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News And Commentary

AKK's rise – France, euro repercussions

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Germany's CDU, faces a complex struggle to establish a grip on power, writes David Marsh. She will pursue a more conservative path in key areas compared with still-Chancellor Angela Merkel, with consequences for France and policies to stabilise the euro.

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Brexit tumult recalls Black Wednesday

The degree of uncertainty over the future path of government policy on Brexit calls to mind the days running up to Black Wednesday in September 1992, when the UK attempted to raise base rates twice to defend the pound before crashing out of the European exchange rate mechanism, writes Trevor Greetham.

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Fed signals slowdown in rate increase

It came as a surprise when US Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell said in a speech that there was no 'pre-set path' for interest rate increases. But his address capped a dovish turn in the panel, rather than breaking new ground. There were clues along the way, writes Darrell Delamaide.

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Preserving Britain's place in the EEA

The UK intends to remain a member of the EEA on the same grounds as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This approach could unite many different viewpoints in parliament because, first, the UK would maintain control, and second, it leaves longer-term trade policy issues to be settled later, writes Lord (David) Owen.

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The Bulletin: Up in the air

For the last Bulletin of 2018, contributors were invited to review the state of globalisation. They address the increased importance of the regulatory component in regional trade agreements, and how competition from local firms may be a greater threat to multinationals than trade wars between superpowers.

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Low expectations, modest victory

Memories of Buenos Aires may last longer than for some other G20 meetings. President Donald Trump behaved well. Expectations were exceeded insofar as worse outcomes were averted. Trade stood out as the dominant issue and it was a mixed bag, writes Mark Sobel.

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Africa must accelerate market reforms

African policy-makers must pursue accelerated reforms to the continent's financial markets, principally to raise capital to meet the region's significant funding needs, writes George Asante. To achieve universal energy access by 2025, as much as $55bn annually must be raised in domestic and international capital.

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Tokenisation unlocks illiquid markets

The promise of tokenisation lies in reducing remaining illiquidity discounts by creating tokens that represent partial ownership rights to underlying illiquid assets. Once the market's rules are written, tokenisation could change the nature of liquidity in the investment universe, writes Pierre Ortlieb.

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings


The 2018 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index launched in Bali alongside the IMF-World Bank Group meetings. In its second year, the index is a premier indicator of the attractiveness of Africa’s capital markets, for use by investors and asset managers around the world.

Investment Clock – A pivotal October


Investment Clock – A pivotal October

Stock market volatility tends to reach its peak in October, underlined by famous crashes in 1929, 1987 and 2008. Cross-currents in the world economy make this October particularly pivotal, especially in the light of the tug of war between good news out of the US and bad news out of China.

Threat of staglation


Investment Clock: Threat of stagflation

Global growth and inflation figures, in addition to rising commodity prices and interest rates, point to the risk of staglation over the summer months. The geopolitical backdrop, and the threat of a US-China trade war, also has a whiff of stagflation about it.

Bull market has further to run


Investment Clock: Bull market has further to run

The world is experiencing one of the longest economic expansions since records began and there's no end in sight, with muted inflationary pressures keeping interest rates low. Stock markets like this not too hot, not too cold 'Goldilocks' backdrop.

Global infrastructure finance falls


Global infrastructure finance falls

Global infrastructure financing has fallen short of its potential.Private sector investment and institutional investor capital are often raised as possible solutions for filling the infrastructure funding gap.

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Advisory Board

Protecting current auditing structure

This month’s poll focuses on the UK’s top accountancy firms. Participants were asked: ‘With many people attributing at least some of the blame for the collapse of services firm Carillion to the ‘big four’ UK accounting firms, should their oligopoly on the audit market be reviewed?’