Finance

China’s consumer demand trumps political friction, says Alibaba boss

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The chief executive of Alibaba Group, the Chinese retail goliath often described as Asia’s Amazon, says rising political tension between China and Australia has not damaged business or trade relations. Patrick Hatch The Age Daniel Zhang instead insists that demand from middle-class Chinese consumers is too great to be disrupted by geopolitical friction, and sees “tremendous” growth ahead for Australia exporters to the region. Some business leaders, including Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, have criticised domestic debate about Chinese Communist Party influence on Australian politics and China’s ... Read More »

Royal Commission reveals need for tougher corporate cop

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Imagine this … An elderly couple returns home from holiday to discover their front door lock broken and $2000 in cash stolen from a biscuit tin in their kitchen. Jessica Irvine Brisbane Times The couple immediately ring the police, who inform them of a spate of similar robberies in the area. But the police have tracked down the perpetrator, who is in custody facing charges that carry a jail term of at least five years. The elderly couple are promptly ... Read More »

Mexico’s EU trade deal lands a punch on Trump

European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom (L) and Mexico's Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal talk to the media in Mexico City, on May 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO        (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

Accord with Brussels comes as Washington squeezes Latin American country in NAFTA talks. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND CHRISTIAN OLIVER Politico Mexico delivered a defiant political riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday by agreeing a trade deal with the EU. Trump’s push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement helped catalyze Mexico’s talks with Brussels over the past year, as the Latin American country sought to diversify away from dependence on an increasingly hostile… Diplomats said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and… ... Read More »

What’s behind the big commodities rally, and why it could be just getting started

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After years of languishing under low market volatility and weak global growth, commodities are on the move higher. One index is at a multi-year peak as prices rise in energy, gold and base metals. Traders in the space see the rally continuing in the face of a trade war threat and as the market gets more comfortable with the global economic growth theme. Threats of a trade war and continued signs of global growth are combining to create myriad opportunities ... Read More »

Bill Jamieson: Here’s how the world is leaving Scotland behind

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Economic optimism about the global economy doesn’t extend to Scotland, writes Bill Jamieson. The Scotsman Few forecasts should have more cheered Scottish Government ministers in their efforts to boost Scotland’s trade and profile overseas than the upbeat International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for the world economy this week. It predicts that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, hitting 3.8 per cent. That’s an encouraging backdrop for Scotland’s exporters. And the IMF has even made a… ... Read More »

Will a Robot Take My Job?

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A restructuring of the global economy fueled by changes in technological capabilities is underway. These changes will result in a complementary restructuring of entire sectors of the global economy. Daniel M. Gerstein The National Interest A REVOLUTION is occurring at the intersection of technology and labor. Change will be uneven across sectors and across the globe. But it will come. Technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy and robotics will fuel these changes, aided by the synergistic effects of the ... Read More »

Iran to replace US dollar with euro in financial reports

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Amid currency crisis, switch is aimed at circumvent restrictions on accessing US dollar and prevent market instability. Saeed Jalili AlJazeera Tehran, Iran – The government of Iran has announced plans to replace the US dollar with the euro in official financial reporting, according to state-run media. The move on Wednesday is seen as part of efforts to circumvent restrictions on accessing the US currency amid tensions with Washington, as well as prevent market instability generated due to fluctuations in the value of Iranian rial against the dollar. ... Read More »

Divisions in EU becoming like a ’civil war,’ France’s Macron warns

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French President Emmanuel Macron warned on April 17 that divisions between democracy and authoritarianism in Europe were becoming like a “civil war”. STRASBOURG – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that set out his vision of a reformed EU, Macron called on the bloc to resist the siren song of populism. The young French leader’s call to arms comes after eurosceptic populists won elections in Hungary and Italy, and as Brussels confronts Poland’s right-wing ... Read More »

Which business structure is best to protect against being sued?

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When it comes to choosing the right structure to own and operate a business there are many things other than income tax to consider. Max Newnham Brisbane Times The fact is the simpler and less complicated a structure is, the less tax efficient and protective it is. When a structure is more complicated, it will inevitably be more tax efficient and offer the owners greater protection. Examples of this are operating as a sole trader, which is the simplest business ... Read More »

The truth hurts: why whistleblowers get such a hard time

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The truth hurts. And when you blow the whistle, people get upset. Ruth Williams The Sydney Morning Herald So says Martin Woods, an anti-money laundering expert and whistleblower, who says governments, companies and wider society need to rethink their attitudes towards whistleblowers in all sectors of the economy, from compliance staff in banks to nurses working in aged… This includes compensating them for speaking up – and paying rewards for valuable information. “It’s human conditioning – the human race doesn’t ... Read More »

Why the EU must support the African Continental Free Trade Area

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The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) by 44 African countries at a summit of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda last month marked an historic moment. Emmanuel Dupuy EUtoday The AfCFTA has the potential to bring over 1.2bn people together into the same market, worth trillions of dollars in GDP. The bloc would be the largest in the world by member states, eclipsing the European Single Market, writes Emmanuel Dupuy, President of the Institute for Prospective ... Read More »

How economics can help solve South Africa’s crime problem

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Empowering people and dealing with poverty are needed to help fight South Africa’s high crime rate, Kingsley Makhubela, chief executive of Brand South Africa told CNBC. Only 30 percent of South Africans feel safe walking at night, an official report said. Justina Crabtree CNBC South Africa is notorious for its high crime rate, a reflection of its economic inequality and racial tension. However, there is an economic dimension to solving the problem, a prominent business voice in the country told ... Read More »

Some German medicine for Trump

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As global stock markets have taken a tumble with recent pronouncements of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China, it is clear that investors bank on trade between the world’s two largest economies as vital to global… Alexis Crow The Washington Post As statements from the campaign trail snowball into larger declarations and potentially more tariffs, it is important to take a step back and examine a basic fact that seems to be overlooked. While much of the ... Read More »

‘Cartel deal’ legal challenge against internet ad ban grows

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The Russian, Chinese and Korean battle against the Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex crypto-related advertisement ban has now been joined by groups in Switzerland, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Asia Times The legal challenge against Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex for not allowing crypto-related ads is growing. Initially, three organizations – the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Associations, and LCBT, a Chinese association of crypto investors – created the Eurasian Association of Blockchain in March to ... Read More »

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

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FRANKFURT — One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic. The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time. Jack Ewing The New York Times Which side would you choose? That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its ... Read More »

Soros prepares to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge

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George Soros called cryptocurrencies a bubble in January. Now his $26 billion ($33 billion) family office is planning to trade digital assets. Alastair Marsh, Saijel Kishan and Katherine Burton The Age – Bloomberg Adam Fisher, who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management, got internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, though he has yet to make a wager, according to people familiar with the matter. A spokesman declined to comment. Soros, speaking at ... Read More »