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The Uncertain Future Direction of Oil PricesOpen in a New Window

Since last year, prices of oil have decreased by over fifty percent and have festered at some of their lowest rates in many years. This has occurred due to several factors, including decreasing global demand for oil and an increasing supply. Lately, however, demand for crude oil is on the rise and overall output has been growing in major oil-producing nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya. It is yet to be seen if these events will continue as an industry trend for this year, but a...

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Can the Stock Market Handle the Fed's Rate Hike?Open in a New Window

Since early 2014, the U.S. Central Bank has been in the process of easing the economy into a rising interest rates program. In an effort to contract the economy while it’s still recovering, the main goal of this initiative is to gently maneuver the United States into a more stable fiscal state, and out of the transitional zone it is currently in. The Federal Funds Rate (FFR) has been flat at a historic rock bottom 0.25% for about six years now, following the...

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gE Blog Series: Exploring the Eurozone Part 5: Impacts of Potential Greek ExitOpen in a New Window

Greece needs to follow European rules if it wants aid from the Eurozone during its financial crisis. The country owes other Eurozone governments around $212 billion. Germany is owed the most money, totaling over sixty million euros, followed by France and Italy. However, Slovenia may be the most impacted country by the Greek debt crisis.  Bloomberg determined that Greece owes Slovenia over 3% of its total GDP. Greece is on the bubble of a potential exit from the European Union,...

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gE Blog Series: Exploring the Eurozone Part 4 - Cash Outflow From the EurozoneOpen in a New Window

As of late, the value of the dollar has appreciated compared to other currencies, and one currency that the effects are evident in is the euro. The fall of the euro has been increased due to the willingness of investors to move their assets out of the Eurozone, and into “safe havens” like the U.S., Denmark, and Switzerland.  The difference between the European and American monetary policies has been a catalyst for investors reallocating their portfolios, looking for bigger...

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gE Blog Series: Exploring the Eurozone Part 3 - Eurozone Trade Surplus WidensOpen in a New Window

Compared to figures taken in 2014, the Eurozone’s trade surplus was much wider this January.  According to the EU statistics agency, on March 18, the 19 countries that use the euro had a surplus in their trade with goods with the rest of the world of 7.9 billion euros, or $8.38 billion, which is up 100 euros from January 2014. This widening gap was said to be due to a 6% decline in imports, which likely reflects the drop in oil prices. During this time, experts noted that overall...

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gE Blog Series: Exploring the Eurozone Part 2 - Impacts of the ECB’s Quantitative Easing StrategyOpen in a New Window

Imagine a scenario where a market is losing value (deflation), which in turn scares away investors and greatly reduces cash flow in the active market. This stems growth, as more people lose confidence in a downward spiraling market. This is a scenario that the European Central Bank (ECB) would like to avoid, as the Eurozone is currently experiencing -0.1% deflation. Perhaps the ECB’s most important response has been through quantitative easing, which has had a substantial impact on...

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The Increasingly Condensed Travel IndustryOpen in a New Window

The global travel industry is a major player in the global economy, accounting for 9.5% of the world’s GDP and employing 266 million people. Many consumers also deal with the industry on a regular basis, whether traveling on business trips or for vacations. With the large size of the industry and the constant demand, the travel industry is highly competitive and constantly evolving. Recently, this competition has led to consolidation in many sectors of the industry, such as the hotel,...

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gE Blog Series: Exploring the Eurozone Part 1 - IntroductionOpen in a New Window

What exactly is the Eurozone? It is easy to confuse the Eurozone and the European Union, but hopefully this blog post will sort out some of the discrepancies. Simply stated, the Eurozone, also called the euro area, is made up of 19 European countries that all use the euro as their currency. The European Central Bank is in charge of monetary issues for all 28 members of the European Union; however, it also plays a major role in leading the cooperation between the central banks of the Eurozone...

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Consolidation of the Energy SectorOpen in a New Window

In the wake of the drastic decline in oil prices since last July, and with the current crude oil prices about half of the 2014 peak, Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced Wednesday that it would buy fellow Oil and Gas Company, BG Group, in a deal amounting to approximately $70 billion. Assuming the deal is completed, this would be the largest energy merger since Exxon and Mobil in 1998, and would create the world’s largest independent producer of liquefied natural gas. The merger comes as an...

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Business Leaders: Learning Another LanguageOpen in a New Window

Multilingualism can be an incredible asset for companies that conduct business internationally, helping to bridge the cultural gap when conducting business in foreign countries. As emerging market economies grow and open new markets for businesses, an understanding of the local language can give companies a leg up over their competitors, possibly giving them the advantage needed to be successful in the market. In an article in Entrepreneur, author Ofer Shoshan lists six languages that he...

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Africa's Technology EconomyOpen in a New Window

As the global crude oil price has fallen by more than 50% in recent months, Nigeria, a country that relies heavily on exporting oil and gas, has seen its currency fall accordingly and is now exploring opportunities in the technology industry. Recently, a tech boom has swept across Africa and more than 75% of venture investments in Africa have gone into the technology sector. Economists believe that technology will be the future of the African economy. The major reason for the tech boom in...

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Low Oil Prices Bad News for RecyclingOpen in a New Window

Crude oil is the traditional starting point for the many plastics that are essential to modern life. Approximately three percent of worldwide oil production is used to make plastics. Due to this relationship, the cost of plastic is closely tied to the price of oil. And since June, the price of oil has been cut in half, leading to a decrease in the price of new plastic. Crude oil components such as ethylene and propylene are the basis of plastic production. These components are obtained from...

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Opportunities in the Canadian Market for Michigan CompaniesOpen in a New Window

Through a trade relationship that generated $ 1.2 billion exports in 2013, Canada is the largest importer of Michigan food and agricultural products. Michigan’s geographical location in combination with the strong trade partnership between the United States and Canada helps facilitate Michigan food and agriculture exports to Canada. Further, the United States and Canada have similar consumption patterns that make Canada an easier consumer market for Michigan companies to...

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Nigeria's Election: The Turning Point for a Troubled EcononyOpen in a New Window

With changing political office, comes changing economic policy. At least, that is what millions of Nigerians are hoping for from newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari. The Nigerian capital market responded positively to the change in leadership, gaining 8.30%, its single biggest daily gain all year. High optimism for the new leader to follow through on his promise to reshape the national economy is sorely needed at this point. With 170 million people to support, Africa’s biggest...

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The Growth of Globalization and its ImplicationsOpen in a New Window

Globalization can be defined as the process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade, investment, and information technology. It is not a new concept, and has been present for thousands of years, as people and corporations have been buying and selling goods and services, along with exchanging ideas across long distances. One of the earliest instances was the Silk Road that stretched across...

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Skepticism and OpportunitiesOpen in a New Window

Now that the cutoff date to sign up for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has come, there is a lot of talk about why some countries chose not to participate and also what the AIIB has to offer to its members and the world. The last two countries to seize the membership opportunities were Taiwan and Norway, just days before the deadline. The plans for the AIIB are to help finance construction of roads, ports, railways, and other infrastructure projects throughout Asia. It was a...

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Global Shipping Industry Loses Fewest Ships in a DecadeOpen in a New Window

In 2014, 75 ships were lost at sea around the world, which is the lowest number in the last ten years. According to insurer Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, sinking and submerging was the most common cause of ship loss, with 49 of the 75 losses resulting from this. Despite a downward trend in ships lost per year over the last decade, it is feared that the increasing size of container ships will make losses much more costly. The introduction of containerization in the 1950’s...

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Russia's Looming RecessionOpen in a New Window

Late last year, the RUB-USD exchange rate dipped significantly, which carried on into 2015 with the ruble’s unfaltering depreciation against the dollar. This now full-fledged currency crisis has Russia’s Central Bank bailing out its private banking sector and reinstating a unique quantitative easing strategy that aims to spur foreign investment and have a positive impact on GDP. Despite the government scrambling to stabilize its currency, economic recession in 2015 seems...

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UK Inflation Falls to ZeroOpen in a New Window

In February, the inflation rate in the United Kingdom fell to 0%. This is the lowest rate since records of inflation were first taken in 1960. Official figures demonstrate that lower prices of transportation, food, and computer goods helped to cut the rate back from January’s inflation rate of 0.3%. Although these figures are good indicators in some ways, they can also impact the interest rates set by the Monetary Policy Committee, which is considering raising the rates from their record...

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China's Manufacturing Sector ContractsOpen in a New Window

China’s manufacturing and factory sector hit an 11-month low in March, alarming investors worldwide. This indicator is yet another under-performing expectation that will likely have a negative effect on China’s gloomy first quarter. Ultimately these results are detrimental to the Chinese Government's 7% GDP growth target and will likely lead to new stimulus measures during a period of slow economic grw. The survey, called the preliminary purchasing managers’ index...

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