Business

US issues warning to Italy on China economic initiative

The U.S. issued an indirect warning to Italy on Saturday for its coziness with China. Daniel Jativa Washington Examiner The European Union country is weighing sign ing up with China’s global economic effort, called the Belt and Road Initiative. “Italy is a major global economy and a great investment destination. Endorsing BRI lends legitimacy to China’s predatory approach to investment and will bring no benefits to the Italian people,” the tweet said. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the… US issues ... Read More »

Banks need to show more than mea culpas and committees

“We never want to go through an experience like that again,” Brian Hartzer told the House of Representatives economics committee in Canberra on Friday. Adele Ferguson WAtoday The Westpac boss was of course referring to the banking royal commission, which he described as “a sad indictment on the financial services industry”. It certainly was an indictment on a sector that has been riddled with scandals for years that were fobbed off as sideshows caused by a few bad apples. Hartzer ... Read More »

Flirting With Disaster: the Return of Offshore Drilling

It’s been decades since a fisherman out of Montauk on Long Island told me about seeing a ship in the Atlantic Ocean east of Long Island similar to those he had seen searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico when he was a shrimper there. Karl Grossman CounterPunch I telephoned oil company after company and each gave a firm denial about having any interest in looking for petroleum off Long Island. That was until a PR man from Gulf ... Read More »

Lebanon asserts against using maritime borders for gas pipeline from Israel to EU

Lebanon on Thursday warned its Mediterranean neighbours that a planned EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to the European Union must not be allowed to violate its… Devdiscourse Beirut has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel – which it regards as an enemy country – over a sea area of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) extending along the… Israel is hoping to enlist several European countries in the construction of a 2,000 km (1,243 miles) pipeline linking vast ... Read More »

Former NAB boss’ chief of staff charged over alleged fraud

A former senior executive at the National Australia Bank has been arrested and charged after travelling from Melbourne to Sydney to be interviewed by police over an alleged $40 million fraud engulfing the bank. Lucy Cormack The Age Rosemary Rogers, the former chief of staff to former NAB boss Andrew Thorburn, presented herself at Surry Hills police station about 11am on Tuesday, after flying of her own accord to Sydney. Shortly before 3pm on Tuesday the 43-year-old was charged with ... Read More »

UK-US trade deal: Envoy attacks ‘myths’ about US farming

Fears over chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are “myths”, according to the US ambassador to the UK. BBC In the Daily Telegraph, Woody Johnson urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal. EU rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef – but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit. Downing Street has repeatedly… A No 10… UK-US trade… Read More »

Why the profit motive demotivates employees

An often uncomfortable truth is that many, perhaps most, businesses exist to maximise profit. James Adonis The Canberra Times In a capitalist society that’s no bad thing, although bad things tend to arise when owners end up over-prioritising the profit motive. Businesses demonstrate the extent to which they prioritise profits over people in a number of ways. The obvious one is incentives. If, for example, managers are rewarded based on how well they maximise revenues and minimise costs and not, ... Read More »

Australia Has Reduced Plastic Bag Consumption by 80% Since July

The plastic bag reduction stems from bans by major Australian supermarkets. By Madeleine Keck Global Citizen Single-use plastic bag consumption in Australia has reduced by over 80% following a ban by two supermarkets giants last July, according to the National Retail Association (NRA). A total of 1.5 billion plastic carry bags have been spared from landfills since Woolworths self-imposed a ban last June, followed by supermarket chain Coles in July. The switch by Coles to reusable cloth bags occurred on the same day as ... Read More »

ExxonMobil makes biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus

ATHENS- Exxon Mobil announced on Thursday that it has made the world’s third-biggest natural gas discovery in two years off the coast of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean at the Glaucus-1 well. Nasos Koukakis CNBC The region is already know for some of the world’s largest such discoveries. It wants to become an alternative energy source for Europe. Based on preliminary interpretation of the well data, the discovery could represent a natural gas resource of approximately 5 trillion to 8 ... Read More »

ATO whistleblower faces six life sentences, roughly the same as Ivan Milat

There’s something radically wrong with a society that allows mass murderer James Gargasoulas to be eligible for parole in 46 years, locks up serial killer Ivan Milat for 181 years and then has an Australian Taxation Office employee facing 161 years in prison for blowing the whistle on a… Adele Ferguson The Sydney Morning Herald Richard Boyle has been charged with 66 offences including telephone tapping and recording of conversations without the consent of all parties and making a record ... Read More »

The golden age of hydrocarbons has finally reached SA

JOHANNESBURG – There is is no gentle way of announcing it, or more telling, a more sophisticated way of avoiding saying it, that South Africa has officially entered its golden age of hydrocarbon extraction. Ambassador Bheki Gila In spite of the voices of sceptics, their disbelief not so much the fact that we have entered the age, but that it is golden, it would be naiveté of a disturbing kind that the country keeps walking into an age unbeknown to ... Read More »

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »

Australia Really Should Be Panicked About Coal

While China may not have banned imports yet, long-term demand is set to plummet globally. Mihir Sharma Bloomberg Sydney is a wonderful, modern town. But, over the past few days, all anyone here has wanted to talk to me about is that most 19th-century of industries: coal. It’s not hard to see why, after a startling report last week — quickly denied — that some Chinese ports had blocked shipments of Australian coal. The Australian dollar briefly tanked on the news. Australia’s trade ... Read More »

Workism Is Making Americans Miserable

For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver. Derek Thompson The Atlantic In his 1930 essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” the economist John Maynard Keynes predicted a 15-hour workweek in the 21st century, creating the equivalent of a five-day weekend. “For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem,” Keynes wrote, “how to occupy the leisure.” This became a popular view. ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

Ghana Armed Forces trains stakeholders on Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) management

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Mr Hassan Tampuli, has stressed the need for Ghana to strengthen security operations within the maritime domain, especially within the… BusinessGhana Source: graphic.com.gh Speaking at the 14th Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Management and Operations Course in Accra, Mr Tampuli said EEZ Management and Operations has assumed centre stage in maritime security and economic management in all coastal states and Ghana cannot afford to play to the… EEZ Course EEZ ... Read More »