Relationship status: it’s complicatedFacebook and Australia both claim victory as they end their spatThe social network coughs up, but wriggles out of the obligations it had feared mostAFTER UNFRIENDING each other last week, Facebook and Australia are pals again. On February 23rd the world’s largest social network announced that it would...
Coming into its ownPrices in Europe's carbon market, the world’s biggest, are soaringIt is a sign that investors are paying attention. Many think it is a one-way betAS FINANCIAL MARKETS become cheerier about the pace of vaccinations and the chances of a speedy economic recovery, the prices of stocks, commodities and...
Continental driftDuty-free retail is finding new ways to growThe pandemic is pushing the industry further away from cigarettes, booze and airports, and towards ChinaHAINAN, A TROPICAL island 450km south-west of Hong Kong, used to be a sleepy backwater populated by budget resorts catering to Chinese tourists unable to afford a trip...
BartlebyWhen will office workers return?Getting back to normal will involve a host of challengesWHEN WILL most people be back at the office? As with Tantalus and the fruit tree, the prize seems to be close, only to recede out of reach. A survey conducted by Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, found...
Online shoppingCoupang hopes to be the next successful baby AmazonSouth Korea’s tech darling is the latest second-generation e-commerce group to set investors’ pulses racingWANDER AROUND Seoul’s residential neighbourhoods at dawn and you will invariably encounter a Coupang delivery van. In the past few years South Korea’s mini-Amazon has parked itself in...
Musical sharesAs Vivendi lists Universal Music, the streaming boom’s end is nearAs subscriptions approach saturation level, label-owners decide it’s time to sellFROM “GOLD DIGGER” to “Money, Money, Money”, Vivendi’s shareholders have lots of tunes to whistle as they stroll to the bank. On February 13th the French conglomerate announced plans to...
SchumpeterHow to design CEO pay to punish iniquity, not just reward virtueFirms are increasingly trying to make badly behaved bosses hand their earnings backIF BUSINESS HAD a Moses, “Thou shalt link pay to performance” would be on his tablet. Compensation committees have, however, tended to stick to a narrow reading of...
Culture warsCan Anglo-Saxon activist investors whip Danone into shape?Anglo-Saxon shareholders appear to have the backing of the yogurt-maker’s French patriarchEMMANUEL FABER used to be seen as the spiritual son of Franck Riboud, honorary chairman and former boss of Danone, whose father Antoine co-founded the French yogurt-maker. Mr Riboud handpicked Mr Faber...
Pit stopGlencore’s new boss takes the reins at a good time for commoditiesHe looks a lot like his predecessorMINING BOSSES often leave under a cloud, ousted after a profit slump, a public-relations disaster or pit-hole calamity. Not so Ivan Glasenberg. For his last set of results on February 16th the boss...
VWVolkswagen’s boss lays out his electric plansBut he will not kill the internal combustion engineTHE SCRAMBLE to electrify motoring resembles a car race. Tesla and like-minded startups, unencumbered by the legacy of the internal combustion engine (ICE), are surging up the straight. Behind them, jostling for position at the first corner,...
Free exchangeWhat a hot American economy means for the rest of the worldTrading partners will benefit. But the real uncertainty comes from the FedWHEN AMERICA sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. But what happens when it runs a fever? After a trying 2020 in which GDP fell by...
ButtonwoodWhat market break-evens do and don’t tell you about inflation fearsThe closely watched gauges are too volatile to be a reliable guideIF YOU HAD to pick an emblem of the wild ride that financial markets have been on, it would be Carnival. When the pandemic took hold, its cruise ships were...
In search of a cureThe WTO has a new chief. Is it time for new trade rules too?Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not alone in thinking the WTO could do moreFIXING THE World Trade Organisation (WTO) is not enough for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first woman and first African to lead it. On February...
Token effortBitcoin crosses $50,000But the real action on digital currencies is at central banksANYONE WHO bought bitcoin a year ago must feel vindicated—and rich. The price of the cryptocurrency crossed $50,000 for the first time on February 16th, a five-fold increase over the past year. Wall Street grandees including BlackRock, Bank...
Advantage AmsterdamAmsterdam’s financial centre gains an edge over continental rivalsBrexit and the IPO boom have bolstered the Dutch sideTHOUGH MANY exchanges are run by multinational companies, they are still often seen as the financial equivalent of a national football team. When Amsterdam ousted London as the largest share-trading centre in Europe...
The shape of things to comeEconomic forecasters are pencilling in heady growth ratesAmerica is expected to grow at its fastest pace since 1984ECONOMIC FORECASTERS are pencilling in heady growth rates for the world’s big economies this year. GDP in America is expected to expand by close to 6% in 2021, the...
Rain for the rainmakersWhat the SPAC craze means for tech investingSigns of the craze are as common as sightings of unicorns in Silicon ValleySILICON VALLEY has thrived by inventing new ways of doing things, from searching for information to contacting friends. So it may come as no surprise that the Valley...
Trafficking dreamsWhy China’s Didi can succeed where Uber has struggledTo glimpse the future of the ride-hailing business, look east“WE INVEST A lot of money here in China,” proclaimed Travis Kalanick, founder and then boss of Uber, at a confab in Tianjin in June 2016. But, he added with foreboding, “we have...
Hard rebootCan Pat Gelsinger turn Intel around?The giant chipmaker’s new boss has his work cut out"SUCCESS BREEDS complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive." So said Andy Grove, the Hungarian emigré who helped build Intel from a scrappy startup in the 1960s into the firm that did more than perhaps...
ButtonwoodLessons in betting against bubbles from the Big ShortKnowing for sure that something is askew may not be enough to make you moneyHE NOW RUNS a chain of hotels in his native Ghana. But in the 1990s Tony Yeboah played football at a high level, his two seasons at Leeds United...

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