Finance

The efficiency myth

Heard the tale about the private sector always doing things better? Nick Dowson wonders why it still has believers New Internationalist The central myth of neoliberalism – ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ – persists in the face of all evidence to the contrary. The private sector is held up as better, more efficient, the way to modernize… Yet worldwide, hundreds of services are being brought back into public ownership, which suggests that people aren’t buying the hype around greater ... Read More »

New Report: A Green Bank Of England

At an international conference of financial supervisors, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described the ‘transition in action’ underway as central banks and the financial sector at large begin to address climate change.  Rob Macquarie Positive Money’s new report, released today, argues that while the initiatives so far represent welcome progress, policymakers should go further. Climate change and the low-carbon transition are a central banking issue for two reasons. On the one hand, climate-related financial risk threatens the stability of the ... Read More »

Australia’s biggest solar farm switches on in Port Augusta

Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 220MW (AC) Bungala solar project near Port Augusta in South Australia – has begun production marking the important first stage of the transformation of a former coal city into a… Giles Parkinson REnewEconomy The first output from Bungala – which could end up being a 300MW project if all three stages are built – was injected into the local grid last week, as final commissioning of the 110MW first stage continues. Bungala, located 12kms from ... Read More »

‘Walk away!’ City of London chief urges Theresa May to issue EU Brexit ultimatum

A LEADING financial advisor in the City of London has urged Theresa May to get tough and “walk away” from Brexit negotiations until financial services are back on the negotiating table. David Dawkins Express Barney Reynolds, one of the UK’s leading voices on law and the City of London, has championed the need for the financial services to be the keystone feature of the final Brexit trade deal between the EU and the… With EU leaders increasingly reluctant to discuss the ‘Enhanced ... Read More »

Fishy Brexit dilemma: Want out of EU but need the market

Fishermen make up some of the most enthusiastic Brexiteers, but many in the industry fear a hard Brexit. Kait Bolongaro Politico FURNACE, Scotland — The Brussels-hating fisherman has become a staple Brexit stereotype, but the U.K.’s fishing industry is in reality profoundly split over Britain’s impending EU departure. Think of an ardent Brexit supporter and you may well conjure up a fisherman dumping dead fish into the Thames or steering a trawler with Nigel Farage at its bow.  Enthusiastic Leavers shout loudly about ... Read More »

Yanis Varoufakis: ‘Brexit is like watching a train crash in slow motion’

The rebel former finance chief, Yanis Varoufakis, is back in the saddle at London’s Greek power diner Jonathan Heaf GQ If you want to get a Greek man or woman to smash a few plates, all you need do is mention Yanis Varoufakis. On the odd occasion I mentioned I was meeting the famed Greek former minister of finance, it resulted in such a response (from his fellow countrymen and women) that I wondered why I hadn’t brought him up ... Read More »

Spotting the political calculus behind some acts of corporate charity

Over the past few years, I have teamed up with fellow economists Marianne Bertrande, Matilde Bombardini and Francesco Trebbi to look into one underappreciated way that businesses may attempt to influence politicians: corporate philanthropy. Raymond Fisman The Conversation We found that what we call “politically linked charities” get more money from corporate foundations in general. We also find that when politicians gain leverage on issues tied to a company’s interests, charities in their districts get more gifts from that company’s ... Read More »

As China leads the hunt for deep-sea minerals, environmental and financial concerns come to the surface

David Dodwell says China is putting money into undersea mining in the hope of maintaining the supply of minerals that make much of today’s technology possible, but such endeavours may threaten marine ecosystems we know little about. David Dodwell South China Morning Post Nasa may be scouring deep space for signs of life. Elon Musk might be looking to Mars. China’s scientists have had an eye cast skyward too – but, at the same time, the country seems keenly focused on challenges much ... Read More »

Socialising the losses and privatising the gains

The case of Cyprus five years after the bail-in of bank deposits As pointed out in a recent IMF report,[1] “private sector indebtedness in Cyprus remains extremely high”. Savvas Savvides StockWatch Politicians and banks, however, continue to present the non-performing loans (NPLs) as being the core problem of the economy. They argue that reducing NPLs is basically the same as providing a cure to the economy’s woes. However, NPLs is only a symptom of the real problem of the economy which, ... Read More »

EU says protectionism poses threat to economic growth

BRUSSELS, May 3 (Xinhua) — The European Commission said on Thursday that the eurozone growth was still set to remain strong, but warned an escalation of trade protectionism poses threat to global economic growth. According to the Spring 2018 Economic Forecast, the growth rates for the European Union (EU) and the euro area beat expectations in 2017 to reach a ten-year high at 2.4 percent. Growth in both the EU and the eurozone is set to remain strong in 2018 ... Read More »

Balkans: The troubled IGB pipeline in flesh and blood

Approximately 145 million euros is expected to be available shortly by the ICGB consortium managing the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline on the occasion of the call for tender for the design and construction of the project. By Nefeli Tzanetakou / ibna This tender foresees the completion of the gas pipeline within 18 months. The launch is planned for the end of this year. The selection of a sponsor or consortium will take place in two phases, a pre-selection, where ... Read More »

Boeing buys aviation parts maker KLX for $4.25B

Boeing announced Tuesday that it reached an agreement to acquire aerospace parts distributor KLX for $4.25 billion as it boosts its aviation services business. Daily Sabah Boeing executives described the move as a significant step in bolstering its global services segment, which was launched last year and aims to increase annual revenues from $15 billion in 2017 to $50 billion in five years. “This acquisition is the next step in our services growth strategy, with a clear opportunity to profitably ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean States Seek Framework to Sell Gas to Europe by Year-End

Undersea pipeline would be the longest and deepest in world Sides negotiating ‘very seriously’ on project: Israel official Israel is trying to finalize working agreements with European governments interested in buying natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean region by the end of the year, according to the country’s energy minister. By Yaacov Benmeleh and David Wainer Bloomberg Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel are pushing a 6 billion euro ($7.3 billion) project to build a pipeline that would expand the export markets for gas ... Read More »

China’s consumer demand trumps political friction, says Alibaba boss

The chief executive of Alibaba Group, the Chinese retail goliath often described as Asia’s Amazon, says rising political tension between China and Australia has not damaged business or trade relations. Patrick Hatch The Age Daniel Zhang instead insists that demand from middle-class Chinese consumers is too great to be disrupted by geopolitical friction, and sees “tremendous” growth ahead for Australia exporters to the region. Some business leaders, including Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, have criticised domestic debate about Chinese Communist Party influence on Australian politics and China’s ... Read More »

Royal Commission reveals need for tougher corporate cop

Imagine this … An elderly couple returns home from holiday to discover their front door lock broken and $2000 in cash stolen from a biscuit tin in their kitchen. Jessica Irvine Brisbane Times The couple immediately ring the police, who inform them of a spate of similar robberies in the area. But the police have tracked down the perpetrator, who is in custody facing charges that carry a jail term of at least five years. The elderly couple are promptly ... Read More »

Mexico’s EU trade deal lands a punch on Trump

Accord with Brussels comes as Washington squeezes Latin American country in NAFTA talks. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND CHRISTIAN OLIVER Politico Mexico delivered a defiant political riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday by agreeing a trade deal with the EU. Trump’s push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement helped catalyze Mexico’s talks with Brussels over the past year, as the Latin American country sought to diversify away from dependence on an increasingly hostile… Diplomats said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and… ... Read More »