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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

Marketing is getting in the way of markets that could get us to net-zero

Nov 13, 2021 07:33 am UTC| Economy

This week the prime minister entered full marketing mode. Scott Morrisons topic was climate change and his plans to get to net-zero. At the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, he tried out a few...

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...

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Economy

McDonald's in Russia will re-open under a new name and it could be called 'Fun and Tasty'

McDonalds has formally stopped its operations in Russia this month after temporarily suspending its business in March. With its exit, the fast-food chain has sold its restaurants to a local operator, and now it will be...

POSCO Chemical, GM announce Quebec as chosen site for joint cathode plant

POSCO Chemical revealed on Friday, May 27, that it is building a new facility for the production of cathode worth $327 million. It has partnered with General Motors for this project, and they have picked Quebec, Canada, as...

Kakao's founder Kim Beom Su vacates chairman position at Brian Impact Foundation

Kakaos founder and former chief executive officer, Kim Beom Su, has stepped down as chairman of the Brian Impact Foundation, a private charity foundation that was launched last year to help innovators in technology and...

Mastercard to expand in Latin America, Southeast Asia after Russia exit and India ban

Mastercard is changing its target and will be focusing on Southeast Asia and Latin America for its expansion after withdrawing from Russia and getting banned from issuing new cards in India last year. The company also sees...

NFT Artwork on LG Display’s OLED screen auctioned off for US$6.2 million

The non-fungible token artwork created on LG Display Co.s transparent OLED screen in collaboration with Turkish media arts designer and director Refik Anadol was auctioned off for US$6.2 million. The NFT art collection...

Politics

Afghanistan: Taliban's restrictions look to make women, girls 'invisible', UN expert says

The Taliban has increasingly imposed restrictive policies on Afghan women and girls months since retaking control of Afghanistan. A UN expert who visited the country said the restrictive policies by the insurgent group...

Iran: Incident at Parchin military complex leaves one killed, one wounded

An incident occurred at Irans Parchin military complex this week, leaving two casualties. One was killed, and another was wounded in the incident, according to the countrys defense ministry. Irans defense ministry...

US Justice Department targeting Trump attorneys, advisers in fake electors investigation

The US Justice Department has mostly kept silent about its ongoing investigations, particularly probes related to the attempt by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 elections and stay in power. With the focus...

US GOP Rep. Jim Jordan demands to see all evidence against him before complying to Jan. 6 panel subpoena

The Jan. 6 congressional committee investigating the Capitol insurrection moved to issue subpoenas to a handful of sitting Republican lawmakers in Congress. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan recently demanded that he view all the...

Science

S. Korean scientists develop magnet-based soil purification tech

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute had developed a method for purifying radioactively contaminated soil by using magnets to separate radioactive cesium from the soil. Cesium is most frequently found in...

Hyundai Mobis’ monitoring system reduces drowsy driving risks by 30%

Hyundai Mobis Co. has come up with an in-house brainwave-based driver monitoring system that can reduce the risk of drowsy driving by up to one-third. The system, dubbed M.Brain, is a wearable earpiece that continuously...

California start-up Bionaut Labs to send tiny robots on voyage into brains

California start-up Bionaut Labs will conduct its first clinical trials on sending miniature robots deep inside the human skull to treat brain disorders The tiny injectable robots can be guided through the brain using...

Kirin, Meiji University develop electric chopsticks that make low-salt food taste salty

Food producer Kirin and Meiji University have developed a pair of chopsticks that stimulate the taste of salt in foods with low salt content through extensive research. This technology, which has yet to be named,...

Japanese researchers develop plastic with self-repairing powers

Japanese researchers have found a way to create self-repairing plastics that can be used in many products and reduce the amount of waste now polluting the planet. It might have practical applications for home...

Technology

Blizzard reveals global release times for ‘Diablo Immortal’

The free-to-play Diablo Immortal is launching in a few days, and Blizzard Entertainment has announced at exactly what time the game will go live. PC gamers can also start preparing for its arrival and start to pre-load the...

FromSoftware suggests ‘Dark Souls’ online servers are coming back soon

The long wait may be over soon for avid fans of Dark Souls. Developer FromSoftware has recently provided an update on the status of the games online servers more than four months after they were taken down...

Pixel 7 series will have the same Samsung panels used on Pixel 6, report says

Google has continued a familiar approach to avoid leaks from spoiling its surprises by unveiling the Pixel 7 series months before it arrives in stores. While Google still left the technical specifications under wraps,...

iPhone 14 Pro redesign appears in allegedly leaked Apple Pay ad

Apple is not expected to confirm details about the iPhone 14 series until its launch. However, there have been various reports from multiple sources that claim the next Pro models will sport notable design changes. An...

‘Returnal’ Steam listing hints at an upcoming PC port

Sony has previously stated its plan to release more first-party PlayStation games on PC. It appears that another game is headed to PC, thanks to a new leak. A new game was recently spotted on a Steam listing codenamed...
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