Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 23, 2019

Want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don't worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. Bubbles pop, downturns stop
Economic downturns are impossible to predict and sure as sunrise. Build resilience now, because when the sun comes up, you’d better be moving.

2. When AI Becomes an Everyday Technology
The evolution of AI has been a rich tale of exploration since its origins in the 1950’s, with the last decade providing an especially dramatic chapter of breakthrough innovations. But I believe the real story is what comes next — when the disruption stabilizes and machine learning transitions from a staple of Silicon Valley headlines to an everyday technology. It’ll be a far longer chapter — perhaps decades — in which developers all over the world use a mature set of tools to transform their industries.

3. Is Value Investing Dead?
According to many market commentators, value investing doesn’t work the way it used to. Some tout statistics that growth has outperformed value over the last decade. How do you rebut that view? I have two answers to the question.

4. Effective Capital Allocation: A Force Multiplier
Allocating capital effectively needs to be a mindset and a lens through which decisions are made across the entire organization. It means better decisions and better returns. A CFO, therefore, must provide the right set of tools, analyses, and framework for making it happen — as well as serve as a constant reminder that while opportunities are infinite, dollars are finite.

5. Sustainability and the Five Archetypes of Boardroom Behaviour
There is growing evidence to suggest that sustainability is getting more attention in the boardroom. However, with a big gap between board members’ aspirations regarding sustainability and its integration into the heart of their organisations’ activities. To get a better understanding of how seriously directors view sustainability, we interviewed non-executive directors from 50 large, well-known European companies. Their responses were both varied and refreshingly frank.

6. US finance execs hold on to positivity
US business leaders remained significantly more confident in the domestic economy than the global economy, but the gap narrowed slightly in the second-quarter Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey released Thursday by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

7. These Are the 7 Things People Must Do to Be Successful, According to Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos did something on Thursday he rarely does: He sat onstage in public and answered questions  Bezos answered questions on a number of topics, but he included seven key pieces of advice, peppered throughout the talk, for anyone who wants to be successful. Without further delay, and mostly in his own words, here's what the wealthiest person on the planet says people need to do in order to be successful.  

8. Tackling bias in artificial intelligence (and in humans)
The growing use of artificial intelligence in sensitive areas, including for hiring, criminal justice, and healthcare, has stirred a debate about bias and fairness. Yet human decision making in these and other domains can also be flawed, shaped by individual and societal biases that are often unconscious. Will AI’s decisions be less biased than human ones? Or will AI make these problems worse?

9. Who gets a seat at the table: CFO vs CMO
It’s budget time and the CMO has – surprise – asked for more. It could be the first time in as long as you can remember that you’ve even seen the marketing head, and you might be quite reluctant to appease their request. After all, what return is the business really going to see from more social activity, or how exactly are they going to attribute that campaign to an increase in sales?

10. CFOs and digital transformation – what do you really need to know?
Tech projects may have been owned by IT, but digital transformation means CFOs and FDs have an increasing role to play, says Tim Mercer, CEO of Vapour Cloud.