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According to a report released by the Institute of International Finance on November 14th, global debt reached a staggering high of $250 trillion, rising $7.5 trillion in the first half of 2019.  The expectation is that global debt will reach $255 trillion by the end of 2019. The primary contributors to this statistic are the U.S. and China, who account for 60% of the increase.

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Cable television was the staple of entertainment for over 50 years until the arrival of streaming services was introduced at the start of the 21st century.  The introduction of this concept revolutionized our accessibility to television, making ‘on-demand’ video readily available from any electronic device (phone, laptop, or T.V.).  While cable television continues to diminish, with 19% of households already having "cut the cord," streaming methods continue to evolve with new companies emerging into the market trying to get a stake in the game.

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On October 1st, the United States was authorized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to impose $7.5 billion in tariffs on EU goods, primarily aircraft and agricultural items.  The Trump administration’s justification for this measure is due to claims that countries within the EU were illegally subsidizing the European owned aircraft producer, Airbus. Since the aircraft industry is dominated by two companies—Boeing, a U.S. company, and Airbus—the move to impose tariffs was to protect the interests of Boeing.  This decision comes behind numerous complaints filed through the WTO on behalf of the U.S., dating back to 2004.  It is widely considered the world’s largest-ever corporate trade dispute.  Despite reports from Airbus affirming they are now compliant with WTO rules regarding subsidies from the EU, the U.S. proceeded forward with the implementation of tariffs.

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As mentioned in “Hong Kong Protests and their Potential Consequences” last month, the divide between Hong Kong and China over civil liberties remains fierce, with no resolution achieved as protests continue.  Daryl Morey, one of the NBA’s most respected general managers as apart of the Houston Rockets, has come under fire for a recent tweet he made in support of the democratic protests in Hong Kong, in which he shared: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” 

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On September 13th, Saudi Arabia fell victim to a drone attack on their state-owned oil processing facility, a resource they proudly consider to be their kingdom’s “crown jewel,” as oil accounts for 50% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and 70% of their export earnings.  The attack sent crude oil prices up 15% to about $69 a barrel, marking the highest price increase in over three decades. With such a heavy reliance placed on Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, it is important for world leaders to keep in mind the damaging repercussions of escalating conflict in the Middle East, an issue that presents another big problem to the world economy, in addition to the U.S. and China trade dispute.  

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A CNBC report in late August reported the looming challenges that currently face the fast-food industry: high turnover rates.  At Panera Bread, the employee turnover rate has reached 100%, a figure that is surprisingly low in comparison to industry estimates, which top 150%.  A 2013 study by Cornell’s Rosemary Batt, a Professor in Human Resource Studies and International and Comparative Labor, estimated that businesses incur losses of approximately $1,600 per employee due to turnover. The rising minimum wage is also significantly impacting the fast-food industry, and forcing organizations to reconsider how they do business.