In a meeting of 800 trustees of pension plan boards and hedge funds, most said that the global economy, while having a gloomy outlook, is relatively stable.

The eighth annual EnTrust Investment Summit was a conference closed to the press. However, the fund featured names such as Daniel S. Loeb from Third Point, Nelson Peltz from Trian and Bill Ackman from Perishing Square, among others.

Hedge fund “stars” have attended the gathering. One insider gave the scoop of things happening inside.

Despite capital markets selling off this year, there was no talk of doom and gloom. The US economy is growing, maybe not as rapidly as people would like, but growing nonetheless. There’s job creation happening. Companies are still earning money. It was that sort of assessment.

“It was OK. You know when you come back from a party and it was like, ‘It was OK’? That was the general theme,” the attendee told us.

The consensus is that everyone’s strategy is “wait.” The fund managers feel the US market is strong. The headwinds are China and commodities. The view is that the US market and economy is still strong relative to the other parts of the world. It’s a good place to be.

Yes, there are pockets of concern, with any weakness mostly having to do with energy. If oil stays low that’s a problem. No one there was forecasting $20 though. Some of the fund managers are seeing opportunities in credit, particularly for oil services companies.

As for the election, the consensus was that it’s a scary thing that folks appear to be in favor of Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner. To the fund managers, it shows how disenfranchised American people are feeling.

Toward the end of one of the panels, the conference was momentarily interrupted by the Hedge Clippers, a group that wants to tax the wealthy elite. It didn’t really faze anyone, though. They took a coffee break while the protesters were escorted from the premises.

Source: BusinessInsider

For its actions in Crimea last 2013, the Russian economy is in recession for a second year after the West economically sanctioned the country. The falling oil prices upon the re-entry of Iran had made it worse for Russia’s oil economies.

It was the fastest noted recession in the last six years since 2015. Russia’s GDP had dropped by 3.7 per cent the previous year. Rosstat, a state-run statistics agency, said Russia’s GDP only grew by 0.7 per cent in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement in December 2015 that the economic crisis has peaked. However, analysts, including Capital Economics’ William Jackson said the Russian economy is still “extremely weak.”

The Russian Rouble had performed badly in the market, outperforming Argentinian Peso only by a few margins.

The Russian Central Bank is considering a potential change in interest rates, held up at 11pc for the last three meetings.

Lifting the economic sanctions could only do very little. According to analysts, Russia’s main enemy is the falling prices of oil. Energy industries in the country are struggling to keep production down to avoid extreme surplus.

Iran’s lifting of sanctions and capability to sell their oil to the world market contributes to the oil surplus introduced initially by Saudi Arabia.

Oil is now at $20-30 a barrel.

Google Fiber’s aim is to bring hyper-speed fibre-optic internet connections to the United States. Gabriel Stricker is Google’s newest policy and communications handler for the company. Fibre was initially headed by Dennis Kish in 2010. Under his direction, Google Fiber expanded from Austin to Salt Lake City.

Google intends to bring Fiber to more people as it announces expansions to LA and Chicago. Alphabet, Google’s larger holding company that handles Google’s advertising, Android business and online business. The assignment of Stricker to Google Fiber indicates Fiber’s form into a business from its beginnings as an experiment for faster internet access for consumers.

Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said most of its efforts went into the Google businesses and they would improve their efforts further as Google continues to expand. Access and Energy will contain Alphabet’s Fiber efforts.

Stricker is not new to Google completely. Being one of the communications group leaders, Stricker had helped Google have a spot in the world’s online industry during its fast-growth days.

Google’s position as a huge global content provider allows everyone to make sense of Google’s offer for super fast internet especially now that net neutrality is becoming a huge issue in many countries.

UK signature businesses Tesco, BT, Marks & Spencer and others have warned British Prime Minister David Cameron that investor confidence will drop if green energy is cut continuously. The businesses argue that they would need a UK government guarantee that businesses can invest in low-carbon technologies.

The businesses said that scaling back solar power, wind energy and low-carbon technologies support risks tech and consumer businesses to investment risks.

“Regular changes to environment policy undermine confidence in investment in infrastructure of all kinds and impact on the UK’s ability to continue competing in the rapidly growing low carbon sector,” the letter warned.

The letter was a response to the long-running £1bn carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration being immediately dropped just before the COP21. Hundreds of pounds in foreign investment from the White Rose CCS Scheme in Yorkshire, wherein most investors were businesses, places them at risk of investor troubles.

The government announced early November that it would provide support for new offshore windfarms as far as 2020 to guarantee 20GW of wind power by 2030. But without the industry’s ability to reduce costs to energy due to the lack of government support for low carbon, the objective is a ways off.

According to a state-of-the-nation report in Britain, the British youth are the ones who are hit with the greatest income drop and employment in recent years. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said the youth’s economic independence and success are barred with more obstacles when compared with other age groups.

Aside from young people born into poverty, the UK’s ethnic and socio-economic groups are falling fast.

According to EHRC Commissioner Laura Carstensen:

“While we have made important progress in many areas – and it is important to note and celebrate this – the gateways to opportunity that the Commission identified five years ago remain harder to pass through for some groups such as disabled people, those from poorer backgrounds and women over a certain age.

“It’s great to see the barriers being lowered over the last five years for some people: but during the same period they’ve been raised higher for younger people in particular. Theirs are the shoulders on which the country will rely to provide for a rapidly ageing population, yet they have the worst economic prospects for several generations.”

More Tolerant With Orientation, Inequality Present On Paper

The report indicates that the British have become tolerant with different sexual orientations in all age groups. However, inequality is still present in the workplace, particularly in pay.

People under 34 years old had suffered an average pay shrink down to £6.70 an hour. Men are still twice likely to be a manager, director or a senior official in a company compared to women.

Black people’s pay declined at almost £1.20 an hour. Sikhs now had an hourly pay of £1.90.

Greece just came out of the Eurozone deal with bloodied bodies and injured spirits. Showing their defiance by re-electing Alexis Tsipras, the urge to resolve their debts still exists. Unfortunately, Greece needs new fuel to fire up the innovation in the economy and market.

Many start-ups in Greece had failed to captivate the public. Fortunately, international companies are willing to extend their trades to help up Europe’s weakened but fighting link.


CleanHands is a non-profit organisation focusing on unused soap bars and other hotel toiletries. The organisation collects them. Upon gathering the materials, they convert these into low-cost, eco-friendly hygienic and household-cleaning products.

Greece’s tourism industry may benefit from the start-up purchasing unused hygienic products common in most hotels and bed-and-breakfast venues. They may re-sell the products at a lower price to other parts in the industry or even normal households

Mastiha World

The Chios Mastiha Tree is common in Greece. As a local and export-quality inebriation, Mastiha World intends to focus their efforts to distribute the product to Greece’s local mass market. Mastiha is expensive. However, the start-up intends to make the product accessible to common and lower prices.


The freedom to manage your time in learning despite joining a for-profit university brings great knowledge at possibly no expense (unless you need a certification). MetaLearner intends to help people manage their own education with free and paid online courses.

People also have an option to take actual real-world courses but without the benefit of a classroom. The start-up primarily depends on rented spaces to render educational services.

With labour troubles increasing and the continuous economic strain suffered by China, fears of a crashing economy had caused political and civil unrest.

The world has eyed China’s stock market after a week of pummelling with sell-offs from all sides. Investors show their frustration with Beijing with the latter having no clear plans to avert the upcoming economic disaster. China’s “Black Monday” had seen zero airings from official newspapers and media networks this week.

According to China’s Xinhua Official News Agency, the economy still remains rosy and Beijing has the will and means to avert a financial crisis.” However, actual evidence exists in places such as the migrant community of Nanqija with recyclers mentioning they’ve lost more than the equivalent of £10,000 in just a year.

Chinese Entrepreneurs have also voiced their fears of remaining businesses.

However, China is not heading for a complete economic apocalypse, but it will go through an eye of a needle in the upcoming years.

According to Peking University Economist Christopher Balding, China’s increase in labour disputes is due to the lack of opportunities yet a high cost of living exists. Heavy industry cities are now in technical recession with lacking demand.

Facing charges for intending to ‘hack’ into his country’s financial payment system, Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis faces possible criminal charges. However, he maintains that creating a mirror payments system that could be used in the event of a banking collapse during a possible Greek exit from the Euro will enable the country to cancel its arrears to and from the state.

His counter-statement indicates that the European commission had controlled the Greek tax system to ‘play by their rules’, something that the EC denied, claiming his statement to be “false and unfounded”. Varoufakis said it is for this reason he considered having a team hack into the ministry’s computers to devise the parallel payment system.

The EC, along with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund said it only provided the tax system with technical assistance and there was no attempt from lenders to control it according to a statement by EC Spokeswoman Mina Andreeva.

Meanwhile, Europe and Greece are on the verge of closing talks for the third bailout package of the country.

Hopefuls believing that the new Greek proposition had potential were shot down after Athens and its creditors have broken down again. Confidence in Syriza proposals have been shattered with the Greek public.

As of yet, no agreement between Greece and its creditors exist. The EU wishes that Athens have more spending cuts in exchange for rescue funds.

Next week, Greece is scheduled to provide €1.6bn. An amount it does not hold, to the International Monetary Fund.

With six hours of talks earlier in the day between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and IMF heads, the meeting ended with Greece remaining firm on its position to have no additional austerities.

The EU leaders saw Tsipras’ proposals to hold clout and were constructive. However, on Wednesday, he was asked to revise and make the plans “tougher”.

IMF’s Christine Lagarde raised issue with the 11-page proposal prepared by Tsipras. The proposal was littered with red type by the creditors.

Tsipras said:

“The repeated rejection of equivalent measures by certain institutions never occurred before, neither in [bailout countries] Ireland nor Portugal.

“This odd stance seems to indicate that either there is no interest in an agreement or that special interests are being backed.”

The ECB, which supports the Greek financial system while a new proposal is in the process, said it will halt all support if no agreement and no new bailout agreement is in place

The United States export trade’s fall has the economy contract by 0.7pc on an annual basis spelling a setback for the global economy

Official data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) indicate that exports have fallen by 7.6pc in the first quarter of 2015. A growth of 4.5pc was indicated in the last quarter of 2014. However, imports have increased by 5.6pc.

The trade deficit had earned the US a 1.9 percent reduction from its total expected GDP with a 0.6 pc difference.

However, economists are optimistic the fall can be reversed in the second quarter with a 2 pc annualised expansion. They indicate the United States is distorted by “residual seasonality”. But attempts to adjust growth figures for seasonal factors did not decrease the data’s margin for error.

The US is headed for its worst first-half performance since 2011.

According to Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson:

“Recent analysis suggests the seasonal adjustment mechanism is not fully removing all of the usual weakness seen in the economy at the start of each year, in turn most likely linked to the severity of the recession causing havoc with the statistical analysis of seasonal trends.”