Finance

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 »

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 The people complaining about U.S. decline in the face of China’s rise under President Obama have been replaced by new people complaining about the same thing under President Trump.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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Society relies on a social compact. Time for tax-avoiding multinationals to sign up

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Pat Leahy: The political centre needs to force big business to pay its way The Irish Times Pat Leahy Western countries are by and large the most civilised, comfortable and desirable places to live in the history of mankind. If, in a version the “veil of ignorance” thought experiment, you could choose any time or place to live, not knowing your race, abilities, talents or gender, you’d be mad not to choose to be born into a modern western country, ... Read More »

Fight for Your Right to Proxy

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Are shareholders finally on equal footing with corporate executives — or have investors become drunk on power? Alicia McElhaney When Institutional Investor published a report on proxy reform in its April 1991 issue, corporate governance was on the precipice of change. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and College Retirement Equities Fund were lobbying the Securities and Exchange Commission to give institutions a say in corporate governance, as Stephen Clark reported in “Push Comes to Shove on Proxy Reform.” The raft of ... Read More »

Will the Easy-Money Era Lead to a Recession?

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The Fed has already achieved its objective of escaping 0 percent Now the goal is to avoid recession. Samuel Rines As Janet Yellen readies for her departure from the Federal Reserve, a sentiment creeping into markets that the era of “easy money” is over—as if somehow the Yellen Fed was the root of all easiness. The National Interest Yellen’s Fed was the first in recent history to oversee only rate increases—and not encounter a recession. That is quite the accomplishment: ... Read More »

The GOP Tax Plan Tells Us Everything About Who Matters In American Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Flanked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform legislation during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee in the Cabinet Room at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. On Thursday, Republican lawmakers unveiled their plans for a massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Your boss, not you. The United States is the richest country in the history of the world. Last year, the genius and muscle of the American people generated more than $18.6 trillion in wealth. Zach Carter  HuffPost This year, our brains and brawn will combine to create well over $19 trillion. Despite all the debt theatrics of the Republican Party during the Obama presidency, we owe just $6.2 trillion to other countries ― less than four months of our collective ... Read More »

Will exodus of firms from Catalonia economically influence voters?

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Damage to Catalan economy’s credibility and investor confidence may persist for years The secessionist process initiated by Catalonia’s regional government has prompted companies to relocate in other Spanish regions to ensure continued free-market access to the rest of Spain and the European Union. José Guimón The Irish Times Over 1,300 companies have now moved their headquarters outside Cataloniain the three weeks following Catalonia’s illegal referendum for independence of October 1st. The traditional concern that multinational affiliates are “footloose” applies equally to local companies. ... Read More »

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

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With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals. Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. James Hamblin The Atlantic  Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and…It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the ... Read More »

Scottish economy ‘fundamentally strong and ready to face Brexit’

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Scotland’s economy is “fundamentally strong” and ready to meet the challenges of Brexit, the Economy Secretary has said Lucinda Cameron Keith Brown told the Unite conference on Saturday that the economy is growing while the number of people in employment has risen and unemployment has fallen. The Scotsman However he said withdrawal from the EU posed some “serious headwinds” and warned that a no-deal Brexit would be “catastrophic”. He said Scotland would lose an estimated £11 billion a year by ... Read More »