to unique hair needs and are designed for different hair styles. For instance the 30 mm barrels create and set voluminous curls. With clockwise and counter-clockwise barrels for symmetrical curls. The 40 mm barrels create and set loose curls or waves. The Firm smoothing brush creates a straighter style with less frizz ad fewer flyways, with firm bristles engineered to control unruly, frizz prone hair. The pre- styling dryer takes hair from wet to damp, ready for styling. The round volumizing brush directs air into the hair to give body, and the bristles create tension to shape hair as it dries, Ideal for limp, flat hair. To create a sooth, blow-dry finish. With soft bristles engineered to be gentle on the scalp.
It features three precise airflow speeds, to suit your styling and four precise heat settings, including constant cold shot. The cold shot immediately deactivates the heating element, for cooler air to set your style. The Coanda to curl barrels harness an aerodynamic phenomenon and the Coanda to smooth which uses Dyson brushes to attract hair to the surface of the brush, propelling air along the hair strands for a smooth, straighter style. It's powered by the Dyson digital motor V9, a 13-blade impeller spins at up to 110,000rpm, generating 3.2kPa. Powerful enough to produce the air pressure needed to create the Coanda effect. The intelligent heat control measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second, intelligently controlling the heating element to keep the temperature under a 150 degree Celsius. Preventing extreme heat damage. "Great styling and takes lesser effort than the usual blow drying. Saving lots of visits to the salon, absolutely love it!" says a salon regular who switched her weekly visits to the salon for the at home Dyson experience. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Dyson, hair, hair styles, styling, airflow, non-slip heat-resistant mat, Pre-styling dryer, olumising brush, smoothing brush, Dyson Airwrap
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. The findings, described in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, showed a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.
The discovery is significant because it's rare to find gas giants -- like Saturn in the solar system -- as close to their host star as they were in this case. The researchers cannot yet explain why it occurred there, but it makes the finding especially useful because it could help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters for how planets and planetary systems develop.
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission. | NASA
"The discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse into the physics that play a role in planet formation," said lead author Jon Zink, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. The findings could be a significant step toward helping astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to have planets orbiting them and what that indicates about the building blocks needed for successful planet formation, acoording to the study. "We need to look at a wide range of stars, not just ones like our sun, to understand that," Zink said.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system. The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance. Kepler's original mission came to an unexpected end in 2013 when a mechanical failure left the spacecraft unable to precisely point at the patch of sky it had been observing for years.
But astronomers repurposed the telescope for a new mission known as K2, whose objective is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 is helping scientists understand how stars' location in the galaxy influences what kind of planets are able to form around them. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Astronomers, discover, possible, exoplanets, telescope, mission, planets
By Dr Anil Batra
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season. The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep the temperature warm in the baby's room: Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
Apply moisturizer: The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage: Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. | Photo by Khoa Pham on Unsplash
Avoid using heavy blankets: You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress your baby comfortably: Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping | Flickr
Maintain proper hygiene: Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take care outdoors: If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters:
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
- Skin allergies
- Digestive issues
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
* If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a pediatrician.
* You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
* Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
* Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
* In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. | Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter. Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby. Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist. Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Winter, care tips, newborn, baby, hygiene, breastfeeding, blanket