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[ Thursday, 2 Aug; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. ] Dr. Annette Cowie, Principal Research Scientist and Dr. de la Rosa will discuss their biochar project at the next Sustainable Living Armidale monthly forum on Thursday, 2 August, at 7pm, Kent House Land degradation affects 24% of global land area, with 24 billion tons of fertile soil lost annually. The causes of land degradation include unsustainable [...] full article
An Australian startup has launched the beta of its decentralized marketplace for labor hiring. The company aims to protect workers from inflation and enhance transparency in wages #SPONSORED
Market crises are frighteningly regular.
Yet its surprising how few people see them coming.
Thats partly because the triggers for economic crises can come from the most unlikely places.
The Asian Financial Crisis began in 1997 with a Thai land developer defaulting on bonds.
The US subprime crisis in 2007 began with an unknown subsidiary of insurance company AIG in a dingy office in London.
In both cases, the trigger for the market crash was an unremarkable company turning over less than $100 million a year. Yet, though only a small part of a much wider problem, both brought the financial market to its knees.
These two crises happened 10 years apart. And its now been a decade since the last major crisis.
Which means the question of the next crisis isnt a case of if but when and what.
The early warning signs that were due for another crisis are flashing red.
There is roughly $10 trillion in US dollar-denominated loans swimming in emerging markets (EMs).
These loans need to be paid back in greenbacks. And with the Federal Reserve Bank raising rates, it means the interest payable on those loans is only going to rise.
Whats more, meeting these repayments is becoming more difficult. The majority of emerging-market currencies are weakening against the US dollar. In fact, all EM currencies are down on average 5% compared to the US dollar since the start of June.
Take Turkey as an example. Due to a mixture of local policy and too much debt, the Turkish lira has tumbled a whopping 21% against the US dollar.
The weakening lira makes Turkeys $450 billion in US dollar-denominated debt harder to repay. Ever more lira is needed to pay off the loans, which are becoming more expensive as the Fed funds rate rises.
That puts Turkey precariously close to defaulting on its debt.
But is Turkey a likely trigger for a financial crisis? Probably not.
Dont get me wrong; Turkey is facing the prospect of undergoing a localised market crash. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regularly makes erratic, on-the-fly decisions that are out of step with Western markets. Inflation is high but the currency is weak. In addition, monetary policy is inconsistent, so unpredictable changes are causing the lira to fall further.
Erdogan has ordered the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey to double its gold holdings this year. Hes also repatriated gold held in the US to a newly-built vault in the countrys capital, Ankara.
In my view, bringing home its gold enables Turkey to default on its US dollar-denominated debt obligations.
Thats a real possibility.
Still, no party benefits if Turkey is allowed to default on its debt. While 59% of Turkeys long-term loans are in US dollars, 34% are in euros.
Germany is one of Turkeys biggest lenders. Erdogan may be hell-bent on ending Turkeys relationship with US dollar-denomi...
July 20, 2018: The Jakarta Post reports that an expert study by the Trans National Institute has found that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade talks between 16 Asia-Pacific countries* since 2012 have failed transparency and public participation tests. The international assessment finds there has been a failure to release draft texts, no independent social economic and environmental impact assessments and corporate interests have had privileged access to influence negotiations while members of Parliament and the public do not have such access.
Civil society groups from the region are meeting in Bangkok on the weekend, and have been allowed only a brief meeting with some negotiators on Monday, with no access to draft texts.
The authors argue that, with a global trade war looming and public faith in corporate globalization at an all-time low, secrecy in trade deals cannot be accepted. People have a right to know what is being negotiated in their name.
They contrast the secrecy of trade negotiations with the transparency of other international institutions. The United Nations climate negotiations, The World Health Organizations negotiations on tobacco control and the World Intellectual Property Organization all make submissions from negotiating parties publicly available, with regular meetings open to the public or stakeholders. Even the World Trade Organization publishes most negotiating texts, and reports by committee chairs are available on their websites.
The RCEP potentially covers half of the worlds population, and the authors argue that public opposition to secretive free trade deals is growing. Parliamentarians and the public should have full access to the contents of the negotiations, which potentially impact peoples lives and the environment.
*The RCEP negotiations includeAustralia, New Zealand, Japan,China, India, South Korea, and the 10 ASEAN countries.
Canada, Australia, Sweden Significant Price Drop and Sales Tumble! Video The Money GPS Video Source
The post Canada, Australia, Sweden Significant Price Drop and Sales Tumble! (Video) appeared first on The Daily Coin.
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Wednesday Lugano, Switzerland trade.io, a leading cryptocurrency exchange and innovator of the industrys leading liquidity pool, today announced that David Hannigan has joined the company as its Chief Dealer. David brings almost 30 years of trading and risk management experience, most notably his position as Senior VP at National Australia Bank, to his new role.
David will lead trade.ios risk management department, and will be responsible for building out its OTC Desk, allowing for both retail and institutional fiat-to-crypto exchange functionality. Up to 50% of all OTC Desk revenues will be allocated to the forthcoming liquidity pool, which can only be accessed by using trade.ios utility token, TIO.
trade.ios CEO Jim Preissler said, Were very lucky to have someone with Davids experience lead the risk management team and spearhead our OTC Desk. David has an impeccable track record in trading and risk management, which is invaluable when dealing with the size of deals in the crypto space. Its not uncommon to have a $10m deal come through the desk multiple times per day.
David Hannigan also commented, I see a lot of similarities in how trade.io runs its business to many of the large banks Ive worked for in the past. With my prior experience in the banking sector, I am cognizant on how profitable an OTC Desk can be. I am thrilled to hit the ground running to provide this service to the trade.io community.
David will also be providing daily commentary on the crypto markets which can be accessed by registered...
Most people wont recognise the name Leo Hielscher unless they regularly cross the eponymous* bridge (better known by its original name, the Gateway). But he is a figure of great consequence in Queensland, responsible for the downfall of two governments. Hielscher ran the states finances for decades, and was the architect of the Bjelke-Petersen strategy of an extractive economy based low taxes, low services and low skill. His proudest boast was the states AAA credit rating
The low point of his career was probably the leadup to the 2009 election when Anna Bligh announced that, rather than cut infrastructure spending or sell assets in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, she would allow the states credit rating to be reduced to AA+. Bligh was re-elected, and promptly announced a massive program of asset sales. This was one of the rare instances where I was directly involved in the policy process, providing advice to the Queensland Council of Unions, and in this capacity I got to observe Hielscher in action. He was very effective in pushing the (economically spurious) case for asset sales and the need to regain the AAA rating.
Bligh, and her Treasurer, Andrew Fraser pushed through the asset sales and pushed the Labor government off a cliff, being reduced to seven members at the 2012 election. Of course, Bligh landed on her feet, ending up as CEO of the Australian Bankers Association. I didnt get such a ringside view of the process that led Campbell Newman and Tim Nicholls to adopt their catastrophic Strong Choices asset sales campaign, but I have no doubt that Hielscher played a significant role in the background. Both Campbell and Nicholls have duly been consigned to well-deserved political oblivion.
Now the rightwing Australian Institute of Progress has staged a reunion.
After denouncing the public debt levels sustained by the Palaszczuk Labor government, Hielscher
received a standing ovation from the high-powered audience that included former LNP premier Campbell Newman, former state Liberal leader and treasurer Joan Sheldon as well as former Labor treasurers Keith de Lacy and Andrew Fraser.
Anna Bligh was obviously too busy defending the massive corruption of the banking sector to make it to Brisbane, and Tim Nicholls is still keeping a low profile. Apart from that, though, the whole team was there. De Lacy left politics before the events Ive described, but hes the archetypal careerist who dumped Labor the moment it had served his purposes. Until now, I was un...
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest
Labour Force, Australia, June 2018 today which show that the
Australian labour market gained some strength after several months
of poor results. Overall employment growth was stronger with a
robust increase in full-time employment, although the overall
increase in monthly hours worked was modest. Unemployment fell
marginally with the unemployment rate steady at 5.4 per cent.
However, participation rose by 0.2 per cent and employment growth
was strong enough to absorb both the underlying population growth
and the new entrants into the labour force. The teenage labour
market delivered mixed results with overall employment rising
disproportionately but full-time employment declining. A further
grey cloud came with the rise in underemployment by 35.1 thousand
to 8.6 per cent. The broad labour underutilisation rate rose to
13.73 per cent. Overall, my assessment is that the Australian
labour market remains in an uncertain state and is still a
considerable distance from full employment.
The summary ABS Labour Force (seasonally adjusted) estimates for June 2018 are:
Employment growth was stronger in July after a several months of mediocrity.
Employment rose by 50,900 with full-time employment increasing by 41,200 and part-time employment increasing 9,700.
The following graph shows the month by month growth in full-time (blue columns), part-time (grey columns) and total employment (green line) for the 24 months to June 2018 using seasonally adjusted data.
It gives you a good impression of just how flat employment growth had been leading into 2017.
Overall: todays result signals a stronger labour market.
Whether that is the start of a stronger trend will be revealed in the next few months.
One topic thats received a lot of attention lately is what some call the crazy man theory of negotiation.
This theory says that a rational actor trying to optimise the outcome of a negotiation can benefit from making the other party to the negotiation believe hes mentally unstable.
This perceived instability by one side throws the other side off-guard and confuses their analysis.
This confusion can then be exploited to optimise the outcome for the presumed crazy man.
A simple illustration is a chess game the ultimate in rational calculation and decision-making.
The two sides in chess are white and black; white goes first.
White might open with Queens Pawn to Queens Pawn 4 a traditional opening. Black sees this traditional opening and immediately eliminates 19 other possible openings and thousands of possible second moves by white from his calculations.
White has chosen a path but ultimately has given up millions of other paths. Black makes his first move accordingly. White assesses blacks gambit and either proceeds with his original plan of attack or adjusts as needed.
The game proceeds from there, rational move followed by rational move until the endgame.
But suppose instead black simply raises his forearm and wipes all the pieces off the board onto the floor, looks up at white and says, Your move, pal.
Thats the crazy man theory in action.
Arguing with a crazy man
Ive encountered many crazy man negotiators in my four-decade
career as a lawyer.
I dont negotiate that way myself, but Ive seen it in action.
Goldman Sachs infamously threw spitballs as I was negotiating the rescue of LTCM in 1998.
At one point Goldman lobbed in an offer to buy LTCM, signed by Warren Buffett and Jon Corzine, while Corzines people were at the Fed simultaneously pretending to play nice with the Wall Street consortium.
That crazy man tactic almost worked until Buffetts lawyer failed to get Buffett on the phone to approve my required changes. Buffett was on a fishing trip in Alaska with Bill Gates at the time and out of mobile phone range.
So I told Buffetts lawyer nothing done and went back to the Feds plan.
Still, crazy man tactics can be productive.
If you have a specific goal in mind and a crazy man is in action, you might say to yourself, OK, this guy is nuts. What will it take to settle him down, get him back to the table and get a deal done we can both live with?
The crazy man also burns up time and energy because your calculations and prior progress are often thrown in the trash. The crazy man literally wears you down.
The key attribute for dealing with a crazy man negotiator is patience. Your most powerful weapon is just walking away from the table. Thats how you turn the tables and wear out the crazy man.
Still, its not easy....
America Overrules Trump: No Peace With Russia
Paul Craig Roberts
The governments of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, if their countries are to survive, must give up their deluded hopes of reaching agreements with the United States. No such possibility exists on terms that the countries can accept.
American foreign policy rests on threat and force. It is guided by the neoconservative doctrine of US hegemony, a doctrine that is inconsistent with accepting the sovereignty of other countries. The only way that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea can reach an agreement with Washington is to become vassals like the UK, all of Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
The Russiansespecially the naive Atlanticist Integrationistsshould take note of the extreme hostility, indeed, to the point of insanity, directed at the Helsinki meeting across the entirety of the American political, media, and intellectual scene. Putin is incorrect that US-Russian relations are being held hostage to an internal US political struggle between the two parties. The Republicans are just as insane and just as hostile to President Trumps effort to improve American-Russian relations as the Democrats, as Donald Jeffries reminds us. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/07/donald-jeffries/the-trump-putin-conference/
The American rightwing is just as opposed as the leftwing. Only a few experts, such as Stephen Cohen and Amb. Jack Matlock, President Reagans ambassador to the Soviet Union, have spoken out in support of Trumps attempt to reduce the dangerous tensions between the nuclear powers. Only a few pundits have explained the actual facts and the stakes.
There is no support for Trumps agenda of peace with Russia in the US foreign policy arena. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, spoke for them all when he declared that We must deal with Putins Russia as the rogue state it is.
Russia is a rogue state simply because Russia does not accept Washingtons overlordship. Not for any other reason.
There is no support even in Trumps own government for normalizing relations with Russia unless the neoconservative definition of normal relations is used. By normal relations neoconservatives mean a vassal state relationship with Washington. That, and only that, is normal. Russia can have normal relations with America only on the basis of this definition of normal. Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge this fact.
A lie repeated over and over becomes a fact. That is what has happened to Russiagate. Despite the total absence of any evidence, it is now a fact in America that Putin himself put...
The agreement will see nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the two sides lifted.
Paul Gauguin Van Gogh painting sunflowers 1888 Russia Dumped Most/All Of Its US Treasury Holdings, Disappeared from List (WS) Japan, EU Sign Trade Deal To Eliminate Nearly All Tariffs (AP) Going, Going Gone For Australias House Price Boom (R.) Australias Expensive Real Estate Problem Remains A Dirty Little Secret (D.)
Wednesday and a relatively short blog post after two rather long
posts in the preceding two days. The first topic concerns the
limits to government spending. The second brief topic reports on
research where it was found that the music of AC-DC confounds Lady
Beetles and soybean aphids. Who would have thought! Which was by
far the most interesting research paper I have read this week after
dealing with the likes of Stuart Holland on Monday and Tuesday. And
then some music from around the world to smooth out the day.
There was a tweet being retweeted like there was no tomorrow last week which linked to an article in the Financial Times (July 14, 2018) Fiscal hawks tales of doom do not fly with the young.
The article had a picture of the latest progressive political star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with the caption that she:
backs the view that restraints on a governments spending are primarily set by the amount it can borrow without fuelling inflation.
Progressive types then thought it was useful to retweet this incessantly for a few days.
My response I certainly hope that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not back that construction of the limits on spending for a currency-issuing government.
And I certainly hope that progressives do not embrace it either.
It is fundamentally incorrect and just reframes the way neoliberals think and uses their sort of language.
The article was questioning the:
warnings from some fiscal hawks about how financial markets would be overwhelmed by the wave of government bonds needed to fund the stimulus.
It noted that the evidence has not supported the fiscal hawk scaremongering.
It asks: Where are the storied bond vigilantes?
It also correctly notes that:
Because the US borrows in its own currency, warnings about too much Treasury issuance are in reality about two spectres: harmful increases in inflation, or a dose of political mismanagement so severe it would lead to a technical default by the US.
The technical default refers to the ridiculous process where the US Congress approves increases in the debt ceiling. The theatre around that process might one day see the US government run out of money because the politicians have legally forced it to.
Of course, that process doesnt negate the fact that the US government can never run out of US dollars if it doesnt want to. We cannot say the same thing about, say, a Eurozone Member State government.
And it says that the deficit hawks:
have now educated a generation in the risks of dogmatic...
Trash is piling up in Australia as China's ban on waste imports takes effectwhat will the waste and recycling industry do? This is one of the many critical issues that will be discussed at the upcoming Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo.
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