All the below links are in English. Excerpts are on our own.

PROBLEMS UNSOLVED AND A NATION DIVIDED (PDF; September 2016) | @MichaelEPorter, Jan W. Rivkin, @desaimihira, with Manjari Raman – The State of U.S. Competitiveness 2016 Including findings from @HarvardHBS’s 2016 surveys on U.S. competitiveness

Key Findings(主な調査結果)
[Chapter 1] The U.S. economy in an era of political paralysis
• Addressing America’s economic challenges requires a common understanding of competitiveness and the true underpinnings of prosperity. We define competitiveness as follows: A nation is competitive to the extent that firms operating there can compete successfully in domestic and international markets while also lifting the living standards of the average citizen. Competitiveness must lead to shared prosperity, in which all Americans have the opportunity to advance economically.
• U.S. competitiveness has been eroding since well before the Great Recession. America’s economic challenges are structural, not cyclical. The weak recovery reflects the erosion of competitiveness, as well as the inability to take the steps necessary to address growing U.S. weaknesses.
• Our failure to make progress reflects an unrealistic and ineffective national discourse on the reality of the challenges facing the U.S. economy and the steps needed to restore shared prosperity. Business has too often failed to play its part in recent decades, and a flawed U.S. political system has led to an absence of progress in government, especially in Washington.

[Chapter 2] Faltering U.S. economic performance
• America’s economic performance peaked in the late 1990s, and erosion in crucial economic indicators such as the rate of economic growth, productivity growth, job growth, and investment began well before the Great Recession.
• Workforce participation, the proportion of Americans in the productive workforce, peaked in 1997. With fewer working-age men and women in the workforce, per-capita income for the U.S. is reduced.
• Median real household income has declined since 1999, with incomes stagnating across virtually all income levels. Despite a welcome jump in 2015, median household income remains below the peak attained in 1999, 17 years ago. Moreover, stagnating income and limited job prospects have disproportionately affected lower-income and lower-skilled Americans, leading inequality to rise.
• A similar divergence of performance has also occurred between large companies and small businesses. While large firms have been able to prosper, small companies are struggling, startups are lagging, and small business is no longer the leading job generator.
(… 大企業は繁盛することができたが、中小企業は苦労し、起業者は沈滞し、スモールビジネスはもはや雇用を産み出す牽引役ではなくなっている。)
• Overall prosperity is growing slowly, but the benefits are increasingly not flowing to middle- and lower-income Americans. This puts the American Dream, or the ability of any American to advance and prosper, at risk.

[Chapter 3] An eroding U.S. business environment
• The U.S. economy retains critical strengths. Business leaders (including HBS students) perceive strengths in areas such as higher education, entrepreneurship, communications infrastructure, innovation, capital markets, strong industry clusters, and sophisticated firm management. However, these strengths are being offset by weaknesses such as the corporate tax code, the K–12 education system, transportation infrastructure, the health care system, and the U.S. political system. Skills have also been eroding and becoming a weakness. Many of the greatest weaknesses are in areas driven by federal policy.
(アメリカ経済は決定的な強みを維持している。… しかし、…弱みに相殺されつつある。スキルも衰え弱みになってきた。多くの最大の弱みは、連邦政府の政策により運営されてきた分野のものである。)
• Alumni working in smaller firms have more negative views of the U.S. business environment than alumni working in larger firms. Members of the general public see the same U.S. competitive weaknesses as HBS alumni but, unlike alumni, perceive far fewer strengths.
• This pattern of strengths and weaknesses helps explain why the U.S. economy is no longer delivering shared prosperity. Large companies, the skilled individuals who run them, and those who invest in them benefit from America’s greatest strengths and are prospering. However, workers and small businesses are captives of the nation’s major weaknesses.
• Pessimism about the trajectory of U.S. competitiveness deepened in 2016, for the first time since we started surveying alumni in 2011. Fifty percent of the business leaders surveyed expect U.S. competitiveness to decline in the coming three years, while 30% foresee improvement and 20% see no change.
• Business leaders and the general public are particularly concerned about the future of American workers: respondents who expect lower pay and fewer employment opportunities for the average American in the future far outnumber those who expect improving worker outcomes.
• Inadequate investment in those parts of the business environment on which middle-class Americans depend (areas like K–12 education and skills), together with lack of policy improvement in areas on which small businesses depend (tax policy, regulations, infrastructure), have undermined overall productivity and shared prosperity.

[Chapter 4] The pressing need for a national economic strategy
• Given the significant challenges facing the American economy, the U.S. needs a national economic strategy more than at any other time in recent history. A strategy is an integrated set of priorities that builds on strengths while acknowledging and tackling weaknesses. It identifies the sequence of steps needed to best move ahead.
• The U.S. lacks an economic strategy, especially at the federal level. The implicit strategy has been to trust the Federal Reserve to solve our problems through monetary policy.
• A national economic strategy for the U.S. will require action by business, state and local governments, and the federal government. All three levels have a crucial role to play in restoring competitiveness.
• Taking leadership in improving U.S. competitiveness is a pressing imperative for business leaders. Many companies have failed to invest enough in improving the business environments in the regions in which they operate. Companies can have a major impact on restoring U.S. competitiveness through internal steps such as training and improving opportunities and compensation for lower-income employees. Companies must also step up their role to enhance the business environment in their communities by investing in workforce skills, supporting public education, restoring a local supplier base, and participating in collaborative economic development programs in their regions. We find growing evidence that company attitudes toward investing in competitiveness are improving and this is a welcome development. There are more and more innovative programs underway by business in skills, education, and other areas critical to competitiveness.
• State and local governments must also play a crucial role in improving the business environment, because many of the crucial drivers of competitiveness are local. States and cities need a clear strategy for competitiveness rather than isolated initiatives, and government leaders should foster cross-sector collaborations among local business leaders and other community stakeholders.
• At the state and local level, the Project has found many examples of innovative steps to enhance competitiveness. Mayors, governors, nonprofit leaders, educators, and businesses are working together in new ways to build workforce skills, invigorate the local education system, upgrade infrastructure, improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and develop regional economic strategies. Cities and states across America are moving forward toward competitiveness, but more can be done and best practices need to be shared.
(… 市長、知事、非営利団体リーダー、教育者、ビジネスは、労働力のスキルを創り上げ、地域の教育システムを活気付け、起業的なエコシステムを改善し地方の経済戦略を策定する新しい手法において協働している。…)

[Chapter 5] An economic strategy for Washington
• Efforts by business and state and local government to restore competitiveness cannot deliver their full promise if the federal government does not act. Many of the major weaknesses facing the U.S. are in areas controlled by the federal government.
• In 2012, we put forward an Eight-Point Plan of federal policy priorities that would unlock U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. The Eight-Point Plan consists of the following policy recommendations: simplify the corporate tax code with lower statutory rates and no loopholes; move to a territorial tax system like all other leading nations’; ease the immigration of highly-skilled individuals; aggressively address distortions and abuses in the international trading system; improve logistics, communications, and energy infrastructure; simplify and streamline regulation; create a sustainable federal budget, including reform of entitlements; and responsibly develop America’s unconventional energy advantage.
• Each of these areas represents compelling U.S. weaknesses, primarily controlled by the federal government, that can have the most significant and near-term impact on the U.S. economy. There is also wide consensus on the policy change needed to make progress in each area. There are two other crucial U.S. weaknesses, public education and health care, but these are in fields controlled heavily at the state and local levels with no clear consensus yet on solutions.
• Progress on even some of these eight priorities would transform the trajectory of the U.S. economy and the economic prospects of all Americans.
• A strong majority of HBS alumni and HBS students support all eight priorities, with consensus across all political affiliations. When asked in open-ended questions about which priorities alumni felt were most important for federal economic policy, alumni identify virtually the same priorities as those in the Eight-Point Plan. Alumni also mention education, health care, and the political system.
• In the general public survey, there was net positive support for seven of the eight priorities, with a tie on territorial taxes. Public support tended to be somewhat weaker, reflecting the fact that many in the public could neither agree nor disagree, or did not know, whether the eight priorities were good or bad for the economy. Divisive political rhetoric and an uninformed national debate have confused the average American about what the country needs to do to restore the economy. This confusion is a serious obstacle to America’s ability to make progress.
• Despite strong bipartisan support in business and net public support for the Eight-Point Plan, Washington has made very little or no progress on any of these federal economic priorities for well over a decade. The current presidential election is showing no signs of advancing a coherent plan to address these areas.

[Chapter 6] Achieving tax reform
• We believe tax reform is the single area with the greatest potential for immediate impact on the economy and is long overdue given changes in the global economy. Corporate tax policy has become a key obstacle to U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, and reforming both corporate and personal taxation is essential to achieving a sustainable federal budget.
• Good tax policy should be guided by the goals of increasing economic efficiency, achieving greater equity, and reducing complexity. The forces of globalization have amplified the inefficiencies and complexities of the current tax system and demand that reform make the U.S. less of an outlier in key tax policy areas – particularly corporate tax policy. Efforts to reduce the negative effects of globalization should be focused on improving competitiveness, for instance, by upgrading the skills of workers threatened by offshoring, rather than on ill-targeted tax policies.
• The top corporate tax problems, according to the surveyed business leaders, are the high corporate tax rate and the taxation of international income. Business leaders report overwhelming and bipartisan support (over 95%) for corporate tax reform. Consensus corporate tax reforms include reducing the statutory rate by at least 10 percentage points, moving to a territorial tax regime, and limiting the tax-free treatment of pass-through entities for business income. The transition to a territorial regime should be complete, not half-hearted via the inclusion of an alternative minimum tax on foreign income. The feasibility of corporate tax reform is promising given the broad consensus on the nature of the problem and the required direction for reform.
• Comprehensive reform of personal taxes will be more challenging. There is less support for many types of personal tax reform. However, there is broad support for instituting a minimum tax on incomes above $1,000,000. Increasing the tax rate on savings; eliminating the deductibility of charitable giving, state and local taxes, and mortgage interest; and taxing employer-provided health insurance did not receive majority support. Respondents support limitations on deductions and exemptions in general but react strongly against them when specific examples are provided.
• Carbon, not consumption, taxes are the best step forward. Carbon taxes are remarkably popular both as a separate revenue raiser and as part of a structural, revenue-neutral reform. In contrast, consumption taxes are quite unpopular and elicit the most spirited commentary, positive and negative, from our alumni. Several recently-proposed new ideas also receive support, including taxing non-C corporation business income, raising the cap on income subject to the payroll tax, and allowing for the deductibility of dividends at the corporate level.
• HBS alumni also strongly support spending reductions as a means to fiscal stability. Nearly one-third chose not only reduced spending, but also reduced taxation. MBA students are much more accepting of tax increases and less supportive of spending cuts.
• To achieve the right kinds of tax reform, leaders must begin to speak more realistically about the fiscal realities America faces. In addition, simplistic, polarizing, and protectionist rhetoric must be avoided. The time for tax reform is long overdue.
• Tax reform can also contribute directly to shared prosperity. The earned income tax credit (EITC) is probably the single most important innovation on the personal tax side over the last two decades. Simplification and expansion of the EITC is a promising direction for reform.

[Chapter 7] A failing political system
• The U.S. political system was once the envy of many nations. Over the last two decades, however, it has become our greatest liability. Americans no longer trust their political leaders, and political polarization has increased dramatically. Americans are increasingly frustrated with the U.S. political system. Independents now account for 42% of Americans, a greater percentage than that of either major party.
• The political system is no longer delivering good results for the average American. Numerous indicators point to failure to compromise and deliver practical solutions to the nation’s problems. Political polarization has especially made it harder to build consensus on sensible economic policies that address key U.S. weaknesses. It is at the root of our inability to progress on the consensus Eight-Point Plan.
• A large majority of HBS alumni believe the political system is obstructing U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. Many alumni who self-identified as Democrat or Republican blame the other party, but a sizable proportion also hold their own party responsible.
• Among the general public, many believe that the political system is obstructing economic progress. However, many Americans are unsure, which we attribute to the divisive and partisan dialog on the economy which has confused the public on many issues.
• There is strong support for political reform among surveyed alumni. Of six common proposals for political system reform, a strong majority of HBS alumni support five. The most supported reforms are gerrymandering reform and campaign finance reform.
• Among the general public, the top two political reforms supported are term limits for the House and Senate and campaign finance reform. However, a large percentage of the general public are unsure about which reforms they favor.
• Overall, we believe that dysfunction in America’s political system is now the single most important challenge to U.S. economic progress. Many Americans are keenly aware that the system is broken, but are unsure why it is broken or how to fix it. While there is rising frustration with politics, there is, as yet, no framework for understanding the reasons for today’s poor performance and proposing effective solutions. Identifying such a framework, and the set of reforms that can change the trajectory of our political system, has become a crucial priority.
(… 政治システムが壊れている、と多くのアメリカ人が痛切に感じているが、何故壊れているかどうやって直せるかは分かっていない。政治への不満は高まっているが、今日の貧弱な成果の理由を理解し効果的な解決策を提案する仕組みは無い。…)

“The Creation and Destruction of Value” 価値の創造と破壊 Vol.11

(All the below links are in English.)

Vol.11 パワーポリティクスの重要性(第5章-1)


Neo-Liberal Small States and Economic Crisis: Lessons for Democratic Corporatism (PDF) | BALDUR THORHALLSSON @uni_iceland & RAINER KATTEL @rainerkattel @TallinnTech
The Political Economy of Social Pacts: ‘Competitive Corporatism’ and European Welfare Reform | MARTIN RHODES @OxUniPress

ツイッター paper.li Vol.8

All the below links are in English.

弊社ツイッターアカウントの一つ @WSjp_insight のRTによる paper.li 掲載記事4件を貼っておきます。

National raw materials agreement to foster circular economy by 2050 | @MinInfraEnvirNL

Rising Irish property prices threaten stability, @OECD warns | @IrishTimes @BRegsBlog

3 Unexpected Fish Species Found in the Inland Bays | @DEInlandBays

Sen. President Sweeney calls Christie’s tax deal nix with Pa. ‘horrible’ | @Trentonian

Canada カナダ Vol.4

(All the below links are in English.)

Household Indebtedness and Financial Vulnerability (PDF, 19 January 2016) | @PBO_DPB 国民家計の負債と金銭的脆弱性 | カナダ連邦議会予算官(Parliamentary Budget Officer)本文抜粋・一部抄訳です。

Executive Summary 〔抜粋excerpts〕

The indebtedness of Canadian households continues to trend higher. In the third quarter of 2015, total household debt (i.e., credit market debt plus trade payables) reached 171 per cent of disposable income. In other words, for every $100 of disposable income, households had debt obligations of $171. This is the highest level recorded since 1990.
• Among G7 countries, Canada has experienced the largest increase in household debt relative to income since 2000. Households in Canada have become more indebted than any other G7 country over recent history.
• Measured relative to household assets, household debt has moderated in recent years. In the third quarter of 2015, household debt accounted for 17.0 per cent of household assets. But this was still above the average of 15.4 per cent prior to the global financial crisis.
• Analysis conducted at the Bank of Canada suggests that low interest rates, higher house prices and financial innovation have contributed to the increase in household indebtedness.
…  see Summary Figure 1 (Household debt service ratios)
Based on PBO’s November 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, we project that household debt will continue to rise, reaching 174 per cent of disposable income in late 2016, before returning close to current levels by the end of 2020.
Household debt-servicing capacity will become stretched further as interest rates rise to “normal” levels over the next five years. By the end of 2020, the total household DSR, that is principal plus interest, is projected to increase from 14.1 per cent of disposable income in the third quarter of 2015 to 15.9 per cent.
(家計負債は増え続け、2016年の終盤には可処分所得の174%に達し、2020年末までに今のレベルに近付くであろうというのが、2015年経済金融概観に基づく議会予算官の予測である。次の5年に亘って金利が”通常”のものになるにつれ、金利支払い(service)も引っ張られて伸びるだろう。2020年末には家計のDSR(debt service ratio: see 本文4.)は2015年第3四半期の対可処分所得比14.1%から15.9%に増える見通しである。)

Based on PBO’s projection, the financial vulnerability of the average household would rise to levels beyond historical experience.
• The projected increase in the total DSR to 15.9 per cent would be 3.1 percentage points above the long-term historical average of 12.8 per cent (from 1990Q1 to 2015Q3). It would also be almost one full percentage point above its highest level over the past 25 years, 14.9 per cent, which was reached in 2007Q4.

1. Introduction
Section 2 examines trends in household indebtedness since the early 1990s. Section 3 incorporates household assets into the analysis and examines the evolution of household debt relative to assets. Section 4 presents and discusses trends in household debt-servicing capacity. The concluding Section 5 presents a medium-term outlook for household debt and debt-servicing capacity based on PBO’s November 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

2. Household Debt
Statistics Canada identifies four major sources of household debt:
1. mortgages,
2. consumer credit,
3. non-mortgage loans and
4. trade accounts payable.
Mortgages are loans for the purchase of homes. Consumer credit includes loans for the purchase of consumer goods and other personal services, for example, a car loan or credit card debt. Non-mortgage loans are loans not intended for the purchase of consumer goods or personal services, for example, a loan to purchase securities. Finally, trade payables are short-term credit received in the ordinary course of business by suppliers of business goods and services.
Since 1991, household debt has increased each quarter, on average, by almost 7 per cent on a year-over-year basis, with the sharpest acceleration occurring over 2002 to 2008 (Figure 2-1: The evolution of household debt). In the third quarter of 2015, household debt amounted to $1.9 trillion.
Over the past 25 years, the proportional breakdown of debt has remained broadly stable. On average, mortgages have represented about 63 per cent of households’ total financial obligations; consumer credit, 29 per cent; and non-mortgage loans and trade accounts payable, 8 per cent.

Over the past 25 years, total household debt obligations relative to disposable income have almost doubled (Figure 2-2: Household debt relative to disposable income).

As interest rates have fallen, the demand for mortgage credit has increased, stimulating both house prices and household debt. The effective household borrowing rate has declined from 6.7 per cent in January 1999 to 3.1 per cent in December 2015 (Figure 2-3: Household borrowing rate).
Despite the increase in house prices during this period, historically-low interest rates and growth in household incomes have helped to maintain the overall affordability of mortgages close to the average level observed prior to global financial crisis (Figure 2-4: Bank of Canada index of housing affordability). Crawford and Faruqui (2012) suggested that changes to the affordability of mortgages have been a significant driver of the rise in mortgage credit since the 1990s.
Crawford and Faruqui (2012) noted that rising house prices increased total household debt levels in two ways:
1. By increasing the mortgages required for home buyers, and
2. By providing some households with more collateral for personal lines of credit (PLCs), encouraging higher consumer credit.


The upward trend in household indebtedness is reflected in the debt-to-income ratio in other G7 countries, based on statistics compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Figure 2-5: Household debt-to-income ratios in G7 countries).

3. Household assets

Total assets are divided almost evenly between financial and non-financial assets. They increased from $2.2 trillion in 1990 to $11.3 trillion (measured at market value) by the end of the third quarter of 2015 (Figure 3-1: Financial and non-financial assets of households).


Household financial assets consist of the following four broad categories:
1. life insurance and pensions,
2. equity and investment fund shares,
3. currency and deposits, and
4. other financial assets

Non-financial assets of households consist of the following four broad categories:
1. residential structures
2. land
3. consumer durables, and
4. other non-financial assets.

As a share of non-financial assets, the proportion of land and residential structures has increased since 1990 (Figure 3-2: Composition of household assets).

An increase in the debt-to-asset ratio indicates that households are becoming more leveraged. Figure 3-3 (Household debt relative to household assets) shows the evolution of the debt-to-asset ratio over time. Since 1990, this measure has fluctuated between 14 per cent and 19 per cent.

4. Debt-Servicing Capacity
Households that are required to devote a substantial portion of their disposable income to service their debts are vulnerable to negative income and interest rate shocks, and are more likely to be delinquent in their debt payments. Financial vulnerability is typically assessed by examining a household’s debt service ratio (DSR). Debt service ratio = Obligated debt payments / Disposable income

While the interest-only DSR has trended downward since 1990, the total DSR remained relatively stable over 1990 to 2004 but then increased sharply through 2007 (Figure 4-1: Household debt service ratios).

5. Medium-Term Outlook
In PBO’s November 2015 outlook, the target for the overnight rate was projected to increase from its current level of 0.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent by the end of 2020; similarly the 10-year benchmark bond rate was projected to increase from 1.5 percent to 4.5 per cent over the same period (Figure 5-1: Interest rates).

Although Statistics Canada does not provide series for the remaining amortization periods, we can use the above relationship to calculate an implicit estimate that is consistent with the observed total DSR, the historical
effective interest rate and the debt-to-income ratio data (Figure 5-2: Implicit remaining amortization periods).

Based on PBO’s November 2015 outlook, household debt is projected to increase from 171 per cent of disposable income in the third quarter of 2015 to a high of 174 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 (Figure 5-3: Household debt relative to disposable income). The projected increase reflects continued gains in real house prices.
However, as the Bank of Canada raises its target for the overnight rate, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016, short- and long-term interest rates rise steadily. At the same time, real house price gains are projected to moderate. As a consequence, household debt relative to income is projected to decline gradually, falling to just below its current level; in 2020, it would average 169 per cent.

PBO projects that household debt-servicing capacity will be stretched further over the medium term as interest rates return to more normal levels. The total household DSR is projected to increase from 14.1 per cent to 15.9 per cent (Figure 5-4: Household debt service ratios = same as Summary Figure 1).
Unlike the benchmarks used by financial institutions for assessing an individual household’s financial vulnerability, a threshold for the economy-wide debt service ratio does not exist. However, to gauge the vulnerability at the aggregate level, it can be informative to compare the projected results for the total DSR to historical experience.


A dash of data: Spotlight on Canadian households | #OECDInsights (カナダ国民の家計 | OECD)

National balance sheet and financial flow accounts, first quarter 2016(w PDF, June 14, 2016) | @StatCan_eng (2016年第1四半期の国家貸借対照表及び国家ファイナンシャルフロー計算書 | カナダ連邦統計局)

ツイッター paper.li Vol.7

All the below links are in English.

弊社ツイッターアカウントの一つ @WSjp_insight のRTによる paper.li 掲載記事6件を貼っておきます。

Seattle’s Icicle Seafoods to be sold to Canadian aquaculture giant | @seattletimes

WSjp Australia Vol.4: @RBAInfo Bulletin June Quarter 2016 – Household Wealth, Manufacturing

Australia has moved 1.5 metres in 20 years and GPS can’t keep up | @keithbreene @wef

Melbourne researchers say they’ve developed a method of growing & implanting cornea cells | @abcnewsMelb

Why London won’t lose its crown as Europe’s financial capital | @CapX

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States | @SelectUSA

“The Creation and Destruction of Value” 価値の創造と破壊 Vol.10

(All the below links are in English.)

Vol.10 金融革命の度合と限界(第4章-3)

 銀行規制は国内市場では比較的機能するが、国境を跨ぐ複雑な取引に対しては相当難しくなる。“too big to fail”となる大規模かつ複雑な構造の銀行が誕生しないように規制をかける必要があった。また、過度の成長と技術革新から生じた危機への対処法は逆説的に更なる技術の発展にある、と銀行の問題についても言える。技術革新により少ない雇用で多くの市場参加者が生じ、生産性が上がりマクロ経済の脆弱性は下がる。

2005 Bankruptcy Act impacted repos and housing bubble | Mary Fricker, RepoWatch
Banks’ Off-Balance-Sheet Risks Come Under Basel Scrutiny | Jim Brunsden @business
Bank Size and Systemic Risk (PDF) | Luc Laeven, Lev Ratnovski, and Hui Tong @IMFNews
We will put people first, not bankers | Gordon Brown @guardian
Why the French said “non”: Creditor-debtor politics and the German financial crises of 1930 and 1931 (PDF) | Simon Banholzer & Tobias Straumann
Preventing Transboundary Crises: The Management and Regulation of Setbacks (PDF) | Emery Roe @CalStateEastBay
Changes may hurt as much as crisis | Harold James @FinancialNews

ツイッター paper.li Vol.6

All the below links are in English.

弊社ツイッターアカウントの一つ @WSjp_insight のRTによる paper.li 掲載記事5件を貼っておきます。

@RBAInfo Bulletin June Quarter 2016 | @WSjp_insight

A new trade commission has warned the UK to treat China with “kid gloves”, and focus on attempts to secure deals with countries with “similar values” | @MkSands @CityAM

Spain’s Northern Coast by Private Rail | @ffdunlop @NatGeo

LifeSciences grant: 2016 Laureates #iGEM | @FranceScience

Franz Ferdinand, Whose Assassination Sparked a World War | @DSlotnik @nytimesworld

U.K. イギリス Vol.9(Brexit Vol.8: Japan’s Message to UK & EU 日本要望書)

(The below two links are in English, and the last one in Japanese.)

さて、当サイトでも今後、随時、Brexit につき情報をアップして参ります。
本日は、@ChathamHouse 関係の記事 Japan Lays Out a Guide to Brexit (6 September 2016) | Sir David Warren @CHAsiaProg(’日本がイギリスEU離脱の手引きを示す’)本文と抄訳をご紹介します。

– Britain would do well to embrace Tokyo’s constructive criticism as it prepares for life outside the EU.(EU域外での生き方を準備している日本の建設的な批判を、イギリスは包み込んで受け容れてうまくやっていける)

The Japanese government paper on the implications of Brexit released on 2 September has been described in the UK media as an ‘unprecedented’ and ‘dire’ warning, a ‘stark’ threat, and dismissed as ‘doom-mongering’. In reality, it is a carefully-argued and very detailed analysis of the areas of Brexit-related concern to the thousands of Japanese companies in the UK, and those aspects of the current business environment that they want to preserve in the forthcoming negotiations. Setting out the Japanese stall in this way risks annoying British negotiators with the responsibility of finding their way through the minefield of agreeing the terms of Britain’s divorce from Europe. But the Japanese analysis, used constructively, is an important guide to what really matters in ensuring that a post-Brexit UK is not only ‘open for business’, but a country that the world’s major investors want to do business with.
(9月2日に公表されたイギリスEU離脱に係る日本政府の要望書(下記参考英文)は、’前代未聞’で’切迫した’警告であり’正真正銘’の脅しであるとイギリスのメディアでは伝えられており、’恐怖を利用した’と切り捨てられている。しかし、日本の要望書は、イギリスEU離脱に係るイギリス国内の千単位の日本企業にとっての懸念について、また、今後の離脱交渉において日本企業にとって維持されたい現在の企業活動環境について、注意深く議論されまた非常に詳細に分析したものである。… 建設的に使えば、離脱後のイギリスが’企業活動にとって動き易い’のみならず世界の主な投資者が企業活動をしたい国であることを確保するのに真に問題となる事柄についての重要な手引きである。)

The paper is couched in terms of cooperation and partnership. Japanese inward investment into the UK has been one of the major industrial success stories of the last 40 years, with the 1984 decision of Nissan to build its car plant at Sunderland the turning point. The Japanese government and Japanese companies want to preserve this post-Brexit. But that means keeping radical changes to the current environment that might emerge from the Brexit talks to a minimum. Specifically, the Japanese want, among other things, to maintain current tariff rates and customs procedures, access to skills (including from within the EU), the current provision of financial services (50 per cent of the value of British manufactured goods is accounted for by services), the current arrangements for information protection and data exchange, unified intellectual property protection, harmonized standards and regulations, and access to the EU R&D budget and joint programmes. These requests are aimed at EU negotiators as well as at the UK. A 10-page annex goes into even more detail, sector by sector.
(… とりわけ日本が望むのは、関税率、税関手続き、EU域内も含めた人材へのアクセス、金融サービス条項、情報保護及び… →下記参考(日本語PDF3頁等)をご覧ください

The context of these requests is not just concern about Brexit. The paper makes clear that leading the free-trade system remains a responsibility shared by Japan, the UK and the EU. The Japanese government are nervously watching the US presidential election, with Donald Trump openly adopting a protectionist line and Hillary Clinton now opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal; they will also have been concerned at suggestions from European politicians that the US−EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) may fail. Hence their statement – echoed by President Obama at the G20 in Hangzhou in his remarks on TTIP – that the priority must be to finalize the EU−Japan Economic Partnership Agreement this year. A post-Brexit UK−EU relationship that erects protectionist walls would, in Japan’s view, be a disaster for everyone.  The arguments in the paper are about preserving the health of the global economy.

And Japan calls for early clarity and transparency on the difficult issues.  The paper argues that uncertainty causes volatility, and warns against the negotiating process producing ‘unpleasant surprises’. This advice may be unwelcome to UK politicians and negotiators who have to work out how to trade off being part of the single market with the need to restrict freedom of movement.   This is a political dilemma that needs to be unravelled slowly; Britain’s economic partners’ need for early clarity runs directly counter to the politics which Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet have to manage over the coming months.

The paper observes that ‘Japan respects the will of the British people as demonstrated in the referendum’ and express confidence that ‘the UK and the EU will overcome . . . difficulties and lay the foundations for the creation of a new Europe’. Nonetheless, the menu of requests is challenging and almost certainly impossible to fulfil in its entirety, if, as the prime minister has said, ‘Brexit means Brexit’. But it is a guide to what foreign businesses, attracted to the UK by successive governments with the promise of being inside the single market in an EU member state committed to further trade liberalization, want from the new arrangements. 
(要望書では、’日本はイギリス国民の投票の意思を尊重する’と述べられ、また … にもかかわらず … しかし、これは、外国企業がイギリスの今後の交渉過程において整えてもらいたいことに係る手引きなのである。…)

In that sense, it should also lift the level of current discussion on trade and investment relations away from the zero-sum political arguments during the referendum campaign – ‘being part of Europe’ versus ‘free trade agreements with the rest of the world’.  Japan is saying, very clearly, that it is not an either/or choice. If the UK is to remain one of the world’s largest and most powerful economies – which, however much it is talked down in Britain, it still is – it is going to have to have a relationship with the EU that attracts foreign investors. After all, as the paper also makes clear, they have a choice where to invest. It does not have to be the UK.

Japan’s Message to the United Kingdom and the European Union (PDF)

Australia オーストラリア Vol.4

(All the below links are in English.)

オーストラリア中央銀行 Reserve Bank of Australia の 2016年第2四半期 Bulletin June Quarter 2016 | @RBAInfo をご紹介します。

1. Household Wealth in Australia: Evidence from the 2014 HILDA Survey | Paul Ryan and Tahlee Stone(オーストラリア国民の家計の財産状態)

This article uses data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey* to assess how the distribution of wealth changed for Australian households between 2010 and 2014. Average household wealth increased modestly over that period, driven mainly by growth in the value of financial assets, most notably superannuation. The growth of housing wealth was slow in comparison, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia. While most of the changes in wealth were broadly based across households, wealth increased more rapidly for those residing in New South Wales and for retired households with large holdings of superannuation and equity assets.
** Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA)
*** Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Income and Housing (SIH)

… As the general distribution of household wealth (i.e. total assets minus total debts) across, these categories is broadly the same in 2014 as it was in 2010, this article focuses on how the distribution of housing assets (including investment properties), non-housing assets (predominately superannuation) and household debt have changed between 2010 and 2014.
The HILDA Survey* data suggest that the average Australian household had total wealth of around $740 000 in 2014. Measures of real (inflation adjusted) wealth per household from the HILDA Survey grew a little less over the decade to 2014 than measures based on household-level data from the SIH*** and distributional wealth indicators from the ABS that are consistent with aggregate data from the ASNA** (Graph 1).
Looking at the cross-sectional distribution of household wealth, older and higher-income households tend to have higher levels of wealth (Graph 2). …

Household Wealth
Overall, almost 60 per cent of households in the HILDA Survey had more real wealth in 2014 than was the case in 2010. Households with the lowest levels of wealth in 2010 saw the most growth of wealth over the four years to 2014 (Graph 3). This partly reflects the fact that low-wealth households are generally young and are just starting to build wealth. …

… most of the increase in wealth over the 2010–14 period came from growth in the value of non-housing assets, which are predominantly financial assets such as superannuation, equities and deposits (Graph 4). …

… Households in New South Wales and Victoria saw the largest increase in wealth, with growth in both housing and non-housing assets, while households in Queensland and Western Australia saw the biggest decrease in wealth, on average, mainly owing to a fall in the value of housing assets. The other states and territories generally saw relatively little growth in wealth over the period. The outcomes for households in Queensland and Western Australia are likely to have been influenced by the decline in commodity prices and the mining investment boom following the peak, which occurred between 2010 and 2014. …

Housing Assets
Housing is the largest asset class on Australian households’ balance sheets, accounting for around 60 per cent of total assets. Over any given period, growth in housing assets can be due to a change in housing prices or a change in the stock of housing held by Australian households. …Looking more closely across the states reveals large differences in the mean and median values of housing assets (Graph 5). …

… the share of households that either became home owners for the first time or upgraded their main residence decreased relative to the 2006–10 period (Graph 6). …Households in New South Wales and Victoria were slightly more likely to increase their holdings of other property than was the case from 2006 to 2010.

Household Debt
… High-income households hold the majority of debt. The top income quintile held almost 50 per cent of the stock of household debt in 2014. Almost a third of households held no debt, with the majority of these being retired households.
Over the four years to 2014, about 40 per cent of households increased their levels of nominal debt, while a similar share of households reduced their holdings of debt (Graph 7). …

Property debt accounted for a little over 80 per cent of the stock of debt held by households in 2014. Average debt increased modestly from 2010 to 2014, by a little more than 2 per cent per year (Graph 8). …

Non-housing Assets
… The mean value of real non-housing assets increased from around $320,000 in 2010 to almost $400,000 in 2014 (Graph 9). … Wealthier households held a higher-than-average share of assets in the form of direct equity holdings and business assets, while households with lower net wealth held more in cash and deposits, superannuation and durable goods (Graph 9).

The mean superannuation balance grew by around 4 per cent per annum in real terms for all households over the period to $250,000 in 2014 (Graph 10). … The noticeably stronger growth in median superannuation assets relative to the mean for households aged 45 to 64 years suggests that the ‘typical’ (or median) household in these age groups are building up superannuation assets faster in the lead-up to retirement than the households in the same age group with the largest balances of superannuation (Graph 10).

… The main driver of growth in household wealth over that period was an increase in the value of financial assets, mostly superannuation assets. Weaker growth in housing wealth, with declines in Queensland and Western Australia, contributed to the slower growth in total wealth from 2010–14. …

2. Conditions in the Manufacturing Sector | Sean Langcake(製造業界の現状)

Manufacturing output and employment have fallen steadily as a share of the Australian economy for the past three decades. This article looks at the composition of the sector and draws on the Reserve Bank’s liaison with manufacturers to provide an insight into some of their responses to the structural challenges in recent years. According to liaison, the increase in the supply of manufactured goods from low-cost sources abroad, exacerbated by the appreciation of the Australian dollar during the period of rising commodity prices, impaired the viability of many domestic manufacturers and precipitated the closure of some manufacturing production over the past decade. While the recent exchange rate depreciation has helped to improve competitiveness of Australian producers, so far there is only limited evidence of a recovery in manufacturing output and investment.

… It currently accounts for around 7 per cent of total output and employment. … over the 2000s, strong Asian demand for Australian commodities led to a sharp increase in the terms of trade and an appreciation of the Australian dollar. …

Manufacturing in Australia
Manufacturing output increased steadily throughout most of the 1990s before plateauing in the early 2000s; output today is around the same level it was just over a decade ago (Graph 1). … Over the past two decades, the Australian economy as a whole has grown considerably, resulting in a marked decline in manufacturing output as a share of total output. Employment in manufacturing has also declined over the past two decades, with growth in labour productivity in line with that of the economy as a whole. …
…investment in the manufacturing sector has also fallen steadily since its peak in 2005/06 (Graph 1). …

Australia’s manufacturing sector is quite diverse and is comprised of several sub-industries, the largest being: food, beverage & tobacco; machinery & equipment; petroleum, coal & chemicals; and metal products (Graph 2). …

The food, beverage & tobacco and metal products sub-industries both rely heavily on inputs from primary industries (agriculture and mining) where Australia has an abundant supply, and use a relatively low share of intermediate components that are imported. …
Conversely, the machinery & equipment and petroleum, coal & chemicals sub-industries use relatively few inputs from primary industries in Australia and have a relatively high share of imported intermediate components. …

The International Context
Over the past 25 years, most advanced economies have seen their manufacturing sectors recede as a share of both output and employment, although Australia has generally had a lower share than many other advanced economies (Graph 3).

The ratio of value added to total production in the Australian manufacturing sector is broadly comparable to that in other advanced economies’ manufacturing industries (Table 2). Relative to other Australian industries, manufacturing is a low value-added sector; the ratio of value-added to total production (29 per cent) is the lowest of any industry. …

… The steady increase in China’s share of Australia’s merchandise imports has coincided with a fall in the prices of imported manufactured goods relative to domestic production (Graph 4).

The Australian Dollar and Implications for Competitiveness
The appreciation of the Australian dollar from 2000 to 2013 worked against the international competitiveness of Australian manufacturing (Graph 4). Exports of Australian manufactured goods grew slowly over this period as they became relatively more expensive overseas (Graph 5). …

… Typically, contacts maintain some productive capacity in Australia, either as a testing or research and development (R&D) facility, to protect their more sensitive intellectual property, or to be able to fill orders more quickly. Nevertheless, firms that have ‘offshored’ production typically have much less productive capacity remaining in Australia than their overseas operations. …
…there are significant lags between a depreciation of the dollar and a response in manufacturing production and exports due to the nature of supply chains. For instance, even though domestic producers have become more competitive against imported products, retailers or other manufacturers may have contracts that secure supply in advance, which inhibits their ability to switch to domestically produced products. …
…they responded to the appreciation of the dollar by importing more goods, either by choice or necessity as production of some inputs had moved offshore. … while the lower value of the dollar aids demand, margins are under pressure due to rising import costs in instances where local substitutes are not readily available.

Domestic Input Costs and Implications for International Competitiveness
… Australian manufacturing labour costs appear to be relatively high compared with those in other economies – a feature that has become more pronounced over time (Graph 6). …

…firms have been looking to find labour productivity gains by automating some production processes. They have also been developing new products to diversify their offering. These shifts are borne out in the nature of firms’ investments; increasingly, manufacturers are investing in intellectual property rather than physical capital (Graph 7). …

…foreign-owned manufacturing firms operating in Australia are more willing to invest in R&D than physical capital in their Australian subsidiaries, although it is difficult to quantify what share of manufacturing activity is accounted for by these firms. …

Difficulties Integrating in Supply Chains
…other economies have responded to pressure from cheaper, imported manufactured goods by integrating themselves more effectively into increasingly fragmented global supply chains. … Australia’s geographic isolation contributes to high trade costs and presents a significant impediment to greater participation in global supply chains. …the costs of trading Australia’s manufactured goods – largely international transport costs – are in the order of 20–25 per cent higher than the global average. … only 4 per cent of manufacturing firms are part of an integrated supply chain.
…Australia’s relatively high trade costs leave domestic producers primarily exposed to the relatively small domestic market and unable to benefit from the scale advantages that other advanced economies achieve through production for larger domestic markets and export markets. …around 45 per cent of the difference between US and Australian non-farm labour productivity levels can be explained by Australia’s geographic isolation. High trade costs may also protect less productive domestic firms from import competition, although this protection is likely to have been eroded through time by lower international search and transaction costs. …

Conclusion( )内は抄訳
The depreciation of the Australian dollar over recent years has helped to improve the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing. Additionally, there is likely to be a steady level of activity in the food, beverages & tobacco sub-industry due to Australia’s comparative advantage in primary resources and growing export demand. Against this, softer demand from the mining sector and the cessation of passenger vehicle production will weigh on output, although motor vehicle and transport equipment production currently makes up only around 5 per cent of manufacturing output.
In the longer term, the structural challenges facing the Australian manufacturing sector are likely to constrain output. Declining global prices for manufactured goods and the sustained high level of the Australian dollar during the resource investment boom impaired the viability of many Australian manufacturers and precipitated considerable structural change in the sector, with numerous manufacturers either closing or shifting production to lower-cost economies. R&D operations are one area where Australia’s cost disadvantages are less of an impediment and our highly skilled workforce is a comparative advantage. Although R&D investment has been growing steadily, the subsequent demand for labour and, in particular, physical capital are likely to be less than was generated by ‘traditional’ manufacturing activities.

Crisis Management 危機管理 Vol.1

(All the below links are in English.)

9月1日は、日本では防災の日(参考 Preparing for Disaster a Part of Japanese Life | Richard Medhurst @nippon_en)です。防災・危機管理の訓練を各組織で行うのが通例です。地球気候変動による自然災害の増加に加え、事故や事件が減ることも無い上、国際情勢の流動性・連動性により国家安全保障事案も増え、ますます平時より不測の事態に備えるしかありません。



Japan 日本
Olympic task: Tokyo is already in crisis management mode for 2020 Games (Sep 1) | Justin McCurry @EYnews @guardian
With four years to go, Tokyo wants to ensure its Olympic Games will be protected against both cyber-attacks and earthquakes
~ Preparing for natural disasters
~ The threat from cyberspace
~ Towards sustainability

Natural disasters 自然災害
Five Key Points from the 2016 World Risk Report (Aug 26) | Caitlin Werrell & Francesco Femia; @CntrClimSec @UNUEHS
~ Fact 1: Disasters and disaster risk are on the rise worldwide
~ Fact 2: There is no such thing as a natural disaster
~ Fact 3: Infrastructure is a key risk factor
~ Fact 4: Infrastructure alone is not enough, it must also be maintained and managed correctly
~ Fact 5: Southeast Asia, Central America, Oceania and the Southern Sahel are consistently disaster risk hotspots

National security 国家安全保障
Vietnamese president says there will be no winners if countries war over South China Sea: Tran Dai Quang said the “recent worrying developments” in the disputed waters is threatening regional security. (Aug30) | Nandini Krishnamoorthy ‏@IBTimes @AssociatedRisks

Violence 銃事件
American University attack: at least 12 dead and 44 injured in Afghanistan- Students in Kabul were trapped in classrooms amid explosions and automatic gunfire as militants attacked the university (Aug 25) | Sune Engel Rasmussen @guardian @ScholarsAtRisk

Terrorism テロリズム
Terrorism and political violence guide (Aug 16) | @StrategicRISK

Oil production エネルギー安全保障
3 reasons why an OPEC production cap is still unlikely (Aug 14) | Jon Lang @risk_insights

Economic stability 経済の安定
economic rebalancing and reforming the IMF: The former Bank of England governor discusses Brexit, radical regulatory reform, the difficulties rebalancing the European and global economies and an overhaul of the International Monetary Fund (Aug 24) | Christopher Jeffery @CentralBanking_ @RiskDotNet

Cables 通信回線の物理的脆弱性
Severed Communications: Businesses face risks from undersea data cable vulnerabilities. (Aug 3) | Jonathan McGoran @RiskInsurance

Cyber サイバー攻撃
Incidents in 2015 proved that executives need to get familiar with cyber-risk. Find out your company’s risk level (Feb 4) | Rob Sloan @DJCompliance @InfosecurityMag

Earthquakes 地震
Small Villages Hit Hardest by Italian Earthquake (Aug 24) | Caroline McDonald‏ @RiskMgmt

Flood 洪水
3 strategies for recovering from flood losses (Aug 22) | ROBERT W. O’BRIEN @PC_360 @RiskStrategies

Climate change 気候変動
Cities and climate change – the funding gap (Aug 26) | Cecilia Reyes @Zurich

Compliance コンプライアンス
Why Walmart’s Chemicals Disclosure Is a Smart Business Move (Jul 22) | Jessica Lyons Hardcastle @ELDaily @ComplianceRisks

Compliance コンプライアンス
Enterprise compliance retail companies: Changing requirements – Prepare for what’s around the corner | @DeloitteRisks