Today In Data

The Power — And Perils — Of Expanding Access

world economy

The era of expanding access through the magic of digital connection has made things that were previously unimaginable almost commonplace today. It’s why half of Jamaican adults can log on to the internet and why banks are investing heavily in the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based outreach. It’s why signing up for subscription services on the most successful websites takes less than two minutes. It’s why an ever-expanding gig workforce is demanding to be paid instantly to meet the new pace of labor. But while access is good, it’s not an unmitigated good: Twenty years of access to underwriting may have left a lot of corporate Americans in a surprisingly precarious position.

$2.5 trillion: The amount of corporate debt floating around the global economy, according to CreditRiskMonitor CEO Jerry Flum.

117.1 seconds: The average amount of time it takes to sign up for a subscription on a Top 20 website.

50 percent: The share of the adult population of Jamaica that has access to the internet.

$10 million: The amount Singapore’s OCBC Bank plans to invest in AI over the next three years.

35 percent: The share of the American workforce that earns its living through gig work.

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