Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond wants to shake-up African banking and his investment vehicle Atlas Mara has already bought three banks. Brian Caplen assesses his efforts so far based on an interview at the recent FT Banking Summit in London.
View from Davos 2015
Date: 21 - 24 January 2015
Location: Davos-Klosters, Switzerland
The 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos will bring together business, political and academic leaders to discuss the key issues likely to affect the global economy over the next 12 months.
The January edition of The Banker looks at the evolution of new market segments and examines some of the key themes likely to feature at Davos, including the increasing threat coming from cyber crime.
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Davos 2015 Preview Video
|Brian Caplen and Silvia Pavoni discuss the content of The Banker's special January issue, which is distributed at the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of the month. Aging populations, cyber crime and an interview with former Barclays's CEO Bob Diamond are part of the wide-ranging coverage.|
As the world’s population ages, the challenges for wealth managers, economists and governments are significant if countries are to maintain productivity and generate growth.
That there is a need for microfinance in predominantly Islamic countries is taken as a given by most, yet providing sharia-compliant microfinance seems to be beyond many financial institutions. So what can be done? James King investigates.
Brazil is still a land rich with opportunity, as its educated workforce, sophisticated capital markets, ever-growing private companies and large infrastructural needs show, writes the country's new finance minister, Joaquim Levy.
Better urban planning, being cleaner, greener and more resilient, and sourcing more innovative financing are needed if Asia's cities are to cope with and benefit from a rapid phase of urbanisation, says the Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao.
'Failure' has been a common theme of the introspective assessments made in the banking sector and of economies more generally since the onset of the global financial crisis. The authors of Why Nations Fail examine the differences between those countries that sink and those that swim.
Are robots going to render the human worker obsolete? These claims are inaccurate and misleading, says MIT economics professor David H Autor, as the role of the computer will typically be to complement, not compete with, the human touch.
Political instability is keeping Lebanon from achieving its potential, according to central bank governor Riad Salameh, who is targeting three major sectors as engines of economic growth.
From dealing with the knock-on effects of the US and EU sanctions on Russia to preparing for the adoption of the euro, Lithuania's finance minister Rimantas Šadžius has been kept busy this year. But, despite the headwinds, Lithuania has managed to record one of the highest GDP growth rates in Europe.
The rise of e-commerce, and more recently digital wallets, has been a fragmented affair, meaning there is little standardisation across the e-payments industry. This is something that needs addressing, says Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the World Wide Web Consortium, and there is no time to lose.
After decades of high and volatile inflation, Turkey has enjoyed years of single-digit inflation rates. The country's central bank governor, Erdem Başçı, tells Stefanie Linhardt how continuing to lower this rate, while also increasing foreign exchange reserve buffers, are key to Turkey's continued economic well-being.
With the eurozone flirting with deflation, solutions to this problem are urgently needed. One of them – the integration of markets and institutions – offers hope, according to Italy's minister of economy and finance, Pier Carlo Padoan.
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