Investing and Global Finance News


Economic Experts Weigh In

There are many different opinions and predictions vis-à-vis the pandemic-based economic recovery.  Here, we take a look at a few of them:

Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research said:

“The V-shaped recovery in real GDP will remain V-shaped during the first half of this year and probably through the end of the year. However, it will no longer be a ‘recovery’ beyond Q1 because real GDP will have fully recovered during the current quarter. Thereafter, GDP will be in an ‘expansion’ in record-high territory.”

John Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve said:

“With strong federal fiscal support and continued progress on vaccination, GDP growth this year could be the strongest we’ve seen in decades.”

According to Natixis US Economist, Troy Ludtka:

“The most glaring issue with where we stand now has to be the labor market. We still have [nearly] 10 million jobs which are just simply missing.You’re going to see a situation in the coming years, looking back to this moment, where official statistics on things like food insecurity, poverty and inequality are going to reach generational highs.”

RSM Chief Economist, Joseph Brusuelas said:

“You’re going to see the growth rates in the middle of the year probably close to 9%. That’s how strong the reopening of the U.S. economy will be vis-a-vis the release of pent-up demand by the household sector. I don’t expect the pent-up demand to all be released this year. I’m expecting it to take about two years to do that, primarily because households will be somewhat cautious about the release of cash.”

Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve senses that the pandemic’s economic recovery has actually  “progressed more quickly than generally expected and looks to be strengthening but that those sectors that were hardest hit] remain weak [and that unemployment numbers actually] underestimate the shortfall, [implying that there is still a long way to go for economic recovery.]”

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the recovery will end up but for now there is room for optimism within a wider framework of understanding the severity of what the pandemic has created for many people, financially.

Global Financial Services Market

Financiers anticipate that the financial services market around the world will see a substantial increase this year from an approximated $20,490.46 billion from 2020 to  $22,515.17 billion this year.  In 2025 the anticipated CAGR rate of growth is 6 percent with a market expectation of $28,529.29 billion

The rationale behind this growth can be seen in how companies around the world have responded to the effect the pandemic has had on their businesses and the resulting growth they have had due to changes in industries that have been undertaken. 

In December of 2020, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted an international fiscal market growth of 4.2 per cent for this year and 3.7 per cent growth for next.  Earlier this  month however, they backtracked and instead their updated forecast was a growth rate of 5.6 per cent for 2021 and 4 per cent for next year. Indeed they have even gone so far as to say that worldwide economic production will outpace its pre-pandemic numbers by the middle of 2021. 

Coronavirus-Business Quotes

What has society learned from COVID-19 in the business world? From the negative standpoint, unfortunately a lot with an insurmountable number of job losses leading to fiscal damage not seen in this generation.  A recent study entitled ‘KFF Health Tracking Poll: Economic Hardship, Health Coverage and the ACA’ pointed out:

“The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt by many across the country with more than four in ten adults (44%) saying their household experienced a job or income loss due to the coronavirus outbreak – including a majority of young adults ages 18 to 29 (56%). Across racial and ethnic groups, about six in ten Hispanic adults (59%) and about half of Black adults (51%) say their household lost a job or income, compared to about four in ten White adults (39%) who say the same.

A COVID-19 diagnosis can often have negative economic impact as individuals need to take time off work to quarantine and recover. Indeed, six in ten (61%) of those who say someone in their household tested positive for COVID-19 say their household lost a job or income due to the coronavirus outbreak compared to 41% of those in a household where no one tested positive.”

But surely there are some positives relating to coronavirus and the workplace.  Here are what some individuals have found with the increase in acceptability of working from home (WFH) during this time period.

Mohamed El-Erian who, in 2014 resigned as CEO of PIMCO citing too many missed father-daughter events, said on this matter that:

“Hopefully, as companies give more attention to the importance of work-life balance, more and more people will be in a better position to decide and act more holistically on what’s important to them.”

Indian entrepreneur, managing director and chairperson of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said:           

“Ultimately, the greatest lesson that COVID-19 can teach humanity is that we are all in this together.”   

One of India’s wealthiest women Shaw recently attacked the “government’s capping of the vaccine price at private hospitals comes at a time when India is preparing to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with co-morbidities from March 1.” She said: “If WHO has agreed to USD 3 per dose, why beat them down to USD 2?”

The Atlantic’s Ed Yong tweeted:

“We long to return to normal, but **normal led to this**. To avert the future pandemics we know are coming, we MUST grapple with all the ways normal failed us. We have to build something better.”

This is what we have for now. It’s our choice how we respond to it.

Rosalind Brewer Becomes 20th Black CEO in America

Rosalind Brewer has been named incoming CEO of Walgreens, effective March 15, 2021. This role makes Brewer, who is leaving her position as COO at Starbucks, the only Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company.

Brewer joins the other 19 Black CEOs — 17 men and two women — who have ever been listed as CEOs on the Fortune list which began in 1955. She also became the only Black woman to sit on the board of Amazon when she joined in 2019.

In 2018, only 3.3% of all US corporate executive and senior management or leadership roles were held by Black people. Not much change has been accomplished in three years, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sadly, there aren’t enough Black women in the corporate leadership pipelines at most major companies to reduce disparities between Black and White women, who are also vastly underrepresented at the highest levels of executive leadership.

Celebrate Women Virtual Conference

“Surviving (and Thriving) in Unsettling Times.” That is the theme and topic of the 15th annual Celebrate Women virtual conference set to begin on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Alison Levine, American mountain climber, sportswoman, explorer, leadership consultant and best-selling author, will deliver the keynote address. Levine was team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, scaled the “Seven Summits,” and made history in her skiing adventures to the North and South Poles. Levine is also an accomplished corporate leader, with vast experience on Wall Street. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Everest and Other Extreme Environments.

The Celebrate Women Conference is designed to encourage and enhance gender equity by recognizing and celebrating the past, present, and potential accomplishments of women from a full range of ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The event is planned to coincide with other events during National Women’s History Month.

Entrepreneurial Tips from Mozes Konig

Mozes Konig – CEO and founder of venture capital firm MVKonig Ltd. – has provided seed capital to entrepreneurs seeking to create a successful business out of their enterprising business plans.  Konig – who some time ago cleared up his Interpol issues – has experienced the difficulty firsthand in starting a business and as such is looking to help others with a capital investment. 

In this article, Mozes Konig gives some tips that helped him and that might provide a framework for novice entrepreneurs to get ahead.

  • Have a Passionate Idea

“There’s no point in coming up with an idea that you think ‘might work’ but doesn’t speak to you at a core level,” says Konig.  “It’s essential to be passionate first and foremost.  Being vaguely interested in something will not work.”

  • Create a Business Plan

This takes a lot of steps. First, do your research.  Second, establish what your business plan is trying to achieve/solve. Third, get a professional to draw up a profile of the firm and its goals. Fourth, develop a clear and concise document of all parts of the business (start with the ‘what’s and why’s’). Fifth develop a marketing strategy.

  • Find an Entrepreneurial Mentor

Is there anyone you admire in business?  Someone who appears to have “made it,” exclusively – or at least almost exclusively – on their own? Talk to them.  Ask them what their story is.  See if it appeals to you and then ask if they wouldn’t mind being your mentor.  Explain your business idea to them and see if you get a good vibe in response.

  • Find a Niche

There’s very little point in deciding to open another ice cream store in a town that is already bustling at the seams with them.  Try to find an existing problem/gap in the market (starting locally is a good idea) and then seek to create a product/service to combat that.

  • Be Obsessive About Customer Service

The old adage that “the customer is always right” is true. It is so important for all business owners and indeed anyone who wants to get ahead to integrate into their attitude and business dealings. If the client has asked for something and are not totally satisfied – irrespective of how clear they were in their requests – go back and try, try again.

IBM Names New Federal Leader

IBM named Steve LaFleche as the new head of its federal business division, the U.S. Public and Federal Market. LaFleche replaces Jay Bellissimo, and comes to the job with more than three years of experience as IBM’s managing director for the State of New York.

LaFleche is not new to IBM. He has been with the company for 33 years and has served in multiple roles, including vice president of the U.S. Public Sector for North America.

LaFleche said his top priority is building collaborations with federal clients and other customers “to bring resilience to their infrastructures, so we all emerge smarter and stronger from this crisis.”

Broadway Ticketing Reworked by NY-based Company

Broadway Ticketing

Jujamcyn, the company responsible for the operations of five Broadway theaters, has signed a deal with New York-based SeatGeek.

broadway ticketing

Many theater and performance spots are planning ahead for post-COVID reopenings. For Jujamycn, part of its new strategy included a major rework of its ticketing system. SeatGeek, a well-known sports industry player, is using its contract with Jujamycn to debut on Broadway and enter the theater industry.  

Among SeatGeek’s robust technological capacities are its agility and comparative pricing features, allowing theatergoers to gauge ticket value. The platform is also not limited to ticket sales; customers can order refreshments, plan their transportation to and from the shows, and get show merchandise.

broadway ticketing

What Small Business Owners Can Do Right Now

Building and sustaining a small business is no easy task. Marketing, developing, and producing products or services demand high levels of attention and involvement. This digital marketing checklist lays out simple and effective tips for businesses of any size.

Your brand’s identity is critical for marketing purposes, digital or otherwise. Articulate what makes your business special and project those qualities into all aspects of your company. The name, logo, font, pictures, social media presence, etc. should all channel these values.

digital marketing checklist

In today’s digital environment, a good website—with both desktop and mobile compatibility- is a must for any business. It is often the first point of contact for any customer and should be as presentable and professional as the rest of your company. Make sure to optimize your website for search so that you reach the clientele you want. Once your website is up and running, work to ensure that your customer service interactions are exemplary at all times. Your interactions with clients must be quick and courteous. Express appreciation for their patronage and set reasonable expectations for resolving any issues.

Even if you do not have a social media footprint for yourself, your business needs one. It is a great way to gain visibility for your business, generate traffic to your site, and build a community around your services.

digital marketing checklist

Adapt your tactics for each social media platform and generate unique content suited to the audience and “vibe.” Blogging is another great way to highlight your business and your personal flare. It is a prime SEO venue that you can control for keywords and links, further enhancing traffic to your site.

Remember, you may have the greatest business idea or product concept in the industry, but none of it will matter if nobody knows about it. Review and implement these ideas and checklist so that your business can thrive now and in the future.