Reading the Tea Leaves for 2020
by Stefanie Yuen Thio, Shen Yi SC Thio, Derek Loh, Jennifer Chia, Melvin Chan, Ian Lim, Kishan Pillay, Kelvin Koh, Chin Wi Chee, Adrian Tan, June Ho, Pei Ching Ong, Low Ka Wei
Published: January, 2020
Submission: January, 2020
Oh what a year it has been.
2019 has been a rollercoaster ride: Trump accelerates and then suddenly slams on the brakes on his tit-for-tat trade war with China. Hong Kong, hitherto the paradigm of pragmatism, lies smouldering as months of pro-democracy protests see no end. A Swedish girl (celebrating her 17th birthday just last Friday) becomes the unlikely face of environmentalism, shaming Boomers for doing nothing about climate change in front of the UN. The Nobel Prize eludes her but she bags Time Magazine’s Person of the Year instead. Defying odds, Boris Johnson scores a landslide win in the snap elections, possibly paving way to a Brexit that has eluded Britain for months and months.
Closer to home, the real estate market remains languid despite talk of capital flight from the Fragrant to safer harbours, PMDs are all but banned in a flurry of regulations, the Monica Baey sexual misconduct incident sets off a series of Me Too awakenings, POFMA passes into law (goodbye fake news sites?), and the AHTC trial makes a hitherto legalistic term “fiduciary” a household term.
Moving forward into a brave new 2020, in the last Forefront article, our head of IP & TMT Adrian Tan has already predicted that China will issue its own state-backed cryptocurrency in its bid for tighter domestic control and wider world domination.
Here are what the other partners think will happen this year – some predictions being more far-out than others. But if there is anything that the extreme developments of the previous few years have shown, it is that the world has become an increasingly volatile place.
Thio Shen Yi, SC (Dispute resolution)
The exuberant march of madness of governments continues. The Representatives impeach Trump and a circus trial follows in the Senate, but not enough Republicans cross the floor to impeach him there as well. Trump therefore hangs onto the Presidency, manages not to start any wars, cold or otherwise, raises more campaign funds than anyone else, and gallops away to win a second term. Chaos ensues, but all the Democrats could do is to contemplate their navels. Four more years of the reality TV presidency. In the UK, Boris forms a government and makes a hard-ish Brexit happen with a border on the Irish Sea. The Scots call a referendum on independence and both sides of the Irish border start talking about invoking the Good Friday Agreement and also calling a referendum for a united Ireland. More chaos, and Boris responds strongly by calling the cries for referendums as “codswallop”. Only 10 per cent of the country understand him.
Stefanie Yuen Thio (Corporate)
Link to article
- Interim Relief Prior to Starting Arbitrations Under the Federal Arbitration Law: A Note on Recent Experiences
- Artificial Intelligence in the World of IP
- Ohio Supreme Court Finds Sale of LLC Interests May Be Real Estate Value for Tax Increase Complaints
- Law on Digital Transformation of the Administration
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