Things we read in June 2017

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Following our May round-up, here is our list of the 7 must-read stories that caught our eye this month.

#1 One major item on the automotive manufacturing risk register

"Our research suggests that the industry’s scope to sustain recent growth rates is increasingly at risk. In particular, the industry’s growing reliance on PCP has made it more vulnerable to macroeconomic downturns."

More here.

 

#2 Are low interest rates part of the cause of the UK's productivity puzzle?

Inefficient firms may be stifling economic growth.

 

#3 Amazon is ramping up lending to businesses in a direct challenge to banks

A big one to watch – are big 'catch all' banks becoming redundant for businesses?

 

#4 A revolution is coming in trade finance, powered by blockchain

The implications could see SMEs being paid faster for exports.

“The first trade finance transaction over blockchain technology was claimed by Barclays and Israeli start-up Wave last September when they guaranteed the almost $100,000 of cheese and butter exports from Irish co-operative Ornua to the Seychelles Trading Company. That condensed a process that usually takes seven to 10 days into less than four hours.”

 

#5 Music charts are so broken, Harry Styles fans are gaming them with VPNs

In an increasingly data driven world do we need to start worrying about people gaming the system?

 

#6 Robots won’t take our jobs, but they may squeeze our wages

Technological change has had more impact on earnings distribution than on demand for workers, study finds

 

#7 The iPhone is now 10 years old - here's why it still isn't made in the USA

Does proximity of supply chain matter?

 

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Author

Head of Business Environment Policy

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