Expedition Everest – graphic of the day

The lure to climb Mount Everest began more than 150 years ago when British surveyors determined that the 29,028 peak was the highest in the world. Since 1922, 10,998 climbers have made it above base camp and 3,648 of them reached the summit of Everest. Today’s graphic shows a timeline of those that have climbed Everest, what season they’ve done it and the average number per year.

Mt. Everest

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The conversation: connecting the global regulatory agenda

Exchange Magazine

Welcome to Thomson Reuters Exchange! Each week, we will be bringing you features from within Exchange, Thomson Reuters financial and risk publication. We created Exchange, as the name suggests, as a forum for dialogue, a digital publication where ideas and insights, information, news and analysis can be exchanged and shared across the global ecosystem of financial professionals in a dynamic, interactive format. We invite you to experience the rich content and interactive features on your iPad or Android tablet by downloading it from the App StoreGoogle Play or on Amazon. Or, to learn more about Exchange and stay abreast of the latest features, functionality and content in this issue and subsequent issues, visit our website.

In the second issue of Thomson Reuters Exchange MagazineIt’s All Connected – David Craig, president of Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk business unit, and Sharon Bowles, retiring MEP, Chair, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee European Parliament, sit down to discuss the dangers of divergence and connecting the global regulatory agenda.

The financial crisis demonstrated that cooperation on regulation and oversight of the global financial system has never been more important. Regulatory divergence is not only economically costly; it encourages regulatory arbitrage and can also introduce duplicative or inefficient practices for both providers and users of capital, thereby undermining global economic growth.

DAVID CRAIG: Whilst American and European regulatory practices have diverged in several crucial areas – banking oversight, derivatives regulation and privacy protection – they have otherwise been to date remarkably consistent. Reforms are moving ahead, but gaps continue to arise which can undermine both efficiency and stability. Where do you see leadership on these issues coming from? (more…)

TechVision: The Second Machine Age

Digital technologies – with hardware, software, and networks at their core – will diagnose diseases in the near future more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age, MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, two thinkers at the forefront of their field, reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Erik and Andrew identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.

Check out the latest installment in our TechVision series:

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Highest premises liability awards are against owners/operators of industrial properties

Jury Verdicts

Jury Verdict Research® recently released the 53rd Edition of the Current Award Trends revealing that the highest compensatory median awards for premises liability claims are against owners/operators of industrial properties.

The study is based on verdicts rendered from 2006 through 2012.

The graph (above) highlights the median compensatory awards for premises liability claims.

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Carpe dim sum: Hong Kong’s sukuk opportunity as gateway to China

Hong Kong is a latecomer to the sukuk markets and if the government issues its announced $500 million to $1 billion sukuk this year, it will also have been a long time coming since Hong Kong first announced its ambitions for its participation in sukuk markets. Despite the delays, it will be a significant development and could provide a market for many issuers who have not participated in sukuk markets.

The Hong Kong government has been forthcoming about its strengths and weaknesses in building a sukuk market as a result of its cooperation with Malaysia to learn the ‘how-to’s of the sukuk markets. The Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Peter Pang explained that Hong Kong has focused its collaboration with Malaysia to “deepen co-operation with Malaysia in the development of Islamic finance”. The Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia Dato’ Muhammad bin Ibrahim added that Malaysia would offer its “expertise in structuring, managing and distribution of sukuk [and] advice on legal and sharia matters”. 

China

Gateway to China (more…)

Spanish banking revenues – graphic of the day

Spain’s top seven listed lenders relied heavily on trading gains in 2013 to make up for falling net interest income. The banks have sold lots of their government bonds ahead of Europe-wide health checks of their assets this year, leading analysts to believe trading gains are likely to fall in 2014. Today’s graphic breaks down banking income for Spain’s top seven banks.

spanish banking

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World Cup inflation

World Cup fever is hitting Brazil this June as more than half a million global soccer fans flock to the country for the month long event. Brazil is expecting the event to boost its economy by creating thousands of jobs.  The flip side is that Brazilian inflation may also rise a bit. Check out this video to see how you can use Thomson Reuters Eikon to track Brazil’s inflation worries.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Eikon blog.

IA brief: SEC opens door to social media ratings and client lists

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidance update this week on investment adviser use of social media and the applicability of the testimonial rule will help ease uncertainty over using of certain features of social media sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The guidance, in the form of 9 questions and answers, primarily focused on the use of third-party review sites and whether it would trigger a testimonial violation. The guidance included specific examples opening the door to using Yelp, Foursquare or a similar site that offers a business review feature, granted certain conditions are achieved. (more…)

Innovation, meet regulation: How Flash Boys, Uber and Tesla are breaking all the rules

Regulation is getting really complicated.  Don’t expect it to get easier any time soon.

Countless articles have been written lately about the very real business challenges created by the onslaught of new regulation in everything from finance to technology to healthcare. The gripes are justified. Ten years ago there were 2 or 3 major regulators that most big companies had to deal with; now there are hundreds, creating a global patchwork of complex, often contradictory corporate compliance hurdles for multinational companies.

Why is this happening? One easy answer is that too-big-to-fail has led to a regulatory free-for-all that’s too-complex-to-manage. Sure, cash-strapped governments around the world see some new regulations as an opportunity to generate revenues and others as good sense guidelines to reduce the risk of another credit crunch. But there’s more to it than that. When you look closely at this golden age of regulatory scrupulosity, the real driver is innovation.

Innovation and regulation have a tenuous relationship at best. While the base goal of regulation is to keep a level playing field, the base goal of innovation is to disrupt the status quo in a way that often upsets that balance.

Right now, companies are innovating much faster than regulators can keep up with them. Take Michael Lewis’ controversial new book Flash Boys, for example. It chronicles the experiences of a group of high frequency traders as they find ways to exploit stock market inefficiencies by trading on information just fractions of a second faster than the competition. (more…)

Rising U.S. sugar imports outpace demand growth – graphic of the day

World prices for refined beet and cane sugar have tumbled in recent years to huge excesses. Mexico’s domestic prices climbed above U.S. levels in the past two years, but average prices across the continent are above those elsewhere in the world. Today’s graphic tracks reined sugar prices and gives a snapshot of the U.S. sugar market.

Sugar

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