Cha-Ching...Bitcoin? The rise of FinTech and the policy implications of Cryptocurrencies on the Australian financial and regulatory landscape

Sonia attended the 2017 World Bank and IMF Forum. She is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales. 

Abstract

FinTech is rapidly transforming the financial sector. Public awareness of cryptocurrencies is increasing and in turn, the industry is poised for changes to the status quo (IMF, 2017). Whilst the Australian Government released a report ‘Backing Australian FinTech’ in June 2016, there is very limited legislation and regulation of the FinTech space. This has created a significant void in consumer protection and severely weakens the opportunity for Australian businesses to capitalise on this new digital financial era. The changes brought by FinTech are inevitable and Australian regulators can no longer ignore its widespread adoption and ramifications.

This paper will recommend policies to create a prosperous and positively impactful FinTech sector within the Australian community. It will explore the use and challenges associated with cryptocurrencies from a regulatory perspective. Opportunities to establish Australia as a regional hub that fosters FinTech innovation and defines the trajectory of this era will also be investigated.

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Automation, Labor Markets & Refugee Integration

Kate attended the 2017 World Bank and IMF Forum. She is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne. 

Abstract

Technology has traditionally been viewed as a complement to human labour, yet this tool has begun to erode opportunities for human workers. Those expected to be hit particularly hard by automation are those in low-skill, blue-collar occupations. Due to labour market barriers, such as a lack of English communication skills, refugees have typically taken up those jobs most at risk of automation.

This policy paper will explore policy proposals that can help shape and alleviate the impact of automation, especially for vulnerable sub-sectors of our population, such as refugees.

It will look broadly at automation and its overall impact on labour markets, before focusing on the specific impacts it will have on refugee employment prospects and major barriers encountered by refugees during their integration. We will also discuss policies implemented by international jurisdictions and consider their feasibility for Australia. 

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Global corporate tax avoidance: the role of tax advisors

By Susan Deng

Susan attended the 2016 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. She is a UNSW Co-op Scholar studying a Bachelor of Commerce.

Abstract

Tax advisors in the Big Four professional services firms represent a concentration of expertise and a channel through which governmental knowledge and private interests are exchanged. Solving global corporate tax avoidance requires engagement with tax advisors who facilitate aggressive tax planning and address conflicting incentives. This paper will explore potential conflicts and threats to independence enabled by tax advisor activities. It will also discuss the necessity for improved transparency and the consolidation of information disclosure.

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A consideration of 'Asset Recycling' as a means of improving infrastructure levels

By Tony Chen

Tony attended the 2016 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. Tony is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics.

Abstract

This policy paper explores the topic of Asset Recycling. Asset Recycling (which will be referred to via the abbreviation AR from here forth) is a process of funding and creating new infrastructure developments through the privatisation of current nationally held physical assets and utilities.

There are three broad parts to this paper. The first considers the economic costs and benefits surrounding privatisation and brings them together in a decision rule. The second section examines how the government can optimise the balance between these costs and benefits in order to attain the most favourable outcome for society. Finally, the paper analyses how privatisation and Asset Recycling should be considered in the context of global and domestic economic stability. This will be accomplished through a case study of the Brazilian electricity industry during the 1990s under the government of Fernando Cardoso.

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