South Africa: Public Protector Finds Zille ‘Violated Constitution’ Over Involvement in Son’s Teaching Project

[News24Wire] Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille violated the executive members ethics code by exposing herself to the risk of a conflict of interest by offering assistance to a workshop programme involving her son in 2014. source

China offers low-cost loans to banks to help fund small businesses, shore up economy

China’s central bank has made fresh moves to release more money into the financial system as Beijing looks to shore up the economy amid a deepening trade war with the United States. The People’s Bank of China said in a statement on Wednesday evening that it had launched a new liquidity mechanism known as the […]

Abysmal viewer ratings for Pokémon anime series does not worry its broadcaster the slightest bit

After all, it’s been through worse before. Japanese television station TV Tokyo celebrated the airing of its 1,000th Pokémon episode last year, and though it was an impressive milestone for both the anime and the station, viewership had actually taken a massive dip. Yet there’s a reason why the broadcaster is not panicking at all. […]

The Fed: Here’s the data the Fed is looking at as it decides on interest rates

Looking at the minutes from previous Federal Open Market Committee decisions — and from the economic review the staff makes in particular — here’s precisely what the Fed is looking at. source

Market Extra: With a rate hike priced in, dollar traders wait for Fed’s 2019 guidance

Currency traders expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for a fourth time this year on Wednesday, but more than on the rate hike itself, the focus will be on guidance for next year’s agenda. source

10 Chic Pieces I Can’t Stop Thinking About (That Are Finally on Sale)

I confess—while my virtual shopping cart is always filled to the brim with potential items, I rarely pull the trigger and purchase more than one or two. Call it indecision if you want, but it’s really a mix of practicality and frugality. Chances are, eventually, most good things will go on sale, making the delayed […]

Give the Gift of Designer Goods (That Won’t Break the Bank)

Every year I scour the internet for the best, stylish gifts that my family, friends, and co-workers will be excited to receive, and every year I’m hit with the discouraging reminder that nice things don’t come cheap. This year, instead of sifting through designer goods, that would put me back two months rent, I browsed The Outnet for equally […]

Capitol Report: Paul Ryan sees solutions if ‘politics will allow it’ | Voters would blame Republicans, Trump for shutdown, poll finds

In a farewell speech, outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan will bemoan the U.S.’s “broken politics” and call Washington’s failure to overhaul costly federal benefit programs “our greatest unfinished business.” source

Liberia: Iceland Boosts Liberia’s Fisheries Sector

[Observer] As part of efforts to further strengthen the fisheries sector in the country, the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) and the Government of Iceland on Friday, December 14, signed a grant agreement of US$3.1 million. source

Workers at scandal-hit Chinese shipbuilder CSIC given lessons in keeping state secrets

Scores of workers at China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC), whose former general manager has been accused of selling state secrets – a crime punishable by death – have been schooled in how to protect classified information. According to a statement released on social media, the company said that more than 200 of its employees, including […]

Can China’s leaders restore confidence to private businesses?

China’s private sector, the driving force behind the country’s economic miracle over the last 40 years, is struggling amid the Chinese government’s campaign to reduce national debt and the trade war with the United States. This is the first story in a series that will detail the challenges private firms face and outline the government’s […]

NewsWatch: Brace for a sudden, sharp rally for the S&P 500 in 2019, says strategist David Bianco

Welcome to Fed day. Will he, won’t he? Our call of the day is looking past Powell’s damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn’t choice and looks at 12 merry reasons to expect a sharp rally to hit us in 2019. source

2018 was meant to be Xi Jinping’s year. Then China’s Belt and Road unravelled

What a difference one year makes. Back in 2017, we were contemplating a “Pax Sinica” as an irresponsible and ignorant American President – Donald Trump – seemed likely to concede global leadership to China’s quasi-imperial Xi Jinping. The roll-out of his signature “Belt and Road Initiative” looked set to cement Chinese ambitions globally. However, 2018 […]