We contributed to the editing of the daily coverage of the annual meetings of the Asian Development Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for GlobalMarkets. Both meetings took place in May 2017 and included news, interviews, features analysis. Phil Thornton wrote an article based on an interview with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti, and contributed to articles on the impact of withdrawal of ECB monetary stimulus, and views by eastern European and central Asian leaders on the election of Emmanuel Macros as France’s president.
Phil Thornton researched and wrote three detailed features for the 2017 winter edition of the EMEAfinance magazine.
The cover story was an analysis on the impacts for businesses and government sin emerging markets of the agreement on climate change signed in Paris in Deceber 2015. He spoke to a number of senior figures at the a business summit that was part of the COP22 conference in Marrakesh in November 2016. The election of Donald Trump cast a shadow over the summit. However, experts told him that a collective commitment to build on the momentum of the last two decades meant further innovation in tackling global warming was inevitable. The story is here.
While in Marrakesh Phil had an indepth interview with Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power. Under his leadership ACWA Power has built up its share of renewables from zero to 15%. He reveals how he would like to see a carbon price of $100 a tonne, how governments should set out the amount of energy they intend to procure over the next five years and the energy mix they envisage, and the challenge of the industry is to go beyond the successes in photovoltaic (PV) and wind power and develop the renewable technologies that will put control of global warning in sight. The interview is here.
Phil also met a number of senior figures who are studying or investing in products related to the growing longevity crisis that is threatening Europe and particularly countries in the east of the continent. They urged policymakers in emerging economies to learn lessons from developed countries to tackle the issue before it hits their economies. The story is here.
We researched and wrote two of articles for a 12-page supplement on the economy of Cyprus published by The Times in January 2016. We looked at the outlook for the economy four years after it suffered a major economic recession and a year after it succeeded in paying off its creditors who bailed it out. It included the views of senior ministers in the Cypriot government and banking leaders who highlighted how the island had made a remarkable recovery by taking tough decisive action especially in comparison with the woes still afflicting Greece. The other article looked at the plans by the Bank of Cyprus, the largest institution on the island that was itself bailed out, for the future under its CEO John Hourican who spoke with the paper for the article. The supplement can be found here.
It is 10 years since Phil Thornton left The Independent newspaper on 12 January 2007 to set up Clarity Economics. Since then he has been engaged in a mix of consultancy, report writing, and journalism all centered around the idea of converting the technical language used in business, finance, and economics into plain English that is accessible by a wider range of people.
Clients of Clarity Economics have included business organisations such as the CBI, ABI, Freshfields, Linklaters, and GSK. Academic clients have included the Economic and Social Research Council, the Booth School of Business at Chicago University, the London School of Economics, the Systemic Research Centre at the LSE and the University of Cambridge. the journalism has been featured in publications such as The Times, The Guardian, Global Markets, Financial Director and Procurement Leaders. Phil has also worked for companies that provide editorial content for companies and universities such as St James’s House and Financial Editions.
The last 10 years have covered almost exactly the period since the onset of the global financial recession in August 2007 and two UK elections while also encompassing major events such as the decision by British voters to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump. It is highly likely that the next decade will be as volatile and challenging as the last and Clarity Economics looks forward to assisting clients with their mission to convey their messages in plain, clear English
We were asked by the Financial Times to contribute our views on a range of issues with the potential to affect the UK economy during 2017. These included eight specific areas including growth, inflation, Brexit and immigration. Overall we predicted that growth would slow sharply, that inflation would rise and the negative impact from Brexit had been postponed rather than cancelled. On growth we said: “Growth is likely to fall to perhaps half the pace in 2016. Growth has been stronger than expected since the Brexit vote so numbers for 2016 and 2017 will be higher than expected. However a delayed fall in business investment and in consumer spending will be exacerbated by rising unemployment and falling real wages as inflation picks up, thus slower growth.”
The report which has links to individual survey responses can be found here.
Phil Thornton contributed two articles to an eight-page supplement in The Times on the islands-basedc country of Antigua & Barbuda. He lloked at the overview of the country’s economy and investment opportunities. After suffering a sharp downturn during the financial crisis Antigua and Barbuda is on track for modest growth while eying opportunities to diversify its economy.
The economic strategy is built around the islands’ existing strengths of tourism and financial services while focusing on potential new areas for growth such as renewable energy, agriculture and specialist tourism in areas such as educational and medical visitors. The article looked at the controversial Citizenship by Investment programme that grants citizenship in exchange for a “significant economic contribution” to the country. The supplement is here.
I wrote two articles for the edition of EMEAfinance that was come out during the annual meetings of the International and Monetary Fund and the World Bank. One looked at how the IMF had sent signals it was pulling back from its former “neoliberal” approach but warned that analysts were worried it might still be applying old remedies to the new wave of emerging economies seeking help. The article is here.
I also listened to Joseph Stiglitz talk in London ahead of the meetings as he was promoting his new book accusing the eurozone authorities of pursuing neoliberal policies. The article is here.