10 Sunday Reads

My easy like Sunday morning reads: • The Future for Factor Investing May Be Different Than its Backtested Past (Alpha Architect) • Social Security Is Still Pretty Secure (Fisher Investments) • The odd reality of life under China’s all-seeing credit score system (Wired) • How Iceland became the gun-loving country with no shooting murders (NBC News) see also Gun Studies: Permit Laws…

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World trade has fought its way back to health. These tensions risk it all | Roberto Azevêdo

Even anti-trade rhetoric is enough to threaten the global recovery. Trade sanctions themselves would be disastrous

It is no small irony that as global trade grows at the healthiest clip in years, trade tensions escalate to levels not seen in decades. In 2017, trade expanded at its fastest annual pace in six years, growing 4.7%. Export growth was robust in every region of the world last year as exports in Asia grew by 10.7%, in North America by 7.3% and in Latin America by 13% – the kind of synchronised growth that we haven’t seen in a decade.

Related: Trade war? What you need to know about US steel tariffs

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Bad weather delayed a rate rise. Now the political climate’s the problem

The Bank of England is signalling that interest rates might increase. There are still good reasons to hold off

It’s early February all over again inside the Bank of England. Not that governor Mark Carney and his colleagues in Threadneedle Street are missing out on the good weather: it’s just that they are all making speeches about how they are poised, should the economic climate be conducive, to raise interest rates.

Carney wrote to the chancellor, Philip Hammond, on 8 February to say it was “appropriate to set monetary policy so that inflation returns sustainably to its target”, after previously resisting the temptation to increase rates in times of high inflation to support jobs and growth.

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