The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Fed are both worried about stubbornly low inflation and a weakening outlook. They are both signalling that they will turn the policy dial back towards a looser monetary stance. But the differences in the political circumstances and the institutional constraints facing each are stark. They suggest the Fed is much better positioned to manage a downturn. And the fact that it is, may complicate the ECB’s predicament.
WORLD: Are consumer preferences the main drivers behind the public policy changes? How food systems should change to meet growing demand, from increasing productivity, reducing waste and changing diets? Listen to Senior Director, Stephen Adams, Practice Lead for Sustainability, Elizabeth Beall and Associate, Mollie Brennan discuss the future of food in the UK, Europe and globally.
There is only one cast-iron certainty in British politics. That is that whoever replaces Theresa May in Downing Street this summer will be faced with the same set of problems. Of course, the identity of the prime minister matters. But it is not likely to change the questions facing MPs of all parties come the autumn.
In his 2018 letter to CEOs, Blackrock’s Larry Fink set some serious hares running in his insistence on the related concepts of “purpose” and “profit”. While a company’s purpose is irrelevant if it is not profitable, he argues, the former must always drive the latter: “purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them”. These sorts of assertion only get us – and the policymakers taking an increasing interest in this theme - so far.
There are few UK political issues like the NHS – beloved, sacrosanct and elaborately celebrated and protected by politicians of almost any stripe. So it is inevitable that political alarm bells ring at the idea that the UK’s national health service would be ‘on the table’ in a possible UK-US trade agreement – an idea that got some airplay during President Trump’s visit to London this week. It’s useful to be a bit clearer on what this might actually mean. We have been here before, during the TTIP negotiations, so it is also important to ask why and how a UK-US negotiation might be different.
WORLD: Following an event with European Commission DG Trade representative with businesses, trade unions and EU member states representatives, Global Counsel Senior Director, Stephen Adams, Head of Europe, Tom White and Practice Lead for Trade, Daniel Capparelli, discuss EU-US trade tensions, including Trump’s trade policy and new trade agreement negotiations, challenges ahead of the new trade commissioner, WTO rulebook, and trade war with China.
With a list of candidates longer than your leg, the Conservative leadership contest is now in full swing. Unsurprisingly, many of the candidates’ public statements – and the questions they’re being asked by the media – relate to the looming question of Brexit. You might think in this context that talking about the details of government, like taxation and public spending, is rather like talking about the weather when there’s a spaceship overhead. Nonetheless, some brave souls are taking that challenge on. Last week two major reports have emerged that may help to guide whoever grasps the chalice – poisoned or not – that awaits them in Downing Street.
The UK stepped back from the precipice of a no-deal Brexit in April by requesting and receiving an extension of the Article 50 period up to October 31st this year. This has provided short-term relief from the immediate risk of a no-deal for many businesses on the continent and in the UK. But political turmoil over how to handle Brexit has again engulfed the UK in the last few days. Britain will have a new prime minister by the summer. The person chosen for the job will be selected chiefly on their Brexit position. The front runners have put no deal on October 31st at the centre of their platform. Could parliament stop them?
RUSSIA & CIS: Following a lunch event, Practice Lead for Russia, CIS and CEE, Alexander Smotrov and Nicu Popescu, Director of the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, discuss recent elections in Europe and Ukraine, and their potential impacts on EU-Russia relations.
Although official results of the Indonesian presidential and parliamentary elections have not been released, quick count results suggest that incumbent president, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has secured a second term. The latest projections show that Jokowi won with around 56% of the votes, while his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, received 44%. As Indonesia awaits official results and prepares for the inauguration of the next president in October, here are three thoughts on Jokowi’s victory and implications for his second and final term.