Is This Man Responsible for China’s Stock Market Crash? A journalist detained by Chinese authorities is being held responsible for the “chaos” in China’s stock market. If Chinese authorities are to be believed, we finally know the cause of the country’s stock market woes: a single reporter. In a video segment aired by China’s state television broadcaster, journalist Wang Xiaolu confessed to fabricating a “sensationalized” story about the stock market and claimed responsibility for having “caused panic and disorder” among China’s investors.
At issue is a story Wang wrote for Caijing on July 20, in which he reported that China Securities Regulatory Commission was looking to end interventions designed to prop up share prices. CSRC denied the report, which was removed from Caijing’s website last week. CSRC blamed Wang’s piece for a massive drop in the stock market in late July, which sparked market woes that continue today. Caijing, a financial and business newspaper in China, often pushes the envelope of state-sanctioned media coverage. Capital - My taxes go where? How countries spend your money. WikiLeaks Strikes Again: Leaked TISA Docs Expose Corporate Plan For Reshaping Global Economy. An enormous corporate-friendly treaty that many people haven't heard of was thrust into the public limelight Wednesday when famed publisher of government and corporate secrets, WikiLeaks, released 17 documents from closed-door negotiations between countries that together comprise two-thirds of the word's economy.
Analysts warn that preliminary review shows that the pact, known as the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), is aimed at further privatizing and deregulating vital services, from transportation to healthcare, with a potentially devastating impact for people of the countries involved in the deal, and the world more broadly. "This TISA text again favors privatization over public services, limits governmental action on issues ranging from safety to the environment using trade as a smokescreen to limit citizen rights," said Larry Cohen, president of Communications Workers of America, in a statement released Wednesday.
Australia To Join Negotiations On Chinese-Led Bank. CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia announced on Sunday that it would join negotiations to establish a new a Chinese-led Asian regional bank that has emerged as a potential challenge to United States influence in a part of the world where the Obama administration has tried to forge stronger ties. The U.S. has expressed concern the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, will allow looser lending standards for financial transparency, the environment and labor rights. The U.S. also worries the new bank will undercut the World Bank, where the U.S. has the most clout, and the Asian Development Bank, where it is the second-largest shareholder after Japan. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a joint statement that the government will sign a memorandum of understanding that will allow Australia to participate as a prospective founding member in negotiations to set up the bank.
Russians move into bitcoin as ruble tanks. As oil prices plunge, wide-ranging effects for consumers and the global economy. Tumbling oil prices are draining hundreds of billions of dollars from the coffers of oil-rich exporters and oil companies and injecting a much-needed boost for ailing economies in Europe and Japan — and for American consumers at the start of the peak shopping season. The result could be one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history, potentially reshaping everything from talks over Iran’s nuclear program to the Federal Reserve’s policies to further rejuvenate the U.S. economy. The price of oil has declined about 40 percent since its peak in mid-June and plunged last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries voted to continue to pump at the same rate. That continued a trend driven by a weak global economy and expanding U.S. domestic energy supplies. The question facing investors, companies and policymakers is how low oil prices will go — and for how long.
(The Washington Post) Big American companies are better off, too. Could gas prices go as low as $2 a gallon?) Breaking down China’s foreign aid and investment | D. Blog. By Paul Callan, Jasmin Blak, and Andria Thomas China has significantly expanded aid to and investment in developing countries in recent years. This expansion has been the subject of much debate, with many development scholars and policymakers seeking to understand how Chinese foreign assistance compares with that of “traditional” OECD donors.
However, many analyses compare Official Development Assistance (ODA) from traditional donors to a more varied collection of financial tools employed by China. These apples-to-oranges comparisons sometimes give an inaccurate picture of the global aid and investment landscape. ODA–defined by the OECD to include grants, interest-free loans, and concessional loans–is the most frequently cited metric for foreign aid. Why, then, is China viewed as a significant donor? Actual and estimated totals of official development assistance and other financial flows to the developing world from China, the United States, and traditional donor countries.
Swiss Federal Tax Administration FTA. Mt. Gox Goes Bankrupt After Losing $425 Million In Bitcoins. TOKYO (AP) — The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its chief executive said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for. The exchange's CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras, bowing deeply.
He said a weakness in the exchange's systems was behind a massive loss of the virtual currency involving 750,000 bitcoins from users and 100,000 of the company's own bitcoins. That would amount to about $425 million at recent prices. The online exchange's unplugging earlier this week and accusations it had suffered a catastrophic theft have drawn renewed regulatory attention to a currency created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks. It remains unclear if the missing bitcoins were stolen, voided by technological flaws or both. "I am sorry for the troubles I have caused all the people," Karpeles, a Frenchman, said in Japanese at a Tokyo court. Debts at Mt. Countries Versus US States GDP Map. The Corporate Invasion. Imagine what would happen if foreign companies could sue governments directly for cash compensation over earnings lost because of strict labour or environmental legislation. This may sound far-fetched, but it was a provision of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a projected treaty negotiated in secret between 1995 and 1997 by the then 29 member states of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (1).
News about it got out just in time, causing an unprecedented wave of protests and derailing negotiations. Now the agenda is back. Negotiations are expected to last another two years. The TTIP/TAFTA incorporates the most damaging elements of past agreements and expands on them. The TTIP/TAFTA negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. ‘Some measure of discretion’ It’s easy to see why the US negotiators are keen to keep the TTIP/TAFTA negotiations secret. This is in line with other trade pacts already in force. Investor versus state Notes. China’s Market Enigma. “The focus of the restructuring of the economic system … is to allow the market [forces] to play a ‘decisive role’ in the allocation of resources.”
That’s it? The whole world was breathlessly waiting – and this is what the world got: an enigma enveloped in a riddle inside a Chinese box, in the form of a cryptic communique issued by the long-awaited Third Plenum of the 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Central Committee. To know who is ultimately responsible for this – the first serious policy blueprint unveiled by the new Chinese leadership of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang – one just needs a glimpse at the photo: these are the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the men who really rule China. And what’s at stake could not be more serious; no less than the strategic choices addressing China’s inevitable ascension to the status of world’s number one economy. One should always remember how the CCP works. I want my glasnost with ice, please. Bitcoin value goes up, now accepted in China.
Bitcoin’s price hit a record at $261 on the Bitstamp online exchange, driven by wider acceptance of the virtual currency. The digital money, which can be used to pay for goods and services on the Internet, has risen 20-fold so far this year, as trading activity has increased. Bitcoins were trading at $259.02 apiece at 1:17 p.m. in New York on Bitstamp, one of the more active Web-based exchanges where Bitcoins are traded for dollars, euros and other currencies. The rally comes a month after the closing of the “Silk Road Hidden Website,” where people could obtain drugs, guns and other illicit goods using Bitcoins. The virtual currency lost a third of its value in the days after the website was shut down. “I thought Silk Road is going to do some damage to the price,” Egbunike said. BTC China is now the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Nicholas Colas, a ConvergEx Group analyst, wrote in a Nov. 5 report.
Bitcoin’s previous record was $259.34 on Bitstamp in April. To Hell and Back: Spain's Grotesque Recession and Its Surprising New Economy - Steven Hill. A not-so-short history of the Spanish economy: The half-century housing bubble, the excruciating recession, the grisly unemployment, and, finally, a glimmer of hope. Bosch/Prado MADRID – It’s been more than a rocky few years for Spain. It’s been a rocky half-century. Run by a military dictator until the 1970s, Spain emerged in the early 2000s as a model of social democracy and the poster child for the European Union. Then the global economy collapsed in 2008, and suddenly Spain was suffering from Depression-era levels of unemployment and an economy melting down like a Dali horrorscape. In a few years it had gone from budget surpluses, a growing middle class, and generous social supports to wrenching austerity policies and collapsing wages, triggered by the massive failure of Spanish banks. When the global crisis struck in 2008, Spain was headed by the Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
The Spanish Model: Home Is Where the Economy Is. Sinaloa Cartel Runs The Chicago Drug Game. Cost of Living. The aporkalypse is coming. For The First Time Ever, Combined GDP Of Poor Countries Exceeds That Of Rich Ones (CHART) Quartz: For the first time ever, the combined gross domestic product of emerging and developing markets, adjusted for purchasing price parity, has eclipsed the combined measure of advanced economies. Purchasing price parity—or PPP for short—adjusts for the relative cost of comparable goods in different economic markets. More From Quartz: - Hippies and libertarians have become unlikely allies in a war against solar power - Twitter and Facebook’s global impact as told through which governments want their data - It’s cheaper than ever to go to India, but tourists—especially women—are staying away - The latest breakthrough in South Korean plastic surgery is just plain terrifying According to the International Monetary Fund—the supplier of this data—emerging and developing economies will have a purchasing price parity-adjusted GDP of $42.8 trillion in 2013, while that of emerging economies will be $44.4 trillion.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the emerging economies have strength in numbers. The Four Companies That Control the 147 Companies That Own Everything. Capital of Inequality | Pueblo Lands. Part of San Francisco’s Union Square hyper-lux retail offerings, the De Beers store which features armed guards at the entrances. Ferrari recently opened a store a block away on Stockton Street.
Haute Couture names obscure fill the district’s buildings offering items of conspicuous consumption. Through the Financial Crisis and the Great Recession, inequality has intensified through income, housing, and public debt in the Bay Area. Black and Latino communities have lost wealth and power, while white and Asian communities have mostly to recovered. Imagine a place where the hills are lined with the mansions of millionaire families, some of them billionaires. Below the hillsides glittering with wealth are even more expansive terrains of crumbling homes and apartment buildings —many foreclosed upon and awaiting some kind of financial death— packed with families that barely scrape together twenty thousand dollars a year to live on. The West Coast financial center of the United States. What $5 Gets You In Food Around The World. Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze. BRICS Nations Plan New Bank to Bypass World Bank, IMF. The biggest emerging markets are uniting to tackle under-development and currency volatility with plans to set up institutions that encroach on the roles of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The leaders of the so-called BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- are set to approve the establishment of a new development bank during an annual summit that began today in the eastern South African city of Durban, officials from all five nations say. They will also discuss pooling foreign-currency reserves to ward off balance of payments or currency crises. “The deepest rationale for the BRICS is almost certainly the creation of new Bretton Woods-type institutions that are inclined toward the developing world,” Martyn Davies, chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Frontier Advisory, which provides research on emerging markets, said in a phone interview. “There’s a shift in power from the traditional to the emerging world. Close Open Reform Needed.
What does the collapse of solar-panel giant Suntech mean? Pricier panels, probably. The bankruptcy of Chinese solar-panel heavyweight Suntech may be an omen that the sun is about to set on super-cheap solar energy. The world’s biggest solar module manufacturer is on the verge of collapse under a pile of more than $1 billion in debt. The problem is not that the market for solar panels is weak. The problem is that there is too much competition among manufacturers of panels, which has driven prices down to unsustainably low levels. As Suntech’s hometown tries to bail out the company, its woes are pointing to what could be ahead for other firms operating in the solar sector — and for those who were looking forward to buying cheap solar panels for their homes and businesses. Todd Woody explains at Quartz: The Suntech saga is being watched closely as a bellwether for the global solar industry.
How many survivors will be left standing around the world? The solar business of German company Bosch is among the casualties. Swedish migrant workers and Norwegian oil wealth have reversed the centuries-old Scandinavian power dynamic. Photo by David Michael. It is bizarre to think of modern Sweden, so often lauded as a paragon of social and economic stability, as coughing up migrant workers. Stranger still is that Swedes migrate in extraordinary numbers to neighboring Norway, which has always been regarded in both countries as Sweden’s little brother. Often at war, Sweden forced Norway into an uneven union for most of the 19th century. Though politically independent of Sweden for more than 100 years, Norway has to this day remained culturally subordinate to its larger, more established neighbor. Norwegians watch Swedish television, listen to Swedish music, and read Swedish books.
Before the Norwegian translation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was released, the original Swedish version was the best-selling book in Norway. In the late 1960s, oil was discovered off the coast of Norway. Most of these Swedish migrants are service workers. A longer version of this essay appeared in The Billfold. Another Goldman Creature Given Vital Government Post | Young college grads fall through the safety net. Trans-Pacific Partnership: The biggest trade deal you’ve never heard of. No Conspiracy Theory -- A Small Group of Companies Have Enormous Power Over the World. The X factor in the Norwegian economy. Future of Work: Finding Value in the Rejects of the Job Economy. The Intruders. The Zero Bound - By Tim Duy. Rubber Ducks And Cheap Watches: Photos From New York's Junk Economy : Planet Money. World debt comparison: The global debt clock. London is the ‘global capital of money-laundering’