E Tech Challenges

The new month saw a market rally in the US after an eleventh-hour Congressional stopgap deal to avoid a shutdown was reached and a modestly lower level of new unemployment benefits filers, at 837,00 vs a forecast of 850,000. But we are surely whistling in the dark given the political risks.

Moreover overnight there were serious problems, a computer failure on the Tokyo stock market which led to a decision to invalidate and suspend all trades there early today.. Moreover, China was having another one of those really big holidays.

In Britain, there were outages of Microsoft and Outlook just after the European Union announced that it was suing the UK for “breaching” its divorce deal over how Ireland would be treated under Brexit. So many people were reading the news on-line that systems crashed.

If the tech challenge is not enough to scare you, my former Senate staff colleague Steve Bryen wrote an article in Asia Times about how drones were being used and shot down in the Caucasus Mountain war over Nagorno Karabakh, the Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan. The drones came from Israel, Turkey, Russia, and home-labs, and at least one Armenian surface-to-air-missile was shot down by an Israeli Harap drone. Why Israel sold to the Muslims fighting Christians is mysterious, but there are tradeoffs.

My view: “The war after the next will be fought with clubs”, the slogan the CND peace movement of my youth. More about military deals and Japanese flops below plus a key move in a takeover bid.

*French water and waste ute Veolia, which has installed a huge crane in the East River outside our upstairs apartment in this building, is also being aggressive in France. Its bid for euros 15.5 per share for the 29.9% stake of Engie in archrival Suez was raised to euros 18/sh yesterday but the deadline remained at midnight. Engie's board which had opposed the sale had a late-night meeting whose outcome could not be predicted by today's Financial Times.

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