Tag: Banks

Democrats seek progressive overhaul of the U.S. financial system

Now in control of Congress, Democrats are looking to give the U.S. financial system a progressive overhaul, incoming Senate Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown said Friday. It will be a tall task. What we’re hearing: “This committee in the past has…

Ethical minefields: the dirty business of doing deals with Myanmar’s military

Myanmar’s transition from five decades of military rule is a work in progress. Despite the junta’s formal dissolution in 2010, the release of political prisoners including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and democratic reforms allowing National League Democracy to…

2021 will harden the winners’ and losers’ brackets created by the pandemic economy

Heading into 2021, the economy is in a state of gross divergence, presenting opposing narratives that are drifting further apart, creating ostensible winners’ and losers’ brackets. Why it matters: The pandemic has accelerated shifts in the economic makeup of the…

No spare change: how charities, buskers and beggars aren’t feeling so festive in our cashless society

Collectors for the Paralympic Games carried donation buckets ahead of the recent Santa parade in Auckland, asking for gold coin donations. Onlookers shrugged them off: “Sorry, no cash on me!” To the rescue, a charity volunteer waved a contactless “tap-and-go”…

Negative rates explained: how money for (less than) nothing is helping out the budget

A week ahead of Thursday’s budget update, it finally happened. Instead of the government paying to borrow in a way that would add to the burden on the budget (as has happened since time immemorial) it actually got paid to…

Revenue-contingent wage loans, a proposal for supporting jobs in times of crisis

As JobKeeper is wound back, businesses are tentatively preparing to stand on their own feet. What follows is a simple proposal to help them share the risk (and rewards) with their workers. It has features in common with the government’s…

Juukan Gorge: how could they not have known? (And how can we be sure they will in future?)

How could they not have known? That was the question on everyone’s lips after leaders of the Australian defence force claimed not to have known about the atrocities committed by special forces in Afghanistan. It is now being asked about…

5 years after Paris: How countries’ climate policies match up to their promises, and who’s aiming for net zero emissions

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement – the commitment by almost every country to try to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. It’s an ambitious goal, and the clock is ticking. The planet has…

Bitcoin’s rebound: 3 reasons this time is (sort of) different

Bitcoin is back. Three years after the bubble that inflated its value from US$5,000 to US$20,000 in less than three months burst in spectacular fashion, plunging more than 80%, the cryptocurrency is again on the verge of a record high.…

From here on our recovery will need more than fiscal policy, it’ll need redistribution

From the 1980s right through to the global financial crisis, the standard response in Australia and elsewhere to too weak or too strong an economy has been monetary policy — the manipulation of interest rates by a central bank, in…

Why zero interest rates are here to stay

It’d be wrong to interpret last week’s Reserve Bank decision to cut its cash rate to 0.10% as an emergency response to the COVID crisis. The implication would be that once the pandemic is controlled the economy will return to…

With house prices soaring again the government must get ahead of the market and become a ‘customer of first resort’

House prices are spiking again, with “affordable homes” showing most growth. That’s no surprise really, with multiple factors in play. Market instability due to COVID-19 is driving asset acquisition — property is the classic port in a storm for investors.…