Author: Michael Collins

Michael Collins
Michael Collins

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Recent and archived work by Michael Collins for The Bull:

The Gig Economy Faces a Crackdown

In 2004, Dynamex Operations West, a California-based courier company, suddenly reclassified its permanent full-time employees as independent contractors, depriving them of entitlements such as minimum wages, overtime, paid sick days and workers compensation. The reclassified drivers had to use their own vehicles and pay for all expenses including petrol, tolls and insurance to earn a…

US policymakers learnt in 1937 that cutting stimulus can lead to a recession

At a ‘Fed Listens’ event held where the US central bank’s policy-setting board meets, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in October described how the room with “26-foot (eight-metre) ceilings, a monumental marble fireplace and a 1,000-pound (450-kilogram) brass and glass chandelier” had “seen a lot of history since Franklin Roosevelt dedicated this building in 1937”….

The ‘Streaming Wars’ Could Penalise Viewers

The coming blow is the loss of one platform that offers just about everything subscribers want. In 2017, when Netflix was 20 years old, the ad-free on-demand-video or streaming service achieved three milestones. One was that Netflix hit 100 million subscribers worldwide. Another was the streamer earned its first Oscar when White Helmets won Best…

Central banks risk seeing their feted ‘independence’ watered down

William Martin is the longest-serving Federal Reserve chief, having served from 1952 when Harry Truman was president to 1970. A few years into the role, Truman saw Martin on a New York street. The president from 1945 to 1953 stared at Martin, called him a “traitor” and walked away. Martin’s betrayal? He prioritised a successful…

The future of privately issued digital currency

Such are the prospects for mainstream acceptance for something like Facebook’s Libra. But the hurdles are daunting too. In 2015, China’s yuan joined the US dollar, euro, UK pound and yen as an elite currency in the IMF’s ‘special drawing rights’ that members can access in emergencies. The yuan’s ascent to IMF-sanctioned status recognised that…

Journalism’s ‘Fourth Estate’ Role Is Crumbling In The Internet Age

The telling blow is the damage wrought on local newspapers. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s embrace of Jody Wilson-Raybould while gazing into her eyes just after she was sworn in as the country’s first Indigenous attorney general in a cabinet that was notably half female epitomised the progressive image that Trudeau’s Liberal government sought to…

AI Running Far Ahead Of Attempts To Resolve Ethical Issues

In the Wisconsin city of La Crosse in 2013, Eric Loomis, then in his early 30s, pleaded guilty to eluding police in a stolen car (while denying any role in a drive-by shooting involving the vehicle). The judge sentenced Loomis, who had a criminal record, to six years in jail, the longer end of possible…