BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 9TH, 2016
PRICE OF OLIVE OIL IS RISING
Global production of olive oil was cut by a third last year, leading to a 20% price hike in 2015. Much of this drop in production came from Spain, which produces 40% of the world’s olive oil. The European country experienced a hot and dry summer, resulting in its worst harvest in 20 years. While Spain’s typical production lies at around 1.8 million tons per year, the International Olive Council expects Spain to produce 1.2 million tons in order to balance the abysmal production of 2015. However, it is not just Spain that is experiencing trouble with olive oil. Italy’s olive trees have been attacked by a deadly disease that has resulted in the deaths of nearly a million trees.
CAN THE SEVEN YEAR OLD BULL MARKET LAST?
The bull run is the third longest stock upswing in history. However, despite the S&P tripling since March 2009, the bull run is slowing down. Plunging oil prices and dropping stocks led investors to worry that the bull run was near its death. Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, thinks that the gains from the bull run will now be more subtle and volatile. The scare at the beginning of the year is now over, since the Dow is now up nearly 1500 points since its low in February.
BILLIONAIRE DOESN’T WANT NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES
CEO of DoubleLine Capital Jeff Gundlach warned the public against negative interest rates on Tuesday afternoon. He thinks that the sudden spike in oil prices is unsustainable. In a webcast, Gundlach said that negative interest rates will “backfire like an old Model-T”. Despite Gundlach’s warnings, negative interest rates are becoming increasingly popular on a global scale. Central banks in Europe and Japan have already implemented the idea, and the Federal Reserve has recently expressed an interest in it. However, the consequences of negative interest rates are still unknown as they have never been tried on such a large scale before.
UNILEVER SETTLES WITH INDIAN WORKERS
In a fifteen year old case where Indian workers brought a suit against retail company Unilever because of excessive mercury in the water, the company settled. However, despite the settlement, Unilever continues to deny the allegations, saying that none of their ex-employees had been poisoned while working in the factory. It went on to add that the settlement was made under “humanitarian considerations”. The problem first came to light when Indian singer Sofia Ashraf wrote and performed a rap song outlining the troubles that workers in Kodaikanal faced.