Author Archive: Economist

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Politics is becoming a minefield for the travel and hospitality business

Politics is becoming a minefield for the travel and hospitality business

TRAVELLERS come in all different stripes. So it is generally not wise for the chief executive of a major airline to say something like this about a controversial presidential stance: “This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with [our] mission and we want no part of it.” But that […]

July 4, 2018 | By | Reply More
The American president is stirring up trouble in a volatile oil market

The American president is stirring up trouble in a volatile oil market

IT USED to be said that America’s shale producers were the new “swing factor” in global oil markets. It turns out that role is being taken by America’s president.  At a time when oil prices are at three-and-a-half-year highs, markets are being buffeted by three countervailing forces unleashed by President Donald Trump: his geopolitical agenda, […]

July 4, 2018 | By | Reply More
European state rail firms face scrappy new competitors

European state rail firms face scrappy new competitors

THE opening of Britain’s Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked several firsts in rail history. It was the world’s first inter-city line. It was the scene of the first widely reported passenger fatality. And it was also the first where all trains were hauled by the track owners. Previous lines had seen competition between […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
Fighting the resource curse through online gaming

Fighting the resource curse through online gaming

ALAIN LILLE is not pleased. His wildcat oil firm spent a fortune looking for oil in Petronia, a former colony known for cashmere wool, long before anyone else was willing to take the risk. After sealing a deal with the long-ruling government, he was poised to reap the rewards. But in last year’s election, a […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
Tortured by meetings

Tortured by meetings

MOST workers view the prospect of a two-hour meeting with the same enthusiasm as Prometheus awaited the daily arrival of the eagle, sent by the gods to peck at his liver. Meetings have been a form of torture for office staff for as long as they have pushed pencils and bashed keyboards. One eternal problem […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
VW opens Rwanda’s first car-assembly plant

VW opens Rwanda’s first car-assembly plant

HOW to sell cars when most people can’t afford to buy one? That is the conundrum for Volkswagen in Rwanda, where it is opening the country’s first car-assembly plant. A new Polo costs 33 times the average Rwandan income. Most cars on the road are second-hand imports. Rwanda absorbs perhaps 3,000 new cars a year, […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
America Inc and the rage against Beijing

America Inc and the rage against Beijing

ONE of the naughty secrets about America’s trade war with China is that it has the tacit support of much of America’s business establishment. For the past 20 years big firms’ default mode has been Sino-infatuation. Schumpeter attended a dinner in 2016 between the captains of USA Inc and Li Keqiang, China’s premier, and you […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
China starts easing monetary policy. Or does it?

China starts easing monetary policy. Or does it?

CHINESE investors often refer in jest to the central bank as “central mama”. The idea is that it can be counted on to provide tender love—that is, policy easing—when market conditions are rough. But during the past couple of years it has been more of a disciplinarian, taking cash away from reckless investors. Its latest […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
A disciplined startup emerges from the Wild West of crypto-currency

A disciplined startup emerges from the Wild West of crypto-currency

MOST startups proudly announce their presence on buildings, billboards and any surface offering visibility. Not Coinbase, a crypto-currency startup. Visitors to its headquarters on a high floor of an office tower in San Francisco find themselves before an unmarked door and doorbell. They are asked to confirm by intercom which firm they intend to see. […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More
Contrition wins the day for Uber in a big market

Contrition wins the day for Uber in a big market

SECOND chances exist, after all. Last September Uber was sideswiped when Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transport regulator, revoked the ride-hailing giant’s licence to operate in the capital, citing concerns related to public safety and reporting of drivers’ criminal offences. The decision appeared to dent the prospects of the firm, which counts London as […]

June 28, 2018 | By | Reply More