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The monthly review: January's top stories

3 years ago



S&P 500




FTSE 100


CAC 40


DAX 30


BEL 20






        Source: Bloomberg 31.01.2020

Green tax grab

Climate change sat high on the agenda at Davos. World leaders and company bosses were joined on stage by teenage activists. It’s forecast that tax on carbon emissions will have to rise sharply to avoid the dangerous 2 degrees of global warming. The so-called ‘carbon tax’ bill could rise to $4 trillion. That’s a big hit to the world’s corporations, given that only a fifth of carbon emissions are currently taxed. Meanwhile even President Trump, who previously branded climate change as a hoax, is supporting the global initiative to plant one trillion trees.

Phase one done

A trade deal between the US and China was agreed to the great relief of world financial markets. How does the deal shape up? China has agreed to buy an extra $200 billion of US goods. That includes farm products, as well as manufactured goods and energy. US banks will be granted access to the vast Chinese market in financial services, including credit cards. Tariffs slapped onto imports from China last year will be slowly rolled back, although the majority remain in place. The president promptly switched his sights to the EU, claiming they’re ‘tougher than China’.

Brexit just happened!

After three years of debate, Brexit Day finally dawned and the UK has left the European Union. Is that game over? Far from it. Trade negotiations kick off in March and will likely run beyond the year-end deadline. The UK is keen to decide its own regulations. The EU wants a level playing field for competition. Initial talks could focus on financial services, free movement of people and fisheries. Despite UK PM Boris Johnson’s banning the ‘B word’, we haven’t quite heard the last of Brexit yet. 

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