Economy

New Strategic Dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean

For the first time since the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Mediterranean is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas BESA The region presents all the required attributes to function as a distinct sub-regional system in the 21st century’s international environment. The Eastern Mediterranean holds the interest of the great powers (the US, Russia, and China); it contains resolute regional actors that influence the sociopolitical orbit of the region (Israel, Egypt, and Turkey); and ... Read More »

Bosses deserve to be happy at work too – here’s how

We intuitively know that a “happy worker is a good worker.” But what about their bosses? Authors: The Conversation In the modern workplace, managers are accountable to several groups of people, from rank-and-file employees on one side, to chief executives and shareholders on the other. How well they juggle these conflicting pressures can determine not only their performance at work, but also how happy they are while doing it. Our research project, funded by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and ... Read More »

Vietnam protesters clash with police over new economic zones

Protests have broken out in Vietnam against plans for new economic zones, amid fears that Chinese investors will dominate the areas. BBC Police reportedly detained more than a dozen people in the capital Hanoi and halted demonstrations in other cities. Some carried anti-China banners, including one reading “No leasing land to China even for one day”. The government proposed a law last year that would give foreign investors a 99-year lease on Vietnamese land. The bill offers… Vietnam protesters clash… Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Is the global economy just a giant debt scam? What the financial elite doesn’t want you to know

Yanis Varoufakis saw power up close. He says capitalism is dead, democracy is crumbling and we’re ruled by debt Andrew O’Hehir Salon Why is the world the way it is, and how did it get that way? One book I read in the past year explained more about that question than any other, and it wasn’t about Donald Trump or the rise of the far right or the endangered state of democracy — or at least not directly. Beneath the ... Read More »

Turkey’s currency turmoil and upcoming election – what you need to know

The Turkish lira has dropped more than 15% this year against the US dollar and the government is doing all it can to stem the flow. Gulcin Ozkan The Conversation Turkey’s central bank just raised the country’s main interest rate by 1.25 percentage points (to 17.75%) in a bid to stabilise the lira and halt surging inflation. This follows an emergency rate rise on May 23 of three percentage points. With elections on the horizon, this is a trying time ... Read More »

Block 9: Flashpoint for the Next Lebanon War?

Israel and its neighbor are embroiled in a dispute over the boundaries of resource-rich maritime territories. Which country’s claims are better supported by international maritime law? Andrew Norris Tablet The discovery of vast hydrocarbon reserves in the Levant Basin, estimated by the United States Geological Survey in 2010 to contain an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil, holds the promise of a significant economic boom to nations in the region, ... Read More »

From coffee house to White House?

Could Howard Schultz be the next Democrat candidate for the Presidency of the United States His resignation as Executive Chairman of Starbucks has fuelled speculation that he’s planning to run in 2020. EuroNews Schultz built the famous coffee chain up from 11 cafés in Seattle in 1982 to today’s 28 000 stores in 77 countries. He’s never been shy of intervening in political debate – last year in response to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration push he promised that Starbucks would hire ... Read More »

7 Reasons US Should Not Ratify UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

President Donald Trump recently proclaimed June 2018 to be National Ocean Month and stated his support for better utilizing the vast resources contained in America’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the 200-nautical mile zone off U.S. coasts over which the U.S. has jurisdiction.j Authors: The Daily Signal There are now sure to be renewed calls for the United States to accede to the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea—also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty—as a useful ... Read More »

The rise and fall of AMP’s Catherine Brenner

It all started to go wrong for Catherine Brenner the day that Jack Regan walked into the witness box at the Financial Services Royal Commission in Melbourne. Deborah Snow WAtoday The date was Monday, April 16, and Regan, the head of advice at financial giant AMP, was due to give his much-anticipated evidence under the hawk-eyed gaze of presiding justice Kenneth Hayne. Forty-seven year old Brenner, the well-remunerated chairman of AMP, logged on to follow the webcast live from Japan. ... Read More »

Crop exports to wilt as autumn rains fail over much of Australia

Australia’s third-driest May on record has compounded the misery facing many of the nation’s farmers, with the window for winter plantings closing fast. Peter Hannam The Canberra Times Projections by Rabobank released on Friday indicate 21.6 million hectares of winter crop will be planted this year. While down 2 per cent on the previous year, the drop in Queensland and NSW will be much more severe at 11 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Rainfall last month was down ... Read More »

How Greece’s Busiest Port Reveals the Perils of Privatization

Dockworkers say the same “harsh neoliberal experiment” that reduced their wages will spread to the rest of Europe. Alexander Saeedy The Nation Around 7 am at the Port of Piraeus near Athens, deckhands dressed in white began to unmoor the cruise liners and yachts filled with thousands of sleepy travelers ready to cross the Aegean Sea. But as the tourist trade picked up in the passenger and cruise terminals, some of the hundreds of dockworkers in the port’s northern cargo ... Read More »

In praise of doing nothing

In the 1950s, scholars worried that, thanks to technological innovations, Americans wouldn’t know what to do with all of their leisure time. Simon Gottschalk The Conversation Yet today, as sociologist Juliet Schor notes, Americans are overworked, putting in more hours than at any time since the Depression and more than in any other in Western society. It’s probably not unrelated to the fact that instant and constant access has become de rigueur, and our devices constantly expose us to a ... Read More »

Lunch with the ruralists

Landowners control Brazil’s parliament A group of wealthy agribiz owners get to make self-enriching policy affecting millions because they backed the overthrow of Dilma Rousseff. by Anne Vigna  Le Monde diplomatique he parliamentary ‘ruralist’ group meets every Tuesday in a villa in a classy district of Brasília, and, according to its PR, ‘they have lunch and discuss a different topic every week.’ The ruralists form a lobby of powerful landowning parliamentarians, and the results of their discussions later reach Congress ... Read More »

Turkey blames ‘Jewish lobby’ for economic crisis

Turkish media have blamed the “Jewish lobby” for the sudden drop in the value of the country’s currency, based on a tweet from an Israeli academic. Hannah Lucinda Smith. Adam Sage, David Charter The Times The Turkish lira has fallen by 20 per cent against the dollar this year and President Erdogan has repeatedly blamed an unspecified “interest-rate lobby” for manipulating the currency. Turkey’s press is almost exclusively controlled by the state or pro-Erdogan businessmen after a crackdown on critical media. It seized ... Read More »

Ruth Davidson vows to end tax breaks for rich, boost immigration

Tory leader Ruth Davidson has called for an end to tax breaks for the wealthy and more open immigration under plans to make the party a “credible force” for Government in Scotland. SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman A shift away from the more hardline approach of Tory right-wingers south of the border was set out by the Edinburgh Central MSP in a keynote speech today. The sweeping vision is hoped to allow her to oust Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister at ... Read More »