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Vital Signs is a weekly economic wrap from UNSW economics professor and Harvard PhD Richard Holden (@profholden). Vital Signs aims to contextualize weekly economic events and cut through the noise of the data impacting global economies.

Vital Signs Series

Marketing is getting in the way of markets that could get us to net-zero

Nov 13, 2021 07:33 am UTC| Economy

This week the prime minister entered full marketing mode. Scott Morrisons topic was climate change and his plans to get to net-zero. At the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, he tried out a few...

Vital Signs Series

Laugh at the US if you will, but Australia narrowly escaped a debt ceiling

Oct 09, 2021 08:11 am UTC| Economy

The United States government is scheduled to hit its debt ceiling of US$28.4 billion on or around October 18. The US debt ceiling isnt like the limit on a credit card, which is imposed by the lender worried about the...

Vital Signs Series

3 economic facts point to a big-spending federal budget

Apr 30, 2021 07:08 am UTC| Economy

Its difficult to make predictions, the saying goes, especially about the future. The many predictions federal budgets make about the economy over the coming four years must therefore be taken with a large grain of...

Vital Signs Series

The pros and cons of diversity in organisations

Apr 23, 2021 11:44 am UTC| Insights & Views Business

Breaking down the old boys club in business, government and other organisations is intrinsically important. Ensuring greater diversity in organisations on gender, racial, ethnic and other lines is, simply put, the right...

Vital Signs Series

Vital Signs: COVID-19 recession is different – and we need more stimulus to deal with it.

Jun 21, 2020 03:30 am UTC| Economy

Australia has done well on the public health front during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to decisive action by the National Cabinet in March. Australia has done better than most countries on the economic front, too, thanks...

Vital Signs Series

Modelling tells us the coronavirus app will need a big take-up, economics tells us how to get it

Apr 26, 2020 05:30 am UTC| Technology

With Australias test-confirmed daily COVID-19 infection rates continuing to fall to relatively low levels, there is considerable discussion about when and how the successful containment measures might be...

Vital Signs Series

The end of the checkout signals a dire future for those without the right skills

Jan 18, 2020 04:45 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy

There has already been a fair number of jobs lost to automation over recent decades from factory workers to bank tellers. In the coming decade we might see radically larger numbers of jobs lost to automation, thanks to...

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Economy

McDonald's, Wendy's slapped with 'deceptive ads' lawsuit for alleged untrue size of beef patties

McDonalds and Wendys fast-food chains have been sued, and the lawsuit has already been filed at a court in New York. The suit stemmed from complaints that said the burger joints are misleading the customers by falsely...

Mastercard launches ‘wave to pay’ biometric allowing customers to pay using the face or hand gesture in stores

Mastercard introduces an innovative and unique to pay in this era of robots and advanced automation. The American financial service company is piloting its Biometric Checkout Program that allows customers to pay just using...

Amorepacific apologizes for employees’ ₩3 billion heist

AmorePacific, a South Korean beauty, and cosmetics chaebol issued an apology on Tuesday, May 17, after it was revealed that three of its staff stole money from the company. The employees were said to have embezzled a total...

Reebok stores in Russia up for sale, Turkish retailer FLO Magazacilik reportedly in talks to take over

Reebok is selling over 100 of its stores in Russia and Turkeys retail company, FLO Magazacilik, is currently in discussion for the acquisition of the properties. The talks were reportedly confirmed by the latters chairman,...

Samsung reportedly raising prices of its semiconductor products

Samsung Electronics Co. is reportedly mulling on hiking prices for its chips. It is considering up to a 20% increase, and this was first reported on Friday. The company is said to be currently in talks with foundry...

Politics

UN calls on Iran to stop execution of Swedish-Iranian national

Iran is set to execute a Swedish-Iranian national who is being charged with espionage against the country. The United Nations Human Rights office is now calling on Tehran to stop the execution from taking place. Reuters...

Myanmar coup: Shadow government defense chief urges West to provide arms to resistance in fight against junta

It has been more than a year since the Myanmar military seized control of the country and ousted its democratically-elected government. The defense chief of the countrys shadow government has now urged the West to provide...

North Korea: UN warns COVID outbreak may lead to 'devastating' consequences for human rights

The isolated nation of North Korea is tackling an outbreak of COVID-19 infections in the country, resulting in a nationwide lockdown. With the measures in place, the United Nations warned that the consequences of the...

Kevin McCarthy has 'nowhere to run' following subpoena from Jan. 6 committee, says former federal prosecutor

The congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has moved towards issuing subpoenas to several sitting Republican members of Congress in recent weeks. According to a former federal prosecutor, House...

Science

Hyundai Mobis’ monitoring system reduces drowsy driving risks by 30%

Hyundai Mobis Co. has come up with an in-house brainwave-based driver monitoring system that can reduce the risk of drowsy driving by up to one-third. The system, dubbed M.Brain, is a wearable earpiece that continuously...

California start-up Bionaut Labs to send tiny robots on voyage into brains

California start-up Bionaut Labs will conduct its first clinical trials on sending miniature robots deep inside the human skull to treat brain disorders The tiny injectable robots can be guided through the brain using...

Kirin, Meiji University develop electric chopsticks that make low-salt food taste salty

Food producer Kirin and Meiji University have developed a pair of chopsticks that stimulate the taste of salt in foods with low salt content through extensive research. This technology, which has yet to be named,...

Japanese researchers develop plastic with self-repairing powers

Japanese researchers have found a way to create self-repairing plastics that can be used in many products and reduce the amount of waste now polluting the planet. It might have practical applications for home...

Osaka University team proves safety of iPS-based cornea transplant

An Osaka University research team has concluded that the worlds first clinical trial, transplanting corneal tissues derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, was safe and effective. According to the...

Technology

‘Fall Guys’ shifts to a free-to-play model next month

Fall Guys will be the next multiplayer game that will shift to a free-to-play model. The change will take place along with its launch on other consoles, along with its move from Steam to Epic Games Store next month. The...

Spotify tests in-app NFT previews on some artist pages

Spotify is exploring NFT opportunities, starting with providing in-app previews of digital media on select artist pages. But the company might have more in store as it recently asked subscribers to answer a survey that...

‘Cyberpunk Edgerunners’ trailer to be revealed at Netflix’s ‘Geeked Week’ event in June

Fans of Cyberpunk 2077 will finally see the first trailer for the animated series Cyberpunk Edgerunners. Nearly two years after the project was announced, the show is confirmed to be one of the titles to be featured in the...

Pixel Watch is reportedly powered by the 4-year-old Exynos 9110

While Google has officially announced its first Pixel Watch, the wearable device is not slated to arrive in stores until later this year. But new details have emerged in the rumor mill regarding its technical...

‘GTA V’ sales surpass 165 million after the next-gen version’s launch

The nearly decade-old GTA V continues to prove as one of the best-selling IPs for publisher Take-Two Interactive. The company confirmed that the game has sold another five million copies in the last quarter. During...
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