London, United Kingdom – With the Chief of Staff Association (CSA) celebrating the successful graduation of its 5th Oxford cohort, the organization is setting its sights on Asia for expansive growth, identifying the Philippines as a potential major hub. Trent Smyth, CEO of CSA, envisions a more diverse and globally interconnected community of Chiefs, emphasizing the association’s commitment to fostering leadership excellence across the continent.
I was invited by the Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) to the second run of its “Association Insiders” webinar series entitled, “The Many Roles of an Association CEO.” AuSAE is the premier not-for-profit professional society representing over 10,000 individual leaders working in associations in Australia and New Zealand.
Small businesses around the globe are among the hardest hit as the health crisis continues to cause economic uncertainty in the country. With the country nearing into a year-long lockdown and keeping up with restrictions, small businesses owners have continued to innovate and work through the challenges, venturing their presence onto online platforms. The convenience of learning how to start a business from the confines of your home, and with the help of other business owners willing to lend a helping hand, has created a space for SMEs to flourish during the pandemic. Whether you’re starting out or looking to expand your business, here’s what you need to know to ensure you keep your business afloat:
Two years ago the world pledged to keep global warming “well below” 2°C hotter than pre-industrial times. Climate scientists and campaigners purred. Politicians patted themselves on the back. Despite the Paris agreement’s ambiguities and some setbacks, including President Donald Trump’s decision to yank America out of the deal, the air of self-congratulation was still apparent this month among those who gathered in Bonn for a follow-up summit.
Reviving the original Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal between 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, is technically impossible. To put the accord into force, members making up at least 85 percent of their combined GDP had to ratify it. Three days into his administration, President Donald Trump announced that America was out. With 60 percent of members’ GDP gone, that deal was doomed.
Only one thing spooks the oil market more than hot-headed despots in the Middle East, and that is hot-headed hedge-fund managers. For the second time this year, record speculative bets on rising oil prices in American and European futures have made the market vulnerable to a sell-off.
A year ago, Donald Trump was elected president. Many people predicted that American foreign policy would take a disastrous turn. Trump had suggested that he would scrap trade deals, ditch allies, put a figurative bomb under the rules-based global order and drop literal ones willy-nilly. Nato was “obsolete,” he had said. Nafta was “the worst trade deal maybe ever.” America was far too nice to foreigners.
A few years ago the news about the euro-zone economy was uniformly bad to the point of tedium. These days it is the humdrum diet of benign data that prompts a yawn. This week figures show that GDP rose by 0.6 percent in the three months to the end of September, an annualized rate of 2.4 percent. The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index rose to its highest level in almost 17 years.
He is leaving with the share price rising and the October 18 announcement of earnings that were largely well received. Better still, Kenneth Chenault, American Express’s chief executive for 16 years, accomplished a feat rare in the upper reaches of American finance: to step down without an obvious helping shove. No grandstanding senators hounded him out, unlike at Wells Fargo. No boardroom coup hastened the end, unlike at Citigroup. The financial crisis left him untouched, unlike at…well, take your pick. His successor, Stephen Squeri, promoted from within and apparently groomed for the job, will take over in February.
Seventeen years after Vladimir Putin first became president of Russia, his grip on the country is stronger than ever. The West, which still sees Russia in post-Soviet terms, sometimes ranks him as his country’s most powerful leader since Stalin. Russians are increasingly looking to an earlier period of history. In Moscow both liberal reformers and conservative traditionalists are talking about Putin as a 21st-century tsar.
The MBA is both revered and reviled. To boosters it has advanced the science of management and helped companies, and countries, to grow. Detractors say that it offers little of practical value and instills in students a sense of infallibility that can sink companies and knock economies sideways.
Shoppers will spend record sums online in the next few weeks—in China for Singles Day on November 11, in America on Black Friday and around the world in the run-up to Christmas. E-commerce has been growing by 20 percent a year for a decade, shaking up industries from logistics to consumer goods. Nowhere does debate about what this means rage more fiercely than in America, where thousands of stores have shut this year and where retailing accounts for one in every nine jobs.
POPULISM’S wave has yet to crest. That is the sobering lesson of recent elections in Germany and Austria, where the success of anti-immigrant, anti-globalization parties showed that a message of hostility to elites and outsiders resonates as strongly as ever among those fed up with the status quo.
TECHNOLOGY giants are a bit like dinosaurs. Most do not adapt successfully to a new age—what is known in the industry as a “platform shift.” A few make it through two and even three such shifts, but only a single company spans them all: IBM, which is more than a century old, having started as a maker of tabulating machines that were fed with punch cards.
American presidents have a habit of describing their Chinese counterparts in terms of awe. A fawning Richard Nixon said to Mao Zedong that the chairman’s writings had “changed the world.” To Jimmy Carter, Deng Xiaoping was a string of flattering adjectives: “smart, tough, intelligent, frank, courageous, personable, self-assured, friendly.” Bill Clinton described Jiang Zemin as a “visionary” and “a man of extraordinary intellect.”
The new app for an upmarket British department store certainly looks the part. Released on Google Play, a shop for Android software, on September 5, it has the right logo, the correct vibrant color and the usual offers of fashionable clothes and accessories. The app is not authorized by the brand, however. It’s littered with pop-up ads and is painfully slow—furious users gave it one-star ratings. Its developer, Style Apps, also has launched apps for other clothing brands that are household names in America.
In his classic The Intelligent Investor, first published in 1949, Wall Street sage Benjamin Graham distilled what he called his secret of sound investment into three words: “margin of safety.” The price paid for a stock or a bond should allow for human error, bad luck or, indeed, many things going wrong at once.
Switzerland, which developed cross-border wealth-management in the 1920s, once was in a league of its own as a tax haven. Since the 1980s, however, tax-dodgers have had a rich menu to choose from: They can hide assets anywhere from the Bahamas to Hong Kong. The percentage of global wealth held offshore has increased dramatically—but it has been hard to say how much that is, and who owns it.
Richard Nesbitt, former chief operating officer at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, has long been an evangelist for women in business. In Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth (Wiley, 2017), cowritten with Barbara Annis, he describes his efforts to convince men to promote women.
In 1845 Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist, wrote an open letter to his national parliament, pleading for help on behalf of makers of candles and other forms of lighting. The French market was being flooded with cheap light, he complained. Action was necessary: a law closing all windows, shutters and curtains. Only that would offer protection against the source of this “ruinous competition,” the sun.
Eight months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the rules-based system of global trade remains intact. Threats to impose broad tariffs have come to nothing. Some ominous investigations into whether imports into America are a national-security threat are on hold. Trump looks less like a hard man than like a boy crying wolf.
If President Donald Trump had slapped punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to America, as he had promised during his campaign for office, he would have started a trade war. Fortunately the president hesitated, partly because he wants China’s help in thwarting North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Economists can be a haughty bunch, but a decade of trauma has had a chastening effect. They are rethinking old ideas, asking new questions and occasionally welcoming heretics back into the fold. Change, however, has been slow to reach the university economics curriculum. Many institutions still pump students through introductory courses untainted by recent economic history or the market shortcomings it illuminates.