Friday, 30 May 2014

'Eurasian Economic Union a Huge Wake-up Call for US and Its Power'

Russia has secured another huge economic deal, by bringing together some of its neighbours, to create the largest common market on Post-Soviet territory. It's hoped the new union - with Belarus and Kazakhstan - will compete with the economic powerhouses of the EU and the US. Patrick Young, an expert in global financial markets, joins RT to discuss this deal.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Middle Classes Will Disappear in Next 30 Years Warns Government Adviser

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Property price rises will cause the middle classes to disappear within 30 years, leaving only a “wealthy elite and sprawling proletariat”, government adviser says

The middle classes will die out within 30 years because of rising property prices, which will rob today's children of their dreams, an economist has warned.

David Boyle, a government adviser and fellow of the New Economics Foundation think tank, said that youngsters can no longer expect the same level of affluence as their parents.

Speaking at the Hay Festival he warned that Britain will be left with a "tiny elite and a huge sprawling proletariat" who have no chance of "clawing their way out of a hand-to-mouth existence".

He predicted that the average house price will reach £1.2 million by 2045, putting a home beyond the range of most people as wages fail to keep up with huge increases.

Mr Boyle said that the traditional middle classes will need three or four jobs just to be able to pay soaring rents. People will no longer have the space or time to pursue cultural interested [sic]. » | Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent | Wednesday, May 26, 2014

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Capitalism Is Doomed If Ethics Vanish, Says Bank of England Governor

'We simply cannot take the capitalist system for granted,' says Carney.
THE GUARDIAN: Mark Carney issues strong critique of City behaviour and warns of growing sense that basic social contract is breaking down

Capitalism is at risk of destroying itself unless bankers realise they have an obligation to create a fairer society, the Bank of England governor has warned.

Mark Carney said bankers had operated a "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose" system. He questioned whether traders met ethical standards and said that those who failed to meet high professional standards should face ostracism.

Speaking at a City conference, the Bank's governor warned that there was a growing sense that the basic social contract at the heart of capitalism was breaking down amid rising inequality. "We simply cannot take the capitalist system, which produces such plenty and so many solutions, for granted. Prosperity requires not just investment in economic capital, but investment in social capital."

In a strongly worded critique of City behaviour in the run-up to the financial crisis, Carney said market radicalism and light-touch regulation had eroded fair capitalism, while scandals such as the rigging of Libor markets had undermined trust in the financial system.

"Just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself. To counteract this tendency, individuals and their firms must have a sense of their responsibilities for the broader system."

Carney told delegates at a conference on inclusive capitalism in London – which was attended by the former US president Bill Clinton – that big banks had operated in a "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bubble", with personal gain hotly pursued by bankers. » | Angela Monaghan | Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prince Charles: Reform Capitalism to Save the Planet

A “fundamental transformation of global capitalism” is needed in order to tackle climate change, the Prince of Wales has said

Read the Telegraph article here | Emily Gosden | Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Kapitalerhöhung: Scheich von Katar steigt bei Deutscher Bank ein

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Die Deutsche Bank will acht Milliarden Euro bei Investoren einsammeln, um sich gegen Krisen zu wappnen. Ein Großteil des Geldes soll vom Herrscherhaus des Emirats Katar kommen. Ein Scheich würde damit zum größten Aktionär des Geldkonzerns werden.

Hamburg - Die Deutsche Bank will mit der Ausgabe neuer Aktien rund acht Milliarden Euro von Investoren einsammeln. Das beschloss der Aufsichtsrat am Sonntagabend. Die Deutsche Bank soll mit dem neuen Geld krisenfester werden. Gelingt die Aktion, wäre es die zweitgrößte Kapitalerhöhung in der Geschichte des Konzerns.

Eine kleine Revolution ist dabei der bevorstehende Einstieg des Herrscherhauses von Katar. Scheich Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani soll über seine Investmentfirma Paramount Services 30 Millionen Deutsche-Bank-Aktien erhalten und wäre mit rund fünf Prozent der Anteile größter Einzelaktionär der Bank. Das Privatvermögen des Scheichs wird auf 70 Milliarden Dollar geschätzt. » | Von Stefan Kaiser | Sonntag, 18. Mai 2014

Friday, 16 May 2014

Deutsche Bank Video Warns Traders Not to Be Vulgar, Indiscrete [sic] or Brag

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: German bank runs out of patience with 'Wolf of Wall Street'-style behaviour

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, has warned trading and investment banking staff to stop any Wolf of Wall Street-style behaviour.

Colin Fan, the co-head of the German lender's investment bank, said in a video to all his staff: "It's not OK to brag or to be vulgar or indiscrete [sic]. That will have severe consequences on your career. I've run out patience on this."

He said "reputation is everything" and some staff were "still a long way from meeting" the bank's standards.

Deutsche Bank is undergoing a shake-up following a series of scandals that has tarnished its reputation. Last year the German bank €725m in penalties for its involvement in the Libor rigging scandal, a key rate used to fix the cost of borrowing on mortgages, loans and derivatives worth more than $450 trillion (£288 trillion) globally.

“You may not realise it but right now, because of regulatory scrutiny, all your communications may be reviewed,” said Mr Han in the video. “This includes your emails, your conversations and your conduct.” » | Martin Strydom | Friday, May 16, 2014

Monday, 12 May 2014

The One Percent

This 80-minute documentary focuses on the growing "wealth gap" in America, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker Jamie Johnson, a 27-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Johnson, who cut his film teeth at NYU and made the Emmy®-nominated 2003 HBO documentary Born Rich, here sets his sights on exploring the political, moral and emotional rationale that enables a tiny percentage of Americans - the one percent - to control nearly half the wealth of the entire United States. The film Includes interviews with Nicole Buffett, Bill Gates Sr., Adnan Khashoggi, Milton Friedman, Robert Reich, Ralph Nader and other luminaries.

Inequality for All

Bill Moyers talks with Economic analyst Robert Reich about the new film Inequality for All. Opening in theaters across the country next week, the film aims to be a game-changer in our national discussion of income inequality.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

There's No Evidence That Privatisation Works, But It Marches On

THE GUARDIAN: From the Land Registry to East Coast rail, valuable public assets are being frittered away despite the many cautionary tales

If you think the government might hesitate to sell other national assets after the Royal Mail fiasco, think again. The Land Registry, the office that certifies property ownership, a quasi-judicial function, is being readied for privatisation. It collates data on prices and transactions and catches fraudsters. It has cut its fees, scores 98% satisfaction and last year made a £98.7m profit for the Treasury – yet it's part of this government's £20bn asset sell-off.

In the Royal Mail debacle, shares sold at £1.7bn rose to £2.7bn. The 16 investors chosen as "long-term" custodians included the most wolfish hedge funds, who sold the shares at once. Let's hope that ends any pretence that shareholders look after companies. What's more, the investment arm of Lazards, key adviser to Vince Cable, was also given "priority" status. But Lazard Asset Management sold its entire stake within a week at a profit of £8m. Likewise Goldman Sachs, employed to facilitate the sale, told its investors share prices would hit 610p a month after advising the government to float at 330p. How well these companies deserved their tongue-lashing from Margaret Hodge: "You all know each other. You work together. You trade with each other. You are part of this little clique and we the ordinary taxpayer lose out on it." This is a case of caveat vendor. » | Polly Toynbee | Tuesday, March 06, 2014