Economy

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 »

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 »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... 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 »

The European Union Brings Serbia Closer

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The next EU expansion wave can “cover” Southeast Europe ahead of schedule In particular, Serbia can become an EU member even before 2025 – some six months ago the European Commission mentioned it as the most optimistic option. Peter Iskenderov Modern Diplomacy The corresponding statement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron when he received his Serbian colleague Aleksandar Vučić in Paris. At the same time, he again reminded that Belgrade first “must fulfill all the conditions” stipulated for joining ... 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 »

Turkey is ready ‘to fight’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Ankara “counterattacks” on the occasion of the preparation of exploratory drillings by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and ENI, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, for the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, “Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction issues are back on the agenda as the fight for energy supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean continues.” The quantities in the meantime hosted in the Eastern Mediterranean zone, according to a survey cited by the ... 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 »