Economy

End the US Stranglehold on the World Bank

Since the World Bank was created after World War II, its president has always been selected by the United States and backed by European powers, which enjoy a similar monopoly over the directorship of the International Monetary Fund. Jesse Griffiths Project Syndicate But with US President Donald Trump having nominated an unsuitable candidate, that may be about to change. ONDON – Nominations opened this week for the World Bank presidency, one of the most powerful and important jobs in the ... Read More »

Trump envoy urges Europe to ‘link arms’ against China

But first Brussels must start correcting the ‘enormous’ trade imbalances that have stoked transatlantic tensions, says Gordon Sondland. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD Politico Donald Trump’s man in Brussels has a simple message for Europe: Let’s be friends — and fight China. Describing China’s influence as “malign,” Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told POLITICO that his country and the EU should overcome their current trade tensions and… “We should … combine our mutual energies — we ... Read More »

A draft plan from Puerto Rico’s utility reveals a huge shift towards solar power

The island’s future is slowly bending towards renewables, with ambitious plans for the future. Ε. Α. Crunden Think Progress A year and a half after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is increasingly looking towards more resilient energy sources as the island works for long-term recovery. According to a draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP) from the publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP, shared with ThinkProgress, lays out ... Read More »

The Death of Clothing

The underlying problem of weak demand is expected to dog the apparel industry for years, meaning more store closures and more bankruptcies lie ahead — with or without Amazon. BoF By Bloomberg By: Lindsey Rupp, Chloe Whiteaker, Matt Townsend and Kim Bhasin NEW YORK, United States — The apparel industry has a big problem. At a time when the economy is growing, unemployment is low, wages are rebounding and consumers are eager to… The woes of retailers are often blamed ... Read More »

Crimes, radical changes to super, home lending from Hayne final report

Banks face the prospect of criminal charges while the superannuation and home loan sectors are likely to be radically overhauled, in the wake of sweeping recommendations for change from the… By Sarah Danckert, Clancy Yeates & Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald A slew of banks and insurance companies have also been referred to financial regulators overseeing the sector for civil and criminal breaches relating to their superannuation and… However, the report stopped short of making any radical changes to ... Read More »

Is authoritarianism bad for the economy? Ask Venezuela – or Hungary or Turkey

Democracy is at risk worldwide. And the economy may be, too. Seventy-one out of the world’s 195 countries saw their democratic institutions erode in recent years, according to the 2018 year-end report by democracy watchdog Freedom House, a phenomenon known as “democratic backsliding.” Authors: The Conversation Signs of backsliding include elected leaders who expand their executive powers while weakening the legislature and judiciary, elections that have become less competitive and shrinking press freedom. When government institutions erode like this, it ... Read More »

Hayne’s failure to tackle bank structure means that in a decade or so another treasurer will have to call another royal commission

Every 10 to 15 years it’s the same. Ever since financial deregulation in the 1980s we’ve had a finance industry scandal followed by an inquiry, a quick fix, and a declaration that it shouldn’t happen again. Authors: The Conversation In the early 1990s there were royal commissions into the A$1.7 billion Tri-continental/ State Bank Victoria collapse, the A$3.1 billion State Bank of South Australia collapse and the WA Inc collapse which explored the interrelated activities at Rothwells bank, the A$1.8 ... Read More »

Modi has ‘nothing to offer’ to Kashmiris: separatist leader

NEW DELHI: A separatist leader in Indian-controlled Kashmir accused New Delhi on Sunday of having “nothing to offer” to the disputed territory, dismissing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit as… Sanjay Kumar Arab News “If the Indian government is really keen to reach out to the people of Kashmir it should suspend all military operations and stop celebrating the killing of young innocent people. Development does not mean anything if there is no peace and dialogue,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief ... Read More »

Chinese fishing boat captain arrested in waters close to Japan

A Chinese fishing boat captain has been arrested in waters close to Japan, according to state media in the island nation. Liu Zhen South China Morning Post Chen Wenting, 40, was detained by the Japanese coastguard on Saturday morning on suspicion of violating Japan’s fishing rights and trying to avoid inspection, NHK reported. The incident happened on the same day China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told visiting Japanese senior deputy minister for foreign affairs Takeo Mori that 2019 was going ... Read More »

Living inside the world’s worst economy, Venezuela

Hungry and without access to medicine, Venezuelans are suffering as a political crisis unfolds. Al Jazeera In oil-rich Venezuela, people don’t have enough to eat, infant mortality is soaring at a faster rate than in Syria, and according to the UN, some three million people have fled the country since 2015. Once Latin America’s richest nation, Venezuela and its people are suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. On January 23, the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaido, began a push to remove ... Read More »

‘This is about saving capitalism’: the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite

Rutger Bregman never intended to take billionaires to task over tax at World Economic Forum Larry Elliott The Guardian Rutger Bregman had not really intended to stick it to the global elite. He never meant to have a pop at the idea that inequality could be solved by philanthropy or inviting Bono to Davos. But when the Dutch historian decided to go off-piste at the World Economic Forum and tell the assembled billionaires they should stop avoiding paying tax, he became an ... Read More »

Europe PANIC: The EU is getting ‘more FRAGILE DAILY’ amidst single market BREAKDOWN

THE European Union is getting more fragile every day and they will consequently stop at nothing to preserve their weakening single market, according to former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. Freddie Jordan Express The politician spent an enormous amount of time negotiating with the EU during his time in the Greek government. But the bloc’s fragility might also encourage a no-deal Brexit, Mr Varoufakis explained. He told BBC Newsnight on Wednesday evening: “The EU feels more fragile daily and they would much rather ... Read More »

The Threat of a Eurozone Recession

The eurozone may fall into a new recession by the end of this year, with potentially nasty political consequences. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate In addition to countering the cyclical slowdown, pro-European forces must urgently address the continent’s long-term structural economic problems. LONDON – National statistical offices and international organizations are busy revising down their growth forecasts for Europe this year and next. Although they are doing the same for the rest of the world as well, and for China in ... Read More »

Unhappy, unhealthy lives aren’t fair exchange for higher incomes

In his Australia Day address, social researcher Hugh Mackay said that “the Australia I love today – this sleep-deprived, overweight, overmedicated, anxious, smartphone-addicted society – is a very different place from the Australia I… Ross Gittins Brisbane Times He identified three big changes: the gender revolution, increasing disparity in wealth, and social fragmentation. He approves of the first, but laments that we’re “learning to live with a chasm of income inequality” and that social fragmentation means Australians are become “more ... Read More »

Sweden Officially Backs a CryptoCurrency and Establishes it as their Official Coin

It’s finally happened. A major worldwide government has just bestowed a huge vote of confidence and legitimacy onto the world of cryptocurrencies. Sweden, in an unprecedented move, just announced that they are officially adopting a… The Swedish government just informed us that they have chosen a preferred firm for the purchase and marketing of their new coin – Kryptonex Research Group. The sales of Sweden’s coin officially started January 28 of 2019January 18 of 2019 and currently these coins can be bought ... Read More »

The growing problem that could lead the world into a new kind of financial crisis

One particularly caustic attendee described this year’s Davos as a “reunion of losers”. Ben Wright The Sydney Morning Herald That might seem an odd thing to say given the Swiss mountain resort must have housed the greatest concentration of millionaires and billionaires anywhere on the planet over the past week. But he was alluding to how tarnished the company brands adorning the shop fronts along the promenade have become over the past year and the extent to which the mood ... Read More »