Don’t believe the World Bank – robots will increase inequality

Automation will bring growth, but history tells us labour’s share of national income will decline

The World Bank has a reassuring message for those fearful of being made obsolete by automation: the robot age is nothing to be worried about. Just like all previous waves of technological advance, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will create rather than destroy jobs, so fears of mass unemployment are largely unfounded.

Nor should we be concerned that the arrival of the new machine age is going to widen the gap between rich and poor, because the idea that the world is becoming a less equal place is more perception than reality.

Related: Why teach drone pilots about ethics when it’s robots that will kill us? | Andrew Brown

Related: Rise of robots ‘could see workers enjoy four-day weeks’

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Saudi shares tumble on fallout from journalist’s disappearance

Markets rise in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; Trump issues threats of ‘severe punishment’

Saudi Arabia’s stock market tumbled in early Sunday trade on concerns about relations with the international community following the disappearance of a a Saudi journalist.

Meanwhile markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai rose.

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Nightmare on Downing Street – cartoon

Behind Theresa May’s assertion that austerity is over lurk the horrors of universal credit, Brexit and the DUP

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Oxfam criticises World Bank for backing deregulated labour markets

World Development Report dismisses concern about growing income inequality, say critics

Aid charities and trade unions have denounced a World Bank report that advises some of the poorest countries in the world to accept the demands of multinational corporations to hire and fire workers and remove laws protecting workers’ rights.

Oxfam said the report’s main message was that governments should abandon labour market regulation and rely instead on low levels of welfare to prevent workers falling into extreme poverty.

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Why are stock markets falling and how far will they go?

The FTSE 100 has plunged 10% since May and Wall Street suffered its biggest drop in 8 months this week. What’s going on?

A volatile week across global stock markets has escalated into a heavy sell-off, with European stock markets plunging to their lowest level in 20 months on Thursday. In the UK, the FTSE 100 entered correction territory – falling 10% from its peak in May – after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop in eight months on Wednesday.

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Irish cheese maker stockpiling cheddar in case of no-deal Brexit

Ornua, owner of Kerrygold and Pilgrims Choice brands, says it is preparing for uncertainty

The Irish dairy company behind well-known brands such as Kerrygold has started stockpiling cheddar in the UK to guard against the risk of a major price hike for Britain’s favourite cheese in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

World Trade Organization tariffs on cheddar are as high as 42% but Irish cheese manufacturers fear sales would plummet in British supermarkets if it passed on the extra cost to the consumer.

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IMF boss defends Federal Reserve after Trump calls it ‘crazy’

Christine Lagarde says policy of raising US interest rates ‘legitimate and necessary’

The boss of the International Monetary Fund has defended the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rises as “legitimate and necessary”, after Donald Trump said the central bank had “gone crazy”.

Christine Lagarde made the comments at the IMF’s annual meeting in Bali, against a backdrop of tumbling stock markets and the biggest fall on Wall Street in eight months, which President Trump partly blamed on the Fed’s actions.

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Why are markets plunging and which stocks are worst hit?

Rising US interest rates, trade war tensions and uncertainty in Italy provide a volatile mix

A volatile week across global stock markets has escalated into a frenzied sell-off, with European stock markets plunging to their lowest level in 20 months on Thursday. In the UK the FTSE 100 fell to a six-month low after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop in eight months, with the Dow Jones losing more than 800 points.

Related: World stock markets dive as Trump attacks ‘crazy’ US rate hikes

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