On 7 December, in an historic $1 trillion deal, the commerce ministers from 159 countries took steps to make it easier for goods to flow across borders around the world. This is the first ever tariff-lowering global agreement in the history of the World Trade Organization (WTO), since it was founded on 1 January 1995.
Each week QFINANCE.com brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days (November 29 – December 5, 2013) in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.
In Part One we looked at the difficulties of both imposing and maintaining a carbon tax on industry, in the light of Australia's initial move towards the tax and its unambiguous rejection of the whole idea of putting a price on carbon. Electing a climate denier as Prime Minister is about as clear a rejection as you can get. The danger, of course, is that other countries might be tempted to follow Australia's lead.
One of the saddest things about democracies is that it is extremely difficult for politicians to do the right thing, when the required course of action would create short term pain for large numbers of people. Arguing that we should take some pain now, to avoid much greater and more long lasting pain later, is extremely difficult. People may listen and some may even nod agreement, but they generally end up voting for the other guy. The carbon tax falls precisely into this category.
Each week QFINANCE.com brings you five things to look out for in the week ahead. Essential news that will shape the week and help you keep ahead in the world of business and finance.
Each week QFINANCE.com brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days (November 22 - 28, 2013) in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.
Given the fact that emerging markets have been whacking advanced markets out the park as far as growth is concerned, it should not be that perplexing that South Africa finds itself lagging behind the continent's emerging market out-performers. Francois Groepe, the deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, noted in a recent speech that while Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 5% in 2013, rising to 6% in 2014, South Africa's growth expectations are far less robust with the IMF predicting growth of 2% and 2.95% respectively.
The period since 2008 has produced a plentiful crop of recycled economic fallacies, mostly falling from the lips of political leaders. Here are my four favorites.
The growth map of the global economy is relatively clear. The US is in a partial recovery, with growth at 1.5-2% and lagging employment. Europe as a whole is barely above zero growth, with large variations among countries, though with some evidence of painful re-convergence, at least in terms of nominal unit labor costs. China’s growth, meanwhile, is leveling off at 7%, with other developing countries preparing for higher interest rates.
Each week QFINANCE.com brings you five things to look out for in the week ahead (November 18-22, 2013). Essential news that will shape the week and help you keep ahead in the world of business and finance.