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Independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community.

South Africa's Capitec Beats the Odds

Date: 23 May 2016

The South African retail banking sector is characterised by high barriers to entry. The sector is concentrated, with four of the largest banks – Standard BankAbsaFirst National Bank and Nedbank – accounting for more than 80% of retail deposits. Some of the small players have been operating for some decades – Grindrod since 1994 and uBank since 1975 – but their deposits have not grown significantly. Few banks have successfully entered the banking sector since the establishment of Absa 25 years ago.

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Africa's Looming Debt Crisis

Date: 19 May 2016

The 2008 economic crisis is the single largest factor that has driven developing countries to seek alternative sources of financing for social and developmental infrastructure. This was a result of the drying up of bilateral loans and grants from European and American countries.

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Putting Outsourcing in Reverse Strips a Gear

Date: 19 May 2016

One of the big themes in the current presidential race is how decades of free trade have dealt a heavy blow to the American worker as millions of jobs were shipped overseas to take advantage of cheap labor.

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The 'Glass Half Full' Part of New Overtime Rules

Date: 19 May 2016

The Obama Administration issued new rules this week that will allow millions more Americans to qualify for overtime pay.  The Labor Department regulation, which will take effect in December, will double the annual threshold that helps determine who qualifies for overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

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Can Company Tax Cuts Really Benefit Australians?

Date: 18 May 2016

A long-term plan to cut the company tax rate from 30% to 25% is the centrepiece of the Coalition’s economic plan for jobs and growth. The Coalition maintains the change will boost GDP by more than 1% in the long-term, at a budgetary cost of $48.2 billion over the next 10 years.

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Would You Pay Up for Something that Will Last Longer?

Date: 18 May 2016

From fashion to food and electronics, many industries are facing a backlash against cheaply made products that do not last. Sick of printers that break within two years, or suitcases that fall apart the second time you use them, there is a growing appetite for long-life guarantees – from the promise of the 30-year jumper to the rise of shopping sites dedicated to products that last a lifetime.

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Check with your BFF when Looking for Work...or Not

Date: 17 May 2016

Many people claim to have a broad social circle, but we are all more likely to consider only a handful of people as our “close” friends. These are the ones we turn to when we want advice or company. More importantly though, friends like these can give empathy and support at a time of need.

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Take Me to Your (Intelligent) Leader

Date: 17 May 2016

The world today is characterised by increasing variety, interdependency and connectivity, complexity, change, ambiguity, seamlessness and sustainability. There’s no doubt that more intelligent leaders are needed to deal with these emerging challenges and demands.

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Africa (not exactly) Rising

Date: 17 May 2016

Self-congratulatory rhetoric keeps springing from the lips of World Economic Forum elites – at the expense of reality.  Software executive Brett Parker claims “Africa will probably remain natural resources-driven for the next two decades at least.” African Leadership University’s Fred Swaniker says, “the Africa Rising narrative presents the most compelling argument for the continent’s prosperity.”

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