Russian oligarchs moulded the immediate post-Soviet economy by moving quickly to acquire assets and political friendships, but governmental and economic developments in more recent years are inhibiting their continued reign
Following the ostensible suicide of Boris Berezovsky and the suspicion surrounding his death, many perceive the famed Russian’s demise denotes the waning influence of the oligarchy in present-day Russia. Popularly termed ‘catastroika’, the downfa...
With the global economy as it is, governments around the world are understandably concentrating their efforts on encouraging growth. But, asks Catherine Smyth, are they doing so at the expense of the environment?
The call to arms to protect the environment and to reach energy saving targets clashes uncomfortably with another battle: the economy’s fight to pull out of recession. The strong correlation between economic activity and carbon dioxide emissions is a li...
Socialist governments have a long history of applying punitive taxes on its high earners. As Françoise Hollande proposed France with one of the highest ever tax hikes in history, dealing with the backlash is no simple feat, writes Selwyn Parker
When he’s back in his electorate in the town of Tulle in the Limousin region of France, President François Hollande likes to drop in most mornings to his local café, the Calèche, for his “grand café et croissant.” Located on Avenue Victor Hugo, ...
As Britain remains unsure of its relationship with the EU, Jules Gray looks at what both parties bring to the table, and whether it would really be wise for them to go their separate ways
Coinciding with business leaders and political heavyweights congregating in the scenic Swiss retreat in Davos, British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a much anticipated – and delayed – speech on his country’s role in the EU. Designed to placa...
China’s growth has been slowing down recently as a result of weak demand for its exports. Rita Lobo investigates the knock-on effect this decrease will have on the rest of the world, which has grown to rely on the country for much of its exporting and importing needs
Slowdown’ is the word of the moment. ‘Crisis’ has fallen out of vogue because it implies a turning point, a dramatic sequence of events that changes the shape of things to come for better or for worse. It seems that, rather than reaching a climax, t...
Plagued by the lowest rainfall in decades, millions of corn crops have been fatally compromised in the American Midwest. Rita Lobo investigates how companies and consumers will cope with the low supply of these important commodities
In May 2012, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a statement confirming its expectations that this year US corn production would reach 14.8 billion bushels. The prospected result would have been a record 166 bushels per acre, and a massive hi...
The Olympus scandal revealed fraud on a shocking scale at one of Japan’s most prestigious companies. Michael Woodford, the man who uncovered it, tells World Finance why it happened and how Japan needs to change. Words by Jules Gray
Jump to the timeline. Amid the chaos of the tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster in Fukushima last year, a far different crisis was brewing in what many thought was one of Japan’s most prestigious companies. While the worldbuy cialis online watched J...
Rueben Devlin and Mike Marasco explain how the Humber River Hospital, which is currently under construction, will be the first fully digital hospital in North America
Originating in Toronto, Canada, the project is CEO Rueben Devlin and COO Barb Collins’ vision of the hospital, having spent the better part of a decade bringing it to life. Humber River Hospital is North America’s first lean, green and fully digital h...
An array of taxes, levies and charges designed to target super-rich consumers has left the luxury goods market feeling short-changed. Can the leading brands stave off the oppression enforced by bludgeoning bureaucrats?
Despite soaring taxes and levies being imposed on all manner of goods from Ferraris to Chanels, it seems that our collective appetite for the finer things in life cannot be quelled even by a financial meltdown. While the average high-street retail industr...
Yann Le Pallec, Executive Managing Director at EMEA, Standard and Poor’s, argues for the importance of credit agencies, and explains both the benefits and the potential pitfalls that their work can bring to investors
There has been much debate in recent years about the role and performance of credit ratings firms. At Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), we have focused significant efforts to improve understanding in the market about our ratings. Our aim i...
Jules Gray reports on another high-profile example of corporate whistleblowing, shedding light on the need to offer employees incentives to come forward
When an employee at an organisation becomes aware of serious malpractice, the chances of them doing more than turning a blind eye for fear of serious consequences are usually very slim. Having the courage to actually stand up to bosses and co-workers is o...
At a time when many countries are struggling, the debate over government’s involvement in the free market is becoming more prominent. Jules Gray looks at the different active and passive options the public sector can consider, and how globalisation can help
Around the world, governments are exercising different degrees of fiscal and monetary meddling in response to the financial crises. As the world recovers from the 2008 economic meltdown, the question of how much intervention a government should exercise h...
Austerity measures and spending cuts are now a part of every day life for most Europeans. Once these fiscal policies were tolerated, but now public opinion has changed. Rita Lobo investigates how other countries have taken alternative routes to find a better solution
Recent months have seen the defeat of austerity-champion Nicholas Sarkozy and the election of François Hollande with his promises of growth for France. Anti-austerity riots and protests have erupted in Spain and Greece; Barack Obama and Christine Lagarde...
With capital in the billions, it can be difficult for wealthy individuals to find asset managers capable of protecting their vast fortunes. So who better to rely on than a member of your own family? Jules Gray investigates the heritage of family offices and how they keep money within a dynasty
Accumulating vast wealth obviously takes time and hard work. However, maintaining that wealth for future generations could be even more difficult. The saying ‘from clogs to clogs in three generations’ is one that represents the difficult families some...
A new report by the World Trade Organisation suggests that countries are increasingly turning to protectionist measures. Rita Lobo looks at how governments are using red-tape measures to keep commerce domiciled
Over the past year, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has recorded over 500 cases of potential curbs instilled by governments to protect domestic trade and limit imports. Though there has been much debate about countries like China turning to protecti...
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.