Archive for December 27th, 2018

Bank Underground Blog’s Christmas Quiz

December 27, 2018

Nice quiz  on the blog.

I fared too poorly to tell my score 😦


North and South Koreas try break ground on future railway project

December 27, 2018

The two Koreas are trying to work towards peace via the Railways:

A South Korean delegation crossed the heavily guarded border into North Korea on Wednesday as the two countries held a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for an ambitious project to modernize North Korean roads and railways.

The ceremony, which took place in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, came after the Koreas conducted a joint survey on sections of the North’s railway system that they someday hope to link with the South. The project is one of the several peace gestures to which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed at a historic summit in April.

A nine-car South Korean train carrying about 100 people — including government officials, lawmakers and aging relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War — rolled into Kaesong’s Panmun Station. The train was carrying a slogan on its side which read: “Let’s open an era of peace and prosperity together — reconnection of South-North railways and roads.

They were greeted by North Koreans including Ri Son Gwon, who leads an agency which handles inter-Korean affairs. Representatives from China, Russia and Mongolia were also present, as were officials from the United Nations including Armida Alisjahbana, executive secretary of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

However Seoul has stressed that peace possible only when North denuclearizes. The earlier similar peace ways did not make progress due to North’s continued insistence on nuclear weapons and tests…

Germany mulls introducing mosque tax for Muslims like the church tax for catholics

December 27, 2018

Did not know that some of the European countries collect church taxes.

Germany which is one of these countries plans to introduce a mosque tax:

Lawmakers from Germany’s grand coalition government said on Wednesday that they were considering introducing a “mosque tax” for German Muslims, similar to the church taxes that German Christians pay.

Thorsten Frei, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) told Die Weltdaily that a mosque tax was “an important step” that would allow “Islam in Germany to emancipate itself from foreign states.”

In Germany, church taxes are collected from practicing Catholics and Protestants in order to fund church activities. They are collected by the state and then transferred to religious authorities.

In the absence of a similar tax, mosques in Germany are reliant upon donations, raising concerns about possible financing by foreign organizations and governments, which has sometimes prompted questions about the promotion of fundamentalist ideologies. For example, there has been growing concern about the influence of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), an arm of the Turkish government based in Germany.

Nice bit..

“A Noteworthy Woman”: Viola Desmond who featured on Canada’s $10 note..

December 27, 2018

An interesting way of honoring noteworthy women is by featuring them on currency notes!

Carolyn Wilkins of Bank of Canada in this speech does this really well:

Thank you all for being here for the opening of A Noteworthy Woman, our temporary exhibition about the imagery on Canada’s new $10 bank note. The process to choose the first Canadian woman to be featured on a regular bank note was exciting, and it inspired many. We received more than 26,000 submissions.

This exhibition retraces our journey with Canadians to collect ideas. It tells the story of the 12 amazing women who, in the end, were considered for the honour, and of Viola Desmond and her lasting legacy as a human rights icon in Canada.

The artifacts in the exhibit are evocative reminders of Viola Desmond’s life and the time in which she lived. The focus has, of course, been on that day in a movie theatre in Nova Scotia in 1946. A successful business woman was denied a seat downstairs, was arrested and jailed, then ultimately convicted and fined for doing what was right in a system that was wrong.

Yet, that day in the theatre was not the first time Viola Desmond had experienced systemic racism. She had always dreamed of opening her own beauty salon, but the 1930s was not a time when a woman-and especially a black woman-could easily succeed. Nova Scotia beauty schools would not accept her, so Viola trained in Montréal and the United States. She then returned to Halifax to open her own studio in 1937, during the depths of the Great Depression. Viola Desmond had been an inspiration for years before she bought that fateful movie ticket.

Our exhibition includes mementos from Viola Desmond’s business and seats from the movie theatre where her public battle began.

More poignant still is Viola Desmond’s free pardon, granted in 2010 by the government of Nova Scotia, which recognized that she was innocent of the conviction that had remained on her record for 63 years. She never got to see justice served. It is a pleasure and honour to have Wanda Robson here today to share this moment dedicated to her sister.

The exhibition also highlights other design features of the vertical $10 note, which centre on the theme of human rights and social justice. You will find an image of an eagle feather, an excerpt from the Charter of Rights and Freedomsand an image of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where Wanda Robson spent the first new $10 note 10 days ago.

We could not leave out of the exhibition the important stories of the 11 inspirational women who were also considered for the bank note. These remarkable women overcame barriers, created significant change and left Canada better because of their contributions.

Soon, many Canadians will carry a Viola Desmond note in their wallets. But the lessons of her life must continue to be told. That’s why I’m glad that, through this exhibition, people will be able to learn more about her history, and Canada’s history. It is by interpreting our past that we inform our future.


Post-Brexit, will Paris emerge as an international financial centre?

December 27, 2018

My new piece in Moneycontrol. I discuss whether Post-Brexit, Paris will emerge as an international finance centre.


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