2018: A State of Affairs - Please click here for the FULL publication.

As a conclusion to the 2018 calendar year, Brasidas Group has compiled a newsletter touching on the current state of affairs on select noteworthy topics.  From analyses of certain countries’ political situations to discussions of the changing nature of privacy in today’s world, we have compiled articles that will provide an overview of these relevant topics.  In providing this overview, we aim to inform and educate our clients and partners about themes that are not only newsworthy, but that can also impact decision making from a strategic standpoint.

We first take a look at the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The impact of the European Union’s decision to institute the GDPR is analyzed from two perspectives: regulatory and business. Firstly, we take a look back at whether the effects of this directive are ultimately in line with the EU’s goals, as well as what changes it has brought to how companies conduct business not only in Europe, but globally.  Questions of the international regulation of data privacy arose immediately upon the GDPR’s enactment.  Most compelling are the implications of how the GDPR affects transnational business and trade agreements – an aspect that every company doing business with EU partners must take into account. 

We then proceed to an analysis of the impact of privacy regulations on business flows, taking into account the impact that this regulatory shift will have in the financial industry.  Financial institutions and banks, which store and process immense amounts of personal consumer data, must find ways to reconcile these operations in order to ensure compliance with the GDPR. Industry adaptation, especially in applications of information technologies, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics, is necessary in order to ensure this compliance.

Stricter regulations in the financial sphere have sought to combat individuals’ and companies’ circumvention of governing laws and regulations when it comes to asset placement. With close to ten percent of the global GDP “hidden” in offshore jurisdictions and tax havens, certain regulations have been put into place with the goal of uncovering ultimate beneficial ownership. Though a lack of resources and time at regulators’ disposal calls into question the effectiveness of such laws, entities will still seek new means to circumvent the system and exploit any weaknesses.

Moving on to the omnipresent topic of cryptocurrencies, we look at how the actual application and use of such currencies may deviate from their intended uses. Whether by rogue actors seeking to engage in nefarious activity, or by countries seeking to regulate their use through different measures, cryptocurrencies’ applications vary. However, common across the board is the need to stay ahead of innovation in order to anticipate the misuse of cryptocurrencies, while regulating their lawfully mandated application. 

We conclude with two geopolitical analyses, first looking at the evolving relationship between Pakistan and Iran. Traditionally formal but friendly, wider regional developments are forcing the two countries to reinforce their ties. Though neither has wished to acknowledge the leadership role of the other over the past few decades, recent positive rhetoric driven by several trends, especially by changes in Afghanistan, have led to a shift in relations. The implications of a continued friendly relationship are of interest to other global players, the US in particular.

In Egypt, we look at how this country of 104 million has been affected during the four-year-long rule of Egyptian President Abel Fattah el-Sisi. Questions regarding how long Sisi can maintain his control on power, as well as what the future holds for Egypt, are important considering this country’s current problems, which include growing debt and a currency crises – neither of which have been covered in depth by the international media.

We hope that this overview of diverse issues impacting the business landscape will draw our clients’ and partners’ attention to the types of risk that need not only to be analyzed, but also to be mitigated. In a constantly changing global landscape, information is the best tool at hand.