Global Finance editor Andrea Fiano's letter to you, the reader.
VOL. 36 NO. 5
Selecting the best banks in the world, by country and by region, is a huge task and an annual event for this magazine. Looking at banks’ financial results for 2021, their market share, reputation and products are a big part of our selection process. But there is more: The reports in the following pages will give you a sense of where the banking sector is headed. Innovation and digitalization, and a move to online services seem to be the strongest test around the world for small and big institutions, and for small and big countries. And yet strong results in 2021 are now being challenged by the war in the Ukraine and the prolonged effects of the pandemic. The effects are not just on the countries involved, but for all their neighbors, and basically for all countries. The impacts are seen in trade and cost of goods, which weigh on monetary policy for countries dealing with strong inflation. Most of all this adds uncertainty to any economic scenario. No wonder that the IMF and the World Bank recently cut all their forecasts for this year and next.
Our cover story on Metaverse is the result of a few basic questions we have asked ourselves since several major corporate and financial institutions announced investments and presence in the metaverse. Are they ahead of the curve, and convinced that the metaverse will grow pretty soon in relevance? Are they getting in early just in case? Antonella Ciancio’s cover story answers some of these questions, and … adds more. In our digital edition and online, we are glad to present insights from Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life, one of the first virtual worlds and a precursor of the metaverse. For him, the metaverse has two main characteristics: “First is moving from 2D to 3D. The other is a version of the internet where there are other people and you can interact with them in real time.” After Covid, we consider these ideas more seriously.