Sebastian Payne: In economically turbulent times, should investors look for certainty and stability in the big countries, big regions and big companies? Or does safety lie elsewhere?
Rana Foroohar argues in her latest column that we have reached what might be called ‘Peak Big’ and when facing moments of great change, chaos and conflict, small can be safer. Take Big Tech for example: regulators are increasingly hostile towards the large US tech firms and are likely to take action soon. The large US manufacturing firms (Boeing and 3M for example) have also suffered a dip in share prices lately.
An impending trade war also hints at the advantages of going small. If the US and China are about to enter a tit-for-tat with trade barriers, it is the smaller Southeast Asian countries that will benefit. As Rana puts it, this could be a moment to bet on David, as Goliath might just be overvalued.
Solving spam: Pilita Clark offers a radical solution to the blight of unwanted emails: shifting responsibility onto the sender and charging for messages. Technically complex, but it might be the only way to lessen those annoying piles of junk mail.
Warning lights in Italy: Wolfgang Münchau reckons Italy is still the most serious threat to eurozone stability and its messy political situation is exacerbating the lack of impetus for economic reform. Italy is too big to save and too big to fail, he argues, and the markets are not pricing in the trouble that may lie ahead.
Options for Iran: YJ Fischer argues that the appointments of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo bring two Iran hawks into Donald Trump’s inner circle. But if the US really wants to control the Rouhani regime, it should strengthen economic ties — thereby buying leverage over Tehran.