Author Archive: Economist

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The departure of the VW boss heralds a big shake-up

The departure of the VW boss heralds a big shake-up

MOST chief executives relish a jump in their company’s share price. But spare a thought for Volkswagen’s Matthias Müller as he watched the gauge of value leap by 4.5% on April 10th. That was galling because investors were responding to rumours, in effect promptly confirmed by VW’s board, that he was to depart this week […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
America’s gripes with China make a deal hard to imagine

America’s gripes with China make a deal hard to imagine

AFTER weeks spent threatening tariffs on an ever-greater share of Chinese imports, President Donald Trump seems to be in a more conciliatory mood. On April 10th a speech by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, prompted him to tweet a prediction: “We will make great progress together!” Many besides Mr Trump share that hope. If China […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
The outlook for US government debt

The outlook for US government debt

THE bond market used to be the prime exhibit for those predicting low long-term economic growth. In the summer of 2016 the ten-year Treasury yield briefly dipped below 1.5%, as expectations for growth and inflation sagged. Things have changed. Earlier this year the ten-year yield briefly went higher than 2.9%. Even after recent share-price gyrations, […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
Kinder Morgan’s attempt to build a pipeline reflects badly on Canada

Kinder Morgan’s attempt to build a pipeline reflects badly on Canada

ALMOST all Canada’s oil and gas is landlocked, so getting it to market requires pipelines—lots of them. But building them requires skills more suited to circus artists than engineers. They must walk the financial high wire, jump through ever-changing regulatory hoops and juggle conflicting demands from environmental groups and numerous governments. The list of failures […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
The proxy-voting season kicks off on Wall Street

The proxy-voting season kicks off on Wall Street

JING ZHAO’S main occupation is translating Latin classics into Chinese. He runs a small think-tank, the US-Japan-China Comparative Policy Research Institute. He lives off rents from property bought cheaply after the financial crisis. But this quiet, intellectual California resident has a surprising sideline: submitting proposals to be voted on by the shareholders of companies in […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
Catching the bitcoin bug

Catching the bitcoin bug

SINCE the heady days of late 2017 and January of this year, crypto-currencies have gone into retreat. Bitcoin, the best-known example, is now worth just a third of its value at its peak (see chart). But there remain plenty of true believers in digital currencies. They point out that prices are still well above where […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
America’s chemicals industry is booming. But politics may get in its way

America’s chemicals industry is booming. But politics may get in its way

“THIS is what $3bn looks like.” So beams a manager at Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPC), a petrochemical company jointly owned by Chevron and Phillips 66, both American oil firms. She throws open her arms in a figurative embrace of a giant cracker (pictured) built by the firm in Baytown, a gritty part of Houston. The […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
A year after United's public-relations disaster

A year after United's public-relations disaster

A YEAR ago this week, David Dao went from being an unknown pulmonologist to a household name. Dr Dao had boarded a flight from Chicago to Louisville when the United Airlines crew announced that four passengers would have to leave to make room for additional staff. Three passengers accepted enticements to switch to a different […]

April 12, 2018 | By | Reply More
The smartphone and the toilet

The smartphone and the toilet

THE impact of technology on the economy is one of the most-debated issues of the moment, whether it is the potential for automation to cause unemployment, boost long-term productivity, or widen inequality. A good deal of the annual Barclays Equity-Gilt Study, published yesterday, was devoted to the subject. But one section caught my eye; the […]

April 11, 2018 | By | Reply More
An update from Jeremy Grantham

An update from Jeremy Grantham

JEREMY Grantham is an investor with 50 years of experience in the markets who is known for his caution about the outlook for long-term returns (he works for the GMO fund management group). But he caused a stir earlier this year when he said the chances were high of a melt-up in the markets this year.  […]

April 10, 2018 | By | Reply More