MarketLine Blog

Posts about Economy

Namibia: NEEEF is not the solution. New policy would be bad for the economy

MarketLine

NEEEF is not the policy the Namibian economy requires at present. Businesses, however big or small, would be required to be at least 25% owned by people described as ‘disadvantaged persons’ and occupy half of board and management positions. The suggested legislation appears to be an effort towards what amounts to forced redistribution of wealth and has similarities with the land redistribution attempted in Zimbabwe. Ownership is not the only target: spending and investment would be subject to new controls too. Problems regarding implementation are legion. Given approximately 40% of… Read more

UK General Election: Theresa May’s Call for Election on June 8 an Opportunistic Masterstroke

MarketLine

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a historic result the likes of which has never been seen. On June 5, 1975 the UK voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining in the EU (then called the European Community) and the thought of any member state actually leaving is a very recent phenomenon. Many point to the Great Recession of 2008-09 as the catalyst for the most recent wave of anti-EU sentiment but opposition to the EU has existed in the UK since it joined… Read more

IMF appeases US trade policy

MarketLine

The first conference held by the IMF since the economic policy of the United States underwent dramatic changes following the election victory of Donald Trump already shows strong signs of moving towards a position designed to appease the new president. Differences between previous statements and policies from the IMF and what is now being espoused point towards the dropping of the pledge occurring for political purposes. Indeed the language used by the German Finance Minister and that of the IMF shows a stark contrast between views on the matter. Whilst… Read more

French elections: Economic considerations and policies will shape the final outcome

MarketLine

First of all, the preference of French voters is clarified from the polls as three quarters of voting preferences tend to be gathered among center to right wing politicians. This indicates certain prevailing trends of voters such as the need for sense of security and the adjustment of France’’ foreign relations with Europe and the rest of the world. Nevertheless, even immigration and foreign relations are associated with economic policies over unemployment, welfare state, national security and certain industries of the French economy. Especially, unemployment and social protection are fundamental… Read more

UK General Election: Prime minister May calls snap GE for 8th June, another big play risks further chaos for the country

MarketLine

On the 18th of April 2017 UK Prime Minister Teresa May announced a snap general election. For months political commentators had been speculating that this might happen, as the opposition parties were weak and the time looked opportune. Conservatives were strong and Prime Minister May needed a strong mandate to help with the exceptional political circumstances that the Brexit vote and subsequent resignation of David Cameron left behind. On announcement the argument provided was exactly this; that the Prime Minister wanted to build on her majority to make sure that… Read more

Iran Transport: Accelerating forward to the future

MarketLine

Iran is a growing hub for transportation, acting as a critical connection point between India and Russia/ Europe. Until recently, the Suez Canal served as the quickest transport route between India and Russia however with Iran undergoing rail infrastructure upgrades and also building part of the North-South corridor, Iran is set to become a key part of the ongoing development of transport links using the rail network. The North-South corridor has the potential to cut the transport time by around 50% and is sure to disrupt the naval transportation market…. Read more

The Digital Age: A Hackers delight

MarketLine

Online storage is a huge leap forward in technology, allowing files to be accessed from anywhere without the need to send them via email. Files can be shared in a much simpler fashion and can be locked to ensure that any changes made are present in a single file as opposed to numerous versions of the file. This online system serves as a backup for companies and customers. A network of banking telecommunications (SWIFT) has been the target of numerous hacking and data leaks over recent years, serving to reduce… Read more

South Korea and China: WTO complaint must be resolved swiftly and amicably

MarketLine

In July 2016, American and South Korean military officials agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea. China was unimpressed, seeing the move as an act of aggression and intimidation by the US close to its borders, as well as citing concerns that it could interfere with the efficacy of its own military capabilities. On March 20, 2017, South Korea complained to the WTO that China’s unease with the THAAD situation has caused it to retaliate economically, although it was keen to… Read more

Netflix competition: Not a chill environment

MarketLine

Growing from a DVD rental/ selling service in 1997, Netflix today has become one of the leading companies in the online streaming market. Netflix has benefitted greatly from the increased range and depth of broadband internet. The global reach of Netflix and its competitors serve to increase rivalry.  Gaming systems which now incorporate applications into their systems present new and growing opportunities and potential dangers for Netflix. The increased advertisements from gaming systems can help recruit more customers which is also an opportunity for competitors of Netflix. Netflix, as one… Read more

Spring Budget 2017: Budget statement to address Brexit effect and to impact business rates

MarketLine

The economic forecasts released by the UK government before and after the referendum, are astounding in how much they have changed: from an optimistic positive outlook quoted by George Osborn, to a more bleak negative picture for the next five years. Uncertainty playing a major part has led to the outcome of more borrowing for the UK government in order to cover the worst case scenario of lower valued tax receipts in the future. With the Spring statement being the first and last one this April (there will only be… Read more

Greek debt crisis: Why Grexit is not an option

MarketLine

It is actually proven that undoing a fatal mistake of relying on an overvalued currency does not correct matters. The no alternatives case for the Greek economy on staying in the single currency union is easy to realize after having a close look at its macroeconomic figures that reflect something of an economic collapse. In fact, the heavy reliance of the Greek economy on services and at the same time its lack of a national productive base  rule out the possibility of achieving growth through the adoption of a devalued… Read more

May’s Brexit: Twelve steps to recovery

MarketLine

Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the British population has been going through an uncertain period. In order to help protect the British economy and strengthen businesses following the Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined a twelve point negotiation plan for the discussions with the EU. The focus of this insight is to look at the potential huge benefits to the British economy following the Brexit talks, with a look at how the talks could also be construed as detrimental and could lead to a divided Britain…. Read more

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment Liberalization

MarketLine

Reducing the number of markets foreign investors are prevented from entering – down to 62 from 93 – marks a useful step in the right direction and should encourage investment into China, reducing the gap to the outflow. Investors should become more comfortable with China given the proposed new rules, but there is much to be done and reasons for pessimism. The proposals appear to be hobbled by caution and need to go much further to create a lasting impact. More worryingly, the problems that the changes aim to tackle… Read more

Donald Trump: Incoming president likely to create bigger mess than his hair

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s policy detail is rather thin, but based on multiple and contradictory things he has said on the campaign trail, shrinking of the state via both reduced tax income and federal spending while promising to build a border wall and renovate infrastructure, protectionist stances on international trade agreements while promising a Brexit Britain a comprehensive deal, an expansion of dirty industries at the expense of environmental regulation, and undermined central bank independence. Donald Trump’s election to the Oval Office was considered one of the most divisive and bitter elections… Read more

Trump’s win is good news for US economy

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s whole mantra during his campaign (as evidenced by his rather natty headwear) has been to ‘Make America Great Again.’ In order to do this, he knows he must make the US competitive on the global stage. He has pledged to reduce taxes heavily for low and middle income Americans and also to make sure that the wealthy (including corporations) do not pay too much as that undermines jobs. This should help boost the currently questionable level of job creation and to increase spending power, which should in turn… Read more

An inconvenient truth about the euro area

MarketLine

The creation of the euro area was a mistake. Top ranks of business and political classes in Europe were expecting an explosion in trade and economic activity following the creation of the single currency area in 2002. The euro would lubricate the integration of the newly formed euro area. It would be possible to achieve higher levels of growth and long-term prosperity. Unfortunately, the real GDP of the euro area increased only by 1.8% per year between 2001 and 2006 and by merely 0.2% per year within the 2007 -2015… Read more

Uncertainty over political events trumps fundamentals as markets fall

MarketLine

On Thursday June 23, 2016 the UK went to the polls to decide on its future as a member of the European Union (EU). By a small margin, the country opted to leave and despite the fact that no steps to enact Article 50 have yet been taken by Theresa May and her government, speculation about an imminent implosion of the British economy has been rife, damaging the value of the Pound and serving as a rather convenient scapegoat for everything from companies’ poor performance to increased prices, to political… Read more

Post-Brexit effect on inflation

MarketLine

The UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum undertaken in June 2016. The separation will be complex and will take many years to complete. However, the effects have been felt immediately. Since Brexit, the pound has dropped by 18%. After an initial tumble following the result, it fell further in October following Prime Minister Theresa May’s signal that she would use Brexit to tighten borders, even if it means losing access to the EU’s single market on the current terms. On October 18, the Office for… Read more

EU before Brexit – looking underneath the headlines

MarketLine

Data from eurostat puts the number of unemployment in the Euro area at 16 million in 2016, close to 10% of its population aged between 18 and 74 years of age. This is equivalent to the entire population of the Netherlands or 8 times the population of Paris. Clearly, the number of Europeans struggling on a daily basis is much higher than the official figure coming from the eurostat. This is because any person that works at least one hour per week is considered to be employed. The failure to consistently reduce… Read more

Brexit skepticism and predicting the unpredictable

MarketLine

In a bizarre confluence of polarized opinions battling amidst the wanton exposition of misinformation by careerist politicians, the UK has voluntarily plunged itself into a prolonged period of economic and political uncertainty by voting to the leave the European Union. The Prime Minister has resigned, any potential successor from the Leave campaign lacks public credibility or electability, and the Chancellor claims to have no responsibility for delivering a plan for the country in terms of how to navigate and exploit the proposed exit. All those currently in power are willing… Read more

UK Economy – held back by euro area Treaty

MarketLine

The Maastricht Treaty has been slowly asphyxiating any possibility of sustained economic recovery in Britain. It has been partially responsible for the erratic recovery of manufacturing, production and construction industries. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Britain peaked back at pre-crisis level in the second quarter of 2013 driven mainly by the growth of the services industry. This industry is 13 per cent larger in value compared to 2009 (figure below). Production, construction and manufacturing industries are on average 7% smaller than their pre-crisis levels. The majority of UK industries… Read more

Brexit – Taking a positive approach

MarketLine

Should the British citizen choose to leave the EU structures, the whole process will take place gradually as per Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Over the next two years parties will have to reach agreements on the conditions for the exit, otherwise the UK would return to the default position, when it comes to trade with the EU, as defined by the rules of the WTO The possible savings of not having to contribute towards EU structures for 2016 are expected to reach about £9.6bn (about $14.7bn). This amount… Read more

Youth unemployment in Germany: Low rates disguise true picture of growing Hartz-IV dependency

MarketLine

Compared to many neighboring European countries, of both similar and lesser levels of economic development, Germany’s youth unemployment rate is healthy. It is the lowest of any country in Europe except Iceland and is way below both the Euro Area and EU average. Whereas many European countries encourage their people to pursue academic studies at university to further themselves, Germany has long had a policy of creating and offering vocational training places for those who either do not want to attend or who are not suited to university and this… Read more

Better the devil EU know?

MarketLine

Thursday 23rd June is set to be one of the most hotly-anticipated and controversial days in British political history, as UK citizens vote in a referendum to decide whether or not they wish to remain a member of the European Union. The referendum – promised by Prime Minister David Cameron in his 2015 election manifesto – has now entered the final stages of campaigning. As both the ‘in’ camp, led by Britain Stronger in Europe, and their opponents Vote Leave ramp up the pressure it is still almost impossible to… Read more

Top entrepreneurial cities: 21st century UK incorporations

MarketLine

Companies House data demonstrates that more companies have been incorporated in the Greater Manchester region in the 21st Century than anywhere else outside of London. This appears to provide some evidence for the Chancellor’s siren calls of Northern England and particularly the North West becoming a power house of the UK economy, able to compete not only with London but internationally as well. Figure 1 shows the concentration of incorporations across the UK in recent years, it can be seen that Birmingham is also a hub of activity. On further… Read more

British Economy – structurally damaged?

MarketLine

Large-scale lending has become a key component for the economic growth of Britain’s economy since the 1980s. It has aimed to incentivise British consumers to permanently increase their borrowing rates and consumption. This practice has boosted the profitability of the British financial system by an unimaginable scale. It has generated a permanent stream of cash flowing from consumers to the banking system based on the acquisition of mortgages and consumer credit to purchase durable and nondurable goods. It has also helped households to navigate through a prolonged period of house… Read more

Gas and Electricity in Great Britain – Competitive market illusion

MarketLine

A nationalized energy industry had operated in the United Kingdom for more than 40 years but it was gradually reformed with the introduction of market liberalization in the 1980s. Market liberalization was followed by a large-scale industry privatization fully completed in 1998. The competition injected in the industry through these reforms has been concentrated on generation and supply of gas and electricity. However, evidence from the Office of Gas and Electricity market (Ofgem), the body responsible for the regulation of the system, shows that the market is far from competitive…. Read more

Greece’s policy mix: austerity failure and unfairness

MarketLine

In the 1980s, Europeans and Americans started to get hooked on debt to afford their lifestyle. Newly available bank loans, a wide range of mortgages and credit cards suddenly became a necessity. At that time Robert Dall, a mortgage trader at Salomon Brothers, started to mix two or more types of mortgages together and re-sell them in the global financial markets. In an interview with BBC Panorama in 2015, Dall pointed out that “some mortgages were real and others were phoney” and “the market did not understand the difference between… Read more

Will the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) erode Embraer’s market share?

MarketLine

In the 1990s, Embraer and Bombardier identified a gap in the production of an aircraft sized for efficient operation in the regional jet market in Europe, Asia, Africa and, particularly, in the United States. Regional American airlines were increasingly demanding an aircraft designed specifically to serve markets that can be optimized with 37 to 110 seat capacity equipment. The production of Embraer Regional Jet-145 (ERJ-145) launched the company into the lucrative regional jets market in 1996, only two years after privatization. Prior to 1996, Bombardier was the sole player in… Read more

A new dynamism for major European economies

MarketLine

The expansion of household debt in Europe in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s was unprecedented by historical standards and the economic growth of European countries has become partially dependent on it. The numbers from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and Marketline analysis reveal that the outstanding credit from the banking system to European households increased more than 170%, in nominal values, from US$4tn in 1995 to more than US$ 11tn by the end of the 2000s. In the UK alone, household debt is running at US$2.4tn which represents an… Read more