Some trades are fairer than others

A cup of coffee… nothing special. Upon first glance, it seems just like a regular beverage. Yet it is so much more than that. Some call it the elixir of life, others liquid gold or an essential part of every morning. However, there are people for whom it has far greater value, as it is their sole source of income.

Coffee is a commodity, which means that its price can change rapidly depending on its availability and the demand for it. However, despite the increasing demand for the good, its value has experienced a general trend downwards over the last decade. 2019 marked a low in prices not seen in the last 13,5 years with 93 cents per pound of coffee. Continue reading “Some trades are fairer than others”

Get hitched, get rich: The economic case for marriage

With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, many couples may be thinking of tying the knot to mark this romantic occasion. Whilst times are changing rapidly, countless people around the world regard marriage as the definitive symbol of happiness.  

Throughout the years, the institution of marriage has changed vastly in the Western world: from the 1950s, when marriage was founded on traditional gender roles to form a union based on practicality, to now, when it is largely seen as an equal partnership with love and respect. 

In 2019 the Office of National Statistics announced there has been a gradual long-term decline in the number of marriages of opposite-sex couples since 1972. In 2016 (the latest data set available), there were 249,793 marriages in England and Wales, which is 1.7% more than in 2015, but 1.0% fewer than in 2014.  Continue reading “Get hitched, get rich: The economic case for marriage”

Cities blighted by crowds of sightseers are now turning to the tourist tax

 

‘Travel makes one modest, you can see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.’ These words from Gustave Flaubert, the renowned French novelist, encapsulate the wonder and awe of travel. Though, during his lifetime, the opportunity to explore distant lands was reserved for a small, wealthy elite. Twenty years after his death, the turn of the 20th century ushered in advances in aviation, which increased the convenience of travelling to exotic places. Fast forward to this century, and tourist numbers have skyrocketed. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there were 70 million international tourist arrivals in 1960. In 2018, this figure rose to 1.4 billion.

Continue reading “Cities blighted by crowds of sightseers are now turning to the tourist tax”

Climate change is not a game… or is it?

“We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?”. The words of the 16 year old climate change activist and The Times’ person of the year 2019, Greta Thunberg, ring true all the way into the new decade. And the answer seems straightforward: no, it is not too much to ask.

In the 1990’s scientists determined a definite link between humanity’s considerable greenhouse gas emissions and the disproportionate heating of the planet. Thus, this year marks three decades of awareness of the world-wide issue. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rather than getting better, the problem is only getting worse. Continue reading “Climate change is not a game… or is it?”

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.

Continue reading “Why the US’s feud with Huawei transcends security concerns”

Has the Eurozone failed the Euro?

“Europe is more than just the Euro,” words of Professor Otmar Issing, the former Chief Economist of the European Central Bank, father of the Euro (€), and a speaker at the Warwick Economics Summit 2020.

The Euro is the official currency of the EU and any member states who adopt it become part of the Eurozone. Despite the fact that not all EU countries are constituents of the monetary union, the Euro is one of the leading currencies in the world, only second to the US dollar ($).

Continue reading “Has the Eurozone failed the Euro?”

The SoftBank Effect: is Silicon Valley’s Unicorn Bubble set to Crash?

In what may be a reckoning for the tech world, Wall St has started to run from companies funded by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

The co-working real-estate startup WeWork has been in turmoil since filing its public-offering paperwork in August. On September 16th, WeWork announced it was delaying its IPO indefinitely, cutting its valuation from $47 billion to as low as $10 billion following frosty investor response and ousting CEO Adam Neumann.

Continue reading “The SoftBank Effect: is Silicon Valley’s Unicorn Bubble set to Crash?”

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”

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