Finance

Pressure mounts on Ireland to accept EU digital tax

The Republic continues to resist proposal as European opposition to the levy slips away Pat Leahy, Cliff Taylor The Irish Times The Government is under increasing pressure to agree to European Commission proposals for an EU-wide 3 per cent digital sales tax ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels next week. Government sources says it will resist the proposal in its current form, but there has been heavy lobbying from the commission, the French government and the ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Millions of women to share pensions windfall

MILLIONS of women are in line for a pension boost following a landmark multi-billion pound High Court ruling. Lloyds Bank was told yesterday it had to equalise pensions benefits for men and women, in… By SARAH O’GRADY Express The ruling by Mr Justice Morgan could cost Lloyds £150million and the pension industry collectively around £20billion. Employees Angela Sharp, Judith Cain and Susan Dixon by their trade union BTU, claimed they faced sex discrimination because their guaranteed minimum pension increased at a ... Read More »

Lack of trust between EU and Britain emerging as issue in backstop talks

London Letter: Fears Britain could seek to use Border issue for trade deal leverage Denis Staunton The Irish Times This was supposed to be “hell week” for Theresa May after mutinous Brexiteers foretold her political assassination in grisly metaphors in last Sunday’s papers. But after surviving a Brexit statement in the House of Commons on Monday, a fiery cabinet meeting on Tuesday and an appearance before the 1922 Committee on Wednesday, the prime minister ends the week in a… But May still ... Read More »

We don’t want billionaires’ charity. We want them to pay their taxes

Rather than philanthropy, the super-wealthy should give their money to governments that know better how to spend it Owen Jones The Guardian ”Charity is a cold, grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.” It is a phrase commonly ascribed to Clement Attlee – the credit actually belongs to his biographer, Francis Beckett – but it elegantly sums up the case for progressive ... Read More »

Italy’s Budget Isn’t as Crazy as It Seems

EU officials must recognize that the country needs stimulus. Ashoka Mody Bloomberg Europe’s leaders have come down hard on Italy for its plans to increase spending with the aim of boosting growth and helping the poor. What they fail to recognize is that a little stimulus might be just what the… The outlook for the global economy is deteriorating more rapidly than forecasters realize. A slowdown in China has hit global trade, European exports are decelerating, and euro-area business sentiment is sharply down. All ... Read More »

Economic realpolitik brings Asia’s big guns together

There were deals a-plenty between China and Japan in Beijing on Friday, as Asia’s top economies hedge against global financial risk William Pesek Asia Times Nothing beats a potential financial crisis to bring geopolitical rivals together. This dynamic was on full display in Beijing Friday when the premiers of China and Japan joined hands on a US$30 billion currency swap, a yuan clearing bank and business deals worth billions. The steps agreed upon by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and ... Read More »

NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS to pay for drought relief, but the plan has been cautiously welcomed by… Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison unveiled his $5 billion Drought Future Fund at a summit attended by farmers, economists, industry bodies and state and federal ministers in Canberra on Friday, promising measures to drought-proof the… The first $3.9 billion of the scheme, which would operate ... Read More »

Why Wall Street’s tumble is bad news for Trump

US stock markets fell sharply Wednesday, erasing all gains for the year and muddying one of President Donald Trump’s favourite talking points two weeks before the midterm elections. Brisbane Times The Washington Post The technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.4 per cent Wednesday, its worst one-day drop since the financial crisis. The index has slid more than 12 per cent since the end of August. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which tracks a broader group of US companies, has lost $US2 ... Read More »

Mario Draghi: I won’t mediate Italian budget standoff

The Italian chief of the ECB also says that ‘to finance governments’ deficits is not part of our mandate.’ By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI Politico The European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, on Thursday passed the buck on resolving the Italian budget standoff to the European Commission. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Frankfurt after the ECB governing council monetary policy meeting, Draghi sought to clarify that he has no intention of serving as a “mediator” between Rome and ... Read More »

Mark Carney, eco-warrior

The Bank of England governor is pushing banks and investors to take climate change seriously. And they listen, whether they want to or not. By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI, KALINA OROSCHAKOFF AND CAT CONTIGUGLIA Politico LONDON — Mark Carney’s job is to guide the pound and the British economy through the Brexit storms. But the Bank of England chief is also building a legacy in another, unexpected field: climate change. From twin perches atop the British central bank and a global oversight body, Carney ... Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »

The EU Has Rejected Italy’s Budget. That’s Just What Rome Wanted.

The EU’s move comes amid growing economic problems in Italy, but the country’s ascendant populists will flaunt Brussels’s decision as a victory. Rachel Donadio The Atlantic Since it came to power in May, Italy’s coalition government has always been a marriage of convenience. The Five Star Movement won the economically struggling Italian south with its campaign pledges of a universal basic income, and the right-wing League party won the economically prosperous north with its pledges of tax cuts. That fundamental ... Read More »

Cash Converters: Turning Your Misery Into Their Money… Until Maurice Blackburn Came Along

Australia’s largest ‘pay day loan’ company has caved on the first day of a class action lawsuit, coughing up a $16.4 million settlement to settle one part of a case brought by nearly 30,000 Queenslanders, some of whom were illegally charged interest rates that… Chris Graham New matilda The maximum annual interest chargeable under Queensland law is 48 per cent per annum. It’s the third time in as many years Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has led a class action against Cash ... Read More »

‘Rallying cry’: Mining giant BHP renews calls for carbon price

Mining giant BHP Billiton has renewed calls for a price on carbon to drive emissions reductions in Australia, despite the Morrison government rejecting the need to overhaul climate policies before the… Nick Toscano WAtoday As the Coalition faces the likely loss of the seat of Wentworth, where a voter backlash over climate change policy is considered to be a contributing factor, BHP on Monday… Fiona Wild, BHP’s head of sustainability and climate change, said Australia and the world must act ... Read More »

Dozens of casualties as multiple blasts rock Kabul polling centres amid Afghan elections

Multiple explosions rocked polling centres across Kabul on Saturday, causing dozens of casualties, amid growing anger among voters as they waited hours to cast their ballots in long-delayed legislative… Hurriyet KABUL – AFP At least 30 people have been taken to a trauma hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, including a dead child, the organisation said on Twitter, hours after the Taliban warned voters to boycott the ballot “to… Afghan officials confirmed there have been casualties but would not ... Read More »