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A New Year – A New Challenge – Regulating Low Earth Orbit


The first flight of Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket back in 2010 launched a new space age. Since SpaceX developed its first reusable rocket, the costs of sending satellites into orbit have plummeted, opening up a multi-billion-dollar market for thousands of companies around the world. Arguably, Musk has done more than anyone since Neil...

India’s Reform Story becomes Reality


The withdrawal of the three pro-farmer bills by the Indian government, announced in a televised address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has generated much debate on the trajectory of the economic reforms in India. While the small section of people agitating against the laws have welcomed it, a large section of...

Beware of the Known Unknown where Decentralized Finance (Defi) meets AI


“When change is easy, the need for it not be foreseen; when the need for change is apparent, change has become expensive, difficult and time consuming.” How can we act when dealing with known unknown? That dilemma is facing regulators today as they try to assess the impact of decentralized finance and artificial intelligence in the...

El Salvador Adopting Bitcoin as Legal Tender


Is it cool to adopt a cryptocurrency as a legal tender? El Salvador thinks so. This month, the small Central American nation became the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency. Taxes may be paid in the cryptocurrency and merchants must accept it alongside the US dollar, the national currency since...

Digital Currency Is on Its way to Revolutionize Finance Cartels


This month the central banks of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa have started a new experiment: building a cross-border central bank digital currency system called “Project Dunbar”, under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The idea is to let institutions in those countries use cryptocurrency and distributed Ledger technology (DCT) to...

China’s Techno Authoritarian Governance accelerates through the 4th Industrial Revolution with new legislation to become a Surveillance-Data Superpower


In recent weeks, Beijing has pushed through reams of regulations and policies designed to share up China's data security, reinforcing the control it exercises over huge volumes of data used in governing the country, boosting the economy and ordering people’s lives. Such moves in our opinion compromise a crucial part of the vision of Xi...

Portfolio Allocation in Times of Inflation


Inflation is rising. It would in our opinion be wise to prepare for it. Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t returning to the white-hot inflation rate of 1980, which reached 14.8 percent. But there is enough evidence to believe that a further upturn in inflation is coming. The question is how much inflation and for...

Big Techs of the United States feel the heat of a Russian crackdown


Russia is increasingly pressuring Google, Twitter and Facebook to fall in line with Kremlin internet crackdown orders or risk restrictions inside the country, as more governments around the world challenge the companies’ principles on online freedom. Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, recently stepped up its demands for the American companies to remove online content that it...

Inflation


While China may not play the role it did in the last period when commodity price surged, predictions of another supercycle are in our opinion not without foundation; attempts to reduce advanced economics’ fossil fuel emissions and rising US infrastructure spending will mean more demand for certain metals and other materials-copper, as well as...

Tech Wars are becoming the titanic struggle for supremacy


Technology has turned geopolitical. The US has blocked semiconductor exports to China. In turn, China has looked to limit US access to rare earth minerals, crucial to the manufacture of many tech products. Several countries have banned China’s Huawei from running their 5G telecommunications networks. India has also banned the Chinese-owned viral social media...

Europe’s Digital Economy needs less Bureaucracy and more Funding


Many competing motives are at work when the EU ramps up its determination to assert control over US Internet giants. One is anger that they abuse their market dominance. Another is fear that they threaten the health of Europe's democracies. But as often as not, the strongest motivation is the feeling that Europe is...

Let’s Take Bitcoin as a Short Case Study for Cryptocurrencies!


Bitcoin's price is bouncing around 50,000 US-Dollar giving it an aggregate value of about 1 trillion US-Dollar. The digital currency is increasingly part of the modern financial landscape. The venerable BNY Mellon in now handling Bitcoin, MasterCard is integrating it into its US payments systems and Tesla bought 1.5 billion Dollar of Bitcoin for...

Covid – 19: A Summary of Government Support and Global Inequality


The COVID-19 pandemic is still accelerating in many countries and uncertainty is unusually high. Decisive government actions are necessary to ensure swift and extensive vaccine roll-outs, protect the most vulnerable households and otherwise viable firms, and foster a durable and inclusive recovery. Many countries have continued to support people and firms amid the resurgence...

What Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook should have learned from Rockefeller


Big government is finally taking on Big Tech. In the most momentous antitrust lawsuit in a generation, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook of unfair competition and asked a federal court to break it up. The EU proposed sweeping new rules forcing big technology companies to take more responsibility for...

America’s Cryptocurrency Market is in Limbo


Investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a phenomenal run but they are now worried that Janet Yellen's arrival as US Treasury secretary may herald a new era of hostility from regulators and central banks towards what boosters call “libertarian” forms of digital money. In her last press conference as chair of the...

Jobs of Tomorrow – The A.I. Revolution is Coming


Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have been taking over routine tasks for years. The COVID-19 pandemic, has rapidly increased that trend, driven by the triple necessities of increased productivity, lower costs and humans safely. Suddenly, human contact is both undesirable and more longed for than ever. Delivery companies, plumbers and even some...

The Fed Party Bonanza – The Only Game in Town


For Bitcoin investors, last year was a bonanza. The cryptocurrency started January 2020 at 7.194 dollar and surged above 34.000 dollar at the end of last year - a more than 360% annual return. Courtesy of the US Federal Reserve, asset buyers in general have had a stellar pandemic. Whether it was US treasuries...

European banks need to focus on cost-cuts rather than cross-border transactions


The calls for cross-border European banking transactions are mounting again. Not for the first time, we are being told that consolidation of international banking groups will “fix” the problems faced by the industry, this time those caused by the pandemic. Over the years, various transaction combinations of UniCredit, Société Générale or Commerzbank have been touted,...

Barclays’ Credit Card Business joins hands with Amazon by offering seamless customized shopping through AI in Germany


Last month Barclays’ credit card business struck a deal with Amazon to offer seamless customized shopping and payment services in Germany. The announcement drew little attention amid the US election, pandemic pain - and the cancellation of Ant Financial’s putative 37 billion US-Dollar initial public offering (IPO). But investors and regulators should pay attention....

Overestimating the World Economy Covid Recovery


The world economy has risen from the depths of the initial Covid-19 plunge. But the recovery has been tepid, uneven, and fragile - and in our opinion is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future and for 2021. Start with the good news. World merchandise trade has rebounded strongly, consistent with indications of a...

Act now to prevent a tragic economy ending – apocalypse is otherwise coming for small businesses; the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission need to act!


The next six months could witness one of the biggest consolidations of corporate power in the United States and around the world in almost a century, yet a variety of legal and economic factors may leave the federal governments unable to stop it. The International Labour Organization estimates the world will lose working hours equivalent...

Europe’s challenge in finding the right balance in digital regulations


It has long been the vision of European policymakers to make the continent a centre of digital innovation to rival the US west coast and China. With almost half a billion people across some of the world’s most advanced economies, there is no inherent reason why Europe should lag behind. The EU is about to...

US lawmakers finally join the EU approach and ask for breaking up Big Tech


If the power of Big Tech is the problem, what is the answer? In Washington, members of the House antitrust committee have been pondering three possible responses: throw more resources at enforcing existing antitrust rules: tighten up the laws to give the enforcers more teeth; or design entirely new regulatory frameworks with the most powerful...

Big Tech Stocks’ current valuations make a grim prospect for the future


Despite the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the S&P 500 index is up 6.5% this year. Apple has a market capitalization of 2 trillion dollar, Facebook is worth 762 billion dollar and Tesla is valued at 394 billion dollar. Even Nikola, a maker of battery and hydrogen trucks that is yet to...

EU centralizes market oversight in targeting ‘stable coins’


The EU has embarked on a push for greater centralized supervision of financial markets, setting out an oversight regime for crypto assets and pledging to learn from the German Wirecard scandal. The European Commission last month proposed a regulatory system for so-called stablecoins, such as the Facebook-backed Libra initiative, and other cryptocurrencies, saying that the...

Which presidential candidate is the stock market looking for?


For months the S&P 500 rose this year - despite a deadly pandemic, the resulting economic devastation and the rise of a Democratic Party increasingly sympathetic to democratic socialism. Then, last month, with Joe Biden doing well in the polls, stock prices finally stumbled. It polls continue to point to a Biden victory in the...

Let’s talk about the oil price crash


The oil price crash of March 2020 will globally in our opinion not last for too long. As in 2014, when the oil price dropped below 50 US-Dollar from 110 US-Dollar in a few weeks, this one will trigger a temporary collapse of the US shale industry. Unless the coronavirus outbreak causes Armageddon, cheap...

India is getting prepared on cracking Cryptos


Confidence in the Indian financial system has been breaking down for some time. Instead of trying to restore trust, it may be time to require less of it – with the help of an official rupee cryptocurrency. The last straw was the collapse of corporate lender Yes Bank Ltd., which failed in slow motion in...

Central Banks need a new pandora box for financial markets


The list of reasons that the US Federal Reserve shouldn’t have cut interest rates is long. Lower rates in our opinion will do nothing to address the root cause of potential economic distress, namely supply disruptions and halted economic activity because of the coronavirus. It comes as the Fed is already low on firepower...

India’s fiscal budget needs to be improved to prevent a further slowdown


The Indian middle class will count a few rupees, bank deposits will get a little security, and privatization enthusiasts will chew on a new player in the market. But other than high-sounding grandiose statements, Indian Budget 2020 has delivered no expectations. This was preordained, of course. If anyone is feeling disappointed, clearly that person...

The Dominance of Big Tech – No End in Sight:


When Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said recently that revenues at the company had soared past 161 billion US-Dollar last year, it was a stark reminder of the widening gap between tech’s wealthiest outfits and the rest of the industry. And there is in our opinion little reason to believe that this will change. In...

How Big Tech like Amazon determine their power – start-ups are helpless


Elastic, a software start-up in Amsterdam, was rapidly building its business and had grown to 100 employees. Then Amazon came along. In 2015, Amazon's cloud computing arm announced it was copying Elastic’s free software tool, which people use to search and analyze data, and would sell it as a paid service. Amazon went ahead even...

Private Equity in der Golfregion kommt wieder auf den richtigen Weg


Seit 2014 sieht sich die Private Equity (PE)-Branche am Golf im Zuge der makroökonomischen Verlangsamung in Verbindung mit der Volatilität des Ölpreises und dem steigenden geopolitischen Risiko mit Herausforderungen konfrontiert. Der Zusammenbruch des größten Buyout-Unternehmens der Region (Abraaj) hat die Situation noch verschärft und das Vertrauen institutioneller Investoren deutlich geschwächt. Infolgedessen blieb die Mittelbeschaffung...

Private Equity in the Gulf comes back on track


Since 2014, the Gulf's private equity (PE) industry has been facing challenges in the wake of macroeconomic slowdown combined with oil price volatility and rising geopolitical risk. To top it off, the collapse of region’s biggest buyout firm (Abraaj) worsened the situation and significantly eroded institutional investor confidence. As a result, fund raising remained...

Demand for flexible office space in the Middle East is picking up


The past five years have seen a fundamental shift in which worldwide office space is used by occupiers, which has changed the way that office space is being delivered by the real estate industry. The growth of flexible offices - defined as “office space provided on a short-term lease or license” - has been...

One way to save the euro is by turning it into a digital currency


When European economic weakness turns into recession, “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”- which will apply to the Eurozone countries. Increasing economic divergence will put strains on the Eurozone that could - in a worse case - lead to its collapse. The European Monetary Union (EMU) project has failed to reach...