In a major move aimed at reforming the global financial architecture, the BRICS finance ministers today agreed on the setting up of a development bank to fund infrastructure and development projects in the five-nation grouping of emerging powers.The agreement came after weeks of negotiations among the five emerging economies in a move aimed at changing the rules of governance in global governance, especially the Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.Senior Indian negotiators have said that the BRICS bank initiative will be cleared at the level of the heads of government when the summit adopts the report of the finance ministers. Issues including capital, membership and governance still dog the BRICS bank over which a final document may get ready by next year. Still it may take years before it finally gets going.The BRICS bank can also borrow from other banks to pitch in with the much-needed capital. The BRICS bank will focus on funding infrastructure and development projects in the BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries in a direct challenge to the way the World Bank and IMF do their business.However, Indian negotiators are also conscious of the fact that issues like capital, membership and governance are yet to be thrashed but before the summit can put a seal of approval on launching the BRICS bank.
Monthly Archives: March 2013
Good-looking male workers can earn 22 percent more than their plainer colleagues doing the same job, a new study has claimed.However, good looks do not result in increased salaries for women, the study found.Researchers also found that below-average looks or outright ugliness can reduce a man’s earnings by 26 percent compared to an average-looking worker.The ‘good-looks’ effect exists across the social spectrum and attractive men in all jobs, from male assembly line workers to highly-paid professional careers, can earn 22 percent more than their colleagues doing an identical role.The research was conducted by Andrew Leigh, a former economics professor at the Australian National University, and Jeff Borland of the University of Melbourne.The largest exercise of its kind, it repeated a survey from 1984 to see if the beauty premium had changed.Leigh said that although he believed good-looking women may also be paid more, the study did not demonstrate this.Beauty can be a double-edged sword for women. Some people still believe good looks and intelligence are incompatible in women so a good-looking woman can’t be that productive, but there’s no dumb-blonde syndrome affecting men’s pay.Leigh said the research showed people in the workplace were “lookist” and he hoped the findings would help employers overcome their prejudice.
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Facing demands from India and other countries for banking details of persons with alleged black money in Switzerland, the European nation has proposed new rules for combating money laundering and mandating extra due diligence by banks before accepting clients’ money.Switzerland’s Federal Council, the country’s top-most policy making body, has proposed that these norms would be put through an extensive consultation process till June 15.
The proposals come within days of Switzerland promising deepening of dialogue with India on administrative assistance and exchange of information about suspected illicit wealth stashed by Indians in the Swiss banks.At the same time, Switzerland’s finance ministry has also made it clear that it would not entertain any banking information requests that are based on stolen or illegally obtained account details, while it has also refused to consider any fishing expedition for Swiss bank details.In its latest proposals, the Federal Council said it has adopted two consultation drafts – one for implementation of the revised international recommendations on combating money-laundering and terrorist-financing, and the second for putting in place and extended due diligence requirements should prevent untaxed assets from being accepted by financial intermediaries in Switzerland.India is probing alleged stashing of untaxed funds in certain Swiss banks. The country has not got details of such funds directly from Switzerland and it is said that these details found their way to India after certain account details were stolen electronically by a third party.
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