Europe’s banks deserve a lot of credit for weathering less than ideal conditions, such as ultra-low interest rates and profitability in conjunction with high levels of fintech competition and toxic debt. But while conditions haven’t improved much lately on the interest-rate side, the bad-debt situation is considerably brighter. Astute regulators and governments deserve much of the credit, but so do the banks themselves for revamping their management of nonperforming loans.
Unemployment continues to plague some major economies, but one holds the questionable distinction of having the highest unemployment rate of all, and that country is South Africa. At 29.1 percent, South Africa’s colossal unemployment rate is regarded as the top concern by many of the nation’s citizens and government officials. Joblessness is particularly devastating for youth, women and blacks, but what steps must the government take to improve the situation?
Humans have expressed their creativity through art since the world’s beginnings, and to many connoisseurs, viewing as many art treasures as possible is a must for any trip. If the thought of staying in art boutique hotels that showcase stirring first-rate artwork while catering to other requirements—such as sumptuous accommodations and delectable food and drink—thrills you, don’t miss our tour of inspiring art boutique hotels around the world.
Some companies define their space, and for decades, this was true of Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm. Longevity was not enough to save it, as it succumbed to mounting debt and pressure from new, agile industry players as well as consumers who became adept at developing their own travel itineraries. Thomas Cook may go down in history books as a sad example of unsuccessful adaptation to changing times.
We live in an age where gender inequality at the workplace is still regarded as an issue of ‘diversity’ – a term commonly used when referring to minority groups. It says a lot about our society that half the people who make up its population are considered to be a modest subset.
On December 15, US bank Goldman Sachs announced what many believe to be the strongest restrictions on fossil-fuel activity by any major bank in the United States. Most notably, the bank has become the first big American lender to restrict financing on any part of the oil-and-gas sector, with a particular focus on protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Despite being mooted more than a decade ago, widespread regulation mandating banks to adopt real-time cash-balance liquidity reporting has not materialised. With the exception of a handful of the world’s largest banks, few have taken it upon themselves to adopt these processes.
Taking on the mantle of governorship of a central bank is challenging, but for Andrew Bailey, the new governor of the Bank of England, the role couldn’t be more formidable. With the United Kingdom’s long-awaited divorce from the European Union around the corner, the country’s financial system will need all the help it can get to survive the inevitable turbulence. Bailey’s new job won’t be a walk in the park!
It is hard to believe that we just wrapped up another year. The beginning of a new year is one of the best times to both reflect on the previous years successes, while looking ahead at what the biggest challenges, priorities and opportunities will be for companies as they enter the new year.
Interest rates have been depressed for so long in Europe, it’s hard to remember when they actually soared into the teens. In fact, today, the natural interest rate is flirting with negative values. Due to a number of factors, such as an ageing population and sluggish trend growth, the natural interest rate is not likely to rise anytime soon. The remedy may not lie with central banks but with governments.