At the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos this week, the International Monetary Fund argued that while the outlook for this year and the next was better than previously anticipated, a recession may be closer than many acknowledge and that investors and policy makers should guard against complacency.
"The bull market seems to be steamrollering over everyone who has a bearish view," said Tim Adams, president of the Institute of International Finance, who was in Davos. "But there's a lot of complacency. There are termites in the foundation and a number of those are gnawing away at night."
Signaling other causes for concern a new report released on Monday by the United Nations showed global flows of foreign investment fell 16 percent in 2017 to $1.52 trillion, while the International Labor Organization said progress in reducing vulnerable jobs had stalled.
"If we have another financial crisis, there isn't even a plan A," with regard to what central banks would do, a Harvard economics professortold an audience during a panel entitled "The Next Financial Crisis" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (Jan 23)
Debate over housing finance reform has raged for ten years. A favorite argument of those wishing to preserve some version of Fannie and Freddie has been: Without Fannie and Freddie, there is not enough private capital to sustain the housing market. (Jan 23)
The issue of who pays for compliance is taking on added urgency with new financial regulations to fight money laundering and foreign corruption through increased transparency set to take effect in May (Jan 22)
The Cyber Cafe
Cybersecurity news every Friday
WEF launches cybersecurity center
In a bid to safeguard the world from hackers and growing data breaches - especially from nation-states - the World Economic Forum announced a new Global Centre for Cybersecurity to be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
Whether or not the White House choreographed the dollar's slide, it may have just declared open season on the currency.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against the "poison" of populism that leads nations to look inward; French President Emmanuel Macron urged global elites to do more to narrow the inequalities that have resulted from global capitalism's excesses.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin argued his dollar-weakening comments Wednesday were "consistent" with the U.S.'s long-standing exchange rate policy, and that he isn't concerned by short-term fluctuations in the greenback.
Theresa May isn't ruling out paying for access to the European single market after Brexit.
The IMF is aware there will be innovations but believes crypto-anonymity and its use to conceal illicit trades such as terror financing and money laundering is unacceptable.
Key takeaways from the U.S. President's speech:
Trump stuck to his America First theme, explaining that the U.S. will act in its best interests in trade and foreign policy
He expressed a willingness to negotiate not just bilateral trade agreements but perhaps a multilateral deal with some of the countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership
Made a sales pitch to global business leaders, boasting about his tax overhaul, efforts to reduce regulations and the strength of the country's colleges and universities
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love.
Rolling back regulations often comes before a financial meltdown, according to 300 years of history
The blame for financial meltdowns often focuses on irresponsible traders and greedy bankers. But politicians, whose policies sometimes fan the flames, deserve scrutiny as well, according to a fascinating analysis of booms and busts since the 18th century
We are in the midst of a "tech-lash." For months, the leading internet companies have faced a wave of criticism
sparked by revelations that they unwittingly enabled the spread of Russian disinformation
that distorted the 2016 election. They are now beginning to listen.