28 January 2020

Real Insight

  • The #MeToo movement has revealed the growing financial, reputational, and operational risks facing companies that fail to address issues of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, or misconduct. Photo: Reuters

    Walking the talk of stakeholder capitalism

    - Jan 21, 2020 1:16pm
    The role of corporate boards has never been more important, nor subject to as much scrutiny, as it is today. The technological, environmental, geopolitical, and socioeconomic transformations of the past two decades are driving a re-examination...
  • Donald Trump may be a good president for the top 1 percent – and especially for the top 0.1 percent – of the US population but he has not been good for everyone else, says the author. Photo: Bloomberg

    The truth about the Trump economy

    - Jan 20, 2020 11:05am
    As the world’s business elites trek to Davos for their annual gathering, people should be asking a simple question: Have they overcome their infatuation with US President Donald Trump? Two years ago, a few rare corporate...
  • The South Korean state bet on several family-based conglomerates, known as chaebol, to develop the country’s automotive industry. Photo: Bloomberg

    How developing countries create industrial champions

    For many firms in emerging and developing economies, emulating the success of the likes of Samsung and Hyundai may seem like an impossible dream. But the rapid economic growth of Japan, South Korea, and other Asian...
  • India's economy could easily achieve annual growth in the range of 8 to 10 percent if the government adopts the right mix of growth-enhancing reforms, says the author. Photo: AFP

    Has the world economy reached peak growth?

    - Jan 17, 2020 11:04am
    At the start of a new decade, many commentators are understandably focused on the health of the global economy. Gross domestic product growth this decade most likely will be lower than during the teens, barring a...
  • Applying tariffs to data flows would not only add to a damaging pattern of escalating tariffs but also wreak potential havoc on the online economy, says the author. Photo: Bloomberg

    Don’t let tariffs break the internet

    - Jan 9, 2020 10:02am
    Most people have never heard of the World Trade Organization’s moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. And yet it may be one of the most important trade deals in recent history, given the outsize effect...
  • The climate movement, says the author, has correctly perceived that success will require a planetary ethics based on global solidarity and responsibility. Photo: AFP

    When climate activism and nationalism collide

    - Jan 7, 2020 1:35pm
    There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that this decade will be the last window for humanity to change the current global trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions so that the world can get close to zero...
  • World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab first articulated the concept of stakeholder capitalism in the 1970s. Photo: Reuters

    Making stakeholder capitalism a reality

    - Jan 7, 2020 1:15pm
    For a half-century, American corporations (and many others around the world) have embraced shareholder primacy, which holds that the only responsibility of business is to maximize profits. But this principle is now being challenged by corporate...
  • The unfolding Sino-American cool war is far less cut and dried than the Cold War was, the authors observe. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why a ‘cool war’ may be worse than a cold one

    - Jan 3, 2020 9:51am
    In recent years, fears of a new cold war between the United States and China have been proliferating. But the tensions between the two powers would be better described as a “cool war,” characterized not by...
  • The ongoing trade and technology war could represent an opportunity for China to extend its production networks in Asia, and to reduce its exposure in Europe and other parts of the West, the author says. Photo: Bloomberg

    The decline of global value chains

    - Jan 3, 2020 9:39am
    For more than a decade, China has been haunted by the prospect of getting stuck at an income level below that of the developed world (the “middle-income trap”). But the country’s economy is well on its...
  • Europeans and Americans need to re-embrace the transatlantic alliance to build a secure and prosperous future, the authors say. Photo: Bloomberg

    Make Europe relevant again

    It is increasingly clear that the European Union was not built to be a global actor. The EU is a strictly European idea, designed to bring peace and prosperity to a region ravaged by centuries of...
  • A broad Sino-American decoupling will likely intensify over time, and is all but certain in the technology sector, the author says. Photo: Reuters

    Trump will make China great again

    - Dec 24, 2019 4:13pm
    Financial markets were cheered recently by the news that the United States and China have reached a “phase one” deal to prevent further escalation of their bilateral trade war. But there is actually very little to...
  • Technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence have vast potential, but institutions need to understand the risks, social impact and ethical implications. Photo: Reuters

    Is tech a new frontier for sustainability?

    - Dec 13, 2019 10:55am
    Discussions about “sustainability” usually center on a company’s environmental and social commitments, and for understandable reasons. But the financial sector in particular should consider two other, less obvious, dimensions of sustainability. Regulatory sustainability is essential for...
  • If we don’t reduce our dependency on unnecessary antibiotics and succeed in developing new ones (or alternatives such as vaccines), annual deaths stemming from antimicrobial resistance could reach ten million by 2050, says the author. Photo: Reuters

    Where is the AMR rebellion?

    - Dec 11, 2019 10:02am
    The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is being overshadowed by the menace of climate change. Though the AMR problem is arguably equal in importance, it has not commanded nearly the same level of public awareness. One...
  • The claim that issuing government debt has become a veritable free lunch, similar to government profits from currency issuance, has been dangerously overblown, says the author. Photo: Bloomberg

    Government debt is not a free lunch

    - Dec 9, 2019 4:41pm
    With interest rates on government debt at multi-decade lows, a number of leading economists have argued that almost every advanced economy can allow debt to drift up toward Japanese levels (over 150 percent of GDP even...
  • Policymakers around the world are constantly awaiting the latest quarterly data on GDP growth. Photo: Bloomberg

    Measuring growth democratically

    - Dec 9, 2019 1:09pm
    Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of this year’s recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, are the latest among leading economists to remind us that gross domestic product is an imperfect measure of...
  • US President Donald Trump. The United States is in the midst of a constitutional crisis over a president who has made a mockery of democratic norms and the rule of law, says the author. Photo: AFP

    What’s behind the crisis of democracy?

    - Dec 5, 2019 10:22am
    There is no longer any denying that democracy is at risk worldwide. Many people doubt that democracy is working for them, or that it is working properly at all. Elections don’t seem to yield real-world results,...
  • Some of America’s billionaires earn kudos for their philanthropy, but the super-rich tycoons also face accusations of digging deeper moats to protect profits or destroying smaller businesses at every opportunity. Photo: Reuters

    The billionaire problem

    - Dec 2, 2019 9:40am
    Our billionaire problem is getting worse. Any market-oriented economy creates opportunities for new fortunes to be built, including through innovation. More innovation is likely to take place where fewer rules encumber entrepreneurial creativity. Some of this...
  • Millions of people are at risk from rising sea levels and more frequent and destructive storms. Photo: AFP

    Climate adaptation now

    - Nov 29, 2019 2:23pm
    As world leaders gather in Madrid for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25), they must address more than future targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. They must also address the harm to people and livelihoods that...
  • 'Get tough' trade policies are not a solution to the problem of inequality, Jeffrey Frankel writes .Photo: Bloomberg

    The case for old-fashioned tariff cuts

    - Nov 28, 2019 12:04pm
    The “bicycle theory” used to be a metaphor for international trade policy. Just as standing still on a bicycle is not an option – one must keep moving forward or else fall over – so it...
  • Pro-democracy supporters celebrate outside a polling station in Tuen Mun on Monday. The election result is an opportunity for all to reflect on the need to end violent protests and address genuine grievances, say the authors. Photo: AFP

    Can Hong Kong avoid tragedy?

    - Nov 27, 2019 9:43am
    Nearly six months after they began, the protests in our city have reached fever pitch. On one particularly devastating day earlier this month, police fired more than 1,500 rounds of tear gas, a police officer shot...