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Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong and Seoul followed Beijing in increasing taxi fares for the first time in years after disgruntled cab drivers complained they weren’t getting paid enough to be hailed all day. Starting Dec. 8, the base fare in Hong Kong island will rise for the first time since 2011, increasing by HK$2 ($0.26) to HK$22 for the first 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), the government said on its website yesterday. In Seoul, the base fare will rise by 600 won ($0.56) to 3,000 won, the first increase since 2009, though the starting date will be determined later, the city said in an e-mailed statement. Read more of this post

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Banking World’s Ikea Born in Sweden Challenging Deposit Giants

Banking World’s Ikea Born in Sweden Challenging Deposit Giants

Sweden’s state-backed mortgage lender wants to take retail customers from the nation’s biggest banks as it targets as much as $14 billion in deposits. SBAB plans to more than double its share of Sweden’s savings market to as much as 6 percent in the coming years, from today’s 2 percent, Chief Executive Officer Carl-Viggo Oestlund said yesterday in an interview at the bank’s headquarters in Stockholm. Oestlund predicts the bank’s deposit base will rise as high as 90 billion kronor in coming years ($14 billion). Read more of this post

Debt Disaster Seen Unless VAT Rises to 20% by 2020: Japan Credit

Debt Disaster Seen Unless VAT Rises to 20% by 2020: Japan Credit

Japan must raise its sales tax to at least 20 percent by the time the Olympics come to Tokyo in 2020 to avert a “disaster” in its bond market, according to the head of a panel advising the world’s biggest pension fund. The consumption levy, due to increase in April for the first time since 1997, will need to quadruple from current levels to handle Japan’s increasing welfare costs and rein in the nation’s debt, said Takatoshi Ito, who leads an investment panel for the 121 trillion yen ($1.23 trillion) Government Pension Investment Fund. He said funds like GPIF are at risk of being too dependent on Japanese government bonds, where 10-year yields of 0.670 percent are the lowest globally. Read more of this post

Henry Ford’s Century-Old Line Finds $15 Billion in China

Henry Ford’s Century-Old Line Finds $15 Billion in China

On Oct. 7, 1913, Henry Ford’s assembly line moved for the first time. A century later, among the changes in Ford Motor Co. (F)’s production, none is more dramatic than simply where it takes place. Ford vehicles assembled in China and the rest of Asia now outnumber those built in Europe for the first time. By 2015, Ford will have the capacity to produce more cars and trucks in Asia than it made last year in North America. Read more of this post

Fonterra CEO Says Whole Milk Prices Too High, Need to Decline

Fonterra CEO Says Whole Milk Prices Too High, Need to Decline

Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Theo Spierings said milk powder prices are too high and risk hurting the dairy industry unless they normalize. “The distance between whole milk powder and the other milk products is too big,” Spierings said in an interview in Auckland today after Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, reported a 3 percent drop in earnings for the 2012-13 year. Higher prices not only push customers toward other milk products, they also make substitutes such as soy or vegetable oil more attractive, he said. Read more of this post

Losing Is Good for You; Awards can be powerful motivators, but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed. Instead, it can cause them to underachieve

September 24, 2013

Losing Is Good for You

By ASHLEY MERRYMAN

LOS ANGELES — AS children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program. Trophies were once rare things — sterling silver loving cups bought from jewelry stores for truly special occasions. But in the 1960s, they began to be mass-produced, marketed in catalogs to teachers and coaches, and sold in sporting-goods stores. Read more of this post

Architecture: Designs on immortality: Bold designs for headquarters say something about a company’s ambitions and priorities

September 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Architecture: Designs on immortality

By Edwin Heathcote

Bold designs for headquarters say something about a company’s ambitions and priorities

The skyscraper index, long discussed but never formally introduced, is one of the great irreverent economic indicators. The idea is that there is a correlation between the periods in which the tallest skyscrapers are built and the imminence of financial crisis. Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis. Most recently the construction of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, foreshadowed the collapse in the Dubai property market. Read more of this post

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