Intelligence

Brexit continues to bewilder

Brexit continues to bewilder: If you’re wondering what in the world is happening with Brexit, you’re not alone. In the most recent head-scratching moment, the EU has rejected Boris Johnson’s plan for Britain. According to The Guardian, the leaked documents outline specific negotiating points including state aid, customs borders, and regulatory zones.

From The Guardian:
“An EU commission spokeswoman said the EU27 remained of the opinion that the UK had failed to offer an alternative to the Irish backstop, which would avoid a hard border by keeping Northern Ireland in the single market and the EU’s customs territory.”

Playing the numbers game: After the release of the September jobs report, which revealed an all-time low of 3.5 percent unemployment, optimists and pessimists alike have something to say — but The New York Times argues that either side of the equation could use these numbers to their advantage. It’s easy to take the unemployment figure at face value; but a deeper dive into the numbers provides some context. The manufacturing market lost 2,000 jobs last month, while retail lost a whopping 11,000. The majority of the jobs created in September were government-related, suggesting private-sector job growth is even weaker than the numbers may imply — also consistent with a global economic slowdown, the Times writes.

GE puts pension plans on ice: More than 20,000 General Electric employees will say goodbye to their pensions as part of the company’s plan to reduce pension-related debt by up to $8 billion. According to MarketWatch, affected employees will stop making contributions to their plans on January 1, 2021, and instead, GE will contribute 3% of eligible compensation to their 401(k) plans and provide matching contributions of 50% on up to eight percent of eligible compensation.

Place-based policies spur economic growth: It is an age-old debate with economists as to whether people see more economic growth when they move from distressed places to ones with more opportunity; or if they’re better served by being revitalized in their existing homes. According to CityLab, a new study reveals the latter is most effective in seeing results.

More from CityLab: 
“Many people simply do not want to move, even if they can afford to. [Economist Timothy Bartik of the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research] quotes Adam Smith as saying: “A man is of all sorts of luggage the most difficult to be transported.” Efforts to move people to jobs will likely only work for a subset of those who live in distressed places. Bartik points out that roughly 70 percent of Americans stay in the same state they were born, and more than half of all Americans and 40 percent of more mobile college grads stay in the same metro area.”

Challenger banks stay true to their name: UK Senior Account Manager George Pitt takes a skeptical eye to challenger banks that have run into their own set of, well, challenges over the last year. More on our blog