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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

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...

Vital Signs Series

Untaxing childcare is a bold idea that seems unfair, but might benefit us all

Nov 24, 2019 14:17 pm UTC| Insights & Views Economy

Australias system of childcare support is pretty good. It ensures high-quality care is provided to a large number of children, it is targeted through income-based subsidies, and it is attentive to the needs of...

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Economy

Mastercard to enable partners to offer crypto products, services

Payments giant Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange platform Bakkt to allow US merchants, banks, and fintechs to offer crypto solutions and services. Sherri Haymond, Mastercards executive vice president...

Coca-Cola launches bottles without a label in South Korea

The Coca-Cola Company unveiled its newest plastic bottles, and it is very noticeable that they have no label on them. These are said to be the first label-less Coke bottles in South Korea, and this was done for recycling...

LG vice chairman Kwon Young Soo assigned as new LG Energy CEO

Kwon Young Soo, vice chairman at LG Corp., has been given a new assignment in the company. He will be moving to LG Energy Solution as its new chief executive officer. LGES is one of LG Groups affiliates, so his transfer...

Pro-environment consumers, suppliers patronize 'ugly' fruits and vegetables

Pro-environment consumers and suppliers are patronizing ugly agricultural products that do not fit market standards to counter the practice of discarding them. Unsightly produce is now attracting a growing market as...

Columbia experiences cryptocurrency ATM boom

Colombia is currently experiencing a cryptocurrency ATM boom, keeping it in second place among Latam countries with the second-highest number of these ATMs at 50. Not so long ago, Columbia was in first place until El...

Politics

Capitol insurrection: Mark Meadows was reportedly a 'regular figure' in Jan. 6 rally planning

More details regarding the involvement of some individuals in Donald Trumps inner circle surrounding the Capitol insurrection have come to light. A new piece in Rolling Stone revealed that Trumps chief of staff Mark...

Nancy Pelosi says 'billionaire's tax' will fund Joe Biden's social infrastructure plan

A point of contention among Democrats in the social spending bill is the price tag as well as how the legislation would be funded. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that the party-led legislation would be paid for by...

Afghanistan faces food crisis, according to UN World Food Programme

Weeks since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the ramifications of the takeover left the country facing one crisis after another. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, Afghans are in the midst of a...

Jared Kushner reportedly in talks to receive $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia for private equity firm

Former White House adviser and Donald Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has touted his visits to the Middle East over the years of Trumps presidency as part of his achievements. A recent report has revealed that Kushner is...

Science

S. Korean researchers develop Mediterranean diet that helps prevent cardiovascular disease

South Korean researchers have developed a Korean-style Mediterranean diet that helps prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing the proportion of carbohydrates while increasing the ratio of fat and protein. The diet...

LG Chem develops substance for creating cheaper, lighter plastic solar panel frames

LG Chem combined polycarbonate and acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) to develop LUPOY EU5201 to be used in plastic frames for solar panels. Consequently, LG has become the first in South Korea to develop plastic...

Owls used in helping California vineyards get rid of rodents

A Humboldt State University team is attempting to prove that owls can be an effective eco-friendly option at protecting grapes from rodent attacks. Graduate students at the universitys Department of Wildlife under...

S. Korean researchers develop process that uses agri-waste to produce biofuels, plastics

The Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) had developed an enzymatic process that uses agricultural waste to produce the 4-hydroxy valeric acid--an ingredient for biofuels and plastics. The KIERs enzymatic process...

France probes Nestlé, 100 other firms over bisphenol-A use

The French government is investigating 101 companies, including Nestlé, for not disclosing their use of bisphenol-A in food packaging. In its statement of objections, Frances competition authority accused the 101...

Technology

‘Horizon Forbidden West’ developers reveal new abilities and weapons

Horizon Forbidden West will not launch for a few more months, but Guerilla Games has announced some of the new skills and weapons Aloy will use in the sequel. The developer also explained how the difficulty in dealing with...

‘Call of Duty: Vanguard’ will mimic real weapons’ trigger weight with PS5 DualSense controller

Call of Duty: Vanguard is coming very soon, and Sledgehammer Games still has several gameplay details to reveal before the launch. The developer detailed in a blog post published on Monday how they were able to deliver an...

Samsung mysteriously brings back the rumored Galaxy S21 FE support page

Samsung may have given its fans a discreet nod that the Galaxy S21 FE is still in the pipeline. The company had silently brought back the support page rumored to be intended for the mid-range phone less than a month before...

Huawei Mate 50 series expected to launch in H1 2022

Huawei Mate 50 is expected to be one of the flagship smartphones to enter the market next year. Despite its absence this year, the company reportedly plans to launch the series in 2022 after receiving significant component...

Redmi Note 11 to feature 120W fast charging, Xiaomi confirms

Xiaomi is set to unveil the latest phones to join its Redmi brand. Thanks to a mix of leaks and official teasers from the company, tech fans now know that the Redmi Note 11 series is getting a new high-end model that...
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