Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Pacific Alliance at 10: A Global Future Beckons

On April 28, 2011, an economic integration initiative involving Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru was announced following a forum held in Lima to discuss deeper regional integration. The Declaration of Lima saw the four countries commit themselves to deepening ties, with particular emphasis on improving engagement with the Asian Pacific region. But a decade on, what has the Pacific Alliance accomplished, and what can be expected from it in the future?

The Italian Job: Can Mario Draghi Master It?

A political crisis was the last thing Italy needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet a personal conflict between the leader of Italia Viva, Matteo Renzi, and the previous prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, led to the collapse of the coalition in mid-January. President Sergio Mattarella then commissioned 73-year-old Mario Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank (ECB), to form a technocratic government, which he will preside over as prime minister.

The Losers of the GameStop Saga

Slate’s Aaron Mak took the trouble to interview a group of people otherwise neglected by the media who happen to be the most directly concerned by the future of GameStop. As the pundits across the media landscape focused on the raging battle between a horde of Redditors and Melvin Capital, the employees in GameStop stores were left on the sidelines to ponder what this might mean for their future.

The Brexit Deal Presents Opportunities for a New Partnership

It was agreed almost at the last minute: The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union and the United Kingdom, signed on December 30, 2020, prevented a no-deal Brexit just one day before the end of the transition period. Four and a half years after the referendum, relations between the EU and its former member state have thus been put on a new footing. It is a considerable achievement of the negotiators on both sides that such a complex agreement was reached despite the adverse conditions.

GameStop: Putting Skin Back in the Game

Unless you live completely off the grid, you have most likely heard something about the GameStop boom last week. For those unaware, a hedge fund, Melvin Capital, held very large short positions against GameStop, a brick-and-mortar gaming store whose stock has been falling steadily over the past decade due to the rise of e-commerce. An otherwise reasonable bet made a turn for the worst for Melvin as online investors, fueled largely by a sub-Reddit, led to a buying frenzy, leading GameStop’s stock to rise from $76.79/share on Monday, January, to $347/share on the 27.

Is Wall Street a Wave or a Particle?

There have been enough commentaries in the past week on the great GameStop affair to fill several editions of Encylopaedia Britannica and possibly Wikipedia as well. The Daily Devil’s Dictionary particularly appreciates an article penned by Alex Hern, the UK technology editor for The Guardian, for its accuracy of description. In one short paragraph, he provided a pithy account of the cultural context that produced the event. 

Will American Democracy Perish Like Rome’s?

A recent The Economist cover pictured the 46th US President Joe Biden in front of the White House with a cleaning mop. The lead, “Morning after in America,” projects that “The outlook for America looks grim, but that could quickly change.” The venerable publication proclaimed from its powerful pulpit that Biden “should stick to his folksy brand of dogged centrism which is so well suited to the moment.” That gives him the “best chance of success.”

No, the RCEP Is Not All About China

Following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on November 15, 2020, media reporting around the world has entered into fanfare mode. Western and Chinese media in particular are reporting on the free trade deal through the narrow lens of US-China competition, overlooking the international agency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the formation of this mega trade bloc.

Regulating the Fast-Changing Fintech Landscape

Markets remain abuzz with fintech applications that have the power to reengineer the financial services world and, significantly, even alter the financial inclusion landscape. Over the recent years, there have been several global adoptions of innovative technologies to fashion new business models and offerings. These have been evidenced in payment services, mobile-based lending and money transfers, and are now fast spanning across other areas such as insurance, investments, wealth and asset management.