Author Archive: Economist

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A referendum on the way money is created

A referendum on the way money is created

TO ITS opponents, the Vollgeld initiative is “suicidal” and a “dangerous experiment”. To its supporters, it is the ticket to a “fairer and more stable banking system”. Swiss voters will decide for themselves on June 10th, when the proposal for sovereign money, which would rewire the country’s banking system, are put to a referendum that, […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
Rent the Runway is taking clothes-sharing mainstream

Rent the Runway is taking clothes-sharing mainstream

AT ABOUT 4.30am the first of thousands of black garment bags arrive by truck at a vast warehouse less than ten miles (16km) from Lower Manhattan. The bags brim with designer dresses and other trendy clothing and accessories. Workers begin inspecting the garments. A billowy, patterned blouse smells a bit ripe. A floor-length red gown has a tear. […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
Xiaomi’s forthcoming IPO shows how the rules of business are changing

Xiaomi’s forthcoming IPO shows how the rules of business are changing

IN 1987, when Lei Jun was a computer-science student in Wuhan, on the banks of the Yangtze River, he read a book about Steve Jobs and vowed to emulate him. If all goes to plan, this summer Mr Lei will take a leap towards that dream with the flotation of his firm, Xiaomi, at a […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
American firms will be hit hard by retaliatory tariffs

American firms will be hit hard by retaliatory tariffs

“LOOK at all these bikers…we love the bikers!” declared the pre-presidential Donald Trump, surveying a crowd of motorcycle-owners gathered by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, in 2016. Riders of Harley-Davidsons, in particular, have been among Mr Trump’s noisiest supporters since the early days of his campaign. Riders of “hogs” often see themselves as rowdy […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
President Trump’s tariffs have united his opponents at home and abroad

President Trump’s tariffs have united his opponents at home and abroad

“HOW am I going to compete?” asks Sohel Sareshwala. He runs Accu-Swiss, a Californian company making customised components for the manufacture of semiconductors and cars. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium, both of which he uses as inputs, are eating into his profit margins and delaying his orders. Meanwhile, Mr Sareshwala’s competitors abroad, […]

June 7, 2018 | By | Reply More
Britain’s government cuts its losses on Royal Bank of Scotland

Britain’s government cuts its losses on Royal Bank of Scotland

IF YOU are selling shares, they are worth not what you paid for them, but what someone else will offer. For the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the sum that counts is £2.71 ($3.62). On June 5th UK Government Investments, which manages the state’s stakes in companies, said it had placed 7.7% of RBS at […]

June 5, 2018 | By | Reply More
The number of new banks in America has fallen off a cliff

The number of new banks in America has fallen off a cliff

THE single-storey main branch of the Texas Hill Country Bank, in Kerrville, sits at the back of a tired shopping centre, in the shade of a six-storey Wells Fargo building. When Roy Thompson, the chief executive, was hired (from Wells) in 2012, three years after it opened, he ran a radio ad campaign to alert […]

May 31, 2018 | By | Reply More
In investing, as in poker, following rules works best

In investing, as in poker, following rules works best

AT THE annual World Series of Poker, which begins this week in Las Vegas, the main event is the no-limit Texas hold ’em tournament. In the course of two weeks of gruelling knock-out play, several thousand players are whittled down to just two, playing “heads-up” for one of the WSOP’s coveted bracelets. In last year’s […]

May 31, 2018 | By | Reply More
There is madness, but perhaps also method, in America’s trade policies

There is madness, but perhaps also method, in America’s trade policies

DIVINING meaning in the Trump administration’s trade announcements is a thankless task. No sooner does a policy seem settled than it is thrown up in the air once more. On May 23rd, days before a scheduled meeting with the European Union and Japan on a joint trade strategy and in the middle of talks to […]

May 31, 2018 | By | Reply More
Are you stuck in a “bullshit job”?

Are you stuck in a “bullshit job”?

SISYPHUS, king of Corinth, was condemned for all eternity to push a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again. David Graeber, an anthropologist, thinks that many modern workers face the same fate today, forced to perform pointless tasks, or “bullshit jobs”, as his new book* calls them. Mr Graeber defines a […]

May 31, 2018 | By | Reply More