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Bank of Cardiff Newscasts



The latest news, views and comments broadcast direct from Bank of Cardiff on hot topics from around the world.

Catch Bank of Cardiff's latest newscast and get up to speed on some of the burning issues of the day - in a matter of minutes. We'll report on developments in the US and Europe and provide insightful comment on a wide range of news stories from finance to entertainment. Check in for your regular update!

What next for global tax reform?

Head of IMF says it's time to think outside the box on global tax

April 22, 2016

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has advised governments to start thinking ‘outside the box' on global tax issues. At the same time, she cautioned against proposals by British-based charity Oxfam to create a UN global tax body which might face insurmountable challenges. The Panama Papers raised concerns all over the world about the tax-avoidance strategies of multinational companies and many - including US president Barack Obama - to call for international tax reform. The creation of an intergovernmental tax body seems unlikely because of the unwillingness of nation states to surrender their tax powers.

EU announces crackdown on tax avoidance

EU to force multinationals to disclose country-by-country profits and tax arrangements

April 21, 2016

Following the publication of the Panama Papers there's a growing call for increased transparency in the tax affairs of politicians and multinational companies. With this in mind, European Union (EU) regulators have recently announced proposals to make multinationals disclose profits earned and taxes paid in Europe's 28 member states, as well as in tax havens. The new rules will affect all corporations with a significant presence in Europe and will put high-profile companies like Apple and Starbucks back into the spotlight over the issue of taxes.

Is the US tax friendly or is it a tax haven?

US companies avoiding tax with on-shore shell companies

April 20, 2016

Only a couple of hundred US accounts have emerged as Mossack Fonseca clients in the Panama Papers leak. It's not that Americans have a bigger sense of obligation towards paying taxes but because for many it's easier to create a shell company in the US rather than overseas. A limited liability company (LLC) can be incorporated in every US state without disclosing its beneficiary. In fact in a Tax Justice Network 2015 ranking of tax havens, the US occupies the number three slot, behind only Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous exposed in the Panama Papers

Biggest-ever leak causes political fall-out across the globe

April 19, 2016

The secret wealth of some of the world's highest-profile politicians and celebrities has been unceremoniously unmasked in the biggest information leak in history. Millions of documents obtained from law firm Mossack Fonseca - collectively known as the Panama Papers - has demonstrated how the rich and famous take advantage of international fiscal havens to avoid paying tax and to mask their commercial activities.

Are we heading towards a cashless economy?

Could cash become obsolete?

March 18, 2016

We've all become more wedded to plastic as advancements in technology allow us to pay for everything from a breakfast muffin to a wide-screen TV with a credit card. But the idea of a cashless economy seems unthinkable. Central banks are evaluating the situation, though, to enable them to exert more control over economic recovery measures. It's no good establishing QE and negative interest rates to stimulate the economy if people hoard cash instead.

Why are ex-pat Americans giving up their passports?

Growing numbers of Americans are renouncing US citizenship

March 16, 2016

According the US Treasury, increasing numbers of Americans are renouncing their citizenship. One of the main reasons for this seems to be Fatca (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), a citizen-based taxation system introduced in 2012. The law is aimed at taxing wealthy Americans and requires citizens to file a tax return, no matter where in the world they live. It also means some people are liable to pay US taxes on top of those required by their country of residence.

Is the honeymoon period over for tech companies?

Tech companies forced to face up to responsibilities

March 15, 2016

For a long time, technology companies have basked at the top of the commercial hierarchy. Software giants such as Microsoft who've come to prominence as a result of the innovation of their geeky founders, making money as if they were printing it and pushing their tech agenda to number one position on the cool list. The workaday compliance issues, environmental problems and industry regulations that hound other, less glamorous, sectors haven't wiped the gloss of this one, until now.

What's a Brexit and what would it mean for the US?

British exit from EU could affect US markets

March 14, 2016

Brexit is a term that may well be unfamiliar to many Americans, although there could be repercussions down the line, should the UK vote to leave the EU in the June referendum. Britain's prime minister David Cameron has been trying to renegotiate key agreements with the EU to improve its position within the union. But with US interests closely connected to those of the UK and the outcome of the vote far from certain, it's worth paying attention to proceedings.

Negative interest rates deployed by Bank of Japan

Bank of Japan introduces negative interest rates to boost economy

February 12, 2016

In a bid to shake the economy out of its stalemate, the Bank of Japan has introduced negative interest rates. In theory, the 0.1% rate should encourage lending and begin to turn the tide of deflation. In practice, because banks and other lenders will, in effect, be charged for hoarding deposits, they ought to be more inclined to lend to businesses and consumers and, in turn, promote spending and business investment. It's the latest in a raft of initiatives designed to boost commercial confidence and support Japan's plans to move inflation towards its 2% target.

How much tax is enough?

Large corporates face stiffer tax penalties as governments crack down on avoidance

February 11, 2016

Benjamin Franklin's twin certainties - death and taxes - are becoming things to avoid in the 21st century, at least by large corporations who use every trick in the book to reduce their tax liability. Legal it may be, but consensus is gathering, in Europe at least, to overhaul the international tax system, in the wake of several prominent cases in which multi-national companies are felt to be dodging their tax obligations to member states. Google is in the firing line at the moment. After years of negotiation, the company has finally agreed a £130m deal with British tax authorities to pay some back taxes and bear a greater tax burden in future. But is it enough?

Not-so-happy new year for global market

Markets in turmoil as World Economic Forum ends

February 9, 2016

As 2016 gets underway, global markets are already experiencing turmoil. Markets in Europe and the US endured some of their steepest losses for decades in the first few days of the New Year, sparked by fears over continued problems in the Chinese economy where trading was temporarily suspended to try to stem the haemorrhaging yuan. Many markets seem to be edging dangerously close to 'bear' territory - indicating a fall of 20% or more from their most recent peak.

US economic recovery slows

New figures show the US economy slowed at the end of 2015

February 10, 2016

Fresh Commerce Department figures show that the US economy slowed significantly in the final three months of 2015 amid signs of a global economic slowdown. Spending by businesses and customers alike was cut and US exports reduced. The disappointing 0.7% growth rate raises concerns about the resilience of the US economy against the backdrop of global stock market turmoil which, in turn, is fed by fears of continued economic slowdown in China and plummeting oil prices.

Bitcoin creator remains a mystery

Australian tech entrepreneur in bitcoin allegation

December 31, 2015

The identity of the famously coy bitcoin developer is still unknown, despite a raid by police on the home of an Australian tech entrepreneur 'outed' by US publications Gizmodo and Wired as the cryptocurrency creator in leaked interview transcripts. Officers arrived at the house of Craig Wright in a Sydney suburb for a raid that was said to be unrelated to the bitcoin claims, according to the Australian Federal Police. Those who claim to know Wright doubt the likelihood of his involvement, with some saying they believe Gizmodo and Wired have been the victims of an elaborate hoax.

Oil prices near a seven-year low

Global oil prices continue to fall

December 28, 2015

Crude oil prices have slumped to their lowest levels in seven years, with further losses likely in the coming weeks. On 4 December, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed to continue its policy of seeking market share rather than supporting prices, which saw US crude oil values falling to less than $40 a barrel. Prices are now at their lowest levels since the close of 2008, when crude-oil futures price fell to around $34. Opec's organisational disarray has promoted renewed selling and is causing widespread concern in the sector.

US airports don't match up to international competition

US airports have a poor showing in Skytrax international index

December 30, 2015

US airports are lagging behind other countries in the world rankings, losing out to Asian and European hubs. Singapore's smart Changi Airport has claimed pole position for the last three years in consultancy group Skytrax's definitive list, which surveys 13 million passengers. Changi features zen-inspired butterfly, orchid and cactus gardens, while South Korea's Incheon boasts an ice-skating rink and a golf-driving range. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky is the US's highest-ranked airport, trailing in at a disappointing 30th position, with only San Francisco and Atlanta joining them in the top 50.

What next for the global economy?

Global economy divided as Federal Reserve gets ready to raise rates

December 23, 2015

With businesses readying themselves for an interest rate rise in December, the global economy seems to be divided. A slight rise from 0.25% to 0.5% may not seem like a sweeping gesture from the Federal Reserve but it is a game-changer, nevertheless. While Fed boss Janet Yelland feels the US economy can withstand a modest rate rise, some economists are worried that the predicted rise in US interest rates won't necessarily be the tonic needed to increase the pace of recovery and that the Eurozone, Japan, China and BRIC countries are still far from stable.

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