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Talking Point

In Talking Point we present our take on current affairs and developments in the worlds of business, financial markets and politics.

3 Documents
April 13, 2016
1
A number of factors, including the decline in commodity prices, sizeable corporate foreign-currency debt, a strengthening dollar and the prospect of higher US interest rates, are weighing on the economic and financial outlook in the emerging markets (EM). The relative lack of reform combined with a weakening of some of the structural factors that underpin growth has raised concern about the medium-term outlook in many, but not all EM. [more]
September 25, 2015
2
Continental drift is slow, takes place almost imperceptibly and ends up having dramatic effects in the long run. In this, it is very similar to demographic change. Let us begin with a few facts. The world’s population is set to grow from 7.3 bn today to more than 9.7 bn by 2050. By comparison, the world’s population was a mere 2.5 bn in 1950. The regional (continental) demographic balance has been shifting for quite some time. In 1950, four of the ten largest countries were European (Germany, Italy, USSR, UK). Today, only Russia, ironically the country with the most adverse demographics, ranks among the top-10. In 1950, the big European four made up 10% of the world’s population. This figure has dropped to 5% today and will continue to decline for the foreseeable future. The populations of Africa and Asia will continue to increase significantly – and dramatically so in Africa – over the next few decades (chart). Admittedly, the aggregate increase hides significant intra-regional differences (e.g. East versus South Asia). [more]
July 11, 2011
3
State-led economic development, if successfully implemented, is appropriate during the early “catch up” phase of economic growth. However, as growth becomes more dependent on indigenous innovation and hence a dynamic private sector, a shift to more market-led rather than state-directed development becomes necessary. This also applies to the banking sector. Subject to proper regulation, banking systems that rely on private-sector banks and market-led credit allocation will eventually tend to generate superior economic outcomes. That said, we are unlikely to see a significant reduction in public-sector bank ownership in the BRIC countries anytime soon, nor, for that matter, a tangible increase in foreign ownership. [more]
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