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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon

    Goldman Sachs is scheduled to release third-quarter earnings a little after 7:30am Tuesday.

    Here's what analysts are expecting:

    • Revenue: $8.4 billion
    • Expenses: $5.7 billion
    • Adjusted net income: $2.1 billion
    • Adjusted EPS: $5.38 a share.
    • What to watch for:
      • New CEO. This is David Solomon's first earnings release as a CEO, though it covers a time period when Lloyd Blankfein was still in the driver's seat. A spokeswoman said that while Solomon won't break with Blankfein's tradition of silence and make an appearance on today's call, he is planning to speak on the earnings call in January. It's also the last earnings call for CFO Marty Chavez before he hands off to incoming finance chief Stephen Scherr. 
      • Trading. Investors will immediately look to see how Goldman's trading results stack up against peers. The bank has shuffled management in recent months to give the securities division some fresh thinking, and Solomon is said to be taking a hard look at what needs fixing. 
      • Growth plan. Last September, Goldman unveiled a plan to come up with an additional $5 billion in revenue by 2020. The bank has given periodic updates on its progress, and investors will want another one. 
      • Online consumer lending. News reports earlier this month suggested the bank was slowing its origination of high-profile digital banking loans, worried about a deterioration of credit.  

    This post has been updated to show while Solomon won't speak on today's call, he is planning to speak on the following earnings call. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years


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    captain america sad worried nervous stadium fan

    • Third-quarter earnings season is here and America's biggest companies are most concerned about FX headwinds impacting their results.
    • More than 60% of companies that have reported so far mentioned FX/currency as the biggest negative impact to results either now or in the future.
    • One-third of companies that have already reported cited President Donald Trump's tariffs as their biggest concern. 

    Third-quarter earnings season kicked off last week and while President Donald Trump's tariffs have been grabbing the headlines recently for their potential impact on corporate earnings, America's biggest companies have some even bigger concerns. 

    FactSet analyst John Butters combed through the earnings call transcripts of the 24 companies that reported through October 11 and found that mentions of FX/currency (15 times) outpaced tariffs (6) by more than two-to-one. In fact, Trump's tariffs weren't even in the top three of corporate worries as raw material and other inflation (8) and wage & labor costs (7) were bigger concerns. 

    "Foreign exchange has been cited by more than 60% of the companies that have reported to date (15) as a factor that either had a negative impact on earnings or revenues in Q3 or is expected to have a negative impact on earnings and revenues in future quarters," Butters wrote in a blog post on Friday.

    "The number of companies citing a negative impact from FX in Q3 is 25% higher than the number of companies that cited a negative impact from this factor in Q2 (12) at about the same point in time."

    The US dollar has rallied 3.28% this year versus a basket of its peers, and holds about 8% below its strongest level since 2002. A stronger dollar is a headwind for the largest S&P 500 companies that generate a chunk of their sales in weaker foreign currencies. That's because they see their earnings shrink when they are translated back to the dollar.

    The strong dollar will be in focus on Tuesday as Netflix is set to report its quarterly results after the closing bell. The streaming giant's international revenue surpassed its US revenue for the first time in the second quarter, and its possible the impact pops up in Tuesday's report. Earlier in October, a team of Goldman Sachs analysts led by Heath Terry said 2018-2020 revenue and EBITDA could be impacted by up to 20 basis points as a result.    

    As for Trump's tariffs, Butters says they are something to keep an eye on as a growing number of companies are mentioning them on their earnings calls. 

    "It is interesting to note that the term "tariff" has been mentioned during the earnings calls of 12 S&P 500 companies to date, with six of these 12 companies citing a negative impact linked to tariffs," Butters noted.

    "This number is up from just one company citing a negative impact from tariffs through the same point in time in Q2."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what caffeine does to your body and brain


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    trader look up above

    • In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Brad McMillan — the chief investment officer of the $150 billion Commonwealth Financial Network — revealed an overlooked dynamic he says will worsen any economic downturn.
    • He's specifically worried about the number of US companies whose credit ratings are sitting dangerously close to junk levels, and warns that an economic slowdown could bring conditions to a head.

    With the market fresh off one of the more difficult and volatile weeks in recent memory, one might assume that all negative scenarios have been covered.

    After all, when the market is hit in such hard and swift fashion, people are usually quick to point fingers. The process can unearth all sorts of dormant headwinds.

    Which is why it's so surprising that no one seems to be talking about the precarious and potentially damaging situation that exists in the US credit market. 

    But it's not lost on Brad McMillan, the chief investment officer of the $150 billion Commonwealth Financial Network. He's specifically worried about the effect that higher interest rates — one of the primary culprits of this past week's wreckage — will have on corporate debt.

    McMillan notes that as lending conditions remained loose for years following the financial crisis, a lot of risky junk-rated debt became largely interchangeable from its investment-grade counterpart.

    "But half of that is just one step above junk," McMillan explained in an interview with Business Insider. "So we’re only one economic slowdown away from a significant portion of the investment-grade market dropping to high-yield."

    The chart below shows this dynamic in play. The spread between US investment-grade and high-yield bonds is currently the tightest it's been since early 2011. That means traders are paying the smallest premium in nearly eight years for safer credit.

    IG HY

    So what does it all mean? Allow McMillan to explain (emphasis ours):

    "First of all, you’re going to have all of those companies having to refinance at higher rates. But that’s not the biggest problem, because right now, the premium between high-yield and investment-grade rates is at one of its lowest levels ever."

    "So you’re going to get a double bump as people start to get worried. So all of a sudden you’re going to have a large number of companies in quite a bit of trouble with debt. And that’s where you start to see pullbacks — companies cutting their spending and laying people off."

    While McMillan doesn't see this unstable debt situation as an imminent threat to the economy or the market, he does acknowledge that it will make matters even more complicated once the ongoing cycle starts to wind down.

    According to a running four-part recession checklist he monitors constantly, McMillan anticipates an economic reckoning will strike in late 2019.

    That means investors still have time to come to their senses and start treating riskier debt in proper fashion. Whether they do that is another story entirely — and their ultimate decision could go a long way toward determining how severe the next recession ends up being.

    SEE ALSO: A hidden threat that's been haunting the market for years is flaring up — and it could mean the meltdown in stocks is just getting started

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what caffeine does to your body and brain


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    paul allen

    Everybody knows Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, the second-richest man in the world. 

    But Microsoft's other cofounder, Paul Allen, only became famous outside of Seattle once he published his memoirs in 2011.

    He too was rich, and his net worth was pegged at $20 billion. With his money, he invested in a lot of tech companies, real estate, and art. But he also led an over-the-top life filled with rock and roll parties, collections, yachts, and sports teams.

    Allen died on Monday aged 65 after a battle with cancer. Here is a look back at his fabulous life.

    Can you spot Paul Allen from this famous photo of Microsoft's earliest employees?

    He's the guy in the bottom right.



    Allen met Bill Gates in high school, where they hacked the school computer to try and help Gates meet girls.

    Allen and Gates hacked the computer at Lakeside school to enrol Gates in classes where he was the only boy, Gates told the BBC in a 2016 interview



    It was Allen who first came up with the name "Micro-Soft."

    Allen also suggested to Gates that they work together on what would become Microsoft's first product, a BASIC language interpreter for the Altair 8800 microcomputer.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hurricane Michael Mexico Beach

    • On Tuesday, 28 commissioners and 17 countries around the world banded together to form the Global Commission on Adaptation.
    • Their task for the next year will be to figure out the best ways to both fight and cope with the dramatic, disastrous effects of life on a hotter planet.
    • The program is led by Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.
    • The commission also includes 25 other leaders from around the globe, including the mayors of Miami and Paris, as well as China's environment minister.
    • The 17 countries on board include big players in the world's energy economy, like Canada, Mexico, China, India, Germany, and the UK. (The US is not on the list.)
    • Scroll down for a full list of who's involved.

    The bad news about our planet released last week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that time is running very short to get serious about the threat of disastrous floods, storms, fires, droughts, and extreme poverty that could soon hit as a result of climate change.

    The news is so dire, it's prompted a new last-ditch effort to help the world better deal with these coming disasters.

    Dubbed the Global Commission on Adaptation, it will be led by philanthropist Bill Gates, former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.

    "We are at a moment of high risk and great promise," Gates said in a release, before the commission was announced Tuesday in The Hague.

    "We need policies to help vulnerable populations adapt, and we need to ensure that governments and other stakeholders are supporting innovation and helping deliver those breakthroughs to the people and places that need them most."

    bill gates ban ki moon UN photo

    To that end, his new commission is beginning a two year plan: first, they will spend approximately one year researching and developing the best ways to deal with life in a warmer world.

    Next September, they'll present their best ideas from that brainstorm at the 2019 United Nations Secretary General's Climate Summit.

    Then, begins the second "year of action," where those ideas are put into practice around the world. 

    "If everyone does their part, we can reduce carbon emissions, increase access to affordable energy, and help farmers everywhere grow more productive crops," Gates said.

    In some of the hottest zones around the equator, that might mean adopting new farming techniques for crops, like growing corn or coffee designed to be more drought-resistant.

    Georgieva suggested some places might want to switch from consuming chickens to breeding and eating more ducks, because ducks can swim through a flood.

    Other coastal areas might plant more mangrove trees, to help reduce the impact of devastating floods, while saving cash on seawalls.

    In cities, the commission may suggest ways to better regulate emissions through stricter building code rules.

    "We are the last generation that can change the course of climate change," Georgieva said. "And we are the first generation that has to live with its consequences." 

    mangrove

    That means that we must both adapt to our rapidly warming world, and try to reduce emissions that will heat the planet up further, all at the same time.

    The commission assumes that it's probably too late to stop or reverse dangerous, damaging effects of climate change altogether, but their plan aims to both mitigate those effects, while also reducing pollution and saving money.

    Georgieva estimates that every one dollar spent on this kind of climate resilience, could save $4 to $7 in damages later. 

    Humans have already heated things up more than one degree Celsius since preindustrial times, and recently scientists warned that we could be on track to hit a dangerous tipping point, triggering an unprecedented temperature spike around the world.

    Already, we're getting a glimpse of life on a warmer planet: wetter rainstorms, more intense heat waves, and rising seas.

    Currently, the commission argues there's a lack of decent incentives to invest in new ideas about how to deal with these problems, and the ideas that are out there aren't getting shared quickly and efficiently enough.

    The commission is worried that if swift action isn't taken now, we could have problems finding enough food, water and energy to stay alive in the coming decades, especially in the developing world.

    "Decisions are still being made with short-term risk, not long-term risk in mind," Moon said on the call. 

    ducklings ducks

    Ironically, those who will be at greatest risk of losing their homes, businesses, and lives to climate change are the ones who've contributed the least to warming the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels like coal and gas for energy.

    "Our estimate is that most likely we would see some hundred million people falling back in extreme poverty by 2030 as a result of climate change," Georgieva said during a press call before the commission was announced. 

    Moon said the commission will aim to help some of those "poorest and most vulnerable" living in some of the hottest zones of the world adapt to climate change with new kinds of climate-related insurance.

    Here's the full list of the countries and commissioners that have signed on to participate in the initiative so far.

    Countries:

    • Argentina
    • Bangladesh
    • Canada
    • China
    • Costa Rica
    • Denmark
    • Ethiopia
    • Germany
    • Grenada
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Marshall Islands
    • Mexico
    • Netherlands
    • Senegal
    • South Africa
    • United Kingdom

    Commissioners:

    • Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations     
    • Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation    
    • Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank  
    • Hilda Heine, President, Marshall Islands    
    • Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, Grenada 
    • Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank      
    • Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)    
    • Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights     
    • Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)   
    • Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC      
    • Li Ganjie, Minister of Ecology and Environment, China   
    • Anne Hidalgo, Mayor, Paris   
    • Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, UK       
    • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility    
    • Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO, PKA Ltd.   
    • Agnes Kalibata, President, AGRA      
    • Loren Legarda, Chair, Senate Finance Committee, Philippines    
    • Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Econet Wireless        
    • José Antonio Meade, Former Finance Minister, Mexico        
    • Gerd Müller, Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany        
    • Muhammad Musa, Executive Director, BRAC   
    • Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands   
    • Sheela Patel, Chair, Slum/Shack Dwellers International    
    • Feike Sijbesma, CEO, Royal DSM      
    • Francis Suarez, Mayor, Miami      
    • Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO, Macquarie Group Ltd      
    • Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment    
    • Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute 

    SEE ALSO: French President Emmanuel Macron: Wealth managers urgently need to switch from 'day to day business' to 'climate business' or face the consequences

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 3 compelling reasons why we haven't found aliens yet


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    ariana grande engagement ring

    • Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are no longer an item — so she's given him back the $100,000 diamond engagement ring, TMZ sources said. 
    • The ring was a one of a kind design which took weeks to make.
    • Davidson and Grande reportedly split on Sunday, four months after she first wore the ring in public.
    • Here's a full timeline of their up-and-down relationship. 

    Ariana Grande has reportedly given Pete Davidson back the $100,000 diamond engagement ring she was given when he proposed.

    TMZ reported on Tuesday that sources close to the singer said she gave the ring back after the pair broke up on Sunday, and there was no struggle over who would keep it.

    INSIDER previously reported that the ring was a one-of-a-kind gift, which took weeks to make, made specifically for Grande by jeweler Greg Yuna.

    pete davidson ariana grande

    The ring was first seen on June 3, when Grande performed at the Wango Tango festival . Grande was also spotted wearing the ring in her music video for "Dance to This," on July 19.

    Now the couple have reportedly split, they will also have to decide who gets to keep the miniature pig they adopted in September.

    The "Saturday Night Live" comedian got a tattoo of the pig, called "Piggy Smallz," on his torso — though TMZ reported Ariana actually paid for the pig, so is likely to keep it.

    Grande often posed with the pig on her Instagram, like in this post below:

    A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

    Davidson and Grande reportedly split weeks ago, but the news only emerged on Sunday and fans were not surprised at the news — some keen-eyed fans spotted that Davidson covered up an Ariana-inspired tattoo weeks before.

    Here's the full timeline of their tempestuous relationship.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 3 surprising ways humans are still evolving


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    Mike Pompeo in Saudi Arabia

    Here is what you need to know.

    The US budget deficit balloonsThe deficit jumped 17% to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018, according to the Treasury Department. It was the largest deficit since 2012. 

    Chinese inflation surged to its highest level in monthsConsumer prices in China grew at a 2.5% year-over-year clip, the fastest since February, data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed. 

    A $150 billion investment chief breaks down a ticking time bomb in markets that traders are foolishly ignoringBrad McMillan — the chief investment officer of the $150 billion Commonwealth Financial Network explains why he is worried about the number of US companies whose credit ratings are sitting dangerously close to junk levels.

    America's biggest companies have larger worries than Trump's tariffsThird-quarter earnings season is here and America's biggest companies that have already reported are most concerned about FX headwinds impacting their results.

    Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen is dead at 65Allen, a philanthropist who owned the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, died after a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. 

    Twilio is spending $2 billion to buy one of its publicly traded partnersThe maker of communication tools for websites has agreed to pay $2 billion — a 40% premium to Monday's closing value — for the email-marketing platform SendGrid. 

    Canopy Growth spikes to a record high as Canada gets ready to legalize weedThe Canadian cannabis producer soared more than 14% Monday — to as high as $57 a share — two days before Canada is set to legalize marijuana.   

    Stock markets around the world are gaining groundJapan's Nikkei (+1.29%) was out front in Asia and Germany's DAX (+0.25%) leads in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.18% near 2,756.

    Earnings reporting picks upDomino's Pizza, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, and Morgan Stanley report ahead of the opening bell while IBM and Netflix release their quarterly results after markets close.

    US economic flowsIndustrial production and capacity utilization will be released at 9:15 a.m. ET before the NAHB Housing Market Index and JOLTS Job Openings cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 2 basis points at 3.17%. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what caffeine does to your body and brain


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    Sundar Pichai

    • Google chief executive Sundar Pichai commented publicly for the first time on the company's efforts to launch a censored search engine in China.
    • Google has not been available in China for the past decade, and its possible return has caused an outcry among employees and US politicians.
    • Pichai said Google's mission was to provide the world with information, and that a dedicated search engine could help Chinese citizens access more reliable medical information.
    • The tenor of Pichai's comments suggests the company is not about to back away from its plans.

    Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai talked about the company's controversial search efforts in China for the first time on Monday, acknowledging that the service existed and that internal tests had gone well.

    According to a Wired report of the Wired 25 conference, Pichai said of the search engine: "It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99% of the queries [that people make].

    "There are many, many areas where we would provide information better than what's available," he added, referring to medical information such as cancer treatments. "Today people either get fake cancer treatments or they actually get useful information."

    Google has not been available in mainland China for the past decade, and the firm's plans to return to a country notorious for repressing people's freedom of speech has caused major controversy. The Intercept reported in August that Google was working on a custom Android app that would comply with China's censorship laws.

    Pichai's argument at Wired 25 was that Google wanted to provide information to the global population, a tacit response to internal and external criticism of the project, codenamed Project Dragonfly.

    "We are compelled by our mission [to] provide information to everyone, and [China is] 20% of the world's population," he said, according to Wired.

    The chief executive added that the company had thought about thorny problems like the fact China censors its internet. Indeed, Chinese regional authorities just laid out how internet and telecoms firms — presumably including Google — would be strong-armed into spying on the country's minority Muslim population.

    "People don't understand fully, but you're always balancing a set of values... But we also follow the rule of law in every country," he said.

    It doesn't sound like Google will listen to critics

    The robust tenor of Pichai's comments, and the fact he made them at all, is significant.

    Pichai has maintained more than two months of public silence about Project Dragonfly after The Intercept first reported on the project on 1 August. He did write to senators on 31 August, but his letter didn't provide much additional information on the project. He also reportedly met with Republican lawmakers at least once in September.

    Throughout this period, Google has fielded a barrage of criticism, from a senior scientist resigning from the company to senators fretting that the company would enable China's "repressing and manipulating" of its citizens.

    But it doesn't look like Google will back away from its plans.

    Pichai will testify in public before a US House panel in November, after the US midterm elections, where he will no doubt be grilled further on the search engine.

    SEE ALSO: It looks like China just laid out how it wants Google to help it persecute its Muslim minority

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 11 Apple Watch tips and tricks


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    Prince Harry Meghan Markle Australia Koala

    • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Australia's Taronga Zoo as part of their first official royal tour.
    • They met a koala called Rubi, who seemed pretty unimpressed.
    • Rubi is the mother of two joeys, Harry and Meghan, who are named after the Duke and Duchess.
    • The couple also officially opened the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met a koala at Australia's Taronga Zoo as part of their royal tour, and it seemed hilariously unimpressed with its royal visitors.

    The koala, called Rubi, is the mother of two joeys, Harry and Meghan, who were named after the Duke and Duchess.

    While Sydney's streets were crowded with royal fans eager to get a glimpse of the couple, the koala didn't seem to share their enthusiasm.

    Meghan Markle Prince Harry Australia Koala

    The Daily Mail's royal correspondent Rebecca English shared a video that showed the koala eating leaves with its back to the royal couple.

    It was an echo of this moment in 2003, when Harry managed to get a bit closer to the animals during a four-month trip to the country after finishing school.

    Prince Harry Sydney Zoo Koala

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were at the zoo on Tuesday to open the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.

    The couple were also introduced to a short-legged echidna, a spiky mammal from the region, called Lynx.

    Harry appeared a bit worried about the animal, which was drooling, and asked "is that stress?"

    Zoo staff reassured him that it was a sign he was "excited" to meet the couple.

    The couple also met female conservation scientists working on efforts to reduce illegal wildlife trafficking.

    The trip is part of their royal tour, where they will also visit Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What activated charcoal actually does to your body


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    Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

    Morgan Stanley is set to announce third quarter earnings results Tuesday morning. Here are some of the key numbers analysts are expecting. 

    • Revenue: $9.6 billion
    • Net income: $1.8 billion 
    • Earnings per share: $1.01
    • Return on equity: 10.5%

     

    SEE ALSO: A rising star at Morgan Stanley who helped turn around an ailing business has landed a big promotion

    ALSO READ: A trading unit Morgan Stanley left for dead could be 'the most exciting business' if 2 things happen

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years


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    Meghan Markle Princess Diana earrings

    • Meghan Markle wore a pair of earrings owned by the late Princess Diana on her royal tour in Australia.
    • Diana wore the butterfly-shaped earrings on a trip to Canada in 1986.
    • Meghan and Prince Harry's first official royal tour follows in the footsteps of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who went on their first royal tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1983.

    Meghan Markle wore a butterfly-shaped pair of earrings that belonged to Princess Diana on her first royal tour with Prince Harry.

    The late Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother, wore the earrings on her visit to Canada in 1986. Markle wore the earrings in Australia on Tuesday, where she met members of the public, watched traditional dance, met with Australia's governor general.

    Twitter account The Royal Watcher noticed the connection, which was officially confirmed to the Daily Mail's royal correspondent, Rebecca English.

    "I’ve just had official confirmation of this ... really touching to think that Harry’s mother’s personal jewellery is now being worn by the daughter-in-law she never got to meet," English wrote.

    Tuesday is the first day of the couple's royal tour, where they will also visit Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.

    They are following in the footsteps of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who went on their first royal tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1983.

    Meghan and Harry also met a hilariously unimpressed koala and opened a new institute at the Taronga Zoo on Tuesday, the first day of their 16-day tour.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years


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    jennifer garner and erwin

    Nobody knows the pressure of nailing perfect makeup like an artist who perfects the faces of Hollywood's elite.

    With over 30 years of experience, Philippines-born, New York and LA-trained, and Washington DC-based makeup artist Erwin Gomez is a go-to for the likes of Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Rachel McAdams, and Paris Hilton.

    Working out of his studio, KARMA by Erwin Gomez, he told INSIDER that he is consistently tasked to make celebrity clients look "on point"— particularly when it comes to eyebrows.

    "I was drawing faces when I was younger and learned about bone structure in the skull," he said. "It's been an incredible gift."

    paris hilton and erwin

    It's not just celebrities who "love to look flawless," though. Of course, Gomez also knows a thing or two about the makeup habits of us mere mortals — and he says there are a few crucial errors he sees his clients make.

    Here are the 6 mistakes women make with their makeup, according to Gomez, and what they should be doing instead.

    They try to follow trends.

    "First, never follow trends," Gomez said. Instead, he said you should be following the bone structure of your face.

    "The biggest mistake people make it trying to follow a trend and looking at magazines," he went on.

    He said he recently had a 65-year-old woman coming in wanting "so much glitter" when a "more mature" woman should look for a matte finish.

    "What I see a lot [is] someone going into department stores, and end up getting so much... having the wrong sales person trying to sell them something they should not be getting."



    They over-contour.

    "Instagram has taken over [with] contouring, everybody wants to contour," Gomez said. However, he stressed that people need to "learn how to blend so it doesn't look to clowny or heavy."

    "It's about having the right cover," he said.



    They don't match their eyebrows to the shape of their face.

    When it comes to your face shape, "you want to match the frame to your eyebrows," Gomez said.

    "It's like having a 4x6 picture, you need a frame that fits that," he went on.

    He also said he often sees people take the tail of the eyebrows off which "doesn't look polished or structured."

    Oh — and avoid dark eyebrow pencil that "looks like tattoos."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch

    • Rupert Murdoch’s six children are in line for $2 billion each in proceeds from the sale of 21st Century Fox, the Financial Times reports.
    • All six heirs are beneficiaries of the Murdoch Family Trust, which owns a 17% stake in 21st Century Fox.
    • Rupert Murdoch doesn’t have a financial interest in the trust, but he still controls it.

    The monster $71.3 billion sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney is nearing completion, pending approval from EU regulators.

    And when it does, each of Rupert Murdoch’s six children are in line for $2 billion payday, according to The Financial Times.

    Multiple people briefed on the matter told the FT that each of the Murdoch heirs will receive an equal share of $12 billion in proceeds.

    The figure represents a 17% share in 21st Century Fox held by the Murdoch Family Trust.

    It also includes Fox’s interest in Sky, Europe’s biggest pay-TV provider, which was sold to Comcast for $40 billion in September.

    Murdoch’s four adult children — Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James — are direct beneficiaries of the Trust.

    Murdoch’s daughters from his marriage to Wendi Deng, Grace and Chloe, aged 16 and 15, are also beneficiaries of the trust but don’t have a voting interest in it. Their stake is managed by Trustees.

    Disney’s bid gives 21st Century Fox investors the choice between receiving cash or shares.

    However, it’s unclear whether Rupert Murdoch will give each beneficiary the option.

    According to the FT, Murdoch has no financial interest in the trust but he still controls it.

    Not included in the $12 billion figure is the Murdoch Family’s interest in News Corp or New Fox — the entity being spun out of 21st Century Fox which will maintain ownership of the US Fox news channel.

    Following the sale, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch will continue to work together, with Lachlan being appointed CEO and Chairman of New Fox.

    However, it remains to be seen what James Murdoch — currently the CEO of 21st Century Fox, will do next. Among his various technology interests, he’s also been earmarked as a possible successor to Elon Musk as the chairman of Tesla.

    The Financial Times has more here.

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    Real World

    • Viacom's MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions are co-producing three seasons of Real World specifically for Facebook Watch.
    • The Real World's last season aired on TV between 2016 and 2017.
    • The Facebook Watch seasons will be created specifically for the US, Mexico, and Thailand.
    • Weekly 30-minute episodes of the show will drop on the platform in spring and include voting capabilities allowing users to pick the cast.


    MTV wants to introduce a new generation of viewers to its long-running reality hit, "The Real World," so it's creating three seasons of the show exclusively for Facebook Watch.

    Viacom's MTV Studios is co-producing the series with Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) for Facebook Watch. It will roll out in the spring of 2019. There are three seasons of the show that are localized to the US, Mexico, and Thailand markets, and each weekly episode will be 30 minutes long.

    The Real World logo

    "The Real World" is one of MTV's longest-running and most successful series, spanning 32 seasons beginning in 1992. Under the deal with Facebook Watch, the new seasons will not air on TV. The last season of the show to air on TV was "Real World Seattle: Bad Blood"that ran between 2016 and 2017.

    The new seasons will solely be distributed on Facebook Watch and include interactive and social tools. One is voting, which lets viewers vote on one housemate to appear on the show before it airs, according to Viacom. Viacom also plans to use several of Facebook's features like Facebook Live, Watch Party, and Premieres, and will post daily scenes of the show.

    "By partnering with Facebook Watch and BMP, we have the opportunity to impact culture and create a new genre of television all over again, while engaging the next generation of content consumers around the world," MTV president Chris McCarthy said in a statement.

    Facebook's content ambitions continue to grow

    Facebook is on a mission to turn its Watch tab into a standalone video hub for long-form video, and has courted a number of publishers to crank out 'shows' for the platform.

    Over the past year, the Watch section has expanded to include both shows and shorter video clips from creators. According to Facebook, 50 million people in the US go to the Watch tab once a month to watch at least one minute of video.

    Most recently, Facebook opened up reserved buying for pre-roll and mid-roll ads that appear in premium Watch videos, which is similar to how TV ad buyers buy shows. The idea is that advertisers will have more assurance that their ads will only appear alongside premium video content using Nielsen's Target Rating Points (or TRPs).

    "It's intended to be the most engaging, highest-quality content that we have and we look at a number of signals when we think about inclusion for publishers and creators — popularity, how many people are watching intentionally, how loyal are they," Kate Orseth, Facebook's media monetization product marketing director, told Business Insider recently.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Michel Barnier Theresa May

    • Theresa May will address EU leaders at a special summit in Brussels on Wednesday evening.
    • The summit was originally scheduled to sign off a Brexit divorce deal with the UK.
    • However, prospects of a deal now look more distant than ever before with the EU increasingly pessimistic that an agreement can be reached.
    • The impasse has put Theresa May's future at risk with a no-deal Brexit threatening chaos for the UK economy.

    LONDON — Theresa May's Brexit deal was left hanging by a thread this week after the UK government dashed hopes that an agreement would be struck at the EU Council summit on Thursday.

    The failure to strike a deal followed threats of resignations from May's Cabinet and a growing sense of pessimism on both sides of the English Channel that a Brexit deal may ultimately be out of reach.

    "Unfortunately the report on the state of the negotiations that I got from Michel Barnier today, as well as yesterday’s debate in the House of Commons, gives me no grounds for optimism before tomorrow’s European Council on Brexit," European Council president Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.

    So as May heads out to Brussels on Wednesday to address EU leaders, what hopes are there still of a deal, how did the prime minister reach this point, and what chance is there that Britain may ultimately end up with no agreement at all?

    How did we get here?

    Theresa MayWestminster was sent into a frenzy on Sunday afternoon when Dominic Raab, the UK Brexit Secretary, travelled to Brussels to meet with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, amid rumours of a deal already being reached.

    Multiple reports claimed that a deal was agreed at "technical" level ie. between negotiators who aren't politicians. However, hopes of an imminent announcement were quickly scotched with Raab stating that there were still major "sticking points" to a deal.

    Privately, Downing Street sources deny that a deal was ever on the table. "Really don't believe any of this stuff," a source close to the prime minister said.

    "There will be an agreement when it is reached at political level and there is no other sort of agreement."

    "Don't believe any of this stuff. There will be an agreement when it is reached at a political level and there is no other sort of agreement."— Source close to Theresa May.

    The main sticking point to an agreement relates to the so-called "backstop," which is the insurance policy for ensuring the open, frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is preserved no matter what shape Brexit takes.

    The EU and UK strongly disagree on what shape this backstop should take, and how long it should be in place.

    The EU's preferred backstop arrangement is for Northern Ireland to effectively stay in the customs union and single market "until and unless" technology capable of keeping the Irish border is ready to be implemented.

    However, the UK government hates this idea.

    Firstly, such an arrangement would create new border checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, creating divergence between two members of UK. Secondly, the UK wants the backstop arrangement to be time-limited, to prevent the possibility of the UK being stuck in the EU's customs unions for years and years.

    The UK government has instead come up with a counterproposal of the entire UK temporarily staying in a customs union after Brexit. The EU is okay with this — but only if the UK agrees to its Northern Ireland-only backstop as well.

    Basically, neither side is willing to budge. 

    A government source who BI spoke to on Tuesday was gloomy about the chances of negotiators overcoming these fundamental differences, saying: "it's going to be really difficult to get it [a deal] through."

    Why is the EU's proposal so toxic for the UK?

    Dominic Raab Jeremy HuntIf May did agree to the EU's proposal in its current form, it would meet fierce opposition in Westminster.

    Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs have threatened to oust May as Conservative leader if she agrees to it and numerous Cabinet ministers would reportedly consider quitting. BI reported last week that three ministers — Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey — are all poised to quit if May accepts the EU's demands.

    Brexiteers believe that an indefinite backstop arrangement would trap the UK in the EU's customs regime for potentially decades, leading to what critics describe as "BRINO" (Brexit in name only.) It would prevent the UK from signing meaningful new free trade deals, as they would be restricted to following the EU's trade policy.

    And then there's the Democratic Unionist Party which props up May's fragile government. The Northern Irish party has been clear it will not accept any new checks whatsoever between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

    Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesperson, wrote last week that May would "not have DUP support, regardless of whether the government tries to bribe, bully or browbeat us into accepting it."

    "This is a battle of who blinks first — and we’ve cut off our eyelids."— DUP source.

    The DUP's core objective is to protect Northern Ireland's place in the UK. The party regards any threat to that, like new border checks between the two, as an unacceptable existential threat to Northern Ireland itself.

    It's for that reason that the DUP doesn't appear to be bluffing. As an unnamed DUP source was quoted as saying last year: "This is a battle of who blinks first — and we’ve cut off our eyelids."

    Putting it simply, if May agrees to the EU's backstop proposal, she will enrage a number of Tory MPs large enough to trigger a leadership contest, and lose the support of DUP MPs who are the only reason she is still prime minister.

    So where do we go from here?

    theresa may donald tuskA spokesperson for Theresa May dropped a little hint about a possible plan B on Tuesday. They told reporters that prime minister's priority was establishing "a mechanism to clearly define how" the backstop will end. 

    This is significant as May's original position was that the backstop must have an explicit expiry date. However, the focus now appears to be on the conditions on which the backstop could be brought to an end — not a fixed date. 

    A source close to Cabinet discussions made a similar suggestion to BI this week, claiming that the prime minister had focused on creating something which "feels" like a time-limit, rather than an actual end date. 

    Whether the Brexiteers threatening May's position would accept that is unclear. Government sources believe that a significant number of Tory MPs will be almost impossible to please, even if May turns negotiations around.

    "If the EU agree to a UK-wide customs backstop that'd be a huge diplomatic win for us," one said. "But it will be received as a disaster because the UK will be in a customs union for a bit longer. That's the perverse place we are in."

    "I fear Britain will have a lot of hurt pride and like a wounded animal will lash out before it dies"— EU Commission source.

    Barnier has reportedly offered the May a one-year extension to the proposed 21-month transition period.

    This, in theory, would give the UK more time to negotiate a trade deal with the EU which is comprehensive enough to preserve the Irish border, meaning the backstop wouldn't have to come to into play.

    However, Barnier is clear that the UK would still have to accept the Northern Ireland-alone backstop which May has already rejected. Plus, an extended transition would not go down well with pro-Brexit MPs, who'd be dismayed with the prospect of EU rulings, rules and budget contributions continuing for another 12 months.

    Ideas are floating around but a breakthrough doesn't appear to be imminent. And with no further negotiations scheduled to take place this week, the prime minister's trip to Brussels is set to be another fruitless visit. 

    No deal looms

    LEAVE BREXITMeanwhile, the bigger picture is that a no deal Brexit is regarded as likelier than ever.

    Donald Tusk, the European Council President, believes a no deal scenario — which risks unleashing chaos across British life and causing serious headaches for EU member states — was "more likely than ever before."

    A European Commission official, who BI spoke to this week, echoed Tusk.

    "We don't want a no-deal any more than the UK does," they said.

    "But the deal is definitely going to be pushed back to November, if it happens at all," they said.

    "Even if we can agree a deal, what happens in the UK parliament is an entirely different matter."

    "They don't want to negotiate with Corbyn or Johnson. But sympathy and understanding are not the same as giving someone what they want."— EU Commission source.

    Figures in Brussels say the ball is in May's court, and that the impasse holding up talks originates from the prime minister's weak position in Westminster, not intransigence on the EU's behalf.

    "They [the EU] are trying to help her. They don't want a change in government," another European Commission source said. "They don't want to negotiate with [Jeremy] Corbyn or [Boris] Johnson.

    "But sympathy and understanding are not the same as giving someone what they want."

    They expressed concern that if both sides continue to struggle to reach a compromise, tempers will rise, and the UK could stage another walkout which will come too late to rectify, leading to a no deal Brexit. 

    "My fear is that there is still a lot of bad blood and without being wishy-washy about culture, I fear Britain will have a lot of hurt pride and like a wounded animal will lash out before it dies," the Commission source said.

    Both sides are determined to avoid no deal. There are even suggestions that negotiators are prepared to wait until the European Council's summit on December 13 to strike a deal. This would give the Westminster and Brussels parliaments much less time than they were hoping for to scrutinise and ratify the deal. 

    But desperate times call for desperate measures — and as things stand, the situation is becoming increasingly desperate. 

    SEE ALSO: Liam Fox under pressure to rule out adopting US food standards in Brexit trade deal with Trump

    DON'T MISS: Theresa May's government accused of lying about '30 Labour MPs' backing her Brexit deal

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Theresa May

    • Two on-the-record quotes from Brexit negotiators indicate that May has misjudged her adversaries in Brussels, who want to deliver an exit from Europe with no agreement, the worst possible scenario for Britain.
    • Sabine Weyand, deputy to EU negotiator Michel Barnier, said "Hello?! Who are they kidding?" when it was put to her that a post-Brexit agreement might be a "win-win negotiation." She also thinks Britain's position is "bollocks, according to the Financial Times.
    • Theresa May's former deputy EU negotiator Ivan Rogers said Article 50 was a trap designed to force Britain out with no deal. "The EU duly closed the trap door before they realised what transition they were in for," he said in a recent speech.

    We are just six months away from the Article 50 Brexit deadline, and it increasingly looks like Britain will be forced to choose between two scenarios:

    • Prime Minister Theresa May secures a Brexit deal that keeps the UK close to Europe for trade purposes, like Norway, in a compromise on British independence.
    • The UK crashes out of the EU without a deal in a so-called "hard Brexit," leaving the nation with no meaningful trade treaty with its closest, richest, and largest neighbour.

    Two on-the-record quotes from Brexit negotiators indicate that May has misjudged her adversaries in Brussels, who are highly incentivized to deliver the second option: an exit from Europe with no agreement, the worst possible scenario.

    'Hello?! Who are they kidding?' 

    The first quote: In a Financial Times profile of Olly Robbins, May's current chief Brexit negotiator, there was a telling quote from Sabine Weyand, deputy to EU negotiator Michel Barnier. When it was put to Weyand that a post-Brexit agreement with the EU might be a "win-win negotiation," she replied, "Hello?! Who are they kidding?"

    Her logic is that Britain must suffer the punishment of being banished from the EU before constructive talks can begin — to demonstrate to everyone else all the disadvantages of leaving the EU. She regards Brexit as a "fundamental" threat to the EU, the FT reports, and sees Britain's negotiating positions as "bollocks." As far as she is concerned, no-deal is the punishment for leaving, pour encourager les autres.

    'The EU duly closed the trap door before they realised what transition they were in for'

    ivan rogers

    The second quote: May's former chief negotiator, Ivan Rogers, gave a lengthy, detailed speech last week on the Brexit process. It is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand, from an insider's perspective, how the process really works. He calls the idea of negotiating a trade deal during the Article 50 process a "total fantasy."

    May's error, he argues, was to trigger Article 50 quickly in 2017. It contains a non-negotiable two-year deadline that expires in March 2019. Only then will the EU begin negotiating a new trade deal. Rogers says Article 50 is essentially a "trap door":

    "Invoking Article 50 when they did and in the fashion they did, led them further. And the EU duly closed the trap door before they realised what transition they were in for."

    ... "The aim of the 27, perfectly legitimately, whether or not it is wisely, has been to maximise leverage during the withdrawal process and tee up a trade negotiation after our exit where the clock and the cliff edge can again be used to maximise concessions from London."

    An historic strategic error

    I have argued since March 2017 that May's insistence on triggering Article 50 quickly, before she had any idea of what compromises the EU might offer, was an historic strategic error. It ended any leverage Britain had. It will cost the country trade, jobs, access, and growth. 

    These two quotes underline the problem. The EU is incentivised to give Britain the worst deal possible, and Article 50 is designed to force that to happen. In Brussels, Weyand clearly understands that. In London, Rogers knows it too.

    Ironically, the hardcore Leavers — like Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and the European Research Group are arguing for the same deal that the EU is working its hardest to deliver: the punishment of no deal.

    More on Britain's missteps under Article 50:

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    Union Jack

    • Inflation in the UK unexpectedly drops in September, as food price increases slow down.
    • Consumer price inflation (CPI), the most watched measure of UK inflation, feel to 2.4%, down from 2.7% in the previous month.
    • The fall is coupled with a rise in average wages for UK workers, which grew by 3.1% in the 12 months to September, the fastest increase since the financial crisis.

    The rate of inflation in the UK dropped sharply and somewhat unexpectedly in September, signalling that the surprise rise in prices last month was just a temporary blip in a longer downward trend for inflation in Britain.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday that consumer price inflation (CPI), the most watched measure of UK inflation, feel to 2.4% in September, down from 2.7% in the previous month. CPI had been expected by economists polled prior to the release to drop to 2.6% during the month.

    CPIH, the ONS' preferred method of measuring inflation was also lower in September, falling from 2.4% in August to 2.2%.

    "Food was the main downward pull on inflation as last year’s September price rises failed to reappear, while ferry prices dropped after their surprisingly high summer peak," Mike Hardie, the ONS' head of inflation said in a statement. "However, it wasn’t all one-way traffic with energy suppliers pushing up their prices."

    Here's the chart from the ONS of inflation as part of the longer term trend:

    Screen Shot 2018 10 17 at 09.49.01

    Inflation in the UK had been subdued for several years prior to the vote to leave the EU in June 2016. But the vote caused a fall in the value of the pound, which pushed up inflation.

    As the pound has recovered, inflation once again started to fall, dropping from 3% at the end of 2017 to 2.4% in June. It then picked up again in July and August, but now appears to be moving lower once again, signalling that the inflationary impacts of the pound's fall may be going away.

    Wednesday's data comes just 24 hours after wage figures from the ONS showed pay for UK workers rising by 3.1% in the 12 months to September, the fastest rate of growth since the financial crisis.

    "Coupled with the gradual up-tick in wages, the slowing rise in prices will deliver a boost to consumers’ real take-home pay packets, which will also be welcome news for retailers," Tej Parikh, a senior economist at lobby group the Institute of Directors said.

    SEE ALSO: It looks like the UK has bounced back from its economic slump — but it is still headed for its worst year since the financial crisis

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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

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    Prince Harry Meghan Markle Australia Woodley family

    • Meghan Markle made banana bread for a local family as she visited their farm on her royal tour in Australia.
    • Meghan and Prince Harry visited the Woodley family in Dubbo to learn how they manage their farm despite the drought conditions in the area.
    • The recipe included chocolate chips and ginger, and one family member said of Meghan: “She said if you go to someone’s house you always bring something, so she did."
    • The bread was a hit, and disappeared quickly.

    Meghan Markle baked her own banana bread for a picnic with a local farming family in Dubbo, Australia, as part of her first royal tour with Prince Harry.

    Meghan and Harry visited the Mountain View Farm, around 5 hours outside of Sydney, which is run by the Woodley family. The couple learned how the family deals with drought in the area.

    They joined the family for tea and a picnic, where Meghan brought a homemade cake and some tea.

    Hannah Furness, a royal correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, said the cake went "rather quickly."

    Benita Woodley, a member of the family, said of Meghan: “She said if you go to someone’s house you always bring something, so she did," according to Woodley.

    "She said she was worried about the bananas, that she’d put too many bananas in it. But the Duke said there’s never too many bananas."

    Rebecca English, the Daily Mail's royal correspondent, said the cake had chocolate chips and a bit of ginger, and tasted "rather nice."

    Meghan and Harry got involved at the farm, feeding cattle and learning about how the farm runs.

    Meghan Markle Prince Harry Australia farm

    The 3,000-hectare farm has been in the family for four generations, according to the Syndey Morning Herald.

    Farming in the region is a struggle. In the first nine months of 2018, the region has received just 118.2 millimeters (4.6 inches) of rain, the Herald reported.

    On their 16-day tour, the couple will also visit Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand.

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    Iceberg

    • Off-balance-sheet debt in Chinese local governments has ballooned in recent years and could now be worth as much as 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion).
    • According to analysts at S&P Global Ratings, this represents a "debt iceberg with titanic credit risks."
    • Rising debt levels in China are a major concern for the global economy, with fears that a wave of defaults could be imminent.

    China may be sitting on a hidden debt pile of as much as 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion), concealed off-balance-sheet by the country's local governments, according to research from S&P Global Ratings.

    Many local governments in China raise debt and hold it off their balance sheet, in order to avoid lending limits imposed by central authorities. S&P says that this is a growing problem within the country, and that the amount of debt held this way has likely ballooned in recent years.

    "S&P Global Ratings believes the amount of debt that local governments keep off their balance sheets may be multiples of the publicly disclosed amount," analysts Gloria Lu and Laura Li wrote in a note on Tuesday.

    "That's a debt iceberg with titanic credit risks," the analysts said, adding that including hidden debts, the "ratio of government debt to GDP could have reached 60% in 2017, an alarming level."

    LGFVs have risen in popularity in recent years as a means of financing spending on a local level, following a dictat from Beijing limiting the amount that could be raised in local government bonds issuances. By using LGFVs, local governments are able to skirt round these rules and spend on infrastructure projects.

    Not only is the level of hidden debt held by local governments in the world's second largest economy rising, but so too is the risk of those debts being defaulted on. Much of the debt is held by so-called local government financing vehicles (LGFVs), and S&P reports that central government may be willing to let these vehicles file for bankruptcy in the future.

    "Default risk of LGFVs is on the rise. China has opened up the possibility of insolvent LGFVs filing for bankruptcy, but managing the default aftermath is a formidable task for top leadership," the report noted.

    This bankruptcy risk has not gone unnoticed, with S&P cutting its credit ratings on seven LGFVs about a month ago. According to Reuters,Moody’s Investors Service "downgraded five non-financial corporate and infrastructure issuers owned by governments in Tianjin, Jiangsu, Hunan and Hubei" at about the same time.

    China's rising debt levels across all areas of its economy are seen as a major risk to global growth, with some analysts estimating that the next financial crisis could crystalize from the world's second largest economy.

    The country's total non-financial sector debt, which includes household, corporate and government debt, will surge to almost 300% of GDP by 2022, up from 242% in 2016. Fears abound that if this debt pile continues to grow, a spectacular blow up could be imminent.

    "Investor skepticism will return if policymakers take 'one step forward and two steps back' when the contagion of LGFV defaults emerges," the report said, referencing a major correction in the Chinese markets last time there were major concerns around debt levels in China back in late 2015 and early 2016.

    "Clearly, the LGFV sector is a significant component of the Chinese corporate bond market and banking assets," it continued.

    "On top of that, many shadow banking products related to LGFVs have been sold to retail investors. When financial and social stability is high on the agenda of China's top leadership, local governments and LGFVs are walking a tightrope."

    Deeper fears stoked by deficit woes

    Fears about Chinese debt are exacerbated by worries over the country possibly running a budget deficit for the first time in more than two decades this year.

    China's current account balance is down significantly from last year's 1.3% and will likely turn into a small deficit in 2019. If so, that would be the first time in 24 years.

    "The larger the stimulus used by China to offset the trade war impact, the bigger will its deficit likely be," UBS's Tao Wang, chief China economist, said in a report on Tuesday.

    That may hurt confidence and hasten outflows, putting pressure on the nation's currency. 

    "Although CNY depreciation can partially offset trade war impact, a large depreciation will likely hurt domestic confidence, trigger panic outflows and risk financial stability," UBS said. 

    SEE ALSO: A ticking time bomb in China has global markets looking really shaky right now

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