Global weekly news: Clinton-Trump race roils stocks and Samsung’s new woes

An election that is shaking the whole world

STOCK markets swooned and might end up in the sick bay if Donald Trump wins the election and becomes the next president of the United States but of course we will know soon enough as D-Day November 8 is just round the corner.

A clear signal of how bad things could be is that the S&P 500 ended the past week down 1.9 percent at 2,085 and over nine days it has shed 3 percent which is its longest losing spree since 1980, according to a CNBC report.

Citigroup chief US equity strategist Tobias Levkovich sees a smaller decline of about 3 to 5 percent if Trump wins.

“Let’s say he wins, the market will sell off, then we’re going to assess and say, ‘What are his policies?’ and we’ll see who coalesces around him,” said Levkovich.

Citigroup analysts expect a Trump victory would send Treasury yields higher and steepen the curve, though yields have been moving lower in a safety trade. They also expect the dollar to continue moving lower if Clinton wins, but if Trump wins there would be safe-haven flights to the yen and Swiss franc. Emerging market currencies would be vulnerable, especially the Mexican peso which moves lower when Trump is perceived to be doing well.

While the market has seemed comfortable with Clinton, it’s unclear how it will react longer term to her as president, and the FBI investigation adds a new level of uncertainty.


Top: Stocks have been under pressure as the race between Democrat Hilary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump tightened. Photo: CNBC

Lurching from disaster to disaster 

WE feel sorry for Samsung and are reminded of the worn-out idiom it never rains but pours.

Not only has the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 hit its reputation hard, and also sent its profits plunging, yesterday it was forced to recall 2.8 million washing machines in the US after the doors detached mid-wash leaving one person with a broken jaw.
samsung-galaxy-note-7-fireThe company said 34 models of top-loading machines made between March 2011 and November 2016 may be faulty.

Nine people have reported washing machine-related injuries and there have been 733 complaints of excessive vibration or detaching doors, BBC said.

The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco led to the recall of 2.5 million smartphones after customers complained this model caught fire

Samsung claimed to have fixed the problem, however, people continued to report exploding handsets, forcing the company to scrap the Note 7 altogether.


First inset: A Samsung Note 7 handset which caught fire. Photo: CNN Money

Brexit named the word of the year

WORDSMITHS the world over are probably smiling broadly at Collins Dictionary’s decision to name Brexit the word of the year.

brexit-photo“We believe that the obvious increased use of ‘Brexit’ (up 3,400 percent in 2016), its significant impact in British politics and Britain’s exit from the EU make it a word not only primed for history books but also as Collins’ Word of the Year’,” quoted Collins as explaining on its website. “It has divided the country, brought down a prime minister and been a gift to headline writers everywhere.”

We also love Trumpism, uberization and hygge which were among the 2016 shortlist and in case you don’t know this is what they mean:

Trumpism: (1) The policies advocated by the US politician Donald Trump, especially those involving a rejection of the current political establishment and the vigorous pursuit of American national interests. (2) A controversial or outrageous statement attributed to Donald Trump.

Uberization: The adoption of a business model in which services are offered on demand through direct contact between a customer and supplier, usually via mobile technology.

Hygge: A concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cozy and convivial atmospheres that promote well-being.


Second inset: Brexit is right on top of the hill as 2016’s most memorable word. Photo Ron Mader (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

An end to hand-written signature?

THE rapid speed of technology is mind-boggling for many but nevertheless we still have to keep up with significant changes with one perhaps being the possiblity of ink-pens and hand-written signatures slowly heading for the museum.

According to an in-depth BBC report, on 1 July 2016, the European Union implemented new rules for electronic signatures, giving them the same legal weight as their “wet” – or ink-based – written counterparts.

The new eIDAS (European Identity and Trust Services) regulation has effectively put an end to a confusing patchwork of laws, making them consistent across every EU country.

Although the idea of digital signature has been around for a long time, businesses have been reluctant to adopt it because there wasn’t a proper regulation in place.

Among the companies offering digital signature service is Legalesign which has just launched an online witness product, enabling business people to sign contracts by typing their name, signing with a mouse or uploading their signature.

Yet Ron Hirson, chief product officer of US-based tech firm DocuSign did admit that digital signatures lacked theater.

Winds of change may be blowing but we don’t see hand-written signatures disappearing soon.


Below: Legalesign page on laptop. Photo: Legalesign

By Nina Suebsukcharoen





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