Macroeconomy & Globalization
As the commercial world becomes more litigious, individuals and corporations are increasingly hamstrung from pursuing justified legal claims by a lack of liquidity or other means of financing.
The banking industry’s leading lights have largely adjusted their business plans to a world of tighter regulations, higher capital requirements and less leverage. Now, they are taking on new competitors by embracing the very information technology that has disrupted their business.
The question this year for investors in China is whether the government will continue moving toward a free-market economy—or keep grabbing the wheel.
Trends | Peace Deals
Low oil prices are widening Colombia’s current-account deficit, dampening the confidence of foreign investors and dragging down the economy.
A new era kicked off on December 31, 2015, for the 10 countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: The alliance launched the Asean Economic Community (AEC), a trade bloc aimed at creating a unified, cross-border market where labor, services and capital can flow without restrictions.
Brazil: The Banco Central do Brasil gave new Finance minister Nelson Barbosa a bit of help on January 20, when it decided to hold the short-term interest rate, the Selic, to 14.25%.
South Africa: After burning through two Finance ministers in 18 months—with the second having held the job for less than a week—South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, moved in mid-December to restore a measure of stability to the post.
Tsai Ing-wen, leader of what was—until a couple of weeks ago—Taiwan’s opposition party, will become the island’s first female president this spring following a January 16 election in which she and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won control of both the presidency and the legislature from the incumbent Kuomintang (KMT) party.
Monetary Policy | Capital Markets
Casting aside concerns about the strong dollar and weakness in economies abroad, the Federal Reserve achieved an historic interest rate liftoff in mid-December.