What we’re watching this week: 4/12/21

As reactions to President Biden’s corporate tax plan continue to unfold, we’re also watching the following trends:

The ache of Archegos

The disclosure last week of Credit Suisse losing $5 million from its involvement with the collapsed investment fund Archegos Capital Management brings back memories of the 2008–09 financial crisis and has shed light on large risk and compliance gaps that still remain. The fallout from Archegos shows that risk planning can’t just be a check-the-box exercise and that external regulations to bolster the industry won’t go far unless internal checks are also revamped.

The New York Times looks at some of the underlying causes of the financial crisis of 2008–09 that are still lurking, such as bonus structures that encourage aggressive risk-taking.

• PwC suggests ways to use regulatory shake-ups to put incentives on more sustainable footing.

• Deloitte dives into the future of risk in financial services and how new regulations enacted after the financial crisis presented financial firms with a new set of demands.

The rise of femtech

Fintech, martech, edtech. The latest tentacle of technology is femtech, or tech products for women’s health—from fertility tracking tools to pregnancy and breastfeeding apps. While many of these digital tools are a welcome introduction into the male-heavy tech space, we’re watching how companies weigh the tradeoffs between responsible marketing and data collection and personalized customer experiences.

• BCG offers a thoughtful analysis of the tightrope marketers must walk to provide relevance to consumers while also being mindful of the use of first-party data.

The New York Times looks at the growing market for femtech and the history of females being underrepresented in life-sciences research since the late 1970s.

• On the brand front, AdWeek reports on new research saying that more than half of large companies may be overselling the transparency and accountability of their AI.

The growing voice of sports

While the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game from Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws is the latest example of the sports industry taking a stand, the sector has been on a long march since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in 2016. From Megan Rapinoe to LeBron James, the industry that’s had a history of complicated relationships between owners and athletes looks to be shedding some of its buttoned-up skin—further cementing the idea that purpose-driven campaigns that don’t shy away from political and societal issues are more important than ever for businesses.

• A story in the recent issue of The New Yorker looks at the rise of athlete podcasts, which have provided platforms for players to move from pat, media-ready answers to digging into complicated issues, including depression and systemic racism.

• ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant’s book The Heritage delves into the history of the wall between politics and sports and the evolution of the athlete–activist.

• Deloitte’s 2021 sports industry outlook includes an analysis of the role of sports in society and the powerful platforms that leagues, teams, and athletes possess.

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