Banks are suffering from a problem: cash. Not long ago, many struggled to maintain liquidity, then COVID-19 arrived. Consumers and businesses have flooded them with deposits, as governments have doled out aid, uncertainty has made safe havens attractive, and continual lockdowns have restricted activity. But this is likely to change soon.
Infrastructure is the skeleton that holds an economy together, but in many regions of the world, it has much room for improvement. Investors seeking growth sectors should consider infrastructure investment, which not only improves infrastructure but also stimulates economic recovery and is increasingly gaining government financial support.
Banks report to shareholders, but when it comes time to respond to shareholder concerns about their positive contributions to climate-change action, banks often fall short. Progress is slow but steady, thanks to activist shareholders’ efforts, to persuade banks to accept more responsibility for their financing of fossil-fuel ventures.
Crossing borders involves a myriad of challenges, including compliance with different tax regimes. Multinational enterprises, as the name implies, operate in multiple nations and face multiple tax regulations. International coordination of tax rules is crucial, especially as the digital economy grows, to address the inconsistencies and inequities of a patchwork system. In partnership with other organizations, the World Bank is working toward a more consistent and fair global taxation structure.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future.” That was the assessment given by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on December 1 following the news of progress being made with coronavirus vaccines.
In December 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador swept to power, having promised to reduce Mexico’s longstanding problem of gang violence, which had climbed to record levels, and to bolster economic growth, which at that time had slowed considerably.
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?
Despite the gender-diversity rhetoric in business, the gender makeup of corporate boards, including those of MENA, reveal that the female population is poorly represented at the top. And studies prove that this imbalance works against the bottom line. Companies with female directors tend to fly higher profit-wise than their all-male competitors. Changes need to start at the societal level, with more women succeeding on every rung of the business ladder.
Central banks, guardians of financial systems, consider multiple factors when determining policy; today, as countries suffer the effects of severe weather, central banks feel impelled to include the risks associated with climate change. Groups such as the Network for Greening the Financial System, which unites central banks to address climate-change financial risks and aids the private sector toward achieving a more sustainable future, allow central banks to pool their resources to combat this threat.
In January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into force, aiming to end such conditions as poverty, inequality, repercussions of climate change. Agreeing to these lofty goals was one thing; actualizing them is another. Further investment, to the tune of $2.5 trillion for developing economies alone, is one of the main hang-ups. Can the private sector assist its finance partners in closing the gap?