🌎Draghi’s mandate | Clearview AI | World Economic Forum
Updated: Feb 12
February 5th, 2021
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
It seems seldom that a day passes without tears being shed. ‘Global inspiration’ Captain Sir Tom Moore sadly passed away after contracting Covid-19.
So why exactly did Captain Sir Tom become so adored in the UK? Well, the 100-year-old former WW2 veteran raised around £33m for NHS charities. He did so by walking 100 laps around his garden in Bedfordshire last year. In a time where lockdowns were in place and people were down in such unusual circumstances, he lifted the nation’s spirits with his brilliant attitude, coining the phrase “Tomorrow will be a good day”, which eventually trended on social media.
These great acts earned him a knighthood by the Queen in July. Tributes for the national hero continue, with the flag above No 10 being lowered to half-mast, as an act of respect and many across the world paying their respects.
Although no longer with us, we can safely say that Captain Sir Tom leaves the world a better place.
Did You Know...
Captain Sir Tom broke two Guinness world records in his lifetime. Can you name both of these?
Draghi: A Call to Arms
In a ploy to save the Italian economy from its deepest economic recession since WWII, Mario Draghi has been called to arms. For those unfamiliar with Italian economic stallion, Draghi has an outstanding CV.
Former President of the European Central Bank, Draghi earned his stripes when saving the continent from the multi-year debt crisis. Should Draghi rise to the stage, he will have over $240 billion in EU economic recovery funds to dabble with.
2020 was a tough year for everyone; Italy’s economy shrank almost 9%. But as the world begins to emerge from behind closed doors, Italy will be faced with the national debt problem that's been festering since before Covid-19.
Draghi is Italy’s best shot at healing an economy starved by political infighting and prison-styled backstabbing.
FX | The common currency has fought to keep breathing above the 1.20 level this week. In general, the pair EUR/USD was off more than 0.2%. The decline is, partially, based on the EU's poor inoculation performance. France, Germany, and Italy are lagging behind the U.K. and U.S. among G-7 nations in terms of vaccination programs while investors are wondering how long it will take to reach herd immunity at the current pace. The pair has annual volatility over 6%, which can bring material impact for those with international businesses.
Clearview AI’s ClearViolation
Controversial facial recognition startup Clearview AI has made headlines this week following a violation of Canadian privacy laws. Clearview AI is a new research tool used by law enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators and victims of crimes.
The platform has the ability to identify a face by comparing it to a database of over 3 billion photos of people’s faces collected from Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Clearview AI's technology has already helped law enforcement track down hundreds of sneaky criminals, solve the coldest of cases and protect our loved ones.
However, Canada didn’t react so nicely to this news. In a statement, Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner said Clearview had, “collected highly sensitive biometric information without the knowledge or consent of [Canadian] individuals.”
Clearview disagrees with these claims, assuring the images it gathered were publicly available. Clearview now faces a class-action suit, which claims it breaches the same law that slapped Facebook with a mighty $550 million fine.
FX | A gentle rise in U.S bonds was enough to sustain the U.S dollar over this week and falter the Canadian dollar. Nevertheless, the CAD seems to be directionless and losing upside momentum. A clear CAD’s direction depends on the pace of Canadian vaccination, while it remains at a slow pace, it suggests that the Canadian economy may be disadvantaged relative to some of its peers as other G10 economies regain their growth potential quicker. Optimism has come from a boosted oil market, with crude prices set for the biggest weekly gain since October.
World Economic Forum
The 2021 World Economic Forum has been postponed until August 17-20 due to Covid-19 concerns in the host country of Singapore. However, the show must go on.
The Agenda will be focused around ensuring that the future of work, and technological disruption, are sustainable and inclusive. Although devastating the world at large, the pandemic has accelerated the transition into virtual education and workforce.
The key themes at the WEF will be:
1. Closing the skills gap
2. Making workplaces more inclusive
3. Prioritizing health and well-being
Identified in the WEF Future of Jobs Report 2020, job destruction is increasing at a faster rate than job creation. As seen in the graph below, the rate at which technology is improving is starting to have a detrimental impact on unemployment cycles.
The WEF has employed the minds of leaders in business, policymaking and government to put their thinking caps on and improve the accessibility of workers with obsolete skill sets to either retrain or upskill.
FX | The USD/SGD pair is still in an uptrend channel, with a growing risk for further U.S dollar strength. The SGD has weakened further against the greenback over this week, spurred by buying interest for the USD as it continued to move up following the progress in Covid-19 inoculation. On the other hand, Singapore showed positive industrial production and unemployment figures, which helped to cap further losses.
What We’ve Been Reading
Silver, GameStop, Amazon, Australian Wine: Investments in the Spotlight - Prices surged earlier in the week as retail investors on internet platforms like Reddit targeted the metal, sending it to an eight-year high.
'No room for debate or compromise' as Hong Kong introduces sweeping national security rules for schools - Hong Kong has introduced sweeping new restrictions for how schools operate, months after the Beijing government imposed a new national security law giving authorities wide-ranging powers to crack down on vaguely defined political crimes.
How Brazil's Covid-19 vaccine plan fell apart - Some of the sickest people in São Paulo, Brazil occupy the rooms inside the Covid-19 ward at the Emilio Ribas Institute of Infectious Disease.
Russia expels European diplomats over Navalny protests - Russia has expelled three diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland for joining protests in support of opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who was jailed earlier this week.
In Other News
Currency Heat Map
This chart shows the relative volatility between currencies. The redder the color, the higher the volatility.
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Quiz of the week
The first world record being the oldest person to get a No 1 single in the UK charts and the second was raising the most money for doing a solo charity walk.