What is normal? Certainly not the year 2020. Normally, at this time of year, we would all hope to be able to pull up our chairs to a dinner table laden with food, surrounded by family and friends to toast holidays, love, friendship, milestones, and more. Sadly, for too many of us the year ends lonelier as 1.6 million and counting have died because of COVID-19. This frustrating death toll quite likely could have been reduced if protective measures were simply normalized.
As Ivan Canu’s cover shows us, the “new normal” now is to pull up our chairs to the table morning, noon and night. Instead of plates of food, we bring laptops, screens, phones and more. We don’t embrace, but wave to colleagues and family over Zoom calls.
Yet something very normal, in our corner of the world, did occur in 2020. Banking and dealmaking happened. Innovation and development did not shut down. As Charles Newbery reports, there was quite the banking shakeup instead. Amy Guthrie outlined how billions in mergers and acquisition deals were struck, but likely not over boardroom tables.
The crisis has industry rethinking how it operates and to what end? Mat Youkee describes a resurrection in the mining industry. In Chile, Tom Azzopardi lays out a hydrogen future. In Brazil, Joe Rowley’s talks with two key figures pushing privatizations give a detailed view of what normal might look like in Latin America’s largest economy. Finally, Jo Bruni’s in-depth interview with the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank, reveals plans for stitching the region closer together.
We don’t mind a “new normal” as long as it doesn’t get in the way of identifying best in class. This edition includes our Banks of the Year Award winners and their stories expertly told by veteran correspondent Lucien Chauvin.
“A year we all would like to forget,” is too easy a refrain. We must never forget, and we must press on, for that is the only way to find solutions to problems and challenges. Give up? Now, that is just not normal.
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