Economy

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

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US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »

Why Turkey’s Lira Crisis Matters Outside Turkey

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Investors are fretting about emerging markets again. Turkey is the front-burner concern at the moment, but what really is getting people’s attention is the prospect that the financial problems there could spread to other fast-growing but risky countries. By Matt Phillips The New York Times If history is any indication, that has the potential to quickly turn a local crisis into a global one. Or maybe not. What’s happening in Turkey? Over the last week the value of the Turkish ... Read More »

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

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Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

Fresh blood: Australia is still lucky, thanks to our young migrants

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Reserve Bank governor Dr  Philip Lowe thinks Australia’s strong population growth in recent years is a wonderful thing, and he sings its praises in a speech this week. Ross Gittins WAtoday I’m not sure he’s right. Like most economists and business people, Lowe is a lot more conscious of the economic benefits of population growth than the economic costs. As for the social and environmental costs, they’re for someone else to worry about. But whatever your views, you’ll be heaps better informed ... Read More »

Dow drops about 200 points as financial crisis in Turkey spooks global markets

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Stocks fell on Friday as geopolitical concerns pushed the Turkish lira to a record low against the dollar and rattled investors. Fred Imbert | Alexandra Gibbs CNBC The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 196.09 points to 25,313.14 as Intel declined. The Dow also erased its gains for the month of August and posted a three-day losing streak. The S&P 500fell 0.7 percent to close at 2,833.28 as financials and materials lagged. The Nasdaq Composite also pulled back 0.7 percent to 7,839.11 and snapped an eight-day winning ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

FILE - In this May 8, 2017 photo steel pipes for the North Stream 2 pipeline are stacked in Mukran harbour in Sassnitz, Germany. American officials say a pipeline project between Russia and Germany risks triggering U.S. sanctions because of security concerns. Senior State Department diplomat Sandra Oudkirk says the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it could increase Russia's "malign influence" in Europe. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, file)

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

Kenya or Somalia: Who owns the sea?

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(MENAFN – SomTribune) – For years, Kenya and Somalia have argued over where their maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean runs. The International Court of Justice in The Hague could now decide who owns the sea, a decision that will only suit one. A narrow triangle off the coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, about 100,000 square kilometers (62,000 square miles), is the bone of contention between neighboring Kenya and Somalia. Both countries want the area because it supposedly ... Read More »

After the Showdown in Libya’s Oil Crescent

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A renewed struggle this summer over Libya’s main oil export zone cut sales in half, squeezing hard currency supplies amid outcry about mismanagement of hydrocarbon revenues. ICG To build trust, Libyan and international actors should review public spending and move toward unifying divided financial institutions. What’s new? Fighting in June in Libya’s “oil crescent”, a coastal area home to most of its oil export terminals, led to a brief military takeover of oil installations and, subsequently, an attempt to deepen ... Read More »

Prospects of huge gas reserves in deep sea

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Bangladesh could have a minimum of 5 prospective structures in the Bay of Bengal in Block D-12, block operator Daewoo Corporation says Shahed Siddique The Independent Bangladesh has discovered the prospects of a big deep-sea gas reserve after the resolution of its maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar and India. A 2D seismic survey along the Myanmar border has revealed that Bangladesh could have a minimum of five prospective structures in the Bay of Bengal in Block D-12. The operator of ... Read More »

Rick Gates Delivers a Public Lesson on Money Laundering and Political Corruption

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Tuesday was Rick Gates’s second day testifying as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Paul Manafort, his former boss, and he spent a lot of time explaining how money flowed from Ukraine, where he and Manafort had a run of lucrative years doing consulting work for pro-Russian interests, to shell companies in Cyprus, to other shell companies in the Caribbean, and… John Cassidy The New Yorker In the afternoon, Gates was subjected to a withering cross-examination by ... Read More »

Federal Trade Commission should crack down on scammers

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Last month I received a call from a friend of long standing in Las Vegas. He indicated that he was in distress; his friend had been in an automobile accident and, to his surprise, drugs were found in the backseat of his friend’s car. Herbert London The Hill The legal aide representative who contacted him said his buddy was being held in an overnight cell before a judge ruled on this matter the following day. In order to secure this ... Read More »

Food shortages ‘unfortunate reality’ of no deal Brexit, say Scottish economists

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Food shortages, the stockpiling of medicines and queues at the UK border are the “unfortunate reality” of a no deal Brexit, one of Scotland’s most respected economic think-tanks has warned. Chris Green iNews The Fraser of Allander Institute said it was “hard to believe” that the UK Government was now openly discussing the possibility of failing to reach an agreement with the EU. At the weekend International Trade Secretary Liam Fox put the chances of a no deal Brexit at ... Read More »

‘Medicare for all’ is a pipe dream

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A new study released by Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has received a lot of attention this week. Dr. Marc Siegel The Hill It concludes that the “Medicare for all” proposal endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others would “increase federal budget commitments by approximately $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation.” The study goes on to point out that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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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 CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC1A85E69100

Growing inequality in the United States shows that the game is rigged. Annie Lowrey The Atlantic Last month, Bloomberg reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, has accumulated a fortune worth $150 billion. That is the biggest nominal amount in modern history, and extraordinary any way you slice it. Bezos is the world’s lone hectobillionaire. He is worth what the average American family is, nearly two million times over. He has about 50 ... Read More »

Brexit: champagne, parmesan, prosecco and feta could soon be at the centre of negotiations

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As Brexit day creeps closer, one issue that remains unresolved is the way that food names will be protected in Britain and the EU. Authors: The Conversation From parmesan and feta to cornish pasties and Bavarian beer, the EU is fiercely protective over protected designations of origin (PDOs) or protected geographical indications (PGIs). A number of highly popular products are protected under this legal framework that dictates certain products can only be produced in certain regions. So champagne must be ... Read More »