Editorial: Deep breaths

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 10 Mar 2020
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What a start to the year it's been. To think that at the end of 2019 – which was really not as long ago as it feels – Brexit and the US-China trade war were expected to be the two biggest stories of 2020, seems quite strange now.

It hasn't quite worked out like that. It's been more than a month since Britain Brexited and it's barely been discussed – though that will be coming later in the year, rest assured. Instead coronavirus has taken up most people's energy. As IFLR goes to press, economic growth is expected to slow, global shares have taken a major beating and travel bans are coming thick and fast. With this in mind, this issue's cover story on page 18 looks at China's much anticipated foreign investment law, which was finally implemented on January 1.

It's not all bad news though. Other highlights of the issue include a head-to-head on the merits of multiple benchmark rates (page 16) and an in-depth analysis of Barbados' recent sovereign debt restructuring (page 24) – including the innovative natural disaster clause, which is a potential game-changer in protecting island nations against climate change.

The lawyers who helped the government of the Bahamas on constructing one of the world's first central bank digital currencies explain how it works on page 43, and this quarter's special focus, from page 54 onwards, is on fintech in Europe – plus much, much more. And as always, it's all online first, at iflr.com

Enjoy the issue,

Lizzie Meager
Managing editor