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Commentary

Fri 14 Dec 2018 / Europe

Power vacuum points to no-deal Brexit

With her back to the wall, Theresa May seems to have forged a strategy to achieve her goals, however lofty or improbable they seem. If the opposition parties in parliament and those Conservatives who voted against her in Wednesday's leadership challenge stand firm against May, the prime minister's deal with Europe will fail. A power vacuum seems likely to arise in London. Unless May miraculously reimposes her will over the Conservative party and convinces parliament of the value of her deal, Britain will drift towards a no-deal Brexit.

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Tue 11 Dec 2018 / Europe

Brexit tumult recalls Black Wednesday

The UK is in a fast-changing situation with much at stake. 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. Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined three options for the UK as it looks to exit the European Union: her deal, no deal, or no Brexit at all. Though none seems probable, one of them must happen.

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Tue 11 Dec 2018

India must regain investor trust

Urjit Patel's resignation as governor of the Reserve Bank of India echoes what his predecessor, Raghuram Rajan, did a little more than two years ago. India's government is acquiring a reputation for invading the autonomy of institutions, harming India's standing as a safe haven for foreign investors, writes Meghnad Desai.

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Mon 10 Dec 2018 / Europe

AKK's rise: France, euro repercussions

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Germany's principal governing party, faces a complex struggle to impose her will on her fractious Christian Democratic Union. She will pursue a more conservative path in key areas compared with still-Chancellor Angela Merkel. This has consequences for policies to stabilise the euro. 'AKK' is a long-time Merkel ally and, more recently, her designated successor. How well she masters her shorter-term tasks will have a crucial bearing on whether, when and how she takes over the chancellorship.

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Fri 7 Dec 2018

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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Wed 5 Dec 2018 / Europe

Preserving Britain's place in the EEA

The UK intends to remain a member of the European Economic Area on the same grounds as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. There will be a deep free trade agreement in place on 30 March 2019 and no need to take recourse to World Trade Organisation tariff schedules for intra-EEA trade. Continuing in the EEA on this basis could unite many different viewpoints in parliament because, first, the UK would maintain significant control, and second, this approach leaves longer-term trade policy issues to be settled later.

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Mon 3 Dec 2018

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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Mon 3 Dec 2018 / Africa

Africa must accelerate market reforms

For Africa to grow, it needs a broad, all-inclusive financial market that facilitates investment. Policy-makers must pursue accelerated reforms to the continent's financial markets, principally because these can be used to raise capital to meet the region's significant funding needs, particularly for infrastructure projects. Africa's transformation requires significant resources. For example, to achieve universal energy access by 2025, as much as $55bn annually must be raised in domestic and international capital.

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Fri 30 Nov 2018 / Global

Tokenisation unlocks illiquid markets

The promise of tokenisation lies in substantially reducing remaining illiquidity discounts by creating tokens that represent partial ownership rights to underlying illiquid assets. This is particularly encouraging in the commercial and residential real estate sectors, where frictions and barriers to investment, including minimum capital requirements, can be high. Once the rules of this market are written, tokenisation could change the nature of liquidity in the investment universe, unlocking the global potential of previously illiquid properties.

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Thu 29 Nov 2018

Post-Brexit UK will find no sympathy

Theresa May's Brexit deal opens the door to further contentious negotiations with both the EU and other countries through the WTO. Ratification of a UK-EU trade agreement will not be imminent, and Britain will find little sympathy in bilateral talks with WTO members, writes Joergen Oerstroem Moeller.

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