Author Archive: Economist

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Aviation’s most outspoken boss thinks women cannot do his job

Aviation’s most outspoken boss thinks women cannot do his job

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association for airlines, was founded in 1945 to promote the interests of carriers around the world. In recent years the airline cartel of old has been accused of being out of tune with the times, particularly by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, which is Europe’s biggest. At […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
Artificial intelligence is awakening the chip industry’s animal spirits

Artificial intelligence is awakening the chip industry’s animal spirits

SUPERCOMPUTERS usually fill entire rooms. But the one on the fifth floor of an office building in the centre of Bristol fits in an average-sized drawer. Its 16 processors punch more than 1,600 teraflops, a measure of computer performance. This puts the machine among the world’s 100 fastest, at least when solving certain artificial-intelligence (AI) […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
In developing countries, many people cannot afford not to work

In developing countries, many people cannot afford not to work

AMERICA’S unemployment statistics attract close attention, even from presidents. Early on June 1st President Donald Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to the latest figure (3.8%), released that morning. China’s unemployment numbers, by contrast, attract mostly ridicule. They have barely budged since 2011 despite the upheavals of the period. Many China-watchers therefore hoped that […]

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Two Asian stock exchanges tussle over market data

Two Asian stock exchanges tussle over market data

BUYING and selling shares in India is not for the faint of heart. Its own central-bank governor reckons equity capital is taxed up to five times. Never fear. There is a well-established alternative. Investors can just as easily buy financial instruments that track share prices but are not themselves shares. Such “derivatives” are used across […]

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The world's first commercial drone-delivery service takes flight

The world's first commercial drone-delivery service takes flight

LATE on a Monday morning the village of Zhangwei is quiet. Chickens scratch and cluck at the side of the road. Workers use wooden spades to spread grain on the highway to dry, using half its width so that traffic can still pass on the other side. Yet at the community centre at the village’s […]

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Buying GitHub takes Microsoft back to its roots

Buying GitHub takes Microsoft back to its roots

ALMOST to the day 17 years ago Steve Ballmer, then boss of Microsoft, the world’s biggest software firm, called Linux a “cancer”, meaning that the open-source operating system would spell the death of proprietary software. On June 4th, his successor, Satya Nadella, announced that the firm would take over GitHub, the main source of such […]

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Plans to privatise India’s flag-carrier have run into turbulence

Plans to privatise India’s flag-carrier have run into turbulence

AFTER a plane crash, air-safety investigators are dispatched to the wreckage site to find out what went wrong and ensure it never happens again. Their financial counterparts have a similar job to do with the Indian government’s proposed sale of Air India. Mooted for nearly a year, the first round of preliminary bids ended on […]

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A judge blames many parties in the Gulf’s biggest-ever corporate scandal

A judge blames many parties in the Gulf’s biggest-ever corporate scandal

THE glitzy Gulf states take pride in superlatives. They have the world’s tallest building, the biggest shopping mall, even (for a time) the most expensive cocktail. To that list, add a slightly less glamorous entry: what a judge has called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. On June 1st a court in the […]

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A tax-evasion scandal ensnares Chinese film-production companies

A tax-evasion scandal ensnares Chinese film-production companies

IT IS hard to go a day in China without seeing Fan Bingbing. The doe-eyed starlet gazes from film posters (she has averaged four films a year for the past decade), airbrushed ads for global brands and glossy magazine covers. But in the past week she has graced articles about tax evasion. Shares in a […]

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A case for owning euro-zone shares

A case for owning euro-zone shares

IN AN episode of “Seinfeld”, a 1990s television comedy, George Costanza, a serial failure played by Jason Alexander, decides that every instinct he has is wrong. So he resolves to do the opposite. He is soon squiring a new girlfriend and is up for a dream job. “It’s all happening because I’m completely ignoring every […]

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