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QFINANCE is a unique collaboration of more than 300 of the world’s leading practitioners and visionaries in finance and financial management, covering key aspects of finance including risk and cash-flow management, operations, macro issues, regulation, auditing, and raising capital.

Russia Counting the Cost of Adventure in Ukraine

Date: 19 August 2014

Despite Russian humanitarian efforts, Ukrainian government is convinced the whole thing is a pretext for Putin to send in armed troops to "protect" the humanitarian mission of the convoy - and no one is too sure how things will pan out.

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ECB’s negative rates hammer savers but will it make banks lend?

Date: 16 July 2014

In a recent QFinance blog, Shaun Richards poses the question of whether the adoption of negative interest rates by the European Central Bank(ECB) on money parked with it by banks, would lead to the banks themselves adopting a similar negative interest rate policy on depositoraccounts. It is an interesting point, though from the standpoint of savers, the ECB’s play – even if it is not passed through to savers by their banks - simply emphasizes the plain and obvious fact that this whole accommodative monetary policy with its “lower-for-longer” philosophy, has been hammering the living daylights out of savers.

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New, More Transparent, Contracts To End Africa’s ‘Resource Curse’?

Date: 28 April 2014

Contrary to logic, resource-rich countries in Africa have tend to experience less economic growth in the long run than those deprived of natural riches. To reverse this trend, NGOs have been campaigning for greater transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from oil, gas and mining.

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Can Bitcoin Become The New Global Reserve Currency?

Date: 7 February 2014

The lack of trust in the custodians of fiat money has provided a fertile context for the rise of Bitcoin, the ultimate digital alternative store of value as against mainstream, central bank managed currencies like the US dollar, sterling and the euro.

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Will Turkey Ever Join The EU?

Date: 20 November 2013

The EU – whose most powerful members manifestly do not want to extend EU membership to Turkey – is once again going through the ritual of reconsidering the country's application for membership. There are huge pluses and glaring minuses involved in any future Turkish membership; this dance still has a long way to run, it seems.

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Is The US Responsible For China’s Military Build-Up?

Date: 6 November 2013

The scale of China’s military build-up has raised flags among Western alarmists. Yet the focus of the military spending appears to be oriented more towards defending China's periphery, rather than any expansionist plans. In fact, one common argument is that China’s growing military power is only meant to counter the force of the U.S., which has been increasing its presence in the region.

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How The UK Government ‘Secretly’ Influenced Its Citizens’ Behaviours

Date: 18 September 2013

Can governments influence the decisions and actions of their citizens without the public’s conscious knowledge? Since 2010, the U.K. government has had a taskforce, nicknamed the “Nudge Unit”, which utilises behavioural economics to come up with policies that can "encourage and enable people to make better choices for themselves."

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Can Sovereign Debt Markets Revive Their Safe Haven Status?

Date: 27 August 2013

We used to live in a world where sovereign risk was so low that investors could behave as if that debt was risk-free. In the aftermath of the EU sovereign debt crisis, we have grown accustomed to questioning the old axiom that government bonds in major advanced markets represent a "risk-free" asset class. But what would the global financial system look like if sovereigns fail to restore their credit standing? The consequences could be far reaching.

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US Labour Crisis: Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone?

Date: 19 August 2013

While the United States had added more jobs in recent months than economists had been expecting, several studies suggest that the U.S. labour market has lost at least 3 million well-paid “good jobs” forever. The bulk of new jobs being created is in fact a huge swathe of part-time work which offers no long term security and is generally low paid work – nothing there to fuel a consumer-led recovery.

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EU Steps Up Battle Against Money Laundering

Date: 7 August 2013

The global financial crisis has brought a huge windfall for organised crime networks. Banks have profited handsomely from terrorists and drug lords, channelling billions of dollars through the U.S. financial system, while the European debt crisis has cemented the grip of the mafia on underground economies in peripheral eurozone countries like Italy and Spain. European authorities are now taking action against the staggering web of corruption – but is it too late? 

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Fighting Climate Change – Is The EU Cap-And-Trade Model On Verge Of Failure?

Date: 31 July 2013

Eager to contain the spike in CO2 emissions, the European Union in 2005 launched an emissions trading scheme which has since been copied by a number of countries, including Australia, South Korea and some Chinese provinces. However, the global financial crisis and subsequent fall in demand and economic activity has caused the price of carbon to plunge to just five euros a tonne, effectively crippling the legitimacy of the world’s largest carbon trading market. 

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Will The Portuguese Finally Lose Patience And Demand A Euro Exit?

Date: 22 July 2013

A painful austerity drive under Portugal’s 78 billion euro EU-IMF bailout has pushed the country into its worst recession since the 1970s, where unemployment has risen to 18 percent of the total working population. Several analysts have suggested that the country is headed for a second bailout in 2014, but how much more will the Portuguese tolerate before they demand a euro exit?

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Can Latin America Seize Its “Golden Decade”?

Date: 11 July 2013

Since 2003, Latin America has experienced a period of resurgence, with strong growth, low inflation and improved social policy outcomes. Cheap and abundant foreign financing and strong demand for the region's commodities, particularly from China, have been extremely positive for the region. But all that could change as advanced economies return to health and capital flows back to the West. 

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China vs. India: Who Will Win The Race To Be More Financially Open?

Date: 5 July 2013

Since the 2008 financial crisis, both China and India have taken steps to become more financially open. But while the Indian economy appears to be ahead at present, policy continues to segment onshore and offshore markets in both economies and policymakers face challenges in further financial integration.

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Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price? – Part 2

Date: 21 June 2013

When the price of gold crashed in April, some analysts were quick to point out that the gold market may well be manipulated by large banks. However, the fact that authorities are turning a blind eye to the alleged manipulation of gold suggests that higher powers may actually have a hand in the rigging. 

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Who Are The Ones Manipulating The Gold Price?

Date: 20 June 2013

Gold has been touted a safe store of wealth, particularly when there are serious risks to global financial markets. However, gold suffers from wild price gyrations when the markets become too disruptive, and data suggests that gold prices are regularly manipulated for the benefit of large banks and to the detriment of any retail investor trying to protect their wealth by investing in gold. 

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Resurgent Russia: An Economy in Transition, Dysfunctional but Intact

Date: 7 June 2013

Russia has no shortage of talent, technology or resources. The country’s top managers and functionaries are well accustomed to navigating their way through political and bureaucratic storms, and the sheer size of the country and natural endowments of oil and gas cement Moscow’s position in economic and diplomatic spheres. So why is their economy in such a state of dysfunction? 

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Europe’s Oil Price-Fixing Scandal: The Next Libor?

Date: 23 May 2013

The European Commission's probe of alleged manipulation of crude oil benchmark prices has now gone beyond just the major oil companies to include even energy trading firms and price-reporting agencies. Following the Libor scandal last year, the markets really did not need yet another trillion-dollar scandal.

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