If you like it put a ring on it: LVMH buys Tiffany

In November, LVMH, a French luxury goods giant, announced it is buying American jeweler Tiffany & Co as part of a $16.2bn (£12.6bn) deal. The deal came after months of speculation and an earlier rejected offer at $120 per share. LVMH was able to tie the knot after raising its offer price to $135 per share – a shiny premium over Tiffany’s $90 share price in October.

In the classic 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly muses that Tiffany’s is a place where “nothing very bad could happen to you”.  Can the same be said for LVMH after undertaking this acquisition?

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Why the US’s feud with Huawei transcends security concerns

Huawei, the telecommunications company that promises to revolutionise connectivity, faces a powerful adversary in the form of the US. Founded in 1987, Huawei has become the dominant player in its field, outcompeting its European 5G rivals. The technology company is also a significant player in the smartphone industry, beating Apple in overall sales, thus jumping to second place and in the process separating the two smartphone giants; Apple and Samsung, for the first time in seven years. Huawei’s tenure as the dominant 5G provider has not been a comfortable one.

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Gold is losing its sparkle, yet the economy cheers

With rising fears about the US-China trade war and an imminent global recession, investors sought safety in assets like precious metals and sovereign bonds to hedge the risk against unfavorable market conditions. Gold prices move inversely with inflation, and bonds are perceived to be a safer bet as the risk of default is lower than equities. In recent months, demand for gold has risen as global outlook looks increasingly pessimistic. That trend, perhaps comfortingly, started to falter last week.

Continue reading “Gold is losing its sparkle, yet the economy cheers”

Beyond the Hype: is the Plant-Based Meat Revolution here to stay?

A meat-free diet was once only associated with the likes of eco-warriors and hippies, but attitudes are rapidly changing. Many traditional food chains and supermarkets, including Burger King, Nestlé, Tescos, and more, are beginning to embrace the blossoming meat-free revolution.

While plant-based meats are growing rapidly, is this trend worth the hype? 

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The New European Tech Doctrine Part II: How Aggressive European Policy is reshaping the future of big-tech

In spite of criticism over excessive bureaucracy, the EU has undeniably taken the lead over the US in new regulation of big-tech; these ideas will significantly impact the future activities of Silicon Valley’s largest firms. Europe is an increasingly important source of technology revenue; Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and  Microsoft each reported a quarter of annual revenue from the continent in 2018. As the world’s largest single economic bloc, the standards of the EU are often copied as benchmarks for the developing world; hence European policy could have a knock-on effect on attitudes to big-tech globally.  European economic power is matched with tough restrictions on lobbying and unification of legal standards across multiple jurisdictions, helping the region take an objective and long-term perspective towards significant technology regulation. Continue reading “The New European Tech Doctrine Part II: How Aggressive European Policy is reshaping the future of big-tech”

WES Exclusive: Prof. Obstfeld on US-China Relations, Greece’s Economy and more

Wise people tend to measure words and carefully address every aspect of the topic they are discussing, avoiding oversimplification and rushed conclusions. Having served as the Chief Economist at the IMF and Chief Macroeconomist in Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, Professor Maurice Obstfeld makes no exception to this principle. Continue reading “WES Exclusive: Prof. Obstfeld on US-China Relations, Greece’s Economy and more”

Jagjit Chadha – What do economists have to offer to policy making?

“A hell of a lot. Whether policymakers take our advice is the real question.”

This year’s WES Presents was kicked off by Professor Jagjit Chadha, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). In a time where the role of experts seems to be increasingly distrusted in public discourse, he highlighted the value of rigorous economic analysis rather than reductive political sensationalism in the search for the right answers in policy, forecasting and analysis of the past.

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