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Filtered by tag: Economics

FAREWELL BANKS, HELLO BANKING

Published on: 15 June 2017

New players dominate financial services

Dateline: 26 August 2022

It was Microsoft founder Bill Gates who famously said in 1994 that we need banking, but we don't need banks. It's taken nearly 30 years, but he was dead right. Worldwide, financial services have moved out of the hands of traditional banks and into an array of mobile, FinTech and data companies. Some forward-thinking banks grasped the new world of collaboration and entered into early partnerships and have survived, albeit in a different form. Others have failed or, at best, become simply the ...

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ELECTRIC CARS CAN'T STEER THE CLIMATE

Published on: 1 June 2017

But they're driving the Energy Internet and saving the city

Dateline: 2 June 2030

It's official. It's now cheaper, on average, to buy a new electric car than one that burns gasoline, without subsidies. But it's not having any effect on climate change. It seems the global climate runs on its own largely unexplained clock, and nothing we do affects it much. Electric cars have become the vehicle of choice for two reasons; cheaper, more efficient batteries, and charging convenience. Now that the vast majority of electric power comes from renewable sources, it makes sense to put the ...

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ONE BELT FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER

Published on: 18 May 2017

China leads the push for Globalization 2.0

Dateline: 4 July 2035

It's taken two decades, but the demise of the United States as top nation was predicted way back in 2015. Now China is firmly #1 in economic terms, and the west looks decidedly lower-middle class. The global power shift to the east has been driven partly by demographics, but also by China's determination to expand its sphere of economic influence, and to co-opt key nations en route. Central to this ambition was the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, which links up dozens of nodes from Guangzhou to ...

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WATER IS NO LONGER THE NEW OIL

Published on: 27 April 2017

Water in plentiful supply as 'Star Wars' tech makes it out of fresh air

Dateline: 24 April 2020

The first Star Wars movie featured Vaporators on the planet Tatooine for water farming from the atmosphere. Now they are available on Earth, although they look slightly different in real life. It's been known for many decades that condensing water vapor from the air holds the key to water supplies in arid, inland areas; but getting that water from dry rather than humid air was the challenge. By the same token, desalination has offered a solution for coastal cities, but only at substantial energy ...

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THE NEW GOLD OF THE 21st CENTURY

Published on: 21 April 2017 1 Comment

Data drives massive profits for the new corporate titans

Dateline: 23 October 2026

It's certainly not oil, it's not even water. The new 'gold' of the 21st century is data. And a range of corporate giants are using it to drive massive profits. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the 2016 book 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow', was right on the mark when he wrote: "One of the most important questions in the world is who owns the data of humankind. Maybe the most important asset of the 21st Century is not land, and it's not money, it's really data." At the turn of the century, ...

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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 3 Comments

Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills

Dateline: 17 June 2023

The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...

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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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WALLS GO UP, TRADE COMES DOWN

Published on: 23 February 2017

Global downturn follows isolationist resurgence

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Brexit, Trump and now Le Pen. As the old, established economies turn inward and nationalist, global trade and co-operation suffer. It's been left to the new, New World, what used to be called Emerging Markets, to carry the torch of free trade. As Tim Harford notes: "The first and most fundamental insight is that all human civilisation is built on some sort of trade." ALL human civilisation. Productivity and progress rely on exploiting comparative advantages with trade, to everyone's gain. But the ...

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EMERGING MARKETS RACE FOR DIGITAL CURRENCY FIRST PLACE

Published on: 16 February 2017 2 Comments

Who will lead the global chaincash system?

Dateline: 13 March 2019

Several emerging economies are in a desperate tech race to be the first to establish a blockchain based fiat currency with global acceptance. The contenders, perhaps surprisingly, are the new giants, China and India, and little-known South Africa. Rich countries are too rigid in their financial structures and too protective of their established reserve currency status to risk a game changing innovation like this. An upsurge in nationalism and rejection of globalisation by America, Britain and Europe ...

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SUMMER'S SUN WILL KEEP YOU WARM IN WINTER

Published on: 26 January 2017 1 Comment

New energy storage system saves summer's heat for winter's chill

Dateline: 25 January 2021

We humans like our comforts, and temperature is one of the most important. In summer, we want our homes and offices to be pleasantly cool, and warm and cozy in winter. We run air conditioners to beat the summer sweat, and light roaring fires to warm our homes in winter. What a waste! What if we could save summer's heat, and release it in winter? Swiss scientists began playing with technology to do just that, back in 2017, and now it's being commercialized. The SunBank system uses summer's sun and ...

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THE END OF CITIES BUILT FOR CARS

Published on: 19 January 2017

Small fleets of autonomous vehicles reinvent urban transport - and humanize our cities

Dateline: 14 April 2023

I took my son to the Taxi Museum today - you know, that seedy warehouse in downtown New York with a collection of those old vehicles we used to use to travel around the city, with drivers - usually rude - slouched in front and clutching the steering wheel. It seems such a quaint idea today, as ride-sharing in silent, driverless electric vehicles (EVs) has dramatically reinvented urban transport, bringing to an end the horrific traffic jams of yesteryear - not to mention effectively eliminating road ...

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ANOTHER EXTRA, NEW YEAR

Published on: 29 December 2016 1 Comment

Every year your life increases by another year

Dateline: 1 January 2033

If you're young enough, you may never die. Seriously. Think about it: If average lifespan keeps increasing, every year, then as long as you are younger than that, you have an excellent chance of living another year. And next year, the same, and so on. Eventually there will be diminishing returns to medical science and optimal nutrition, but if you live in a highly developed economy, you may live indefinitely. Unless you get killed in an aircar crash or earthquake, of course. But for most of us, ...

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ENGLAND AND WALES KEPT OUT OF EUROPE FOR A SECOND TIME

Published on: 15 December 2016

Scotland's veto ensures their old British colleagues are refused

Dateline: 18 January 2044

In a blow for the aspirations of citizens of England and Wales, the island nation's hopes of joining the EEU (Extended EU) have once again been crushed. "It's a tragedy. Why can't the Scottish recognize that we have changed. The old generation that hated membership and never understood its benefits have died out. We're the generation that were stripped of a future," says Denis Franks, International Secretary in the Liberal government. "Nothing has changed," says Humphrey Dalfries, the Scottish ...

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LONDON WANTS TO SHANGHAI YOU

Published on: 17 November 2016

Now various city 'passports' are vying for your attention

Dateline: 4 March 2029

People used to compare and evaluate national passports in terms of what they offered and how many doors such a document would open for them. Now it's not so much about countries competing against one another; instead megacities are trying to appeal to skilled workers by throwing numerous benefits into the mix. The first signs of this revolution appeared in 2019 when, after Brexit, trade and financial services in London were allowed to attract foreign workers to their industries in exchange for ...

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GOODBYE TRUMP, HELLO MADAM PRESIDENT

Published on: 10 November 2016

After one term in office, America has had enough of the Orange POTUS

Dateline: 10 November 2020

At long last, the United States has a female head of state. Hillary Clinton's big mistake was one of timing. She couldn't beat Obama, and when up against Trump, she failed to inspire or engender trust. Many voters saw her as a has-been. But now the tables have been turned. Trump, like Jimmy Carter, has failed to secure a second term. And his ouster is a woman. To some extent, Trump was his own worst enemy. Having exposed himself, his thinking and biases, the kind of person he was deep down, ...

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AI FOR PRESIDENT

Published on: 20 October 2016 1 Comment

The next Commander in Chief is an avatar

Dateline: 3 November 2020

When a Presidential decision can affect millions of people's lives, it's a weighty matter; one that must balance ethics, integrity and pragmatism with what is best for the majority of the people. It's not easy to arrive at the best decision, even with a host of expert advisors. That's why it is best left to the dispassionate rationality of Artificial Intelligence. Since Watson learned to diagnose cancer quicker and more accurately than the most experienced oncologist, the IBM AI platform has also ...

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CHINA TRUMPS TRUMP, RUSSIA LOOMS LARGE

Published on: 6 October 2016

Brexit looks benign in the face of new shocks

Dateline: 14 October 2017

Disruption and turbulence are the new normal, as Black and 'Grey' Swans hatch repeatedly. When the British voted to leave the EU, it was a great shock to the global system, and markets reacted in both predictable, and unpredictable ways. While everyone was 'waiting and seeing' which way the wind would blow, Donald Trump became POTUS, sending another shockwave through the world. Within a year, France and Germany saw populism and reactionary forces replace their governing parties, and the EU is ...

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RELIGION IS A DYING BUSINESS

Published on: 8 September 2016

Traditional religious beliefs are dying out as global living standards rise

Dateline: 1 September 2034

A charismatic preacher once wrote that to get seriously rich, start your own religion. But academics suggest the world's major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, emerged as an evolutionary response to the differences in lifestyle between wealthy elites and other, poorer, communities. The disadvantaged classes needed hope for a better future, and a deity to blame for their misfortunes; a higher order being in which to place their faith. Now that poverty is ...

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LONDON POPULATION FALLS AS SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE LOOMS

Published on: 21 July 2016

Investment boom in Edinburgh triggers housing shortage

Dateline: 25 June 2020

London, a city which at its peak had almost 8.5 million residents, feels like everyone has gone away for the summer. You can always get a table, even at the trendiest restaurants, and the Tube is only half full. Over the past three years, as major employers have moved their corporate headquarters, or restructured to keep their European markets, hundreds of thousands have left. Following the loss of the UK's banking passport, Frankfurt and Dublin have emerged as new centres of finance, gaining the ...

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ISLAND CROP DECIMATED BY GENE DRIVE FLIES

Published on: 30 June 2016 1 Comment

Scientists say no other theory seems to hold

Dateline: 15 October 2026

After watching Border Security Australia, passengers always got off the plane feeling an extra bit anxious and jittery. Thoughts like 'What if they say the dirt on my hiking boots smells funny? Or they confiscate my grandma's old dusty portrait?' often ran through peoples' heads. Quarantine officers checking for foreign organic matter and unwelcome species used to have an irritating, but doable job. That reality has changed dramatically. Ten years ago, the use of gene drive technology to eradicate ...

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Filtered by tag: Economics