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?
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.
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.
Voters in the United Kingdom handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party a resounding victory via the recent election. Apparently believing that his plan would be the best horse to ride out of the Brexit quagmire in which the nation finds itself, Johnson has a strong mandate to meet successfully the 2020 deadlines: EU exit in January and EU trade deal by year’s end. Can he do it?
Fossil fuels have been the mainstay of energy generation for decades, but the move away from carbon-based, nonrenewable fuels is being driven by concerned citizens and governments, although nations are falling short of targets. There will be winners and losers during the transition to a carbon-neutral world economy, and investment-portfolio managers want to be in the winners’ group. What are the climate-change, carbon-transition risks that portfolio managers need to consider?
Sovereign wealth funds are state-owned funds used by especially Middle Eastern and Asian governments to support projects they feel will promote domestic growth and welfare; lately, they have been shifting to emerging-technology opportunities. One difference between SWFs and other funds is a willingness to wait to realize long-term returns; technology firms with vast potential to serve private and public interests are proving to be the perfect targets for SWF investment.
Few have not embraced the Green Agenda, as we all see the potential for renewable energy to transform the fabric of our lives and to hinder potentially devastating climate change. But wanting to do and doing can be two different things, with the availability of financing often being the deciding factor. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development fills the financing gap, with a focus on worthy private-sector green projects.
Financial audits can inspire apprehension, but a rigorous, thorough, high-quality audit is crucial in helping a business to meet its goals and expectations. Multidisciplinary firms, offering audit alongside other services, are proving to be invaluable as technology renders businesses’ situations and requirements more complicated. But regulators aren’t as convinced that they are up to the task. What is the case for the multidisciplinary model in the increasingly complex Information Age?
The European Union has put up a brave front against financial crimes such as money laundering, but the criminals still manage to get away with a way too much ill-gotten gain. Progress is being made with the new AMLD5 framework, but much more needs to be done to achieve resounding success. What are some of the steps the EU should take to finally grab this brazen bull by its horns?
Financial institutions spearhead a variety of activities, from approving college loans to setting up retirement funds, but they also play an important role in bringing terrorists to justice. By partnering with law enforcement, FIs are able to complete the puzzle by exchanging information on terrorism-financing-related transactions. These public/private partnerships are countering terrorist activities effectively, especially in the UK and the US, and creating CTF models for other countries to follow.