Economy

Australia’s worst nightmare: to be caught in cross fire of trade war

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Beijing: Australia’s great fear of a trade war breaking out between its largest trading partner and closest security ally is unfolding, as China and the United State exchange threats and release multi-billion dollar punitive tariff plans targeting each… Kirsty Needham & Darren Gray The Age After US President Donald Trump signed a document to trigger $US60 billion ($A78 billion) in tariffs on Chinese technology products, China responded within hours with a $US3 billion plan to hit 128 US products including ... Read More »

Containing the Shock Waves from Venezuela

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Venezuela’s socio-economic implosion is dragging in neighbours as hundreds of thousands of people flee the country, epidemics spread and violent crime spills over borders. International humanitarian support is needed and regional powers should push for a negotiated transition, including through threats of targeted sanctions. ICG What’s new? As Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro prepares to seek re-election, the country’s socio-economic implosion has become a major problem for its neighbours. Venezuelans are fleeing hunger and poverty by the hundreds of thousands, while ... Read More »

Developing countries at risk from US rate rise, debt charity warns

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Jubilee Debt Campaign says 126 nations spend more than 10% of revenues on interest Larry Elliott The Guardian The expected rise in US interest rates will increase financial pressures on developing countries already struggling with a 60% jump in their debt repayments since 2014, a leading charity has warned. The Jubilee Debt Campaign said a study of 126 developing nations showed that they were devoting more than 10% of their revenues on average to paying the interest on money borrowed – the ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs reveals 56% UK gender pay gap and bonus gap of 72%

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Women account for just 17 per cent of all the jobs in the highest pay quartile Josie Cox The Independent Goldman Sachs has become the latest bank to publish a yawning gender pay gap, underscoring just how male dominated the world of finance still is – especially at the most senior level. The company, which employs around 6,000 people in the UK, on Friday reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 per cent and a mean ... Read More »

The Fatal Flaw in China’s Plan for Dominating the World Economy

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Dependence is baked into China’s industrial plans—and will likely fail. Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently delivered a remarkably revealing speech. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Addressing the National People’s Congress for two full hours early in March, he stressed the county’s determination to rely on broad industrial policies as a means to development. The objective, to use Li’s words, is to “speed up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing.” Li doubtless wanted his audience and the world ... Read More »

The Next Phase of Finance

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Today’s strengthening economic recovery has not overcome the understandable but devastating loss of trust in the financial system that followed the crisis a decade ago. Restoring trust will require reasserting control over the financial sector, to ensure that it is serving the economy, not the other way around. Bertrand Badré Project Syndicate WASHINGTON, DC – The decade since the global financial crisis has been tumultuous, to say the least. True, no great war has erupted, and we have more or ... Read More »

China gets tough on debt with ‘Rottweiler regulator’

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People’s Bank of China handed increased powers as financial shake-up points to Liu He’s influence Gordon Watts Asia times President Xi Jinping has opened the door for confidante Liu He to push through economic reforms after China’s central bank was handed more power in a major shake-up in the financial sector. Details released during Tuesday’s session of the de facto parliament, the National People’s Congress, outlined plans for merging the banking and insurance regulators. At the same time, the People’s ... Read More »

Brexit: No-trade deal with EU to cost businesses £58bn a year, research finds

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‘Existential threat’ posed to some UK industries by increased tariffs and customs checks, according to report Ben Chapman Independent A no-deal Brexit would cost companies in the UK and the EU £58bn a year, with Britain’s financial services sector taking the biggest hit, according to new research. The additional direct “red-tape cost” of tariff and non-tariff barriers would be £27bn to UK firms and £31bn to their EU counterparts, a report from consultancy Oliver Wyman and law firm Clifford Chance estimates. “These increased costs and… Brexit: No-trade… Read More »

Hero’s welcome for East Timor border negotiator Xanana Gusmao

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Dili: Thousands of East Timorese have lined the road to the capital’s international airport to cheer independence hero Xanana Gusmao after he led negotiations that settled the sea border with Australia. Oki Raimundos The Canberra Times Gusmao, whose party lost power in parliamentary elections last year, was greeted at Dili’s tiny airport on Sunday with cries of “Viva Xanana Gusmao”. He’d been abroad for the previous eight months leading the final stretch of maritime border talks. Australia and East Timor, one of ... Read More »

Worse than Oil? The Geopolitics of the Banana

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Attracting encroachments to national sovereignty by rapacious Washington-connected multinational corporations and the meddling attentions of their powerful home country; stunting reform and economic development at every turn; breeding economic dependency; firmly controlled by foreign companies and giving little beneficiation to the country of production; upending and undermining political institutions; and… Bhaso Ndzendze ModernDiplomacy These are ringing accusations which bring to mind one natural resource –oil. Certainly not the banana. This is somewhat understandable; oil more readily lends itself to the… ... Read More »

Trump tariffs: EU wants clarity on exemption

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The EU’s trade commissioner says there is “no immediate clarity” from the US on how the bloc can gain exemption from new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imposed by President Trump. BBC Cecilia Malmstrom met with the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan’s Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko in Brussels. She said discussions would continue next week. Mr Seko called for calm-headed behaviour in the dispute. The EU says that its exports should be excluded from the… Trump tariffs: ... Read More »

Asia-Pacific trade deal signed by 11 nations

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Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have just signed the trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Tim McDonald BBC Although the US pulled out last year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago. Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade”. The deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people, despite the ... Read More »

Mobile phone pioneer encourages Scotland to embrace circular economy

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An influential designer who has worked on some of the world’s most popular mobile phones is to visit Edinburgh to speak on the benefits of adopting a more “circular” manufacturing sector. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman Tapani Jokinen, who helped develop the multi-million selling Nokia 3310 and 1100 cellphones, will devliver the latest in a series of lectures organised by Zero Waste Scotland on the need for a circular economy – in which materials are kept in high value use for ... Read More »

US Tariffs: ‘Aluminum Companies Will Benefit, Everyone Else Will Lose’ – Analyst

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Trump’s decision to introduce higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be detrimental to both the US and the EU. Sputnik This is what French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has stated, noting that the US measures would have a major impact on the European economy. Sputnik discussed this with Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst at Cato Institute. Sputnik: What is your take on President Trump’s statement that the US has been suffering from unfair trade, is that really the case? ... Read More »

How to Construct a New Invisible Hand: A Conversation with Peter Barnes

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A middle path between laissez faire and centralized planning. By David Sloan Wilson and Peter Barnes Evonomics In a previous essay, I announced a new concept of the invisible hand to replace the old and erroneous idea that the pursuit of self-interest robustly benefits the common good. The new version is based on examples of the invisible hand that exist in nature, such as cells that benefit multi-cellular organisms and social insects that benefit their colonies. These lower-level units don’t have the… How ... Read More »

Reserve Bank leaves rates on hold at record low 1.5 per cent

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The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate at a record-low 1.5 per cent, as sluggish wage growth and inflation put the board in a holding pattern for the 17th meeting in a row. Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe used the word “gradual” to describe Australia’s economic recovery three times in his short statement on monetary policy on Tuesday, indicating the bank is in no rush to raise interest rates from their ... Read More »