Author Archive: Economist

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How governments should help those on the dole

How governments should help those on the dole

ALTHOUGH Britain and America can feel smug about their unemployment rates of 5.6% and 5.3%, other countries are still fire-fighting. The Spanish and Italian governments are grappling with rates of 22.4% and 12.7% respectively, and in June the euro-zone average was 11.1%. But what works when people are not working? A new NBER Working paper* offers a guide for governments […]

August 17, 2015 | By | Reply More
The falling yuan, tax inversions and college debt

The falling yuan, tax inversions and college debt

THIS week’s print edition has an array of economics articles that may be of interest. The following have particularly caught our eye: The devaluation of the yuan: The battle of midpoint (Finance) Tax inversions: All my bags are packed (Business) College debt: More is less (United States) And don’t forget to take a look at this week’s Free Exchange column, which […]

August 16, 2015 | By | Reply More
A third bail-out gets the green light

A third bail-out gets the green light

A MONTH ago Greek membership of the euro was in peril, as Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s powerful finance minister, argued that Greece should leave the monetary union for at least five years in what he euphemistically called a “time out”. Any such exit, which would almost certainly have turned out to be permanent, would have undermined […]

August 15, 2015 | By | Reply More
Scrapping the ban

Scrapping the ban

WHEN the economics textbooks of the future are written, America’s ban on crude-oil exports will be a fine example of the perverse effects of protectionism. Similarly, a new decision by Barack Obama’s administration to allow American firms to sell some oil to Mexico will earn an honourable footnote in the story of the ban’s demise. […]

August 14, 2015 | By | Reply More
Global markets: South-east Asia's currencies are plunging like its 1998

Global markets: South-east Asia's currencies are plunging like its 1998

This article was originally published in last week’s print edition. However, since Tuesday, many south-east Asia currencies, as well as China’s, have fallen sharply in value (see chart). Since this article is so relevant to the events of the past week, we decided to republish it on the blog: NOT since Bill Clinton was president […]

August 14, 2015 | By | Reply More
The euro-zone recovery is losing momentum

The euro-zone recovery is losing momentum

TODAY’S figures for GDP in the second quarter of 2015 from Eurostat are disappointing. The consensus among economists was that the 19-strong currency club would grow by 0.4%, the same as in the first quarter. Instead the pace of quarterly growth slowed a little, to 0.3%, leaving output 1.2% higher than a year ago. The […]

August 14, 2015 | By | Reply More
A duty-free approach

A duty-free approach

THERE is a good reason why airport shopping seems overpriced. Air-side concessions can claim the undivided attention of millions of people who have little to do but shop while waiting for flights. There are a few savings to be made in the duty-free shops on cigarettes, spirits or cosmetics, but even these can be false […]

August 13, 2015 | By | Reply More
Brunei: All pray and no work

Brunei: All pray and no work

LIKE a weird tropical flower, the Palace of the Light of Faith opens to subjects of the Sultan of Brunei for three days each year. It is a 1,800-room pile on the edge of Bandar Seri Begawan, the tiny state’s sleepy capital. In its vast banqueting hall thousands of Bruneians tuck into a breakfast of […]

August 13, 2015 | By | Reply More
A new contract for growth

A new contract for growth

BUSINESSES have been disappointingly slow to invest since the financial crisis. Global capital expenditure by non-financial firms is expected to fall by 1% this year, according to Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency, and by a further 4% in 2016. If those predictions are right, that will be four straight years of decline (see chart) […]

August 13, 2015 | By | Reply More
In jeopardy

In jeopardy

Progress is glacial “NO SOONER does the Japanese economy raise its head from the mat than it falls down again.” So wrote one longtime Japan-watcher last month on the news that, after zooming along at a real annualised rate of 3.9% in the first quarter, GDP may well have contracted during the second. Preliminary data […]

August 13, 2015 | By | Reply More