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July 22, 2019
Analyst:
Facebook’s Libra project aims to establish both a private digital currency backed by a basket of hard currencies and a global payment network. It is thus challenging many established players in the financial system, including central banks, credit institutions and payment providers. Facebook can integrate Libra services into its digital platforms and benefit from strong network effects. In Europe, Libra would enter a competitive but fragmented digital payments market. As a currency, Libra will carry a foreign exchange risk for Europeans. But if the ECB drove interest rates deeply below zero, Libra could offer an easy digital way out. The flipside, though, would be a loss of sovereignty for Europe. [more]
July 22, 2019
The antennae and boxes, about the size of a handbag, have become more visible in New York over the last few years. They sit atop street lights, buildings, and other convenient locations. They are part of the ShotSpotter system and they listen for gunshots. When a shot is fired, the sensors can triangulate its location to within 25 metres. It then immediately sends an audio file to a support team. A review takes place using both machine learning and human input to determine if the sound was a real gunshot or something else that sounds similar, such as a firework. If determined to be real, the police are notified. They can then arrive at the location already knowing how many shots were fired and whether the shooter is moving. Luke Templeman, Analyst on the Thematic Research team, explores what it would be like living in a ‘Smart City’. [more]
July 10, 2019
The global 5G rollout has just begun, but behind the hype lies uncertainty and the potential for unintended consequences. This edition of Konzept seeks to answer many unresolved questions. First and foremost, we explain the tangible ways in which 5G will affect you, including the smartphone impact, the future of television, predictive maintenance, autonomous cars, smart cities and more. We also examine the geo-political disagreements, emerging market economics, and argue that the financial cost of distraction is greater than expected. [more]
July 8, 2019
Region:
In case of a snap election in Germany, a CDU/CSU-Greens coalition could be an option. Given both camps' radically different political positions in many areas, such a coalition would require both to make significant compromises. A black-green government would need to direct its focus and its available financial resources to climate protection and the energy transition. Corporates and consumers would have to bear considerable costs. This also spells a dilemma for fiscal policy. A larger share of government spending would necessarily have to be allocated to providing subsidies and mitigating the social impact of a quicker energy transition. Citizens and corporates cannot hope for major tax relief. (Also included in this issue: German goods exports, German industry, labour market, automotive business cycle.) [more]
July 5, 2019
Region:
In Germany, a decline in the labour force is inevitable. This can be seen from the recently published official 14th population projection. In this projection, the Federal Statistical Office took into account the past years‘ massive immigration. The impact is impressive. In the next few years, the number of inhabitants will increase by about 1 million to approx. 84 million – a new record high. Under plausible assumptions regarding future immigration (i.e. in the volume close to the past 20-year average – 268.000 p.a.) this number will decrease only slightly in the next two decades. [more]
July 2, 2019
Analyst:
By providing a high degree of privacy in payments, cash helps to slow the growing information asymmetry between consumers and companies as well as between citizens and public authorities. As knowledge about your counterparty is power, privacy is crucial for individuals to safeguard their position when dealing with organisations which are more powerful than a single person. [more]
June 25, 2019
For the first time ever the Fed is undertaking a thorough academic review of its policy strategy, tools, and communication practices. The reviewers are some 30 academic experts on monetary policy and macroeconomics. Listen to Peter Hooper, Global Head of Economic Research, discussing the background to the review, the low-rate monetary policy and what a downturn could mean for financial stability. [more]
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