Welcome to Aposto Digest in English!
We are excited to share our first issue with you. As our selection of publications keeps growing, this publication is going to share highlights from the English-language Aposto publications every week. Curated by the editors at Aposto, the issues will feature the best articles from our media service from business to technology, travel to literature, philosophy to wine...
We hope you enjoy your reading!
Aposto Europe delivers your daily briefing on markets, politics, business, tech and more - all under 5 minutes. Don't miss out on what's happening in the world.
• New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation, saying she no longer has "enough in the tank" to lead. Becoming the world's youngest female head of government when she was elected in 2017 at the age of 37, Ardern steered New Zealand through the pandemic, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the White Island volcanic eruption. Her Labour Party's MPs will vote for a new leader on Sunday.
• A helicopter carrying Ukraine's Interior Minister crashed into a kindergarten near Kyiv, killing the minister and about a dozen other people, including children on the ground, authorities said. There was no immediate information about whether the crash on a foggy morning in Bovary was an accident or related to the war.
- What Zelenskiy said:"This is not an accident because it has been due to war and the war has many dimensions, not just on the battlefield," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
- Meanwhile in Russia: President Vladimir Putin could be ready to announce a second round of mobilization to expand his army, as early as Jan. 18, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War said.
- In other news: Dutch PM Mark Rutte said the country had the intention to follow US and Germany’s effort to train and arm Ukraine with advanced Patriot missile defense systems, in a meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
China’s economy grew by 3% in 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday, missing an official target of around 5.5% set in March but beating market expectations. The GDP growth follows an 8.4% rebound in 2021 from just a 2.2% expansion in 2020. GDP rose by 2.9% in Q4-2022, beating expectations of 1.8% growth.
- Furthermore: China’s retail sales declined by 1.8% from a year ago in December, much less than the expected 8.6% plunge predicted by analysts. For 2022, retail sales fell by 0.2%. Meanwhile, industrial production rose by 1.3% in December, well above the 0.2% forecast. For the whole year, factory output rose by 3.6%.
Veraison is a wine publication that imagines the next sip while exploring the wine in its glass.
🍷 Tasting without labels
What is blind tasting? Blind tasting is tasting without knowing what the wine is, without seeing the label. It is a sensory experience with a bit of mystery, a bit of curiosity, a lot of guessing, a lot of surprises. You taste without knowing anything-not the grape, not the region, not the vintage, not the winemaker, nothing; and then you interpret it. Without being influenced, without labeling.
Illustration: Ester Saba
When we see a bottle of wine, we are inevitably impacted by the label, the year, the producer. What is written on the label immediately encodes our nose and palate expectations.
🔎 If you know which grape the wine is from, the nose immediately looks for those notes. For example, if you are tasting a Sauvignon Blanc; if you know the grape and know the bottle, it is almost impossible not to smell the lemon! Or if you have Cabernet Sauvignon in your glass, you say "Is that bell pepper?" and you look for it and find it in your nose.
Aposto Business presents the best articles on business at Aposto, curated by our editors. Topics include micro-mobility, future of work, energy, green economy, consumer products, marketing and more.
Donations from billionaires: Charity or tax avoidance?
There is news that we are used to seeing frequently in the headlines, but which manages to attract our attention every time: 'Philanthropist billionaire pledges to donate most of his fortune.'
Mackenzie Scott, one of the actors in one of the most expensive divorces in history in 2019, is at the forefront of this news. Scott, who played an important role in the founding of Amazon with her ex-husband Jeff Bezos, is already among the richest women in the world with Amazon shares, of which she owns 4% as part of the divorce settlement, and a fortune of $21.2 billion. What saves Scott from being referred to as 'Jeff Bezos' ex-wife' in the headlines and keeps her in the public eye despite not giving any interviews is the donations she has made in the last three years...
Most recently, on 15 December 2022, Scott launched a website called 'Yield Giving', detailing the more than $14 billion in donations she has made to more than 1,600 organisations to date, and announced that she would launch an open call process for charities to request funds. For some, this step taken in the name of transparency was an important development in terms of setting a precedent; however, the scepticism that arises when it comes to billionaires has once again surfaced: 'There are more philanthropists today than ever before. How is it that inequality continues to grow? Are billionaires' donations charity or a way to avoid taxes?'
Aposto Finance gathers the best articles on finance at Aposto, curated by our editors. Topics include micro and macro economic developments, market reports and more.
A China Optimist’s Lament
Written by Stephen S. Roach
NEW HAVEN – I have been a congenital China optimist for most of the past 25 years. I first came to that view in the depths of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98. The so-called East Asian growth miracle was in tatters and China was widely portrayed as the final domino that would fall in what was then viewed as the first crisis of globalization. Having shuttled back and forth to the region during that period as Morgan Stanley’s chief economist, I had quickly come to appreciate the power of China’s market-based economic transition. So, in March 1998, I took a very different view on the pages of the Financial Times with my first published commentary on China, “The Land of the Rising Dragon.”
My argument, in a nutshell, was that China would supplant Japan as the new engine of post-crisis Asia. Japan was floundering in the aftermath of its post-bubble implosion, whereas a reform-oriented China had the wherewithal, determination, and strategy to withstand the currency contagion of a devastating external shock and sustain rapid economic growth. As China delivered, boosted by its accession to the World Trade Organization in late 2001, and Japan sunk into its second lost decade, the Chinese economy took off like a rocket.
Soli is a journal of neighbourhoods that digs into urban culture, people's stories, and sociocultural dynamics.
In Caferağa: From sunset to the darkness of the night
Neighborhood: Caferağa. A local and the narrator: Burak Ayaz. Photos: Deniz Sabuncu & Kaan Walsh.
Caferağa is a neighborhood that manifests its roots in its details, sometimes in the embroidery on the staircases of buildings, sometimes in the peaceful gaze of an old dog. At sunset, which looks different depending on where you are on the shore, it expresses its tolerance for diversity. Although it is rapidly renovated; its ancientness, which free stands from nostalgia, is always hidden in its gestures. Those who live here are people who are satisfied with their environment and their immediate surroundings. That is why they do not need to define themselves by their work and achievements.
As a younger business owner compared to the shopkeepers in the neighborhood, it takes effort to establish a good relationship with the locals. Kadıköy has a wall that locals have built against outsiders because of the heavy daily migration, but this wall can be easily broken down with a smile or the question “I'm going down to the ‘çarşı’ (area with markets), do you need anything?” I think serenity and the ability to let go are key to communication here. If the weather is nice and it's not yet time to go to the shop, a long chat, a walk, or meeting Mrs. Belma, a retired professor in her 80s, at Tribu Caffe is one of my favorite Caferağa activities.