Category Archives: Views

Businesses are complicit in Donald Trump’s siege on democracy

In a recent Financial Times article, various business executives expressed deep regret for their “Faustian bargain” with US President Donald Trump.

They should go ahead and express even deeper regret for their contribution to the serious undermining of democracy — not just in the US, but everywhere else.

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The UK should stop subsidising house prices post-Brexit

Forget Covid-19 and Brexit. The question to which most people in the UK would want an uncertain answer is what will happen to house prices in 2021.

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Look at Covid-19 vaccines to gauge inflation tantrum odds

With news of another Covid-19 vaccine on its way and optimism rising ahead of the end-year holidays, it looks like 2021 will shape up to be much better than 2020.

But one forgotten danger could spoil the party: inflation. Price rises are far from investors’ minds, but an ‘inflation tantrum’ could have devastating effects on various countries’ economies if they are not kept in check.

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Pay emerging markets to help stop climate change

Among developed countries investors, there are various interpretations of the strength of the commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in emerging markets, ranging from the cynical to the idealistic.

The cynical view would be that there can be no “real” ESG in emerging markets because too often they are plagued by corruption, therefore investors cannot trust what companies in these countries report.

The idealistic view, on the other hand, would see every little step towards introducing ESG as a wonderful sign that these countries are finally deciding to adopt the same values as Western democracies.

While both extremes are wrong, sadly even the moderate take misses the main difference between emerging markets and developed ones: the effect of development itself on ESG — and in particular on the “E”.

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Fast and furious rally risks triggering the Sell signal

The markets rallied so fast in November that bullish investors risk pushing the needle towards the “Sell” signal, according to Bank of America’s indicator.

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Debate starts on widening the mandates of central banks

The European Central Bank (ECB) seems to be wading deeper into political territory, opening an interesting debate on what exactly is the role of central banks.

The ECB recently published a guide to the banks under its supervision, explaining how it expects them to consider risks related to climate change and the environment in their business strategies and their risk management.

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Was Dominic Cummings pushed to save the pound?

The abrupt fall from grace of Dominic Cummings, the much-admired and much-loathed adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has sparked all sorts of theories as to what was behind it, and with good reason.

Cummings’ actions have been divisive and often controversial, starting with his choice of “misfits and weirdos” to replace civil servants whom he sacked unceremoniously, to the famous drive he took across the country while both he and his wife were ill with Covid-19 and a national lockdown was in place.

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Emerging markets send two big warnings to investors

With the eyes on the US presidential election and the second wave of Covid-19, investors around the world can be forgiven if they have missed two important warnings from emerging markets.

However, with the election (almost) out of the way, it may be time to go through the rest of the news flow and think properly about the two events that may have been overlooked: the postponing of the world’s biggest stock listing (China’s Ant Group), and the firing of the governor of the Turkish central bank.

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Covid-19 offers chance to speed up ESG reforms

The world is slowly coming to terms with the idea that Covid-19 is here to stay and we will have to somehow learn to live with it.

Coupled with the imperative to try to slow down global warming to avoid a climate catastrophe hitting today’s young, this has huge implications not only for our way of life but also for our economies, the way we shop and very likely our diets.

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