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Why It Is Almost Impossible To Stop Currency Rigging

Date: 11 February 2014

Authorities in New York have announced they are launching an investigation into the manipulation of the world’s biggest financial market – the US$5.3 trillion a day traded in currencies. But suspending traders or cracking down on technology is likely to do very little. The real root of the problem is the design of the market.

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Can The MINTs Outgrow The BRICS?

Date: 4 February 2014

Over the past decade the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have dominated emerging market investments, but their growth is slowing. Investors have now turned their eyes to another group, the MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey). The opportunities presented by the MINTs are clear, but so are the challenges.

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How Twitter Can Incite Financial Panic

Date: 24 January 2014

Social media has become an ever-present element of modern life. Financial markets can be affected too: A fake tweet last year (about an attack at the White House) caused nearly $200 billion to be wiped off the NASDAQ before eventually recovering. How did a simple tweet, which can be made up by anyone, become so powerful?

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The Next Banking Crisis: An IT Meltdown?

Date: 15 January 2014

Many senior banking executives today still view IT as a superfluous cost. As such, a number of banks still use technology that date back decades, with minor upgrades and maintenance over the years. The IT systems that hold up our every financial move are a disaster waiting to happen.

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Why A China-Japan Conflict Will Cause A Global Economic Catastrophe

Date: 9 January 2014

Although a war is unlikely to break out anytime soon, the escalation of hostilities between the world’s second and third largest economies is concerning. According to Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies, under the wrost scenario, conflict would lead to a global recession lasting between 18 months and four years, and tens of trillions of dollars of global output will be lost.

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Why South Africa Is Cancelling Foreign Investment Deals

Date: 2 January 2014

Over the past few months, South Africa’s government has cancelled foreign investment treaties with Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands. The reasoning behind this tells us much about modern patterns of trade and development. As the nation looks to move on from the loss of Nelson Mandela, these moves to regain control over foreign investment will prove valuable.

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How The EU Can Fix Its Failed Banks

Date: 24 December 2013

The worst of the crisis may appear to be over, but the Eurozone still contains undercapitalised banks with massive losses still on their books. This must be resolved, fast. A new restructuring agency for Europe’s banks is the best solution.

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Did The WTO Deal Really Deliver?

Date: 10 December 2013

 Amid concern that last week's trade talks would end in failure and render the World Trade Organisation obsolete, member countries finally reached a global trade reform deal Saturday – the first in the WTO’s 18-year history. But while there was a lot of back patting, what the group actually accomplished is up for debate.

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Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Deal Will Rebalance The Middle East

Date: 27 November 2013

The nuclear weapons deal between Tehran and Western powers have implications not just for Iran, but the entire region as a whole. The key challenge now is for those involved in the Iran nuclear deal to turn it into something that is both sustainable in the long term and not perceived as threatening to the likes of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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Can Islamic Banking Turn Malaysia Into A Global Financial Superpower?

Date: 14 November 2013

Malaysia’s government has recently announced plans to turn its capital Kuala Lumpur into a major financial centre – rivalling the likes of London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. If Malaysia is to join the top flight of international financial centres, it must leverage its status as an established Islamic finance hub. And it must address the challenges associated with the supply of high quality human capital.

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Slovenia’s Downfall And Why It Matters For Europe

Date: 8 November 2013

The eurozone crisis appears to have a new victim: Slovenia. To avoid the need for a bailout, the IMF has called on the country to immediately recapitalise its banks. This should worry the rest of Europe as, unlike some of the other countries that have received bailouts, Slovenia was no economic basket-case. Until very recently it was considered a success story, the most prosperous and stable of the continent’s post-socialist nations. So how has it come to this?

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Can Islamic Finance Fix The Current Financial System?

Date: 31 October 2013

The Islamic finance sector is now worth close to $1.8 trillion. Not surprisingly, it is garnering the world’s attention. And despite the challenge Islamic banks will face once it begins challenging the much larger conventional players, their emphasis on financial stability can only help improve market conditions.

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Can Neuroscience Help Us Understand Financial Bubbles?

Date: 25 October 2013

Five years on from Lehman Brothers' collapse and “where did it all go wrong?” analysis is all the rage. Answers have varied: poor regulation, malicious bankers, dozy politicians, greedy homeowners, and so on. But what if the answer was in our minds? New research published in the journal Neuron suggests that market bubbles are in fact driven by a biological impulse to try to predict how others behave.

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Obama: Already A Lame-Duck President?

Date: 8 October 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama first shot to global prominence in 2004 as a uniter, not a divider. But while most of the blame for Washington’s gross dysfunction will probably lie at the feet of the Republican right, that hates Obama with a rare passion, the Obama presidency may well soon be over – at least in terms of his ability to move the policy dial at home and abroad.

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Indonesia Sets A Carbon Time-Bomb

Date: 26 September 2013

Once a significant global carbon sink, Indonesia’s tropical peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, as a result of slash-and-burn techniques to clear land for oil, palm and paper plantations. And while the government has fought hard to address the problems of peatland loss, corruption and lack of enforcement has seen deforestation and carbon emissions continue to rise.

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