In the first of two special ‘Best of 2013’ editions of Counting the Cost, we look back at some of our big economy stories of this year.
From the desert in Doha the team made its way all the way up to the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
For our first trip there, we marked it with a special debate show, featuring a star panel of world leaders and economic minds. The debate was focused on unemployment and was called ‘The Economic Malaise and its Perils’.
When we get strong economic minds on our programme, we do try to bring them back regularly and Stephen King is one such voice. The chief economist for HSBC joined us not so much as an economist, but as an author of a book rather ominously titled When the Money Runs Out.
One of the big stories of 2013 was online privacy in the wake of the now infamous revelations by Edward Snowden. He told the world all about Operation Prism and how the US government was collecting phone, email and social network information from everyone and it touched off a huge debate about data safety, and what our personal information is worth.
Our research on that story led us to San Francisco and the company Mozilla which produces the Firefox web browser, a little add-on called Collusion.
We also looked at the idea of whether hosting big sporting events is really worth it as Qatar aims to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. We discussed that with prominent Qatari businessman, Issa Abdul Salam Abu Issa, the current custodian of the Salam empire.
In the second part of our 2013 special, we look back at one of the most interesting interviews that we have done in a long time – 3D printing and the process of creating living cells. TeVido’s CEO and founder Laura Bosworth-Bucher explained how they are using 3D printing technology to create living cells for breast cancer patients.
We also had to deal with the US debt ceiling drama and the fact that the world’s economy is still not in great shape. Nemat Shafiq, the deputy managing director of the IMF, spoke to us about the IMF’s global outlook, the US debt ceiling and how the two feed each other.
“The advanced economies, the US, Japan, and even Europe are beginning to see recovery …. The big downward adjustment is really in the emerging markets, where we are seeing a more adverse external environment for them, they’ve had a few very good years between the combination of higher commodity prices and low global interest rates, that’s been very good for emerging markets. That period is coming to an end,” she said.
Towards the end of 2013, the Counting the Cost team managed to get out of the studio a bit more.
We talk a lot about austerity and debt etc, but that does not mean it is not interesting to see how the other half lives. We visited the Qatar International Boat Show and took a trip to the Dubai Air Show in November – all the latest commercial and military hardware on show, plus great access to the industry’s big players. That included a frank look into world of unmanned drones and what they are capable of; and an interview with Emirates CEO Tim Clark on how much clout the Middle Eastern carriers have.
Finally, we went to the Philippines to find out how the local economy was recovering one month after Typhoon Haiyan. Counting the Cost examines local initiatives as residents of the Philippines rebuild their lives and their economy.
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