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ENG Macro Focus ENG

Macro Focus: Impact of COVID-19 on E-Commerce sales

The Census Bureau of the US Department of Commerce announced on August 18 that U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation, was $211.5 billion, an increase of 31.8 percent from the first quarter of 2020.

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Central Bank Watch ENG Macro Focus ENG

Macro Focus: What if the FED decided to go NIRP?

The Federal Reserve has so far resisted the general compulsion to implement negative interest rates among the world’s major advanced central banks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly insisted that the Fed is not considering a negative interest rates policy (NIRP). But what if there is a sudden policy turnaround? Beyond what it has already done, the Fed has quite a limited number of policy options it might consider to prop up the US economy and foster its recovery from the Great Virus Crisis. As prominent economists like Kenneth Rogoff convincingly argue, NIRP might be the most efficient option at the Fed’s disposal. A turnaround on this issue is far from granted, but were it to happen it would usher a new era with tremendous economic, financial and geopolitical consequences for the world.

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Business Intelligence ENG

Business & Geopolitics: Antitrust Policies for the Digital Age

The hearing in front of the US Sentate of the CEOs of four out of five of the largest US Tech companies may announce a rejuvenation of Antitrust laws and policies in the United States. If the report expected later this month is followed by legislative action, this would bring back these laws and policies closer to their original philosophy. But their application to Internet Platforms is likely to yield significantly different outcomes compared with earlier high profile cases.

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ENG Macro Flash

Macro Flash: The €-Coin indicator remains in negative territory in July

The Bank of Italy has released its €-Coin indicator for July. It continues its fall in negative territory at -0.50 (against -0.37 for June). The reading of the €-Coin indicator contrasts with the Composite PMI for the Eurozone which shows a strong rebound in economic activity in July. Indeed, the IHS Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index maintained its recent upward trend rising by over six points on the month to a reach a level of 54.9.

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Business Intelligence ENG Russia & FSU

Business & Geopolitics: A Welcome Stimulus for Russia’s Sovereign Tech Sector

The Russian Tech sector has witnessed a remarkable development over the last twenty years, moving out of a soviet state-led institutional and technological matrix into a beacon for flagship tech companies such as Kaspersky Lab, Telegram, Yandex and Ozon. The COVID-19 pandemic and recession presents both challenges and opportunities for Russia’s tech players.

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COVID-19 ENG Global Risks

COVID-19 surge in the US: making sense of the data

Key takeways A new surge in coronavirus cases across the world is threatening to stall the efforts made to revive […]

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Business Intelligence ENG Future of Money & Finance

Future of Money: Ant Group’s upcoming IPO and the global battle for electronic payments

Ant Group’s IPO could beat the record set by SaudiAramco’s $29.4 billion landmark IPO in late 2019. But whereas Saudi Aramco is struck in a sunset industry with little growth potential over the long term, Ant Group is spearheading a business and technology revolution with far reaching consequences for China and for the rest of the world.

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Business Intelligence ENG Premium

Business & Geopolitics: The global race for a COVID-19 vaccine

Key takeaways Over the last two weeks, four developers of a COVID-19 vaccine – out of more than 150 programmes […]

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Business Intelligence ENG Future of Money & Finance

Future of Money: The Battle over the Future of Money (CBDCs vs. Stablecoins)

Central banks have been stepping up efforts to create new electronic currencies in an attempt to counter the threat posed to their monetary power by private currencies such as Facebook’s Libra. However, CBDCs might prove to be too little too late to shape the future of money. When you can’t fight a trend, it’s better to embrace it.

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ENG Equities Market focus ENG Markets United States

Market focus: How smart is smart beta?

Professional Investors are familial with the Fama-French Factor model developed by Nobel Prize Laureate Eugene Fama with his colleague Kenneth French in the 1990s. According to this model, the expected return on a stock is the combination of the general equity market premium – the so-called beta of the single risk factor model – to which they added a “size premium” – on the premise that small cap stocks are expected to generate higher returns than large caps – and the value premium which is a reflection of a stock’s lower valuation compared to other stocks which trade higher on the basis of their expected earnings. This academic theory is at the heart of the so-called “smart beta” strategy based on ETFs – Exchange Traded Funds – which seek to replicate an exposure to the risk factors identified by Fama-French and by other pundits. However, since the beginning of the year, here have been a puzzling disconnect between “Growth stocks” and “Value stocks”.