Are markets flirting with euphoria or complacency?

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Unprecedented is an overused word in financial markets — but this time it’s justified.

Since the global financial crash, central banks have engaged in a global economic support operation like no other, with the world’s three key organization’s gorging on $15 trillion dollars of bond buying to save financial markets from themselves and prevent a recession that might have been … well, unprecedented!

As of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting, we are now witnessing an unprecedented unwinding of those purchases. Fed Chair Janet Yellen says the U.S. central bank will liquidate $10 billion of the bonds on its $4.5 trillion balance sheet every month. The Fed chair believes the U.S. economy is strong enough to take it, and markets are robust enough to withstand the modest implicit tightening of monetary conditions, even as inflation is still short of the Fed’s target.

The Fed has been preparing the markets for this move for months, in the hope that a gradual shift from quantitative easing (QE) to quantitative tightening (QT) will barely cause a ripple in the monetary pond. But not everyone is convinced that the consequences of this move are obvious or predictable.

Back in July, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned of potential disruption saying: “We act like we know exactly how it’s going to happen and we don’t.” In other words, QT is a “known unknown” — there’s

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12 ways to ship anything for less money

Shipping can be expensive, and sometimes it’s hard to know which option is best. In addition to the major shipping services — the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx — there are nontraditional ways to ship that many people don’t know about. These tips will help save money when shipping just about anything.

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Fighting for survival in London, Uber says it can improve

A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London© REUTERS/Toby Melville
A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London

Uber called on Monday for talks with London’s transport regulator as soon as possible and pledged to make improvements in the way it reports serious incidents in a bid to retain its license.

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On Friday, the British capital’s transport regulator deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and decided not to renew its license to operate, which will end this week, citing the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

London police complained earlier this year that Uber, which is backed by Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, was either not disclosing, or taking too long to report, serious crimes including sexual assaults and that this put the public at risk.

Asked about the criticism, Uber’s UK Head of Cities apologized about a specific incident and said the firm was working with the Metropolitan police to make improvements to its reporting process.

“We’re working with the police to figure out how we can do this in a better way that’s helpful to them,” Fred Jones told BBC radio.

But he also called for talks with

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Progress being made: chief NAFTA negotiator

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OTTAWA – Canada’s chief negotiator says solid progress is being made in talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement, but it’s too soon to tell if a deal can be reached by the year-end deadline set by the United States.

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“The pace is very fast and the (negotiating) rounds are very closely squeezed together, which is a bit unusual, so there’s not as much time to do work in between rounds as we would ordinarily expect,” Steve Verheul said Sunday as negotiators wrapped up the second day of talks in the third round of negotiations.

“But we’re making good, solid progress.”

Verheul acknowledged that the U.S., which triggered the renegotiation of the continental trade pact, has yet to table detailed proposals on some of the most contentious issues, including its stated objectives to:

— Scrap NAFTA’s independent dispute settlement process, which Canada maintains is essential. That issue is up for discussion Wednesday so the U.S. may provide more detail then.

— Require substantial American content in vehicles eligible for duty-free movement within the North American free trade zone.

— Allow each NAFTA partner discretion to decide whether to opt into the investor state dispute settlement process, whereby corporations can sue governments for allegedly discriminatory practices.

— End Canada’s system of supply management for dairy and poultry.

On the latter three issues, Verheul said he does not expect to see any details from the

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In battle for talent, one startup founder tries ‘unlimited’ pay


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(Bloomberg) — China may have a reputation for low wages and sprawling factories. But in a sign of changing times, one startup founder has embraced a strategy of paying top employees the highest salaries in the market — and so far it’s working.

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. is the brainchild of an entrepreneur named Zhang Yiming. The company is best known for a mobile app called Jinri Toutiao, or Today’s Headlines, which aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets. In five years, the app has become one of the most popular news services anywhere, with 120 million daily users.

Toutiao is on pace to pull in about $2.5 billion in revenue this year, largely from advertising. It was just valued at more than $20 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, roughly the same as Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

In China, the Beijing company is controversial because of its recruiting. ByteDance hires top performers from giants like Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., sometimes raising salaries 50 percent and tossing in stock options. Zhang is unapologetic.

“Our philosophy is to pay the top of the market to get the best,” says the slight 34-year-old in an interview at the company’s headquarters, his first with foreign media. “The company that wants to achieve the most, you need the best talent.”

Asked what the top of the market is precisely, his handlers squirm and try to change the subject. Zhang waves

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