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Tag Archives: Right Column

Politics and Budgets

  photo: GotCredit Every year, parliaments in democratic countries discuss budget proposals for the following year to set the course for economic policy going forward. But the reality is that politics and budgets are deeply interwoven. This was recognized by Joseph Schumpeter who noted “the spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the […]

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H2-2017: Where to invest?

Key takeaway – The investment environment remains challenging. In their portfolios, investors should: i) privilege a multi-year horizon; ii) focus on capital preservation by adopting a defensive risk profile; and iii) accept lower expected returns in exchange for lower volatility. Wealth preservation requires conservative investment strategies, with a greater exposure to alternatives. The recommended strategic […]

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Does Brazil’s Sector Structure Explain Its Productivity Anemia?

Brazil’s labor and total-factor productivity (TFP) have featured anemic increases in the last decades (Canuto, 2016). As we illustrate here, contrary to common view, sector structures of the Brazilian GDP and employment cannot be singled out as major determinants of productivity performance. Horizontal, cross-sector factors hampering productivity increases seem to carry more weight. Brazil’s productivity […]

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Negative Rates Part 1: Beyond the Zero Bound

  Interest in negative rates, at least as can be judged from hyper activity from commentators, has diminished. But a number of European central banks still have negative official rates. The European Central Bank (“ECB”) deposit rate is minus 0.30%. Switzerland’s policy rate is minus 0.75%. Sweden’s policy rate is minus 0.35%. The Bank of […]

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China’s Rise in Global Robotics: Toward Consolidation

photo: Tecnalia Chinese robotics is positioned for leadership in global robotics, as the emerging industry is moving toward increasing rivalry and consolidation. In the new and emerging industry, the rise of innovative robotics startups heralds the future. In 2016, almost 130 companies were funded by venture capital, including China-based RooBo, Israeli Roboteam, and German ReActive Robotics. […]

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Iran Struggles to Sustain its Economic Recovery

photo: s1ingshot Introduction. On the eve of the Iranian presidential election in May, Iranian President Rouhani has much to feel good about. Thanks to his tireless efforts, Iran’s economy has moved from a recession in 2015/2016 to 7.4% GDP growth in the first half of 2016/2017. But U.S. President Trump’s opposition to the nuclear agreement could […]

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Beyond the Ballot: Turkey’s Economy at the Crossroads

Turkey has been approaching a crossroads for some time now. Soon enough it will have to choose a direction. On April 16, 2017 Turks will vote in a referendum on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposed constitutional amendment that would shift the country’s power center from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. If successful, not […]

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The New Trade Future in Asia Pacific

photo: Dirk Dallas Right after the Asian-Pacific nations embraced the dream of free trade in the regional Peru Summit, President-elect Trump buried it. Last weekend, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit made it clear that it would move forward with trade pacts; with or without the US. Right after the Lima summit, President-elect Donald Trump unveiled his plans for the first 100 days in office, which focus on campaign promises that will not require...

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