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Are these members of the Nusra Front fighting in Syria still loyal to Al-Qaeda? Hosam Katan/Reuters

Was Al-Qaeda a winner or loser from the Arab uprisings?

At first glance it appears that the Arab uprisings have strengthened Al-Qaeda and similar groups that fly the black banner. With the possible exception of Tunisia, the rest of the “Arab Spring” countries…
A negotiated end to Syria crisis might allow this child to go back home. Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

How will the Syrian War be resolved?

The most serious attempt to bring the Syrian regime and representatives of the opposition together around a negotiating table together took place at the 2014 Geneva II peace talks. The talks were based…
Just who were the voteres these elections? Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Minority voters tell their stories

Editor’s note: voter turnout in this year’s midterm elections - 36.6% - was lower than in the 2010 midterms (40.9%.) According to the Pew Research Center the “party of non-voters” is more racially diverse…
Private equity is eyeing smaller investors. Image sourced from

Private equity chases new investors – your aunt Edna

Private equity is becoming much less private these days. But it is still not clear who will benefit from this new-found openness and accessibility. Not so long ago, private equity operated largely outside…

Understanding the limits of financial regulation

The decision by the Coalition government in Canberra to push forward with plans to reform the regulatory regime around the provision of financial advice has received strong opposition from a number of…

Who’s afraid of shareholder activism?

What is the proper response to poor returns and corporate management that’s not “fit for purpose” in a public company? There is a tendency in some quarters to react with shock and horror at the appearance…
As bankers for convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff, JP Morgan Chase has borne the cost of ignoring warnings. AAP

JP Morgan must bear the cost of its blind eye on Madoff

The shadow of convicted fraudster and stockbroker Bernie Madoff continues to hang over Wall Street. As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, investment bank JP Morgan Chase agreed on Tuesday to pay…
Westpac is the last of the Big Four Australian banks to announce an enviable full year result. AAP

Australian banks double-teamed by hedge funds and regulator

The last few weeks have been a bonanza for shareholders in Australia’s Big Four banks, amid record full year results and handsome increases in dividend payments. But lurking in background have been concerns…
A US inquiry is questioning Lynn Tilton and her firm Patriarch Partners over its relationship with an ex-Army official, Norbert E Vergez. Wikimedia Commons

Private equity’s very public connections

US reports have recently circulated of a government probe into the hiring of former Colonel Norbert Vergez by the private equity firm Patriarch Partners, headed by billionaire “turnaround queen” and would-be…
Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre is facing civil fraud charges arising from the global financial crisis. AAP

Calling bad bankers to account

The modern financial system continues to have its doubters among rank and file investors and savers. The painful memories of the volatility and dislocations caused by the global financial crisis are still…
The US corporate regulator wants to include admissions of guilt in settlements. Image sourced from

US regulator moves to make guilty banks ‘fess up - but will it work?

There is still a great deal of anger, frustration and confusion among investors and savers as to why there has been so few high-profile prosecutions and convictions since the start of the global financial…

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