Finance

How Europe’s Band-Aid Ensures Greece’s Bondage

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All the happy talk about impending “debt relief” and a “clean exit” from Greece’s third “bailout” obscures an uglier truth: the country’s debt bondage is being extended to 2060. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Worse, by ossifying Greece’s insolvency, while pretending to have overcome it, Europe’s establishment is demonstrating its refusal to fix the eurozone’s flaws. ATHENS – Greece’s never-ending public-debt saga has come to signify the European Union’s inept handling of its inevitable eurozone crisis. Eight years after its bankruptcy, ... Read More »

Paul Keating says Australia’s sycophancy to US damaging its own interests

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Former Labor prime minister says there should be greater independence within alliance and South China Sea ‘is not our fight’ Ben Doherty Guardian Australia’s “client state” obsequiousness towards the US was damaging its own interests and ignoring the rise of China as the nascent “primary economic state of the world”, Paul Keating has argued. Speaking at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, the former Labor prime minister said the alliance with the US did not mandate slavish devotion to American demands “as the ... Read More »

Big investors backed shareholder campaigns on climate, human rights

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It had already been a challenging year for BHP by the time its new chairman, Ken MacKenzie, took to the stage at the company’s AGM last November. Ruth Williams The Age The complex repercussions of the deadly Samarco mine disaster in Brazil two years before rolled on and combative hedge fund Elliott had spent much of the year using its toe-hold shareholding to push for a radical shake-up. Against that backdrop a resolution lobbed by a tiny group of retail ... Read More »

‘Britain Would Collapse If It Tried to Pay Back the Money it Drained From India’

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Britain drained more than 9 trillion pounds from India over 173 years, says economist Utsa Patnaik. Newsclick Report Britain would collapse if it tried to pay back the money it drained from India, eminent economist Utsa Patnaik said at a conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on Wednesday. Delivering the inaugural lecture at the three-day Sam Moyo Memorial Conference on “Land and Labour Questions in the Global South”, Utsa Patnaik said that the estimated drain from India to Britain ... Read More »

Merkel eyes overhaul of EU finances for post-Brexit bloc

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BERLIN: Brexit offers the EU an opportunity for a broad rethink of its financial set-up, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday before an EU summit that will tackle the bloc’s future budget. Reuters Arab News Addressing the Bundestag (lower house of parliament), Merkel made clear that the future of the EU would be a priority in her fourth term, provided a coalition deal between her conservatives and the pro-EU Social Democrats is approved by SPD members. “We need a ... Read More »

Ukraine’s National Bank to prolong sanctions against banks with Russian capital

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Earlier Ukraine’s President enforced the decision of Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against five banks with Russian capital 112.International The National Bank of Ukraine believes that the sanctions against banks with Russian state capital, expiring on March 16, should be prolonged. Vitaliy Vavryshchuk, the Head of the National Bank Financial Stability Department said this, as Interfax-Ukraine reports. “Yes, there is a need to prolong them,” he responded. He also mentioned that the presence of banks with Russian capital within the… Ukraine’s National ... Read More »

Two of the big four fail to submit to inquiry despite earning millions of dollars in taxpayer funding

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Two of Australia’s largest consultancy firms have failed to lodge submissions to a public inquiry on the use of consultants despite raking in billions of dollars in taxpayer funding. By Eryk Bagshaw Brisbane Times PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG are the only two of the big-four firms to have made submissions to the inquiry, which was called after an audit found spending on contracts outside the public service had spiralled to $47 billion for 2016-17. The big four have earned close to $2 ... Read More »

UK Government-backed investment bank needed for small business lending, think tank urges

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A new report says a new national investment bank could address the lack of long-term investment in SMEs Ravender Sembhy The Independent Britain should set up a state-backed investment bank to focus on small business lending as part of efforts to tackle poor productivity, a think tank has urged. A new report by Civitas argues that the creation of a new “national investment bank” will address the “market failure” that has led to a lack of long-term investment in SMEs. The new lender ... Read More »

Japan thinks Brexit is an ‘act of self harm’, says former ambassador

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Sir David Warren says Britain’s withdrawal from EU could have ‘grave’ consequences for bilateral relations Chris Baynes The Independent Japan sees Brexit as an act of economic and political “self-harm” that will weaken the UK as a world power, according to the former British ambassador to Tokyo. Sir David Warren, who served in the post between 2008 and 2012, said Britain’s withdrawal from the EU could have “grave” consequences for relations with Japan. His comments came after the Japanese ambassador to London warned Prime Minister Theresa ... Read More »

Capitalism isn’t an ideology — it’s an operating system

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Bhu Srinivasan researches the intersection of capitalism and technological progress. Today’s TED Talk Instead of thinking about capitalism as a firm, unchanging ideology, he suggests that we should think of it as an operating system — one that needs upgrades to keep up with innovation, like the impending take-off of drone delivery services. Learn more about the past and future of the free market (and a potential coming identity crisis for the United States’ version of capitalism) with this quick, ... Read More »

Why our obsession with GDP ignores harm done to welfare and the world

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One of the first things economics students learn about is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) GDP is also a central concept in many political debates, including Brexit. The Converstion Will it rise? Will it fall? What effect will this have on our lives? Gross Domestic Product measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country, calculating the net value added by each economic “actor”. So if you produce a car sold for £10,000 but you bought parts ... Read More »

The U.K. Is Down Since Brexit. Guess Who’s Up.

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Greece is growing faster than the U.K. and is outperforming it in financial markets Matthew A. Winkler Bloomberg When British voters decided in June 2016 to exit the European Union, investors who had anticipated the opposite result stampeded out of sterling and the currency plummeted a record 8.05 percent to a 31-year low. Almost 20 months later, the pound has mostly recovered, providing some satisfaction to commentators who’d predicted that Brexit would prove more distressing to the… So much for wishful thinking. ... Read More »

Worried About the Stock Market? This Is Just the Beginning.

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The U.S. financial markets will become increasingly volatile as interest rates rise and credit spreads return to something approximating normal Christopher Whalen The National Interest Watching the financial markets gyrate over the past week, it is tempting to wonder if the global economy will ever return to an era when the decisions of private investors are more important than the policies of governments. Since 2008 and even before, central banks have been buying public and private debt and even private ... Read More »

Reserve Bank governor rules out interest rate hikes until wages rise

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The Reserve Bank governor has dismissed any chance of a rate hike any time soon, after a week of financial turmoil sparked by fears of rapidly rising inflation and interest rates in the United States. By business reporter Carrington Clarke ABC Philip Lowe said the recent market volatility would not have any impact on the growth outlook for Australia, which remains at “a bit above 3 per cent over the next couple of years”. But he also intensified his calls for higher ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘no deal would cut Scottish GDP by 9%’

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A ‘no deal’ Brexit would cut Scottish economic output by 9%, according to leaked UK Government analysis. Russell Jackson  The Scotsman The predicted hit to Scotland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal has been detailed in regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday. The figure is worse than the 8.5 per cent cut to GDP predicted by a Scottish Government study last month. At the time, the Scottish Government figure was described as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the ... Read More »

Truth about toxic banking culture may never be told

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Year after year, scandals revealing the ongoing unethical behaviour of banking senior management have shown the need for scrutiny of wrongdoing in our nation’s finance sector Julia Angrisano Brisbane Times The royal commission is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these hidden practices, to improve the experiences of customers and finance workers. However, shadows are being cast over the process of the banking royal commission before it has even begun. Legal schemes that banks use to silence their staff ... Read More »