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2015

On Leonard Cohen

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"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."

Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.

You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.

'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)

"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter

What Happened? - Africa

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about Africa. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.

 

2016

  • The “Africa Rising” narrative gained momentum around 2010. As is the way with these things, it arrived about a decade late - and just as things were about to go pear-shaped. Investors, hungry for yield, alighted on the only continent where living standards had not yet visibly begun to converge on those in the west. Their bet was that Africa had turned a corner. Were they wrong? These days, the mood has darkened. Nigeria and South Africa, which account for half of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product, are at or close to recession. Nigeria has squandered its oil boom. Long-sluggish South Africa has failed to meet the pent-up expectations of its black majority. The hopes of other resource-rich countries — including Angola, Mozambique and Zambia — have faded along with commodity prices. A flawed election in Uganda, plus a cavalcade of leaders clinging grimly on to power, from Zimbabwe to Burundi, undermine the idea that governance is on the mend. Those who helped change the Africa narrative, however, are sticking to the script. Among the true believers is the consultancy McKinsey, whose 2010 “Lions on the Move” report did much to feed the original story. This week it published a follow-up . Call it “Africa Rising: The Sequel”.

 

 

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

What's Happening? - Urbanisation

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2016

 

October

 

September

 

What Happened? - China

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about China. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.

 

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

  • Activity in China's services sector expanded at a slower pace in November as new orders weakened. The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 51.2 in November from a three-month high in October of 52.0. A reading above 50 points signifies growth on a monthly basis, while one below that points to a contraction.New business rose at a slower pace of 51.1 - down from 52.9 in October - showing weaker domestic and external demand while employment in services rose only marginally, with the smallest increase in three months.

 

 

 

  • The latest snapshot of manufacturing activity by the Chinese Federation for Logistics and Purchasing showed activity slipping for the fourth month in a row, falling further below the 50 no-change mark to 49.6 in November from 49.8 the previous month. Economists at ANZ Bank said the data could prompt yet another rate cut from China's policymakers.

 

 

 

What Happened? - India

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about India. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.

 

 

December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

What's Happening? - Risk

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about risk. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

Q3 (July-August-September)

September 2016

  • Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer talked with IMF chief Christine Lagarde about managing risk in a complex world.

Managing Risk in a Volatile World - TGF 2016 - September 12 from IEFA on Vimeo.

 

June 2016

 

  • Eurasia Group noted that euroscepticism is increasingly evident in national politics: China has made clear its intention to further promote its semiconductor industry, focusing on overseas acquisitions this year; Germany's government has agreed to prioritise investment in digitisation; Turkey's new cabinet will prioritise near-term growth, weakening the medium- to long-term outlook; Canada's climate change plan, if approved, would put energy-intensive industry under significant pressure; the Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, are feeling the pinch from weak global demand.

 

See also:

 

 

What Happened? - Europe

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Please see below selected pre-2016 ntelligence about the Asia Pacific region. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

December 2015

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What Happened? - Asia

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Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about the Asia Pacific region. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers in our external environment.

 

Asia-Pacific is a region of huge diversity, not only culturally and geographically, but economically tooJapan is a member of the G7 and a world leader in automotive and technology. Singapore competes with London and New York as a global financial centre. Australia and New Zealand are sometimes treated as a region in their own right due to both geography and culture - it takes over 12 hours to fly from Delhi to Sydney and history ties them more to the UK and US - but they are increasingly connected to Asia through trade.

 

 

December 2015

 

 

 

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  • Australia’s GDP growth strengthened in the September quarter, to 0.9% in the quarter and 2.5% over the year, up from 0.3% in the quarter and 2.0% over the year to June. Australia’s long-run average annual GDP growth rate is around 3.1%.

 

 

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