Pulse: Global


AHA! Healthcare is Both a Right and a Commodity

In late January, I participated in an Oxford-style debate regarding whether healthcare is a commodity. The debate was the featured event at Tata Memorial Centre’s Platinum Jubilee Conference in Mumbai, India.

A packed auditorium of over a thousand attendees buzzed with excitement as Professor Antonio “Tito” Fojo (my opponent) and I walked on-stage. The conference theme, “HEALTHCARE: A Commodity or Basic Human Need?” put the spotlight on our contest. We were midway through the 3-day conference, and it was show-time.

Bitcoin Blues

EconVue Spotlight

Political events with major economic implications continue to swirl around us, centered on the change in leadership in the US. 

Key trends we are watching:

FinTech Populism

It's a bit of a cheap headline, I'll admit, but I've been reading about the so-called populism that the current U.S. president has tapped into and wondered what it has to do with financial technology. FinTech has been styled as a way to empower people, and that's basically where populism started.

"Populism" in the most generic sense refers to a concern for the common people. It also carries the charge of dissing establishment types, whether they are politicians, intellectuals, media types—maybe even banks.

The Art of the Trade Deals

So far, President Trump has demonstrated that he will try to make good on his campaign promises, though the process may be anything but pretty. We cannot recall a president who started out “fighting” on so many fronts: still confirming most of his cabinet, nominating a Supreme Court Justice and multiple sweeping executive orders on domestic and international matters. Until the rollout of corporate and other tax proposals, which at this rate may come sooner than expected, the economic focus should be on Trump’s trade policy.

Changing Money

Thought leaders continue to point to trends that banks and FinTech insiders need to pay attention to, ranging from the use of big data to FinTech firms like Stash and Betterment, which are reshaping wealth management. Faster payments, mobile payments, and blockchain systems will accelerate their development this year.

Fed issues report on faster payments initiative

President Xi Jinping, Davos Man

FinTech at Davos

In January 2016, the global banks proclaimed that they are all FinTech innovators now, reported Bloomberg in its coverage of the annual World Economic Forum conference in Davos.

Global Animus

Animus has two meanings, hostility and motivation and both apply today to the world economy in 2017.  Two events in January are of special note. 

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