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John Browne, a financial analyst and former member of the British Parliament, is a financial columnist for the Tribune-Review. John Browne can be reached via e-mail

Oil prices fall, markets wobble as tension mounts

By John Browne
The heinous ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris sent financial and oil markets downward, continuing a week-long trend. Only three days later, financial markets had shaken off their immediate concerns and began to climb. But oil prices continued to fall. Black market ...

LIBOR rate-fixing convictions gain momentum

By John Browne
The Department of Justice announced this month that a federal jury convicted two former derivatives traders of the Dutch Cooperative Central Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank (Rabobank) for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR. England’s Southwark Crown Court in August convicted and ...

Practices, debt stifle growth

By John Browne
Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated after the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting that an interest rate hike is possible at the December meeting. But two days later, the Department of Commerce announced that September’s U.S. headline inflation rate ...

Making low-cost money

By John Browne
Increased monetary stimulus for the Eurozone was suggested by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi last month at the bank’s meeting in Malta. The next day, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, cut its key interest rate. With the ...

Pacific Rim trade deal under scrutiny

By Tribune-Review
The United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries reached agreement recently on what has been called the largest free-trade agreement in American history. Negotiated over several years, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to be a major step toward reducing free-trade ...

China reveals reserves

By John Browne
In its push for global financial status, China is disclosing its foreign exchange reserves to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). China hopes to have the IMF add the yuan, known officially as the Renminbi, to the fund’s basket of reserve ...

Browne: Rate hike prospect has mixed reactions

By John Browne
The Federal Reserve has kept short-term interest rates at near zero for more than nine years. Starting in 2013, the Fed announced the possibility of rate increases. Though a rate hike was predicted for the Fed meeting on Sept. 17, ...

Banks focus on Blockchain but reject Bitcoin

By John Browne
The U.S. banking business is being challenged by unregulated virtual currencies, known as digital or cryptocurrencies. The largest and most well-known of these is Bitcoin, started in 2009. While banks evaluate Bitcoin’s key software “Blockchain” for their own internal use, ...

U.S. oil waits out decline

By John Browne
West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped in price more than 50 percent this year. The International Energy Agency, meanwhile, reports rising oil inventories. Whether the dramatic fall in oil prices indicates a short term dip or a permanent deterioration, ...

Browne: China makes inroads in U.S.-based manufacturing

By John Browne
China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., owned partly by the Chinese government, was the lowest bidder with a $566.6 million contract to build 284 rail cars in Springfield, Mass. for the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority. China’s investing in the United States ...

Judiciary lashes peer lending

By John Browne
Peer lending has exploded in the last several years as a viable alternative to conventional lending methods. Internet-based peer lending platforms act as brokers, receiving fees for linking up borrowers and lenders at mutually agreed rates. But peer lending is ...

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