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Economics

The mission of this working group is to build sustainable economy and financial balance within resilient social ecologies.

Members

Corey Watts david hastings Elhadj Drame Gina Angiola Kathy Gilbeaux LintonWells
Maeryn Obley mdmcdonald Samuel Bendett

Email address for group

economics@m.resiliencesystem.org

The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren’t. That’s a really big deal

A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

Image: A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

washingtonpost.com - March 16, 2016 - Chris Mooney

Roughly a year ago, the International Energy Agency announced a wonky yet nonetheless significant development. Looking at data for the year 2014, the agency found that although the global economy grew — by 3.4 percent that year — greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy (their largest source) had not. They had stalled at about 32.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, just as in 2013.

The agency called this a “decoupling” of growth from carbon dioxide emissions, and noted that it was the “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.” For decades prior to 2014, economic growth had pretty much always meant more pollution of the atmosphere, and a worsening climate problem.

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Mounting debts could derail China plans to cut steel, coal glut

Workers are seen at Shuangyashan Mine, owned by Longmay Group, in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province, in this March 15, 2016 file picture. REUTERS/Brenda Goh/FilesI

mage: Workers are seen at Shuangyashan Mine, owned by Longmay Group, in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province, in this March 15, 2016 file picture. REUTERS/Brenda Goh/Files

reuters.com - March 22, 2016 - David Stanway

China's campaign to slim down its bloated industries could be derailed by more than $1.5 trillion of debt in its steel, coal, cement and non-ferrous metal sectors, which threatens to overwhelm local banks.

Tackling industrial overcapacity has become a priority for Beijing to make its slowing economy more efficient and address a supply glut that has hammered coal and steel prices.

China is providing more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in the next two years to handle layoffs from coal and steel, but that will only be made available once debts have been settled.

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China's Mobile Payment Revolution Is Going to Africa

          

BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

huffingtonpost.com - by Claire van den Heever - February 26, 2016

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- With the launch of Apple Pay in mainland China on Feb. 18, Apple has become the first foreign player to secure a place at the table for China's enormous mobile payment market. . . .

. . . Africa's largest lender by assets, Standard Bank, has opted for a more direct route: joining forces with WeChat to secure a piece of Africa's growing mobile payment market. The Standard Bank-backed WeChat Wallet was launched in November 2015 in the continent's most industrialized nation, South Africa, and gives users access to a variety of the Chinese version's most popular offerings, including peer-to-peer money transfers and in-app payments for taxis and other services.

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Social Progress Index 2015

socialprogressimperative.org

CLICK HERE - Social Progress Index 2015 (158 page .PDF report)

MEASURING NATIONAL PROGRESS – To truly advance social progress, we must learn to measure it, comprehensively and rigorously. The Social Progress Index offers a rich framework for measuring the multiple dimensions of social progress, benchmarking success, and catalyzing greater human wellbeing. The 2015 version of the Social Progress Index has improved upon the 2014 version through generous feedback from many observers and covers an expanded number of countries with 52 indicators.

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CLICK HERE - Publications

http://www.socialprogressimperative.org

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The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics

submitted by Albert Gomez

ellenmacarthurfoundation.org - January 19, 2016

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this new report.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides, for the first time, a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.

The report was produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, as part of Project MainStream, a global, multi-industry initiative that aims to accelerate business-driven innovations to help scale the circular economy. It was financially supported by the MAVA Foundation.

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China Is Headed for a Debt Meltdown Like the U.S. in 2008 - But Worse

               

Empty apartment developments stand in the city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia on September 12, 2011. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) | MARK RALSTON via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Robert Hockett - January 8, 2016

World attention has focused in recent months on an acute refugee crisis occasioned by the mass migration to Europe of hundreds of thousands now fleeing the Syrian civil war. Less noticed has been another refugee crisis at least as ominous as that underway in the Middle East and Europe -- the fleeing of money from China.

What's going on, and why is it ominous? . . .

. . . where Chinese money is going -- to U.S. real estate and other asset markets. . . .

. . . First, it is fueling new real estate bubbles in the U.S. . . .

. . . Second, the shift of investment flows from Chinese to American assets is placing downward pressure on Chinese currency values, and will place upward pressure on the dollar -- yet again. This will ultimately worsen America's trade balance with China, harming America's own economic recovery and fueling mutual Chinese-American resentments -- possibly culminating in financially destabilizing competitive currency devaluations, trade war, or both. . . .

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The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

             

THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES

huffingtonpost.com - by John Feffer - January 7, 2016

The market was supposed to save the planet.

That, at least, was the argument of many economists grappling with the problem of climate change. As fossil fuels became scarcer, they pointed out, the price of oil and natural gas would go up. And then other options, like solar and wind, would become cheaper, particularly as investment flowed into that sector and drove down the cost of new technologies.

And voila: The invisible hand would gradually turn down the global thermostat.

It’s a ridiculous argument.

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A Different Sort of Aid for Syria?

           

Some aid organisations are helping residents of Homs' Old City start over.  Photo: B. Diab/UNHCR

CLICK HERE - REPORT - UNDP - March 2015 - Syria - Alienation and Violence - Impact of Syria Crisis Report 2014 (66 page .PDF report)

irinnews.org - by Charlotte Bailey

BEIRUT, 4 January 2016 (IRIN) - Given the brutality that has come to characterise Syria’s four-year war, it is understandable that discussion of the conflict has focused on violent deaths.

But there is another scourge destroying lives in the country: economic ruin and crippling poverty – what a UN-backed report called “an equally horrendous but silent disaster.”

Some aid organisations and policy experts are finding that with more than four out of five Syrians in poverty, traditional humanitarian aid, while necessary, just isn’t enough. So they’re advocating for, and implementing, livelihood projects – intervention to assist people’s abilities to support themselves.

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Global Stock Markets Dive on China Worries

         

The index was at the lowest level in nearly three months.  Associated Press

Wall Street has continued the rout on global share markets, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 closing down more than 1.5% and Nasdaq down 2%.

bbc.com - January 4, 2016

It followed sharp falls in China, where trading on the main stock markets was halted early after indexes tumbled 7%.

A survey indicating China's manufacturing sector contracted again last month was blamed for the falls. . . .

. . . On Wall Street, all 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 2.4% fall in the technology sector. Bank stocks were also hard hit, with JP Morgan down 3.65%.

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(ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW)

CLICK HERE - The Guardian - US stock markets open with worst performance since 2008

CLICK HERE - Huffpost Business - China Halts Trading After 7 Percent Plunge

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NGOs Speak: Their Most Pressing Humanitarian Priorities for 2016

             

South Sudan tops many aid agencies' humanitarian priority lists. as a three-year civil war exacts a heavy toll on the citizens of the country.  (Nichole Sobecki, AFP)

Following a call from the UN for a record $20.1 billion, 15 of the world's leading aid agencies were polled on their top humanitarian concerns.

mg.co.za - by Tom Esslemont - December 28, 2015

There’s one prediction for 2016 that most aid workers can make with confidence – that the new year will usher in rising humanitarian needs.

Besides displacement caused by long-term conflicts in places like Syria and South Sudan, there is also the threat of more violence in Central African Republic and hunger caused by El Nino, which is expected to bring more drought to already-parched southern regions in Africa and potential flooding in the east. . . .

. . . A Thomson Reuters Foundation poll asked 15 of the world’s leading aid agencies to name their top three humanitarian priorities for 2016. Not surprisingly, Syria topped the list of concerns. But what were the others?

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