#UK Uncertainty over consumer demand and global turmoil are slowing business investments



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Business investment across the US is fizzling out (Wall Street Journal)

Spending on “machines, computers, and new buildings,” along with other building blocks of the economy, have slowed, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. 

“The broadest measure of US business investment advanced 2.2% from a year earlier in the third quarter,” it reports, citing figures from the Commerce Department.

The Journal also cites the example of orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declining 3.8% through the first 10 months of 2015, compared with the same period last year. 

“Many factors have conspired to limit growth in investments during this economic expansion,” the publication reports. “Businesses hesitated to commit to projects amid uneven consumer demand and concerns about the regulatory environment. Thousands of firms have decided to bolster share prices by spending money on stock buybacks and dividends, rather than plow funds back into facilities and equipment, moves that would boost worker productivity and eventually wages.”

A former Microsoft Ventures director explains how women make boardrooms more productive (Business Insider)

Xero general manager and former Microsoft Ventures director James Maiocco discusses how adding women to the executive team and boardroom can bring about immediate and positive changes. 

“With women and other diverse backgrounds at the table it brings a level of transparency and accountability,” Maiocco says.

Maiocco warns that we often become blind to our own biases or assumptions. “The right voices at the table can question and correct those unintended assumptions,” he explains.

Morgan Stanley is pulling a surprise move — and Wall Street loves it (Business Insider)

Morgan Stanley is reportedly planning to lay off about 25% of its bond-trading staff by the end of 2015, and many Wall Street analysts are supporting the company’s plan. 

“The transition and reduction of capital from the FICC business could take time, but it is our view that if [Morgan Stanley] can articulate a clear path (with milestones) to that end state, it can begin to positively impact the valuation of MS shares,” UBS analyst Brennan Hawken writes.  

Morgan Stanley had the largest drop in bond-trading revenue of all the major banks. Trading was down 42% year-on-year in the third quarter.

SEE ALSO: 5 strategies finance departments need to embrace when pushing for tech evolution

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