Finance

Americas

From Trump to Biden, TV Captures a Dramatic Shift

The new president’s speech on unity — “the best inaugural address I ever heard,” says Chris Wallace of Fox News — follows Donald Trump’s “My Way” moment.For a moment, cable news found something to agree on.At half past noon on Wednesday, shortly after President Biden wrapped up an inaugural address calling for an era of reconciliation,...

‘A Total Failure’: The Proud Boys Now Mock Trump

Members of the far-right group, who were among Donald Trump’s staunchest fans, are calling him “weak,” in a sign of fraying support.After the presidential election last year, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared its undying loyalty to President Trump.In a Nov. 8 post in a private channel of the messaging app Telegram, the group urged its...

QAnon believers struggle with inauguration.

Followers of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have spent weeks anticipating that Wednesday would be the “Great Awakening” — a day, long foretold in QAnon prophecy, when top Democrats would be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring and President Trump would seize a second term in office.But as President Biden took office and...

TV Captures the End of a Tumultuous Presidency

As Trump completes his time in office with made-for-TV images, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos says, “The image in my head is Richard Nixon in 1974.”Hours before Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the presidential oath of office, President Trump offered one more made-for-TV moment.A little past 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the cable news channels and major broadcast...

President Biden’s Tech To-do List

The new administration will try to restrain Big Tech, manage China and expand internet access.This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.President Biden is inheriting tricky tech questions including how to rein in powerful digital superstars, what to do about Chinese technology and how to bring more Americans...

Asia Pacific

Access Bank Nigeria edges African peers as Best Digital Bank in Africa

The bank curated a strong digital active client base but its low digital BankQuality score and a rise in customer complaints after its acquisition of Diamond Bank in 2019 tainted some of its success.Read More

World Bank warns coordinated global response still needed to avert protracted crisis

The World Bank estimates global growth in 2020 to contract by 4.3%, a drop of 6.8% from its pre-COVID-19 forecast in January 2020. It emphasised the need for global cooperation to address these challenges.Read More

Future-proofing Asia Pacific’s financial services

Lisa O’Connor, Head of Capital Markets Strategy at SWIFT discusses how the global provider of secure financial messaging services is delivering infrastructure that will help the world of payments and securities adapt, thrive and grow in a competitive landscapeRead More

Calibrating the industry’s digital transformation

Today’s legacy technologies are at the cusps of being displaced as new models of operating are developed. Traditional centralised networks will be replaced by decentralised ledgers built on blockchain technology and machines enabled by artificial intelligence and remote sensors will be able to operate autonomously and collectively.Read More

Absa Bank infused a new sense of ownership and growth after split with Barclays group

Despite fierce competition from its local South African peers and some Nigerian banks, Absa emerged as the Best Retail Bank in AfricaRead More

Europe

20VC: Etsy CEO, Josh Silverman on 2 Defining Traits of Great Leadership, The Danger of Attaching Happiness To Milestones, How To Structure Teams To Optimise for Experimentation and Agility &Whether You Learn More From Success Than Failure

Josh Silverman is the CEO @ Etsy, leading the company as it builds a platform that empowers creative entrepreneurs around the world. Prior to their IPO, Etsy raised funding from some of the best in the business including Danny Rimer @ Index, Albert Wenger @ USV and Jim Breyer @ Accel to name a few. Prior to Etsy, Josh served The post 20VC: Etsy CEO,...

20VC: Databricks CEO, Ali Ghodsi on The 3 Phases of Startup Growth, How to Evaluate Risk and Downside Scenario Planning & Who, What and When To Hire When Scaling Your Go-To-Market

Ali Ghodsi is the Founder & CEO @ Databricks, bringing together data engineering, science and analytics on an open, unified platform so data teams can collaborate and innovate faster. To date, Ali has raised over $897M for the company including from the likes of a16z, NEA, Microsoft, Battery, Coatue, Greenbay and more. Prior to Databricks, Ali was...

20VC: Annie Duke on Reversible vs Irreversible Decisions, How To Evaluate Risk, The Theory of Sunk Cost in Venture & How to Optimise Both the Discussion and Quality of Investment Decisions

Annie Duke is a former professional poker player and the author of National Bestseller, “Thinking in Bets” & “How To Decide”. During her poker playing days, Annie was a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, the winner of the 2004 Tournament of Champions and the only woman to win the NBC National Poker Heads Up Championship....

20VC: Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone on The 3 Stages of Wealth, The Return To Twitter in 2017 and the Associated Missions and Challenges & Why Silicon Valley is not an “Insiders Only” Universe?

Biz Stone is best known as the Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium. Biz is also an investor in the likes of Slack, Square, Intercom, Beyond Meat and Blue Bottle Coffee. Biz also co-founded Jelly, a “human in the loop” AI search service, which was acquired by Pinterest. Due to his many successes, Biz has been recognized as INC Magazine Entrepreneur The...

20VC: Bill Gurley and Howard Marks: What Happened In 2020? What Can We Expect Looking Forward to 2021?

Howard Marks is co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading investment firm with more than $120 billion in assets. Prior to founding Oaktree, Howard spent 10 years at The TCW Group, where he was responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. Howard has also...

Mena

Khalifa Haftar is losing ground and lashing out in Libya

KHALIFA HAFTAR’S self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) says it will cease fire for what remains of the holy month of Ramadan. But friends of General Haftar say he is doubling down on the civil war he started six years ago. His year-long siege of Tripoli, seat of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has intensified of late. Groups loyal...

Saudi Arabia stops flogging

“THE FORNICATRESS and the fornicator—flog each of them with a hundred stripes; and do not let pity for them hold you back from carrying out God’s law.” So says the Koran, which dates back to the seventh century. Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, is trying to drag the kingdom into the 21st. So on April 25th the government...

Zambia was already a case study in how not to run an economy

“I FEEL YOUR PAIN,” said Edgar Lungu in a televised address on April 24th. The president of Zambia claimed that covid-19 had “thrown into disarray” the country’s finances. He mused about whether the government could afford to pay for pensions, civil-service salaries and medicine. “Where will the money come from?” It is a good question....

How Sudan’s warlords buy their gun trucks

THE TOYOTA HILUX is a sturdy vehicle. That makes it especially popular in Africa. It outsells all other pickup trucks, or “bakkies”, in South Africa. In Mali and Niger smugglers transporting people and goods across the Sahara will accept no alternative, since they can cram 30 people onto one and can still climb a sand dune. It is also a familiar...

Some African politicians risk spreading covid through quackery

Editor’s note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For our coronavirus tracker and more coverage, see our hub MANY AFRICAN politicians are fighting covid-19 with tools prescribed by science. South...

International

Italy: “Solidarity Contribution” Reducing Pensions for Five Years Ruled Unconstitutional

(Jan. 8, 2021) On November 9, 2020, Italy’s Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional a provision in the country’s budget act for the years 2019 to 2021 that reduces certain pensions for a period of five years. (Decision No. 234 of November 9, 2020  (in Italian).) Pensions Reduced Under Budget Law’s “Solidarity Contribution”...

Qatar: New Cabinet Resolution Regulating Real Estate Ownership by Foreign Nationals

(Jan. 5, 2021) On October 6, 2020, Qatar’s Ministry of Justice announced the establishment of the Office for Non-Qatari Real Estate Ownership. The main objective of this office is to provide foreign nationals who want to reside or invest in the state of Qatar with all the necessary requirements for the purchase and sale of […]Read More

Italy: Government Decrees Further Measures to Fight the Covid-19 Pandemic

(Dec. 30, 2020) On November 30, 2020, Italy’s government issued Decree-Law No. 157, which includes further measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Extension of Terms for the Payment of Certain Taxes The new legislation extends, until December 10, 2020, the term for the payment of income taxes and IRAP (a regional tax for productive activities)...

Algeria: National Bank Officially Launches Islamic Banking

(Nov. 23, 2020) On August 4, 2020, Algeria’s National Bank officially launched Islamic banking as the first state-owned bank to practice Islamic banking services in Algeria. The launching of Islamic banking on the level of state-owned banks is in accordance with the government’s efforts to establish a more effective and diversified national...

Ecuador: Humanitarian Support Law Enacted to Address COVID-19 Economic Emergency

(Sept. 21, 2020) The Organic Law on Humanitarian Support, enacted on June 22, 2020, declares COVID-19 an economic emergency in Ecuador and seeks to mitigate the health, economic, and social crises it has caused. The Law includes a provision on the termination of employment relationships due to unforeseeable circumstances or a force majeure. Other key...