Warfare has existed throughout human history, but it hasn’t always involved swords and spears. If humans are doomed to fight each other, is economic warfare more “humane” to solve disagreements than military confrontations? Possibly, but both lines of offense can have devastating consequences for victims and should be carefully monitored.
There are many elements of life that have been profoundly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some we will learn to live with, others will revert to how they were, and some we will embrace for the better. What’s certain is that we must adapt our stance in a world that is constantly changing.
While access to COVID-19 vaccines is well established in many developed countries, the situation is starkly different in the developing world, where vaccination rates are much lower. When a virus is a global concern, a coordinated global vaccine effort seems to many to be the only solution to ensure equitable and effective distribution.
Prices have been on an upward trajectory in 2021, with oil leading the pack. Factors such as increased demand facing reduced supply led to crude prices jumping nearly 45 percent during the first half of the year. Will it hit the milestone of $100 per barrel soon? Some experts predict it will, while others hold more reserved expectations.
Banks have built historic reputations on being steady and solid, traditionally making incremental improvements to operations based on an understanding of change as something that is occasionally necessary, but preferably avoided. Yet in a market distinguished by uncertainty, the only way to be ready for the future is to invest in change itself.
In June, the US annual inflation rate surged to 5.4 percent, a pace not seen since right before last decade’s financial crisis. As the country shakes off its pandemic doldrums, demand is eclipsing supply. Whether this is a short- or long-term phenomenon is open to debate, but the Fed will likely keep its rate in check for the time being.
Our everyday lives are now embedded with personalised products, services and experiences. Whether it is what appears on our social media feeds, the new series Netflix suggests to us, clothing suppliers which will curate a new wardrobe selection, or supermarkets providing offers based on your previous purchases; personalisation now reaches almost every sector.
The upheaval spawned by COVID-19 has forced governments’ hands to wield counter-offensive measures, and one popular weapon has been fiscal stimulus. Although not everyone supports massive government spending as a tool for protecting and reviving economies hard hit by crisis, history confirms its successes and provides hope for recovery.
Banks are currently facing a serious generational divide, and it’s an issue that requires urgent action, lest banks lose out on the customer of the future. For most adults today, the likelihood is that they opened their first bank account in a branch, accompanied by their parents. However, with the acceleration of digital banking, this assurance has dissolved.
One pleasant surprise of the pandemic has been the shortage of business bankruptcies, despite recurrent lockdowns that have drained their incomes. But is this rosy picture a cruel illusion to be removed as governments stop propping up small companies? Banks will soon find out if government life support has simply delayed the inevitable.