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Showing posts from January 5, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Canada-China FTA talks could have massive implications for water use

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[If we sign a free trade agreement with China we lose sovereign control over the tar sands and our water supply. Sunny Ways - go, Trudeau, go. *RON*]
Brent Patterson, rabble.ca, 4 January 2017

The Trudeau government says talks toward a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement could begin as early as February 2017.

CBC reports, "International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is tentatively booked to begin talks with China in February as the two countries explore a free trade agreement."

CETA Costs Jobs, Worsens Inequality, Social Tensions: EU Committee

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[Once the corporatists have accomplished their mission who will be left to buy their products and services? CETA will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe. "Inequality is grist to the mill for far-right populists." — Mark Dearn, War on Want. *RON*]
Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post 4 January 2017

The trade deal that Canada and the EU signed in October will cause a loss of jobs and threaten to increase already high social tensions in Europe, a European Parliament committee has concluded.

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs voted against CETA in December, meaning it is recommending that the European Parliament vote down the deal. It’s one of many committees that have to vote on a recommendation to parliament.

The full EU parliament is slated to vote on CETA in early February.

Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence

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[Insurance firm Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is making 34 employees redundant and replacing them with IBM’s Watson Explorer AI. With the corporatocracy progressing in the crapification of labour from offshoring to AI, who will be left to buy their products and services? *RON*]

Justin McCurry, The Guardian, 5 January 2017
A future in which human workers are replaced by machines is about to become a reality at an insurance firm in Japan, where more than 30 employees are being laid off and replaced with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders.

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance believes it will increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years. The firm said it would save about 140m yen (£1m) a year after the 200m yen (£1.4m) AI system is installed this month. Maintaining it will cost about 15m yen (£100k) a year.

New Chinese money rules threaten tide of foreign buyers in Canada

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[This follows closely on the Canadian Press having named faceless foreign investors as Business Newsmaker of the Year. *RON*]

Nathan Vanderklippe, Globe and Mail, 4 January 2017
Strict new government scrutiny on Chinese people who want to convert their money into other currencies threatens to slow the rush of foreign property buying that has stoked sky-high home prices in Canada and around the world.
For months, China has sought to dam the flood of money pouring out of its borders, which has rapidly diminished its stockpile of foreign reserves.

It has raised new barriers to companies buying abroad and moving money out of the country.

The 10 Biggest Risks the World Faces in 2017

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[Eurasia Group lists Trump's America as the Number One risk the world faces in 2017. *RON*]
Madeline Farber, Fortune, 4 January 2017
With 2017 comes the beginning of a "G-Zero world," or a world with no global leader, according to a new study.

Eurasia Group, which tries to help investors understand the impact of politics on the risks and opportunities in foreign markets, blames a number of factors: the U.S.’s decreasing interest in assuming leadership, weaker U.S. allies, Russia and China asserting themselves as security and economic alternatives to the U.S., Brexit, the collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Russia’s recent victory in Syria.