Finance

These Economies Are Getting More Miserable This Year

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Venezuela tops the list once again, but it’s the moves in the middle that matter Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko Bloomberg If 2016 was the year of political shocks, this year could be when we find how they’ll impact the global economy. Bloomberg’s Misery Index, which combines countries’ 2017 inflation and unemployment outlooks, aims to show us just that. For the third year in a row, Venezuela’s economic and political problems make it the most miserable in the ranking. The least miserable ... Read More »

Russia vs US Economic War: Who’s Going to be the Ultimate Loser?

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Full scale economic war in between America and Russia is underway. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said so, and the US administration and the American congress voted it in with new sanctions. Phil Batler NEO The only question that remains is ”œwho will win?” Here’s a look at the future of US-Russia relations and the ultimate loser in this new type of Cold War. A fact most people are not aware of is that the United States is at risk ... Read More »

2017 Nobel Economics Prize awarded to Richard Thaler for contribution to behavioural economics

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An American academic whose research into behavioural economics showed people do not always make rational financial decisions has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Economics Prize. ABC Reuters/AP The 9-million-kronor ($1.4-million) prize was given to Richard Thaler for his “understanding [of] the psychology of economics” Swedish Academy of Sciences secretary Goeran Hansson said. Professor Thaler is considered one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, a field that shows that far from being the rational decision-makers described in economic theory, people ... Read More »

The Promise of Fiscal Money

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ATHENS – Western capitalism has few sacred cows left. It is time to question one of them: the independence of central banks from elected governments. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate The rationale for entrusting monetary policy fully to central banks is well understood: politicians, overly tempted during the electoral cycle to create more money, pose a threat to economic stability. While progressives have always protested that central banks can never be truly independent, because their autonomy from elected officials increases their ... Read More »

The Eurozone is recovering, but we cannot afford to be complacent. Here are 3 reasons why

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If there is a term that can best describe the current climate in the Eurozone, it is “complacency”. Markets are rising, bond yields are at an all-time low, growth estimates have improved and the European Union has triumphantly declared the end of the crisis, thanks to its “decisive action”. Daniel Lacalle World Economic Forum There is no denying that the European Union is in recovery mode, and that is a positive. Business confidence is rising, and manufacturing indices are in ... Read More »

Alex Salmond has backed independent Scotland to have own pound

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Alex Salmond has backed Scotland to have its own currency if it becomes an independent country. The former first minister has changed his position from ahead of the 2014 referendum when he proposed sharing the sterling with the rest of the UK. Russel Jackson The Scotsman That suggestion was rejected by the UK Government, but now, with the effects of Brexit, Salmond believes Scotland should have its own pound. At his Edinburgh Fringe show, Alex Salmond… Unleashed, he was joined ... Read More »

IMF’s China debt warnings are eerily familiar

Christine Lagarde 6f Reuters Jacky Naegelen LLLL

The IMF has seen this horror film before in neighboring Japan and the odds of a happier ending for China are negligible. William Pesek Asia Times The International Monetary Fund shouldn’t expect much warmth from Beijing these days. Its latest annual health check on Asia’s biggest economy is blunt, sweeping and sure to ruin Xi Jinping’s month as the Chinese president tries to maintain a veneer of omnipotence and stability. The IMF’s worry, of course, is debt. It’s seen this ... Read More »

Sterling Tumbles as UK Inflation Stagnates

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The Pound dropped to a one month-low against the US Dollar and dipped below the €1.10 mark, when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data regarding UK inflation, the UK retail price index and the producer prices index. Miltiadis Skemperis Currency Solutions According to the ONS report, inflation in July remained stable at 2.6%, missing the market’s expectations for a rise at 2.7%. The retail price index edged up higher than expected at 3.6%, raising prospects for steep rail ... Read More »

Tough talk has lifted cost of insuring South Korean debt

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Five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week Reuters Asia Times 1. Jaw-jaw, sell-sell An unnerving war of words between Washington and Pyongyang has pushed the cost of insuring South Korean debt against default to its highest in 1-1/2 years and the expected volatility of the Korean won is creeping higher. Gauges of market risk have been rising but are far off their peaks as the expectation still is that diplomacy would prevail ... Read More »

Hammond Backtracks on Brexit Deal

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has “bent the knee” to Brexit hardliners as he signed a joint article with Liam Fox for the Sunday Telegraph, which said that the UK will definitely leave both the customs union and the single market when it exits the European Union (EU) in… Miltiadis Skemperis Currency Solutions Hammond had called for a transitional deal which could last up to three years, keeping the current trading arrangements with the EU and the rules on movement for workers. ... Read More »

Japan’s Abenomics failure is 30 years in the making

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This is the second in a two-part series on how world economies are relying on 30-year-old tools that won’t work today WILLIAM PESEK Asia Times Japan’s Shinzo Abe has a bad case of Yasuhiro Nakasone on the brain. It’s not that the current prime minister constantly evokes the name of the one who served from 1982 to 1987. But in word, deed and worldview, Abe has read from the playbook of a fabled leader his dad, Shintaro Abe, served as ... Read More »

Vietnam bank profits poised to pop

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Double-digit profit growth rate points to a bubbly credit boom that threatens to inflate underlying problems in the unreformed finance sector. Alan Boyd Asia Times Vietnam’s crowded banking sector is popping the champagne after reporting double-digit profits in the first half of the year, but a bubbly credit boom seems poised to pop later in the year. Pre-tax earnings of the nine listed banks grew by an average 30%, with Vietcombank reaping $232.5 million, VietinBank $212.4 million, BIDV $164.1 million and Military Bank $111.7 ... Read More »

Why China’s Commercial Sector Is America’s Real Strategic Foe

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Washington must take action to defend its national interests against malign Chinese commercial actors. Rep. Ted Yoho The National Interest Despite the furor they’ve caused, the revelations this month that North Korea has functioning ICBMs and miniaturized nuclear warheads shouldn’t come as a surprise. The foreign-policy community has watched for years as Kim Jong-un has steadily developed more advanced weapons capabilities. While most of the world has come together to constrain Kim’s nuclear ambitions, the sophistication of his weapons programs has ... Read More »

Could Brexit Lead to Another Financial Crisis?

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It was 10 years ago when the financial crisis hit the UK, and today, former chancellor of the exchequer, Lord Alistair Darling cautioned that there could be another. Sunny Rogers Currency Solutions Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former chancellor reminisced on the events that unfolded as the crash began to engulf the country, outlining “the most scary moment” of the crisis. “I had to go to one of these meetings of European finance ministers, and I was asked to ... Read More »

Watch The Exhilarating Full Trailer For A Hand-Painted Film About Van Gogh

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Get a glimpse of the gorgeous upcoming biopic exploring Vincent van Gogh’s mysterious death. Priscilla Frank HuffPost What went on in the blazing imagination of iconic post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh? A biopic seven years in the making attempts to offer a glimpse into the revolutionary artist’s beautiful mind using the medium he preferred: paint. Painter Dorota Kobiela and filmmaker Hugh Welchman are the guiding forces behind “Loving Vincent,” which is reportedly the first entirely hand-painted feature film ever made. ... Read More »

Everybody Is Talking About Blockchain, And Here Is Why You Should Care

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New technologies with all kinds of interesting names are popping up every day, but few of them are as hyped as the word “blockchain.” Sami Rusani HuffPost This technology has the capability to reinvent the Internet and technology as we know it. From startups disrupting trillion dollar industries, to massive crowd funding campaigns raising over 100 million dollars in a few hours, to solving social inequality – blockchain is on fire! To understand why it’s becoming such an important part ... Read More »