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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

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...

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...

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Economy

S. Korea’s 'Anti-Google' law reportedly not effective

South Korea was the first country to pass a law to stop Google and Apple from forcing developers and users of their app stores to use their payment systems. The countrys Anti-Google law was approved, and this gave users...

Samsung SDI, Stellantis sign joint venture deal for electric vehicle battery production

Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and Stellantis N.V. have recently signed a deal to build a battery plant and produce batteries for electric vehicles. The facility is set to be built in the United States. The South Korean battery...

Coinbase inks deal to become exclusive cryptocurrency platform for NBA, WNBA, USA Basketball

Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has inked a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to be its exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner. The deal by Coinbase also applies...

S. Korea’s largest offshore wind farm exhibits low 22% capacity utilization rate

South Koreas largest offshore wind farm is exhibiting a low capacity utilization rate at 22 percent due to low wind velocity averaging at only 6.03 meters per second last year. This is lower than the 7 meters per second...

Politics

Joe Biden urged by Michigan business groups to reconsider vaccine mandate

US President Joe Biden continues to promote getting vaccinated for COVID-19, especially as more demographics are now allowed to get the shot. Business groups based in Michigan have recently urged the US leader to...

North Korea fires another 'unidentified projectile' into the sea

North Koreas ongoing military activities have become a cause for concern amongst other nations as tensions still remain regarding its nuclear program and recent test launches. Seoul has recently confirmed that the isolated...

World War 3: Russia says Ukraine joining NATO 'a red line' as tensions remain

The long-running tensions between Ukraine and Russia could potentially spark another world war. Moscow recently weighed in on the possibility of Ukraine joining the NATO alliance, warning against a move to do so. Fears...

Kamala Harris pays tribute to Colin Powell

Top military general and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell passed away this week. Vice President Kamala Harris paid tribute to Powell during her visit to Nevada, touching on the late generals accomplishments and...

Science

Owls used in helping California vineyards get rid of rodents

A Humboldt State University team is attempting to prove that owls can be an effective eco-friendly option at protecting grapes from rodent attacks. Graduate students at the universitys Department of Wildlife under...

S. Korean researchers develop process that uses agri-waste to produce biofuels, plastics

The Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) had developed an enzymatic process that uses agricultural waste to produce the 4-hydroxy valeric acid--an ingredient for biofuels and plastics. The KIERs enzymatic process...

France probes Nestlé, 100 other firms over bisphenol-A use

The French government is investigating 101 companies, including Nestlé, for not disclosing their use of bisphenol-A in food packaging. In its statement of objections, Frances competition authority accused the 101...

Kansai found to have more genetically predisposed coffee lovers than elsewhere in Japan

Tokyo-based genome data analysis firm Euglena found that those with rs671 genotypes of ALDH2 are more predisposed to liking coffee and more prevalent in people from the Kansai area than other parts of Japan. Euglena...

S. Korean researchers develop eco-friendly fertilizer tech using greenhouse gases

A Kyung Hee University research team had developed a new eco-friendly technology that can turn methanol generated in livestock and agricultural areas into a hormone that promotes plant growth and rooting. The technology...

Technology

Valve updates ‘Half-Life 2’ for Steam Deck’s arrival

In a few months, Valves new portable gaming device called Steam Deck will enter the market to give fans a new way to access their favorite PC games. It appears that the companys preparations for the new hardwares launch...

‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’ is finally getting a military jet

Developers just announced that the Microsoft Flight Simulator is getting a Game of the Year edition launching next month. Aside from new features, the latest version of the game will also come with one of the most...

Instagram uploads via desktop browsers will be available on October 21

Instagram users have been able to view their profiles and pages they follow through the social networks desktop browser version for some time now. Creating new posts, however, has been restricted to the Instagram app....

CD Projekt says ‘The Witcher 3’ PS5 and Xbox Series X/S won’t launch this week

The Witcher 3 received a new rating for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, starting a new round of speculations that its next-generation upgrade could be released soon. However, CD Projekt Red quickly dismissed...

Google guarantees Pixel 6 Android version updates until 2024 only

The launch of the Pixel 6 series proved that Google is coming back as one of the frontrunners in the smartphone market. However, the company can only guarantee that these devices will get Android version updates for the...
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