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Thursday, 22 February

23:26

Best earnings growth since 2014 (led by NSW & QLD) "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Pay gap closing

It's been a pedestrian half-decade for salaries, especially if you're a man.

And that continued in 2017, with the average pay for males growing by about +2 per cent for ordinary time earnings. 


An awful lot of energy is directed to blaming immigration for this, but as with many other data releases the figures have generally followed a pattern of being very upbeat before the peak of resources construction, and then far more modest as we've come down the other side. 

That's particularly been the case in the resources states such as Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland where average earnings growth was very strong up until 2012, and then cooled. 

This dynamic is perhaps most evident in full-time male total earnings. 


At the sectoral level, unsurprisingly mining was the weakest performing industry, with earnings essentially flat over the year to November 2017 - or down in real terms - although mining remains the highest paid sector of the economy with an average wage exceeding $134,000. 

The next highest paid roles tend to be in IT, where the average wage is now approaching six figures, and finance & insurance at just over $97,000. 

Pay gap closes

There was some...

21:35

Australias Consumer Watchdog Received 1289 Crypto Complaints in 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Australis Consumer Watchdog Received 1289 Crypto Complaints in 2017

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that it received more than 1,200 complaints relating to cryptocurrencies via its Scamwatch portal during 2017. In light of the number of complaints, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a warning to potential investors outlining the risks associated with cryptocurrency investment.

Also Read: Tesla Hit by Hackers Who Used its Systems to Mine Cryptocurrency

Australias Consumer Watchdog Received 1,289 Complaints Relating to Cryptocurrencies Last Year

Australia's Consumer Watchdog Received 1289 Complaints About Crypto Scams in 2017The Australian Broadcasting Co...

18:37

The vocational education disaster "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Update: On the same day this article appeared, Labor has come out with a call for a major inquiry encompassing both unis and TAFEs. Whether or not my past advocacy had anything to do with this, its a welcome outcome.

17:48

Why US Sanctions Are So Lethal "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

The anatomy of a Chinese tech-company disaster.

17:11

Shuttered Exchange BitFunder Founder Charged With Fraud, Perjury "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

The post Shuttered Exchange BitFunder Founder Charged With Fraud, Perjury appeared first on CCN

The US securities regulator has charged the now-shuttered BitFunder with attempting to hide information about a major hack. Meanwhile, the US Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York simultaneously charged BitFunder founder,  37-year old Jon E. Montroll of Texas who also ran digital wallet service WeExchange Australia, with two counts of perjury and obstruction Continued

The post Shuttered Exchange BitFunder Founder Charged With Fraud, Perjury appeared first on CCN

13:59

Sydney unemployment rate keeps falling "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Sydney tightens

Sydney's annual average unemployment rate fell to just 4.58 per cent in January 2018.

The annual average has been lower, in 2008, when the unemployment rate briefly snuck below 4.2 per cent. 

In Adelaide the annual average fell to 6.49 per cent, in Perth it fell to 6.14 per cent, and in Melbourne to 6.1 per cent.

So there have been some improvements. 

However, only Sydney has anything remotely approaching a tight labour market on this evidence. 


The good news for Queensland is that both hiring and participation are picking up.

And it's happening not just in Brisbane, but right across the state.


Cairns and Townsville in particular are also now recording stronger rates of employment growth, after the downturn.


Meanwhile the coastal Queensland locations such as Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have been improving for some time on the back of the lower dollar. 

...

12:51

Why can't Australia break up with coal? "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Governments all across the world are starting to shift away from coal-powered energy out of environmental and economic concerns. So why isn't Australia? 350.org Australia's Blair Palese explores.

09:30

Petro Gold Spawned After El Petros $735 Million Sales "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Venezuelan president Maduro announces countries second commodity backed cryptocurrency Petro Gold the day after El Petros initial private sale raised $735 Million.

Maduro Doubles Down With Petro Gold

Once again President Nicolas Maduro took the podium to announce a government-owned cryptocurrency. This time instead of oil its the Petro Gold which is to be backed by precious metals.

Next week Im going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro, Maduro said in a televised speech. The Petro which launched on Tuesday is reported to have raised $735 Million dollars on its first day of private sales.

Scheduled to be capped at 100 million tokens with an initial sales price of $60 roughly the price of a barrel of oil the government could raise up to $6 billion if the Petro succeeds in selling out. So far 824 million tokens have been made available.

It is not yet clear whether the Petro Gold is to be backed by gold held in reserves or the countries gold resources. In fact, no details about the new currency were given besides that it would launch next week. This sudden announcement doesnt help the already highly criticized Petro and the Governments intentions for creating it.

Problems With The Petro

Widely seen as a poorly thought out solution to boost the floundering Venezuelan economy, where the fiat currency has been in a free fall for several years and inflation rates are as high as 600%, the Petro has been called a stunt and bogus currency by financial experts.

The Petro is really a top-down hierarchically controlled asset, and its much more akin to a new way to tokenize oil. When the first gold ETF appeared, they werent considered gold, but a different way of packaging the commodity. With Petro, we really have a new wrapper around oil.

Chris Burniske of venture capital firm Placeholder told Bloomberg.

Maduro himself now admits that the Petro was created in part as a way to skirt US backed economic sanctions against the country. While the US Treasury Department has warned investors that by buying the Petro they themselves could become subject to the same sanctions as creditors to the government.

The Petro Gold is not the first cryptocurrency backed by gold. The RMG backed by the Royal Mint in Britain was fi...

06:00

Australian Dollar and Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

1.00 AUD = 0.00008 BTC
0.00010 BTC = 1.30 AUD
Converter

02:53

Unions respond to the publication of the full TPP text "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

22 February, 2018: Yesterday the New Zealand government published the full text of the Comprehensive Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, which Australia and 10 other countries intend to sign on March 8 in Chile, along with a National Interest Analysis of the deal. As Fairfaxs Peter Martin writes, the Australian government will not release their analysis of the deal, done by the Department that negotiated it,  until after the signing ceremony. The government is still rejecting calls for an independent analysis.

However, NZ Council of Trade Unions (CTU) economist Bill Rosenberg says the New Zealand governments analysis of the deal is deeply flawed. There is no analysis of health or environmental risks posed by the CPTPP, and it assumes that working people will find new employment immediately when their jobs are displaced. Mr Rosenberg says:

Like previous studies, its estimates of gains in GDP are tiny - a one-off gain of between 0.3% and 1% of GDP in 16 years time. Even these small benefits are unlikely to be evenly spread. At the same time, citizens risk losing our ability to use government purchasing and our state-owned enterprises for the public good. We need to retain our ability to drive the economy towards higher wage, higher value industries like the local processing of New Zealand timber and other materials.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions made similar criticisms of the CPTPP. ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly said the deal puts corporate profit ahead of jobs and wages and will allow companies to exploit more temporary migrant workers and allow foreign companies to sue the Australian government over domestic laws. Yesterday AFTINET called for independent studies of the economic and social impacts of the CPTPP, and for a Senate inquiry that can critically assess whether the deal is in the public interest.

02:33

What Russia Knows About Gold That You Dont "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Sometimes, youve got to look past the headlines to see the real story.

Overnight, the gold price fell US$10 per ounce, on the back of the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes. In the minutes, the Fed say it expects inflation will continue to creep up. These minutes also confirm a March rate hike in the eyes of the market.

Of course, between now and 21 March when the Fed next meets may be your last chance to get in before the next gold bull market run really starts to run. If Jims analysis is right, investors now have less than thirty days to buy gold at these prices. By the end of the year, we may never again see gold below US$1,400.

This is something Russia knows too.

The real news overnight is that Russias gold reserves are now bigger than Chinas official holdings.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation bought 20 tonnes of the yellow stuff in January this year, giving the Russians a total of 1,857 tonnes of gold. This puts the former soviet country 15 tonnes ahead of Chinas dubious tally of 1,843 tonnes.

Of course, no one actually believes Chinas gold holdings tally. The middle kingdom mines 450 tonnes of the stuff each year. And none of it leaves the country.

But Russias incredible accumulation of gold cant be ignored.

Under President Vladimir Putins authority, Russias foreign gold stores have soared 70% since 2015.

The three-year gold-buying spree means the country now has 17% of its foreign reserve assets in gold. This far outweighs China, which has only 2% of its foreign reserve assets in gold.

Dont underestimate Russias move here. The country is increasing its gold holdings in a deliberate effort to reduce reliance on the US dollar.

At the same, Russia is setting itself up to take advantage of the next gold bull market. You should too.

And now, its over to Jim.

Kind regards,
Shae Russell

The post What Russia Knows About Gold That You Dont appeared first on Daily Reckoning Australia.

02:33

Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history, including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences, making it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosphorus Bridge, just north of Istanbul, connects Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkeys well-educated population of 83 million, and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under US$1 trillion.

The flood of bank lending and direct foreign investment has given rise to another flood of hot-money portfolio investors in Turkish stocks, chasing high returns with cheap dollar funding in a variation of the global carry trade. So-called emerging-market (EM) funds, offered by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others, are stuffed full of Turkish stocks and bonds.

Jim Rickards in Turkey

Your strategist in central Istanbul, Turkey, on the site of the ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races were still held in Late Antiquity. In my many visits there since 1996, I have observed Turkeys shift from a firmly secular society to one dominated by religious and authoritarian rule. As Turkey turns its back on Western society, it still relies on Western institutions to deal with potential debt, currency and reserve crises. Turkeys new alienation from the West may mean that Western help will not be available in a future financial crisis.

But theres a dark side to this seeming success story. Turkeys external US dollar-denominated debt is so large that a combination of rising US dollar interest rates and a slowing global economy could quickly turn Turkey from model EM to the canary in the coal mine of the next great global debt crisis.

The risk of a major debt crisis beginning in Turkey is heightened by the rise of Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdoan as an autocratic strongman in the mould of Argentinas Juan Pern and other populist nationalists who have ruined strong economies.

Begin with a look at the Turkish debt situation. Turkeys debt is huge; one of the highest debt burdens of any EM. Turkey owes US$450 billion to foreign creditors, of which US$276 billion is denominated in hard currency, mostly dollars and euros. The remainder of US$174 billion is denominated in Turkeys local currency, the lira.

Both kinds of debt are problematic. The lira debt is a growing burden because lira interest rates have skyrocketed from 6% to 12%...

00:20

Welcome to the homeless working poor a new neoliberal KPI "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

In advanced nations, poverty used to be a thing of old age, once income had stopped due to retirement and savings depleted. Old-aged pension systems were intended as Welfare States emerged to prevent that fall into poverty. The pension systems reduced the incidence of extreme poverty and the full employment era that followed the Second World War, where governments committed to using their fiscal capacities (spending and taxation) to ensure there were sufficient jobs for all, allowed workers to improve incomes and saving. Research in the early 1970s (particularly from the US, where the pension systems were less generous and working conditions less regulated) started to disclose the incidence of the working poor. In more recent times, the concept of the working poor has spread from the US to most advanced nations. In this modern era of renewed real wage repression, rising energy costs and housing costs, workers are not only facing increased risk of poverty but also of homelessness. Welcome to Australia the nation with the second highest median wealth per adult in the world. Yesterday (February 21, 2018), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the Wage Price Index, Australia for the December-quarter 2017. Private sector wages growth was 1.9 per cent in the December-quarter continuing the seven consecutive quarters of record low growth. However, with the annual inflation rate running at 1.9 per cent, real wages growth was static. And with real wages growth lagging badly behind productivity growth, the wage share in national income is now around record low levels. This represents a major rip-off for workers. The flat wages trend is also intensifying the pre-crisis dynamics, which saw private sector credit rather than real wages drive growth in consumption spending. And now, the latest data shows that workers are experiencing increased homeless. It is not just a problem of the working poor now. Welcome to the homeless working poor a new neoliberal KPI.

The rise of the working poor and homeless in Australia

There was an excellent book published in 1973 by Barry Bluestone, William M. Murphy and Mary Stevenson entitled Low Wages and the Working Poor which linked the wage determination system in the US with the rising incidence of poverty.

In other nations, the rise of the working poor would come later.

With the advent of neoliberalism and the bias against activist fiscal policy designed to ensure full employment, governments that had been captured by this infestation, asserted their role was no longer to provide jobs for those who couldnt find them in the market economy, but, rather, they were responsible fo...

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Wednesday, 21 February

22:25

Queensland high-rise boom unwinds apace "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Apartment building slowing

Residential building work done for non-houses dropped by some 25 per cent in Queensland in 2017.

And this construction trend will continue in 2018 as the sector continues to rebalance towards equilibrium.

Not quite so many cranes expected in 2018 then, at least in the residential sector! 


As construction slows Brisbane's apartments are gradually filling up, as I looked at in a bit more detail here, but it's taking time for the stock to be absorbed.

The figures for engineering construction have been all over the show across recent quarters with some wild spikes in Western Australia due to the import of LNG platforms.

Looking at the smoother trend figures brings positive news.

Post-mining boom engineering construction is no longer dragging back the economies of Western Australia and Queensland, paving the way for an economic recovery for the resources states. 


Good to see.

At the national level residential building work done fell by about 5 per cent in 2017 as supply and demand look to swing back into balance.

However, this was more than offset by the rebound in engineering co...

12:42

Australian Watchdog Sees 1,289 Cryptocurrency Scam Complaints in 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

The post Australian Watchdog Sees 1,289 Cryptocurrency Scam Complaints in 2017 appeared first on CCN

Australias national consumer watchdog has reportedly received over 1,200 complaints related to cryptocurrency scams last year leading to estimated losses of AUD $1.2 million. According to figures revealed by Australian nightly TV program 7.30, aggregate data gathered from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) Scamwatch shows the watchdog receiving a total of 1,289 complaints Continued

The post Australian Watchdog Sees 1,289 Cryptocurrency Scam Complaints in 2017 appeared first on CCN

12:38

Ripple Expands its List of Partners With Five More "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Not many other blockchain companies can boast new partners on a weekly basis. Ripple is one that can and, love it or hate it, the San Francisco based global payments provider has added to that list of over a hundred with five more this week.

In addition to banks in Brazil and India, Singaporean and Canadian money transfer service providers have also joined ranks with Ripple. According to reports Brazilian Bank Ita Unibanco and remittance provider BeeTech have joined RippleNet in order to facilitate faster and cheaper global funds transfers. Indian bank IndusInd is also onboard alongside Canadian company Zip Remit who are all seeking to benefit from blockchain based financial transactions at a fraction of the cost.

Emerging Markets to Benefit Most

Emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China are home to 85% of the global population with almost 90% of people under 30 residing within those markets. They are a huge draw for companies such as Ripple looking to expand product adoption for xCurrent and RippleNet financial transfer platforms and networks. Over $60 billion was transferred into both India and China in 2017 and Brazil saw $600 million arrive from the US.

Head of business development at Ripple, Patrick Griffin, is confident that blockchain solutions are the way forward to improving the lives of users in emerging markets.

The payments problem is a global problem, but its negative impact disproportionally affects emerging markets. Whether its a teacher in the U.S. sending money home to his family in Brazil or a small business owner in India trying to move money to open up a second store in another country, its imperative that we connect the worlds financial institutions into a payments system that works for their customers, not against them.

Singaporean Partners to Expand RippleNet

Southeast Asias leading digital cross-border money transfer service provider InstaReM is also joining RippleNet to facilitate faster payments to other members of the rapidly growing network. It currently consists of over a hundred banks and other financial institutions providing real-time messaging, clearing and settlement of financial transactions. InstaReMs partnership will allow their corporate and SME customers quick and hassle-free payouts to a number of destinations in the region.

Prajit Nanu, co-founder and CEO, stated; We are pleased with this new partnership with Ripple which will see RippleNet members utilizing InstaReMs unique payments mesh we have developed in Southeast Asia to further streamline payment processes.

The company processes over 50...

04:07

Global Big Three to Fire Stocks in 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

It was a big day over in the US bond market as we were all sleeping last night.

The US Treasury held record sales of government debt, known as T-bills. These are short-term loans of three and six months.

It raised US$151 billion from these sales. US debt numbers are never small thats for sure.

It was notable because demand fell to its lowest level since 2008. That would suggest investors are wary of rising interest rates now.

The yield on a two-year note went to its highest yield in a decade.

Inflation is rumbling, and the bond market is reacting.

This is threatening to make the yield curve inverted some time in the future

A reliable indicator of recession

The US yield curve is a wider watched measure in the financial world. It plots the different rates you can earn buying bonds, which mature at different lengths of time.

The longer youre willing to tie up your money, the higher the rate you need to compensate for the extra risk. Thats the normal state of affairs.

This means the yield curve slopes upwards under normal conditions.

However, this curve is flattening. That means the difference between short-term and long-term rates is becoming narrower.

And why do you care?

If short-term rates go above long-term ones, then the yield curve is said to be inverted.

This has a reliable pattern of happening before a US recession.

The US Fed is on track to raise short-term rates three times this year. This is in response to Americas strong economy.

Thats what is being priced in for the moment. But its quite possible the Fed could raise rates four times.

That could cause a big adjustment in the bond marketand send markets into another period of volatility, like we saw the other week.

Wed also be on watch for a slowdown in the US within two years.

But it hasnt happened yet. Its something to keep in mind.

So well keep tabs on how things develop from here. Its fair to say the days of ultra-low interest rates are behind us.

But whats ahead?

When the big three all fire at once

One suggestion is to keep an eye on Europe.

The Wall Street Journal reports that half the companies in the major index over there have beaten their earnings estimates.

And hey, if youre planning a trip to Spain anytime soon, get there quicker rather than later.

...

03:56

Wages improve at a painfully slow rate "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Wages up a bit

Wage prices - one of the most keenly anticipated releases of the year! Let's take a run through it in half a dozen charts. 

Firstly, quarterly wages growth came in above market expectations at +0.6 per cent.

And the annual rate of wages growth rose for a second consecutive quarter to +2.1 per cent. 

So that was a mild positive. 


Yet it says something about how low expectations have fallen when the Aussie dollar cheered a result within which private sector wages increased by just +1.93 per cent in 2017. Ouch.

Public sector wages growth was notably stronger at +2.44 per cent. 

Both sectors have picked up from previously softer levels, while public sector wage prices have outpaced the private sector since 2013. 


At the state level Victoria is now in pole position with wages growth of +2.4 per cent.

This doesn't fit entirely squarely with the meme that immigration is to blame for low wages growth (since Melbourne has by far and away the highest rate of population growth in the country), albeit the rebound was largely driven by pay deals in the public sector. 
...

02:55

Revised TPP-11 text is largely unchanged: independent assessment and Senate Inquiry needed "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Media release, February 21 2018: The new text of the revised and rebranded Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia and 10 other countries without the US contains minor additional change since last November. Some other governments have demanded further changes, but the Australian government has not, Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today.

The additional published text is only nine pages, with some changes from Canada to the non-binding preamble that mention cultural identity, indigenous rights and gender equity, but these are aspirational only, and will not affect the legally binding provisions in the rest of the agreement. There are also the 20 clauses which were suspended in November 2017 pending the US rejoining the deal.

The new text does not include new side letters between specific countries that were signaled when the text was finalised in January. It is not clear whether these will be released later.

Many of the most harmful clauses remain. The deal still includes special rights for foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes to domestic laws, known as ISDS, said Dr Ranald.

The Australian government has not sought changes to provisions for more vulnerable temporary migrant workers, from Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Canada Mexico and Chile without testing if local workers are available. This is contrary to its own claims to have reintroduced such testing. There have been no changes to the chapters on trade in services and state-owned enterprises which could restrict future governments from re-regulating essential services like TAFE, energy and financial services, even if there are demonstrated market failures.

Dr Ranald explained that the 20 suspended clauses are mostly about medicine and copyright monopolies. Other governments had only reluctantly agreed to US proposals on stronger m...

02:39

Weathervanes "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

I have a piece in Crikey (possibly paywalled) looking at the gyrations of our political leaders on climate policy in general and Adani in particular. I suppose what matters is that you end up facing the right way: on this test, Shorten does reasonably, Turnbull fails miserably and Abbott is laughable.

02:16

The tax the rich call bestows unwarranted importance on them "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

It is Wednesday, so only a few snippets only today, while I am working on six lectures I have to give in Helsinki over the next two weeks. The first of those lectures will be a public event. And looking at the weather I am about to undergo around a 45 degree Celsius turnaround from where I am today in Australia to where I will be next week! That is what happens when you go to Finland in the early part of the year. Anyway, here are some items of interest I hope.

Our Green European Journal Article

In case you havent seen it, Thomas Fazi and myself have an article out last week (February 16, 2018) in the Green European Journal entitled Tax havens must be closed, but not for the reasons you think

The article summarises arguments I have made in various blogs (see below) which can be distilled into these summary insights:

1. Currency-issuing governments are not like households, who are financially constrained and have to fund their spending via income, borrowing, prior savings or asset sales.

2. The progressive reaction to the release of the Paradise Papers told us that most progressives still do not understand Point 1. They think the government needs to raise taxes to reduce its reliance on debt while providing public services via expenditure.

3. A consequence of the fiat system is that governments that issue their own currencies no longer have to fund their spending.

4. currency-issuing governments such as those of Australia, Britain, Japan and the US can never run out of money or become insolvent.

5. Do we need the richs money? No.

6. So should we close down tax havens? Yes!

Why? The reasons largely have to do with social justice, inequality and the distribution of political power.

For more information, please read the article (if you are interested).

The point generalises. Last Friday, I gave a talk at the New International Bookshop in Melbourne about our new book Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, 2017).

There was a good audience and during the question time the issue of taxing the rich came up. A very oft-repeated progressive narrative.

The response I gave was that just as Ayn Rand claimed in Atlas Shrugged that the workers were parasites and relied on the productive skill and zeal of the bosses, the tax the rich narrative perpetuates the view that without the rich folks in our society we can have noth...

02:15

Australian University Launches Nations First Blockchain Course "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Recognising its importance as a revolutionary technology, an Australian university has today announced the countrys first course on blockchain technology. Its being hosted by Melbournes RMIT University and is scheduled to start in mid-March.

Blockchain Skills in High Demand

The eight-week short-course aims to address the current vacuum of young talent familiar with blockchain technology. Alan Tsen, a manager at one of the tech companies behind the new course, Stone and Chalk, told local news source 9news:

There is a real demand for blockchain training and a skills gap in the market that needs to be addressed.

Along with Stone and Chalk, the course has been developed by the universitys Blockchain Innovation Hub and graduate services provider, Accenture. Jason Potts of the former organisation told Business Insider about the technological complexities of blockchain and what the short course hopes to provide for students:

Its actually quite hard to understand a whole lot of different technologies have come together to contribute to it working Much of this course is designed to help executives and business leaders to understand not just how this new technology works, and understanding whats actually behind it, but also how it reflects business models and business strategy.

Without initiatives like the Melbourne university course, the lack of relevant skills issue is only set to get worse. The industry is rapidly expanding and according to tech think tank Gartner Research, will be worth over $176 billion by 2025.

Whilst the first practical application of the technology was cryptocurrency, there are various startups that are experimenting with it for a variety of different purposes. These include cybersecurity, resource management, healthcare, and the legal profession, to name but a few.

One company currently studying how blockchain technology can disrupt existing industries is Power Ledger. Also based in Australia, the startup hopes to provide a platform for sharing solar energy. They received substantial funding in late 2017 from a smart cities grant issued by the government. No doubt co-founder Jemma Green is as excited to hear about local educational institutions taking the technology seriously as sh...

Tuesday, 20 February

21:45

ABC News Australia Raided by ASIO Officers; Secure Cabinets Seized "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

By Shem El-Jamal

On January 18, 2018, many Americans were pleasantly surprised to hear the news of the raids on the publisher, Newsweek, that took place just one day prior. These actions taken by New York law enforcement appeared to be largely justified, and in the eyes of many Americans, these raids were long overdue.

As the situation appears, the issues which promoted the swift confiscation of the servers at Newsweek stretch far beyond just one mere company in the U.S. We may see that due to the similar actions of law enforcement in Canberra and Brisbane, Australia, that Newsweek was not the only corporate source that was suspected of illegal activity.

For the longest time, thousands of Americans have grown increasingly impatient with a corporate media that has been long-divorced from accurate reporting and ethical integrity. Not only have corporate sources such as Newsweek been shown to be significantly dishonest in their reporting, but they have been long-suspected to be linked to criminal interests as well.

These and many other reasons may explain why many citizens were somewhat relieved to see these recent actions against provably compromised news sources.

For decades, the corporate media has gradually devolved into a politically bias, corporately compromised, puppet show for the ruling elite. According to multiple sources, there are numerous interests behind this media monopoly who intend to manipulate the public in any direction which they deem advantageous to elitist ideals.

Whether the goal involves starting useless wars in foreign countries, placing Cabal sponsored puppets in positions of power, censoring important information from being revealed, or disarming the general public for the sake of maintain social control, the general intent is the same.

It is a well-known fact that the CIA and other government agencies have significant control over corporate media. Companies such as CNN, ABC, CBS, and even NPR have been shown to be little more than extensions of the CIA and/or other manipulative government agencies. Though some may believe that past government programs such as Operation Mockingbird were discontinued, these programs a...

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