2020 marks the 15th anniversary of the US shale boom, a period in which discoveries of deposits of shale oil and gas across such states as Colorado, Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming propelled the United States to the top of the list of the world’s biggest oil producers.
Just a short time ago, the innovative commercial real-estate company WeWork seemed to have got it just right. Its unique concept involving shared “flexible workspaces, agile services and leading technologies” apparently filled a void in networked office-space management. But its stellar progress came to an abrupt halt with the failure of its much-anticipated IPO. With debts piling up, this American start-up’s future lies in the hands of its Japanese rescuer.
In October 2018, S&P Global Ratings issued a stark warning pertaining to China’s mounting debt problems. According to the ratings agency, the country’s local governments may be sitting on a pile of debt worth up to 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion).
Emerging markets are already looking forward to 2019, glad to see 2018 nearly behind them. It turned out not to be a good year for emerging markets as a whole, after being on top of the world in 2017. Factors beyond their control—such as the monetary-tightening regime in the United States and high-flying dollar, trade wars and market corrections in developed economies—are largely to blame, but recognizing this will not erase the pain.
The road ahead for investment banks remains bumpy and curvy, and navigating it will require that each institution take bold action to enact the business model that will enhance its strengths in today’s challenging economic climate. Despite some recent gains, factors such as high costs and product complexity are still weighing the sector down.
The fears of a Brexit-inspired recession seem to be receding fast. Fresh data is emerging that shows that the British economy is performing more robustly than originally expected.