Business

Govt receives ExxonMobil funds to help fight Guyana-Venezuela border controversy; some contract details disclosed

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Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman on Friday confirmed that United States (US) oil giant, ExxonMobil, will help fund Guyana’s legal fees to settle the border controversy with Venezuela. Demerara Waves “Yes, Mr. Speaker, there is a sum and yes it is reserved to safeguard this country,” he said the same day that two local newspapers published a September 2016 letter by Finance Secretary, Dr. Hector Butts to the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr. Gobind Ganga for the ... Read More »

China’s ‘Period of Strategic Opportunity’ in Mexico

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Beijing is looking to cash in on Trump’s rhetoric against Mexico and NAFTA As the Trump administration contemplates border wall prototypes and dissolving the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), China is taking a decidedly different approach to relations with Mexico. Margaret Myers Ricardo Barrios In recent months, Beijing has launched an unprecedented charm offensive south of the Rio Grande. The National Interest In addition to a series of new investments, and renewed talk of a bilateral trade pact, ... Read More »

Modern slavery to be targeted in new laws recommended by Australian parliamentary committee

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Australia needs a comprehensive suite of new laws to stamp out modern slavery, a Federal committee’s report today tabled in Parliament has found. Sarina Locke  ABC The report by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s inquiry was tabled in Parliament on the final sitting day for the year. It adds details to its earlier recommendations released in August. The committee recommended provisions for a mandatory supply chain reporting requirement that requires large businesses to report on… ... Read More »

Bank Indonesia declares bitcoin payment illegal

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Cryptocurrency’s volatility poses ‘huge risk’ to economy, central bank says Erwida Maulia Nikkei Asia Review JAKARTA — Indonesia’s central bank on Thursday said it had issued a new regulation prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies — including bitcoin — in the country, as their rising popularity has raised concerns over unwanted impacts on the economy. Bank Indonesia had for some time said that the use of cryptocurrencies ran contrary to Indonesia’s law mandating the use of rupiah in domestic transactions. The ... Read More »

Is Homo Economicus Dead?

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In Martin Scorsese’s film The Wolf of Wall Street the narcissistic, egotistical and money hungry investment banker Jordan Belford memorably summed up his attitude to life: Peter Fleming * Economic Sociology and Political Economy  “Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I’ve been a poor man, and I’ve been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time.” Belford is terrifying not simply because of his ruthless demeanour and unscrupulous greediness. He scares us because this persona was celebrated, ... Read More »

Brexit Creates a Game of Risk for European Banks

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A hard Brexit represents a potential shock to the international financial system and has both direct and indirect consequences for the United Kingdom’s economy Scott B. MacDonald The National Interest While the government of Theresa May seeks to restart negotiations with the European Union on December 5, time is marching on. This is important as risk managers are looking at their watches and are increasingly concerned about London’s inability to come forward with a credible Brexit bill in the eyes of Europeans. The result could be ... Read More »

Is China’s Economic Power a Paper Tiger?

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The People’s Republic of China has surely seen faster GDP growth than the United States for most of the past forty years Derek M. Scissors  The National Interest It’s the value of that growth that’s questionable. The people complaining about U.S. decline in the face of China’s rise under President Obama have been replaced by new people complaining about the same thing under President Trump. The debate over policy in the two administrations plainly matters, but it should not obscure basic facts. The ... Read More »

Create culture of inclusion if you want true workplace diversity

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All employers and employees must take responsibility for creating a safe and inclusive environment, instead of placing the task of calling out culturally destructive behavior on the shoulders of minorities. Hera McLeod The Seattle Times Shortly after I started working for a small, early-stage data science startup in Seattle, I was invited to a companywide happy hour. While chatting with my new co-workers, they began lamenting about how the company had just laid off two-thirds of its workforce. “You were ... Read More »

Blackmail — the business plan for cheaper wages

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Underpaying migrant workers has become a business practice for unscrupulous employers David Chau ABC For some employers, it is an easy way to boost the bottom line with a low risk of getting caught — hence there is little incentive to comply with industrial laws. It has even been described as a “business model” by worker advocates. “There are employers out there structuring the cost of doing business through stealing wages,” said Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of ... Read More »

Public jittery as Turkish lira slides rapidly over political, economic issues

A change office staff shows Turkish lira on his hand on December 2, 2016 in Istanbul.
Turks have over the past three months nervously watched the steady decline in value of the Turkish lira against the dollar, seeing it haemorrhage more than 10 percent in the past month alone. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

The lira was trading at around 3.95 to the US dollar on Tuesday In May 2013, it traded at approximately 1.92 to the US dollar Middle East Eye ISTANBUL, Turkey – The spectre of economic hardship – if not outright crisis – is looming large yet again as the Turkish lira continues its rapid slide against the US dollar and euro, with some people already displaying signs of panic by talking of withdrawing their savings from banks as politicians revert to ... Read More »

How to future-proof the West’s economies

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Top economic thinkers from the U.S. and Europe say we need to start by fixing our politics Sure, growth could be more robust. MAURA REYNOLDS Politico Sure, some workers are getting left behind. Sure, corporate debt is high and markets look frothy. But those problems aren’t the biggest threat facing the economies of the United States and Europe. What is? The answer from a group of top economic thinkers convened by POLITICO isn’t something in the economy. It’s politics. At a ... Read More »

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Wants Out of Oil and Gas

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The $1 trillion fund that Norway has amassed pumping oil and gas over the past two decades wants out of petroleum stocks. Sveinung Sleire Bloomberg Norway, which relies on oil and gas for about a fifth of economic output, would be less vulnerable to declining crude prices without its fund investing in the industry, the central bank said Thursday. The divestment would mark the second major step in scrubbing the world’s biggest wealth fund of climate risk, after it sold most of its ... Read More »

Minimum alcohol pricing plans given green light after court battle

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Scotland will become the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol David Bol Supreme Court justices gave their backing to the controversial measure in what ministers in Edinburgh hailed as an “historic and far-reaching judgment”. The Scotsman Seven justices at the UK’s highest court dismissed a legal challenge that had been brought against minimum unit pricing by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The decision clears the way for the Scottish Government to bring in the ... Read More »

Revenge of the TPP?

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back on the menu for a number of Asia-Pacific countries Scott B. MacDonald  And with America on the sidelines, U.S. exports could suffer. The National Interest One of the first actions that Donald Trump did when he came into office was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal he called a “disaster.” According to him, past U.S. leaders were inept on trade and his administration’s approach would strike tougher, ... Read More »

Why does Sweden produce so many startups?

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What do Spotify, Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga have in common? John McKenna World Economic Forum They were all made in Sweden. Skype was co-founded by Swedes and SoundCloud started in Stockholm before moving to its current home in Berlin. Sweden is home to Europe’s largest tech companies and its capital is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to the number of “unicorns” – billion-dollar tech companies – that it produces per… Why does Sweden… Read More »

Green finance? Why global banks are pledging billions to fight climate change

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Banking giant HSBC has pledged US$100 billion (£76 billion) to “fight climate change”, to be spent on sustainable finance and investment over the next eight years. Simon Wilde The Conversation It also commits to increasing its own use of renewable energy and to reducing its funding of coal projects. HSBC is following a growing trend among investment banks which includes a US$200 billion funding commitment from JP Morgan Chase, the acquisition of the UK’s Green Investment Bank by Macquarie, and ... Read More »