BEN KRITZ, TMT

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IN February 2016 the Philippines unwittingly became embroiled in one of the most spectacular bank heists in history, the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank. Part of that amount, or $66 million, disappeared, laundered through accounts at RCBC bank, a local money exchange company and a couple of…

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OVER the past few weeks, there have been a number of disturbing revelations from or about key government agencies that should have alarmed the public much more than they have. But the public is like a driver too distracted by her conversation with her passengers to notice that little red…

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IT took nearly 10 years of trial-and-error (mostly error) experimentation, but it seems someone has finally developed a practical use for blockchain, the technology underlying the otherwise dubious concept of cryptocurrency. Earlier this week, London-based HSBC announced that along with Dutch banking giant ING it had successfully carried out a…

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YESTERDAY (Monday) was the first real business day in Malaysia after last Wednesday’s landmark election that shoved the Najib Razak-led Barisan Nasional machine out of power, the start of a fresh week after a couple of days to let the dust settle, so to speak. Returning Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad…

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LOST in the din of trucks broadcasting teeth-grindingly bad jingles exhorting people to “IBOTO!” for some ambitious local candidate or another, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Supreme Court’s unprecedented move on Friday, there have been a number of encouraging messages this week worth highlighting. In spite…

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THERE are few types of news stories that are more infuriating and cause one to question the wisdom of maintaining a system of representative democracy, than ones that are filled with statements from grandstanding legislators displaying their complete ignorance of an important economic topic. One such story appeared in these…

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LAST week, two similar broad analyses of the prospects for the Philippine economy were published, and reached two slightly different conclusions. The first, which was released by the International Institute of Finance (IIF) on Tuesday, offered a mildly negative outlook, while the second, prepared by the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office…

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FULFILLING an early promise, President Rodrigo Duterte on Labor Day finally signed an Executive Order calling for a ban on the practice of “endo,” the serial hiring of workers on five-month employment contracts to evade a labor law that regularizes employees after six months of service. Labor groups were disappointed,…

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IF Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo hasn’t resigned or been fired by the time this column sees print, she ought to do so before the sun sets. The Commission on Audit reported last week that the Department of Tourism (DoT) paid more than P60 million for advertising on a daily news…

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IF he doesn’t actually relish controversy, President Rodrigo Duterte at least takes no special pains to avoid it. As the Philippines marks Labor Day, it seems dubiously appropriate that he should find himself at the center of two labor-related crises, one potentially quite serious and immediate, and another that could…

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