Stories by the author
The collapse of South Korean company Hanjin Shipping has left ships, cargo and crews stranded around the globe. It highlights the complex consequences of a shipping company going bankrupt, with Hanjin’s creditors and customers waiting to see whether the business can be saved.
The G20 summit of world leaders just finished two days of meetings, during which they focused primarily on the many ongoing fires threatening the global economy. These include the alleged “dumping” of Chinese steel on other nations, worsening climate change, cybersecurity and the fear of competitive devaluations.
When the European Union decided to fine Apple €13.5 billion for tax evasion in Ireland last week, it didn’t take long for the Irish government to join with Apple to announce it would appeal the ruling.
Small to medium enterprises (SME) are increasingly relying on commercial credit cards to finance their operations, because payment terms for the businesses they supply are stretching out. However, if the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) goes ahead with plans to include commercial cards in the new caps on interchange fees, SMEs will be even more hard pressed to make ends meet.
Mylan is the latest pharmaceutical company to face controversy over its drug pricing. It has come under scrutiny and strong criticism from the public and government officials for raising the price of its EpiPen allergy device from about US$100 in 2008 to about US$600 currently.
China is gearing up to hold the G20 summit in its eastern city of Hangzhou. It’s a fitting location for the leaders of the world’s 20 leading economies (19 countries and the EU) to meet. Famed for its beauty, Hangzhou is also a key part of one of China’s most entrepreneurial areas, Zhejiang province and a vital contributor to the country’s exports and GDP. Suffice to say, Hangzhou and Zhejiang count for a lot in China.
On Labor Day, politicians have traditionally paid lip service to the plight of the worker, whom the national holiday is meant to honor. With working-class struggles taking center stage in this year’s election, we will likely hear from them more than usual talking about the steps they will take to reduce income inequality or end three decades of wage stagnation.
Some of them will go one step further and voice support for unions and collective bargaining, both of which have declined at the same time wages have stagnated.
It seems that the world has become unsafe for trade agreements. In particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major new trade deal among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, has become a political lightning rod for both the left and the right.
Australia should look at examples from the US in finding private funding for urban rail development because the present model depends on government providing the capital, which it mostly doesn’t have.
Globalisation has contributed to the growth of China for decades but the rise of protectionism in Western economies could curb Chinese trade and investment.
During World War II the US sought to secure all the uranium from the Shinkolobwe mine in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo for its atomic bomb project. The ore was the richest in the world. The US, determined to prevent any of it reaching Nazi Germany or later falling into the hands of the Soviet Union, took every precaution – including dispatching spies – to secure the supply of uranium. The story of this race for the ore is told in a newly published book, Spies in the Congo.