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December 4, 2020
Region:
Germany’s main stock market index, Dax, is undergoing its biggest rule makeover so far. The number of constituents will rise from 30 to 40, trading volume will be dropped as a selection criterion and new members must have been profitable for two years before first-time admission. Governance standards are also tightened. While the index will become more diversified and slightly “younger” as a result, the enlargement will not reduce the massive overweight of the manufacturing sector. The new profitability requirement creates a questionable bias against young and rising start-ups. Furthermore, index rules cannot solve the fundamental problems hindering a stronger stock market (culture) in Germany – only policymakers can and should. Germany’s share in global market cap is only about half of its weight in the global economy. The most valuable company in the world is worth more than the entire future Dax 40 combined. [more]
December 3, 2020
Region:
Mankind has survived all kinds of pandemics, even the plague. However, humans are ill-equipped when confronted with an invisible danger. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has four important features which almost certainly overstretch the human analytical capacity: Time-lags, external effects, nonlinearities and complexity. We cannot escape our biases when deliberating COVID-19 . But being aware of them might yield more cautious and less apodictic views. Our evolutionary success can be traced to the fact that we became “social animals” with these biases often enhancing a smooth cooperation. Now it is on the society and its institutions to make sure that they do not cause people turning against society. [more]
December 1, 2020
We identify the top-ten identifiable traits of the best companies in 2020. These have been made all the more stark by the challenges that the pandemic has thrown down. Among them are the ways in which many companies have become flatter, faster organisations made up of networked teams and empowered individuals. While ‘agility’ has previously been used in a nebulous way, this year has shown tangible ways to achieve both ‘agility’ and a ‘growth mindset’. [more]
November 27, 2020
Region:
Early this year, the government had to put together massive bailout and aid packages in next to no time in order to avert an imminent economic collapse. However, cash outflow from immediate assistance and interim aid schemes have so far fallen considerably short of the expectations. As a result, the funds budgeted for this purpose have not been nearly utilised to their full extent. In light of November’s partial lockdown, the government has now decided to increase the dose of its financial aid to solo self-employed, freelancers as well as small and medium-sized companies. Consequently, the mere ripple of support often bemoaned in this area could ultimately gather enough strength yet to become a mighty wave. The provision of aid over the further course of the crisis is to be strictly guided by necessity, effectiveness and appropriateness as fiscal resources are limited and the state cannot provide unlimited comprehensive cover. [more]
November 25, 2020
The global economic outlook has improved since September thanks to the positive vaccine news, and we now see global GDP returning to its pre-virus levels in Q2 2021. Significant risks around this forecast remain both to the downside (if the virus were to spread more severely this winter or a vaccine rollout were delayed) and the upside (if a vaccine rollout is quicker than anticipated). [more]
November 16, 2020
The pandemic has shown how the ‘haves’ are more resilient than the ‘have-nots’. Much of this is based on the gap between the two groups based on their access to technology. The divide in the US runs deepest along race and location (urban versus rural). To narrow this gap, we lay out our vision to develop an initiative that covers the more than half of households without proper broadband connection and a computer. [more]
November 11, 2020
Region:
Analyst:
The European Green Deal labels the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 as a growth strategy where no one is left behind. This is akin to squaring the circle. In the next few years, we will see whether we, as a society, are ready for an honest democratic discussion about climate neutrality. We will have to deal with inconvenient questions and inconvenient truths. But if this discussion does not take place, climate neutrality will remain a just topic for fine speeches and promises – and nothing will be said, much less done, that could hurt anybody. [more]
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