Managing Expectations

Editor Andrea Fiano's monthly letter to you, the reader.

VOL. 35  NO. 4

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As we went to press, two top economic leaders in the United States—Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen—were reassuring Congress that massive economic and fiscal stimulus would not generate inflation in the US. Or, more precisely, that they have still strong tools adequate to the task of monitoring and eventually containing price pressures.

That these two would bring such a message is not surprising, but it coincides with the expectation of massive economic rebound in the US—potential for soaring growth levels similar to China’s. If that happens, it will be the first time in many years, and it will be the result of an enormous economic stimulus after a deep pandemic-induced recession. In the meantime, corporate entities around the world are still trying to take advantage of this economic climate, and locking down funding for the future while rates remain relatively low.

In this issue of the magazine, we present several aspects of the aforementioned rebound, and how, even in 2020 and despite the tragic pandemic death toll, there was progress in many areas. In our annual investment banking awards, we present leaders and achievers in a year of strong growth both in M&A and in debt issuance. Our Middle East supplement focuses on many of the successful developments for the economic diversification of the economies of the region, from the boom in fintech to the space race.

Finally, in our cover story, we show how the legal profession, notwithstanding its classic and foundational grounding in tradition, is undergoing a major transformation worldwide. And although the changes are driven by new technology, they are not all technological, but include emerging business models. The legal profession seems to be going through the same wave of innovation that financial institutions experienced worldwide in the last few years. It is obviously an ongoing process, and we can expect some resistance to change, but the trend is clear—and it is moving fast.

Andrea Fiano | Editor