Dollars

COUNTRIES


35% of RUSSIAN HOUSEHOLD WEALTH OWNED BY JUST 110 PEOPLE

roman-abramovich (1)

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich is one of the country’s richest men and the owner of the Chelsea Football Club. Source: AP

A REPORT by a major investment bank says 35 per cent of household wealth in Russia is owned by just 110 people, the highest level of inequality in the world barring small Caribbean nations.

Credit Suisse said in a report published that worldwide, billionaires account for just 1-2 per cent of total wealth. The investment bank said that Russia has one billionaire for every $US11 billion ($11.6 billion) in wealth while in the rest of the world there is only one for $US170 billion.

The fall of Communism saw Russia’s most prized assets sold off to a small circle of businessmen later known as oligarchs. President Vladimir Putin allowed them to keep their wealth in exchange for their political loyalty.

Metals and banking tycoons Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Fridman, who made their fortunes in the 90s, are still high on the list of Russia’s richest men. But the past decade saw a rise of new billionaires who draw their wealth from state contracts and some of whom are known to be the presidents’ friends, like Gennady Timchenko.

Credit Suisse said that there were hopes with the demise of the Soviet Union that Russia would turn into a high skilled economy with fair wealth distribution but “this is almost a parody of what happened in practice”.

The 35 per cent of wealth that Russian billionaires own is equivalent to $US420 billion.

“Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality in the world, apart from small Caribbean nations with resident billionaires,” the bank said in the report

AAA

Henry Sapiecha

gold dollar sign line

TOP EARNERS IN AFRICA WHO ARE BILLIONAIRES

root_africag

There are far more African billionaires than previously thought, according to a report on the continent’s mega-rich, but the number of Africans living in extreme poverty has also shot up.

Previous Africa rich lists have named as few as 16 billionaires but pan-African business magazine Ventures said it had identified at least 55 on a continent where the wealthy often fiercely protect details about their fortunes.

Of the 55, 20 are Nigerian, including several oil barons, while South Africa and Egypt have nine and eight, respectively.

Ventures supported reports by Forbes, which listed Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote as Africa’s richest man with a fortune of $US20 billion ($21 billion).

Mr Dangote, who made his fortune in cement, heads a multi-interest empire, profiting from products including flour and sugar, while eyeing a massive investment in oil refining.

The continent’s richest woman is Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija, whose Fama Oil owns an offshore oil block, which she acquired in 1993 ”at a relatively inexpensive price”, likely through a helpful connection.

The most prominent South African named is Nicky Oppenheimer, worth an estimated $US6.5 billion, whose fortune came largely from the diamond mines his family controlled for decades, which were operated by De Beers.

He sold his family’s stake in De Beers two years ago.

The figure of 55 is ”an under-estimate”, Ventures founder Chi-Chi Okonjo said.

Corruption is rife on the continent and the rule of law still unevenly applied. African business moguls often face accusations that their fortunes were illegitimately earned, including with help from political patrons.

The apparently rising number of ultra-rich Africans has come amid broader economic growth on the continent, with an average of 5 per cent gross domestic product expansion since 2010.

But economic growth has not kept up with a rising population.

”There are more than twice as many extremely poor people living in sub-Saharan Africa today (414 million) than there were three decades ago (205 million),” the World Bank said in April.

It is the only region where ”the number of poor people has risen steadily and dramatically” over the last 30 years, the bank said.

AFP

AAA
Henry Sapiecha
gold dollar sign line

China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer, almost twice as fast as the previous US record holder and underlining the country’s rise as a science and technology powerhouse.

art-tianhe-2-jack-dongarra-pdf-600x0-620x349

The Tianhe-2, developed by the National University of Defence Technology in central China’s Changsha city, is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second, according to the semi-annual TOP500 official listing of the world’s fastest supercomputers. That’s the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second.

The computer uses a total of 3.12 million processor cores, using Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Xeon Phi chips to perform calculations

OCW_300x250

The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way-2, knocks the US Department of Energy’s Titan machine off the no. 1 spot. That machine achieved 17.59 petaflops per second.

Supercomputers are used for complex work such as modelling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing jet planes.

It’s the second time China has been named as having built the world’s fastest supercomputer. In November 2010, the Tianhe-2’s predecessor, Tianhe-1A, had that honour before Japan’s K computer overtook it a few months later.

The Tianhe-2’s achievement shows how China is leveraging rapid economic growth and sharp increases in research spending to join the US, Europe and Japan in the global technology elite.

“Most of the features of the system were developed in China, and they are only using Intel for the main compute part,” said TOP500 editor Jack Dongarra. “That is, the interconnect, operating system, front-end processors and software are mainly Chinese,” said Dongarra, who toured the Tianhe-2 development facility in May.

eeaifhhj
Henry Sapiecha
divider_rainbowspin

ASIA VERSUS AMERICA TO TOP SPOT IN BEING WORLDS BIGGEST PRODUCER

US and Chinese currencies

Businesses must become “Asia-literate” or miss the growth opportunities of the Asian century, according to the Australian government.

That was the message of its Australia in the Asian Century1 whitepaper released in October 2012, which urged the nation to plan for the future.

“Within only a few years, Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, it will also be the world’s largest consumer of them,” the report said. “It is already the most populous region in the world. In the future, it will also be home to the majority of the world’s middle class.”

Dioraddict250x250

Yet, while Asia represents a massive market with two of the world’s three biggest economies in China and Japan, business owners would be remiss to ignore the world’s biggest economy: the United States. According to the World Bank2, US gross domestic product in 2011 totalled nearly US$15 trillion from its population of 311 million, with gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$48,620.

By contrast, China’s GDP was less than half at US$7.3 trillion, with GNI of only US$4,940 for its 1.3 billion citizens. Neighbouring Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, had GDP of US$5.9 trillion with GNI per capita of US$44,900 for its 128 million people.

marcjacobs_180x150

US stronger for longer?

Despite China’s rapid rise, a December 2012 report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)3 predicted that the big three economies would maintain their current rankings for at least another 10 years

Barring unforeseen economic mishaps and currency fluctuations, the United States is expected to remain the world’s biggest economy through to 2022, although China is forecast to narrow the gap to reach 83 per cent of US GDP. However, Asia’s rise is set to continue, with India expected to overtake the British economy in 2017 and secure fourth spot from Germany by 2022. Despite becoming the world’s 12th-biggest economy in 2012, Australia is forecast to drop two places, falling behind South Korea and Italy.

AFL_Product_728x90_01

CEBR’s findings contradict research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)4, which predicted in November 2012 that China would overtake the eurozone that year and the United States within four years to become the world’s largest economy. Nevertheless, the Asia-Pacific region now has more millionaires than those living in the United States or Europe. According to a study by consultants Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management5, the Asia-Pacific region had 3.37 million millionaires in 2011, eclipsing the 3.35 million residing in the United States.

The number of such individuals in the Asia-Pacific region with investable assets of more than US$1 million grew by 0.8 per cent in 2011, twice the global average. Japan made up more than half, with China accounting for 17 per cent and Australia 5 per cent. Yet, while fewer in number, the total investable wealth of rich Americans still outstripped the Asia-Pacific region by US$11.4 trillion to US$10.7 trillion.

hi pages hire a tradie banner image www.acbocallcentre (8)

Choosing the right market

For small business owners, depending on the product or service, a better option may be to test the waters first in a similar English-speaking country, such as New Zealand or the United Kingdom.

In Asia, Singapore has become a hub for multinationals due to its attractive incentives and location as a gateway to Chinese markets, while Japan’s demanding consumers make it an excellent market to refine products.

Export consultant Peter May says the competition in China is intensifying, with Australian businesses needing a unique product or service to succeed.

“The first trap is to assume that because you’re in a big market like China, all you have to do is grab 0.1 per cent of a market segment and you’ve made millions,” says May. “In reality, it’s a highly regulated market with strong competition in all the attractive segments, and foreign companies can be required to meet standards which aren’t always applied to the locals.”

Choosing the right overseas market for business growth can be challenging. By doing your homework and seeking advice from trade advisors such as Austrade, it is possible to reduce the risks and seize the benefits of going global.

pilgrim womens fashion banner image www.acbocallcentre (96)

Henry Sapiecha

divider_rainbowspin

ASIA VERSUS AMERICA TO TOP SPOT IN BEING WORLDS BIGGEST PRODUCER

US and Chinese currencies

Businesses must become “Asia-literate” or miss the growth opportunities of the Asian century, according to the Australian government.

That was the message of its Australia in the Asian Century1 whitepaper released in October 2012, which urged the nation to plan for the future.

“Within only a few years, Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, it will also be the world’s largest consumer of them,” the report said. “It is already the most populous region in the world. In the future, it will also be home to the majority of the world’s middle class.”

Dioraddict250x250

Yet, while Asia represents a massive market with two of the world’s three biggest economies in China and Japan, business owners would be remiss to ignore the world’s biggest economy: the United States. According to the World Bank2, US gross domestic product in 2011 totalled nearly US$15 trillion from its population of 311 million, with gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$48,620.

By contrast, China’s GDP was less than half at US$7.3 trillion, with GNI of only US$4,940 for its 1.3 billion citizens. Neighbouring Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, had GDP of US$5.9 trillion with GNI per capita of US$44,900 for its 128 million people.

marcjacobs_180x150

US stronger for longer?

Despite China’s rapid rise, a December 2012 report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)3 predicted that the big three economies would maintain their current rankings for at least another 10 years

Barring unforeseen economic mishaps and currency fluctuations, the United States is expected to remain the world’s biggest economy through to 2022, although China is forecast to narrow the gap to reach 83 per cent of US GDP. However, Asia’s rise is set to continue, with India expected to overtake the British economy in 2017 and secure fourth spot from Germany by 2022. Despite becoming the world’s 12th-biggest economy in 2012, Australia is forecast to drop two places, falling behind South Korea and Italy.

AFL_Product_728x90_01

CEBR’s findings contradict research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)4, which predicted in November 2012 that China would overtake the eurozone that year and the United States within four years to become the world’s largest economy. Nevertheless, the Asia-Pacific region now has more millionaires than those living in the United States or Europe. According to a study by consultants Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management5, the Asia-Pacific region had 3.37 million millionaires in 2011, eclipsing the 3.35 million residing in the United States.

The number of such individuals in the Asia-Pacific region with investable assets of more than US$1 million grew by 0.8 per cent in 2011, twice the global average. Japan made up more than half, with China accounting for 17 per cent and Australia 5 per cent. Yet, while fewer in number, the total investable wealth of rich Americans still outstripped the Asia-Pacific region by US$11.4 trillion to US$10.7 trillion.

hi pages hire a tradie banner image www.acbocallcentre (8)

Choosing the right market

For small business owners, depending on the product or service, a better option may be to test the waters first in a similar English-speaking country, such as New Zealand or the United Kingdom.

In Asia, Singapore has become a hub for multinationals due to its attractive incentives and location as a gateway to Chinese markets, while Japan’s demanding consumers make it an excellent market to refine products.

Export consultant Peter May says the competition in China is intensifying, with Australian businesses needing a unique product or service to succeed.

“The first trap is to assume that because you’re in a big market like China, all you have to do is grab 0.1 per cent of a market segment and you’ve made millions,” says May. “In reality, it’s a highly regulated market with strong competition in all the attractive segments, and foreign companies can be required to meet standards which aren’t always applied to the locals.”

Choosing the right overseas market for business growth can be challenging. By doing your homework and seeking advice from trade advisors such as Austrade, it is possible to reduce the risks and seize the benefits of going global.

pilgrim womens fashion banner image www.acbocallcentre (96)

Henry Sapiecha

divider_rainbowspin

The Coming Collapse of the Middle East?

On Feb. 26, 2003, President George W. Bush gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, spelling out what he saw as the link between freedom and security in the Middle East. “A liberated Iraq,” he said, “can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region” by serving “as a dramatic and inspiring example … for other nations in the region.”

He invaded Iraq three weeks later. The spread of freedom wasn’t the war’s driving motive, but it was considered an enticing side effect, and not just by Bush. His deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, had mused the previous fall that the spark ignited by regime-change “would be something quite significant for Iraq … It’s going to cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran, but across the whole Arab world.”

Ten years later, it’s clear that the Iraq war cast “a very large shadow” indeed, but it was a much darker shadow than the fantasists who ran American foreign policy back then foresaw. Bush believed that freedom was humanity’s natural state: Blow away the manhole-cover that a tyrant pressed down on his people, and freedom would gush forth like a geyser. Yet when Saddam Hussein was toppled, the main thing liberated was the blood hatred that decades of dictatorship had suppressed beneath the surface.

Bush had been warned. Two months before the invasion, during Super Bowl weekend, three prominent Iraqi exiles paid a visit to the Oval Office. They were grateful and excited about the coming military campaign, but at one point in the meeting they stressed that U.S. forces would have to tamp down the sectarian tensions that would certainly reignite between Sunnis and Shiites in the wake of Saddam’s toppling. Bush looked at the exiles as if they were speaking Martian. They spent much of their remaining time, explaining to him that Iraq had two kinds of Arabs, whose quarrels dated back centuries. Clearly, he’d never heard about this before.

Many of Bush’s advisers did know something about this, but not as much as anyone launching a war in Iraq, and thus overhauling the country’s entire political order, should have known.

It wasn’t rocket science; it was basic history. And to learn the history, they didn’t have to read vast, dry dossiers assembled by the CIA or the State Department (though that might have helped). There was just one book that would have told them, in this respect, everything they needed to know: David Fromkin’s 1989 best-seller, A Peace to End All Peace.

Subtitled “The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East,” Fromkin’s book (still available in paperback) tells the tragic story of how, toward the end of World War I, British and French diplomats redrew the map of the Middle East in ways that were certain to sow violence for decades, perhaps centuries, to come.

Before WWI, the countries we now know as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey did not exist. They were all part of the Ottoman Empire, and had been for 500 years. As the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the face of war, the British and French made plans to weave the territories into their own empires. Country names were coined, boundaries were drawn, tribal leaders were anointed, coopted, or traded promises for their obeisance. As it turned out, though, the war exhausted the British and French—their treasuries and their people’s patience—and over the subsequent two decades, their empires collapsed. But the borderlines they drew in the Middle East survived. These lines bore no resemblance to the natural, historic borders between tribes and sectarian groups; often they divided the members of a group from one another, or imposed the rule of minorities over majorities. The western-installed rulers of these artificial states survived too, and one of their main tasks was to oppress the groups, or buy them off, or play them against one another, in order to sustain their own rule.

What is happening in much of the Middle East now is the collapse of this system. When the U.S. military ousted Saddam Hussein, this process took a leap; initially, it was unclear to what effect. Soon it became obvious that the administration had no plan for post-war Iraq, in part because Bush didn’t think one was needed (democracy would spring forth naturally, once the dictator’s jackboot was lifted), in part because neither Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld nor the top military leaders had much desire to wade into “nation-building.” The coup de grace came when the U.S. proconsul, L. Paul Bremer, issued his two infamous orders, abolishing the Iraqi military and blocking Baathist party members from holding government jobs—as a result of which, order broke down completely. In the vacuum emerged the insurgency, which was never a unified rebellion but rather a multiplicity of groups, harboring a multiplicity of resentments and ambitions, some of them against the interim government, some against the American occupiers, some against one another. The fighting intensified and widened, the American commanders (at least for the occupation’s first three years) had little idea what to do about it—and so it degenerated into civil war.

The main parties in this bourgeoning civil war were Sunni and Shiite Arabs. Each faction had allies in neighboring states, and some of them took the new phase of the war as a rallying cry either for coming to the aid of their brethren in Iraq or for mounting their own rebellions at home. As the authorities in these always-artificial (and therefore illegitimate) states weakened for various reasons (some of them having little to do with the Iraq war), the internal clashes between Sunni and Shiite came to dominate local—then regional—politics.

The question is how far this unraveling goes. Will civil wars erupt in one artificial state after another? That is, will the path of Syria be followed by Lebanon, then Jordan, then (hard as it may be to imagine) Saudi Arabia? Will Sunnis or Shiites, or both, take their sectarian fights across the borders to the point where the borders themselves collapse? If so, will new borders be drawn up at some point, conforming to some historically “natural” sectarian divisions? There have been many such alternative-maps proposed over the years, none of them quite alike, which raises the possibility that the definition of “natural” borders may itself be a contentious matter, likely to set off its own disputes or wars. Will these new borders conform to the results of these new battles? (Borders, like histories, are usually drafted by the winners.)

David Fromkin foresaw all this when he wrote A Peace to End All Peace a quarter-century ago. He also noted that the then-impending havoc would go on for quite a while, likening the situation to that of Europe’s in the fifth century “when the collapse of the Roman Empire’s authority in the West threw its subjects into a crisis of civilization that obliged them to work out a new political system of their own.” Fromkin went on:

“It took Europe a millennium and a half to resolve its post-Roman crisis of social and political identity: nearly a thousand years to settle on the nation-state form of political organization, and nearly five hundred years more to determine which nations were entitled to be states … The continuing crisis in the Middle East in our time may prove to be nowhere near so profound or so long-lasting. But its issue is the same: how diverse peoples are to regroup to create new political identities for themselves after the collapse of an age-old imperial order to which they had grown accustomed.”

There is a danger that such a cosmic view of world politics might breed passivity: The dynamics of conflict seem so inexorable, and so glacial, that outside intervention—even outside interest—appears futile. That’s not necessarily the case. History still walks on two feet. Leaders of nations can take steps, in alliance with other leaders, to reduce the human misery, control the level of violence, prevent the rise of some new empire that, in its full power, might threaten our own security.

But one clear lesson of Fromkin’s tome is that there are limits to what we—especially we, as sectarian outside powers—can do. Another clear lesson is that, if our leaders are going to intervene in another country’s fate (and not just in the Middle East), they should have some understanding of the country’s politics, history, and culture—which is to say, they should have some notion of the consequences of their actions—ahead of time. We and much of the rest of the world would be much better off today, if a few people in the Bush administration had read that one book.


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

SHOULD CHINA BE IMMUNE FROM IT CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

Google chairman Eric Schmidt brands China in his coming book an internet menace that sanctions cyber crime for economic and political gain, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The New Digital Age authored by Schmidt in collaboration with Jared Cohen, a former US State Department adviser who now heads a Google Ideas think tank, is due for release by Random House in April.

The book looks at how the internet impacts culture, commerce, politics and other aspects of life, while depicting China as a powerful and dangerous force in this new world, according to the Journal.


The authors called China the most prolific hacker of foreign companies and the most enthusiastic filterer of information.

“The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States at a distinct disadvantage,” the newspaper quoted the authors as saying in the book.

“The United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage” due to stricter laws and the American “sense of fair play”, it added.

The book reportedly also points to US flaws, such as Washington’s suspected role in a Stuxnet virus that targeted nuclear facilities in Iran and private companies here that sell surveillance technology to oppressive regimes.

Schmidt and his co-author verge on suggesting that Western governments emulate China when it comes to building tight relationships between government interests and moves by technology companies, according to the Journal.

Countries stand to have an advantage if the gear and software they use to get online is made by companies they can trust, the book reportedly argues.

“Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well,” the Journal quoted the authors as writing.

Despite unscrupulously using internet technology to its advantage, China will see “some kind of revolution in the coming decades” as citizens armed with digital age gadgets are pitted against tight government controls, the book is said to predict.

AFP



Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CHINESE COMPUTER HACKERS ENCOURAGED BY THEIR GOV

JOURNALISTS are on notice. If you investigate the Chinese government, Chinese hackers will come after you.

That’s what you should conclude from the disclosure by The New York Times that it was hacked for four months by attackers it suspects were associated with the Chinese military.

The likely motive, the Times said, was retaliation for the newspaper’s investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao.

This was not the first time Chinese hackers had attacked journalists. They infiltrated Bloomberg News last year, the Times reported. They have also gone after the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and other Western media.

The outcome might be chilling: now that a Chinese attack on The New York Times is international news, any dissident or potential whistleblower in China will be wary of talking to journalists. In other words, the hack worked.

The attack on The New York Times points out why cyber-attacks are such an effective weapon, especially when aimed at journalists.

The Times was quickly on to the hackers as the paper had expected a response to its investigation, and AT&T, which had been monitoring the paper’s network, alerted the Times to a potential hack on the day it published the Wen investigation.

But anticipating the hackers would come in response to the Wen Jiabao expose did not really help the Times – the hackers still managed to obtain the corporate passwords of every one of its employees and broke into the PCs of 53 of them. They also infiltrated the email accounts of two reporters who cover China, including David Barboza, who conducted the investigation into Mr Wen’s family.

Unfortunately, security experts said, the Times could not be sure the hackers were gone, nor that they did not find anything of value.

Until now, a government or criminal enterprise had two options if did not like something a reporter had written – it could shut down the outlet or kill the journalist. Hacking presents a third option, one that is far more nuanced and effective.

It is anonymous and China can maintain plausible denials.

The hackers can get what they want – a reporter’s sources, information about how a news outlet works and who to cozy up to, perhaps personal information that could be helpful for blackmail – all without anyone finding out.

Hacking crosses borders. In the past a foreign paper would have been more protected from Chinese governmental repercussions than a local paper. Not any more. Now hackers can get you anywhere, and they can make life hell for everyone you work with.

Finally and most importantly, hacking is almost impossible to defend against.

Journalists have to use computers and the internet. If they do that, they are opening themselves to attack.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

AUSTRALIA is the most charitable nation on earth, a new study shows, with Greece being the meanest.

The Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index ranked Australia first followed by Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and the US.

The pressure on the household budgets of Greeks was reflected in most of the 146 nations surveyed, with the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis reducing the amount of time and money people were willing to devote to charity. The survey showed 28 per cent of people gave money to charity last year compared with almost 30 per cent in 2007.

”In large parts of the world, household incomes are being squeezed, prices are rising and job insecurity is on the increase, with the result that many simply have less time and money to spare,” John Low, the chief executive of the group, said.
Money Mart Online Payday Loans

In Greece, the share of people donating to charity fell to 5 per cent from 7 per cent in 2010.

Still, 3 per cent of Greeks volunteered time to charitable causes, unchanged from a year earlier, and 30 per cent said they had helped a stranger compared with 28 per cent.

About 165 million Indians, 143 million Americans and 126 Indonesians donated money, the survey showed.

Women donated more money than men last year around the world, although men were more likely to volunteer time and help a stranger, the charity said.

Gallup interviewed more than 155,000 people in 146 countries on behalf of the group, which provides financial services and social finance to charities

Home Money Manager Software

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

 

THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRIES ON EARTH

LotWin Lottery Line Builder



YourFreeWorld.com Scripts

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

« Previous PageNext Page »