Finance

The Trade War Has Claimed Its First Victim

Tariffs from the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU may have damaged the WTO beyond repair. Arvind Panagariya * FP The World Trade Organization (WTO) might be the first victim of the trade war between China, the United States, and the European Union. Today, each is in flagrant violation of its rules, and the institution’s credibility as the protector of a rules-based trading system is in serious doubt. U.S. President Donald Trump initiated the trade war in March when he ... Read More »

‘Golden passports’ firm was consulted by government over investor visas

Henley & Partners among those consulted before rules were relaxed as ministers pursued global investment Hilary Osborne and Juliette Garside The Guardian Henley & Partners, the firm at the centre of the Caribbean passports controversy, was among a group of private-sector specialists consulted by the UK government ahead of changes to immigration rules that led to a… Theresa May’s Home Office redesigned its visa programme with a view to attracting rich foreign investors, after the coalition had entered government, as ministers ... Read More »

Opinion: Why the Saudi business conference should be left to wither in the sun

Statements from Saudi Arabia to respond to any Western sanctions imposed over the Khashoggi case with even greater actions are a veiled threat of monstrous proportions and demand a stern reaction, says DW’s Kevin Cote. Sunday’s statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry cited the kingdom’s “influential and vital role in the global economy.” That role is scheduled to be underscored at a conference called the Future Investment Initiative (FII) starting on October 23 in Riyadh. The conference should be boycotted by ... Read More »

‘Australia is in trouble’: The plan to fix Australia’s tax system

Australia has more than 125 taxes at a state and federal level, but 90 per cent of revenue is raised through just 10 of them. The pressure is now on to tear up the system and start again. Eryk Bagshaw WAtoday The tax-free threshold would be scrapped, tax rates would increase for every $1000 of income earned, and savings would be targeted by the tax office under one of the most ambitious blueprints for… The proposal has been unveiled as ... Read More »

What would it take for North Korea to join the IMF?

At the recent UN General Assembly, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in was discussing North Korea’s strides to build relations and open up to the world. Ana Nicolaci da Costa BBC He said Kim Jong-un had even said he would be “willing to join the IMF and the World Bank and other international agencies”, Reuters reported. Those ambitions, if vague for now, cast a light on the challenges North Korea will face as it tries to become part of the global ... Read More »

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

While we digest the royal commission’s evidence of shocking misconduct by the banks and insurance companies, there’s another unpalatable truth to swallow: they have no monopoly on bad behaviour. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times It seems almost everywhere you look you see examples of companies behaving badly. In a major speech he gave a few months ago, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, offered a remarkable list of business household names the commission was taking proceedings ... Read More »

‘Prepared to go to PRISON’ Pimlico Plumbers founder REFUSES to take down anti-Brexit sign

A TV host quizzed Remain campaigner Charlie Mullins over his anti-Brexit sign outside Pimlico Plumbers demanding to know whether it was a “good idea” as the founder claimed he is prepared to go to prison rather than take it down. Darren Hunt Express Former Conservative doner and Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins erected a sign over his company’s London HQ proclaiming “Brexit – Nobody voted to be poorer.” RT host Bill Dod asked whether it was “wise marketing” to install the ... Read More »

EU to hit Cambodia with trade sanctions, says Myanmar may follow

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union told Cambodia on Friday it will lose its special access to the world’s largest trading bloc, and said it was considering similar trade sanctions for Myanmar in a toughening of EU policy on human rights in Southeast Asia. Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop After months of pressure from rights groups and the European Parliament, the EU’s trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc was ready to punish abuses in both countries by removing trade preferences. ... Read More »

How to deal with the next financial crisis – take some lessons from Iceland

It has been ten years since the global recession hit – and the perfect opportunity to rethink and reassess the crisis with the benefit of time. Iosif Kovras The Conversation Much of the focus so far has been on economic or policy failures, with the question of accountability left out of the discussion. In stark contrast to the grassroots calls for punishing those responsible, political leaders were not overly concerned with accountability, leaving bankers off the hook. This was a ... Read More »

Tanzania law punishing critics of statistics ‘deeply concerning’: World Bank

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – The World Bank said it was deeply concerned about new Tanzanian legislation which would punish anyone who questions official statistics, saying the law would undermine the production of useful and… Lawmakers last month passed amendments to the Statistics Act that would impose fines, at least three years jail time, or both, on anyone who questioned the accuracy of official figures. The attorney general said the changes were needed to… Opposition groups and other critics have ... Read More »

Pipeline Dreams

Eastern Mediterranean gas creates new allies—and deepens old enmities John Psaropoulos the weekly Standard Athens On January 30, the deepwater drillship Saipem 12000 sent its drill bit into a cavern beneath one-and-a-quarter miles of water and a mile of rock in the eastern Mediterranean. The Italian oil and gas company Eni, which had contracted the ship, announced a week later that the cavern, called Calypso, was “an extended gas column,” containing an estimated six to eight trillion cubic feet of ... Read More »

Forget the pledges to act – London is still a haven for dirty Russian money

After Salisbury, the Tories said we would get tough on rich Russians. But billionaires are still coming and sanctions are nowhere to be seen. Oliver Bullough The Guardian Britain, we’re told, has a new policy on dirty Russian money. We are finally pulling the red carpet from under the feet of the rich Russians who have turned London into a private members’ club. This new “hostile environment” was trailed in February after the security minister, Ben Wallace, watched McMafia – ... Read More »

Greedy banks and inept regulators but not much more

It began so well. The banks were lashed as greedy institutions focussed on gouging the living – and the dead – and anything else they could squeeze a dollar out of in the pursuit of targets and bonuses. Adele Ferguson Brisbane Times It then went on to the regulators, in particular the corporate regulator, which it eviscerated for its lack of teeth and inability to do its job and enforce the law. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) was ... Read More »

Royal Commission shows banks have behaved appallingly, but we’ve helped them do it

The term deposit has matured. Initial scepticism over the timing, scope, and overall need for a royal commission into financial services has transformed into deep concern about the culture and practices in one of our most important industries. Andrew Grant The Conversation Malcolm Turnbull, the (perhaps not coincidentally) ex-prime minister, admitted it had been a “political mistake” to delay the royal commission by nearly two years. None of the major banks have escaped the Commission’s ire. Perhaps that’s because none ... Read More »

China’s new world order ‘unrealistic’ if built on belt and road alone, senior US diplomatic observer says

Beijing cannot avoid dealing with the developed world if it wants to build a technologically advanced country. South China Morning Post It will not be realistic for China to build an alternative world order through its massive infrastructure investments overseas as other regional players do not want to take sides between Beijing and Washington, according to a… Miles Kahler, a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, said China’s infrastructure strategy – known as the “Belt and Road Initiative” ... Read More »

Hiring highly educated immigrants leads to more innovation and better products

Much of the current debate over immigration is about what kind of impact immigrants have on jobs and wages for workers born in the United States. Authors: The Conversation Seldom does anyone talk about how immigration leads to a wider variety of better products for the American consumer. We recently conducted a study to shine more light on the matter. We are economists with a keen interest in growth and innovation and how immigration affects the economy. What we found ... Read More »