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Soon, U.S. travelers may not be allowed to bring along laptops if they are in checked bags.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently filed a suggestion with the United Nations to stop allowing passengers to check bags with laptops. Tests the agency conducted proved the rechargeable lithium-ion battery in most laptops can cause an explosion if it overheats near an aerosol spray can. Such fires could become unstoppable as they are capable of disabling the aircraft’s fire suppression system. Because most airlines don’t cover damage of checked items, for some travel experts, the issue seems like a no-brainer.

“Why would anyone put a laptop in a checked bag in the first place?” said George Hobica, chief executive officer of Continue reading

The popular image of the best hedge-fund managers as ruthless risk-takers who put profits before people could be all wrong.

It turns out that hedge-fund managers with psychopathic personality traits underperform their less psychopathic peers, according to new research published Thursday by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.

Researchers analyzed 101 hedge-fund managers for so-called “Dark Triad” personality traits — psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism — then looked at their investment performance over a 10-year period.

Hedge-fund managers who exhibited more psychopathic traits earned .88% less each year than their less psychopathic peers. That means with compound interest, an investment of $1 million would earn $161,694 (15%) less over the course of 10 years if invested with a manager who displayed more psychopathic tendencies, researchers said.

“It suggests that our folk wisdom that being callous and ruthless leads to success seems to be incorrect,” said study co-author Leanne ten Brinke, a psychology professor at the University of Denver. “It behooves us to check our assumptions, especially when we have an opportunity to put someone in a position in power, to elect someone to office, or to promote someone to the C-suite.”

Ten Brinke co-authored a previous study on U.S. Senators that found a similar link between psychopathic traits and performance. Senators who exhibited psychopathic tendencies were less likely to find co-sponsors for their legislation. (That study didn’t identify which senators displayed psychopathic traits.)

To study the hedge-fund managers, researchers carefully watched video interviews of the managers that had been recorded by an investment advisory firm between 2006 and 2015 for marketing purposes. All of the managers were asked similar questions, like, “Can you explain your portfolio construction process?” Researchers watched for verbal and nonverbal behaviors that reveal personality traits.

Psychopaths tend to lack empathy, though they can also be very charming — at least in a superficial way — and can use over-the-top flattery at times to manipulate others. In the video interviews, some of the more psychopathic managers would talk gleefully of their rivals’ failures, or show no emotion when discussing mass layoffs, ten Brinke said.

“Things like Schadenfreude came up a lot,” recalled ten Brinke, referring to the German word for taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Generally speaking, psychopaths have a propensity to lie and manipulate others for self-gain, and an appetite for taking risks, ten Brinke told MarketWatch. They also tend to show a lack of conscience and often engage in antisocial and criminal behaviors, she said.

Researchers then studied investment returns between October 2005 and September 2015 for each manager’s “flagship fund” because they tend to most closely reflect the manager’s investment process, researchers said.

Firms included in the study managed a median of $4.64 billion in assets and all had been in operation for at least 10 years. The firms in the study saw average annualized returns during the study period of 7.27%, higher than the hedge fund research index for that time period (4.36%), “suggesting that our sample reflects a relatively high-performing population of hedge-fund managers,” researchers wrote.

Read more: Wear this to feel dominant during business negotiations

The hedge-fund managers who served as the study’s participants aren’t aware that researchers used their video interviews. An independent review board at the University of California, Berkeley approved the study’s ethics.

Researchers noted that the study has some limitations. The time period included the global financial crisis, and “we cannot rule out the possibility that in other periods or contexts, Dark Triad traits may be related to better outcomes,” the authors wrote.

Ten Brinke’s co-authors were Dacher Keltner, a UC-Berkeley psychology professor who studies interpersonal power, and Aimee Kish, a managing director at TeamCo Advisers, a San Francisco-based investment advisory firm that manages hedge funds.

TeamCo’s investment philosophy emphasizes working with hedge-fund managers who exhibit traits such as honesty and morality, said Ten Brinke, who has helped the firm evaluate potential managers.

“They’re very concerned with the traits and morality of the people they invest with, and they partnered with us because they wanted to know if their philosophy led to better returns,” ten Brinke said.

TeamCo Advisers couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. The firm announced last month that it will shut down in early 2018 following several years of disappointing returns in the industry.

Body will bring ‘influential business leaders’ together to create investment ‘artery’

55 minutes ago

Glanbia boss Siobhán Talbot. Photograph: Eric Luke




Boston College, in conjunction with the Irish trade promotion group Gateway to Europe, launched its Ireland Business Council at an event in Dublin’s Merrion hotel on Wednesday night.

The council will promote transatlantic trade, Boston College said. It will bring “influential business leaders from both communities together once a year in Dublin and in Boston to create one deeply connected transatlantic trade and foreign direct investment artery”, the college added.

The new initiative will be chaired by Neil Naughton, chairman of Glen Dimplex. Its advisory board also includes Dr Bob Mauro, director of the global leadership institute at Boston College; Jim Kelliher, chief financial officer of Actifio; and Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig of Sigmar Sigmar Recruitment and the leader of Ireland, Gateway to Europe.

Speakers at the event in the Merrion included Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, Glanbia group managing director Siobhán Talbot and Paul Coulson, chairman of the Ardagh packaging group.

Documents deal with likely sectoral impact of Brexit and implications for EU-UK trade

about 6 hours ago

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Niall Collins of Fianna Fáil said the Government’s unwillingness to publish reports into Brexit by some of its departments is unhelpful. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons




Fianna Fáil has accused the Government of deliberately suppressing two more reports on the economic impact of Brexit on Ireland.

The reports, commissioned by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Frances Fitzgerald, deal with the likely sectoral impact of Brexit and the strategic implications for EU-UK trade.

Ms Fitzgerald confirmed to Fianna Fáil’s Niall Collins, by way of a parliamentary question, that she would not be publishing the reports.

Mr Collins said the Government’s continuing unwillingness to publish reports into Brexit by some of its departments is not only disappointing but also unhelpful.

“In the public interest, to inform debate and for complete transparency for all business stakeholders, I am calling on the Tánaiste to immediately publish both of these reports when complete,” he said.

Mr Collins said the fact that these reports will cost the taxpayer €250,000 should spur on the Tánaiste to release them to ensure their full value.

“A hard Brexit is the biggest threat to Irish export jobs and growth since the foundation of the State,” he said, noting that some 91,000 firms and businesses here were likely to be affected by Britain’s departure.

“We need full disclosure on all business reports being commissioned by the Government to ensure that everyone can be as prepared as possible,” Mr Collins said,

Border report

The Government has already been heavily criticised for withholding a separate report by Revenue on the implications for the Border.

This report was said to have detailed the enormous physical and economic impact of Brexit on Ireland and on trade as well as the likely customs infrastructure that would be required to facilitate the UK exiting the customs union.

Separately, European businesses have joined calls for an urgent agreement on a period of transition after Britain leaves the EU to avoid a damaging “cliff edge” Brexit.

Fourteen trade and business bodies have signed up to a statement warning that failure to reach a deal would send “costly shock waves” through established trade flows and supply chains.

They urge British and EU negotiators to ensure a “seamless transition” after March 2019 that replicates the current commercial, regulatory and commercial environment.

Signatories include the European Shippers’ Council, the Community of European Railways, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the World Shipping Council as well as the UK’s Freight Transport Association.

While the statement acknowledged there were “significant questions” to be resolved between the two sides, it said decisions were needed urgently to enable businesses to invest and plan for the future.

– (Additional reporting: PA)

Republic ranks in 20th place in PwC’s measurement of role of over-55s in labour force

about 7 hours ago

Peter Hamilton

If Ireland was to bring its employment rate for workers aged over 55 in line with Sweden, the resulting long-term GDP boost could be as much as 5.4 per cent, PwC said.




Ireland’s long-term GDP could be boosted by around €15 billion if the employment rate for workers over 55 increased substantially, according to a new report.

The report, from professional services firm PwC, shows that if Ireland was to bring its employment rate for workers aged over 55 in line with Sweden, the resulting long-term GDP boost could be 5.4 per cent.

At present, Ireland ranks in 20th place out of 34 in PwC’s measurement of the impact of over-55s on the labour market. Iceland, New Zealand, Israel and Sweden make up the top four countries in the list, while Greece, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Turkey round out the bottom.

Ireland’s mid-table performance comes due to the apparent lower employment rate of the over-55s compared with OECD average rates, PwC said.

“Flexible working policies can incentivise women to remain in work longer, so having the right policies in place will increase the employment rate of those over 55 and may help to reduce the gender pay gap which is shown to increase with age,” said Gerard McDonough, a director at PwC Ireland.

“The life experience of older workers and the skills they have acquired throughout their career make them hugely valuable to the modern workforce,” he added.

While Ireland could gain significantly in GDP terms, it pales in comparison to countries performing poorly in the table including Greece, which could see a boost of 16 per cent; Belgium, forecasted to see GDP increase by 13 per cent; and Slovenia, where GDP could rise by 12 per cent. The largest potential benefactor in monetary terms, meanwhile, is the US, which could gain around $0.5 trillion, or around 3 per cent of GDP.

PwC chief economist, John Hawksworth, said encouraging and enabling older workers to work for longer would boost consumer spending power and tax revenues in addition to GDP.

“Between 2015 and 2035, the number of people aged 55 and above in high-income (OECD) countries will grow by almost 50 per cent to around 538 million. It’s good news that we are living longer, but rapid population ageing is putting significant financial pressure on healthcare and pension systems. To offset these higher costs, we think older workers should be encouraged and enabled to remain working for longer.”

Martin Wolf: The linked challenges of climate and development will shape humanity’s future

about 8 hours ago

Martin Wolf

Flooding in Bangladesh. Poorer countries are hardest hit by global warming.




“Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

This sentence from the History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides is the philosophy of Donald Trump’s administration. Thus, two of his advisers, HR McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote in May that: “The world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, non-governmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

This amoral perspective has serious implications. In no area are global spillovers more significant and co-operation more vital than climate. The failure to act ensures that the poor would indeed suffer.

This is the conclusion of a chapter on the economic impact of weather shocks, in the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook. The largest negative impacts of the shocks being made more frequent by global warming are on tropical countries.

Nearly all low-income countries are tropical. Yet these countries are the least able to protect themselves. Thus they are innocent victims of changes for which they bear no responsibility.


In assessing these risks, one has to start from the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is a reality. The intellectual industry devoted to denying this is well-funded and noisy. But its arguments are highly unconvincing. The underlying physics are undeniable.

Furthermore, the empirical connection between rising concentrations of greenhouse gases and temperature is unambiguous. If little or no action is taken, average temperatures could rise by 4°C, or more, above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. Aware of the lengthy lead times needed if effective action is to be taken, both to mitigate climate change and adapt to it (where inescapable), rational people would act now.

The main obstacles to such action are three. First, specific economic interests, notably in the fossil fuel industry, are understandably opposed to action and, not infrequently, to the science that suggests it is necessary.

Second, free-marketeers, who despise both governments and environmentalists, reject the science, because of its (to them) detestable policy implications. Third, few wish to inconvenience themselves, let alone threaten their standard of living, for the sake of the future, or people in poorer countries.

  • Nothing to worry about: Just 100 years of extreme weather

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  • Irish failing ‘spectacularly’ in response to climate change

So what is the evidence of the impact on the poorest of failure to act? The IMF authors start from our knowledge that higher temperatures make a range of weather-related disasters more likely because there will be more energy in the weather system.

Such effects will include a greater frequency of – and greater damage done by – cyclones, floods, heatwaves and wildfires.

Furthermore, the increased frequency of extreme events will also do relatively more damage to the poorest countries. This is so for two reasons: these countries are located in the regions of the world most likely to be adversely affected; and they are least able to protect themselves against, or manage, the impact.

For the median low-income developing country, with an average temperature of 25°C, the effect of a 1°C increase in temperature is to lower that year’s growth by 1.2 percentage points.


Moreover, the impact is long-lasting. These costs come from the adverse effects of heat on productivity, agricultural output, health and even conflict. Extreme heat is costly. Adaptation to extreme weather remains very hard for poor countries. We have witnessed this autumn the far more damaging impact of huge storms on poorer countries, such as those in the Caribbean, than on the much wealthier US.

It is possible for well-managed nations to reduce these adverse impacts. Countries with superior infrastructure, better-regulated capital markets, flexible exchange rates and more accountable and democratic institutions recover faster economically from the adverse impact of temperature shocks than others.

Hot regions in high-income countries also cope better than those in poorer ones. All this supports the view that the poorest countries are likely to be the most damaged by rising temperatures. The populations of such countries are more vulnerable because they are closer to subsistence.

With the temperature increases projected by 2100 under unmitigated climate change, annual real incomes per head of a representative low-income country would be 9 per cent lower than they would otherwise be.

This would impose large costs on their vulnerable groups. Moreover, such a forecast ignores the risks and uncertainties around any such estimates. A planet 4°C warmer than the pre-industrial average would be so different from the one we are now used to that the implications are in significant part unknowable.


The IMF’s analysis has a number of serious implications.

First and most important, low-income countries need to develop quickly to be better able to cope with weather shocks.

Second, their development needs to be consistent with mitigating the rise in global temperatures.

Third, we need rapid improvements in the relevant technologies and their swift dissemination.

Fourth, we also need to help poor countries adapt to the changes in climate already sure to happen.

Fifth, we need to develop insurance against weather-related shocks to poor countries. Finally, a moral case also exists for compensating losers from the costs of the unmitigated climate changes being imposed by richer countries.

We should not let the urgent stop us from thinking about the important. The linked challenges of climate and development will shape humanity’s future.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017

Special 1% rate applies to transfer of land within families, with age restriction abolished

about 11 hours ago

Cliff Taylor

The Finance Bill will include the extension of an existing tax relief to cover most transactions taking place within families. Photograph: Getty Images




A stamp duty tax relief aimed at farmers is to be extended in the wake of controversy over the hike in commercial stamp duty in the budget. Stamp duty on commercial transactions, including agricultural land, was increased from 2 per cent to 6 per cent in the budget as a key fund-raising measure.

Following criticism from the farming industry, the Finance Bill, due for publication on Thursday, will include the extension of an existing tax relief to cover most transactions taking place within families. However, the new higher rate looks set to continue to apply to other land transfers.

Under an existing provision, a special rate of 1 per cent applies to transfers of farmland within families, provided the owner selling or gifting the land is under 67. This age provision was designed to provide an incentive to farmers to pass on land at a younger age, offering a rate that was half the previous 2 per cent.

The age restriction is to be abolished as part of the Finance Bill, meaning the special rate – known as consanguinity relief – will apply even when the existing owner is older, provided certain other conditions are also met. This follows discussions between Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

Among the conditions that must be met are that the individual to whom the land is conveyed or transferred must either farm the land or lease it for a period of not less than six years to an individual, who farms the land. There is also a requirement that the person taking on the land must have an agricultural qualification.


This relief had been due to run out in 2018, but was extended in the budget for another three years. It is understood that the abolition of the age limit will be re-examined towards the end of 2020, when the relief itself is due for review as the three-year extension runs out.

An existing relief, offering a complete stamp duty exemption in cases where land is transferred to a qualified farmer under 35 years of age, remains in place.

The property industry will also closely watch the terms of the transition arrangements for the imposition of the new commercial stamp duty. It is expected that the Finance Bill will signal that for deals signed before midnight on budget night, the old 2 per cent rate will still apply.

The Bill puts into law the tax changes announced in Budget 2018 last week. It is generally subject to amendment in its passage through the Oireachtas.

Among the other issues that will come into focus will be the change in tax rules for multinationals claiming relief in relation to investment in intellectual property.

The Government said in the budget that it would raise more money in the short term from the multinational sector by limiting the use of a key tax allowance related to the transfer of intellectual property to Ireland.

The movement of intellectual property to Ireland was a key factor behind the huge jump in Irish GDP in 2015.