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US share buyback bonanza is losing momentum

Is one of the US stock market’s main pillars of support quietly crumbling? Since the financial crisis, companies buying back their own shares has been one of the biggest drivers of the equity markets’ advance to record highs. Between 2012 and 2015, US companies acquired $1.7tn of their own stock, according to Goldman Sachs, counteracting sales by pension funds, foreign investors and households. Indeed,...

Financial inclusion: Of opt-out options, RBI diktats, and banks’ own foot-dragging

A policy cornerstone of every government in modern India, financial inclusion is the delivery of financial services in the ruraI areas and to the poor and marginalised sections at affordable costs – in other words, segments that banks would not normally serve had it not been for external regulations. It is a commonly accepted fact that the poor have a higher risk of financial problems due to an unstable stream...

Flattening yield curve casts shadow over bank rally

Financial shares led the market in August, boosted by rising expectations of an imminent interest-rate hike — but their advance could be short-lived, analysts said. The shrinking gap between short- and long-term U.S. Treasury yields — a phenomenon that is known as a flattening yield curve — is threatening bank profitability as it compresses lenders’ net interest margin, or the difference between the...

It Takes a Ruling-Class Village to Staff the White House

The people our leaders surround themselves with say more about their policies than their rhetoric. This post originally appeared at TruthDig. A recurrent theme in major speeches given in July at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia held that Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look to “we the people” instead of rich, powerful and purportedly great individuals like Donald Trump...

Advertorial: Call to apply for NIHSS PhD/doctoral scholarships

The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) has partnered with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) to develop the African Pathways Programme through doctoral scholarships. The aim of the programme is in line with the mandates of the institute and council to promote and facilitate research in the humanities and social sciences as well as to...

Why the Market Punishes Some Companies With Female CEOs

A new study explains why stocks sometimes fall. The incoming CEO for drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is making history: Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief of consumer health care, was recently tapped to become the first woman to head a top global pharmaceutical company, which will make her one of the highest-profile women in corporate Britain. Yet, while Walmsley’s appointment might be viewed as a victory for women entering...

Supply Chain Finance on the Blockchain Enables Network Collaboration

What do Diageo and Tesco in the UK, Woolworth in Australia and Carrefour in France have in common? Beverage giant Diageo recently decreed that it would require 90 days to pay its suppliers. Accusations of “shakedowns and “bullying” related to similar attempts to improve cash flow at the expense of their suppliers were also levelled at Tesco, Woolworth, and Carrefour. Facing public pushback, Diageo agreed...

HOW THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION’S FOREIGN BUSINESS TIES COULD UPEND U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY

If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardise the security of the United States? Throughout this campaign,...

Small investors scorn this bull market

When this bull market is finally laid to rest, the following words should be inscribed on the headstone: Here lies the most unloved bull market in history. From its beginnings more than seven years ago, small investors never fully embraced this market. The best evidence of this is that flows into U.S. stock mutual funds were negative — meaning more money was withdrawn than invested — in six of the...

It’s past midnight for the US share buyback bonanza

Is one of the US stock market’s main pillars of support quietly crumbling? Since the financial crisis, companies buying back their own shares has been one of the biggest drivers of the equity markets’ advance to record highs. Between 2012 and 2015, US companies acquired $1.7tn of their own stock, according to Goldman Sachs, counteracting sales by pension funds, foreign investors and households. Indeed, excluding...