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26
Aug
2015

"May you live in interesting times,"* is said to be a Chinese blessing or curse and we are today living through not only interesting times in economics and finance but unique ones in the history of commerce..."At a Parliamentary Committee hearing a few years ago I asserted, boldly, that global interest rates were at their lowest-ever levels. A wise colleague challenged me afterwards: "How do you know they weren't lower in Babylonian times?" Several exhausted research assistants later I can report that, luckily, I was on safe ground. Interest rates appear to be lower than at any time in the past 5000 years."

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21
Aug
2015

At 71%, the vast majority of the world's population remained either poor or low income in 2011 and while the global middle class almost doubled from 7% in 2001 to 13% in the decade to 2011, when compared with the Western standard both the number and level of income are not as high as previously thought. The Washington DC-based Pew Research Center in a recent report said that nearly 700m people emerged from poverty between 2001 and 2011— however, most only barely, with many continuing to live a "low-income existence."

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