Chinese New Year: The Nian Returns

On Friday, February 16, 2018, Category: Ludovic Subran

​Every year, for the Chinese New Year, Chinese families clean their houses and decorate windows and doors with red paper stripes and couplets with signs for good fortune. 

This tradition comes from the legend of the Nian (年獸), a mythical beast who would go to the village on New Years’ eve, eat the crops and sometimes the children. One year, all villagers decided to lit up firecrackers, hung up red lanterns, and wear red robes to fright the Nian. It turned out the monster did not like the color red and was afraid of loud noises. The famous Chinese lion dance (舞龍舞獅) was born and the Nian never returned to the village.

As we get ready to celebrate the transition from the Fire Rooster to the Earth Dog year, it looks like the Nian came back to the financial markets quite flamboyantly.

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The Truth About Germany and France

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Category: Ludovic Subran

As with any field of human activity, economics is not immune to myths. In Europe, many of the most persistent relate to Germany and France – the two biggest economies of Europe – and their relationship. Economic Research, in a recent report, busts seven of the biggest myths.

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​Chinese Dreams, Global Realities and a Cup of Tea

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

A common practice of Chinese tea culture is for the beverage to be served to a senior member of a family or organization as a show or respect. Yet there is a twist in the centuries-old plot. In Nowadays China, where an unprecedented social and economic shift is underway, parents may pour a cup of tea for their children to show care. Or a boss can offer a hot cup for subordinates. Then again, on formal occasions, the basic rule remains: tea-serving is a bottom up ritual.

No wonder all eyes were on Chinese president Xi Jinping when he paused during a three hour speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s congress for a sip.

The party’s bigwigs, seated behind their leader on stage, waited and watched. And so did millions of citizens and a slew of analysts worldwide. Would the man heading the world’s second biggest economic powerhouse deliver some big statements as he charts a path for the next half a decade and beyond?

And deliver he did. 

Xi envisioned wiping out poverty, bridging income gaps, turning China into a developed nation. Overhauling global trade and combating global warming were also feted in front of delegates and the media.

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​Mind Your Receivables: The First Online Observatory of B2B Payment Trends

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

Imagine you are a credit manager at a car parts company in Germany. You export to Brazil, France or China. What would make your business grow? You want to know how your payment terms compare to your competitors’ and be able to match them safely. What would make your risk management better? To know when non-payments arise to be able to adjust your conditions accordingly.

Enter Mind Your Receivables. This newest web app from Euler Hermes which makes credit risk professionals visualize key insights about DSOs, past-dues, non-payment and insolvency risks across countries and sectors and over time.

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Risk Ratings Q3 2017: The Seesaw Effect

On Monday, October 09, 2017, Category: Ludovic Subran

There’s quite a lot being said and done about risk. It is dissected, analyzed, visualized, debated, and – more often then we care to admit – used as a tool to wield control. 

One thing that risk taking does not reward is ignorance. So we dig deep, and we do it every three months when Euler Hermes’s Economic Research Department investigates a batch of important countries worldwide. 

The team of addresses a key question: which countries perform well on reducing non-payment risk by companies – and who flunk the test. At the end of Q3 2017, we published a new batch of 18 country reports, out of 97 we make available online. We also updated our country risk map and risk ratings for 7 countries, with five upgrades and two downgrades this quarter. 

These are useful signals for any business, whether on the hunt for opportunity or seek cover.  For those curious about methodology, a brief introduction to our innovative model can be found at the bottom of this post. For the rest: here are the upgrades and downgrades, accompanied by commentary from our seasoned economists.

Overall in 2017, country risk has reversed its trend in 2017. Now, it's clearly improving thanks to reduced macroeconomic imbalances or higher current account surpluses and foreign exchange (FX) reserves in many countries.

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