There is a growing body of evidence that suggests corporate market power may be increasing and that this is damaging macroeconomic performance. Moreover, the effects may be strengthening as the market power of some firms becomes more entrenched and capable of exploitation. This, combined with growing political attention in some major economies, means policymakers may come under increasing pressure to overhaul their competition regimes.
Last week’s EU-China summit and 17+1 meeting underscored something interesting in how China’s relationships with the EU and individual European states are developing. While a group of influential EU states view Beijing as a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”, several EU and non-EU states increasingly see China as a strategic partner.
First it was tofu, then it was quorn, and now meat derived from a single animal cell and thus the creation of a new term – meat analogue. The meat analogue industry is one of the fastest growing consumer goods segments. It is also one of increasing political volatility and one in which regulation is struggling to keep up in a way that spurs innovation and shifts consumer behaviour. As the debate evolves, the EU’s commitment to upholding the highest welfare and safety standards may come into conflict with the bloc’s mandate for global leadership in health and environmental standards.
UK: After a breakfast roundtable event, GC Chairman, Peter Mandelson and Fingleton Associates founder and CEO, John Fingleton, discuss the politics of mergers and acquisitions in the UK, Europe and globally.
Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine (referred to as “accession” in Russia itself). President Putin descended on to Crimean soil to mark the date by opening new power stations while Moscow staged a three-day street festival to remember the Crimean “homecoming”. However, the public mood both in Crimea and in Moscow is notably different than five years ago. So, what is the ultimate price paid for this geopolitical gamble and who might have benefitted from it?
Following a client breakfast, Practice Lead for Sustainability Elizabeth Beall sat down with Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, to discuss the circular economy and the UK's Waste and Resource Strategy.
Last week, the UK government’s Digital Competition Experts Panel published its report ‘Unlocking digital competition’, addressing the role and economic power of large tech firms. The report, also known as the Furman review after lead author Jason Furman, may not have been obvious reading for the energy sector on a day when the Chancellor announced several climate measures in his Spring statement. But the digitalisation of the energy sector has made these the new frontiers of policy, and the review deserves close reading.
I recently listened to a presentation by Al Gore on ‘Sustainable Capitalism and the Climate Crisis’ at Carne and Dechert’s Funds Congress. Gore highlighted the growing risk to financial markets from climate change. Like David Wallace-Wells (in his recent Uninhabitable Earth), he is not afraid of sounding apocalyptic.
UK: Global Counsel Senior Director Stephen Adams and Chief Economist Gregor Irwin discuss US investors' attitudes to Brexit, looking at challenges and opportunities for US investors in a post-Brexit UK, following Gregor's recent trip to North America.