Over the coming month, the world’s attention will turn to Brazil as it hosts the 20th FIFA World Cup. With over 600,000 foreign football fans expected to attend the tournament, and with an estimated global TV audience of over 3 billion, the World Cup should have been a great opportunity for Brazil to showcase its capabilities on the world’s stage – both on and off the pitch.
One of the key tenets of Technology is that it allows us to do things 'Faster - Better - Cheaper' than we have done in the past. We stand on the cusp of many large secular trends that will change the landscape in more ways than we can imagine. Terms like ‘The Cloud’ and ‘Big Data’ are fundamental elements of a wave of technological change that can best be summed up by: Store it, Secure it, Analyse it, Access it.
European elections are normally considered to be dull affairs. The majority of voters view them as being less relevant to their everyday lives than national elections. However, this may be about to change. The European elections on 22nd - 25th May will be the first since the euro crisis began and the recent troubles in the region have allowed Eurosceptic parties to surf the wave of discontent and gain in popularity.
Savers are quickly becoming one of the biggest casualties of the post-financial crisis world. The simple reason is that, as central banks keep interest rates at close to zero to revive their struggling economies, the yields on both cash deposits and bonds are so low that many are finding it almost impossible to generate enough income from their hard-earned savings.
The recent crisis in Europe has highlighted the shortcomings in the economic and political framework of the region. While in many respects the European integration project has been a great success, if it is to survive, it seems clear that further integration will be necessary to avoid a similar fallout in the future.
Not so long ago, Europe was a place to avoid for many investors. As fears of a euro break-up intensified, understandably many steered clear of the region. However, as signs of stability began to emerge last year, investors once again began to move back into European stocks.
During the depths of the crisis, Europe was largely un-investable. Even the remote prospect of the euro not surviving was more than enough to deter investors, but with conditions now starting to stabilise, investors are coming back in droves looking to pick up property and other cheap assets across the continent.
It is just over 90 years since the foundation of an independent Irish State and we are facing some important commemorations in the next few years: 1916 in just three years’ time and the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the State itself in 2022.
In the past year a number of very high profile Merger and Acquisition (‘M&A’) deals have been announced. This has led some to question whether we are on the cusp of another M&A boom similar to the late 1990s.
The global economy now appears to have expanded by just under 3% in 2013, a slightly slower rate than in 2012. However, momentum gathered pace in many regions as the year came to an end.