A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web
Amazon.com Inc. is set to choose a location for its new headquarters, and the Financial Times is reporting that cities' efforts to attract the business have reached ludicrous proportions,
"One town in Georgia offered to create a brand new city named 'Amazon' and appoint company founder Jeff Bezos as mayor in perpetuity. Meanwhile a business group in Tucson, Arizona, sent Amazon a 21-foot cactus as a token of its affection, which the company politely declined to accept. In New York, the Empire State Building was lit up with Amazon's trademark orange hue earlier this week.
"Other pitches, though, have focused on cold, hard cash, generating controversy over the generous tax subsidies that cities are offering as they try to outdo each other. In New Jersey, governor Chris Christie promised a staggering $7bn in incentives, should the company choose Newark as its base."
Atlanta is the betting favourite to land Amazon, but Toronto is apparently still in the running. Bloomberg notes ominously however that,
"Going to Canada holds political risks: Moving integral operations and workforce from the U.S. may step up tension with President Donald Trump."
"US cities shower Amazon with offers of tax breaks" – Financial Times
"'We are now and tomorrow': Toronto makes its pitch for Amazon's HQ2" – CBC
"Ten cities that may have the best shot at winning [Amazon's] second home" – Bloomberg
Thankfully, I no longer own General Electric stock – it was switched to Honeywell at the urging of my broker. You'd think a multinational industrial giant like GE would be beneftting from rising global growth, but the company missed badly on earnings,
"The maker of jet engines and gas turbines reported that adjusted profit decreased 29 cents a share for the third quarter, falling well short of the 50-cent average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. GE hasn't missed estimates by more than half a cent in over nine years… "
"GE Sinks as Deeper Slump Forces New CEO to Slash Profit Outlook" – Bloomberg
A shortage of nurses in the U.S. is likely a harbinger of things to come as the health care needs of an aging population on both sides of the border stretch the system to its maximum,
"Short on staff: Nursing crisis strains U.S. hospitals" – Reuters
"The curious case of the $629 Band-Aid" – Vox
I've been doing a lot of reading on Artificial Intelligence, but that didn't prevent a feeling of surprise at this Sky News report that AI systems are making investment decisions based on the facial expressions of central bankers in public appearances,
"Software uses facial expressions to 'predict' bank's policies" – Sky
" Once, robots assisted human workers. Now it's the other way around" – New Yorker
"McCain's latest surprise: Regulate Facebook" – Axios
Tweet of the Day: " @Reuters WATCH: Billionaire Richard Branson targeted in $5 million scam 'straight out of le Carre' reut.rs/2gS7LHD via @ReutersTV – Twitter
Diversion: New report on Fake News from Pew Research strongly implies things will continue to deteriorate,
"Truth is no longer dictated by authorities, but is networked by peers. For every fact there is a counterfact and all these counterfacts and facts look identical online ... Those who do not think things will improve felt that humans mostly shape technology advances to their own, not-fully-noble purposes."
"The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online" – Pew Research