Pulse: Growth Outlook and Business Cycle
The IMF/World Bank held their Spring Meeting in Washington. The IMF issued the semi-annual updates of its two major reports-the World Economic Outlook (WEO) and Global Financial Stability Report (GSFR). In these reports, the IMF remained upbeat about the short-term outlook for the global economy, but warned about rising downside risks, especially in the medium- to long-term.
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) will convene this week in the ski resort of Davos. The WEF, which was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab (who at age 80, continues to run the organization) is an annual meeting of the global economic, business and political power elites. (Tidbit: the aggregate annual compensation of the two dozen global leaders of industry attending Davos is estimated at $300 million). While uber-elitist, the Davos meetings do reflect the major issues of the day and are useful sounding boards for discussing global economic and financial matters.
Every year we ask our EconVue contributors to prognosticate about the coming year. Although many people value economics as a way to forecast the future, most economists are historians rather than visionaries. However, if one understands current trends and events, then it is possible to make some educated guesses about the future. At the very least, it helps us create scenarios, both likely and unlikely, that challenge the conventional wisdom. Which is exactly our mission at EconVue.
THE WEEK IN FINTECH 12/08/17
The Payments Elephant
I moderated a meeting of the Chicago Payments Forum this week to discuss payments developments in 2017 and how they will affect business in 2018 and beyond. In putting together the overview, it occurred to me that right up front we had to address the elephant in the room: bitcoin.
At Money2020 at the end of October, I heard a number of people talk about it as a new "asset class," a statement I saw quoted almost daily as bitcoin's price rose steadily.