Are you a Goal Keeper?
The latest newsletter from The middle Road. Kindly subscribe to The middle Road newsletter on LinkedIn here for regular updates.
As per the Goalkeepers report, the current reality is heart-wrenching: every year, around 5 million children do not make it to their fifth birthday, succumbing to early mortality. Equally tragic, nearly 2 million infants never have the opportunity to take their very first breath and are born stillborn. Although there has been a gradual reduction in these figures since the mid-2010s, the pace of decline, especially concerning infants, falls short of what is urgently needed. Of great concern is the fact that a staggering 74 percent of child deaths transpire within the inaugural year of life.
Read the report here.
We the Goalkeepers | Gates Foundation
Check out the Goalkeepers event here.
Relief for Moroccan Earthquake Victims
The middle Road invites you to consider these organizations as viable options for contributing to the aid efforts for the victims of the Morocco Earthquake. The earthquake has tragically claimed the lives of over 2,800 people, and the global relief efforts are ongoing. IFRC has initiated an emergency appeal, aiming to raise $100 Swiss francs for earthquake victims, and numerous countries and international entities have joined in this humanitarian assistance.
The middle Road has compiled a list of some organizations where you can make donations to support the people of Morocco:
A World of Debt – A House of Bubble
UN Warns of Soaring Global Public Debt: a record $92 Trillion in 20223.3 billion people now live in countries where debt interest payments are greater than expenditure on health or education
Global debt has evolved into a pressing issue for the world, particularly exacerbated by the pandemic. According to the UNCTAD report titled “A World of Debt – A Growing Burden to Global Prosperity,” as of 2022, approximately 3.3 billion people reside in nations where interest payments surpass allocations for education and healthcare. In 2022, the total public debt, which includes both general government debt and external debt, reached a staggering $92 trillion. This figure represents a striking 441.2 percent surge since 2010, amounting to nearly a fivefold increase in debt, while global GDP grew at a comparatively slower pace, experiencing a threefold expansion. Developing countries contribute significantly to this mounting debt crisis, accounting for 30 percent of the total global debt. India, China, and Brazil alone constitute 70 percent of this developing world debt, equivalent to 21 percent of the entire global debt, valuing at $19.32 trillion. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) employs a public debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 percent or higher as a benchmark for high debt levels. Regrettably, developing countries’ total public debt-to-GDP ratio has risen from 35 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2021. This escalating global debt scenario underscores the urgent need for effective measures and international cooperation to address the challenges it poses to economic stability and prosperity worldwide.
Read more here.
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One of the pivotal economic and business indicators is the federal funds rate. The middle Road offers an in-depth online lesson on the workings of central banks, providing a detailed description of how various key global central banks operate. You can refer to the free lesson here. Interest rates are a significant driver of credit within the US and play a pivotal role for emerging economies, especially those with high external debt borrowing in foreign currency. The Federal Reserve aims to maintain the federal funds rate between 5.25% to 5.5%. These rates are kept within this range through a process called open market operations. It is highly recommended to refer to The middle Road’s lesson on Open Market Operations for more insights. Currently, the Federal Reserve has decided to maintain these rates unchanged. Furthermore, the price of oil is trading above $85 per barrel, leading to high headline inflation.
In a significant development, the JP Morgan Emerging Market Global Bond Index is set to include Indian sovereign bonds, marking a pivotal moment for India. It is noteworthy that India is the last major emerging economy to be included in this bond index. The inclusion is scheduled to commence next year, with 1 percent of Indian bonds being added to the index every month. According to various analysts, including Subhadip Sircar in a Bloomberg interview, this move could potentially channel about $25 to $30 billion into the Indian bond market. Foreign investors currently hold only 2 percent of India’s Sovereign Bonds, but this is expected to change significantly in the future. In the side chart, the Government of India 10 year bond. The yields of the bond declines post announcement due to increased buying because of positive news. The Reserve Bank of India’s ‘Fully Accessible Route’ (FAR) allows non-residents to invest in selected Government Securities with no upper limit. India is expected to have the maximum weightage of 10 percent in the global bond index, which will enhance liquidity and lead to better price discovery of government securities. Furthermore, this inclusion is anticipated to boost the Indian corporate bond market through better investor dynamics and forward looking policy making with other bond segments including corporate bond segment. The bond market is a significant source of capital for companies. For instance, the US fixed-income markets are the largest globally, constituting 41.3 percent of the $122.6 trillion of securities outstanding worldwide, equivalent to $50.6 trillion (as of 2Q22), as reported by a study from Greenwich Associates & SIFMA Insights. The EU is the next major player with a 19 percent market share, followed by China at 18 percent. However, when we consider debt financing for non-financial companies, 78 percent of the financing in the US (Data for US 2021) is facilitated by debt capital markets. In comparison, the figures for other regions include 24 percent for the EU, 27 percent for the UK, 22 percent for Japan, and 30 percent for China (Data for China is from 2019).
Check out Nishant Malhotra’s world class webinar on Global Debt Markets telecast live for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India.
Overview of Global Debt Markets with a focus on India by Nishant Malhotra | AIM
As high inflation persists, exceeding the 2 percent target set by both the Federal Reserve and the European Union, interest rates remain elevated globally, with the exception of China, which has experienced persistent disinflation, inflation even entering negative territory for a period. China’s economy faced significant challenges when its housing market declined. Since the housing market comprises a substantial portion of its economy, this structural issue has created fragility within the system. Chinese economic growth heavily relies on supply-driven investment growth, which is closely tied to the residential market. The Real Residential Property Prices for China index indicates a decline in residential prices since Q3 2021. Adding to these economic concerns are high youth unemployment rates, an aging population, and significant capital outflows.
Chart: China Inflation Rate | National Bureau of Statistics of China
All these factors, when considered collectively, strongly indicate that the era of rapid Chinese economic growth may be approaching its conclusion. The trajectory of China’s future economic growth will be heavily contingent on how the Chinese government addresses its structural issues through well-conceived policy measures. In summary, while inflation and interest rates pose global economic challenges, China faces a unique set of circumstances that amplify very low inflation rate scenarios. These include a struggling housing market, ongoing demographic shifts, a widespread household reliance on savings tied to the real estate sector, the complexities of the shadow banking system, and various geopolitical considerations.
Social Impact Awards
The Center for Theory of Change sponsors Kusum Social Impact Awards
The middle Road is thrilled to announce that The Center for Theory of Change has taken on the prestigious role of being the official sponsor of the Kusum Social Impact Awards. This partnership marks a significant milestone in The middle Road’s journey, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Helene Clark for her generous sponsorship. Her support is invaluable and paves the way for a brighter future in recognizing and celebrating impactful initiatives. The Kusum Social Impact Awards are a remarkable initiative, and it is an honor for The Center for Theory of Change to be associated with them for the very first time. These awards represent a beacon of hope, shining a light on those who are driving positive change and making a real difference in our communities. The middle Road is actively seeking additional sponsorship and is gearing up to release a new video about the Social Impact Awards. As of now, the application deadline for this award has been extended until the end of November. Furthermore, there will be a monetary prize associated with this award. If you are interested in sponsoring the event or becoming a member of the selection committee, please get in touch with Nishant Malhotra. Additionally, The middle Road is offering free subscriptions for employees of sponsor companies.
Apply for the social impact award through the link here.
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Nishant Malhotra talking about the paid advertising on The middle Road
High Speed Rail
The recent opening of a high-speed train in Florida is an excellent step as the US builds a network of high-speed rail across the country. If this initiative is executed optimally, it has the potential to increase the GDP and productivity of the US over the years, solidifying its position as a top country in the world. As a supply-driven initiative, it should also significantly increase output per employee. However, given the vast expanse of the US, the speed and efficiency with which the country implements its railways, supported by lower overheads, will ultimately have a substantial impact. This marks the beginning of a tremendous opportunity that could lead the US to establish a world-beating transportation network. It’s essential to thoroughly examine airports and subway systems as well. Furthermore, the US should employ behavioral economics to encourage Americans to use railways instead of driving. In the long run, this approach would likely become highly cost-effective for both operators and passengers. In the long term, this will reduce the US economy’s dependence on oil. Headline inflation will be less susceptible to the fluctuations in oil prices. Moreover, this shift will provide a significant boost to alternative energy sources. As travel increases, variable costs are expected to decrease. Unlike fixed costs, which are sunk costs, low variable costs will lead to faster break-even point. This is in line with view of The middle Road. Read a note on high-speed rail here.
Check out the microeconomics and applied learning online course to know more. The middle Road has an excellent lesson the opportunity cost. Click the link to know more about the lessons in Microeconomics.
Everything Must Go
The middle Road highly recommends this light-hearted comedy-drama starring Will Ferrell, as it showcases one of his most understated and finest performances to date—a significant departure from his typically blistering and sometimes over-the-top roles. The story revolves around Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell), who loses his job due to a misdemeanor tied to his alcoholism. To compound his problems, he finds himself locked out of his house by his estranged wife.
Read more here.
Podcasts & Events
G20 Mumbai Cultural Tracker
Nishant Malhotra was privileged to attend the prestigious G20 Mumbai Cultural Tracker event, in collaboration with FICCI, UNESCO, Teamwork Arts, and Avid Learning. This exclusive gathering took place in the dynamic city of Mumbai, India. The event revolved around the theme “Cultural Confluences: Empowering Creative Industries of the Future,” and it held significant importance within the context of the Culture Working Group during India’s G20 Presidency.
Check out the read here.
The middle Road Social Impact Event
Recording of The middle Road’s inaugural social impact event, which seamlessly bridged the online and offline worlds, marks a significant milestone in my startup’s journey. This event will take the form of a hybrid webinar, allowing me to reach a wider audience and engage in meaningful conversations.
Link to the recording of the event here.
2023 SDG Summit: Shaping the Future of Sustainable Development by United Nations
Check out the recording of 2023 SDG Summit: Shaping the Future of Sustainable Development by United Nations here.
Geneva Peace Talks 2023
Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Never has our world needed peace more. Check out the event here.
Check out The middle Road’s recent video/podcast featuring Kingsley Godwin. Kingsley Godwin is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience spanning diverse sectors, from development to blockchain. He has consistently led impactful initiatives on both local and global scales. Nishant Malhotra had a detailed discussion about his work.
Nishant Malhotra with Kingsley Godwin Podcast The middle Road
Click on the link to listen to or download the podcast.
Confederation of Indian Industry
Nishant Malhotra attended a recent (Confederation of Indian Industry) CII event held in Mumbai. The event focused on best practices of MSME sector and ESG. Nishant Malhotra interviewed Shilpa Pophale of Electronica Finance Ltd in the field of green finance. This podcast serves as a compelling example for the MSME sector to explore innovative and environmentally friendly financial options. The discussion delves into their game-changing collaboration with SIDBI in the MSME sector and their pioneering move of tapping capital markets through the first Green Masala Bond issue for an NBFC in India! But that’s not all! Electronica Finance Ltd. truly shines through their impactful Customer Social Responsibility initiatives, like the Udaan project, empowering underprivileged women and women with disabilities through equality education, and the Meeta project, fostering social entrepreneurship. 🌟
Check the link here.
Note: For any factual inaccuracies get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. This read was edited post initial publication.
Break even rate is changed to break even point for better clarity.