Archives: Briefings

Trade war spurs IMF to cut 2019 global growth prediction to three per cent

The organization said U.S. and Chinese tariffs will reduce worldwide gross domestic product by 0.8 per cent, and contribute to slower growth in Asian advanced economies like South Korea and Singapore. It maintained its Canadian projection for 2019 at 1.5 per cent, and dropped its outlook for 2020 slightly to 1.8 per cent. Global trade grew one per cent in the first six months of 2019, in part because of declining car sales. (The Logic)

Libra Association says it may not get regulatory approvals in time for 2020 launch

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications, said the digital currency will not launch until governments in Europe and the U.S. sign off on it. On Monday, the association’s 21 remaining members elected its first board of directors, which includes David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Calibra division; Katie Haun, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Wences Casares, CEO of Hong Kong-based Bitcoin wallet Xapo; Patrick Ellis, general counsel of Dutch payments platform PayU; and Matthew Davie, chief strategy officer of lending non-profit Kiva. (Financial Times, Bloomberg)

Uber lays off 350 employees across Canada and the U.S.

The cuts will affect workers in the Uber Eats, performance marketing, recruiting, Advanced Technologies Group and global rides and platforms departments. Uber did not reply to The Logic’s request for comment on the scope of the layoffs within Canada. (TechCrunch)

Legal pot doesn’t hurt housing prices, according to RE/MAX data

The report found that communities with a heavy influx of pot shops have not seen a decline in housing prices, and that some regions actually see what looks like a pot-related uptick. In particular, some parts of eastern Canada with cannabis production facilities—like Smith Falls, Ont.—have had real estate booms. (The Logic)

Stephen Harper joins Vancouver firm challenging Spotify and Apple Music

The former prime minister will be an adviser to Beatdapp Software, a firm using blockchain to detect when a song is played on streaming services to try and collect royalties for artists and music labels. The company also raised $3.2 million in a round led by Panache Ventures. (Globe and Mail)

Trump announces ‘phase one’ U.S.-China trade deal

Washington is providing tariff relief as part of the preliminary deal. Beijing will buy US$40 billion to US$50 billion in American agricultural products, according to U.S. President Donald Trump, who also said the deal includes terms on intellectual property and financial services. A more comprehensive pact could be signed later this year. The Dow Jones rose over 350 points on the news. (Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters)

Ebay, Stripe and Mastercard abandon plans to join Facebook’s digital currency

The first two firms said they respect what Facebook is doing with Libra, but will not be part of the project. Mastercard has yet to confirm its exit, reported by Bloomberg The Libra Association, a Geneva-based non-profit set up to govern the currency, said it will nonetheless move forward. The group is scheduled to meet on Monday to nominate board members. (Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNBC)