Each week QFINANCE.com brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past seven days (1 - 7 November) in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.
International investment agreements are once again in the news. The United States is trying to impose a strong investment pact within the two big so-called “partnership” agreements, one bridging the Atlantic, the other the Pacific, that are now being negotiated. But there is growing opposition to such moves.
One of the features of the credit crunch era is that we get told that things are good for us and they turn out to be harmful. Those in Greece, for example, were told that “shock and awe” and austerity would help them whereas they led to an economic collapse. The UK was told by the Bank of England that it would have disinflation (negative inflation) and falling prices and that this was such an economic evil which needed quantitative easing to prevent this. What happened was quite different.
When trade moves across borders, armies don't. China is widely regarded as the engine that may yet prove sufficiently powerful to pull Europe out of its slow-to-no-growth quagmire, so, it would seem wildly unlikely that China would pose a military threat to the West, or, indeed, to any region. However, sometimes things just "happen", and not for the better.
As below-trend GDP growth and high unemployment continue to afflict most advanced economies, their central banks have resorted to increasingly unconventional monetary policy. An alphabet soup of measures has been served up; and yet, through it all, growth rates have remained stubbornly low and unemployment rates unacceptably high.
Each week QFINANCE.com brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days (25-31 October) in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.
It is perhaps inevitable that when well-meaning bodies like the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (UNFAO) get together to report on where we are going with agriculture, in the light of the world's ever expanding population, the brief they set for themselves will reflect not just on how to create food security for planet Earth, but also on how to achieve food security "sustainably".
The on-going debt and financial crises have exposed the dangers of the dysfunctional fiscal governance present in the US and Europe. As African countries prepare to enter sovereign debt markets, they should heed the West’s “warning” – to handle fiscal issues with transparency and accountability, or risk heading down the same route.
If you want to value the derivatives in your portfolio accurately, then you’d love to predict the forthcoming volatility. Right? Since you can’t, you’ll make do with either implied or historical volatility. Still, what you’d really like, the “holy grail” of the knights of valuation, is to know what volatility will be during the life of the instrument.
China has a number of free trade zones (FTZ) already, but the one planned for the country's commercial hub in Shanghai is shaping up to be unique. There may be some manufacturing, but what Shanghai's FTZ is all about is financial services and turning Shanghai into a rival to the City of London - well, not overnight, maybe - when it comes to FX trading.