(Bloomberg) -- Predicting the future accurately is the lifeblood of global finance. Yet predictability is becoming harder as old base assumptions about everything from weather events to the political order begin to fray. This week, we look at how to navigate markets when abnormal is the new normal.
What do you do, for example, as an investor when black swans start taking over the pond? Extreme weather events aren’t so extreme any more as heat waves, storms and flooding become more frequent and more enduring. Here’s how stock pickers are trying to find the winners and losers in the storm.
Forecasting the weather is especially critical to the economy in India. The annual monsoon is so vital for the economy that a former president once called it the “real” finance minister. Take a look inside the government initiative tasked with predicting its arrival and duration.
Warming weather even persuaded Brian Brettschneider to update his popular maps of North American road trips that never stray from a pleasant 70F (21C). Here are the instructions for a balmy 22,393 kilometer (13,909 mile) trip from southern California to Florida via Alaska.
Of course, it’s a journey you’d want to do in style...
One place where global warming hasn’t taken effect is in the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, where the atmosphere is decidedly frosty. Defense officials from around the world, meeting there for the famous annual security gathering, are becoming increasingly concerned about China’s claims in the South China Sea, US chip curbs and especially the tensions over Taiwan. Follow the meeting here.
At home, China has been having its ups and downs this week, including blasting astronauts into orbit from one of its desert regions and digging a very deep hole in another. One sector that China has been trying to lift up for a long time is its vital property market, and the government is set to give that another boost with new support measures.
If there’s an area of financial forecasting that is a graveyard of failed predictions, it’s the ignominious parade of pundits who sounded the death knell of the dollar as the global currency of trade. Yet the recent weaponization of the greenback is beginning to encourage some serious competition.
One thing that has become predictable is the rise of artificial intelligence. Almost four decades ago, while studying for my degree in computer science in London, I took an optional AI module in a nascent branch of the curriculum then called machine learning. Now AI has come back to teach, helping run the world’s most popular online computing course, Harvard University’s CS50.
Have an unpredictable weekend.
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