Author Archive: Economist

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China considers its response to Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs

China considers its response to Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs

FOR now, at least, when speaking of the trade dispute with America, China’s government is taking a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone. That helps explain the Chinese public’s surprisingly measured views of Donald Trump, and gives the Chinese government some breathing room to consider its options. The state media have so far taken the high ground. True, the […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares

Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares

IN his book about the use of language, “The King’s English”, Kingsley Amis describes a tug-of-war. On one side are “berks”, careless and coarse, who would destroy the language by polluting it. On the other side are priggish “wankers”, who would destroy it by sterilisation. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
A maverick French telecoms firm attempts Italian conquest

A maverick French telecoms firm attempts Italian conquest

“CHOOSE truth. Choose Iliad,” entreats the voice-over of a television advertisement after images of President Donald Trump speechifying and footballers feigning injuries flash across the screen. That may seem pretentious for a mobile provider, but the advert is part of Iliad’s entry into Italy, which began on May 29th. The group, led by one of […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
Glencore dodges American sanctions rather than spurn its friends

Glencore dodges American sanctions rather than spurn its friends

AMONG Africa’s many foreign fixers and mining tycoons, few are more colourful than Dan Gertler, an Israeli diamond trader. Just over 20 years ago at the age of 23 he took a punt on Laurent Kabila, the rebel who in 1997 had just seized the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) from Mobutu Sese Seko, […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
A wave of new environmental laws is scaring shipowners

A wave of new environmental laws is scaring shipowners

THE shipping industry has encountered rough seas over the past decade. Between 1985 and 2007 trade volumes shot up at around twice the rate of global GDP but since 2012 their rate of growth has barely kept pace, leaving the industry with overcapacity. Freight rates for containers have plunged by a third since 2008. Worse may be to come. The industry does […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
Abraaj, a private-equity firm, files for provisional liquidation

Abraaj, a private-equity firm, files for provisional liquidation

UNTIL recently the Abraaj Group, a private-equity firm based in Dubai, was riding high. It was one of just a few such firms focused on emerging markets, and a darling of “impact investors”, who seek social or environmental returns, not just financial ones. Assets under management of $13.6bn made it the largest private-equity firm in […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
How two-wheelers are weaving their way into urban transport

How two-wheelers are weaving their way into urban transport

THE streets of Beijing are thronged with two-wheeled contraptions. Some appear to be conventional petrol mopeds but as they zoom through red lights at pedestrian crossings their eerie silence and lack of exhaust reveals them as electric. Executives in suits cruise by on electric kick-scooters, looking like big kids on their way to school, though […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
Yacht-sharing startups vie to rule the waves

Yacht-sharing startups vie to rule the waves

ONE of the busiest times of the year at Arzal marina on the coast of western France is a wooden sailing-boat festival in early summer. Hundreds of enthusiasts join Breton dances on the quayside, but as usual most of the 1,000-or so yachts, catamarans, day-sailers and motor-cruisers remain tied to the pontoons. Few boat-owners make […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
Hedge funds worry about the legal risks of using “alternative” data

Hedge funds worry about the legal risks of using “alternative” data

“QUANT” (quantitative) hedge funds, which craft elaborate algorithms to make trading decisions, rely on access to information. That used to mean market data, such as prices and trading volume. But some now seek an edge in novel sources. An industry has sprung up to serve them with, and help them analyse, “alternative” data, such as […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More
How an algorithm may decide your career

How an algorithm may decide your career

WANT a job with a successful multinational? You will face lots of competition. Two years ago Goldman Sachs received a quarter of a million applications from students and graduates. Those are not just daunting odds for jobhunters; they are a practical problem for companies. If a team of five Goldman human-resources staff, working 12 hours […]

June 21, 2018 | By | Reply More