Pulse: Industry


FinTech Investment Soars

Global surveys covering second-quarter 2017 FinTech investments are coming in, and the results bode well for the development of the FinTech ecosystem.

IMF: The Global Economic Recovery is on Solid Ground

The IMF’s message in its latest global economic forecasts (World Economic Outlook, 7/24/2017) is broadly unchanged from its April version.  The global economic recovery is gaining momentum and broadening in 2017, after a two-year slowdown. Global output is expected to grow by respectively 3.5% and 3.6% this year and next.  However, the IMF states that the projected composition of growth will be slightly different, with slower-than-anticipated growth in the United States compensated by faster growth in the eurozone, Canada, Japan and emerging markets.

A Chicago Story: Gun Violence; Budget Cuts and Social Contagion

It was an eventful July 4th weekend in the Land of Lincoln. The Illinois Senate over-rode Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to pass its first state budget in over two years. This was the longest state budget impasse in the nation since the Great Depression.
 
Meanwhile, the mean streets of Chicago remained mean. The City recorded 15 homicides during the holiday weekend and over 100 shootings. Although down slightly, Chicago is on pace to record over 700 murders in 2017.
 

Payments Power

The payments sector of the FinTech ecosystem heats up this month. Recent developments in the largest and most mature FinTech sector include release of the final report of the U.S. Faster Payments Task Force, major consolidation among worldwide payments processors, and reports of high growth in person-to-person (P2P) payments.

What FinTech Means?

"When you think of FinTech, do you think of it more as a product or a service?" It was a question asked by a member of the audience at the Incubate Illinois FinTech panel sponsored Wednesday by the Chicago law firm Freeborn & Peters. It occurred to me that I take it for granted professionals in finance and technology understand what FinTech means.

Forming a More Perfect Health System: Senate Republicans Confront Their Policy Demons

Senator Mitch McConnell is the most effective Senate Majority Leader since Lyndon Johnson. A tactical maestro, McConnell faces the seeming impossible task of uniting the Republican party’s divergent conservative and moderate wings to pass health reform legislation. Growing numbers of Republican senators have indicated they cannot vote for the legislation as currently drafted.

EconVue Spotlight: Blockchain, ICO Special Edition

We have been following FinTech for a while now, but recently stories about blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been appearing everywhere. ICO's, or Initial Coin Offerings are beginning to look like a gold rush. Beyond the hype, driven by exponential returns for the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum, what are the constraints on further growth?

The ICO Explosion: A Primer

If you’ve been following recent news headlines, you may have noticed an uptick in the number of articles discussing blockchain technology, and more specifically, the emergence of a new venture funding model based on that technology: the token sale. But first, a brief explanation of blockchains.

Population, Participation and Productivity: How to Think about Long-Run Economic Growth

Here is my recent presentation to the International Conference of Commercial Bank Economists (ICCBE) in Paris this week. 

Chicago's FinTech Fizzle?

Start with Crain's Chicago Business reporter Lynne Marek's excellent macro overview of Chicago tech leaders' failure to pull together a coordinated FinTech hub, "Chicago should be a FinTech hub. So why isn't it?" In terms of venture money, Chicago falls way short, as Marek and her colleague Joe Cahill point out.

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