Daily Archive: April 15, 2017

Apr
15

Higher interest rates. Great idea. Here’s why it won’t happen

The Bank of England, IMF and other policymakers see ongoing low rates as dangerous but can’t see how to change things. There is a way, of course …

For some time now savers have campaigned for a return to normal interest rates, by which they mean central bank rates more like 4%-5%. And it’s not just about earning more on their savings. This protest against the current 0.25% base rate also has a broader, altruistic bent. At least that is what they honestly believe.

They argue that higher interest rates will restore a lost balance in the economy – taking it back to the way it was before the financial crisis, when things were so much better.

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Apr
15

Trump, trade, interest and aid make for a challenging IMF summit

With world tensions rising and globalisation in retreat, ministers and business leaders have much to discuss this week in Washington

Geopolitical tensions, uncertainty about the future of the EU and an increasingly unpredictable US president form the fraught backdrop to this year’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank this week.

The prospect of rising protectionism also looms large for the IMF, a multilateral organisation set up during the second world war to foster cooperation between economies. Its co-host, the World Bank, faces similarly daunting challenges to its mission to cut poverty and inequality.

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Apr
15

Hannah Bladon’s family describe her killing in Jerusalem as ‘senseless’

Student, 20, who died after being stabbed on a tram had been on archaeological dig earlier in day, family statement says

The family of a British exchange student who died after being stabbed in Jerusalem have said they are “devastated” by the “senseless and tragic attack”.

Hannah Bladon, 20, was attacked on a tram on Friday afternoon, allegedly by a Palestinian man with a history of mental health issues.

Related: Jerusalem stabbing: British student, 20, killed close to Old City

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Apr
15

Beware the unintended consequences of a robot revolution

Investment in education and retraining is needed to equip people to adapt as automation shakes up their workplaces

Ask an economist or a technology expert and they will happily tell you that decades of data reliably show automation has created more jobs than it has destroyed.

Far fewer of us now work on farms, for example, thanks to super-efficient machines that do the bulk of the work. Such technology has boosted productivity and, with it, living standards. As a result, more people work in leisure industries such as hospitality or hairdressing, serving all those people with higher disposable incomes and more free time.

Related: The Guardian view on the automated future: fewer shops and fewer people | Editorial

Related: The robots are coming. Will they bring wealth or a divided society?

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