If World Bank loans, equity investments and guarantees ($53bn in FY 2012) have provided countless opportunities for developing countries to express their gratitude over the years the largesse has done little to reverse the recent trend of farmers being evicted from their land by foreign investors
With the third global food price spike in four years now in full swing, the Bank finds itself under renewed pressure from organisations such as Oxfam and the International Land Coalition to use its political clout to address this ongoing scandal. Inter...
Merkel puts her nation’s infrastructure to the test
If earthquake/tsunami prone Japan has more incentive than most to consign her nuclear power industry to the dustbin of history local lawmakers there last week resisted the temptation to set a target date for such an eventuality – presumably because the ...
William Henry considers the effects of expensive production costs
Over the course of the last few years, a seismic shift has effected the working populations of what we used to refer to as the developed and the developing world. In the latter part of the twentieth century, industrialists and manufacturers moved offsh...
If the oil price threat to global economic growth has long been regarded as the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ the elephant may soon have company in the form of drought induced food price inflation
The problem is serious enough to be setting-off alarm bells in the corridors of G20 members, who are due to discuss the issue this week. While no formal decision on how to tackle it is expected before a mid-September report on global grain supplies from t...
Has George Soros been playing mind games?
If Facebook’s share price hitting yet another low ($19 last week and sinking) is happening with alarming regularity and fast becoming the archetypal ‘dog bites man’ story in terms of newsworthiness, the same can’t be said for billionaire investor/...
Foreign banks falling afoul of US regulators seems to be a recurring theme at present – Standard Chartered being the latest institution to feel the heat
The London-based bank stands accused of colluding with the Tehran authorities to launder more than $250bn of Iranian funds through its New York branch over a six-year period from 2001-2007, having first stripped out information from wire transfer messages...
Traders try and keep up with the innovative standards set by progressive technology. Or do they?
It hasn’t been a great week for the US securities trading industry to say the least - Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (parent company of the exchange) confirming in a regulatory filing that it now expects to incur costs well in excess of the $62m already set aside...
The ongoing war of words between Apple and Samsung entered a new phase when the two corporate pugilists finally square off in a San Jose federal court in what promises to be one of the biggest-ever patent trials
For Samsung in particular the stakes are high – defeat meaning the possibility of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers being banned from the lucrative US market. Just how important this case is to the world’s top technology firm by revenue, ...
You know the game may be up when even the IMF starts flirting with the idea of you being thrown under the proverbial bus
Yet that’s one of the harsh conclusions to be found in the global lender’s devastating new report on the eurozone. Its updated tome: ‘Article IV Consultation Report’ pulls no punches when it comes to policy prescriptions. In short, the eurozone...
In keeping with the UK’s rain lashed summer this year’s Farnborough International Airshow was a drab affair for the commercial aviation industry
Yes, there was the usual corporate hobnobbing as aviation bigwigs chewed the fat over the industry’s future. Behind the scenes though the knives were out as usual as the industry’s big beasts – Boeing and Airbus – wage their ongoing war to preserv...
If London’s chancery and commercial courts have increasingly become media circus events recently much of the blame can be laid at the revolving door of Russian oligarchs
If that means airing their dirty laundry in public, then so be it. The latest bun fight - set to play out this week at the Royal Courts of Justice - pits tycoon, Michael Cherney against Oleg Deripaska, CEO and largest shareholder of RUSAL, the world’...
When Iceland’s banking system crashed in late 2008, critics in some sections of the financial press were quick to mock Reykjavik for its propensity to screw things up on such a grand scale
Smugness wasn’t the sole preserve of financial journalists of course - Germany’s then finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, doing his bit for the cause by famously describing the unfolding financial crisis elsewhere as an ‘Anglo-American problem’ ca...
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Greece has held its second election in six weeks and again faces political gridlock that will do little to dispel the dark economic clouds hovering over Athens
In his final address ahead of Sunday’s vote, Antonis Samaras, leader of the centre right New Democracy, said the electorate faced the stark choice of staying in the euro or going back to the drachma. In the end, Samaras breathed a sigh of relief as h...
You know the global economy is in dire straights when the Chinese are forced to cut interest rates. But if last week’s decision was greeted with surprise by many in the markets, why should it be seen that way, given Europe’s well documented woes?
It’s not as if Beijing (like the rest of us) isn’t already aware that European consumer demand for Chinese goods is headed in the wrong direction – underpinned by the undiminished propensity of many leading European politicians to adopt an economic ...
Politics is like pugilism – it’s always best to get your punches in first
And so it’s proving to be the case with US lawmakers serving notice on foreign governments that any attempt to grab control of the internet through the auspices of the UN won’t be taken lying down. At a House of Representatives hearing last week a ...
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.