global economy

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SIDESHOW: Sometimes there are other ideas that I think would be awesome. So think of these as guest blog entries from other sections of my brain. (See all Sideshows here.)

This is from a Tumblr that doesn’t exist called Ira Glass Ceiling. All captions are quotes from reports to the SEC, The World Bank, and The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission. All photos are of NPR radio personality Ira Glass.

With Warming, Cold Countries Get Rich

One of the most common arguments against limit carbon dioxide emissions is that such regulations will hurt the economy and kill jobs. But that point is belied by a new study published in the scientific journal Nature, which indicates that if we do nothing to combat climate change, the economic effects could be far more disastrous.

The study, by Stanford University earth scientist Marshall Burke and University of California-Berkeley economists Solomon M. Hsiang and Edward Miguel, finds that most of the world’s countries will suffer economically if climate change continues without interference, with the average income across the planet shrinking by 23 percent.

But global warming won’t hurt all nations equally, and some actually will benefit. Here’s why.

Where do your old clothes go?                                     By Lucy Rodgers BBC News                              

Every year, thousands of us across the UK donate our used clothing to charity - many in the belief that it will be given to those in need or sold in High Street charity shops to raise funds.

But a new book has revealed that most of what we hand over actually ends up getting shipped abroad - part of a £2.8bn ($4.3bn) second-hand garment trade that spans the globe.

We investigate the journey of our cast-offs and begin to follow one set of garments from donation to their eventual destination.

The full story is here and worth reading. It also includes an interactive graphic that shows the destination countries for used clothing. Really interesting.

Other than Greece, three more financial crises the world needs to worry about

By midnight on Thursday, Greece must deliver a detailed reform plan, having submitted an application for a three-year loan from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund – to be used “to meet Greece’s debt obligations and to ensure stability of the financial system”.

It has been signposted that a new deal must be signed off on Sunday at a planned EU leaders summit, otherwise a Greek exit from the eurozone appears imminent.

However, while the country haggles with creditors over terms, there are a few economic crises that have been somewhat overlooked in favour of our Hellenic neighbours.

China will probably be the most likely crash you have heard of – yesterday the Shanghai composite fell as much as 8.2 per cent, leading some analysts to describe it as ‘Black Wednesday’.

Beijing has relaxed lending rules in an attempt to help people buy more stocks, following a move late yesterday to ban investors holding more than 5 per cent in companies from selling shares in the next six months.

To put it into scale – here’s the situation aptly compared with Greece by blogger Zero Hedge:

Since the middle of June, the prices of Chinese company shares have fallen by 30 percent. That amounts to around $3.2 trillion that has been wiped off the stock market in only a few weeks.

Puerto Rico’s total bill amounts to $74bn. Hundreds of thousands have left in recent years, a swing of about 1.5 million people since 2003.

An IMF report recommended that the island restructure its debts in order to repay, by raising revenue by $4bn and save $2.5bn annually by 2025.

The report said:

The need for debt relief seems apparent, and Puerto Rico would need to seek it from principal and interest payments falling due from 2016 to 2023, the report said.

Analysts expect Russia’s economy to contract by 3.3 per cent during 2015 as it suffers an ongoing financial crisis resulting from low oil prices and a weak currency, combined with Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Last month former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said:

The Russian government believes that the economy will shrink by 2.5 per cent in 2015.

Emma Watson in the Panama Papers

Yup!
Everybody’s fave, Emma Watson, has been named in the Panama Papers.
For those of you who don’t know what that means, I suggest you look up the Panama Papers.

In short, if you’re on the list, it means you’ve been keeping a large portion of your already massive amount of wealth locked away, out of circulation, TO NOT PAY MORE TAXES AND LOSE A PORTION OF YOUR ALREADY MASSIVE WEALTH.

Emma Watson’s agents gave the bullshit excuse of “having her privacy” when the media asked.
Don’t fucking fall for her act of playing the victim.

Everyone in the Panama Papers is guilty of contributing to the crumbling global economy by keeping their money out of circulation and by avoiding their taxes.

Shame on Emma Watson.
She is not the UN Ambassador and feminist young girls around the world should look up to.

Yes, she has accomplished a lot since her time after her acting career.
Yes, we should not discredit her.
However, we should MOST DEFINITELY NOT ignore Emma’s actions.
She knew full well what she was doing when she agreed to keep a large portion of her money out of circulation.
She knew full well she was avoiding taxes.
She knew full well that this would negatively impact the global economy.

So don’t defend Emma Watson by saying she, as a woman, should avoid taxes.
Don’t defend Emma Watson by saying that she should only go off with a warning.
Don’t defend Emma Watson by saying it’s her money because what she did was ILLEGAL and HARMFUL to the economy.
Don’t defend Emma Watson by referring to her as “Hermione.”

Emma Watson is an adult who made a personal decision that has a negative impact on others.
Don’t forget.

How Capitalism Can Change The World...

Steve Jobs, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., passed away four years ago today. He is perhaps best immortalized by the omnipresence of the iPhone and other smartphones, the vast majority of which have replicated core features of the iPhone’s design.

Smartphones, which have quickly become almost a requisite part of modern life, reflect a key benefit of capitalist economies: “dematerialization,” or using less material and energy to produce more goods.

Think about how many gadgets you used to carry everywhere (e.g. camera, walkman, phone book) that have been essentially replaced by your smartphone. 

As the graphic above demonstrates, thanks to modern technology, we are now able to get much more value out of much less raw material. In the case of the iPhone, the functionality of dozens of devices you might once have purchased are now contained in one handheld device. 

“Dematerialization, in other words, should be welcome news for those who worry about the ostensible conflict between the growing world population on the one hand and availability of natural resources on the other hand,” writes HumanProgress.org editor Marian L. Tupy. “While opinions regarding scarcity of resources in the future differ, dematerialization will better enable our species to go on enjoying material comforts and be good stewards of our planet at the same time.”

As Tupy points out, dematerialization is particularly important for the people in developing countries, who deserve an equal opportunity to experience material plenty in an age of rising environmental concerns.

Read more….

Why China’s Global Supremacy is Not Inevitable

China is preparing to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in purchasing power parity terms. Already its economy is 80 percent the size of ours, and if current growth rate differentials persist, it will take China only about four more years to surpass us. At market exchange rates, China’s GDP is smaller, and is expected to remain less than ours until 2028. This is hardly surprising. After all, China has four times as many people as the U.S.; if every Chinese worker were to earn the U.S. minimum wage, its GDP would be larger than ours. That is not a very high bar. With that economic size comes military power and global cultural clout.

China’s awe-inspiring rise is often framed as the return to a historical norm. A common belief is that for most of the last 5,000 years, China was the world’s center of wealth, culture, technology, and power. The 19th and 20th centuries, we are told, were a brief aberration, and China is now simply retaking its rightful place as the world’s preeminent nation. This trope gives China a certain air of inevitability.

  The problem is, it’s not really accurate. Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theguardian.com
Next financial crash is coming – and before we've fixed flaws from last one
IMF global stability report makes for a sobering read, saying sustainable recovery has failed to materialised and cheap money has led to bubbles and debt
By Heather Stewart

The next financial crisis is coming, it’s a just a matter of time – and we haven’t finished fixing the flaws in the global system that were so brutally exposed by the last one.

That is the message from the International Monetary Fund’s latest Global Financial Stability report, which will make sobering reading for the finance ministers and central bankers gathered in Lima, Peru, for its annual meeting.

Massive monetary policy stimulus has rekindled growth in developed economies since the deep recession that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008; but what the IMF calls the “handover” to a more sustainable recovery – without the extra prop of ultra-low borrowing costs – has so far failed to materialise.

Meanwhile, the cheap money created to rescue the developed economies has flooded out into emerging markets, inflating asset bubbles, and encouraging companies and governments to take advantage of unusually low borrowing costs and load up on debt.

“Balance sheets have become stretched thinner in many emerging market companies and banks. These firms have become more susceptible to financial stress,” the IMF says.

Meanwhile, the failure to patch up the international financial system after the last crash, by ensuring that banks in emerging markets hold enough capital, and constraining risky borrowing, for example, means that a new Lehman Brothers-type shock could spark another global panic.

“Shocks may originate in advanced or emerging markets and, combined with unaddressed system vulnerabilities, could lead to a global asset market disruption and a sudden drying up of market liquidity in many asset classes,” the IMF says, warning that some markets appear to be “brittle”.

So as the US Federal Reserve lays the groundwork for a return to peacetime interest rates, from the emergency levels of the past seven years, financial markets face what the IMF calls an “unprecedented adjustment”; and the world looks woefully underprepared.

The IMF’s warning echoes a chorus of others. The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, has argued that the world is entering the latest episode of a “three-part crisis trilogy”. Unctad, the UN’s trade and development arm, would like to see advanced economies boost public spending to offset the downturn in emerging economies. The Bank for International Settlementsbelieves interest rates have been too low for too long, encouraging too much risk-taking in financial markets. All of them fear that the global financial system is primed for a crisis.

theguardian.com
The clock is ticking on a time bomb that could blow up a free internet: the TPP | Evan Greer
The agreement poses a grave threat to our basic right to access information and express ourselves on the web
By Evan Greer

Fight for the Future’s campaign director Evan Greer published this op-ed in The Guardian today about how the TPP will affect your Internet freedom. Give it a read and a share!

How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008

It was the day after Lehman failed, and the Federal Reserve was trying to decide what to do.

It had been fighting a credit crunch for over a year, and now the worst-case scenario was playing out. A too-big-to-fail bank had just failed, and the rest of the financial system was ready to get knocked over like dominos. The Fed didn’t have much room left to cut interest rates, but it still should have. The risk was just too great. That risk was what Fed Chair Ben Bernanke calls the “financial accelerator,” and what everyone else calls a depression: a weak economy and weak financial system making each other weaker in a never-ending doom loop. 

But the Fed was blinded. It had been all summer. That’s when high oil prices started distracting it from the slow-burning financial crisis. They kept distracting it in September, even though oil had fallen far below its July highs. And they’re the reason that the Fed decided to do nothing on September 16th. It kept interest rates at 2 percent, and intoned that “the downside risks to growth and the upside risks to inflation are both significant concerns.”

In other words, the Fed was just as worried about an inflation scare that was already passing as it was about a once-in-three-generations crisis.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

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“Slavery is all around us. It’s been linked to the supply chains of everyday products, from shoes and bags to matches and soccer balls. It lurks in many of the commodities that fuel the global economy: cocoa, coffee, precious metals…

What can businesses – and consumers – do to guarantee the things in our lives are genuinely slave free?”

Total US debt soars to nearly $60 trn, foreshadows new recession

Total US debt soars to nearly $60 trn, foreshadows new recession

America – its government, businesses, and people – are nearly $60 trillion in debt, according to the latest economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. And private debt – not government borrowing – is the biggest reason for the huge deficit.

Total US debt at the end of the first quarter of 2014, on March 31 totaled almost $59.4 trillion – up nearly $500 billion from the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the data. Total debt (the combination of government, business, mortgage, and consumer debt) was $2.2 trillion 40 years ago.

“In 50 short years, debt has gone from being a luxury for a few to a convenience for many to an addiction for most to a disease for all,” James Butler wrote in an Independent Voters Network (IVN) op-ed. “It is a virus that has spread to every aspect of our economy, from a consumer using a credit card to buy a $0.75 candy bar in a vending machine to a government borrowing $17 trillion to keep the lights on.”

External image

Read more: http://theglobalelite.org/total-us-debt-soars-nearly-60-trn-foreshadows-new-recession/

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Germany’s youth is answering the call of globalization. In their determined preparation to harness the opportunities afforded by globalization, rather than succumb as victims of globalization, they prioritize learning and experiences in diverse cultural, institutional and national contexts.
—  In The Seven Secrets of Germany, David Audretsch and Erik Lehmann discuss how Germany’s economy has managed to thrive over the years.