Inequality Crisis Is Far Bigger Than We Had Feared

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Oxfam highlights world inequality ahead of WEF Davos summit.

The eight richest businessmen own as much as half the world’s population, 3.6 billion people, according to the Oxfam Inequality is “more shocking than ever before” the aid group said.  In its Report, Oxfam called for an overhaul of what it described as a “warped” economy which allowed eight billionaires to own as much wealth as half of the world’s population, or 3.6 billion people.

The report was published on Monday, a day ahead of the start of the World Economic Forum WEF for the world’s politicians and business leaders in the ski resort of Davos in the Swiss Alps.

But how big the inequality gap is it? Check it by the numbers:

  1. Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. None of them has earned his fortune through talent or hard work, but by inheritance or accumulation through industries which are prone to corruption and cronyism.
  2. Seven out of 10 people live in a country that has seen a rise in inequality in the last 30 years.
  3. The richest are accumulating wealth at such an astonishing rate that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years. So, you would need to spend $1 million every day for 2738 years to spend $1 trillion.
  4. Extreme inequality across the globe is having a tremendous impact on women’s lives. Employed women, who face high levels of discrimination in the work place, and take on a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work often find themselves at the bottom of the pile. On current trends, it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men.
  5. Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year. This is enough money to provide an education for the 124 million children who aren’t in school and prevent the deaths of at least six million children thanks to health care services.

    Waldemar Mandzel
    www.w-t-w.org/en/waldemar-mandzel
    www.w-mandzel.de

Global Risks Report 2017

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The Global Risks Report 2017 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 30 prevalent global risks as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them over a 10-year timeframe.

2016 saw a crystallization of political risks that have led to the election of populist leaders, a loss of faith in institutions and increased strain on international cooperation. We should not be surprised by this: for the past decade, the Global Risks Report has been drawing attention to persistent economic, social and political factors that have been shaping our risks landscape. 

This year’s report will examine the five greatest priorities facing the world in 2017, their interconnections and the actions necessary to avoid their harshest fall-out. weforum
The Global Risks Report 2017

Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs To Watch In 2017

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The List of Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 highlights CEOs from medtech, edtech, spacetech, VR and fashion technology.

Every year, female entrepreneurs take their ideas and change the world around us and 2017 is going to be no different. CIO’s Top 20 list of female entrepreneurs to watch in 2017 employs thousands of workers and collectively have raised tens of millions of dollars for their companies. After the jump: CIO’s list of 20 female entrepreneurs you’ll want to watch in 2017:

1. Julia Taylor Cheek

Julia Taylor Cheek isn’t new to business but the Harvard Business grad’s new company is literally changing the way we live. Cheek’s company, EverlyWell (of which she is both co-founder and CEO) is simplifying health testing and putting it into words and charts that everybody can understand.

2. Esosa Ighodaro

Embracing the selfie movement, Esosa Ighodaro’s simple yet creative app COSIGN allows people to tag product information in their picture. This helps online shoppers cut corners while looking for the style they want, giving them almost immediate access to clothing, accessories, products and more.

3. Amanda Signorelli

If you haven’t heard of Techweek yet, you’re bound to at some point in 2017. Amanda Signorelli, CEO of Techweek, is building tech-based entrepreneurial communities in major cities across North America, helping local business break through.

4. Danielle Morrill
…….CIO.com

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Dimensions of Women’s Autonomy and Family Influence

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Financial empowerment makes women more concerned about their participation in decision making A total of 1,387 working women from Mumbai were interviewed to analyse aspects like control over finance, household decisions and freedom of movement.

Zeeshan Shaikh reports: Women’s participation in the decision making process and their autonomy are equally important components of women empowerment, along with access to resources. A study was published in the International Journal of Science and Research to analyse the decision making powers of working women within the family.

Women claim more autonomy on husband’s income in joint families. The reason for this could be that other family members, such as in-laws, too stake claim to this income in joint families. On the other hand, women in nuclear families do not have this fear.
Financial Empowerment WomenDimensions-of Womens Autonomy and Family Influence

Rex Tillerson directed Offshore Company used in Russia Deals

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The ExxonMobil chief nominated by Donald Trump to be Secretary of State was a director of an offshore company that had close dealings with Russia.

Tillerson was appointed in 1998 as a director of Exxon Neftegas, an ExxonMobil subsidiary involved in oil and gas operations in Russia, according to leaked documents from the Bahamas corporate registry received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ.
Publicintegrity.org/Tillerson directed Offshore Company used Russia-Deals
Offshore Leaks Database

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IMF Supports Christine Lagarde

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Refusing to bow to a French court decision which was clearly politically motivated, the IMF directors supported Ms. Lagarde’s continuing leadership of the fund.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was removed for transgressions that occurred while he was running the IMF.  If Ms. Lagarde was in fact guilty, events took place while she was still in the administration of Nicolas Sarkosy.

Since she has taken charge of the IMF, Ms. Lagarde has worked tirelessly on behalf of women and tried to bring attention to growing inequality in the world. Her work on behalf of these two critical issues and many others surely suggests that she is a good leader for the IMF.

Lagarde

Will Christine Lagarde have to resign?

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde found guilty of ‘negligence’ over huge payout to business tycoon – but escapes jail.

What was Christine Lagarde accused of?
The 60-year-old former corporate lawyer was accused of wrongdoing on two counts: agreeing to the arbitration and failing to challenge the subsequent €404 million (£340 million) award.

In its verdict, the court of three professional magistrates, six senators and six MPs, found no fault in Ms Lagarde’s decision to launch the arbitration procedure. But it found her guilty of “negligence” in choosing not to appeal the arbitration panel’s ruling.
Telegraph
Statement on Legal Proceedings in France Relating to the Managing Director

Kjell Nilsson-Mäki http://hem.bredband.net/makiteckningar/Makibilder/Webbplats/Valkommen.html

Kjell Nilsson-Mäki
http://hem.bredband.net/makiteckningar/Makibilder/Webbplats/Valkommen.html

 

Trump and Infrastructure

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The President-elect has made infrastructure repair a key item on his agenda for the first hundred days.  Democrats and Republicans both recognize the necessity for repairing infrastructure. For years there has been agreement.  And nothing has happened.

In the US, a small bill was passed recently in which the US Federal Reserve undertook the financing.  Most people agree that the Federal Reserve is not the institution to look to for money.  They have come to be the dollar of the last resort.

So where else can financing come from.  Trump has suggested private-public partnerships in which tax incentives bring private money to project.  In some cases this may work.  But there are some projects, like buses and bus routes in poorer cities, that are never going to make money and nonetheless need repair. Private companies are not going to be attracted to these kinds of projects.

The good news is that Senator Charles Schumer of New York and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg want to see infrastructure repair go forward and have agreed to help figure out how to make this possible.

Infrastructure

Why the Clintons’ Embrace of the Davos Class Failed

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Journalist Naomi Klein interprets the American election.  The result reflects citzens’ rejection of neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate.

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatization, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.

For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.

Donald Trump speaks directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and anger at remote economic bureaucracies – whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organization or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of color, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People like Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.

Trump’s message was: “All is hell.” Clinton answered: “All is well.” But it’s not well – far from it.

A good chunk of Trump’s support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionized jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of color, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.

It could fashion policies that fight institutionalized racism, economic inequality and climate change at the same time. It could take on bad trade deals and police violence, and honor indigenous people as the original protectors of the land, water and air.

Such a coalition is possible. Canada leads the way. This is the task ahead. The Democratic party needs to be either decisively wrested from pro-corporate neoliberals, or it needs to be abandoned. From Elizabeth Warren to Nina Turner, to the Occupy alumni who took the Bernie campaign supernova, there is a strong field of coalition-inspiring progressive leaders out there.

Let’s set aside whatever is keeping us apart and start right now.

donald-trump

India Scraps 500 and 1,000 Rupee Bank Notes

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The surprise announcement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that all 500- and 1,000-rupee notes will be scrapped has been met with shock.

Indian media described the move variously as a “surgical strike” on tax evaders in the country’s overwhelmingly cash economy and a “big bang note”.

On Tuesday there were serpentine queues at ATMs as people tried to withdraw 100 rupee notes, which are still legal.

Banks and ATM machines were shut on Wednesday.
The surprise move, announced on Tuesday evening, is part of a crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings. New 500 and 2,000 rupee denomination notes will be issued to replace those removed from circulation……
bbc.com
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