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23 января, 04:47

Once they were ‘the bad boys of Brexit.’ Now Britain’s populist UKIP party is imploding.

The party’s latest leader — tarred by his girlfriend’s racist texts — is resisting a no-confidence vote.

23 января, 04:15

"Something Is Very Wrong With The Global Economy": Richest 1% Made 82% Of Global Wealth In 2017

It is appropriate that as the world's richest and most popular and influential celebrities, thought leaders, economists, pundits and politicians sit down in Davos this week to discuss such topics as wealth inequality and populism, that the global charity Oxfam released its latest annual study which found that global inequality is not only worsening, but 2017 may have been the worst year ever for the split between rich and poor. There are now 2,043 billionaires worldwide, according to the report titled “Reward Work, Not Wealth." "The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement. In addition to finding that the world’s richest 42 people own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of people worldwide, a number that is fast approaching 4 billion, the report also showed that 2017 saw the biggest increase in the number of billionaires in history, with new ones created at a rate of one every two days. Their  wealth has increased by 13% a year on average in the decade from 2006 to 2015. In other words, in 2017 the world's richest one % raked in 82% of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said just hours before the world's elite prepared to mingle at the World Economic Forum in Davos and pretend to care about the plight of the world's poor. Just as concerning - if only in theory - to the fake warriors for wealth and income equality in Davos, is that the three richest Americans have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the U.S. population. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are the three Americans whose combined wealth matches that of the poorest 160 million Americans — about $250 billion. Only in #Davos you get a sign with “private car pick-up” direction alongside the “A day in the life of a refugee” exhibition. #Davos2018 #tonedeaf @tictoc #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/yFWsN3oLq9 — Javier Blas (@JavierBlas2) January 22, 2018 Among the other findings: the wealth of the super-rich increased by $762 billion in just 12 months to March 2017 which is enough to end extreme poverty seven times over. Nine out of 10 of the world's 2,043 billionaires were men. Separately, chief executives of the top five global fashion brands made in just four days what garment workers in Bangladesh earn over a lifetime. "The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,"said Byanyima. According to Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam, the statistics signal that “something is very wrong with the global economy.” "The concentration of extreme wealth at the top is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a system that is failing the millions of hard-working people on poverty wages who make our clothes and grow our food," he said, and while he is right, the rich have little incentive to actually do anything about this record wealth divergence - besides pretending they are horrified by it, of course - at least until more Brexits, and more Trumps emerge, and eventually, a global uprising against the super wealthy. “Inequality is reaching such extreme levels that it might actually be bad for really wealthy people because it’s slowing down economic growth and leading to political disruption,” said David Hulme, an expert global development at the University of Manchester. Hulme added that “globally, across the world’s 7.6 billion people, extreme poverty is actually reducing. It’s only when you look at the top group, the richest people, that wealth is concentrating amazingly. Both of those things can happen at the same time.” Over the next 20 years, the report claims that 500 of the world’s richest people will give $2.4 trillion to their heirs — a sum larger than the GDP of India, which has 1.3 billion people. The World Inequality Report 2018, a separate report published in December last year, noted that income inequality varies greatly across the world. When defined as the share of total national income accounted for by a nation’s top 10% earners, it is lowest in Europe (37%) and highest in the Middle east (61%). The United States (47%) lags China (41%) and Russia (46%).  * * * Oxfam said the massive inequality is being driven by factors that include excessive financial returns to company owners and shareholders at the expense of ordinary workers and the rest of the economy; the ability of rich individuals and corporations to use tax havens that allow them to evade or shield trillions of dollars from tax authorities; public policy that permits market conditions that push down wages and infringe on labor rights; and extreme wealth that is inherited, not earned. Byanyima blamed “tax dodging” as one of the major causes of global inequality and urged leaders to crack down on tax havens and inject money into education, healthcare and jobs for young people. "[It] reveals how our economies are rewarding wealth rather than the hard work of millions of people,” Byanyima told Reuters, adding “The few at the top get richer and richer and the millions at the bottom are trapped in poverty wages." * * * As noted above, the study was released on the eve of top political and business figures meeting at a luxury Swiss ski resort and private jet parking lot for the annual World Economic Forum, which this year says it will focus on how to create "a shared future in a fractured world". "It's hard to find a political or business leader who doesn't say they are worried about inequality," said Byanyima. "It's even harder to find one who is doing something about it. Many are actively making things worse by slashing taxes and scrapping labor rights."

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23 января, 03:01

Brussels could pay EU nationals' application fees to stay in UK

Juncker said to sympathise with proposal to cover expected £72 cost to seek ‘settled status’Brussels could seek the moral high ground by covering the application costs of EU nationals who want to stay in the UK after Brexit, under proposals being discussed at the highest levels of the European commission.The UK Home Office has threatened to charge a £72 fee for applicants seeking so-called “settled status” in the UK, which grants them indefinite leave to remain. Applicants will have to demonstrate five years’ continuous residence and pass a criminal record test. Continue reading...

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22 января, 22:51

JLR cuts Land Rover production amid diesel uncertainty

The UK's biggest car maker will temporarily cut output amid Brexit fears and tax hikes on diesels.

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22 января, 22:41

Lord Lawson: Civil servants want to 'frustrate Brexit'

Former chancellor Lord Lawson tells BBC Newsnight Whitehall is uneasy because it presents radical change.

22 января, 22:30

Макрон: Великобритании придется заплатить за доступ Лондона к единому рынку ЕС после Brexit

Великобритания должна будет заплатить после процедуры Brexit, если захочет сохранить уровень доступа финансового центра Лондона к единому рынку ЕС.

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22 января, 22:13

Cometh the hour, cometh Henry Bolton, prime minister | John Crace

The Ukip leader will not resign. Far from it – he’s putting himself forward as the man to unite all the different leave campaigns. Theresa who?One by one, the resignations had come. People no one had ever heard of, quitting jobs that no one knew existed. By mid-afternoon, more than half the Ukip frontbench team had done a bunk in protest at Henry Bolton’s continued leadership of the party. At least, that was a best guess figure; it was hard to keep an exact tally of who had gone and when, since a few members had to reannounce their resignations as no one had noticed when they had done so the first time around last week.All the while, Bolton remained holed up in a Folkestone hotel room. Just around the corner from his apartment. No one was going to take him alive. Bolton was genuinely perplexed. His only crime had been to fall in love with a woman half his age with racist views, who had happened to join a party that attracted racists of which he was leader. What could possibly be more normal than that? Now, if he had copped off with someone in her 50s who supported immigration and was pro-EU, that would have been a story. People were just jealous of his pulling power. Continue reading...

22 января, 21:30

UK firms report 'robust confidence levels' for 2018

PwC survey to mark opening of Davos finds most companies are optimistic about growthNine out of 10 business leaders in Britain are upbeat about the growth prospects for their companies over the coming year despite uncertainty about the impact of Brexit, the consultancy firm PwC has reported.In its annual survey of chief executives to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, PwC found that optimism about the health of the global economy was boosting confidence. Continue reading...

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22 января, 21:20

On the City of London and Brexit, silence is not golden

The UK government needs to state its priorities for trade in services

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22 января, 20:57

Business leaders push for new campaign to reverse Brexit

Senior figures in CBI urge lobby group to toughen its message amid concerns over exportsBusiness leaders are privately pushing for a new campaign to reverse Brexit as concerns mount about the viability of government plans to prevent a collapse in exports to Europe.On Monday, the CBI launched its most sustained attack yet on the government’s Brexit strategy by calling for full customs union with the EU and single market participation, even if it means abandoning the pursuit of separate trade deals with the rest of the world. Continue reading...

22 января, 20:00

Франция и Испания получат дополнительные места в Европарламенте после Brexit

Франция и Испания получат пять дополнительных мест в Европейском парламенте после выхода Великобритании из Европейского союза. Об этом сообщает EUobserver. Сообщается, что комитет Европарламента по конституционному управлению утвердил соответствующую поправку к проекту доклада о распределении британской квоты среди 27 стран Евросоюза...

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22 января, 19:40

Henry Bolton: I won't quit as Ukip leader – and may get back with Marney

Bolton insists he will stay to ‘drain the swamp’ within party despite mass resignationsHenry Bolton has refused to quit as Ukip leader and signalled he may rekindle his romance with a young activist who sent racist text messages, despite mass resignations from the party’s senior team over his handling of the affair.The Ukip leader insisted he wanted to stay in post to “drain the swamp” within the party, even though at least 15 of his spokespeople have now quit their jobs in protest at his behaviour. Continue reading...

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22 января, 19:38

Pound takes another look at $1.40 level

Sterling trading at highest since 2016 Brexit vote

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22 января, 18:40

UK jobs at risk as EC warns on safety standards post-Brexit

More than 200 UK agencies that provide ‘CE’ safety labels may lose recognition after March 2019Highly specialised jobs in Britain assessing whether products ranging from MRI scanners to phones can carry the “CE” safety label could be at risk post-Brexit after the European commission put manufacturers on notice over future standards.In an official notice, the EC said the agencies that provide the safety certificates may not have their work recognised after 29 March 2019, unless an agreement can be reached. Continue reading...

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22 января, 18:20

I founded Ukip. It’s a national joke now and should disappear | Alan Sked

Senior figures are quitting over the love life of leader Henry Bolton. Ukip lacks all credibility and should dissolve itselfI founded the Anti-Federalist League in 1991 to take Britain out of what became the European Union. The party was renamed Ukip - the UK Independence party – in 1993 and was a thoroughly mainstream one. It had policies on a wide range of issues but not immigration, not then seen as being controversial. Its membership form stated it had no prejudices against foreigners or lawful minorities of any kind. All that changed after I resigned as leader in 1997 to devote myself exclusively to academic life.Before I left, I expelled Nigel Farage and two others from the party. They had convened a public convention in Basingstoke to examine why I had not won the 1997 general election. Media representatives and others were invited but not me. I, of course, would have explained that with fewer than 200 candidates, only £40,000 in the bank, no media coverage or name recognition, and with a wealthy Referendum party as well as the major ones to fight, there was never any chance of winning an election. Continue reading...

22 января, 17:27

IMF Raises Global GDP Outlook To Highest In 7 Years Thanks To Trump Tax Cuts

Global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest, the International Monetary Fund says in its latest quarterly update to its World Economic Outlook. The IMF raised its forecast for world expansion to 3.9% in 2018 and 2019, up 0.2% for both years from its projection in October. That would be the fastest rate of growth since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the financial crisis. It is also worth noting to what the IMF attributed its rebound in optimism: according to the DC-based organization, about half of the IMF’s global upgrade stems from the Republican tax cuts passed in December. This is how the IMF explained its growing optimism about a global recovery: Global economic activity continues to firm up. Global output is estimated to have grown by 3.7 percent in 2017, which is 0.1 percentage point faster than projected in the fall and ½ percentage point higher than in 2016. The pickup in growth has been broad based, with notable upside surprises in Europe and Asia. Global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 have been revised upward by 0.2 percentage point to 3.9 percent. The revision reflects increased global growth momentum and the expected impact of the recently approved U.S. tax policy changes. The U.S. tax policy changes are expected to stimulate activity, with the short-term impact in the United States mostly driven by the investment response to the corporate income tax cuts. The effect on U.S. growth is estimated to be positive through 2020, cumulating to 1.2 percent through that year, with a range of uncertainty around this central scenario. Due to the temporary nature of some of its provisions, the tax policy package is projected to lower growth for a few years from 2022 onwards. The effects of the package on output in the United States and its trading partners contribute about half of the cumulative revision to global growth over 2018–19. Broken down by region: United States: IMF sees U.S. expansion at 2.7% this year, 0.4% higher than the fund expected in October. Curiously, the IMF predicts the tax plan will actually reduce U.S. growth after 2022, offsetting earlier gains, as some tax cuts expire and the U.S. tries to curb its budget deficit Eurozone: the IMF sees 2018 GDP growth of 2.2%, up 0.3% from October. Japan: IMF expected 2018 GDP growth of 1.2% in 2018, up 0.5% from October China: GDP will grow 6.6%, the IMF predicts, up 0.1% The fund left its 2018 forecast for India unchanged from three months ago, at 7.4%; it also kept its UK growth forecast for 2018 at 1.5%, while lowering its 2019 estimate by 1 point to 1.5%. The full summary table is below (source):   And visually:   What about risks? Here again is the IMF: Risks to the global growth forecast appear broadly balanced in the near term, but remain skewed to the downside over the medium term. On the upside, the cyclical rebound could prove stronger in the near term as the pickup in activity and easier financial conditions reinforce each other. On the downside, rich asset valuations and very compressed term premiums raise the possibility of a financial market correction, which could dampen growth and confidence. A possible trigger is a faster-than-expected increase in advanced economy core inflation and interest rates as demand accelerates. If global sentiment remains strong and inflation muted, then financial conditions could remain loose into the medium term, leading to a buildup of financial vulnerabilities in advanced and emerging market economies alike. Inward-looking policies, geopolitical tensions, and political uncertainty in some countries also pose downside risks. The current cyclical upswing provides an ideal opportunity for reforms. Shared priorities across all economies include implementing structural reforms to boost potential output and making growth more inclusive. In an environment of financial market optimism, ensuring financial resilience is imperative. Weak inflation suggests that slack remains in many advanced economies and monetary policy should continue to remain accommodative. However, the improved growth momentum means that fiscal policy should increasingly be designed with an eye on medium-term goals—ensuring fiscal sustainability and bolstering potential output. Multilateral cooperation remains vital for securing the global recovery. To summarize: Happy days are here again: Global optimism has returned, and the IMF now expecting nearly 4% growth in 2018 and 2019, up 0.2% from just 3 months ago. That would be the fastest rate since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the global financial crisis. IMF sees US expansion at 2.7% this year, an increase of 0.4 points from October. The Eurozone forecast is now 2.2%, up 0.3% points while China will expand at 6.6% growth. Thank Trump (for now): half of the IMF’s global upgrade stems from the Republican tax cuts passed in December. And while the economy is set to enjoy the boost from tax cuts in the short term, the IMF predicts the tax plan will actually reduce U.S. growth after 2022, offsetting earlier gains. The UK loses: The UK, alongside India,  was one of the only key economies to have an unchanged forecast. The IMF left the forecast for UK growth unchanged at 1.5%, understandable given Brexit uncertainty persists, while the UK's 2019 forecast was cut by -0.1%. Finally, the IMF hopes global government will take this period of coordinated growth to implement much needed, and unpopular, reforms. The IMF will be disappointed.      

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22 января, 17:19

UK shelves financial services Brexit position paper

City accuses government of leaving it in the dark over negotiating position on trade