(…) Mr Trudeau has an unusual CV for a leader of the world’s 11th-biggest economy. He holds two bachelor’s degrees — in literature and in education — and studied engineering and environmental geography without receiving diplomas in either field. He taught maths in elementary school, and French and drama in high school. He only entered parliament in 2008, the year after he played the role of Canadian war hero Talbot Papineau in a television docudrama. On his left shoulder, there is a tattoo of the planet Earth inside a Haida raven (in the mythology of Canada’s indigenous Haida people, the national history museum explains, the bird is “a trickster who liberates humankind from a clamshell”).
(…) He is, in fact, a skilled communicator. (…)
As Mr Mulcair moved to the centre, however, Mr Trudeau outflanked him on the left. With interest rates low, he argued Canada should borrow more to improve public transport, and build affordable housing and other infrastructure. He made a point of pledging to run modest budget deficits for three years to kick-start the economy.
The emphasis on infrastructure enabled Mr Trudeau to strike an optimistic tone as the Canadian campaign turned nasty. (…) Mr Trudeau, by contrast, accentuated the positive. “I’m on the side of both economists and people who say why put off investing when we have an opportunity now,” he said in a campaign interview with the Financial Times.
His economic ideas give his victory international significance. Mr Trudeau sits in the middle of an intellectual circle buzzing with talk about “secular stagnation” — a thesis that holds greater fiscal stimulus is needed to lift the industrial world out of its doldrums. “My style . . . is to gather around me brilliant people,” he told the FT, pointing proudly to a brains trust that includes such advocates of increased public investment as Lawrence Summers, the former US Treasury secretary (and FT contributor).
Within hours of Mr Trudeau’s win, Mr Summers was making the case that US presidential candidates should take note of the Canadian results because they show “progressives do best when they reject austerity and embrace public investment”. Days later, the influential New Yorker magazine picked up on the theme, proclaiming: “The eyes of the world will be on Canada.”
How Mr Trudeau will handle this scrutiny remains to be seen. But he has come a long way in a matter of weeks. Canada’s pretty face now stands a chance of becoming a global role model.
How might luxury e-commerce develop over the next five to ten years? As part of our annual Altagamma-McKinsey Digital Luxury Experience Observatory we analyzed the online-sales trajectories of more than 50 luxury brands over the past decade. What we found is that the market’s sales trajectory resembles an S-curve that can be disaggregated into three steps:
Ramp-up. Luxury players investigate selling online either through partners with full-price, off-price, or events platforms or through their own e-shop. At this point, they tend to only offer a reduced product range and not advertise it much.
Scale-up. Once they begin to have sizeable revenue coming from e-commerce—around 6 to 7 percent of total sales—luxury players reach a tipping point where they quickly scale their e-commerce operations and launch full e-shops. Many in the industry are now in this phase: they feature the majority of their products online, and they have upgraded their websites while increasing online and offline visibility. E-commerce now becomes a top management priority because of the significant investments required in IT, customer support, and the supply chain (for example, warehousing) and because it will in turn drive online sales toward 18 to 20 percent of total revenue in the next five years.
Plateau. After passing the 20-percent threshold, growth of online sales tends to decelerate as a brand’s e-commerce operations reach maturity.
Taking into account the sector’s experience and our extensive knowledge of other industries that are more mature in their digital development, such as mass fashion and consumer electronics, we forecast that the global luxury e-commerce market will follow a trajectory similar to individual brands. We expect luxury’s share of online sales to double from 6 to 12 percent by 2020. By 2025, we expect the online share of total luxury sales to be 18 percent, worth about €70 billion annually, making e-commerce the world’s third largest luxury market, after China and the United States.
This article is excerpted from the July 2015 edition of the Altagamma-McKinsey Digital Luxury Experience Observatory, Digital inside: Get wired for the ultimate luxury experience (PDF–1,262KB).
Do you know what a tontine is? It’s sleazy, it’s totally illegal, and yet it could become the future of retirement
Over 100 years ago in America — before Social Security, before IRAs, corporate pensions and 401(k)s — there was a ludicrously popular (and somewhat sleazy) retirement scheme called the tontine.
At their peak, around the turn of the century, tontines represented nearly two-thirds of the American insurance market, holding about 7.5 percent of national wealth. It’s estimated that by 1905, there were 9 million tontine policies active in a nation of only 18 million households. Tontines became so popular that historians credit them for single-handedly underwriting the ascendance of the American insurance industry.
The downfall of the tontine was equally dramatic. Not long after 1900, a spectacular set of scandals wiped the tontine from the nation’s consciousness. To this day, tontines remain outlawed, and their name is synonymous with greed and corruption. Their memory lives on mostly in fiction, where they invariably propel some murderous plot. (There’s even a “Simpsons” episodein this genre.)
Tontines, you see, operate on a morbid principle: You buy into a tontine alongside many other investors. The entire group is paid at regular intervals. The key twist: As your fellow investors die, their share of the payout gets redistributed to the remaining survivors. (…)
Worth reading the rest.