French Elections: Macron vs. Le Pen to Decide Fate of EU
The first round of the French presidential election is now complete, with only two candidates remaining:
|Candidate||% Vote (Round 1)|
|Marine Le Pen||21.4%|
Because no candidate received a majority of votes, there will be a run-off vote on May 7 in which French voters decide between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
While the two candidates are each considered outsiders for different reasons, their key platform differences could not be more stark. The major fundamental issue they disagree on is EU membership – and as a result, French voters potentially hold the fate of the entire EU in their hands.
Head-to-head: Macron vs. Le Pen
Today’s infographic is from Swissquote, and it compares the platforms of Macron and Le Pen head-to-head.
Here are some of the key differences between the two:
Emmanuel Macron is an investment banker that was the Minister of the Economy for François Hollande’s government. He left in 2016 to start En Marche!, a centrist political movement that describes itself as “neither right nor left”.
Marine Le Pen has been the leader of the National Front since 2011, and is a lawyer by trade. She is the youngest daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, and has worked in politics since 1998. She’s also been a Member of European Parliament since 2004.
Macron wants to remain in the European Union and to seek a common asylum policy. Meanwhile, Le Pen wants to hold a referendum on France’s EU membership, while re-instating a national currency.
Macron wants to cut government spending to 50% of GDP, to limit the wealth tax to real estate, and to cut the corporate tax rate from 33.3% to 25%.
Le Pen supports re-industrialization of France as well as “intelligent protectionism”. She wants to allow the Banque de France to print money to fund the treasury up to an annual maximum of 5% of total money supply, and also advocates a 10% cut for the lowest income tax brackets.
Macron wants to stay in the Schengen border-free zone, while Le Pen wants to exit it. Both want to hire new police officers and to add new prison spaces, though Le Pen wants to add higher amounts of each.
Le Pen also wants to cut legal immigration to France to 10,000 per year.
Both Macron and Le Pen want to re-introduce military conscription for short periods of time. Each wants to increase defense spending, as well: Macron by 2% by 2025, and Le Pen by 3% of GDP by 2022.
Both want to keep the 35-hour work week, although with some exceptions. Macron wants to extend unemployment benefits to entrepreneurs, farmers, self-employed, and those who quit jobs voluntarily. He also wants to implement a universal pension system, and to boost training schemes for unemployed youth.
Le Pen advocates the lowering of the retirement age to 60, and for a “purchasing-power bonus” of €1,000 a year for low-wage earners and pensioners. She also wants a national plan for equal pay for women, and for overtime to be tax-free.
Macron is opposed to the exploitation of shale gas and offshore drilling, and wants the remaining coal-fired plants in France to be closed.
Le Pen calls for a move to a “zero-carbon” economy, and to ban shale gas exploration, while setting a moratorium on windmills for power generation. Le Pen also would like to ban GMOs.
Macron says up to 5,000 new teaching jobs should be created. Le Pen wants there to be no free education for children of illegal immigrants, and to restrict the use of foreign languages in schools. She also thinks school uniforms should be mandatory.
Macron supports same-sex marriage, while Le Pen wants to scrap the 2014 law allowing same-sex marriage and to replace it with civil unions.
Macron supports medically assisted procreation for lesbians, but opposes recourse to surrogate mothers by homosexual couples. Le Pen wants to ban surrogacy and to restrict medically-supported procreation to people with sterility problems.
Both candidates want to introduce some degree of proportional representation to the electoral system, though Le Pen wants to take it further.
Macron wants to cut 120,000 state jobs by not replacing retiring civil servants. Le Pen wants to put French flags on all public buildings, to cut the number of lawmakers in the National Assembly and Senate, and to shrink the size of local governments in half.
Animation: The 20 Largest State Economies by GDP in the Last 50 Years
This animation shows how the largest state economies by GDP have changed over the last five decades of time, and what such a ranking looks like today.
Animation: The 20 Largest State Economies by GDP
When it comes to understanding the size and scope of the $18 trillion U.S. economy, it’s sometimes easier to consider that it’s the sum of many parts.
Many states already have economies that are comparable to some of the world’s largest countries, giving you a sense of what they might be combined.
And while every state plays a role in the bigger picture, some states such as New York and California have an outsized impact on fueling the country’s overall economic engine.
The State of State Economies
Today’s animation comes to us from SavingSpot, and it covers the size of state economies by GDP going back all the way to 1963.
The video uses inflation-adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, showing how the ranking of top state economies has changed over time as different states have taken advantage of economic booms.
Let’s dive into the data to see how things have changed.
Going Back in Time
The earliest data in the animation comes from 1963, when New York led the pack with a $70.6 billion economy in inflation-adjusted terms.
State Economies by GDP, Inflation-Adjusted Chained $USD (1963)
|Rank||State Economy||GDP, Billions of USD (1963)||Share of U.S. Economy|
|🇺🇸 United States (Total)||$607.0||100.0%|
|#30||District of Columbia||$5.1||0.8%|
California ($67.8 billion), Illinois ($39.5 billion), Pennsylvania ($34.5 billion) and Ohio ($33.3 billion) round out the top five, and together they added up to 40.5% of the national GDP.
The Largest State Economies by GDP Today
Looking at the most recent data from 2017, you can see the ranking changes significantly:
State Economies by GDP, Inflation-Adjusted Chained $USD (2017)
|Rank||State Economy||GDP, Billions of USD (2017)||Share of U.S. Economy|
|🇺🇸 United States (Total)||$18,051||100%|
|#35||District of Columbia||$122||0.7%|
California is the largest economy today – it has a state GDP of $2.6 trillion, which is comparable to the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Florida and Georgia are two states that did not crack the top 10 back in the 1960s, while Texas jumped up to become the second largest state economy. It’s actually not a coincidence that all of these states are in the southern half of the country, as air conditioning has played a surprisingly pivotal role in shaping modern America.
In fact, the share of the nation’s population living in the Sunbelt rose from 28% in 1950 to 40% in 2000, and this increase in population has coincided with economic growth in many of the states that used to be a sweaty mess.
A Final Look
Here is a final animated version of the top 10 largest states by GDP, also provided by SavingSpot:
Where the World’s Banks Make the Most Money
Last year, the global banking industry cashed in an impressive $1.36 trillion in profits. Here’s where they made their money, and how it breaks down.
Where the World’s Banks Make the Most Money
Profits in banking have been steadily on the rise since the financial crisis.
Just last year, the global banking industry cashed in an impressive $1.36 trillion in after-tax profits — the highest total in the sector seen in the last 20 years.
What are the drivers behind revenue and profits in the financial services sector, and where do the biggest opportunities exist in the future?
Following the Money
Today’s infographic comes to us from McKinsey & Company, and it leverages proprietary insights from their Panorama database.
Using data stemming from more than 60 countries, we’ve broken down historical banking profits by region, while also visualizing key ratios that help demonstrate why specific countries are more profitable for the industry.
Finally, we’ve also looked at the particular geographic regions that may present the biggest opportunities in the future, and why they are relevant today.
Banking Profits, by Region
Before we look at what’s driving banking profits, let’s start with a breakdown of annual after-tax profits by region over time.
Banking Profit by Year and Region ($B)
|Rest of World||$196||$243||$265||$285||$309||$327||$348||$361||$387||$421|
In 2018, the United States accounted for $403 billion of after-tax profits in the banking sector — however, China sits in a very close second place, raking in $333 billion.
What’s Under the Hood?
While there’s no doubt that financial services can be profitable in almost any corner of the globe, what is less obvious is where this profit actually comes from.
The truth is that banking can vary greatly depending on location — and what drives value for banks in one country may be completely different from what drives value in another.
Let’s look at data and ratios from four very different places to get a sense of how financial services markets can vary.
|Country||RARC/GDP||Loans Penetration/GDP||Margins (RBRC/Total Loans)||Risk Cost Margin|
1. RARC / GDP (Revenues After Risk Costs / GDP)
This ratio shows compares a country’s banking revenues to overall economic production, giving a sense of how important banking is to the economy. Using this, you can see that banking is far more important to Singapore’s economy than others in the table.
2. Loans Penetration / GDP
Loans penetration can be further broken up into retail loans and wholesale loans. The difference can be immediately seen when looking at data on China and the United States:
|Country||Retail Loans||Wholesale Loans||Loan Penetration (Total)|
In America, banks make loans primarily to the retail sector. In China, there’s a higher penetration on a wholesale basis — usually loans being made to corporations or other such entities.
3. Margins (Revenues Before Risk Costs / Total Loans)
Margins made on lending is one way for bankers to gauge the potential of a market, and as you can see above, margins in the United States and China are both at (or above) the global average. Meanwhile, for comparison, Finland has margins that are closer to half of the global average.
4. Risk Cost Margin (Risk Cost / Total Loans)
Not surprisingly, China still holds higher risk cost margins than the global average. On the flipside, established markets like Singapore, Finland, and the U.S. all have risk margins below the global average.
Future Opportunities in Banking
While this data is useful at breaking down existing markets, it can also help to give us a sense of future opportunities as well.
Here are some of the geographic markets that have the potential to grow into key financial services markets in the future:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
Despite having 16x the population of South Africa, the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa still generates fewer banking profits. With lower loan penetration rates and RARC/GDP ratios, there is significant potential to be found throughout the continent.
- India and Indonesia
Compared to similar economies in Asia, both India and Indonesia present an interesting banking opportunity because of their high margins and low loan penetration rates.
While China has a high overall loan penetration rate, the retail loan category still holds much potential given the country’s population and growing middle class.
A Changing Landscape in Banking
As banks shift focus to face new market challenges, the next chapter of banking may be even more interesting than the last.
Add in the high stakes around digital transformation, aging populations, and new service opportunities, and the distance between winners and losers could lengthen even more.
Where will the money in banking be in the future?
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