Managerial Insights

2022-06-16 Andrea Beltratti, Alessia Bezzecchi

All Quiet on the Western Front? The Challenge of Sustainable Sustainability

In six months the macroeconomic picture has changed radically: from growth without inflation to anticipated stagflation. In December 2021, the ECB forecast economic growth of 4.2% in 2022, a reduction from the forecast of 4.6% formulated in September of the same year. Inflation was expected to be 3.2% for 2022, a strong increase from the 1.7% expected in September. In June 2022, the forecast for growth fell to 2.7% and inflation could exceed 8% in May. In the United States, growth for 2022 could be 3%, but most economists see a recession coming within 12 months, and inflation is already 8.6%. ...

2022-05-25 Roberto Ruozi

What Happens After Financial Crises

Despite the progress made by national and international oversight authorities, the number of banking and financial scandals has grown, creating increasing problems for shareholders, creditors, employees, and other stakeholders, and often provoking a very dangerous domino effect. In recent years I have dealt with some of them, such as Gamestop, Archegos, Wirecard, Evergrande, Greensill, and N26 Bank. Those scandals, that have been amply analyzed and commented on in the specialized press, remained in the news for a while, especially in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and China, but ...

2022-05-18 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

The Great Flight from China

It all began at the end of March. The approximately 25 million residents of Shanghai underwent mass Covid tests, and then, although the authorities had said it wasn't necessary, an unprecedented lockdown was implemented. One week later, the logistics of the most modern and cosmopolitan city of continental China were in total chaos. No food for citizens blocked in their homes by decree, medical urgencies ignored, families divided, nursing homes out of control, quarantine centers overflowing, illuminated 24 hours a day and without showers. General discontent on social networks, followed by censure. ...

2022-05-13 Donato Masciandaro

War and the Central Banks: Many Different Standards

On March 10, the ECB opened its press release relating to monetary policy decisions with the Russian aggression against Ukraine, defining it as a "watershed moment for Europe." From that point on it was clear that the evolution of the war would be crucial to orient the navigation of monetary policy, that must find a balance between avoiding the risk of inflation, on the one hand, the reducing the risk of recession, on the other. In this sense, in April 2022 the ECB announced a strategy based on two successive steps: first a gradual reduction of the emission of liquidity on the markets, and only ...

2022-04-26 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

China’s Difficult Balancing Act on the War in Ukraine

“Wuwei wubuwei,” says the principle that summarizes Taoist philosophy: “Do nothing and nothing will remain unaccomplished.” This is how Beijing maintains a difficult balancing act between the positions of Moscow and those of Washington and Brussels; even after the highly-anticipated meeting between the Chinese president and the highest authorities of the European Union (in virtual form, that is), even in the approach state media takes in reporting (or not reporting) on the first terrible images from Bucha. By abstaining in votes at the United Nations, and not contradicting the claims from ...

ESG Real estate
2022-04-11 Andrea Beltratti, Alessia Bezzecchi

Sustainable Real Estate

Demand does not become equal to supply by magic. Technology influences both, but does not create products and services by itself. Companies must estimate the demand coming from society and create the conditions for the creation of supply. Without management and its ability to manage businesses in the best manner possible, we cannot meet the challenge of sustainability, in which real estate has a prominent role.   Real Estate Sustainable Value Creation   In the REInnovation Academy C-Suite Forum,[1] sustainability in real estate was defined, recalling the 1987 United Nations Report “Our Common ...

2022-04-04 Fabrizio Perretti

Compare to Whom? A Reflection on Benchmarking

Benchmarking represents one of the most common management tools used by businesses.[1] As unfortunately happens for many tools and models of strategy, where as time passes from their introduction the awareness of their complexity declines, with the risk of using gradually simplified versions that are different from the original, the same has happened with benchmarking analysis. Introduced at the end of the 1970s by Xerox Corporation with the aim of recovering the competitiveness lost in regard to its Japanese competitors, benchmarking is based on a comparison between the company’s internal processes ...

2022-03-18 Donato Masciandaro

Laocoön and the Two Serpents: Economic Growth, Corruption, and Money Laundering

Before the military aggression by Putin’s Russia against Ukraine changed the current short-term scenario, all of the media were celebrating the Italian economic recovery. Italy was defined as the “hare” of the euro area, using the most recent data from the European Commission, relating to 2021. Italian GDP growth was 6.5%, versus the average of 5.3%, and the figures for countries such as Germany and Spain, that reached economic growth rates of 5% and 2.8%, respectively; among the large countries in the euro area only France did better, with growth of 7%. But if we expand the view just a ...

2022-02-28 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

The New Nationalism of Chinese Consumers

The golden age of the continuously expanding market beyond the Great Wall is over. The period that was a true driver for the most important Western brands – at least in the last ten years – is ending. Chinese consumers, who are young, attracted by novelty, and have growing spending power[1] – are following the path indicated by politics and increasingly look to Chinese brands to satisfy their desires.[2]  Patriotism, dual circulation, and the recent international scandals, such as that of Xinjiang cotton produced in detention camps that has forced Western and Chinese brands to take a position ...

2022-02-16 Gianmarco Ottaviano

Economic Sanctions Against Russia: The Continuation of Policy By Other Means

“War is a mere continuation of policy by other means. We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.” Thus wrote the Prussian general Carl Von Clausewitz two centuries ago in his book On War, a treatise of military strategy widely read in the last century, also in Marxist and Leninist circles; to the point of becoming a part of the study programs of Soviet military academies in the years in which Vladimir Putin began his training at the KGB school in Leningrad ...