Connect with us


G20 is in need of genuine reform

Avatar photo



India being the host country, the triumphalist tom-toming that G20 summit on September 9-10 was a “success” is both understandable and probably justifiable. Certainly, Indian diplomacy was in full cry. The negotiation of the G20 Declaration is no mean achievement in a highly polarised environment, notes M.K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Ambassador and prominent international observer.

That said, in a forward-looking perspective, the geopolitical factors that were at work in the Delhi summit will continue to remain the critical determinants for the G20’s future as a format to forge new directions in economic strategies. In a world torn apart, many imponderables remain.

The geopolitical factors can be attributed largely to the fact that the G20 summit took place at an inflection point in the Ukraine war, an event that is, like the tip of an iceberg, a manifestation of the tensions building up between the Western powers and Russia in the post-cold war era.

The heart of the matter is that the Cold War ended through negotiations but the new era was not anchored in any peace treaty. The void created drift and anomalies — and security being indivisible, tensions began appearing as the NATO embarked on an expansion eastward into the former Warsaw Pact territories in the late 1990s.

With great prescience, George Kennan, the choreographer of Cold War strategies, forewarned that the Bill Clinton administration, seized of the “unipolar moment,” was making a grave mistake, as Russia would feel threatened by NATO expansion, which would inexorably complicate the West’s relations with Russia for a long, long time to come.

But NATO kept expanding and slouching toward Russia’s western borders in an arc of encirclement. It was an unspoken secret that Ukraine was set to become ultimately the battleground where the titanic forces would clash.

Predictably, following the regime change in Ukraine backed by the West in 2014, an anti-Russian regime was installed in Kiev and the NATO embarked on a military build-up in that country alongside a concerted plan to induct it into the western alliance system.

Suffice to say, the “consensus” evolved at the G20 summit last week regarding Ukraine war is, in reality, a passing moment in the geopolitical struggle between the US and Russia, as embedded within it is the existential crisis Russia faces.

There is no shred of evidence that the US is willing to concede the legitimacy of Russia’s defence and security interests or to give up its notions of exceptionalism and world hegemony. If anything, a very turbulent period lies ahead. Therefore, do not exaggerate the happy tidings out of the Delhi summit, much as one may savour the moment.

Washington’s climbdown at the summit regarding Ukraine has been both a creative response to the mediatory efforts by the three BRICS countries — South Africa, India and Brazil — as much as, if not more, in its self-interest to avert isolation from the Global South.

Evidently, while Moscow is profusely complimenting India and Modi, the opposite is the case in the western opinion where the compromise on Ukraine has not gone down well at all. The British newspaper Financial Times, which is wired into government thinking, has written that Delhi Declaration refers only to the “war in Ukraine,” a formulation that supporters of Kiev such as the US and NATO allies have previously rejected, as it implies both sides are equally complicit, and “called for a ‘just and durable peace in Ukraine’ but did not explicitly link that demand to the importance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

Indeed, feelings are running high and, no doubt, as the Ukraine war enters the next brutal phase, they will boil over at the prospect of a Russian victory.

Again, there is no question that the West feels challenged by the dramatic surge of BRICS — more to the point, the group’s seductive appeal among the developing countries, the so-called Global South, unnerves the West.

The West can never hope to gain entry into the BRICS tent, either. Meanwhile, the BRICS is moving with determination in the direction of replacing the international trading system which provided underpinning for western hegemony. The US’ weaponisation of sanctions — and the seizure of Russian reserves arbitrarily — has created misgivings in the minds of many nations.

Plainly put, the US has forgotten its solemn promise when dollar replaced gold as the reserves in the early 1970s that its currency will be freely accessible for all countries. Today, the US turned that promise upside down and exploits dollar’s primacy to print the currency as much as it wants and live beyond its means.

The growing trend is toward trading in local currencies, bypassing dollar. The BRICS is expected to accelerate these shifts. Make no mistake, sooner or later, BRICS may work on an alternative currency to replace dollar.

Conceivably, therefore, there will be western conspiracies to create dissonance within BRICS, and Washington is sure to continue to play on India’s disquiet over China’s towering presence in the Global South. While exploiting Indian phobias regarding China, the Biden administration also looks toward Modi government to act as a bridge between the West and the Global South. Are such expectations realistic?

The current developments in Africa with a pronounced anti-colonial, anti-western overtone, directly threaten to disrupt the continued transfer of wealth out of that resource-rich continent to the West. How can India, which has known the cruelty of colonial subjugation, collaborate with the West in such a paradigm?

Fundamentally, all these geopolitical factors taken into account, G20’s future lies in its capacity for internal reform. Conceived during the financial crisis in 2007 when globalisation was still in vogue, G20 is today barely surviving in a vastly different global environment. Added to that, the “politicisation” (“Ukrainisation”) of G20 by the Western powers undermines the format’s raison d’être.

The world order itself is in transition and the G20 needs to move with the times to avoid obsolescence. For a start, the G20 format is packed with rich countries, most of whom are pretenders with little to contribute, at a juncture when the G7 no longer calls the shots. In GDP terms or population, BRICS has overtaken G7.

Greater representation of the Global South is needed by replacing the pretenders from the industrial world. Second, the IMF needs urgent reform, which is of course easier said than done, as it involves the US agreeing to give up its undue privileges of vetoing decisions it disfavours for political or geopolitical reasons — or, plainly, to punish certain countries.

With IMF reform, the G20 can hope to play a meaningful role focused on creating a new trading system. But the West is playing for time by politicising the G20, paranoid that its 5-centuries old dominance of the world economic order is ending. Unfortunately, visionary leadership is conspicuous by its absence in the Western world at such a historic moment of transition, M.K. Bhadrakumar concludes.


The Financial Dilemma: All You Need To Know About Credit Checking

Avatar photo



Photo by cottonbro studio from

In personal finance, most people prioritize taking care of their credit scores and raise considerations about credit checking. Simply put, good credit is vital in determining your financial health and access to a broad range of financial services, which is helpful if you’re working on loans, credit cards, or acquiring investment assets like housing and cars.

This article will cover the essential parts of credit checking and credit scores, what it entails, and how it can affect your financial lifestyle.

Understanding Credit Checking

Credit checking, commonly known as a credit score check or credit inquiry, is a process in which banks, lenders, and landlords assess a client’s creditworthiness. It involves a brief assessment of a person’s credit report and score to evaluate their capacity to manage their obligations and repay debts.

Credit checking exists in most cases where an investment or loan is involved, and based on the results of their credit checks, lenders or landlords reserve the right to decline or approve a lease request or loan, which emphasizes the importance of building a good credit score.

Types of Credit Checking

In credit checking, two types of evaluation can affect your credit score, these are:

1. Soft Pull

Soft pulls or soft inquiries are credit checks that don’t impact a person’s credit score when evaluating their creditworthiness. This happens when you typically check your credit reports, ask a potential employer for background checks, or receive pre-approved credit offers from banks or other establishments.

2. Hard Pull

On the other hand, hard inquiries occur when a lender reviews your credit report as part of their approval process, like real estate, getting another credit card, or a loan. Hard inquiries may harm your credit score. Fortunately, it is only temporary, and you can recover from it through suitable financial activities like paying debts or settling accounts.

Credit Score vs. Credit Checking Reports

You might think that credit scores and credit reports are the same. Although closely related, credit scores are a numerical system that evaluates your creditworthiness. In contrast, a credit report or check is a detailed breakdown of your financial activities.

For example, inside your credit report are your recent credit card transactions, pre-approval processes, and recent financial activities that, in turn, reflect your overall credit score.

Considering the information above, you must understand that you know how to read your reports and understand the reason behind your credit scores. After all, self-checking your credit report is free, and you can manage it before lenders or other financial entities can incur a hard pull.

What Makes Credit Checking Important

Your credit score is a tangible representation of your creditworthiness. In other words, it reports how banks and financial institutions can trust you as a responsible borrower. A stern analysis of your credit activities allows you and your bank to work together in making favorable loan or investment programs.

To give you an idea, here’s how credit checks impact your financial well-being in various ways:

Interest Rates

Determining your credit score through a hard pull often determines the interest rate you’ll receive in loans and credit card debts. A higher score can lead to favorable terms and lower interest rates, saving you money.

Loan Approvals

Financial lenders use credit checks as part of their decision-making process. Depending on whether your score is high or low, it may result in denying your application or approving it and proceeding to a curated loan agreement contract.

Real Estate

In housing, landlords are typically more flexible in accepting would-be tenants. A good credit score approves them of their rental request, while a bad one may either outright deny their application or adjust for a higher security deposit instead. Overall, such flexibilities are unique from one property to another and may depend on the state’s housing regulations.


Not all companies do this, but some employers conduct soft credit checks for background checks, especially for positions involving financial management or handling sensitive accounts. After all, why would they hire someone in a financial position with bad financial credit?

Insurance Policies

Your credit scores affect your payment terms for insurance premiums, especially for home or auto insurance. A lower credit score may result in higher insurance costs. Fortunately, most insurance companies still offer the same policies, so you’d still get the same benefit whether you have a higher or lower credit score.

Final Thoughts

Given the importance of credit checks and their significant impact on financial well-being, you must manage your finances. The good thing is that you’re always entitled to do a self-credit check on most banks for free and report inaccuracies before settling down to an investment. Nevertheless, your credit is a fundamental aspect of personal finance, and good standing can help you go through most financial decisions and secure your future.

Continue Reading


Blame the BRICS for the de-dollarization

Avatar photo



“De-dollarizing” the world economy could have dangerous consequences for the United States. The BRICS alliance — originally comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — took a major step toward flexing its communal currency muscle at its recent summit in South Africa, writes ‘The New York Post’.

Six new members joined the organization — Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates — in an effort to reduce the dollar’s decades-long dominance and end its use as the preferred payment for the one commodity that still dominates global trade: oil.

The dollar’s role as the world’s key reserve currency is the foundation for America’s global leadership.

Most crucially, at a time of unprecedented global conflict, diminishing the dollar’s importance would allow rogue nations such as Iran and Russia to become immune to sanctions in response to geopolitical bad behavior.

Lower demand for the currency might make exports cheaper but it will also reduce the dollar’s purchasing power and undermine confidence in its stability.

As the BRICS summit made clear, the block’s leverage in the oil market has never been greater.

This has given them unprecedented power to finally replace the dollar on the global energy markets with their own domestic currencies.

Take a close look at the selective approach the alliance used to expand its membership.

While the bloc did not provide details about specific admissions criteria, the selection is clearly energy-centric.

Only six out of more than 40 applicant nations were accepted this year — with sizable economies such as Turkey and Indonesia conspicuously left out.

The anti-Western alliance now has six of the world’s top oil producers – Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.

It’s also home to two of the world’s largest oil importers – China and India.

Although 90% of oil trades are currently conducted in dollars, an increasing number are being handled in Chinese yuan and Russian rubles.

India, for instance, has started paying for Russian oil imports in yuan, and China also began using its yuan to pay Russia for most of its energy imports in the first quarter of this year, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia may be new to BRICS, but it’s already colluding with Russia to reduce petroleum production, which has resulted in oil reaching a 10-month high this month.

What’s notable about the BRICS newcomers is that many are authoritarian regimes who are intimately familiar with the power of US sanctions.

Iran, of course, has contended with them for years.

The Saudis — while a crucial US ally — are keen to avoid the “consequences” called for by Biden in October after OPEC+ announced those large production cuts.

Back in 2020, Biden also threatened to make the kingdom a “pariah” over the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

By shutting Washington out of trade and diplomacy, BRICS membership allows rogue nations to upend our ability to “weaponize” the dollar as a tool to punish ‘bad guys’.

The US has employed sanctions for decades, in lieu of military intervention against authoritarian regimes such as Iran, North Korea, and now Russia.

The White House, for instance, seized $300 billion in Russian assets following its invasion of Ukraine.

Biden also removed Russia from SWIFT, the international money transfer system, sending shock-waves to non-western nations at risk of White House ire.

But sanctions, no matter how robust, have proven ineffective. China and India — both of which have yet to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine — have kept Moscow’s energy revenue flowing, helping to finance Putin’s war machine and highlighting the power of BRICS cooperation.

The BRICS already have a significant presence across the global economy.

With a collective population of more than 3 billion and 31.5% of the world’s GDP, they’re a formidable challenger to the G7 block of the world’s top economic superpowers.

The G-7’s share of global GDP, for instance, is currently at 30%, and projected to fall to 27.95 percent in 2027, according to Statista research.

The dominance of the dollar has driven many non-Western nations to join forces and develop a counterweight to Western economic hegemony.

Continue Reading


Common statistics homework problems and how to solve them

Avatar photo



Statistics is a branch of mathematics that deals with collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. Statistics homework problems can be challenging for many students, especially if they lack the necessary skills and concepts. That is the reason why many choose to get statistics help for students. It seems like a more effective way of dealing with an issue at hand. However, there are some common types of statistics problems that can be solved using some basic steps and strategies.

Statistic help for students: examples of problems and solutions

Example 1: Finding the mean and median of a data set

The mean and median are two measures of central tendency that describe the average or typical value of a data set. The mean is calculated by adding up all the values in the data set and dividing by the number of values. The median is the middle value of the data set when it is arranged in ascending or descending order. If there is an even number of values, the median is the average of the middle two values.

To find the mean and median of a data set, we can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Arrange the data in ascending or descending order (optional for finding the mean, but necessary for finding the median).
  • Step 2: Add up all the values in the data set and divide by the number of values to get the mean.
  • Step 3: Find the middle position of the data set by dividing the number of values by 2. If the result is a whole number, then that position is the median. If the result is a fraction, then round it up to the next whole number and find the value at that position. This is the median if there is an odd number of values. If there is an even number of values, then find the average of the values at that position and the previous position. This is the median.

For example, suppose we have the following data set:

139 143 128 138 149 131 143 133

To find the mean and median, we can do the following:

  • Step 1: Arrange the data in ascending order:

128 131 133 138 139 143 143 149

  • Step 2: Add up all the values and divide by 8 (the number of values) to get the mean:

(128 + 131 + 133 + 138 + 139 + 143 + 143 + 149) / 8 = 138.25

The mean is 138.25.

  • Step 3: Find the middle position of the data set by dividing 8 by 2:

8 / 2 = 4

Since this is a whole number, we look at the value at position 4 and position 5 (the next position) in the ordered data set:

128 131 133 (138) (139) 143 143 149

The values at these positions are 138 and 139. To find the median, we take their average:

(138 + 139) / 2 = 138.5

The median is 138.5.

Example 2: Constructing a frequency table

A frequency table is a table that shows how often each value or category occurs in a data set. It can be used to summarize and display categorical or numerical data. To construct a frequency table, we can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Identify the possible values or categories in the data set.
  • Step 2: Count how many times each value or category occurs in the data set.
  • Step 3: Record the counts in a table with two columns: one for the values or categories and one for their frequencies.

For example, suppose we have the following data on the GPA of six students:

3.0 3.3 3.1 3.0 3.1 3.1

To construct a frequency table, we can do the following:

  • Step 1: Identify the possible values in the data set. In this case, they are 3.0, 3.1, and 3.3.
  • Step 2: Count how many times each value occurs in the data set. In this case, 3.0 occurs twice, 3.1 occurs three times, and 3.3 occurs once.
  • Step 3: Record the counts in a table with two columns:

This is our frequency table.

These are just two examples of common statistics homework problems and how to solve them. There are many other types of problems that require different methods and techniques, such as finding standard deviation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, regression, and more. To learn more about these topics and how to solve them, you can check out some online resources such as Mathway, The Princeton Review, or Math-Drills. You can also consult your textbook, your instructor, or your classmates for more help and practice. Statistics can be a challenging but rewarding subject, and with some effort and guidance, you can master it.

How to find competent statistics help for students

When you are overwhelmed with your assignment and don’t feel like working on it, qualified statistic help for students is the best solution to your problem. However, you should find out a bit about the service before you place your order on its website. To specify, you need to know how long its team has been providing statistics assistance for students. What is more, you should check out what their pricing policy is like, as well as what other customers think about the agency in question.

Apart from that, don’t forget about the guarantees which a reliable service should provide. The more guarantees a service offers, the more secure you will feel placing your order on the website. All in all, finding a service that provides competent statistics assistance will not take you long as there are many companies you can trust. Yet, you need to pay special attention to a number of factors to choose the best service on the market. A company that provides competent assistance with statistics assignments is right on hand. You just need to learn more about what it has to offer.

Continue Reading