Why help to buy is no help at all to the economy | Jeffrey Frankel

Why help to buy is no help at all to the economy | Jeffrey Frankel

The Guardian

State subsidies to promote home ownership is not always a good thing – it hikes public debt, cuts labour mobility and often boosts prices not ownership levels

At the end of the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, American consumer debt for the first time exceeded its previous peak (in dollars), reached in the third quarter of 2008, just as the global financial crisis erupted. Although car loans and student debt have been rising especially rapidly, housing debt remains more than two-thirds of the $12.7tn total.

As a share of income, household debt is nothing like the threat to the national economy that it was 10 years ago. But the new statistic is a reminder that American households don’t save enough.

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French Open 2017: Jo Konta and Andy Murray in action on day three – live!

French Open 2017: Jo Konta and Andy Murray in action on day three – live!

The Guardian

Jo Konta’s out on court at sunny Roland Garros. She’s never won a match here before in the main draw. She’ll be devastated if she doesn’t break that record today. Hsieh Su-Wei is the world No109, after all, although their head-to-head is level at 1-1.

Hello. In the women’s draw, world No1 Angelique Kerber has already fallen, beaten in two measly sets by Ekaterina Marakova, and there’s every chance that the leading men’s is going to join the German on the scrapheap today. Andy Murray, after all, is only the top seed at Roland Garros in name in the opinion of most pundits. It’s been a wretched five months for the knighted world No1, featuring a shock defeat at the Australian Open, an elbow injury, flu, shingles and a miserable build-up to this tournament, all of which makes him vulnerable before his first-round match against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. Murray was a beaten finalist last year – not many people are expecting him to make it that far this time.

They’re on Philippe Chatrier third. First up it’s another British hopeful, with Jo Konta taking on Hsieh Su-wei. Konta, the seventh seed, is confident about her chances and will expect to win this one, although she’s never been entirely comfortable on clay.

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Will too much rest kill the Warriors’ NBA finals campaign?

Will too much rest kill the Warriors’ NBA finals campaign?

The Guardian

Golden State have swept through the playoffs so far but too many days off can affect a team’s sharpness at the most important stage of the season

The Golden State Warriors entered the 2016 NBA finals under-rested and overwhelmed. Plagued by questions about Stephen Curry’s dodgy knee and Draymond Green’s kicks to the groin, they had just two days off before the finals. Did a lack of rest ultimately play a role in their breakdown?

Perhaps this year’s Warriors will answer that question. In a remarkable reversal of fortune, after finishing their jog to the 2017 NBA finals 12-0, this year’s Warriors were given nine days to rest and recuperate before Warriors-Cavaliers III.

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‘Magical’ antibiotic brings fresh hope to battle against drug resistance

‘Magical’ antibiotic brings fresh hope to battle against drug resistance

The Guardian

It has taken 60 years for bacteria to become resistant to vancomycin; modified drug now works in three ways, making it harder for bugs to develop resistance

An antibiotic has been modified to make it more potent against bacteria, in an advance which researchers hope will help fight the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.

The medicine, vancomycin, has been prescribed by doctors for 60 years and bacteria are only now becoming resistant to it.

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Euro falls as Greek debt fears mount, but French growth revised up –  business live

Euro falls as Greek debt fears mount, but French growth revised up – business live

The Guardian

All the day’s economic and financial news, including new French GDP figures and the latest around Greece’s bailout

Newsflash: France’s economy is growing faster than first estimated.

Statistics body INSEE has reported that French GDP expanded by 0.4% in January-March, up from the 0.3% first estimated.

French first quarter GDP revised up (investment) & consumer confidence highest since 2007, the year Sarkozy took office: pic.twitter.com/mQC4VSQWYv

Growing concerns over Greece’s bailout programme are weighing on the euro this morning.

The European single currency has shed almost 0.5% to $1.113, on concerns that Athens and its creditors may not reach an agreement over its bailout programme in time.

“We can’t accept a deal which is not what was on the table.

What was on the table was if Greece carried out its reform package then creditors would ensure that there would be a clear runway through clarity for debt.”

Related: Greece warns recovery threatened if debt deal is blocked at next talks

#Greece (3) | May Opt Out of Next Payment Without Debt Deal – Bloomberg (citing Bild) pic.twitter.com/DuKFicoLiY

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Wonder Woman review – glass ceiling still intact as Gal Gadot reduced to weaponised Smurfette

Wonder Woman review – glass ceiling still intact as Gal Gadot reduced to weaponised Smurfette

The Guardian

Hopes for DC’s plan to deliver a shot of oestrogen to the superhero movie are disappointed in a silly plot that enlists Diana of Themyscira to help win the first world war

Those hoping a shot of oestrogen would generate a new kind of comic-book movie – and revive DC’s faltering movie universe – might need to lower their expectations. Like many people out there, I had no shortage of excitement and goodwill towards this female-led superhero project, but in the event it’s plagued by the same problems that dragged down previous visits to the DC movie world: over-earnestness, bludgeoning special effects, and a messy, often wildly implausible plot. What promised to be a glass-ceiling-smashing blockbuster actually looks more like a future camp classic.

Things begin well enough, as our heroine, Diana (nobody ever calls her Wonder Woman), casts her mind back to her childhood on Themyscira, the hidden island of the Amazons. This tribe of athletic, leather-clad female warriors live in a bubble of classical antiquity, oblivious to the opposite sex and the first world war that rages outside. Diana’s mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), explains the mythology to her with the aid of a sort of ancient Greek iPad: how the Amazons were created by Zeus to resist Ares, the god of war (who is still at large), and how she sculpted Diana from clay – which you can believe when she grows up to be statuesque Israeli actor Gal Gadot. Confusingly, Diana later explains that “men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure, unnecessary”.

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Climate change could make cities 8C hotter – scientists

Climate change could make cities 8C hotter – scientists

The Guardian

Combination of carbon emissions and ‘urban heat island’ effect of concrete and asphalt gives rise to worst-case scenario by end of 21st century

Under a dual onslaught of global warming and localised urban heating, some of the world’s cities may be as much as 8C (14.4F) warmer by 2100, researchers have warned.

Such a temperature spike would have dire consequences for the health of city-dwellers, rob companies and industries of able workers, and put pressure on already strained natural resources such as water.

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Stanley Cup Final: Penguins hold off Predators’ rally to draw first blood

Stanley Cup Final: Penguins hold off Predators’ rally to draw first blood

The Guardian

  • Jake Guentzel scores crucial goal after shot-drought for defending champs
  • Nashville come back from 3-0 down but Pittsburgh take Game 1

Jake Guentzel broke a 37-minute shot drought to score the winning goal in the final minutes as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

The Penguins jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Evgeni Malkin, Conor Sheary and then Nick Bonino, when the puck went in off Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm. The defending Cup champions then didn’t have a shot for exactly 37 minutes as the Predators roared back to tie the score at 3-3.

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