Global Finance editor Andrea Fiano's letter to you, the reader.
VOL. 36 NO. 11
Year-end issues of financial magazines typically offer an array of economic forecasts for the coming year. Let’s get this one out of the way quickly: The US and Europe will continue to raise interest rates, inflation has probably peaked but is not disappearing soon, and the US dollar will continue to strengthen.
More interesting, as we wind up the year, to focus on some of the world’s most vibrant areas of economic activity. Payments, our cover story, have been a wellspring of innovation due to the increasing demand for contactless, digital and real-time offerings that are changing the banking business model. Payments have driven change in financial transactions worldwide and is an area where traditional and new players are mixing it up: banks with market leadership and deep pockets; upstart fintechs with flexible new, often cheaper, solutions; and now, increasingly, central banks. These innovations impact both retail and corporate banking. In such a lively ferment, leaders can lag and laggards can become leaders—a trend seen earlier in the telecom industry.
Sports finance is likewise a vibrant and increasingly cross-border business, Corporate Finance Editor Anthony Noto shows, and a big area of growth in investment banking with its own nuances and complexities. Also, it’s a lot of fun.
Finally, the awards in this issue spotlight banking services for smaller businesses and for the ultra-wealthy, similarly robust areas of growth. Private banking and services for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are key priorities at many financial institutions, and outpacing other banking lines for growth. Expanding ranks of multimillionaires are raising demand for private banking in advanced and emerging economies, and SMEs are recognized as a key economic engine, and a source of innovation as well as the next generation of economic growth.