The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer


- Kelly Evans offers corporate America an idea for what it should do with its cash.

- Simon Cox breaks down the National Audit Office’s report on China’s local-government debt.

- Sudeep Reddy’s five questions for the US economy in 2014.

- James Surowiecki explains the American admiration for con artists.

- Gavyn Davies on the legacy of Ben Bernanke.


Rapid fall in capital flows poses growth risk: “The flow of money through the global financial system is still stuck at the same level as a decade ago, raising fresh concerns about the strength of the economic recovery following six years of financial crisis. A dramatic slowdown in cross-border capital flows – shown in an analysis for the Financial Times by the McKinsey Global Institute – highlights how the US subprime mortgage and eurozone debt crises threw into reverse the globalisation of finance and raises doubts over whether flows will ever return to their pre-crisis peak.” (Financial Times)

Global tech market poised to shrink amid lack of new gadgets: “The global technology market is forecast to shrink this year, as the sector’s strong growth in developing economies stalls and companies flounder in the search for a new innovation to replace the smartphone. Sales of technology products – buoyed during the financial crisis by the shift to mobile devices – is set to decline 1 per cent in 2014, according to forecasts released by the Consumer Electronics Association ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show.” (Financial Times)

Freeze drives up US gas and power prices: “Spot US energy markets witnessed explosive price rises as utilities and power plants scrambled ahead of what forecasters warned would be the coldest day of the 21st century so far. The moves from New York to Texas brought back memories of the natural gas and power markets of the previous decade, before the shale drilling boom unleashed new supplies and damped volatility.” (Financial Times)