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The Implications of Negative Interest RatesOpen in a New Window

The Bank of Japan reduced interest rates to below zero on Friday, after years of keeping them in the positive range. The negative interest rates will be placed initially on reserves valued at 10-30 trillion yen and will apply only to new reserves that financial institutions deposit at the central bank. The goal is that the reduction would cause the real interest rates to decrease, thus stimulating consumption and investment. This policy will decrease rates for lending and isn’t...

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Worldwide Art Sales Projected to FallOpen in a New Window

Art sales reached an incredible peak over the past few years. Billionaires and other wealthy art enthusiasts around the world have taken joy in paying exorbitant prices for pieces by both well-known and up-and-coming artists. Many of these pieces are fed into personal collections, some of which are put on display. The art collecting habit, popular among the global affluent, has driven prices of popular art to the hundreds of millions. Big name international...

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Auto Maker Giant Has Record Year in 2015Open in a New Window

Auto maker giant, General Motors, recently announced its fourth quarter earnings. After a record year, GM reported net income of $6.3 billion in the last quarter of 2015. This was caused by consumers buying less gas efficient models, as gas in United States has continued to stay very low at around $2 a gallon. Sales in North America rose 8.6% in the final quarter and 14% in China. This could have a great impact heading into 2016, where consumers were initially...

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Africa's Largest Economy Seeks Loans to Finance Budget DeficitOpen in a New Window

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is seeking loans from the World Bank and African Development Bank (ADB) to help fund its forecasted budget deficit. Historically, Nigeria’s budget has been financed primarily with oil revenues, but the recent plummet in oil prices has slashed the amount of funding produced by this sector. Nigeria is not alone in this situation, as other nations such as Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Algeria, and Iraq are also in dire economic straights due...

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Freedom for Cataluña? The Economic Fallout of a Possible SecessionOpen in a New Window

After a tedious war that took a toll on its people, Chechnya remained under the control of Russia following its annexation. After a very close outcome on the 2012 referendum, Scotland remained a loyal entity of the Queen’s monarchy. While both attempts of secession were predictably unsuccessful, it seems Spain’s biggest problem isn’t going to be a gruesome war or rioting masses in the streets. If Cataluña is successful in efforts of secession from Spain, it’ll be...

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Economic Impacts of the Zika VirusOpen in a New Window

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene in an emergency committee in Geneva, Switzerland this Monday, January 31. The topic of this emergency meeting will be the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is spreading “explosively” across Latin America. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, addressed the executive board stating that “The level of alarm is extremely high…Questions abound. We need to get some answers quickly.”  The Zika virus itself is not...

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World Bank Projects Global Commodity Prices to FallOpen in a New Window

The World Bank, an international lender to many developing nations, recently released its quarterly Commodity Markets Outlook. In the report, that includes projections for the rest of 2016, the agency lowered its forecasts for most global commodities. The bank warns that an oversupply of commodities, which caused prices to fall in 2015, will continue into and throughout 2016. The previous projected price of crude oil for 2016 was $51 a barrel, but has since been cut down to $37 in the World...

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New Corruption Perceptions Index ReleasedOpen in a New Window

Over 68% of countries have serious issues with corruption, including half of the G20. More than 5.5 billion people live in a country with major levels of corruption. These are the findings of by Transparency International, in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2015, which was released this week. The data on globalEDGE has been updated to reflect the recent release, and is available to view in the country pages, along with our Database of International Business Statistics (DIBS)....

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Working World Changes in 2016Open in a New Window

Is work the same now, in 2016, as it was back in 2015? For the most part yes, but there are some changes to work that have already happened in 2016 and some that are still bound to occur. It is the freelance work world that is setting the trends for how work will continue to change during 2016. Some of the workplace trends that are expected to have the farthest-reaching effects in 2016 include: remote-first businesses, independent consultants, shift in media, work-life balance, leadership...

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Hidden Interest? Islam and FinanceOpen in a New Window

Islamic finance presents an interesting contradiction between religion and modern economics. The world of finance is in large part built on the premise of interest. The debt market now dwarfs the equity (stock) market, and a majority of debt products inherently carry some form of interest. The world of Islam, however, strictly forbids usury, or the practice of charging interest. Islam is also the world’s second largest religion with over a billion adherents, which makes it impossible for...

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Record Capital Outflows from Emerging MarketsOpen in a New Window

Last year, $735 billion flowed out of emerging markets, Compared to $111 billion in 2014, this situation has not occurred since the late 1980’s and could be bad news for emerging markets. With all of this capital flowing out of emerging markets, this means that the money is being used to buy assets elsewhere. Unfortunately, since emerging markets are still building up their roads, infrastructure, factories, and technology to improve their own economies, they are extremely reliant on...

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International Education ChallengesOpen in a New Window

It is no surprise that education is one of the biggest determining factors of an economy’s success and growth, which is why in fall of 2015, some 20.2 million students were expected to attend an American college or university. Since 2009, there has been an increase of over 4.9 million college attendees. However, education is not nearly as accessible in other parts of the world as it is in the United States, and it is restricting potential growth. India is home to one of the largest...

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gE Blog Series: Global Mining Industry Part 4: Investment in Latin American MiningOpen in a New Window

A new study conducted by the international law firm Denton in association with the Mining and Investment in Latin America 2015 conference found that many companies, despite current conditions, have remained optimistic. The survey, which was carried out among mining companies and financiers who are active in Mexico, Central and South America indicated that 66% of those interviewed are somewhat optimistic that there will be an increase in investment over the next 12 month. The mining industry is...

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gE Blog Series: Global Mining Industry Part 3 - China's International Investment in MiningOpen in a New Window

China's recent economic activity has set the entire world on edge. In 2015, the country reported a growth rate of 6.9%, its lowest in a quarter century. This has been reflected in the state of the country's major industries, especially in automotives and mining. China is still one of the world's superior mining nations, but several problems have erupted as growth continues to slip. Natural resources are depleting, top minerals and...

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What the potential "Brexit" means for Ireland and the Global EconomyOpen in a New Window

The United Kingdom is slated to have a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether it is to remain a member of the European Union or leave, however negotiations are underway by the Conservative government to see if a new agreement can be reached. The United Kingdom can risk facing major repercussions both domestically and internationally if they were to leave. Internally, it can raise the risk of political instability both within the Conservative party and the viability of the political union...

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A Deeper Look at Europe’s Dark Horse CurrencyOpen in a New Window

Swiss financial affairs have long been a thing of mystery and wonder. Aside from the general disdain expressed by foreign governments toward Switzerland’s public and private banking institutions, the Swiss franc is not a coin that lends itself to be easily shortchanged. Swiss bank accounts have had fame and notoriety in the past for stark confidentiality agreements as well as attractive investment management options which allowed for a growing number of Swiss bank accounts to be opened by...

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gE Blog Series: Global Mining Industry Part 2 - African Mining CrisisOpen in a New Window

“We are the basket which holds all the proverbial eggs.” This quote by the Zambian Chamber of Mines President about their national mining industry can be extrapolated to more widely represent the economy of Africa. Many African nations are heavily reliant, if not entirely dependent, on the mining industry to drive economic growth. However, due to a multitude of causes, the once booming mining industry that once drove national annual growth rates into double digits is now...

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gE Blog Series: Global Mining Industry Part 1 - Industry OutlookOpen in a New Window

It is no secret that the mining and metals industry is mired in a multi-year slump. Unfortunately, it looks as if this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. One major reason for this negative outlook is slowing economic growth in emerging markets, particularly in China. This issue has proven problematic for the industry, as it has caused investors and lenders to flee the sector, which has in turn created a shortage of financing. However, there is cause for optimism, as most industry...

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North Korea Faces Economic Sanctions After Nuclear TestOpen in a New Window

On Tuesday, The U.S. House of Representatives voted almost unanimously to pass legislation that would broaden sanctions on North Korea. This bill comes after North Korea announced last Wednesday that they had successfully completed a hydrogen bomb nuclear test. The bill proposes stronger sanctions that would deny North Korea the money that it needs for developing nuclear warheads, long-range missiles, and for paying its army and police forces. It will also use financial and...

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Dispatches from Abroad: Optimism and Growth in the PhilippinesOpen in a New Window

Manila is a relatively short plane ride from Singapore, but a world apart. In Singapore, as I reported last week, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the topic of the minute (even if some officials admit it’s “a lot of hope and not a whole lot of change, yet.”) In the Philippines, on the other hand, one high ranking government official estimated awareness of ASEAN at about seven percent in the general population and roughly 30 percent among businesses. He could not site any...

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