Business

Science behind standing desks was crooked all along? Sit on that

Well, this sucks. I just bought an ergonomic keyboard and before it even arrives the whole field of ergonomics is revealed to be a skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth. John Birmingham The Canberra Times I don’t much care that companies and governments might be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dodgy “ergonomic chairs, keyboards and consultants”, as reported by Fairfax Media yesterday. But I care heaps that I might have just wasted ... Read More »

Why do people work? Respect trumps money in South Africa case study

In South Africa, more than 50% of working age adults don’t have jobs. But is the country asking the right questions when it comes to understanding what drives people’s employment-related decisions? Christine Jeske The Conversation Research on unemployment mostly focuses on getting wages right. But there are also many non-monetary reasons that motivate South Africans’ work-related decisions. My research, conducted over the period of a year in KwaZulu-Natal province, sought to understand these decisions. My work included interviews and observations ... Read More »

Forget the pledges to act – London is still a haven for dirty Russian money

After Salisbury, the Tories said we would get tough on rich Russians. But billionaires are still coming and sanctions are nowhere to be seen. Oliver Bullough The Guardian Britain, we’re told, has a new policy on dirty Russian money. We are finally pulling the red carpet from under the feet of the rich Russians who have turned London into a private members’ club. This new “hostile environment” was trailed in February after the security minister, Ben Wallace, watched McMafia – ... Read More »

Greedy banks and inept regulators but not much more

It began so well. The banks were lashed as greedy institutions focussed on gouging the living – and the dead – and anything else they could squeeze a dollar out of in the pursuit of targets and bonuses. Adele Ferguson Brisbane Times It then went on to the regulators, in particular the corporate regulator, which it eviscerated for its lack of teeth and inability to do its job and enforce the law. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) was ... Read More »

Royal Commission shows banks have behaved appallingly, but we’ve helped them do it

The term deposit has matured. Initial scepticism over the timing, scope, and overall need for a royal commission into financial services has transformed into deep concern about the culture and practices in one of our most important industries. Andrew Grant The Conversation Malcolm Turnbull, the (perhaps not coincidentally) ex-prime minister, admitted it had been a “political mistake” to delay the royal commission by nearly two years. None of the major banks have escaped the Commission’s ire. Perhaps that’s because none ... Read More »

China’s new world order ‘unrealistic’ if built on belt and road alone, senior US diplomatic observer says

Beijing cannot avoid dealing with the developed world if it wants to build a technologically advanced country. South China Morning Post It will not be realistic for China to build an alternative world order through its massive infrastructure investments overseas as other regional players do not want to take sides between Beijing and Washington, according to a… Miles Kahler, a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, said China’s infrastructure strategy – known as the “Belt and Road Initiative” ... Read More »

Hiring highly educated immigrants leads to more innovation and better products

Much of the current debate over immigration is about what kind of impact immigrants have on jobs and wages for workers born in the United States. Authors: The Conversation Seldom does anyone talk about how immigration leads to a wider variety of better products for the American consumer. We recently conducted a study to shine more light on the matter. We are economists with a keen interest in growth and innovation and how immigration affects the economy. What we found ... Read More »

Everything he does, he does it for us. Why Bryan Adams is on to something important about copyright

Last Tuesday Bryan Adams entered the copyright debate. Rebecca Giblin The Conversation That’s Bryan Adams the singer and songwriter, the composer of “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, and “Summer of ’69”. Authors, artists and composers often have little bargaining power, and are often pressured to sign away their rights to their publisher for life. Adams appeared before a Canadian House of Commons committee to argue they should be entitled to… No control until after you are dead ... Read More »

Turkey went on a building spree as its economy boomed. Now the frenzy is crashing to a halt.

ISTANBUL — Inside the Ozdilek Park mall, Dogukan Altin arrives for his shift at a men’s clothing store. Today is a national holiday and almost everyone has the day off. But almost no one has come to Ozdilek. David J. Lynch The Washington Post “It’s generally just empty. There’s too many malls,” says Altin, 34, sporting a close-cropped beard along with a dark tie and white shirt. “Because there’s three malls right next to each other, none of them make ... Read More »

There Could Be a Financial Crash Before End of Trump’s First Term, Experts Say, Citing Looming Debts

Financial experts noted several ominous economic indicators, including skyrocketing student loans and U.S. household debts, that could predict a crash “worse than the Great Depression,” according to a… Benjamin Fearnow Newsweek Goldman Sachs predicted that this year’s U.S. fiscal outlook would be “not good,” and that U.S. household debt had been increasing since the 2008 housing crisis led to American taxpayers bailing out the… In 2018, experts said, a $247 trillion global debt will be the greatest cause of the next cataclysmic financial crash. Additionally, low ... Read More »

Report Traces Goods Made with Child Labor to 76 Countries

Gold and Tobacco Among Products Most Often Tainted by Child Labor Jo Becker HRW Of the products we use, wear, or consume every day, how many are made with child labor? Perhaps quite a few. A new report from the US Department of Labor identifies 148 different consumer goods produced with child or forced labor around the world. The list includes clothing, beef, sugar, bricks, coffee, and other products originating from 76 countries. Gold tops the list. The report found ... Read More »

Maritime accelerator puts down anchor in Haifa

Ocean of opportunity awaits Israeli start-ups riding the wave of tech-driven revolution in global shipping. Abigail Klein Leichman TheJerusalemPost Israeli start-up Pick a Pier is bringing the Airbnb concept to boat marinas. Another Israeli start-up, Loginno, built a smart container-tracking solution to monitor location and cargo conditions. These are two of the seven companies in the first cohort of theDOCK, an Israeli innovation hub and accelerator that has set sail on a big blue ocean of opportunities for maritime innovation. ... Read More »

British Jacobins on the march in Brexit revolution

You’re either with or against us, say both sides. By TOM MCTAGUE Politico LONDON — Britain has been radicalized by Brexit. As the clock ticks down to D (as in EU departure) Day on March 29, 2019, both sides are digging in for the coming battle over whatever deal Theresa May is able to bring back from Brussels later this year. For the Brexiteers, the battle cry is “chuck Chequers,” deal or no deal. For the arch Remainers, it’s chuck ... Read More »

Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in dramatic escalation of trade battle

President Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, two people briefed on the decision said, one of the most severe economic restrictions ever imposed by a U.S. president. Damian Paletta and David J. Lynch The Washington Post An announcement is expected to come within days, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal plans. The new tariffs would apply to more than 1,000 products, including refrigerators, air ... Read More »

The IMF’s ‘Large Brain, Unhealthy Ego, and Tiny Conscience’

The reforms to the IMF since the global financial crisis have amounted to window dressing. Lauren Carasic The Nation Ten years after the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains largely beholden to policies that undermine human rights and exacerbate inequality around the world. In response to the global recession, the IMF pressured countries to restructure sovereign debt—in part by adopting austerity measures that eroded basic needs such as health care and income security. The resulting human cost was ... Read More »

Flogging of worthless life insurance policies laid bare

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the flogging of life insurance is the domain of the hard seller. It is the ultimate “grudge” purchase. Who, after all, wants to think about their own demise, let alone prepare for it? John Collett The Age “It has ever been thus,” says Peter Thornhill, who had a long career in funds management and life insurance in Australia and overseas. “People don’t perceive life insurance as a necessity and, as a consequence, it has ... Read More »