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Record Fines to Some of the World's Largest BanksOpen in a New Window

A group of five of the world's largest banks are due to pay a large fine after manipulating the world foreign-exchange market. These fines were brought to the banks by U.K., U.S., and Swedish regulators late last year after finding out that currency traders were using chat rooms to manipulate exchange rates. Included in these banks are JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup, UBS, and RBS. Many of the banks have come forward with guilty pleas, which has been unheard of in past litigations against...

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Underlying Causes of the Ukrainian RecessionOpen in a New Window

Ukraine’s economy has contracted ten of the last eleven quarters in an economic downturn that stretches back to 2012. In the first quarter of 2015 the economy contracted 18% compared to the same period last year, while Gross Domestic Product fell 7% in the same period. The underlying causes of this recession are both a downturn in the domestic market, as well as a struggle to sever its economic dependence on Russia and orient itself more towards the west, specifically the...

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Oil Uncertainities due to Global ImpactsOpen in a New Window

Oil prices dipped on Monday due to the rising value of the dollar and the potential for an oversupply of oil. Global conditions and the turmoil in the Middle East caused oil barrel prices to rise, especially due to the gains that Islamic State militants made in Iraq after seizing the provincial capital of Ramadi. In addition, the dollar continued to rise against other major currencies, thus making raw materials less affordable to holders of the euro and other currencies. However, oil...

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British Perspectives on Possible "Brexit" from EurozoneOpen in a New Window

Following a shockingly strong win for the Conservative Party in the recent United Kingdom elections, re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron promised an "in-out referendum" on the future of the U.K.'s membership within the European Union before the end of 2017. The referendum has its roots in the understandably unpopular red tape and bureaucracy that affects British business prospects within the E.U., especially with regard to the trade bloc's employment...

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France Aims to Overhaul Energy IndustryOpen in a New Window

Three-quarters of France’s electricity comes from nuclear power, which is a higher proportion than any other country in the world. In France alone, 220,000 people are hired to work in the energy industry. Because of this, French nuclear companies have been seen as leaders at the forefront of developing and operating uranium fueled reactors around the world. But recently, it was discovered that new power plants intended to showcase the energy industry’s latest technology are now...

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A Basic Guide to Exporting: A Tool to Begin Selling InternationallyOpen in a New Window

With business becoming more and more global every day, small and medium sized companies are being pushed to start exporting if they want to stay competitive. This poses a challenge for these businesses however, as exporting has become more complex. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Commerce has made available its 11th edition of A Basic Guide to Exporting; this edition has been tailored to fit small and medium size businesses' needs for exporting in today's world. The guide...

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Potential Changes in Global Monetary PolicyOpen in a New Window

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, many large central banks have used quantitative easing in order to help stimulate their respective economies. Quantitative easing is the act of buying financial assets from lower level banks, thus increasing the price of the assets and increasing reserves in the economy. This has remained a common practice in central banks, and these banks have even increased the rates of easing since this year. However, economists are uncertain of how much easing has...

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Greece: An Ongoing CrisisOpen in a New Window

Greece has been in constant negotiations with other European countries and institutions over Greece’s debt load, which if not resolved, can lead to another financial crisis. The European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are both creditors to Greece, and Greece is expected to repay the IMF nearly 750 million Euros on Tuesday, but the remainder of the debt repayments total nearly 12 billion Euros for the rest of the year. While Athens has authorized its treasury to make the...

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High-speed Silk Road by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)Open in a New Window

Since the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was founded in 2014, there have been many discussions around this multilateral development bank concerning its purposes and functions. Despite the skepticism, AIIB, once launched, will accelerate Asia’s infrastructure development and international trade. This blog will briefly explain the impacts of the high-speed Silk Road, one of such projects that AIIB has announced recently. The Silk Road aims to eliminate the connectivity...

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Continuing Economic Impact of the Ebola VirusOpen in a New Window

The World Health Organization declared the West African nation of Liberia Ebola free on Saturday, after 42 days of no new reported cases. Liberia was one of the three West African nations that took the largest hit from the pandemic, the other two being Guinea and Sierra Leone. Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reporting new cases of the virus, however the number is significantly less than it was at the peak of the pandemic between the months of January and March. While the end may be in sight...

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The UK's Overcast Economic OutlookOpen in a New Window

Currently, the United Kingdom is going through its highest level of political elections, the race for prime minister. The frontrunners are the sitting PM David Cameron and the Labour Party’s Ed Miliband. Cameron, who’s long been known to favor the rock bottom interest rates that the country is currently experiencing, is the only PM in the country's history since the 1950s to hold office without even the slightest fluctuation of the interest rates. However, the anticipation of a...

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An African Resurgence: The Sub-Saharan and East-African RegionsOpen in a New Window

When commodity prices tumbled last year, economists worldwide forecasted a steep decrease in GDP growth for many African countries. For decades, the continent has been worryingly dependent on commodities to power economic growth. So when prices collapsed, economics would also theoretically nosedive. While this was true of some nations, others managed to weather the storm. The dichotomy is most illustrated by the stark differences between the Sub-Saharan and East African regions....

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Economic Impact of Nepal EarthquakeOpen in a New Window

A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Asian mountain nation of Nepal on Saturday, April 25th. The quake caused almost 25,000 casualties including over 7,500 deaths. The earthquake also triggered massive avalanches in the mountains including one on Mount Everest that killed 19 people. In addition to this tragic human trauma, Nepal will be adversely affected by the economic aftershocks of this disaster for years to come. The economic cost of rebuilding after the earthquake...

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Indonesia Fights Weakening CurrencyOpen in a New Window

Since last year, the rupiah has lost 10% of its value against the dollar. This is a serious matter following the Indonesian government, despite the fact that the country is currently welcoming delegations to the World Economic Forum. President Joko Widodo has promised stronger economic growth for the country, and has implemented measures to combat the currency decline. The Indonesian government hopes that by lifting visa fees for tourists and changing tax regulations, the value of the rupiah...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations ContinueOpen in a New Window

There is a large trade agreement under negotiation involving major economies around the Pacific. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will include the major economies of Japan and the United States, while also including the following ten countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These twelve countries account for forty percent of global gross domestic product. It has been noted that China has been left out of this partnership because it...

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Russian Automotive Industry Experiences Big DrawbacksOpen in a New Window

Russia continues to slide towards a recession, as more reports from different industries show contraction. One of the more recent, undesirable stories comes from Russia’s auto industry. In the month of March, Russia’s auto industry faced a slew of indicators that reflect a downturn. A consumer report found that car demand decreased, while two of the world’s largest car manufacturers, General Motors based in the United States and Volkswagen from Germany, announced...

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Japan Looks to Locate Export Market for Bullet-Train SystemOpen in a New Window

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is set to visit the U.S. this week and aims to pitch Japan’s bullet-train system to state representatives in California. Currently, Japanese companies are competing to join three fast-train projects that are under consideration in the United States. The three individual projects would link Los Angeles to San Francisco, New York to Washington, and Dallas to Houston. Abe is hoping to attract an export market for Japan’s advanced bullet-train...

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Russian Travel Sees Steep DeclineOpen in a New Window

Following international sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and a steep drop in oil prices, Russia’s economy has been suffering from the effects of an economic downturn in recent months. One of the major industries affected by the economic crisis has been the Russian tourism industry, which has seen an estimated 35% decline in visitors since the beginning of 2014. Spending by Russian tourists has also declined as the financial crisis has deepened, resulting in a 44% drop in spending during...

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Expanding Worldwide Internet AccessOpen in a New Window

In this day and age, the internet is an integral part of everyday life. Many people are dependent on the internet for both their social and work lives. Put simply, many people could not live without the internet. This being said, over 60% of the world’s population (roughly 4 billion people) do not access the internet in any way, shape, or form on a regular basis. The leading technology companies (Google, Facebook, etc.) recognize that bringing these 4 billion people “out of the...

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Challenges in Australia's Information Communications Technology IndustryOpen in a New Window

Information Communications Technology (ICT) spending in Australia is forecasted to grow to $49,452.6 million by 2016, according to new research from International Data Corporation. While the market is growing exponentially, Australia is currently facing a shortage of skilled workers in its ICT sector. As I dug deeper into the labor force issue, I found that the future outlook for the Australian ICT industry does not seem as positive as the growth forecast indicates. The main challenge for the...

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