The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Plato, The Republic
It has always been a matter of personal choice how to kick off on the 1st (or maybe 2nd) of January after all the indulgences of the festive season: some go out for a brisk 20K Nordic ski run to build on their New Year’s resolution and some desperately search for aspirin and Alka-Seltzer to wrestle away a nudging hangover. Always has been – always will be. However, I find that the same is true for the financial industry. Often the early moves and statements by the industry’s heavyweights significantly define what to expect from the next 12 months.
Today’s great powers are rightly concerned that over 80 per cent of the world’s desktop computers run on an operating system primarily developed in one country, the US. Attempts by Europeans, Indians and the Chinese to develop their own operating systems (OS) are well recorded and have been less than successful to date. Leaving aside the point of copyright and royalties, it is interesting to note another attempt to break the American hold on the OS market, this time by the Russians. Read more
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust
As Britain begins to plan for a post-Brexit future, intense discussions about the economic implications of our looming divorce from the European Union (EU) have not subsided. My own interest in this topic naturally relates to post-Brexit economic relations between the UK and Russia, in all their guises. My previous post addressed some of the implications for business and trade moving forward. In this post, I want to focus specifically on the future prospects for tourism between the two countries, both in terms of the exchange of visitors and sector investment more broadly. Read more
Russia was widely hailed as one of the beneficiaries of the recent Brexit vote, but in reality, their position is much more nuanced, and the situation poses several advantages and disadvantages for the Russian economy. Read more
Previously I wrote a post in which I imagined offering advice to my 22-year-old self. To my surprise, but fittingly given the post’s observation that time flies, I now realise that this was over two years ago!
I feel that it is time for an update, especially now that summer has come and gone and we are in the closing days of October, a month that – in the UK at least – traditionally marks the beginning of the new academic year, when university campuses are bustling with new students, ready to embark upon the next exciting chapter of their lives.
My three suggestions from 2014 still stand. Indeed, if anything, global developments since I wrote the earlier piece have reinforced the importance to today’s young adults of a career-oriented education, diverse language skills and a willingness to try one’s hand at anything. Global shifts, including the rise of China and the continuing sense of economic and political crisis in Europe and the US (now arguably worse than it was even two years ago), mean that flexibility, an inquisitive mind and an insatiable appetite for learning remain the paramount qualities of the day. Read more
‘A precedent embalms a principle’ – Benjamin Disraeli
In the coming week, my native city of St Petersburg will host an international economic forum, the main purpose of which will be the promotion of Russia as an attractive prospect for outside investment.
SPIEF will be held in the new convention centre ‘Expoforum’ whilst this year’s delegates will be feverishly looking to get reservations at the top hotels. GHE, Four Seasons and W are hosting some of the most important sessions. Once again, the most prominent venue will be the Four Seasons Lions Palace hotel, located in the renovated palace of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky. Next week this extraordinary hotel will be the essential focal point for some of most recognized Forbes and Fortune faces of the forum.
When Lion Palace opened it was a Read more
“False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often long endure; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, as every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.”
— Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)
Crony capitalism is the subject of considerable and often misguided debate. It is an economic system where those who are inappropriately close to government officials are given unfair advantages, commonly in the form of financial incentives. As a person with a regulated European fund and yet on the receiving end of baseless allegations of crony capitalism, this is a topic I follow closely.
I am a frequent reader of The Economist, a publication which prides itself on its quality of research, but I was very surprised by an article that I recently read which featured an updated ‘crony capitalism index’. Read more