Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Problems In Japan's Economy For Three Decades Throw Shade On Trump Plans

Economic growth comes down to labor productivity

President Trump's economic team paints a rosier picture about what his policies could accomplish than the economics profession is willing to endorse. His team is formulating budget and tax proposals that project 3 percent annual growth, while the number crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office estimate about 2 percent. How fast the economy can grow comes…

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Indian Response To China Push In Naval Theater

Israel to provide India with missile defense systems

Israel announced Sunday it had reached a deal worth $630 million to provide India's navy with missile defense systems, AFP reports. The new contract will see state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) supply LRSAM air and missile defense systems for four Indian naval ships, a statement from the company said. IAI said the contract will be carried…

China's Banks Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Big banks' profitability on the mend

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Photo/VCG] The profitability prospects of China's big banks have improved in the first quarter of this year after the country's economy picked up steam during the period while smaller banks will see greater capital and liquidity pressure amid tightened regulation, analysts said. Industrial and…

Alternative Currencies Becoming Company Favorites

Why Startups Are Raising Cryptocurrency

One of the hottest trends among high-tech startups is using cryptocurrency to fundraise, a process called initial coin offerings. Forbes reported ICOs are “raising money at astonishing speed — amassing about $440 million over two years, mostly for developers of early-stage projects.” Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper told Reuters he is joining the ICO of a…

Blockchain On Fire!

Growth Of Ethereum Foreshadows Blockchain Gold Rush

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced Monday more than 86 companies joined its network of blockchain innovators, including the National Bank of Canada, Samsung SDS and the San Francisco Stock Exchange. The EEA is the leading corporate gateway into the world of blockchain. Its founding members include Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Intel and Wipro, just to name a…

Low Oil Prices And Optimizing The Bottom Line For Big Oil

The cancer in the bones of the oil industry.

Almost everyone is happy when oil prices fall and consumers save money at the pump. However, there is a difficulty with oil prices falling too far too fast which is almost never brought up. Everything that has a beginning has an end, and this includes the oil industry. There will come a day when the world’s…

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Slap Heard Around The World

Melania Trump Rejects Donald Trump's Hand-holding

Perhaps Air Force One encountered some turbulence that shook Melania Trump to her core. Or, maybe she noticed a large fly on President Donald Trump's hand after deplaning at an Israeli airport. Either way, the first lady wasn’t having it when Trump reached out his hand to hold hers Monday during their first international trip since…

Friday, May 19, 2017

Advances In U.S. Natural Gas Reach And The Bypass Of Russian Market

Natural Gas, LNG Exports And Benefits To The U.S.

The export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues to yield economic and other benefits locally, regionally and to our country as a whole. Two recent news items illustrate – a report detailing the boost LNG exports is giving the Texas economy, and an agreement by Poland to buy American LNG, further expanding opportunities for a…

Farming v2.0 In New Jersey

Camden will house the world's largest indoor farm, thanks to state tax breaks

CAMDEN -- The world's largest indoor farm is expected to open its doors in Camden next year, thanks to a tax break from the state. Aerofarms LLC, a Newark-headquartered company that builds sustainable, efficient farms around the globe, plans to open its 10th facility, a 78,000-square-foot vertical farm, at 1535 Broadway in Camden. The addition comes…

Colonialism v2.0: Advance And Victory For China In Africa

Chinese Company Investing in Ethiopia's Eastern Industry Zone

One of the best examples of Chinese investment in manufacturing in the African continent can be found in Ethiopia's Eastern Industry Zone, according to CGTN. The zone lies just outside the country's capital Addis Ababa, and has become a place for manufacturing excellence and a platform for developing and transferring skills. Since its inception seven years…

Blockchain Adoption Continues To Gain Acceptance

Chile's Biggest Stock Exchange Adopts IBM Blockchain Tech

International Business Machines announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Santiago Stock Exchange, Chile’s largest stock exchange, to implement Latin America’s first blockchain stock exchange solution. “In our understanding, t will be the first to implement securities lending blockchain technology anywhere in the world," IBM Chile General Manager Francisco Thiermann told International Business Times. Thiermann said…

Sanction To Have A Polarizing Effect On Iranian Elections

US Sanctions Iranians, Chinese Network Over Ballistic Missile Program

The United States Treasury says it has designated seven targets in connection with Iran's ballistic missile program, including a defense official who facilitated the sale of explosives and provided other support to Syria. The Office of Foreign Assets Control said Wednesday that another of the seven targets is the director of the organization responsible for Iran's…

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Curious Development In China's Energy Independence

China successfully tests marine natural gas hydrates

China's attempt to test marine natural gas hydrates, a future energy source, has turned out to be a success, making it the first country to secure continuous and stable gas supply in marine gas hydrate exploitation, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources. The pilot production was carried out in the Shenhu Area of Northern…

3-D Printing Continues To Advance In Leaps And Bounds

Scientists Use 3-D Printer To Make Babies Now

3-D printers have been used to make fashionable clothes for the runway, pizza, and even prosthetic limbs. Now, the 3-D printer could be used as a potential infertility treatment. Scientists successfully replaced a female mouse’s ovary with a printed one, allowing the animal to ovulate as normal, and give birth to healthy pups who behaved just…

Turkey's Ongoing Shift Towards Russian Sphere

Tensions Persist After Erdogan-Trump Meeting

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to put a positive spin on his Washington encounter with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, calling it a "new awakening" in bilateral relations. But behind joint commitments "to work together in the war against terrorism," reaction has been cool in Turkey, with a recognition that the much-heralded "pivotal" encounter…

Narrowing Election In Iran And The Survival Of The Reform Movement

Iran's battleground: Supreme Leader vs the President

Although the incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, still has a strong lead in Iran's presidential elections, the latest opinion polls reveal that his main rival, Ebrahim Raisi, is narrowing the gap. Raisi, the preferred candidate of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is a former member of Iran's judiciary. He also is the guardian of the shrine of…

Military And Naval Exercises In The Shadow Of An Asian Tiger

In Sign of Closer Sino-Philippine Ties, US Naval Exercises Skip a Disputed Sea

Annual exercises held by the Philippine and U.S. navies are skipping the South China Sea this year as the Southeast Asian nation’s leader takes another step toward a stronger political and economic relationship with China, the sea’s most ambitious claimant. The “Balikatan” military exercises May 8-19 include a disaster drill off Aurora province on the Pacific…

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Colonialism v2.0: Japan Enters Strategic Agreement With Rwanda

'Smart Rwanda' Initiative Gets a Boost From Japan International Cooperation Agency

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged more support to Rwanda's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector as the country moves toward a digital economy. According to Toda Takao, JICA's vice president in charge of human security and global health, the aim is to offer Rwanda full-scale technical support to implement Smart Rwanda master plan.…

Post Brexit France Seems To Be Scooping The Prize

French private sector employment increases

It comes too late for outgoing president Francois Hollande, but France’s economy is adding jobs – 49,400 in the first three months of the year. It was the seventh straight quarter of net new job creation in the private sector and pushed up the size of the labour force in metropolitan France to 16.23 million –…

China Embracing Money v2.0

China May Be Ditching Paper Money

Bitcoin is booming in Asian markets and mobile transactions are increasingly popular in industries where cash used to be king, like shopping abroad. The Chinese mobile payment platform Alipay announced this week its tap-and-go system soon will be compatible for shopping at more than 4 million American stores, strategically marketing to Chinese students and tourists in…