Accountability is a cornerstone of business. Bilderberg is stuck in the dark ages
Media coverage of the recent Bilderberg Conference held in Watford has been farcical to say the least. Conspiracy theorists were in their element peddling tales of giant lizards conspiring to take over the earth, while the conventional press relished in p...
More of the same from the German elections would be better than a lurch to the left
The forthcoming election in Germany, due to take place in late September, could shape the EU for years to come, and have serious implications for the state of the global economy. While it may seem over-the-top to place such significance on a single countr...
Too little or too much, none of the BRICs have got reinvestment right
Much has been made recently of Christine Lagarde’s ‘three speed economy” speech, in which she described the BRICs as riding the fast lane of growth compared to the feeble eurozone. Though there as been a marked slowdown since the bounty years of the...
Why is it we can find the Higgs Boson, but can’t fix the euro?
One of the main principles behind mainstream, neoclassical economic theory is that individuals act to optimise their own utility. The definition of utility is somewhat hazy, but basically means whatever is pleasurable or useful. The net result of all this...
When it comes to trade, a global framework should be the only way
Free trade is everybody’s darling. The term is brandished about as if the enshrining of the concept and its application can be the only guarantees that trade is fair for everyone. Yet again global leaders have gathered to reinforce their support for a g...
Not all debt is bad; but consumers must learn to differentiate
Since 2007, our cultural attitudes toward personal debt have been shifting. The wave of home foreclosures that swept the US after the housing bubble burst left many people in the lurch: stuck servicing endless debt in a stagnating economy. This month US h...
Bashar al-Assad can’t be grateful for the Syria passed to him by his father
As rebel forces close in on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his regime, he may well be regretting that his father, Hafez, handed him the increasingly hot seat of the dictatorship. With anti-government forces moving into the outskirts of Damascus, the...
There is a happy medium between austerity and the reckless borrowing of the past
British Business Secretary Vince Cable caused something of a kerfuffle when he penned an article last week arguing in favour of the government shifting its policy to borrow more, but only to invest in the building industry. Cable, a Liberal Democrat, has ...
As they saying goes, if you want to enjoy a sausage, it’s better not to know what’s in it
Many European consumers were reminded of this fact – and not just for sausages – by the recent horsemeat scandal, which started in the UK when the Food Standards Agency discovered that some products such as frozen lasagnes and hamburgers were more hor...
Alitalia and a floundering economy. Is Italy perfecting brinkmanship?
In 2008 Italy’s state-owned airline Alitalia crash-landed, to the surprise of nobody in the aviation industry. The national flag-carrier went bankrupt for a multitude of reasons – bloated wage and welfare costs, almost routine flight delays, and an ag...
The bonus cap will not spell the end of European banking
Bankers’ pay packages have been the target of much fury since the fatidic events of 2008. There has been a significant backlash against what the public has perceived as irresponsible bankers taking undue risks. The general consensus is that ultimately t...
The age old debate is a moot point; minimum wage increases do not stifle employment
Every time one politician or another proposes doing anything to the minimum wage, be it increase it, cut it, or scrap it altogether, financial and economic commentators go into a frenzy. The general consensus suggests even the most modest of increases wil...
EU civil servants are staging strikes, but they aren’t exactly defending their last few cents
Almost certainly the most feather-bedded civil servants in the world with the fattest entitlements in terms of pensions, promotions, allowances and holidays, they were agitating against modest reforms that would still leave them in that happy position. ...
‘Unquestionably fair, technically sound, legally robust’ … The Tobin Tax
So the Tobin Tax has been in the news again. Brussels’ insistence on ploughing on with the controversial duties has raised the wrath of Wall Street and Washington. The latest blueprint released by the European Commission last week has revealed a much mo...
How I learned to stop worrying about inflation and love QE
Since output started to drop in late 2008 a number of financial instruments and practices have been attempted, but ultimately failed to stimulate growth. Central banks and their associated regulators have ground away at interest rates, trying, fruitlessly...
European countries are scrambling to raise every last penny of funds through taxes. But some countries may have gone too far...
Though all business taxes in Belgium can be paid online with little effort and preparation, the rates are still sky-high at 57.7 percent, including a staggering 50.8 percent total rate on profits only in social security contributions.
In Belarus, a company spends up to 338 hours annually preparing for and paying ten different taxes and duties. The total tax rate has incredibly been lowered to 60.7 percent, from 117.5 percent in 2008.
A company in France pays seven different taxes and duties, the sum of which can amount to 65.7 percent of profits; though President François Hollande has announced a wave of business tax rate cuts coming up.
A business in Estonia pays 67.3 percent of profits in tax, 37.2 percent exclusively in social security contributions. The country has gone against the grain in Europe by raising businesses taxes from 48.6 percent in 2008 to the current rates.
While corporate income tax (IRES) in Italy is limited to 38 percent of taxable profit, a company operating in Italy can expect to pay 14 other taxes and duties, including social security contributions, bringing their total payable tax to 68.7 percent of profits, according to the World Bank.
Norway taxes motor fuels twice, with a road use tax and a CO2 emissions tax. Combined with strikes in the energy sector that have curbed output, the price of gas at a local pump has soared to $10.12 per gallon.
Though Turkey sits on the Suez Canal and neighbours many oil rich countries, the price of a gallon of average gas clocks in at $9.41 in Turkish pumps, because of a 60 percent share of taxes.
Like Turkey, Israel is surrounded by oil-rich neighbours, but drills very little itself. Gas prices are controlled by the government, so about half of the $9.28 per gallon goes to taxes.
There are few gas stations in Hong Kong, but the ones available charge up to 76 percent more per gallon than mainland China, where the government caps the cost of fuel. A gallon at the pumps will cost around $8.61 on the island.
Expensive labour costs make the Dutch petrol prices the dearest in Europe, at $8.26 per gallon; though the 57 percent tax add-ons don’t help.
8 February 2007
HSBC warns of subprime mortgage losses
2 April 2007
New Century goes bus
14 September 2007
Wholesale markets have dried up
17 March 2008
Rescue of Bear Stearns
7 September 2008
Rescue of Fannie Mae
15 September 2008
Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy
3 October 2008
US congress approves $700bn bailout
14 February 2009
$787bn stimulus approved by congress
The effects of the current financial crisis are global and irrefutable. With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the domino effect of irresponsible public monetary policies, huge levels of unsustainable debt, and a deregulated financial sector, has escalated to the point where no corner of the globe has been left untouched.
Syria and Egypt launch an attack on Israel on Yom Kippur and set off a twenty day war;
US President Carter creates Department of Energy, which develops the US strategic petroleum reserve
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used their oil reserves as a weapon with the Arab Oil Embargo against those who supported Israel. By January 1974, world oil prices were four times higher than they were at the start of the crisis, especially in the US, and the shock led to a huge drop in the stock market with NYSE losing $97bn in just six weeks. The embargo lasted five months, and the effects are still seen today.
1923 – 1924
The trouble began when Germany missed a repatriation payment, worth about one third of the German deficit in this period. Inflation was already high but by 1923 it was raging. Prices doubled within hours, and by late 1923, it cost 200bn marks to buy a single loaf of bread. People burned money as it was cheaper than buying firewood. Germany eventually regained control of its economy when it introduced the Rentenmark into circulation in 1923, and then the Reichmark in 1924.
The Great Crash
Recovery and Recession
After the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, the 1930s saw the biggest economic slump of all time. The stock market crashed on 29 October 1929, and optimism and decadent living tumbled along with the figures. The GDP fell from $103.6bn in 1929, to $66bn in 1934 and the subsequent years of recovery were the most dramatic in US history.
Otto Heinze and his brother Augustus Heinze bought shares of United Copper.
The stock market was already cautious over the tight money supply, but the US was thrown into a depression after the stock market fell nearly 50 percent from its peak in 1906. The Heinze brothers thought they could influence market shares but ended up bankrupting lenders that provided the financing to buy the stock. A chain reaction left nine institutions bankrupt. By February 1908, the panic was over and the government created the Federal Reserve system, to prevent banks from exercising too much control over the economy.