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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

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...

Vital Signs Series

To tackle unemployment, start by empowering jobseekers

Nov 19, 2019 02:45 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy

If youve ever lost your job, youll know how overwhelming and difficult it can be. One day youre in work, the next youre not and so starts the hunt to find another job. This can be particularly tricky if you lose your...

Vital Signs Series

Interest only loans are an economic debacle that could bust the property market

Apr 27, 2018 07:40 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy Real Estate

This week: This risks of interest only loans that the RBA is ignoring and more revenue for the government ahead of the budget. Australian taxpayers wont face a rise in taxes now that Treasurer Scott Morrison...

Vital Signs Series

The calm before the storm in US-China trade

Apr 20, 2018 05:38 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy

This week: the US administration continues its anti-trade rhetoric, China grows a little faster than expected, Australian employment figures underwhelm, and the RBA seems unperturbed by household borrowing...

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Economy

French govt opposes foreign group's takeover of Carrefour

France is opposing any takeover of retailer Carrefour by a foreign company to preserve its food security and sovereignty, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. According to Maire, the acquisition by a foreign...

Electric car sales in China reportedly skyrocket by 10%

The electric car market in China is growing, and in fact, it was reported that the country achieved a 10% increase in its EV sales last year. The data was only revealed this week as the computation of sales cant be...

S. Korea approves Netherlands-based brokerage IMC to do business locally

Netherlands-based brokerage house IMC was green-lighted by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to operate a financial investment and brokerage business in South Korea on the condition that its subsidiary serves as a...

S. Korea allocates 30 trillion won to promote green energy, digital exports

South Korea will allocate 30 trillion won in trade financing to expand outbound shipments in green and digital sectors from $180 billion in 2019 to $250 billion in 2025. Exporters in such fields could also avail of...

Politics

Donald Trump impeached by House for the second time

The attempt to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden led to Donald Trump getting impeached in 2019. In his final days as president, Trump has been impeached by the House the second...

Donald Trump humiliated: Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull blasted for Capitol riots

The world was shaken by the insurrection done by rioters in support of Donald Trump at the Capitol that has forced world leaders to speak out. This also includes former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who...

Joe Biden foreign policy: POTUS-elect inherits diplomatic conflicts left by outgoing administration

It is no secret that president-elect Joe Biden will inherit a lot of problems either created or unresolved by the Trump administration. However, recent moves in foreign policies by the outgoing administration may be left...

Joe Biden inauguration: POTUS-elect will no longer take Amtrak to ceremony out of security concerns

President-elect Joe Biden is known for his preference of taking the Amtrak train from his home in Delaware and to Washington over the years. However, in his upcoming inauguration, Biden may not be able to take the train to...

Science

Mars mission: NASA scientist says Martians can help humans live on Red Planet

Being able to live on Mars is one of the goals that space agencies all over the world have when it comes to exploring the red planet in future Mars missions. Although it may take a while to figure out how we may be able to...

Black holes: Albert Einstein's theory may save Earth from wandering black holes

Black holes are one of the most mysterious objects in the universe and were first brought up by renowned scientist Albert Einstein. With the possibility of wandering black holes being able to consume our own planet, the...

Asteroid alert: 16-meter space rock to pass by Earth on New Year weekend

With days to go until the Earth completes another year around the Sun, it appears that the universe also has plans to celebrate the new year along with us. An asteroid is set to pass by our planet a few days after the new...

Four ways microbial fuel cells could revolutionise electricity production in the future

The world population is estimated to reach 9.5 billion by 2050. Given that most of our current energy is generated from fossil fuels, this creates significant challenges when it comes to providing enough sustainable...

Technology

Signal, Telegram record higher app downloads than WhatsApp over the last week

WhatsApps privacy policy changes have sparked discussions on the types of user data being collected and how messaging apps handle them. The discussions have likely helped Telegram and Signal gain momentum in app downloads...

Netflix could add spatial audio support by spring 2021, report claims

Netflix could be joining other streaming platforms in offering spatial audio support to users with the necessary devices. The upcoming feature was reportedly being testing and planned to be released within the first half...

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag ships on Jan. 29, followed by SmartTag+ ‘later this year’

Samsung just announced a series of tracking devices with two variants using different types of wireless connections. First to launch this month is the Galaxy SmartTag that will be an apparent Tile tracker competitor....

EA's partnership with Lucasfilm continues amid new 'Star Wars' game development under Ubisoft

For many years, AAA video games based on the famous Star Wars franchise have been released by EA. That may not be the case for the newest project Lucasfilm Games announced this week, but it also does not mean their...

‘Returnal’ digital deluxe pre-order comes with free weapons, boosters

Returnal is one of the new IPs exclusively launching on PlayStation 5 this year. With just a couple of months left before its release, players who managed to order the new-gen console might want to take advantage of the...
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