Author: Andreas Weitzer

The risks we face by exposing ourselves to the vagaries of exchange rates are regularly underestimated. I have friends working for international organisations like the UN, the IAEA, or the EBRD who opted for a retirement pay in dollars. This looked very attractive at the time: when the euro was launched, it was worth 30 per cent less than today. Sadly for them, this is not the case anymore. Compounded by inflation, their pensions practically halved. More than a decade ago, when interest rates were still palpably high, many Europeans were nudged into low-interest mortgages denominated in Swiss francs. But…

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As it looks, many of the world’s advanced economies have emerged from the stupor of lockdowns with vigour and at frantic pace. Factory floors are humming, shops are raided and popular restaurants are booked out for months ahead. This move from standstill to full speed is creating hiccups. For more than a year, orders have been cancelled, inventories run down and investments frozen. Now, with demand booming, manufacturers and services are struggling to cope. Everyone wants everything at the same time: materials, components, energy and labour. As all these things are not forthcoming as swiftly as needed, manager-purchasing prices go…

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