The Times supplement on Antigua and Barbuda

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.


The IMF beyond neoliberalism…and Joseph Stiglitz

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.

Covering the 20916 IMF/ World bank annual meetings

We assisted with the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World bank that were held in October 2016 in Washington DC. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.

We wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. The first was on the impact of Brexit on emerging market economies.

Reaction to Brexit in CEE and MENA

The magazine EMEAfinance examined the impact of the vote by the UK electorate to call for the UK to leave the European Union is its key emerging markets areas – Central and Eastern European, the Middle East and Africa. We focused on the impact on the CVEE and MENA.

Talking to CEE policymakers and experts we found that the immediate  departure of the UK from the EU would deliver a short-term economic blow but that the greater threat according to analysts was a weakening of the EU project from which the region has benefited over the last 20 years. The article is here. While the Middle East and North Africa region was one of the least effected regions in the wake of Brexit, but the Gulf may come under pressure from market volatility while tourism in North Africa faces a fresh threat from sterling depreciation. The article is here.

Brexit and infrastructure

We were asked to contribute to a special edition of Financial Director magazine that was devoted to the impact on British businesses of the 23 June decision by voters to call foir the UK to exit the European Union. This article looked at the likely implications for infrastructure investment. It found that one key concern was that the negative impact on economic growth in the UK, which has already emerged in surveys of the services and construction sectors, together with exchange rate volatility would make investors less keen to commit to the long-term funding needed for infrastructure projects. There were also worried over the impact that restrictions on migration would have on the flow of skilled workers needed. The article is here.

Investors and monetary and fiscal policy

We contributed an article to the Smart Investors website run by Barclays Stockbrokers that sets out its investment and trading insights. The piece took a bird’s eye view to look at the impact that changes in monetary policy and in taxation and spending (fiscal policy) can have on investments. Although there is much speculation about both imminent changes to interest rates and the upcoming Budget, the piece looked at the underlying economic principles. It showed now central banks can have a major influence on how markets determine prices and how, today, their effect on the economy – and investment returns – is more important than ever. It then governments can control the overall level and composition of spending in the economy. The article is here.

Focus on Bermuda for The Times

We contributed two articles to a special supplement on the Caribbean island of Bermuda that ran in the main newspaper on 21 July. The focus was to highlight the emergence of the British Overseas Territory from a six-year recession and the upcoming America’s Cup yachting event. One article looked at the economic outlook and the challenge the island’s government has to diversifying the economy away from its reliance on insurance services and tourism. The other focus on the efforts the authorities are making to attract inward investor. The supplement can be found here.