Finance

IMF Gives Downbeat View of Greek Economy at End of Bailout Era

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The International Monetary Fund gave a glum assessment of Greece’s prospects, weeks before the country embarks on life outside the bailout programs that have dominated public life for the last eight years. Marcus Bensasson Bloomberg While commending the Greek government for eliminating the fiscal and current account imbalances and restoring growth, the Washington-based lender said “risks are tilted to the downside.” The country’s banks could need more capital, and some of the IMF directors questioned the long-term sustainability of Greece’s ... Read More »

The Greatest Depression

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The IMF has just released its latest review of the Greek economy. “Following a deep and protracted contraction,” it says in its press release, “growth has finally returned to Greece.” Frances Coppola Forbes The green light has been given for Greece’s exit from its bailout program in August 2018. For many, this is welcome news. Greece has turned a corner. The dark days are behind it, and the future will be bright. But is this really the end of Greece’s ... Read More »

Minister Paolo Savona: A fine and enlightened economist

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Paolo Savona was and still is an essential figure to understand the recent Italian economic and financial history. Giancarlo Elia Valori Modern Diplomacy He was Minister of Ciampi’s government in 1993, just at the time when Italy’s entry into the single currency system was being planned. We will revert to this issue at a later stage. From the beginning of his university studies, Paolo Savona was one of Guido Carli’s favourite students. Shortly after graduation, he won a public competition ... Read More »

What the world can learn about equality from the Nordic model

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Rising inequality is one of the biggest social and economic issues of our time. It is linked to poorer economic growth and fosters social discontent and unrest. Geoffrey M Hodgson The Conversation So, given that the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – are some of the world’s most equal on a number of measures, it makes sense to look to them for lessons in how to build a more equal society. The Nordic countries are ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

Five minute guide to treating savers fairly ‘Basically a good idea’

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SAVERS have struggled to get a decent return on cash for a decade, but some have struggled more than others. Harvey Jones Express The Bank of England’s move to slash base rates to 0.5 per cent at the peak of the financial crisis in March 2009 is primarily to blame. Banks, and to a lesser extent building societies, have made a bad situation worse by abandoning loyal savers who have kept the same account for years. The average closed branch-based ... Read More »

Iran’s currency plunges to record low as US sanctions loom

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Rial has lost half its value since April amid weak economy and big demand for dollars by Iranians fearful of sanctions. AlJazeera Iran’s currency has plunged to another record low, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar, as Iranians brace for August 7 when the United Statesis due to reimpose the first batch of sanctions on their economy. In May, Washington pulled out of a landmark 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in ... Read More »

Tunisian economy continues to struggle

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TUNIS — More than any time in the country’s past, Tunisia must now engage in reforms to ease the financial and economic strains affecting its trade and balance of payments, according to the governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Marouane el-Abassi. Mohamed Ali Litfi Al-Monitor The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month approved the fourth tranche of its $2.8 billion loan to Tunisia, which was arranged in 2016. The $250 million payment brings IMF’s total loans to Tunisia so far to approximately $1.14 billion. Speaking at a ... Read More »

MoviePass stopped working because it ran out of money

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Subscription movie service MoviePass made a name for itself by practically handing out money. The popular service, owned by parent company Helios and Matheson, charges $9.95 a month to see up to one regular 2D movie in theaters a day—including in markets like New York, where a… Alison Griswold Quartz MoviePass pays the theaters full price for each ticket. How fast has the money gone? In May, MoviePass reported spending $40 million more in cash than it brought in. For ... Read More »

South Korean firm backs off ‘treasure ship’ claim amid probe

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A South Korean company on July 26 backed off its claim to have found a sunken Russian warship with an enormous cargo of gold as financial regulators began investigating whether the outlandish treasure… SEOUL – The Associated Press Hurriyet The Seoul-based Shinil Group said it doesn’t know if any gold coins and bars would be found inside the sunken ship it identified as the Dmitrii Donskoi, which sank 113 years ago. Company officials… “There’s no way for us to figure out whether ... Read More »

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas link pipelay barge sets up in Germany

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Brussels — Preparatory works to lay pipes for Russia’s 55 Bcm/year Nord Stream 2 gas link at Lubmin, Germany have begun, with the offshore pipe installation barge put in its starting position. Author: Siobhan Hall Editor: Jeremy Lovell S&P Global Barge in position at Lubmin to start laying pipe NS2 plans to complete Greifswald works by end-2018 “The Nord Stream 2 project continues as planned and the implementation schedule is well within the planned timeline,” Nord Stream 2 project company ... Read More »

EU trade war OVER? Trump and Juncker thrash out deal – Brussels agrees to ZERO tariffs

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STOCK markets across the world have rallied after the United States and European Union agreed to measures to avert a full-scale trade war. By HARVEY GAVIN Express President Trump said both sides had agreed to “work together towards zero tariffs”. And he announced the EU had agreed to increase American exports of liquefied natural gas and soybeans to Europe. Mr Trump’s comments came after he met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained ... Read More »

Nearly half of Australian companies hit by cyber crime, PwC global survey reveals

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Australian companies are being ripped off more than ever by customers, suppliers and cyber-hackers using the dark web backed by organised crime. By senior business correspondent Peter Ryan ABC Advisory firm PwC revealed that customer fraud was now the number one economic crime in Australia, with 45 per cent of companies surveyed attacked during the past two years. PwC’s global economic crime survey, out today, warned businesses that organised crime syndicates using the dark web were becoming more sophisticated and ... Read More »

Trade war a reality, French finance minister warns

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A trade war is now a reality, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned as G20 ministers gather for a summit in Argentina. BBC The current US trade policy of imposing unilateral tariffs is based on “the law of the jungle”, he said. But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the tariffs and urged the EU and China to open their markets to allow free competition. Last week, US President Donald Trump described the EU as a “foe” on trade. ... Read More »

Germany’s G20 call for multilateral trade falls on deaf US ears at summit

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German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has added his voice to calls by the IMF and others to avoid a trade war with the US. DW But the US’ man at the G20, Steve Mnuchin, continued to threaten tariffs if US demands are not met. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Saturday reiterated calls for “free and fair world trade” at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. Scholz went on to reject US criticism of European trade policy. “The EU pursues a very rational ... Read More »

India scraps tax on sanitary pads in boost for girls’ education

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India has scrapped a controversial tax on sanitary pads, in a move hailed by campaigners who say it will help more girls to go to school during their periods and boost their job prospects. ABC Reuters Activists said removing the tax on pads tackled one of the biggest barriers to education for girls, who were often forced to stay at home due to a lack of access to clean hygiene products, while also facing stigma and a… Periods were among ... Read More »