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The global pork market is currently facing a major obstacle: African swine fever.  This disease has severely cut China’s hog population, which is predicted to drop around 40 percent from the beginning of 2018 to 2020.  This will consequently reduce global pork production by 10 percent in 2020 and is especially consequential because China is the world’s leader in pork sales, yielding a value of 118.2 billion dollars in 2018.  The disease and its negative effect on the ability of the pork industry to meet market demand have caused pork and bacon prices to rise, likely leading to the largest jump in price since the mad cow disease epidemic of 2004.  With such a big shift in the meat industry, questions arise about how the pork segment will respond and how this shift will impact the meat industry as a whole.

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Over the past decade, undetected corruption has lead to instability throughout markets around the globe. In 2012, many banks began to struggle as a result of the London Interbank Offered Rate. More commonly referred to as LIBOR, this interest rate serves a much larger purpose than any other before it. The rate acts as a benchmark for almost all other interest rates to be based on throughout the world. However, due to the rate fluctuating for unknown reasons throughout past financial crises, suspicions emerged questioning its reliability. These speculations ended up leading to an investigation of a global market manipulation scandal that came to light in 2012.

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With the rapid changes in our world, it can be difficult to predict how our economy will change in reaction to international and domestic events. Despite a multitude of negative factors and events in the world today, the global economy is set to grow by about 3% in the next few years.

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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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The pharmaceutical industry is defined as the discovery, development, and manufacture of drugs and medications. It’s widespread, including research, chemicals, and the regulation and involvement of government agencies.  However, the characteristics of the pharmaceutical industry differ by region.  Today, we’ll look at the key aspects of this sprawling industry in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States.

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On October 14, 2019, the United Kingdom’s Parliament was reinstated after a 5-week suspension. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is persistent in wanting the UK to secede from the European Union. During the Parliament disbandment, the Prime Minister was able to secure a deal, The Withdrawl Agreement Bill, with the European Union. Prime Minister Johnson wanted to put it through Parliament quickly and finally go through with Brexit. Parliament voted and approved the Bill, securing Brexit to go through in a week. But, Prime Minister Johnson told the House of Commons to vote on the Bill in a matter of hours. The House of Commons refused. Due to this refusal, the Bill now looks as though it won’t pass, so Prime Minister Johnson is calling for a general vote to re-elect Parliament. Prime Minister Johnson’s plan is to win a majority in Parliament and pass Brexit without a deal. With this Brexit scare seeming even more realistic every day, many companies around the world are making plans on what they will do when the UK finally secedes from the EU.

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The preservation of natural environments and resources is immensely important in the most universal of ways. Preservation helps to stabilize and ensure the habitability of different regions, while also protecting the rest of the earth from rapid changes in the climate. While this is reason enough to advocate protection of the wilderness, destruction of natural areas can negatively impact the economy by disrupting supply systems and resource production. For these reasons, it is crucially important to observe and respond to natural disasters and threats as they occur.

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As globalization continues, companies around the world are diversifying their supply chains and exploring outsourcing options. Expectations for supply chains are steadily increasing. The goal is for consumers to receive goods at lower prices and higher qualities in a timely manner. However, these are all contingent upon the political atmosphere. A company's supply chain in a particular country depends heavily on the restrictions on market access, transport and logistic services infrastructure, and the business environment.

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The World Economic Forum has released the latest version of their annual publication, The Global Competitiveness Report, which turned 40 years old this year.  The 2019 report highlights the cycle of low levels of productivity growth in the world economy despite the injection of over 10 trillion dollars by central banks.  Although the overall tone of the report is negative, it emphasizes the ability of countries pursuing a holistic approach to socio-economic challenges to set themselves ahead on the economic frontier.

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Expert analysts predict tough times ahead for the world’s global economy. Although only predictions, there are many factors throughout the world that support these anticipations of the future; undoubtedly, the most significant is the number of nations at risk of entering a recession. If the predictions were to end up being correct, factors like this would be the prime cause of what experts are calling a “global recession.”