COVID-19

Saved by (which) bell?

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” – Winston S. Churchill

Five years ago, Bill Gates said “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few years, it is highly likely to be an infectious disease: not missiles, but microbes”. A decade previously, he wrote “The real story [about Swine flu] is that we are lucky it wasn’t worse because we were almost completely unprepared for it”. In the midst of COVID-19, what is the real story today?

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Spirit of Sport

Competing for Dollars?

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death…I can assure them it is much more serious than that” – Bill Shankly

Horse racing, boxing and jumping were all part of the Olympic Games first held in 776 BC Greece to honour the god Zeus, but ‘The Beautiful Game’ is said to date back to 3rd century BC China. Today, sport is a business predicted to grow to $614 billion by 2022. As countries go in to debt for the honour, does the ROI for hosting the Olympics make economic sense?

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Reality Games

CdR Capital gaming article

Cloud Invaders

“I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see, and then…one day…I got in” – Kevin Flynn, Tron Legacy

When Kevin Flynn entered the ENCOM mainframe in the 1982 film Tron virtual reality became a reality. From Space Invaders in the 1980s to 2019’s best seller, video games now entertain some 30% of the world’s population. Disruption of gaming could see the industry growing to $300 billion p.a. by 2025. But how will the battle for the cloud play out for video games?

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Investor Activism

greta thunberg street art

Making Money Talk

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children” – Native American Proverb

Into the august, wood-panelled room full of senior academic figures and veteran finance-industry alumni, walks an 18-year-old and asks: when will the college’s charitable endowment disinvest from carbon extraction industries? A year later, the foundation was carbon neutral. Today, being socially and environmentally conscious is a risk-mitigation strategy.

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In Vino Veritas

Grapes of Wealth

“The connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes its secrets”—Salvador Dalí

The strife between Burgundy versus Bordeaux could be the least of the fine wine industry’s problems if Hong Kong’s political situation, Brexit and President Trump’s tariffs of 25% on French, German and Spanish wines all continue. Could the $302 billion global wine market, expected to generate revenues of around $424 billion by the end of 2023, be facing headwinds?

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Death & Taxes

Tax

Point of No Return

“For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” ― Winston Churchill

As we enter the stage where monetary policy is to be replaced by fiscal policy mainly as a way to right the world’s post-crisis ailments, tax policy is one of the key tools. But it is how much to tax (and whom) that is going to drive the global political agenda for some time.

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Fashion Footprint

Legacy of Luxury

“The future of fashion is circular” – Stella McCartney

As Fashion Week draws to a close in Paris, the $2.4 trillion industry that employs some 60 million people and creates 100 billion garments a year is finally ready to embrace a new trend. From Green Carpet Awards to Emmanuel Macron’s G7 Summit Fashion Pact, fashion houses are moving to minimise their environmental footprint, because if nothing changes by 2050, the fashion industry will account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget.

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Future of Food

Sustainable Sustenance

“The health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible” ― Sir Albert Howard

Pea protein shrimp, lab grown burgers and cricket flour pancakes, a sci-fi menu or the future of food? Bill Gates and Richard Branson are betting on the latter as population projections for 2050 edge towards 10 billion, and rising prosperity is correlated to an increased demand for meat. Farmers have been producing enough to feed 10 billion since 2012, but this is not sustainable at current consumption trends. So what can be done?

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Classic Cars

Profit or Pleasure?

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” – Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin never got a Mercedes Benz, but she did pay $3,500 for a used 1964 Porsche 356 in 1968. The rock singer’s car was sold at auction for $1.76 million in 2015. A return on investment of more than 50,000% over 47 years. But as classic car returns hit a five-year low in June 2019, are we at the start of a long-term reversal?

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Social Fabric

Age of Incivility

“Graffiti is beautiful; like a brick in the face of a cop” ― Hunter Thompson

Efficient high-speed French TGV trains showcase cartoon posters instructing you how to help a little old lady to get her luggage into the overhead rack. When you arrive in Paris a variety of scooters, pushbikes and mono cycles threatened the same old lady as they whizz from all angles. With no signs saying that this is not permitted, the assumption is that it’s OK. Are we living in an age where civil behaviour has to be instructed?

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