California wildfires and renewable shift

California seems to be in the eye of the storm at the moment when it comes to the impacts of climate change. Images of yellow smoke-filled skies are proliferating news sources and social media, the result of wildfires that are seasonal for the state due to hot and dry weather, but that this year have burned through over 5 million acres already, worse than any year in the history books. The season for wildfires usually continues until December and may continue to force people to stay at home due to the air quality, further impacting businesses already reeling from the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

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Big is not beautiful

Cette chronique de Jean Keller est parue dans Le Temps du 24 août 2020. Lire l’article en PDF.

L’extrême concentration actuelle de la gestion d’actifs a de nombreux effets néfastes, comme une volatilité accrue, un risque systémique non négligeable et une standardisation des produits. A l’heure où elle cherche à promouvoir l’asset management suisse, notre place financière devrait donc plutôt privilégier le modèle de la « boutique ».

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Carbon intensity in Japan

We have written about renewable energy and the energy transition in Europe, the US and China.  Today we look at Japan, where multiple factors collude to result in government policies that support a slower transition towards green energy, a source of frustration for many and garnering criticism.

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The flexible future of working

The working day as we know it, in general lasting eight hours between 7am and 7pm and covering five days of the week, dates back 100 years. It has its origins in the industrial revolution, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life. At first the working day would range from 10-16 hours; the work week was six days and the use of child labour was common. A shorter working day as well as improved working conditions was raised by the International Workingmen’s Association at the Congress in Geneva in 1866, but the working week as we know it was not adopted in most countries until shortly after the first world war. There remain exceptions in developing countries and it depends on the type of work, but this structure has held for the majority of the global workforce since.

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