Economist Jun 28th 2014

“Bridging the Gap”

  • New Jersey re-classfied Pulaski as part of Port of Authority (for funds for basic repairs)

The problem with the trust fund, is that it’s not funded and you can’t trust it.”

  • Fund shortfall everywhere and less advanced technology system

Most air-traffic control system are less advanced than the technology found in smartphones. Alaska’s Juneau airport, which is smothered by low-lying cloud, is an exception. Its airport introduced GPS navigation after there were threats to move the state capital to Anchorage because it was so hard to land.

  • (Maryland congressman John Delaney) has proposed a bill that would give firms a tax break on repatriated foreign profits if parts of the money was spent on infrastructure bonds;
  • Federal should spend less and let the states make more decisions

“The Battle for Japan”

  • fiscal stimulus 10.3 trillion a month after Abe’s return to power;
  • monetary easing, goal of 2% core inflation by the spring 2015 (now around 1.25%);
  • the third arrow, tackle farming, medical services, and the labor market, all of which have provoked a public backlash


rickety: 摇摇晃晃
millefeuille: 千层派
hand-to-mouth: 手到口
scrimp: 节衣缩食
gracious: 亲切
prickly: 刺
swoon: 昏厥
gumption: 进取心
dragnet: 拖网

“A Golden Opportunity: Special Report on Poland”

Quick Facts

  • the only one big economy in Europe to avoid recession during the financial crisis;
  • biggest recipients of EU funds;
  • German-Polish ties, the second most important bilateral relationship in the EU;
  • “Polaska A”, Warsaw and the western Poland; “Polaska B”, the poorer, less developed eastern Poland;
  • biggest apple exporter, bypassing China last year;
  • the most Catholic country in Europe: 95% are baptised Catholics;
  • church was an island of freedom back in Communist rule, “the pope contributed at least 50% to the collapse of communism”

Challenges Ahead

  • missed the chance of using EU funds for structural reforms (i.e. Portugal)?
  • middle-income gap, low investment (in specialized industry, i.e. specialist machinery) and high savings rate;
  • productivity gap with western Europe;
  • need to be more global (only one true global company, KGHM, copper and silver miners);
  • agriculture remains highly fragmented, 3.4% of GDP yet 12.4% of employment

Business Opportunity (future after coal …)

  • outsourcing, fast-growing in the region;
  • subcontracting, thanks to the German supply chain;
  • Like “Germany used some of its Marshall plan funds to build innovative, international companies after the second world war, Poland could be doing the same with EU funds.”


Despite the wounds of the past, Germany and Poland today are bound together by shared political and commercial interests.

Yet for most of the 20th century Poland was a playground rather than player in international politics.

With such a heroic past, the church found it hard to return to a more workaday role after communism had gone.

History has taught Poles to be pessimistic and full of self-doubt. For the half-millennium, whenever their country was enjoying a peaceful, prosperous period it soon seemed to come to a brutal end, often through foreign invasion.


vibes: 共鸣
staunch: 坚定

“Estonia Takes the Plunge”

Some ideas never take off because too few people embrace them. And with just 1.3m residents, Estonia is a tiddler – even with the 10m satellite Estonians the government hope to add over the next decade.

The Scheme’s advantages for Estonia are multiple. It will help it shed the detested “ex-Soviet” tag and promote itself as a paragon of good government and innovation.


hefty: 沉重
detested: 讨厌

“Lenders of Little Resort”

Chinese unit of foreign bank:

  • profits fell by 14% last year, while Chinese banks jumped by 15%;
  • Roe was 5.6%, far behind Chinese banks’ 19.2%;
  • HSBC, has the most branches of any foreign bank in China: 160 vs. Bank of Communications, which HSBC owns 19%, has 2,690;
  • foreign investment banks, can buy only 49% of Chinese brokers;
  • reporting requirements are onerous: 6,300 different reports annually for the Chinese unit vs. just 400 reports for its parents to its home regulator


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