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How tech and trade will transform the world economy: Financial Services next industry in the spotlight

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UBS unveils flagship publication for this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos entitled Macro problems, micro solutions: How trade, technology and finance can help keep the recovery going

London, 22 January 2014 – UBS today launches a flagship White Paper for the World Economic Forum in Davos, entitled Macro problems, micro solutions: How trade, technology and finance can help keep the recovery going.

The White Paper is co-authored by seven of UBS’s Opinion Leaders from the Chief Investment Office within UBS Wealth Management; the Global Investment Solutions team within UBS Global Asset Management; and the macro strategy team at UBS Investment Bank.

The paper argues that following the impact of "disruptive" technology on the media and consumer sectors, financial services could be the next major industry in the spotlight.

Macro problems, micro solutions covers the following areas:

  • Two kinds of austerity: The White Paper argues that the below-trend pace of global growth reflects "silent austerity"in the banking sector, which has generated fewer headlines than government spending cuts, but has probably had a bigger impact.
  • Trade wars: The White Paper looks at how changes in international trade have altered the evolution of global imbalances, upturned financial valuation models, and prompted decentralized trade negotiations.
  • Technology and productivity: The White Paper surveys innovation hotspots, such as mobile communications, 3D printing and shale energy, and likely beneficiaries, such as the US economy.
  • The long tail: The White Paper examines the internet-driven shift from "blockbusters" to niche products in media, and potentially in financial services.
  • Technology posing profound questions for intermediary industries: The White Paper details the lessons that financial intermediaries can learn from the likes of Amazon’s open architecture marketplace, and the value this approach can add for their clients.

Alexander Friedman, Global Chief Investment Officer at UBS Wealth Management and co-author, says: "Five years after the worst of the global financial crisis, we examine where we have come from, where we now stand and what lies ahead. There is hope in signs of economic growth, in signs of progress in trade negotiations, and above all in continuing technological progress."

Andreas Koester, Head of Asset Allocation and Currency at UBS Global Asset Management and co-author, says: "If every country were to try austerity at the same time, it could actually increase sovereign debt problems because of the negative impact on global GDP. The Eurozone can only achieve healthy public finances through austerity if others such as the US, Japan and emerging markets go for growth."

Stephane Deo, Global Head of Macro Strategy Research at UBS Investment Bank and co-author, says: "While progress on global trade agreements has been slow, there has been progress in bilateral and multilateral agreements. Technological progress should encourage countries to enhance their competitiveness through more bilateral or regional deals."

About UBS AG
UBS draws on its 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland. Together with a client-focused Investment Bank and a strong, well-diversified Global Asset Management business, UBS will expand its premier wealth management franchise and drive further growth across the Group.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS employs about 61,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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