Business

The rise and fall of AMP’s Catherine Brenner

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It all started to go wrong for Catherine Brenner the day that Jack Regan walked into the witness box at the Financial Services Royal Commission in Melbourne. Deborah Snow WAtoday The date was Monday, April 16, and Regan, the head of advice at financial giant AMP, was due to give his much-anticipated evidence under the hawk-eyed gaze of presiding justice Kenneth Hayne. Forty-seven year old Brenner, the well-remunerated chairman of AMP, logged on to follow the webcast live from Japan. ... Read More »

Crop exports to wilt as autumn rains fail over much of Australia

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Australia’s third-driest May on record has compounded the misery facing many of the nation’s farmers, with the window for winter plantings closing fast. Peter Hannam The Canberra Times Projections by Rabobank released on Friday indicate 21.6 million hectares of winter crop will be planted this year. While down 2 per cent on the previous year, the drop in Queensland and NSW will be much more severe at 11 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Rainfall last month was down ... Read More »

How Greece’s Busiest Port Reveals the Perils of Privatization

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Dockworkers say the same “harsh neoliberal experiment” that reduced their wages will spread to the rest of Europe. Alexander Saeedy The Nation Around 7 am at the Port of Piraeus near Athens, deckhands dressed in white began to unmoor the cruise liners and yachts filled with thousands of sleepy travelers ready to cross the Aegean Sea. But as the tourist trade picked up in the passenger and cruise terminals, some of the hundreds of dockworkers in the port’s northern cargo ... Read More »

The female tradie shortage: why real change requires a major cultural shift

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The number of women in the manual trades in Australia has barely budged in the last 20 years. Authors: The Conversation While lower-skilled and lower-paid jobs like hairdressing have increased the number of women being employed, manual trades like electricians, carpenters and mechanics have remained at incredibly low levels. Women make up just 3% of those employed in the electrotechnology and telecommunications trades, and only 1% of those working in construction, engineering and automotive trades. Governments, industries and education providers ... Read More »

Lunch with the ruralists

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Landowners control Brazil’s parliament A group of wealthy agribiz owners get to make self-enriching policy affecting millions because they backed the overthrow of Dilma Rousseff. by Anne Vigna  Le Monde diplomatique he parliamentary ‘ruralist’ group meets every Tuesday in a villa in a classy district of Brasília, and, according to its PR, ‘they have lunch and discuss a different topic every week.’ The ruralists form a lobby of powerful landowning parliamentarians, and the results of their discussions later reach Congress ... Read More »

Turkey blames ‘Jewish lobby’ for economic crisis

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Turkish media have blamed the “Jewish lobby” for the sudden drop in the value of the country’s currency, based on a tweet from an Israeli academic. Hannah Lucinda Smith. Adam Sage, David Charter The Times The Turkish lira has fallen by 20 per cent against the dollar this year and President Erdogan has repeatedly blamed an unspecified “interest-rate lobby” for manipulating the currency. Turkey’s press is almost exclusively controlled by the state or pro-Erdogan businessmen after a crackdown on critical media. It seized ... Read More »

Ruth Davidson vows to end tax breaks for rich, boost immigration

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Tory leader Ruth Davidson has called for an end to tax breaks for the wealthy and more open immigration under plans to make the party a “credible force” for Government in Scotland. SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman A shift away from the more hardline approach of Tory right-wingers south of the border was set out by the Edinburgh Central MSP in a keynote speech today. The sweeping vision is hoped to allow her to oust Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister at ... Read More »

The Battle For Energy Dominance In The Mediterranean

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The Eastern Mediterranean is easily one of the most important and hotly contested regions in the world due to several key factors: the Suez Canal is vital to international commerce, militaries of major powers are participating in the Syrian Civil War, and the region hosts two more unresolved conflicts in divided Cyprus and Israel/Palestine. By Vanand Meliksetian for OilPrice However, recent major gas discoveries may have permanently altered the energy map of the region. If they play their cards right, ... Read More »

Why CEOs need to embrace fear

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Running a business can be a frightening undertaking. CEOs make decisions that affect the livelihoods of dozens, if not thousands. Authors: The Conversation Only one in two new businesses last more than five years, few big businesses remain intact for more than a decade, and the shelf life of a corporate CEO is an… The human emotions that come with this undertaking are often brushed aside or even frowned upon. This is despite the fact that emotions play a crucial, ... Read More »

Nobel Laureate Economist Says American Inequality Didn’t Just Happen. It Was Created.

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How to keep power at the top of society By Joseph E. Stiglitz American inequality didn’t just happen. It was created. Market forces played a role, but it was not market forces alone. In a sense, that should be obvious: economic laws are universal, but our growing inequality— especially the amounts seized by the upper 1 percent—is a distinctly American “achievement.” That outsize inequality is not predestined offers reason for hope, but in reality it is likely to get worse. ... Read More »

Russia’s Gazprom Says Signs TurkStream Protocol With Ankara

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Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it has signed a protocol with the Turkish government on the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline. RFE/RL Gazprom on May 26 said it had also agreed with Turkish firm Botas to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies related to the project, which will bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a… Gazprom said the dispute with Botas would be settled out of court, but ... Read More »

Russia’s Gazprom signs protocol with Turkey on TurkStream gas pipeline

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Russian state gas giant Gazprom said on May 26 it had signed a protocol with the Turkish government on a planned gas pipeline and agreed with Turkish firm Botaş to end an arbitration dispute over the terms of gas supplies. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet The protocol concerned the land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gaspipeline, which Gazprom said meant that work to implement it could now begin. Turkey had delayed issuing a permit for the Russian company to start building the land-based parts of the pipeline which, if completed, would allow ... Read More »

A golden age for the Med but ports need to prepare for the new generation of large ships

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‘We are living in a golden age’, remarked Airam Diaz Pastor addressing his first MedCruise General Assembly as president of the port association. Mary Bond Seatrade Over 140 member ports, destinations and service providers from across the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas gathered in Valletta heard Diaz Pastor list capacity growth, closer collaboration between MedCruise and the cruise lines, and with the EU, the amount of investment being spent on new port infrastructure across the Med, as positives. ‘However it ... Read More »

Cyprus: tensions grow as contested waters yield promising results

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Tensions over natural gas and oil deposits in the sea off Cyprus threatened to boil over this March after Turkey sent a drill ship to the contested region just days after US based ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels. Patrick Kingsland offshore technology Turkish president Erdogan has gone so far as to say he won’t tolerate the reserves being exploited by Greek Cypriots. So what is at stake here and how likely is it that oil will begin flowing anytime ... Read More »

Australia’s deal with Timor-Leste in peril again over oil and gas

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In April, Australia and Timor-Leste reached agreement on their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. Rebecca Strating and Clive Schofield The Conversation This resolved a longstanding source of contention between them. The potential benefits of this historic breakthrough are now in peril, because the critical issue of how the shared oil and gas of the Timor Sea are to be developed remains in dispute. Breakthrough on maritime boundaries Australia and Timor-Leste’s boundary agreement was achieved thanks to a… Australia’s deal ... Read More »

Optimism returns to North Sea energy sector as ‘corner turned’

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Optimism is returning to North Sea energy operators, with trends in “upstream” exploration and production activity the highest since 2014, an authoritative report out today shows. Martin Flanagan The Scotsman UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) contractor investment is outweighing cost reductions, with firms also now equally optimistic about the North Sea and international markets for the first time since 2013, according to the 28th Oil and Gas survey, conducted by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, KPMG and the… Overall, almost ... Read More »