Business

Brexit: A managed surrender

London talks tough but gives Brussels what it wants. Forget red lines, bellicose declarations and rhetoric about the United Kingdom taking back control — Brexit so far has been a process of managed surrender. Paul Taylor Politico British officials acknowledge that Prime Minister Theresa May has mostly had to accept the European Union’s terms for the divorce and a transition period to avoid a cliff-edge rupture in economic ties that could have crippled business. However, the Brits insist, the real negotiation starts now and ... Read More »

Australia’s worst nightmare: to be caught in cross fire of trade war

Beijing: Australia’s great fear of a trade war breaking out between its largest trading partner and closest security ally is unfolding, as China and the United State exchange threats and release multi-billion dollar punitive tariff plans targeting each… Kirsty Needham & Darren Gray The Age After US President Donald Trump signed a document to trigger $US60 billion ($A78 billion) in tariffs on Chinese technology products, China responded within hours with a $US3 billion plan to hit 128 US products including ... Read More »

Bitcoin’s blockchain contains child abuse images, meaning the cryptocurrency’s possession could be ‘illegal’

The multi-billion-dollar markets behind cryptocurrencies are in jeopardy after child abuse images were found in bitcoin’s blockchain. ABC German researchers have analysed more than 1,600 files in the technology required to access the cryptocurrency and found 99 per cent are texts and images, including some illicit pornography and other outlawed content. The blockchain is the underlying technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible. It is essentially a public ledger of all the transactions ever made in the currency and keeps a… Bitcoin’s ... Read More »

Battle with the bottle looms for Brussels

After more than three decades of struggle, the European Commission is inching closer to alcohol labels. Carmen Paun Politico EU rules made it far easier to find out how many calories are in a slice of cake than in a glass of Muscat — until now. Alcohol companies’ luck ran out a year ago, when the European Commission finally published a report saying there was no reason why booze should not have ingredient and nutrition information on the labels, just like food. ... Read More »

China’s latest energy megaproject shows that coal really is on the way out

China has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In several cities, thick layers of smog are common, resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Leanna Garfield Business Insider According to a 2016 study, the top contributor of air pollution-related deaths in China is the burning of coal. The team of Chinese and American researchers behind the study said that pollution from coal caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013. To improve the country’s air quality, the Chinese government vows to spend at least ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs reveals 56% UK gender pay gap and bonus gap of 72%

Women account for just 17 per cent of all the jobs in the highest pay quartile Josie Cox The Independent Goldman Sachs has become the latest bank to publish a yawning gender pay gap, underscoring just how male dominated the world of finance still is – especially at the most senior level. The company, which employs around 6,000 people in the UK, on Friday reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 per cent and a mean ... Read More »

The Fatal Flaw in China’s Plan for Dominating the World Economy

Dependence is baked into China’s industrial plans—and will likely fail. Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently delivered a remarkably revealing speech. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Addressing the National People’s Congress for two full hours early in March, he stressed the county’s determination to rely on broad industrial policies as a means to development. The objective, to use Li’s words, is to “speed up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing.” Li doubtless wanted his audience and the world ... Read More »

The woman asking the hard questions at the banking royal commission

Rowena Orr, QC, one of two silks assisting the landmark banking royal commission headed by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, offered a blunt assessment of the task confronting the inquiry on Monday. Michaela Whitbourn The Sydney Morning Herald “The terms of reference … are broad and the time to report is short,” Orr told Hayne in Melbourne. “We embrace the challenge involved in assisting you.” Orr and her fellow counsel assisting the commission – Brisbane-based silk Michael Hodge, QC, and junior ... Read More »

Would you choose a partner based on their ‘citizen score’?

Imagine if everything you did on Facebook or Twitter counted towards a government-imposed ‘citizen score’. Jessica Bown BBC All your online behaviour would be analysed and assessed to come up with a measure of your online reputation, character and trustworthiness. This could then be used by employers to decide whether to offer you a job, by banks to decide whether to give you a loan, or even by prospective partners. Well, China is planning something like this called the Social ... Read More »

The Next Phase of Finance

Today’s strengthening economic recovery has not overcome the understandable but devastating loss of trust in the financial system that followed the crisis a decade ago. Restoring trust will require reasserting control over the financial sector, to ensure that it is serving the economy, not the other way around. Bertrand Badré Project Syndicate WASHINGTON, DC – The decade since the global financial crisis has been tumultuous, to say the least. True, no great war has erupted, and we have more or ... Read More »

China gets tough on debt with ‘Rottweiler regulator’

People’s Bank of China handed increased powers as financial shake-up points to Liu He’s influence Gordon Watts Asia times President Xi Jinping has opened the door for confidante Liu He to push through economic reforms after China’s central bank was handed more power in a major shake-up in the financial sector. Details released during Tuesday’s session of the de facto parliament, the National People’s Congress, outlined plans for merging the banking and insurance regulators. At the same time, the People’s ... Read More »

Brexit: No-trade deal with EU to cost businesses £58bn a year, research finds

‘Existential threat’ posed to some UK industries by increased tariffs and customs checks, according to report Ben Chapman Independent A no-deal Brexit would cost companies in the UK and the EU £58bn a year, with Britain’s financial services sector taking the biggest hit, according to new research. The additional direct “red-tape cost” of tariff and non-tariff barriers would be £27bn to UK firms and £31bn to their EU counterparts, a report from consultancy Oliver Wyman and law firm Clifford Chance estimates. “These increased costs and… Brexit: No-trade… Read More »

Worse than Oil? The Geopolitics of the Banana

Attracting encroachments to national sovereignty by rapacious Washington-connected multinational corporations and the meddling attentions of their powerful home country; stunting reform and economic development at every turn; breeding economic dependency; firmly controlled by foreign companies and giving little beneficiation to the country of production; upending and undermining political institutions; and… Bhaso Ndzendze ModernDiplomacy These are ringing accusations which bring to mind one natural resource –oil. Certainly not the banana. This is somewhat understandable; oil more readily lends itself to the… ... Read More »

Trump tariffs: EU wants clarity on exemption

The EU’s trade commissioner says there is “no immediate clarity” from the US on how the bloc can gain exemption from new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imposed by President Trump. BBC Cecilia Malmstrom met with the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan’s Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko in Brussels. She said discussions would continue next week. Mr Seko called for calm-headed behaviour in the dispute. The EU says that its exports should be excluded from the… Trump tariffs: ... Read More »

Minister criticises ‘snowflake’ artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship

Jake Berry reacts after BAE Systems withdraws as partner of Great Exhibition of the North Frances Perraudin The Guardian The government minister responsible for the “northern powerhouse” has described campaigners who forced the arms firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in north-east England as “subsidy-addicted artists” and “snowflakes”. The Great Exhibition of the North, which will run from 22 June to 9 September in Gateshead and Newcastle, is being funded by £5m from the government’s northern ... Read More »

Asia-Pacific trade deal signed by 11 nations

Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have just signed the trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Tim McDonald BBC Although the US pulled out last year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago. Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade”. The deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people, despite the ... Read More »