How Denmark’s welfare program has narrowed its wealth gap to one of the smallest in the world ….

The National Post | Financial Post

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — This is what it’s like to live in Denmark, a nation with a narrower wealth gap than almost anywhere else: You’ve been jobless for more than a year. You have no university degree, no advanced skills. You have to pay a mortgage. And your husband is nearing retirement.

Rich on a roll: Canada’s 1% are getting richer, but they’re earning it, OECD study shows

If you’re rich but would like to be richer then come to Canada.

That, in a nutshell, is one of the key findings of an OECD study that looks at the the richest 1% across the developed world and how they got their money.

You aren’t worried.

If you’re 51-year-old Lotte Geleff, who lost her job as an office clerk in January 2013, you know you’ll receive an unemployment benefit of 10,500 kroner (US$1,902) a month after taxes for up to two years. You’re part of a national system of free health care and education for everyone, job training, subsidized child care, a generous pension system and fuel subsidies and rent allowances for the elderly.

And high taxes.

Denmark’s sturdy social safety net helps explain why its wealth gap — the disparity between the richest citizens and everyone else — is second-smallest among the world’s 34 most developed economies, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, surpassed only by the much smaller economy of Slovenia.

Behind its slender wealth gap are factors ranging from the highest tax burden in the European Union to a system that helps laid-off workers find new jobs and re-training.

How Denmark’s welfare program has narrowed its wealth gap to one of the smallest in the world | Financial Post.


Two-year study paints tough picture for new Canadians

Based on the Globe and Mail report

A two-year study released on Tuesday offers a rare glimpse at the working lives of newcomers in Toronto, shining a light on what it calls “invisible” hands in the city’s marketplace. Its findings are based on surveys and interviews with 453 immigrants. Seven in 10 respondents are working in poor conditions such as jobs that have irregular hours or violate labour laws. Nearly half work in the “informal economy” – for cash, without receipts – to supplement their incomes. Seventy-one per cent earn less than $30,000 a year. And just 3 per cent who were professionals in their home countries are now working in their fields. The report also noted that 68 per cent of those who could find only casual work had some postsecondary education.

Recent immigrants were hit harder in the recession and have taken longer to recover in the labour market. Their national jobless rate was 13.5 per cent last year compared with 6.9 per cent for the Canadian-born population. Many do find work, but in jobs that are temporary, on call, low wage or below the table.

The consequences are manifold: Eroded earnings are making it tougher for newcomers to climb up the economic ladder, save for retirement and build assets. Unemployment and underemployment also spell lost tax revenue for government coffers. And many employers may be overlooking a key source of labour because they don’t recognize past work experience and education from immigrants’ home countries.

Many newcomers – especially women – are augmenting incomes by working in the informal economy, activities that range from running small businesses to babysitting, working as a day labourer in factories or in restaurants. Harassment is common. Four in 10 said they’d endured bullying or harassment in the workplace, ranging from yelling and threats to physical assault.

Two-year study paints tough picture for new Canadians – The Globe and Mail.

Meet the ruler with a difference: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

You might have seen politicians, rulers or kings of different sorts, but would have never heard of one man like him….rather would never ever see one.The rise of U.A.E, it’s a political, economic and financial success story, and it’s all the vision of one man, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. Meet the ruler in a rare interview with Steve Kroft, along with a tour of Dubai.

Video Courtesy of CBS.

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid | MSN Arabia.

Giving the poor access to affordable financial services enables them to seize livelihood opportunities, manage cash flow spikes, and mitigate risks…

12 things to know about microfinance.

Source: Asian Development Bank:

  1. About 2.7 billion people worldwide, or 70% of the adult population in the world’s developing countries, have no access to formal financial services, such as savings or checking accounts.
    Source: Independent Evaluation news Greater Focus on the Poor Key to Effectiveness of Microfinance in Asia and the Pacific
  1. Microfinance refers to the concept of providing poor and low-income households with affordable financial services, including savings, loans, remittances, payments, and insurance.
    Source: ADB’s work to develop the financial sector
  1. There are three types of sources of microfinance: formal institutions (i.e., rural banks and cooperatives), semiformal institutions (i.e., nongovernment organizations), and informal sources (i.e., money lenders and shopkeepers).
    Source: ADB’s work to develop the financial sector
  1. The microfinance revolution provided loans to the poor by requiring social collateral in place of physical assets. It has grown into a $70 billion industry with an estimated 200 million clients.
    Source: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) website