Finance

Of Tanks and Banks: Stopping a Dangerous Escalation in Libya

An under-reported banking crisis threatens to exacerbate deadly fighting in Tripoli, ignite a protracted resource war and deepen the country’s east-west divide. ICG A way out requires agreeing to a ceasefire in Tripoli and ending the four-year split between the Central Bank’s rival branches. What’s new?  A neglected banking crisis in Libya is coming to a head just as forces under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar are trying to capture Tripoli. A protracted conflict will hinder efforts to reunify the divided ... Read More »

Why the US and China will have to make it work

Earlier this month, the US and China seemed on the point of a trade rapprochement. The tariffs Washington and Beijing have slapped on each other in recent months were about to be reversed. Brisbane Times / Telegraph, London Then Donald Trump took to Twitter – a phrase future historians will be using a lot, perhaps – signalling Sino-US trade negotiations had shifted from sweet to sour. “The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly,” Trump tweeted. “They broke the ... Read More »

A Greek Canary in a Global Goldmine

After 2008, Greece came to symbolize global capitalism’s failure to balance credit and trade flows. Yianis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Today, as the global mismatch between economic reality and financial returns grows, there is clear danger that, once again, the country is foreshadowing a new phase of the global crisis. ATHENS – The eurozone country that has become synonymous with insolvency is today proving to be a treasure-trove for some. Traders who bought Greek assets a few years ago have good ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

Can Capitalism Beat Climate Change?

Only clear targets can transform rational self-interest from a potentially catastrophic force into a powerful driver of beneficial change. Adair Turner Project Syndicate Once investors know that the non-negotiable end point is zero carbon in 2050, they will desert any company whose plans are incompatible with that objective. LONDON – Easter visitors to London have found some streets and buildings occupied by “Extinction Rebellion” activists, warning of climate catastrophe and rejecting “a… Followers of central bank thinking have seen the ... Read More »

The Federal Trade Commission Is Coming After Facebook to the Tune of $3-5 Billion

No matter how much Mark Zuckerberg may bluster otherwise, Facebook doesn’t care about protecting its users’ privacy. John Ellis PJ Media Thankfully, though, that breach of trust is going to cost the social media behemoth, and it’s going to cost them a bundle. Reporting on Facebook’s Q1 2019 earnings report, Daniel Howley of Yahoo Finance News reveals that the company is expecting to be levied a… The report published by Facebook includes the admission that: In the first quarter of ... Read More »

The Risks of Maximising Pressure on Iran

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is more likely to fuel resistance and retaliation than capitulation. Ali Vaez ICG Washington should heed past lessons lest it provokes a new nuclear crisis or a regional escalation. The U.S. decision on 22 April to end sanctions exemptions for Iran’s remaining oil customers, following on an earlier designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), significantly escalates the… The intent is clear: bankrupt Iran into… The Risks of… Read More »

How much of Europe does China own?

The European Union has introduced a new mechanism for screening foreign investment. It’s widely believed to have been prompted by concerns over China’s economic ambitions in Europe. By Reality Check team BBC News It will allow the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm -… In March, the European Commission called China a “systemic rival” and a “strategic competitor”. The Chinese Ambassador to the EU urged the bloc to remain “open and welcome” to Chinese investment, and not to “discriminate”. ... Read More »

Will Conservatives Abandon the Free Market?

Conservatives would either “combat” or “convert” business or base their politics “squarely on it.” But, he warned, conservatism “founded on money,” is “fickle, selfish, and irresponsible.” Joshua Tait The National Interest WHEN FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable ... Read More »

Trump forces Brussels’ hand on trade despite tariffs backlash

Trump’s threat of auto tariffs has finally spurred EU leaders into action on a new trade deal with Washington. As the US president seeks reelection next year, will Europe hold more clout in upcoming negotiations? Nik Martin Deutsche Welle Nine months after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to Washington to stave off the prospect of US tariffs on European cars, the European Union signaled this week it was ready to restart trade talks with… EU leaders have been grappling with the ... Read More »

Greece to demand war reparations from Germany

Greek lawmakers on April 17voted through a resolution demanding the payment of German war crime reparations, an issue long disputed by Berlin. ATHENS- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet A parliamentary committee last year determined that Germany owes Greece at least 270 billion euros ($305 billion) for World War I damages and looting, atrocities and a forced loan during the Nazi occupation in World War II. “These demands are always active. They were never set aside by Greece,” parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis told reporters this week. With cross-party ... Read More »

Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme

Exclusive: in confidential internal report seen by the Guardian, bank says scandal has hurt global brand Luke Harding The Guardian Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank faces fines, legal action and the possible prosecution of “senior management” because of its role in a $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme, a confidential internal report seen by the Guardian says. The bank admits there is a high risk that regulators in the US and UK will take “significant disciplinary action” against it. Deutsche concedes that the scandal has ... Read More »

Corporate crime inquiry reference terms released

The terms of reference for the corporate crime inquiry being held by the Australian Law Reform Commission have been released by the Attorney-General. Grace Ormsby Corporate Counsel The ALRC has been tasked with the review, which will look into Australia’s corporate criminal responsibility regime. The inquiry, led by ALRC president, the Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington, will review part 2.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and consider options for regime reform, according to a statement from the Attorney-General Christian Porter to ... Read More »

How we will rebuild trust in Irish banking

A new independent body will have a dedicated focus on banking culture John Hedigan The Irish Times Trust in the Irish banking system is at an all-time low. This is an unsustainable situation which damages not only the banking sector but the general public interest. To address this problem, banking culture in Ireland needs to change. For that change to be authentic and sustainable, it must come from within. If regulation were enough, the necessary change would have come about ... Read More »

China takes Australia’s Huawei 5G ban to global trade umpire

Beijing: China has complained to the World Trade Organisation about Australia’s ban on Huawei participating in the 5G network. Kirsty Needham WAtoday The complaint, made at a WTO meeting in Geneva on Friday, does not mention Huawei by name but refers to Australia’s “discriminatory market access prohibition on 5G equipment”, according to the meeting’s agenda seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The complaint has been lodged with global trade umpire as the federal government has entered caretaker mode ahead of the ... Read More »