If the United States wants to protect democracy and public health, it must acknowledge that internet platforms are causing great harm and accept that executives like Mark Zuckerberg are not sincere in their promises to do better. The “solutions” Facebook and others have proposed will not work. They are meant to distract us.
The news in the last weeks highlighted both the good and bad of platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
At least two state-owned banks, Sberbank (SBER.MM) and VEB, plan to lend oil firms some 400 billion roubles ($6 billion) at effectively almost zero interest rates to drill about 3,000 unfinished wells, officials involved in the scheme told Reuters.
Once oil prices recover, the wells can be finished off faster than starting from scratch so Russia can get its output back to levels reached before it agreed along with other leading producers to cut supply because of the fallout from COVID-19.
U.S. shale producers tend to drill but not complete wells when oil prices are low, rather than freezing all activity, so they can finish off the wells and quickly boost production when demand picks up.
The payments company filed for insolvency at a Munich court saying that, with 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) of loans due within a week its survival as a going concern was “not assured”.
Wirecard’s implosion came just seven days after EY, its auditor for more than a decade, refused to sign off on the 2019 accounts, forcing out Chief Executive Markus Braun and leading it to admit that $2.1 billion of its cash probably didn’t exist.
“There are clear indications that this was an elaborate and sophisticated fraud involving multiple parties around the world,” EY said in a statement.
Covid-19 certainly caused its fair share of problems. Other restaurants including Le Pain Quotidien have gone belly-up. But Chuck E. Cheese, which has the addictive wooden ball-rolling game skee-ball, is better known for hosting children’s parties than its pizza – and those can’t switch to take-out in pandemic lockdowns.
Still earlier this year, another blank-check deal to buy restaurant chain TGI Fridays’ parent company was terminated. That’s before these special-purpose acquisition vehicles were going gangbusters. CEC’s indigestion is a good reminder that exuberant investors can’t improve lousy tasting deals. (By Lauren Silva Laughlin)
The Trump administration has determined that top Chinese firms, including telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies and video surveillance company Hikvision (002415.SZ), are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, laying the groundwork for new U.S. financial sanctions.
The DOD document also includes China Mobile Communications Group (0941.HK) and China Telecommunications Corp [CTTTC.UL] as well as aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China [SASADY.UL].
The designations were drawn up by the Defense Department, which was mandated by a 1999 law to compile a list of Chinese military companies operating in the United States, including those “owned or controlled” by the People’s Liberation Army that provide commercial services, manufacture, produce or export.
In the advanced economies, powerful central banks have been able to keep markets stable and allow all the G-10 countries—reserve currency issuers or not—to borrow the funds needed to keep their economies afloat at very low interest rates.
But for emerging economies it has been more of a struggle.
The withdrawal of foreign financing from emerging economies in March was by some measures sharper than the withdrawal during the global financial crisis. The swing in portfolio flows (investment in local bonds and equities) was certainly bigger. The swing in bank flows looks to be smaller. But there is no question that there has been an enormous withdrawal of foreign private financing from emerging markets just as borrowing needs have shot up. That shows up cleanly in the fall in the reserves of many emerging markets in March and April.
I departed on a Sunday morning in May from Okinawa’s Tomari Port (see sidebar), which was crowded with tourists of different nationalities. I could hear them speaking English, Chinese, French, Korean, and Japanese. Some held snorkeling gear, while others had underwater cameras in hand.
And, although they may have spoken different languages, they all had the same thing in mind: crystal-clear blue waters around the Kerama Islands.
In mafia circles all around Europe, the big news these days is that the EU has gone mad. It is going to disburse, in addition to the usual funds the mafia is familiar with, an additional €750 billion to member states.
Syphoning off EU funds is already a national sport in many countries. And it’s so easy. You can cheat Brussels in so many ways. Take agricultural subsidies, for example.
Homelessness is increasing across the EU. It’s time for the Commission and governments to turn the tide, write Nicolas Schmit, Ana Mendes Godinho and Yves Leterme.
Homelessness is on the rise in the European Union with numbers increasing consistently in 24 Member States over the past decade. Studies reveal that at least 700,000 people are homeless on any given night in the EU, 70% more than a decade ago. Something has gone drastically wrong.
COVID-19 has demonstrated beyond all possible doubt how essential a decent home is to health and well-being; and how vulnerable homelessness makes both individuals and societies. But homelessness is often seen as an unfortunate ’fact of life’.
This implicitly means accepting that every single night, in the second largest economy in the world, men, women, and children sleep on the streets, in cars, tents or emergency accommodation. It means accepting the dire consequences for their health, well-being, and inclusion in society. But there is nothing acceptable about homelessness. It is a profound assault on dignity, belonging, and life itself.
It is fundamentally irreconcilable with the EU’s objectives of social progress and is impossible to square with any vision for Europe’s social model.