Fire without furyWill Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus overheat the American economy?Policymakers seem determined to test its speed limitsON JANUARY 20th Joe Biden will for the second time enter the White House during an economic crisis. On January 14th he unveiled his plan for dealing with the downturn wrought by the pandemic....
Viral expansionChina’s economy zooms back to its pre-covid growth rateIts success offers some useful lessons about how to confront a pandemicIN THE EARLY months of the covid-19 outbreak, researchers at the Federal Reserve and Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a paper entitled “Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not”....
Free exchangeNew research shows the robots are coming for jobs—but stealthilyLook beneath the aggregate economic numbers, and change is afootTHE YEAR is 2021, and honestly there ought to be more robots. It was a decade ago that two scholars of technology, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, published “Race Against the Machine”,...
Bucket listWhy everyone is now an options traderOn average last year almost 30m equity options changed hands each dayIN THE BUCKET shops of early 20th-century America, ordinary punters could bet on the direction of share prices with a tiny down-payment. The punters liked this, because it gave them a lot of...
Video gamesKuaishou takes on TikTok and its Chinese siblingChina’s short-video wars are heating up“WE AIM TO be the most customer-obsessed company in the world,” declares the opening line in the 700-page prospectus from Kuaishou, a Chinese video app. The firm, launched a decade ago by a former software engineer at Google...
Capitol gainsWhy prospects for post-Trump social media aren’t all badBanning the troll-in-chief is unlikely to hurt social networks’ businessON JANUARY 7TH , a day after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, leaving five people dead and America shaken, Donald Trump had the sixth-most-popular account on Twitter, with...
Joining the frayFirst-time investors are flooding Brazil’s stockmarketBut fiscal uncertainty threatens the boom“MY PARENTS NEVER talked about investing,” says Arthur Lira, a university student from Olinda, a city in Brazil’s poor north-east. In March, after hearing on YouTube that it was a good time to buy stocks, he set up an...
A return to gloryShares in emerging markets have hit a record peakThe price of the index is near its 2007 levels. But little else remains the sameIN HIS BOOK “The Emerging Markets Century”, published in 2007, Antoine van Agtmael marvelled at the progress of emerging markets since he coined the term...
SchumpeterHow Inditex is refashioning its business modelThe owner of Zara is tailing its operations to fit online shoppersIT HAD BEEN closed, on and off, for much of the past year. Now signs on the blacked-out windows of the Zara shop on the Champs-Elysées, the Spanish brand’s early outpost in the French...
Rolling in itBranding lessons from RizlaHow to become a household nameIT IS HARD to imagine a simpler product than a cigarette paper: small, rectangular, with no moving parts. So cheap it is often given away. And replaceable; desperate smokers have been known to tear out Bible pages as substitutes. It has...
Steel and siliconCES upstages the Detroit Motor Show as cars go electronicCarmakers look to Las Vegas while big tech heads for Detroit. Will they collide?THE ANNUAL Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas used to be a jamboree for gadgets you can put in your pocket or hang on your wall....
Visa-free travelAmerican trustbusters force Visa to back off PlaidThe Department of Justice signals a new, pre-emptive approach to antitrustIN EARLY 2019 an executive at Visa, a giant payments firm, sketched a picture of an island volcano. He scribbled the current capabilities of Plaid, a Silicon Valley fintech firm founded in 2012,...
Bearing fruitAfter years of dithering companies are embracing automationThe pandemic has ushered more robots into factories, warehouses and back offices. They are here to stayMARY BARRA, boss of GM, took to the virtual stage on January 12th to launch BrightDrop. The carmaker’s new logistics division will peddle such unsexy things as...
Relapse and recoveryWhat is the economic impact of the latest round of lockdowns?The rich world has become better at mitigating their economic costTHE LOCKDOWNS of the spring, which at their peak covered more than half of the world’s population, provoked an almighty downturn. In April global economic output was 20% below...
The mountaineersCommodity prices are surgingIs a new supercycle beginning?THE BIGGEST commodity story of 2020 was one of decline. As the coronavirus pandemic halted travel, oil prices fell off a cliff, then briefly went subterranean: in April a futures contract for West Texas Intermediate was worth less than nothing. Oil began clawing...
A chill in China IncBeijing’s approach to business grows increasingly muscularFrom Jack Ma to extraterritorial laws, the government is throwing its weight aroundWHEN AMERICA slammed sanctions on Huawei, barring American firms from supplying the Chinese telecoms-equipment titan on national-security grounds, China’s state media predicted that the restrictions would spur innovation in...
Burying the deadChina wants to delist its own companies: the bad onesNew rules to clear the dregs off its stock exchangesLIKE MANY Chinese companies on the stockmarket, Gangtai Holding, a jewellery-to-property conglomerate, flaunts its listing. It displays its ticker number, 600687, prominently on its website and in its ads. But not...
ButtonwoodWhy stocks are still cheap relative to bondsThe expected return on equities has rarely been lower—yet still outpaces bondsBILLY CONNOLLY, the great Scottish comedian who recently retired from performing, had a joke about two men filming a lion for a wildlife documentary. The lion suddenly looks up. The men fear they...
A Stellantis is bornThe Fiat Chrysler-PSA mega-merger may give rise to a carmaking starThe new firm’s boss, Carlos Tavares, has work to do to maintain his stellar track recordFIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES (FCA), an Italian-American carmaker, and PSA Group, the French owner of Citroën and Peugeot, do not like to dwell on...
Covid-10trnWhat is the economic cost of covid-19?The pandemic could amount to $10trn in forgone GDP over 2020-21THE ECONOMIC toll of the covid-19 pandemic is incalculable. But let’s try anyway. A useful starting point is the semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report released this week by the World Bank. It calculates that the...

Latest News