Finance

Brexit deal EXPLAINED: What we know about Theresa May’s 500-page Brexit deal

THERESA May has completed a draft Brexit deal with the European Union and now must seek the approval of her Cabinet at a crunch meeting in Westminster this afternoon. Joe Barnes Express The Prime Minister’s latest proposals have already become deeply controversial with rumours of more ministerial resignations and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party ready to vote down the… But in what is considered largely as a victory by Brussels and Downing Street, Mrs May has secured a UK-wide Irish ... Read More »

Italy’s beggar’s nationalism

The populist government’s reckless budget relies on other countries being ready to bail it out. Alberto Mingardi Politico MILAN — One of the bestselling books in Italy right now is a novel based on the life of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who invented fascism.   “M” by Antonio Scurati aims to be the first in a trilogy. Though several historical inaccuracies have been spotted, the novel captures well the spirit of the troubled times in which Mussolini came to power. ... Read More »

Paul Keating says raising superannuation to 12 per cent will ‘barely cut it’

Former prime minister Paul Keating has rejected a Grattan Institute report that suggested scrapping plans to raise compulsory super payments from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent, and raising the… ABC Mr Keating, whose government introduced compulsory superannuation contributions, said Grattan Institute chief executive John Daley had a “miserable view” of the world. Mr Keating told 7.30 that super payments had to be raised to 12 per cent, though that would “barely cut it”. “When I introduced super 32 years ago, people retired ... Read More »

Judge tears up $35m settlement between ASIC and Westpac in lending case

The corporate regulator and Westpac Banking Corp have been forced back to the drawing board after the Federal Court threw out the bank’s offer to pay a $35 million settlement for contravening responsible lending laws. Sarah Danckert WAtoday Federal Court judge Nye Perram tore up the settlement between the parties on Tuesday on a technicality after finding the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Westpac could not agree on exactly how, or how many times, Westpac broke the… The ... Read More »

Cities Should Stop Playing the Amazon HQ2 Bidding Game

There is no economic benefit to huge tax incentives to lure new companies, so why do cities keep offering them? Bryce Covert The New York Times It’s official: Amazon has anointed New York and Northern Virginia as locations for a major expansion, involving at least 25,000 employees and an investment of $5 billion. The announcement is the culmination of an intense bidding war among 238 cities for Amazon’s promise of $50 billion in investment and 50,000 high-paying technology jobs. To land that deal, cities ... Read More »

Wins By Democratic Attorneys General Threaten To Multiply Climate Suits Against Big Oil

The oil and gas industry’s expensive victories in the midterm elections could come at a price. By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost Democrats scored a string of state attorney general victories on Tuesday night, ousting loyal oil and gas allies and threatening to add to mounting lawsuits against the industry over climate change. The party flipped four states and held 13, re-electing incumbents in seven of them. in an election sweep that secured Democrats 27 states that represent over 58 percent of ... Read More »

Bitcoin Pioneer Who Gave Away Over $100 Million Has No Regrets

Jeff Garzik started writing software code for Bitcoin after reading a blog postabout the digital currency in July 2010. Olga Kharif Bloomberg At the time, he was working remotely for open-source powerhouse Red Hat Inc. from an RV parked in an empty lot in Raleigh, North Carolina. He soon became the third-biggest contributor to Bitcoin’s code after the cryptocurrency’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto and developer Gavin Andresen, and remained so through 2014. Looking back 10 years after its creation, Garzik says he is ... Read More »

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Has a First-World Problem

The world’s biggest SWF wants to cut back on the diversification of its fixed-income portfolio. It deserves a hearing, whatever the experts say. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg It’s the very definition of a first-world problem, but Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is wrestling with whether to make its investment portfolio less diverse. It’s a subject that cuts to the heart of the “active manager versus passive index” debate. As part of a long-running review, which will lift the fund’s equity ... Read More »

Canada-EU Trade Deal A ‘Disappointment’ As Deficit With Europe Soars 46%

Dear Canada, free trade deals don’t make sense if you don’t sell things to your trade partners. Daniel Tencer HuffPost The conventional wisdom is that free trade deals are, on the whole, a net benefit to an economy. But that isn’t true if you don’t actually take advantage of the opportunities created by those deals. Canada has grabbed few opportunities from its one-year-old Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. Twelve months in, it looks like European ... Read More »

Frydenberg rejects foreign bid for ‘critical’ pipeline network

The Morrison government risks another feud with China over foreign investment after rejecting a $13 billion bid for Australia’s dominant gas pipeline network ahead of a crucial meeting in Beijing that… David Crowe & Cole Latimer, with Kylar Loussikian The Sydney Morning Herald The decision halts a divisive plan from Hong Kong company CK Group to buy APA Group and its massive energy network, giving the overseas bidder two weeks to appeal the ruling amid warnings of… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg issued ... Read More »

Funds have been peddling the Great Super Lie

Some years ago I went to an investment adviser, gave him my financial details and asked if I had enough super to do me in retirement. He didn’t answer, just laughed. Ross Gittins The Canberra Times I think he thought that someone with my amount of savings shouldn’t have needed to ask. Truth is, no matter how high or low the standard of living we’re used to, just about all of us worry that we haven’t saved enough to keep ... Read More »

US charges widen the net, deepen the intrigue on 1MDB scam

US DoJ indictments implicate fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and Goldman Sachs bankers but are likely only the first of many to be exposed in court in the multi-billion dollar heist. Matt Mulberry Asia Times On November 1, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it had lodged criminal charges against three suspects in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud case, considered by observers among the… The three accused include fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, former Goldman Sachs ... Read More »

Pressure mounts on Ireland to accept EU digital tax

The Republic continues to resist proposal as European opposition to the levy slips away Pat Leahy, Cliff Taylor The Irish Times The Government is under increasing pressure to agree to European Commission proposals for an EU-wide 3 per cent digital sales tax ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels next week. Government sources says it will resist the proposal in its current form, but there has been heavy lobbying from the commission, the French government and the ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Millions of women to share pensions windfall

MILLIONS of women are in line for a pension boost following a landmark multi-billion pound High Court ruling. Lloyds Bank was told yesterday it had to equalise pensions benefits for men and women, in… By SARAH O’GRADY Express The ruling by Mr Justice Morgan could cost Lloyds £150million and the pension industry collectively around £20billion. Employees Angela Sharp, Judith Cain and Susan Dixon by their trade union BTU, claimed they faced sex discrimination because their guaranteed minimum pension increased at a ... Read More »

Lack of trust between EU and Britain emerging as issue in backstop talks

London Letter: Fears Britain could seek to use Border issue for trade deal leverage Denis Staunton The Irish Times This was supposed to be “hell week” for Theresa May after mutinous Brexiteers foretold her political assassination in grisly metaphors in last Sunday’s papers. But after surviving a Brexit statement in the House of Commons on Monday, a fiery cabinet meeting on Tuesday and an appearance before the 1922 Committee on Wednesday, the prime minister ends the week in a… But May still ... Read More »