Donald Trump aims to overhaul the financial services system's regulation in order to simplify lending process for banks. In your opinion, is this intention reasonable? Why? That is obviously not a simple question to answer for the reason that a reform of the financial regulatory system in terms of changing the Dodd-Frank needs to be done, but I do not think an overhaul is indeed necessary. What needs to happen is the implementation of some sort of regulations for small to mid-size banks, while regulations for large banks make sense for the most part. A few larger banks here and there need to be reviewed, but the simple fact is that by requiring significantly greater capital, the system is much more stable than it had been and it has been able to withstand the shock and not get into the kind of problems it faced ten years ago. When we talk about reforming the regulatory system, it needs to be done with an eye towards small and mid-size banks, not large banks. Unfortunately, the focus of attention is on larger banks, because they have more money in the government.
The crisis in the retail sector, briefly mentioned in Newsletter 161, is ironically speeding up as the sector loses steam if one views the consumer-driven American economy as a train pulled by a 19th century locomotive. The number of store closings may be more than 8,000 in 2017 if the rate current in Q1 continues. Hundreds of mall anchor stores are on schedule to be closed if the train runs on time.
The ECB kept its monetary policy unchanged. Though, strong economic recovery may encourage policymakers to start tightening monetary conditions. Do you share this point of view? At this point, we agree that the Euro zone's economy is strengthening. We have recently revised our forecast for this year, though I think the key point here is that the ECB has not really seen any reasonable signs of an economic recovery. We have seen a little bit stronger inflation earlier in the year due to energy effects; however, inflation is probably going to be lower this year than we thought six months ago. Even if the Euro zone economy is picking up steam, we certainly do not expect the ECB to start raising interest rates until 2019.
According to latest reports, a slowdown in the housing market and a weakness in the construction industry only worsened amid higher costs. In your point of view, should we expect a further decrease in the UK economy? Why? Our base case scenario is that we are expecting a slowdown in the UK economy in 2017. If we ask what has been propping the UK economy up since Brexit, the answer would be the consumer spending story; we have seen consumption being fairly resilient since Brexit. On the other hand, we have seen investment taper a little bit less, therefore, what has been driving the UK economy is really consumer spending. Though, at this point, the outlook looks pretty bleak, especially if we take into account the fact that we have got a squeeze in household consumer incomes, coming from higher fuel prices, higher inflation, and a lack of wage inflation. Real incomes are being squeezed, which in theory leads to weaker consumer spending power. Thus, the channel which has been propping up the UK growth is likely to weaken a little bit going into 2017.
Switzerland's economic growth projection for 2017 was downgraded as activity turned out disappointingly weak in the second half of last year. In the Spring forecast, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said it expected economic growth of 1.6% in 2017, down from the forecast of 1.8% it gave in December. The downward adjustment to resulted from a "sluggish close of 2016," SECO said.
Progress in making women equal to men in the economy is painfully slow, and women are still more likely than men to live in poverty, says the report, entitled “An Economy that Works for Women” published by Oxfam. According to the source, globally, the average gender pay gap is 23 percent and 700 million fewer women than men are in paid work. The compiled data reveal that women carry out between two and 10 times more unpaid care work than men, which is worth $10 trillion to the global economy each year, equivalent to over an eighth of the world’s entire GDP, “Women’s disproportionate responsibility for the work squeezes the amount of time that they have to go to school and earn a living.
The most beloved passport in the world by rich people is not American. European citizens are the owners of the most valuable passports in the world with the top ten spots all countries in Europe. But the world’s most powerful passport belongs to Sweden. The findings come from offshore consulting firm Nomad Capitalist, who have ranked 199 passports globally.
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