Top international headlines: US counts the trillions lost to inequality and more


Also, China factory gate inflation is at its highest and Guinea sees a rise in aluminium prices.

The IMF approves almost $600 million (R8,491 million) in emergency relief for Tanzania, while concerns about a coup in Guinea result in a rise in aluminium prices. Meanwhile, China factory gate inflation is at its highest in 13 years and the US counts the trillions lost to inequality. In other news, a shredded painting is expected to fetch more than £4 million (R78 million) in a Sotheby’s auction.

Trillions lost to inequality in the US
Inequality in employment, education and earnings has cost the US economy nearly $22.9 trillion (R324 trillion) over the past 30 years, a sum that is likely to increase as minority populations expand, according to new research, which will be published in the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Papers on Economic Activity journal.

The research adds to a growing body of literature that seeks to measure the impact of inequality in the US. Last year, economists found that closing racial gaps would have garnered an additional $16 trillion (R226 trillion) in the US economy since 2000.

China factory gate inflation highest since 2008
China’s factory gate inflation hit a 13-year high in August driven by roaring raw materials prices despite Beijing’s attempts to cool them, putting more pressure on manufacturers in the world’s second-largest economy.

The producer price index (PPI) rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said, faster than the nine percent increase tipped in a Reuters poll and the nine percent reported in July.

IMF approves emergency funding for Tanzania
The International Monetary Fund approved nearly $600 million (R8,491 million) in emergency lending for Tanzania’s health system and economic-recovery efforts as the nation battles the Covid-19 pandemic.

The resources will help pay for the nation’s “urgent balance of payment needs” stemming from the pandemic, the IMF said, adding that the funds should also help spur support for the nation from other development partners.

Guinea coup leads to rise in aluminium prices
Aluminium prices hit their highest levels in a decade following news of a coup in Guinea, the world’s second-biggest producer of raw material bauxite.

Guinea supplies about 25 percent of the world’s bauxite, mostly to China and Russia. The raw material is refined to make alumina, the starting point for aluminium production, reports the Financial Times.

Shredded painting appreciates in auction value
A UK street artist’s painting that partially shredded itself after being sold at auction is going back under the hammer.

Banksy stunned the art world when his Girl With Balloon attempted to self-destruct in London in 2018 immediately after the conclusion of the auction, with the top bid at £1.1 million (R20 million).

The canvas was passed through a secret shredder hidden in the large Victorian-style frame, leaving the bottom half in tatters and only a solitary red balloon left on a white background in the frame, reports The Guardian.

The painting, retitled Love is in the Bin after the shredding, will now appear at a Sotheby’s auction with an estimated selling price of more than £4 million (R78 million).

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