"Offshore", "tax haven" and more recently "Panama in the EU" are labels that Malta has done its best to shake off. The Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) said on Thursday that the a series of “sensationalist” media reports in parts of the international tabloid press, referred to as the “Malta Files” contain several inaccuracies and false statements. “Maltese financial services practitioners operate within a legal and regulatory framework of the highest standards. Malta is a full member of the European Union and all its laws, including anti-money laundering rules, are fully aligned with European rules and best practice.
The crisis in the retail sector, briefly mentioned in Newsletter 161, is ironically speeding up as the sector loses steam if one views the consumer-driven American economy as a train pulled by a 19th century locomotive. The number of store closings may be more than 8,000 in 2017 if the rate current in Q1 continues. Hundreds of mall anchor stores are on schedule to be closed if the train runs on time.
Apple is reportedly working on a dedicated artificial intelligence chip that would power AI-related tasks on mobile devices, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The chip, which may be called the Apple Neural Engine, would be used to offload tasks that require sophisticated algorithms related to facial and speech recognition and augmented reality tasks that rely heavily on computer vision.
British Airways, owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), faces a potential multi-million pound bill for the delayed passengers. Three days of chaos caused by an IT glitch at Delta airlines last year was expected to cost the US carrier $150m in lost revenue. Many families have lost their holidays, while others have been forced to sleep on the floor of Britain’s two biggest airports since the computer crash on Saturday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe "really must take our fate into our own hands." It was the toughest review yet of Trump's trip to Europe, which inflamed tensions rather than healing them after the U.S. president sparred with the leaders of Washington's closest and oldest allies on trade, defense and climate change.
Bitcoin prices skyrocketed last week and surged to all-time highs above $2.700, and this generated on the web a lot of articles about a possible bubble of this complex and strange asset. Like all the financial assets, also Bitcoin can be studied in Technical Analysis using charts. One of the most common errors I have noticed, is the lack of a proper representation of this asset on the graphs. In the chart below, you can see the BITCOIN/US DOLLAR FX SPOT RATE chart from 2011. It looks impressive but also misleading.
UBS is looking to debut a premium card later in May in a boost to its U.S. business and in a move to gain favor with wealthier Americans, as reported by Bloomberg News. The new card will be called the UBS Infinite card and bows next week on May 27. It has a $495 fee, which in turn, along with expenditures of $50,000, brings in a $500 annual airport lounge credit. The card provides an array of premium rewards, travel benefits and credits, including exclusive savings when users fly, stay, cruise or drive, and a rich earnings structure with rewards points that never expire while the card is open.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Sapienza University, in Rome, Italy, designed a tsunami detection system called VARION, which uses satellite data to recognize unique disturbances in Earth's ionosphere caused by tsunamis. The approach uses observations from GPS and other satellite “constellations” to detect disturbances in the Earth’s ionosphere, a layer of atmosphere between 50 and 621miles from the surface. When a tsunami forms and moves across the ocean, the wave compresses and extends the air above, creating motions known as internal gravity waves. As the gravity waves move upwards, they are amplified in the thinning atmosphere and cause detectable changes to electron density at between 186 and 217miles. The changes can then be detected as satellites move through the disturbance.
As the global economy stares down the barrel of rising inequality and increased automation, more countries are toying with the idea of a universal basic income. But a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is less than enthusiastic. According to OECD research, welfare reforms that would introduce public payment of an unconditional basic income to everyone of working age are worth exploring but would do little to combat poverty if not financed by extra tax. That conclusion is very problematic for a welfare reform that advocates bill as a solution to poverty. A small safety net of cash distributed to everyone regardless of income level or employment status, prevents people – but especially the poor – from slipping into destitution.
Jointly with renowned experts, SSF will debate key success factors for fruitful partnerships attract
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