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Clyde K. Valle

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Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.


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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died aged 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Paul Allen had revealed the disease’s return only two weeks ago, after previously being treated for it in 2009.

His friend and former business partner, Bill Gates, said: “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him.”

In a statement confirming Paul Allen’s death on October 15, his sister Jody described the businessman as a “remarkable individual on every level”.

The statement said: “Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends.

“At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Paul Allen made his fortune alongside school friend Bill Gates, after they co-founded technology giant Microsoft in 1975.

He left the company in 1983 following his first diagnosis of the blood cancer Hodgkin’s disease, but recovered to become a successful venture capitalist with his media and communications investment firm, Vulcan that he set up in 1986.

Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft after 34 years

Microsoft Shares Hit All-Time High Following Focus On Cloud Computing

Paul Allen’s investment firm confirmed news of his death on October 15.

Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said in a statement: “Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal.”

Paul Allen is estimated to have donated more than $2 billion to philanthropy throughout his life including science, education and wildlife conservation causes, the Associated Press report.

He was also an avid sports fan, owning both the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team and Seattle Seahawks NFL team, who won the US SuperBowl in 2013.

In 2010, Paul Allen pledged to give the majority of his fortune to charitable causes after his death.

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Image source Max Pixel

If you’ve ever looked into the stock exchange, and considered trading in it before, then you might have found yourself asking a lot of complicated questions. Even with things like the latest StockTwits review, and industry articles to help you, learning how to trade can be a lot like learning a different language. The good news is that buying stock isn’t as complicated as you’d think. The truly challenging part is finding companies that you can rely on to deliver a consistent profit. Of course, that’s something that many people struggle with. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of success.

Leave your Emotions Behind

Perhaps the most important thing you can remember about stock trading is that it’s a logical process, not an emotional one. When you enter the investment market, make sure that you check your emotions at the door. While sometimes, your feelings, like gut instinct, can seem like a good thing in the stock market, the truth is that they often lead to bad decisions. Make sure that whether you’re buying or selling, you’re always moving in a way that makes logical sense to your long-term investment strategy. If you’re feeling overly emotional during a trading session, it might be a good idea to take a break and come back to your assets later when you’ve had some time to think about the situation rationally.

Plan for Difficult Times

Another point to keep in mind about stock trading is that it’s never going to be all smooth sailing. We’re all tempted to cut and run with certain stocks sometimes but making decisions in the heat of the moment means that you could end up buying high and selling low. That’s the last thing you want to do.

A good way to make sure that you’re prepared for those difficult times is to create a journal where you write down important information about each stock in your portfolio. Within that journal, write down why you invested in the stock, to begin with, what the right reasons for selling the stock are, and any other details that you think might be important to future decisions. When you’re not sure if you’re making the right choice about a stock, return to the journal and check it for reference.

Avoid Trading Overactivity

Finally, unless you are day trading, there’s no reason to check in on your stocks every five minutes. In fact, taking a look at your portfolio about once a quarter should be more than enough. It’s difficult not to keep an eye on your investments when you’re worried about earning money in your portfolio, but you could end up getting frustrated and impatient – which are two bad things to be in the stock market.

Additionally, make sure that when something does change with your stocks, you find out as much as you can about that change before you make any rash decisions. For instance, if one of your commodities sees a sharp price movement, find out what triggered that event. Sometimes, a change will be a sign that you need to sell fast, and other times it will just be a blip in the road.

Image source Wikipedia

The United States and Canada have reached a new trade deal, along with Mexico, replacing the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) gives the US greater access to Canada’s dairy market and allows extra imports of Canadian cars.

The deal has 34 chapters and governs more than $1 trillion in trade.

President Donald Trump, who has long sought to change NAFTA, said the new deal was “wonderful”.

Until recently it looked as if Canada could be excluded from a final trade agreement to replace NAFTA which has been in place since 1994.

The new USMCA is intended to last 16 years and be reviewed every six years.

NAFTA: Mexico Willing to Discuss Trade Deal with President-Elect Donald Trump

Following the agreement, President Trump tweeted: “Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many……”

The US has been fighting trade wars on several fronts this year, including placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada, as part of Donald Trump’s America First policy. Tariffs on cars are also threatened.

The hundreds of pages of the agreement were released on October 1 and contain updated arrangements for Canada’s dairy industry and measures aimed at shifting lower-paid car jobs from Mexico.

On dairy, US farmers will have access to 3.5% of Canada’s $16 billion-a-year dairy market.

On cars, Canada and Mexico have a quota of 2.6 million cars they can export to the US as a protection for their car industry if the US imposes a 25% global tariff on car imports.

In addition, 40% of car parts of vehicles produced in the USMCA area must be made in areas of North America, paying wages of $16/hour.

On the lumber (or wood) industry, Canada secured protection from US anti-dumping tariffs through the preservation of a dispute-settlement mechanism.

The US made a deal with Mexico in August, but relations with Canada over the trade pact had become increasingly strained in recent weeks.

The Trump administration set September 30 as a deadline for Canada to strike a deal.

A protectionist policy under the Trump administration has seen the US forge ahead with individual trade deals, rejecting bigger multi-lateral trade agreements and posing a challenge to decades of global free trade.

As part of this policy President Trump has also launched a trade war against China, which has already hurt companies and could curb global economic growth.

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Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are both leaving the company.

CEO Kevin Systrom said they were departing to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”.

Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock and has more than one billion users.

There had been reports of tension between the pair and Facebook, and the departures add to what has been a troubling year for the parent company.

Kevin Systrom, 34, and Mike Krieger, 32, the chief technical officer, started the image sharing site in 2010, and continued to run the service after it was acquired by Facebook.

They reportedly only told the Facebook leadership on September 24 so the departure appears pretty sudden.

Kevin Systrom said in a blog post: “We’re now ready for our next chapter.

“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”

Facebook admits teenagers are becoming bored with the social network turning to Snapchat and Instagram

Instagram could sell users’ photos to advertisers without notification

There was no animosity in the blog post. Kevin Systrom said the pair both remained “excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that Instagram reflected the founders’ “combined creative talents”.

“I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”

There have been reports of tension with Facebook’s leadership. Instagram’s popularity has soared in a period where use of the core Facebook product has stagnated.

This has put increased pressure on Facebook to squeeze more and more money from its users by adding new features some felt went against the Instagram app’s original focus on simplicity.

The latest Instagram product, IGTV, which allows posting of longer videos, in part to compete with YouTube, has not had an auspicious start. It was criticized this month after suggestive videos of children were recommended to its users.

Facebook has also been under intense pressure this year over the issues of safeguarding customer data and the misuse of its platforms by those wishing to spread fake news, including for political ends.

This, along with increased pressure from competitor platforms, appears to have led Mark Zuckerberg and his core executives to exert more control.

It ran counter to the business model the pair had become used to. Kevin Systrom had earlier praised the “tremendous freedom” Mark Zuckerberg had allowed since the takeover.

Image source Pixabay

The US is imposing new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

The measure will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded.

The Chinese commerce ministry responded to the move by saying it had no choice but to retaliate but is yet to detail what action it will take.

The US taxes will take effect from September 24, starting at 10% and increasing to 25% from January 1, 2019, unless the two countries agree a deal.

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

White House to Announce Sanctions against China over Theft and Transfer of Intellectual Property

President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China’s “unfair trade practices”.

He said: “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”

President Trump also warned that if China retaliated then the US would “immediately pursue phase three” and impose further tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese products.

Such a move would mean almost all of China’s exports to the US would be subject to new duties.

After opening lower, the Shanghai stock market ended the day 1.8% higher, while Tokyo was up 1.4% and Hong Kong gained 0.6%.

In July, the White House increased charges on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16 billion.

The Turkish government is banning the use of foreign currencies in the country’s property market as it looks to stem the dramatic fall of its own currency, the lira.

On September 13, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree announcing that contracts for sales, rent and leasing must in future be made in lira.

The president has previously urged people to sell their dollars and euros.

The move came as Turkey’s central bank increased interest rates sharply in an attempt to curb the tumbling lira.

The lira has lost almost a third of its value against the dollar since January.

Today’s decree, which was published in the government’s official gazette, said all current agreements in the property sector made in foreign currencies must be changed within 30 days.

Turkey to Boycott US Electronic Goods Following Punitive Sanctions

Rental and sale agreements in Turkey are often offered in euros and dollars to foreigners living in the country.

However, the property and construction market has become a concern for investors worried that Turkish companies that borrowed heavily to profit from a boom may struggle to repay loans in foreign currencies, as the weakened lira means there is now more to pay back.

In a speech to a traders’ confederation in the capital, Ankara, President Erdogan said on September 13 that nobody should carry out business in foreign currency apart from exporters and importers.

The president also criticized Turkey’s central bank, accusing it of failing to control inflation and urging it to cut interest rates just hours ahead of its announcement that it was raising rates to 24%.

He said: “As of today I have not seen the central bank fix inflation rates as they promised.”

“Interest rates are the cause, inflation is the result. If you say ‘inflation is cause, the rate is the result’, you do not know this business, friend,” the president added.

Turkey’s lira jumped sharply following news of the rate increase.

Last month, Turkey’s weak currency received a small boost after President Erdogan raised tariffs on US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

The US earlier hit Turkey with tariffs on items such as steel and aluminum in an effort to increase pressure on the country to free the detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Andrew Brunson has been held for almost two years because of his alleged links to political groups that are outlawed in Turkey, which accuses the US of trying to bring it “to its knees” over the administration’s demands.

The fall in the value of the lira in recent months has pushed up the price of everyday items in Turkey and raised fears the country is sliding into an economic crisis.

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Photo Volkswagen

German auto maker Volkswagen has gone on trial in what is the first court case against the company over the diesel scandal.

Investors are pursuing VW for about €9.2 billion in damages, claiming the company should have come clean sooner about falsifying emissions data.

Volkswagen shares crashed after disclosure in 2015 that its diesel technology emitted illegal levels of pollution.

Andreas Tilp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the court: “VW should have told the market that they cheated.”

“We believe that VW should have told the market no later than June 2008 that they could not make the technology that they needed in the United States,” he told the Braunschweig higher regional court.

Dieselgate: VW Reaches $15 Billion Settlement with US Car Owners

Dieselgate: VW Sets Emissions Scandal Provisions to €16.2 Billion

Shareholders representing 1,670 claims are seeking compensation for the near 40% slide in VW’s share price triggered by the scandal, which broke in September 2015 and has cost the company €27.4 billion in penalties and fines so far.

The legal action has been brought by the Deka investment fund, which is being used a template for a further 1,600 lawsuits.

The case involves about 50 lawyers, and interest in the hearing is so great that it had to be moved from the court house to a nearby conference centre.

The court case is expected to take at least until 2019 to be fully decided.

Former executives from VW, Porsche and their sister company Audi are under criminal investigation in Germany.

VW has already been fined €1 billion by German prosecutors over its diesel emissions scandal. It has also paid a fine of $4.3billion in the US to resolve criminal and civil penalties.

The auto maker has admitted its responsibility for the diesel crisis.

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Image source PxHere

What is time & attendance software?

At the lowest resolution time and attendance software is a system that requires employees to manually clock in and out of shifts.

Businesses use it, so they can optimize the hours their employees work and pay them more accurately.

Is it micromanaging?

It is reasonable to assume requiring workers to manually clock in and out of shifts and breaks can send the message their manager doesn’t trust them enough to report the hours they work accurately.

Some managers are hesitant to use time and attendance software because they fear their employees will resent them.

In industries like hospitality and retail where turnover is especially high managers don’t want to give their employees another reason to leave.

Ironically, it’s in these industries where workers are paid hourly where time and attendance software would prove most useful.

The fact is time and attendance software is so much more than just a system for employees to clock in and out of shifts and the successful implementation of it lies in managers making this clear to employees.

Benefits to managers

Time and attendance software ensures staff only get paid for the time they actually work, by recording when they clock in and out of shifts, thereby eliminating the guesswork and grey areas associated with using manual time sheets.

Additionally managers get real time alerts when staff are late or have not taken required breaks.

The reporting capabilities of time and attendance allow managers to see which of their employees work the most overtime and which of them are routinely late to start their shifts.

Managers also have visibility of early clock-ins and late clock-outs, instances of over & under scheduling, and which employees have taken more than their allocated breaks.

Time and attendance software provides managers with insight they can use to iron out inefficiencies in their business.

Compliance

Given managers know when their staff clock in and out, time and attendance software like OpenSimSim allows employers to set up compliance rulesets to protect their businesses and themselves from workplace legislation.

Compliance rulesets can be set up to ensure staff don’t work too much overtime, take their legally required breaks and get paid accordingly for working overtime, weekends, and public holidays.

Managers have visibility over their compliance warnings so they can stop them before they happen and stay out of legal trouble.

How employees can get in on the action

The benefits of time and attendance software are certainly not lost on employees.

As the reporting aspect of time and attendance software gives managers full visibility of their labor force in real time, employees that are punctual are more likely to be recognized and rewarded for it.

In this same way time and attendance software also guards against employees being over and under scheduled as employers will be able to see if this is the case and work to fix it.

Another foreseeable benefit to employees is the potential for data collected by time and attendance software to be used to create a resume, especially useful for people moving between jobs which require similar skills.
Time and attendance software offers detailed reports of employee punctuality and experience in a given role down to the minute.

These reports can be used by job seekers to prove their and experience and value to future employers in a concrete, verifiable way instead of relying on the vagueness and inherent unreliability of a resume like others.

Final words

There are a lot of time and attendance solutions out there and picking the right one can be tough but the benefits for employers and employees are clear.

It is however important that employees see it as welcome addition, and this can be achieved by managers taking a little time to explain to them what it is and how it will benefit the business before introducing it.

 

Image source Wikipedia

President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the US out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming the body treats the US unfairly.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Trump said: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.”

The WTO was established to provide rules for global trade and resolve disputes between countries.

Donald Trump says the organization too often rules against the US, although he concedes it has won some recent judgments.

The president claimed on Fox News earlier this year that the WTO was set up “to benefit everybody but us”, adding: “We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO.”

WTO: US violated global trade rules by imposing tariffs on products from China and India

US wins WTO ruling against China over luxury cars

However, some analysis shows the US wins about 90% when it is the complainant and loses about the same percentage when it is complained against.

President Trump’s warning about a possible US pull-out from the WTO highlights the conflict between his protectionist trade policies and the open trade system that the WTO oversees.

Washington has recently blocked the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s Geneva-based dispute settlement body, which could potentially paralyze its ability to issue judgments.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has also accused the WTO of interfering with US sovereignty.

It comes as President Trump set an August 31 deadline for Canada to sign a new agreement with the US and Mexico. He has threatened to tax Canada’s automotive sector or cut it out entirely.

Donald Trump has been sounding off about unfair trade since even before he became president.

On August 30, he said that the 1994 agreement to establish the WTO “was the single worst trade deal ever made”.

The US has been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade battle on several fronts in recent months.

The one creating the most interest is with China, as the world’s two largest economies wrangle for global influence.

President Trump has introduced tariffs on a number of goods imported into the US.

A third round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could come as soon as a public-comment period concludes next week, according to a Bloomberg report citing various sources.

Asked to confirm this during the Bloomberg interview, President Trump said that it was “not totally wrong”.

China has responded to US tariffs by imposing retaliatory taxes on the same value of US products and has filed complaints against the tariffs at the WTO.

China’s major ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing has suspended its carpool service after police said a driver raped and killed a female passenger.

A Didi Chuxing statement said the incident showed there were deficiencies in its processes, and so it would suspend its Hitch system for re-evaluation.

According to authorities, the 20-year-old woman hailed the ride on August 24 in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

A similar incident happened just months ago.

In May the company suspended and changed Didi Hitch, which pairs car owners and passengers, after a 31-year-old flight attendant died after using the service in Zhengzhou.

In the most recent incident, police said the woman got into the taxi at 1.00 PM local time and messaged a friend for help an hour later before losing contact.

Authorities detained 27-year-old driver named Zhong early on August 25, who confessed to raping and murdering his passenger, police said.

According to Didi’s statement, the body has been recovered and the investigation is ongoing.

Didi Chuxing said Zhong had no previous criminal record, but admitted there had been a previous complaint made against him.

A previous passenger allegedly said Zhong had taken them to a remote place and followed them after they left the car.

The company also fired the head and vice president of Hitch.

Didi Chuxing is the world’s largest ride-hail company by number of trips, reportedly completing more than one billion journeys in the past three years.

In 2016, Uber agreed to sell its local business to Didi after failing to make a profit.

Image source Wikimedia

Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone emergency loan program worth €61.9 billion ($70.8 billion) to tackle its debt crisis.

It was part of the biggest bailout in global financial history, totaling some €289 billion, which will take the country decades to repay.

Deeply unpopular cuts to public spending, a condition of the bailout, are set to continue.

However, for the first time in eight years, Greece can borrow at market rates.

Greece Bailout: Eurozone Ministers Agree to Release Latest Tranche

Greece Bailout: IMF and EU Reach Common Position on How to Proceed

Greece’s economy has grown slowly in recent years and is still 25% smaller than when the crisis began.

The EU’s Commissioner on Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said: “From today, Greece will be treated like any other Europe area country.”

Greece’s reforms had, Pierre Moscovici said, “laid the foundation for a sustainable recovery” but he also cautioned that its recovery was “not an event, it is a process”.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), only four countries have shrunk economically more than Greece in the past decade: Yemen, Libya, Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea.

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Image source Wikimedia

Trade shows have been around for a while. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about them, and as a result, not everyone who plans to grow a business is aware of its existence and its benefits.

Businesses who do however, have enjoyed its benefits for a long time, especially those who have nice stands in Barcelona, London, Oslo, and Paris, for example. This draws the attention of the crowd, as well as other big names in the industry you are currently trying to become a part of. In addition, it also helps to be part of the shows in large cities.

So, how does nice stands in Barcelona or London help your business?

First and foremost, you have to remember that having nice stands is not only for aesthetic purposes. It is almost necessary in order to attract, not only foot traffic, but also encourage visitors to at least stop by your stand and look around.

Quality Over Quantity

Going back, some of the benefits that trade shows have for businesses is, as mentioned above, foot traffic which potentially can generate qualified leads. These leads are essentially people who are in substantive companies that may help talk or advertise to the right people. In turn, this will lead into much needed advertising that you may have not before you participated in the conference.

In fact, having nice stands in Barcelona or any other major city may help attract much needed foot traffic. However, as long as you catch the attention of the right people, that is more than enough.

Seeing Customers Eye-to-Eye

It is a lost art in this day and age, but nothing compares having a one-on-one conversation with potential customers. This is particularly true with buying clients who encounters your product for the first time. They will have problems that you may be able to fix.

On the other hand, they may have suggestions about problems that you can use to add to a product that you have down the pipeline that is geared towards the very problem that they are trying to fix. These suggestions may make your products better, or complete your product if they are still under development.

Like any relationship, business-customer relationship is a two-way street, and coming in contact with them in person is more beneficial than having them provide suggestions over surveys or the internet.

A Good Time to Research

In line with being able to meet your buying consumers face to face, trade shows are also the best time to conduct market research in a cost-effective manner. Without this chance, companies tend to spend more in order to do so through sales calls. Having them in front you not only help cut the cost by half, but also gives you an opportunity to answer some problems that they raise immediately.

Trade shows have always given businesses the perfect opportunity to not only show off nice stands in Barcelona, or any other city. It has also given them the opportunity to conduct research and allow them to grow their business because in order to do so, all it takes is one personal encounter with your buying customers to convince them that you are a brand to look out for.

 

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced his country will boycott US electronic products, after Washington imposed punitive sanctions on Ankara.

President Erdogan said, referring to Apple and its South Korean competitor: “If [the US] has the iPhone, there’s Samsung on the other side.”

Last week, the US doubled tariffs over Turkey’s refusal to extradite US pastor Andrew Brunson who is imprisoned there.

Turkey’s weakened currency, the lira, plunged by a full 20% in response.

President Erdogan said his country was taking measures to stabilize the economy, and should not “give in to the enemy” by investing in foreign currencies.

At a news conference on August 14, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is visiting Ankara, branded the US sanctions an illegitimate policy. He accused the US of seeking an unfair competitive advantage in global trade.

Since January, the Turkish lira has lost more than 34% of its value against the dollar, pushing up the price of everyday items.

President Donald Trump tweeted: “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Image source Wikimedia

Turkey Coup Trial: 104 Army Plotters Sentenced to Life in Prison

US and Turkey Mutually Suspend Most Visa Services Following Diplomatic Row

President Erdogan has presided over soaring inflation and borrowing levels, but insists the lira’s plight is the result of a “campaign” led by foreign powers.

In a TV address last week, President Erdogan called on Turkish citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira, calling it an “economic war”.

Now it appears there may be a small respite for the flailing currency, which has gained slightly in value after days of dramatic falls.

Turkey’s central bank has promised to provide banks with liquidity. The  finance minister – who is also President Erdogan’s son-in-law – will seek to reassure around 1,000 international investors in a teleconference scheduled for August 16.

President Erdogan has accused the US of trying to “bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor”.

However, the US insists Andrew Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, is “a victim of unfair and unjust detention”.

An evangelical from North Carolina, Andrew Brunson has been held in Turkey for nearly two years over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the US had seen “no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong”.

Andrew Brunson has denied charges of espionage, but faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

The ruckus between Turkey and the US has impacted on other countries’ currencies, including the Indian rupee, as investors fear the lira’s wobbles could spread to developing nations.

On August 14, India’s government urged people not to panic on Tuesday after the rupee slid to an all-time low against the dollar.

Brazil Russia, Argentina, South Africa and Mexico have also seen their currencies fall over the last week.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the country’s subsidized fuel prices should rise, to stop smugglers cheating the country out of billions of dollars.

He said in a TV address: “Gasoline must be sold at an international price to stop smuggling to Colombia and the Caribbean.”

Like many oil producing nations, Venezuela offers its citizens heavily subsidized petrol.

A fuel price rise in 1989 caused deadly riots in Caracas.

The country’s economy is in freefall, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting inflation rates will reach a million percent this year – but the price of fuel has barely changed.

Image source Wikimedia

Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro Survives Drone Attack

Petro: Venezuela Launches Ethereum-Based Cryptocurrency

The price of a liter of petrol in Venezuela currently stands at 1 bolivar. On the black market, Venezuelans pay more than 4 million bolivares for one US dollar.

That means that for the equivalent of one dollar, Venezuelans can fill the tank of a medium-sized car about 720 times.

Smuggling the subsidized fuel from Venezuela into neighboring countries, where prices are much higher, is big business.

According to government figures, Venezuela loses $18 billion to fuel smuggling annually. President Maduro says adapting Venezuelan fuel prices to international levels will stamp out smuggling.

The move is part of a wider plan to increase government revenue in the face of falling oil production, the country’s main export income.

According to President Maduro “only those individuals who don’t answer the call to register will have to pay fuel at international prices”.

He said that all Venezuelans who hold the “Fatherland ID”, a government-issued identity card introduced by his administration in 2017, will continue to receive “direct subsidies” for “about two years”.

However, many Venezuelans opposed to Bicolas Maduro’s government have refused to get the ID cards, alleging they are used by officials to keep tabs on them.

President Maduro introduced the new ID card in January 2017 arguing it would serve to make his socialist government’s social programs more effective.

The price rise is therefore expected to hit opponents of President Maduro in greater numbers than those who support him.

Nicolas Maduro said he would announce further details of how the new subsidies scheme would work in the coming days. It is expected to come into effect on August 20.

President Donald Trump has tweeted that it is “great” that many Harley-Davidson owners plan to boycott the company as a row over tariffs escalates.

Two months ago, Harley-Davidson said it would move some production out of the US to avoid retaliatory tariffs from the EU.

President Trump has already attacked the move, threatening Harley with higher taxes.

He tweeted: “Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.”

Harley-Davidson refused to comment on President Trump’s latest criticism, but pointed to an interview CEO Matthew Levatich did with CNBC last month.

Image source Wikipedia

President Trump Criticizes Harley-Davidson for Planning to Shift Production to Avoid EU Tariffs

In the interview, Matthew Levatich said the company’s preference “in all cases is to supply the world from the United States”.

He said, however, that Harley-Davidson had invested in international manufacturing over the past 20 years because “trade and tariff situations in certain markets” made it “prohibitive” without this investment.

Matthew Levatich said: “We’re only doing that because these are important growth markets for the company that, without those investments, we wouldn’t have access to those customers, at any kind of reasonable price.”

Harley-Davidson warned last month that its profit margins this year were likely to halve as trade tariffs bit.

The company expects added costs of $45 million-$50 million this year, due to the EU tariffs, as well as higher aluminum and steel prices.

It said in June it would shift some motorcycle production away from the US to avoid the “substantial” burden of EU tariffs.

It has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand as well as in the US, but it has not said which plant would take up the extra production.

President Trump has said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which came into force this spring, are necessary to protect the US steel and aluminum industries – he maintains these are vital for national security.

The tariffs have drawn retaliation from the EU, Canada, Mexico, India and others while driving up the cost of metals for manufacturers in the US.

The US has also threatened to hit billions of Chinese imports with import taxes, some of which are already in effect. It is also considering tariffs on foreign cars and vehicle parts.

Image source Wikipedia

First Lady Melania Trump has backed LeBron James, hours after President Trump made insulting remarks about the NBA star on Twitter.

LeBron James had said in an interview that President Trump was divisive and had emboldened racists.

In response, Donald Trump questioned LeBronJames’ intelligence, saying it was not easy to make the NBA player “look smart”.

However, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman said LeBron James was “working to do good things” with a school in his Ohio hometown.

The spokeswoman said the first lady wanted “to have an open dialogue about issues facing children”.

Earlier this week, LeBron James told CNN during an interview with Don Lemon that sport had offered him the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and race.

He said: “Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together.

“He [President Trump] is dividing us and what I noticed over the last few months is that he’s kinda used sport to divide us and that’s something I can’t relate to, because I know that sport was the first time I was ever around someone white.”

Donald Trump Condemns Colin Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest

LeBron James breaks royal protocol with Kate Middleton

LeBron James also argued that President Trump’s actions had encouraged racists, saying: “I think [racism’s] always been there. But I think the president in charge now has given people – they don’t care now, they throw it to your face.”

On August 4, President Trump responded on Twitter by saying: “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

The president also suggested that he prefers NBA legend Michael Jordan over the LA Lakers star.

His endorsement of Michael Jordan was perhaps a reference to the long-standing debate over whether Jordan or James is the better all-time player.

However, Michael Jordan also expressed support for LeBron James. He told media outlets through his spokesperson: “I support L.J. [LeBron James]. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

Donald Trump has taken a harsh stance on the ongoing debate over players in the National Football League (NFL) who refuse to stand for the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

The president has repeatedly said that anyone who kneels during the anthem should be fired.

According to new reports, the US is considering 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, much higher than the 10% it previously indicated it might impose.

The plan could be announced as early as August 1, but a higher tariff was not finalized, sources told media.

The measure would risk further escalating tensions between the US and China which are already mired in a trade war.

Last month, the US published a list of $200 billion worth of additional products to be taxed as early as September.

The list named more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags.

The US opened fire in a trade war with 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, and China retaliated in kind.

Image source Pixabay

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

White House to Announce Sanctions against China over Theft and Transfer of Intellectual Property

US threats have escalated since, with President Donald Trump saying he is ready to slap tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese imports.

The US accuses China of intellectual copyright theft and wants to bring down its lofty trade deficit with the world’s second largest economy.

However, the trade dispute is also seen as part of a broader tug of war between the two powerhouses for influence on the world stage.

On July 30, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a plan to spend $113 million in Asia, a move that was widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

According to Bloomberg, which was the first to report the news of the higher tariffs, US and Chinese officials were having private conversations as they sought to resume negotiations.

The US is also expected to soon announce tariffs on the remaining $16 billion of the $50 billion of Chinese goods the US originally planned to tax.

A public hearing on the second round of tariffs took place last week and the USTR has a July 31 deadline for post-hearing comments.

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Image source Pixabay

Setting up your own business

Setting up your own company is a meticulous process, that requires a lot of planning. The first step for the foundation of your own company is an idea. Finding a market niche for your products or services, offers you the best prospects and helps you be successful. Have you finally found an idea and created a business-plan? Have you found your target group? Then you can start searching for the right equipment to support your company and get started.

The first thing that you need for the foundation of your company is an ideal location. An office or a room for the presentation of your goods or services is the basis for your success.

Another very important thing, that you should not neglect, is marketing. Advertising your products and services is of enormous significance. Therefore, a business card with all your details, such as address, phone, e-mail and name, can help to get more attention and more customers. Helloprint.co.uk is your perfect partner for business cards and marketing. The helloprint online shop offers you a variety of products for marketing and advertising. The product range comprises among other things: posters, business-cards, flyers, leaflets and even clothes with a unique and individual print. Just choose a text, a logo or a picture and order business-cards, leaflets, posters or textiles with your personal design. A business-card gives a brief first impression of you and your company, so choose carefully, when it comes to text, design and colour.

A website for more success

Create your own website or hire an IT specialist to assist you. A personal website or a web-shop, can help you to reach more customers and the pleasant side-effect will be, that your turnover and your sales will also increase. With the right strategy and a perfectly structured homepage, you will experience an economic upswing. A well structured website that suits the needs of your customers or customers to be, gets even more perfect, when SEO (search engine optimization) is applied. This special technique makes sure by using keywords and outstanding URLs, that your website will be among the first in the international website ranking. When it comes to SEO, an IT specialist or specialist for webdesign is the perfect partner for you.

Marketing

You want to show that you are different? Finding your own logo, is a perfect method to show how unique you are. With a logo and a slogan, the recognition value increases and makes it easier for your customers to make a distinction between you and your competitors.

Whether you are running a restaurant, a fashion shop, an office or some other company, the distribution of give-aways for your customers can have a significant influence on your economic success. Little gifts like a note-pad, a ball-pen, a lighter, a calendar, sweets or cotton bags with print, are also an ideal way to get more attention and to be remembered by your customers. So why not surprise them with some extras. In return they will prove to be loyal and show you their appreciation by coming back to buy your products or use your services.

With these tips, tricks and advice for marketing, you may find it a bit easier to start your own company.

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investmentWhile there are several guidelines newcomers should follow when they invest, there are also certain practices they must absolutely avoid. Investing is not just about making the right or most reasonable decision, but it’s also about knowing how to avoid mistakes. As a new investor, you will face many challenges in your career, but by paying attention to a few pointers, overcoming these challenges would not be a problem.

Rushing to Invest Based on Anecdotes and “Tips”

Did you hear about the hot new stock or index fund with excellent returns that most people you know are raving about? You may be highly tempted to rush ahead and buy these super promising stocks before others do, but there’s some very simple advice for a person contemplating a decision like this: don’t. Investors, regardless of where they are putting their funds, should never rush to grab an asset. Some stocks or securities can be overhyped, often by pump-and-dump scammers who artificially inflate prices, therefore, be highly cautious when investing in hyped-up securities. Always research the company, its products, and check financial reports before spending your money.

Selling Stocks Hoping for Quick Millions

Time and time again, day trading has been presented as a wonderful, get-rich-quick opportunity for new investors. The practice refers to buying and selling stock in rapid succession, often within the span of a day. Whether daily stock trading is a legitimate practice or not really depends on who you ask. It’s important to understand that day trading is not a one-way ticket to making millions. Day traders do make money, but their earnings are not akin to winning the lottery, so if you do decide to become a day trader, start by understanding the possibilities and limitations of the practice. Get help from other experienced day traders in the beginning to master this particular art of investing. Lastly, finding a good tracker like Finviz stock screener can be helpful when you are looking at an abundant of ticker symbols.

Investing without a Qualitative Analysis

A qualitative analysis can be simply explained as a financial way of looking at the big picture. When you invest in the long term, especially in stocks, it’s vital to have an understanding of the sector as a whole. For example, imagine you were a tech investor in the late nineties. Back then, Blackberries were all the rage, but about a decade later, no one was interested in owning a Blackberry because nearly everyone wanted an iPhone. A qualitative analysis can show you where an investment is headed towards because it takes industrial factors into account. A company may have highly valued stocks, but you should also look at whether the stock value has gone up or down historically. Without this information, it’s simply not possible to make sound long-term investments.

Using Way Too Much Borrowed Money

Using margin, or borrowed money to buy stocks or shares should be done with caution. You may overvalue stock or underestimate the interest, thus ending up with worthless stock, or worse, massive debt. Margin should be used sparsely, if at all. Do a thorough calculation of how much returns you can expect considering the interest rate on the loan.

The Chinese economy grew at an annual pace of 6.7%  in Q2 of 2018, official data showed, meeting forecasts for the period.

The data marked a slight slowdown from a 6.8% expansion recorded in Q1 of 2018.

It comes as the Chinese government attempts to curb growing debt and as trade tensions with the US escalate.

Last week, the US raised the stakes in a trade war last week, listing another $200 billion worth of China’s goods to be hit by tariffs.

President Trump Threatens $100 Billion More in China Tariffs

China Imposes New Tariffs of Up to 25% on 128 US Imports

Chinese stock markets, which have struggled recently amid the escalating trade dispute between the US and China, traded down slightly on July 16.

The US slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6, opening the way for a tit-for-tat trade war with the world’s second-largest economy.

China retaliated, saying the US had launched the “largest trade war in economic history”.

Last month, China’s monthly trade surplus with the US hit a record high of nearly $29 billion as exports to America remained strong.

President Donald Trump recently suggested that more than $500 billion of Chinese goods could be hit by tariffs. That is almost equal to the value of China’s entire goods exports to the US in 2017.

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Novak Djokovic has won his fourth Wimbledon title after beating Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

It is the Serb’s first Grand Slam title in more than two years, the first major since the 2016 French Open.

Novak Djokovic, seeded 12th, won his 13th Slam.

The 31-year-old quickly took control to win the opening set in 29 minutes, breaking twice more in the second set.

Image source Reuters

Wimbledon 2014: Novak Djokovic wins title after beating Roger Federer in thrilling final

Novak Djokovic saw off five set points in an even third set before dominating the tie-break to seal victory.

He is now in outright 4th place on the all-time list of Grand Slam men’s singles titles, moving clear of Roy Emerson and closing the gap on Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14).

The former world No 1 will move back into the top 10 when the latest rankings are released on Monday.

It is Novak Djokovic’s first title since winning Eastbourne in 2017.

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France has won its second FIFA World Cup title after beating Croatia in a thrilling final in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

Didier Deschamps’ side repeated the success on home soil at France ’98 by a margin that hardly looked possible as Croatia stood toe-to-toe with the favorites for an hour.

France’s victory meant Didier Deschamps, who captained them 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach.

In one of the most exciting World Cup finals of the modern era, played out to a soundtrack of thunder, Croatia and France delivered an enthralling spectacle that brought the joint highest goal tally in a final since 1958, a pitch invasion, and a controversial intervention from the video assistant referee that had a huge influence on the outcome.

The French team took the lead after 18 minutes when Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick deflected in off Mario Mandzukic’s head – but Croatia were by far the better side in the first half and deservedly equalized courtesy of Ivan Perisic’s left-foot finish.

Image source Wikipedia

FIFA files criminal complaint over World Cup hosting

Croatians were left nursing a burning sense of injustice when France restored their lead seven minutes before half-time through Antoine Griezmann’s penalty, awarded by referee Nestor Pitana for handball against Ivan Perisic after a lengthy delay while VAR was consulted.

In a compelling second half, France looked to have wrapped it up with two strikes in six minutes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe either side of the hour mark.

Croatia showed unbreakable spirit and even threatened a comeback when Mario Mandzukic took advantage of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hesitating over a clearance to pull a goal back.

However, France closed out the win to bring redemption for Didier Deschamps after defeat at the Euros two years ago, sparking wild celebrations and ensuring Hugo Lloris lifted the World Cup.

France celebrated joyously at the final whistle after claiming the sport’s greatest trophy once more, with Didier Deschamps – the coach whose conservative methods have often brought criticism – tossed high into the air by his players.

Croatia return home as beaten World Cup finalists but their approach to this match will have won the hearts of neutrals and earned them a prolonged standing ovation from their fans at the final whistle.

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If you’re business is struggling, then your business might be in debt. Once that debt starts piling up, then you could find it difficult to get out of debt. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can get out of debt. Follow these tips and improve your financial situation.

  1. Increase your revenue

This might sound obvious. However, increasing your revenue is one of the best ways to get out of debt. As a business owner, changing your revenue doesn’t require a complete overhaul. It’s much different from being an individual on a fixed income.

One way to increase revenue is to run some promotions. Thanks to social media, running promotions is cheap and easy. You can run a few contests on Facebook or Instagram. By doing so, you can draw in more customers. You could also promote special sales that get rid of products that are merely taking up space.

Instead of letting it sit there, you can make a profit on it. Advertise your sale as much as possible. Then, watch the customers come through your doors. You can sell products that would otherwise be a part of the debt problem. With the money that you make, you can pay off your debt and become more successful.

  1. Get a small business loan

When you want to pay off debt, you need more money. However, raising money isn’t always easy. You might need to borrow money to make money. This means that you need to get a small business loan. The funds can completely change your business.

With a small business loan, you can improve your financial situation. There are two ways in which you can do that. First, you could use the money to improve your marketing efforts. With better marketing, your business could get more customers. You could use your new revenue to pay off your loan and pay off other existing debt.

You could also use the money to pay off your current debt. Once you get out of debt, you could open up new doors. Then, you could watch your business succeed. The key is choosing the right type of small business loan.

  1. Collect on late payments

Many business owners need to wait for some time before they collect on money from clients. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems. You might end up with a pile of unpaid invoices. There could be thousands of dollars waiting for you to collect it.

The money that you’re missing out on could help you get out of debt. For that reason, it’s important to collect that money, Go through your finances with a fine-toothed comb. Find out who owes you money and how you can collect that money. Then, use that money to pay off your debt.

It’s also important that you prevent this problem from occurring again. If you don’t, then this could be a continual problem. You might need to invest in a management software or higher a bookkeeper. In either case, you can ensure that you get clients paying their debts on time.

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Whether you made six figures or had a modest income during your working years, you will be concerned about your expenses during the retirement years. The fear of not having enough income to survive the last years of their lives is real for many retirees, but, with proper planning, there are some precautions you can take to make these the most relaxing years. The time to worry about having enough money to protect your family and loved ones is while you still have a regular income. Here are some things you can do to enjoy retirement.

Stay on Budget

Having a set budget and sticking to it will go a long way toward helping seniors stay on top of their expenses during retirement. Depending on your financial situation, you will want to cut as many unnecessary costs as possible. Starting with the home, you can reduce what you spend on utilities by installing a programmable air-conditioning control and using it to maintain a comfortable temperature while you’re away. You can also keep your appliances and furnace in top performance shape to avoid any surprises during the peak heating or cooling season. Deciding whether to have one or two cars, if you are married can also help you reduce the cost of payments, gas, and insurance. Adjusting grocery shopping habits, stopping bad habits such as drinking or smoking, and using discounts available to senior citizens can add up as well.

Choose How to Spend Your Money Wisely

Even though it’s important to save and watch expenses, you are also at a time when you want to enjoy the little things, such as visiting children and grandchildren or taking a last-minute vacation. Saving in some areas can free up money you will need for these small pleasures. Instead of eating out, learn how to cook at home and save money on expensive meals and tips. When going on a trip, keep all receipts to see how much you are spending and try to travel during the off-peak season. Small things add up.

Reduce Life Insurance Benefits

In the late years of your life you really don’t need as much life insurance as when you were younger.  When you are younger and have a family with young kids it’s important to have enough insurance coverage to help get your family through to adulthood. But in your later years when your kids are grown they more than likely have careers of their own. Some seniors have opted for cancelling their life insurance policies and going with a more affordable option like final expense life insurance. This type of insurance covers the basic of burial and will save you a considerable amount of money.

Eliminate Debt

Eliminating debt will reduce your monthly expenses and save you a lot of money in interest charges. If you have debt at any age, the best thing you can do is take care of it as soon as possible. Remember that you will not have additional income when you are retired and unless you are overflowing with cash, you will need to save as much as possible. If you have a mortgage, adding even a small amount to that monthly charge will reduce the number of years in which you will pay it off.

Anyone can cut back on unnecessary expenses if they put their mind to it. It may not be easy, but if you start early in life, you will be able to enjoy your retirement comfortably when that time comes and still enjoy the things that matter most to you. When you examine your monthly payments closely, you will find many areas where you can save money without sacrificing your quality of life. Consider taking money from savings to settle the debt or a mortgage if you have one. Making a budget and analyzing how you spend your money can give you great insights into what you will need for retirement and how you can cut costs without jeopardizing the basics.

“Donald Trump” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump’s proverbial trade war with China could have far-reaching effects as the new tariffs take hold. With the US now applying additional charges to $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, the Trump administration’s counterparts have responded in kind with their own tariffs. For many, the July 6, 2018 changes are the start of a potentially destructive tit-for-tat battle that could impact Asia as a whole. As they often do, the financial markets have reacted with price fluctuations for a myriad of commodities and stocks. From soy beans and coal to shares in major companies in both countries, the effects of the trade war are already hitting investors.

A Time for Options Traders to Invest

“Graph With Stacks Of Coins” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by kenteegardin

For options traders, a volatile market is a blessing in disguise. But what is options trading on commodities and stocks? It’s buying or selling assets based on a future price. When otherwise stable markets become volatile, traders looking to make a quick buck are often quick to invest. With the US and China typically standing strong as stable economies, the margins on import and export assets is usually fairly low. However, with Trump’s tariffs destabilizing the status quo and spooking businesses, prices now have the potential to vary wildly. Anyone with an interest in options trading now has the ability to capitalize on these unexpected fluctuations and cash in before harmony is restored.

However, when and, indeed, if harmony will be restored is unclear. While that may be good news for traders, it could spell disaster for business owners, consumers and, in turn, economies that rely on the US and China.

“Across Asia, there is a deep regional value chain […] So, trade tensions between the U.S. and China will have a spillover effect through this value chain,” Asian Development Bank’s Cyn-Young Park told CNBC in May.

Tariffs Threaten to Strangle the Asian Supply Line

“Forbidden City, Beijing” (CC BY 2.0) by romanboed

At the heart of the problem is the Asian production line. Although China heads goods exports to the West, it’s a head served by a network of intermediaries. In other words, countries across Asia are manufacturing semi-finished goods which are then sent to China. Once China’s businesses complete the chain, they sell them to the US et al and money trickles down. With Trump’s tariffs squeezing profits at the top, everyone further down the chain suffers. For Park, a meeting with local experts has identified a number of concerns. Assessing the data, the banker believes a 1% drop in China’s economic growth rate will reduce Asia’s financial status by 0.3%.

Of the countries currently eyeing up the trade war, the Philippines could be the most effected. As per the statistics from Malaysian bank RHB, 16.9% of exports from the Philippines go to China. If the new levies forces China to reduce trade with the US and slow production, it would impact almost one fifth of the Philippines’ GDP. For short-term options traders, the escalating tensions between the US and China could allow them to make hay while the sun isn’t shining. However, for Asia as a whole, the consequences could be dire.