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Research & Insights
Global Credit Conditions: March 2020
Triple Trouble: Virus, Oil & Volatility
Containment measures to stem the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the world’s largest economies into near-hibernation. While China shows early signs of re-emerging from this, Europe and the U.S. aren’t yet past the viral peak. We have also yet to see the full impact on vulnerable emerging markets. Combined with historical collapse in oil prices, and record volatility in the markets, this put significant pressure on creditworthiness around the world. Industries most exposed to the dramatic drop in global demand and much tighter financing conditions have experienced the most downgrades so far.
The Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash survey wave was conducted in March 2020. The survey represents approximately 820 completed interviews and 15 hour-long interviews from pre-qualified IT decision-makers. This survey focuses on the impacts to businesses of the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Sustainable Development Goals: A Misunderstood Market Opportunity?
Emerging Trends and Analysis of the SDG Impact of Companies in the S&P 500® - It has been four years since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit. During this time the SDGs have garnered widespread backing among companies and investors who have made modest progress towards aligning business strategies and capital allocation with the SDGs.
While the extent and effectiveness of the global response to climate change remain uncertain, one thing is very clear: Companies and investors must prepare for a range of possible outcomes with diverging transition and physical risks. We look into these risks in our latest research, which debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, a new report from the S&P Global Market Intelligence Quantamental Research Team examines the performance of firms that have made female appointments to their CEO and CFO positions.
“Garbage in, garbage out” – it’s a cliché in machine learning circles. Anyone who works with artificial intelligence (AI) knows that the quality of the data goes a long way toward determining the quality of the result. But “garbage” is a broad and expanding category in data science – poorly labeled or inaccurate data, data that reflects underlying human prejudices, incomplete data. To paraphrase Tolstoy, great datasets are all alike, but all garbage datasets are garbage in their own, unique and horrible ways.
Infrastructure Investment As An Elixir For Ailing U.S. Productivity Growth
For more than a decade, growth in U.S. labor productivity (as measured by output per hour of work) has generally declined—sometimes rather sharply. S&P Global believes this lost decade of productivity gains could have been far different had the federal government increased infrastructure investment to match the levels of just a few decades earlier.
A Future For QE: Monetary Policy In Two Dimensions
The way we think about monetary policy has changed with the adoption of quantitative easing (QE): It has moved from being a one-dimensional problem of only setting the policy rate (PR) to a two-dimensional problem of jointly determining the PR and QE.
As investors and companies increasingly weigh climate risk into their investment decisions and strategic direction, the question persists whether regulatory or market-based solutions offer a better path forward.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, and the Solar Foundation, a non-profit geared toward accelerating solar adoption, this year released a self-assessment based on two US surveys of employers and employees. The overall verdict: women and African Americans were under represented, and there was a major gender gap in wages and opportunities to move up the career ladder.
Representatives of S&P Global, large institutional investors and corporate ESG experts gathered together in New York City this week to consider the challenge of quantifying climate risk for corporations. Beyond a shared concern over the issue of climate risk, there was a diversity of opinions over the best way to quantify climate risk and the best way for investors to act on their environmental concerns.
New horizons: The forces shaping the future of the LNG market
The new decade will present LNG stakeholders with immense opportunities. As significant additions of elastic supply and demand challenge traditional business models, and the trend towards LNG commoditization gathers pace, what lies ahead?
China’s supply-side reform agenda was launched by President Xi Jinping in late 2015 with a view to stripping out excess capacity that had built up in key industries during China’s emergence as an economic power.
Industry Executives Confident About Diversity, Inclusion
More than three-fifths of C-suite executives in the commodities industry are confident their firms have the capacity to address diversity and inclusion issues, according to the findings of a recent survey commissioned by S&P Global Platts.
South Africa’s gold production is in decline, with platinum group metals looking increasingly lustrous by comparison, and other countries such as Ghana becoming more attractive destinations for gold producers. Filip Warwick reports.
The mainstreaming of artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a profound impact on the industrial sphere, not least in energy industries. Whether companies are active in the upstream, midstream or downstream segment, they face enormous pressures to control cost while living up to societal demands for environmental stewardship and a wholesale shift to cleaner forms of energy.
Shareholders, Regulators Increase Impetus to Change
Energy companies are facing external pressures to lift their female leadership numbers from institutional investors, activist shareholders, and even potential employees and customers. But a number of female executives interviewed said the internal drivers at their companies were stronger.
S&P Global is committed to advocating for an inclusive economy as we work to power thriving global communities. Our data and analysis demonstrate that women are increasingly a force that moves the markets, and that an increase in women’s labor force participation has the potential to drive global growth.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “You may delay, but time will not.” This is certainly true for the international shipping industry as it prepares for a plethora of stricter environmental rules that are set to bring escalating costs and operational challenges.
Rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics— coupled with ubiquitous connectivity and vast, easily accessible processing power—are laying the groundwork for fundamental structural changes in the global economy. These mutually reinforcing catalysts are driving exponential innovation across a wide swathe of the economy, reshaping entire industries and creating new ones.
S&P Global adopted Agile Scrum to help our divisions learn to collaborate effectively and work together as one, cohesive company. This adoption, like most big changes, has not been without its challenges. But the lessons learned can help other companies and professionals adopt Agile at scale within their businesses.
Technology is at the heart of a new "Great Game" between the United States and China and this is a game that matters. More than shrinking the bilateral trade deficit, the focus of U.S. trade and investment policies has turned to technology. There is a geopolitical dimension to this but economics are also prominent. U.S. grievances focus on areas where technology predominates, including protection of intellectual property, access to fast-growing Chinese markets for U.S. firms, and a level playing field versus domestic Chinese champions.
The additional growth projected from increasing women’s labor participation translates into trillions of dollars in “extra” equity market value. The U.S., for example, could contribute an additional $4.5 trillion in market value over the next decade.
The shift to electronic documents and data in all areas of life is one of the key economic developments of this century, bringing new efficiencies, cost savings and opportunities far beyond anything that could be achieved with paper records. That shift is about to hit commodity trading, which has traditionally relied on vast paper trails to execute, authenticate, and process each transaction.
Increasing diversity and boosting the number of women in leadership positions can benefit the commodities sector and the wider economy. How can this be achieved? We ask five successful women for their thoughts.
Adding More Women To The U.S. Workforce Could Send Global Stock Markets Soaring
The global bull market in stocks has been long. Historic, even. Will it end? Sure, someday, just as all such runs do. But S&P Global has found an underutilized source of growth that could send global market valuations soaring—to the tune of an extra $5.87 trillion over the next decade.
A dual-pronged effort of increasing entry and retention of more women to the American workforce, particularly those professions traditionally filled by men, represents a substantial opportunity for growth of the world’s principal economy, with the potential to add 5%-10% to nominal GDP in just a few decades.
Escalating trade tensions – especially between the U.S. and China - ratchet up risks after a historic run of benign conditions, expanding leverage moves the credit cycle further into extra innings and capital outflow pressures squeeze emerging markets.