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Gucci, Prada and Tiffany’s bet big on property

economist.com From the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street the facade of Tiffany’s looks just as it did in 1961 when Audrey Hepburn, dressed in a long black dress and pearls, nibbled…

Europe faces a painful adjustment to higher defence spending

economist.com With vladimir putin issuing threats and Donald Trump musing about withdrawing support, everyone agrees that Europe needs to spend more on its armed forces. What is less…

Trump wants to whack Chinese firms. How badly could he hurt them?

economist.com A few months before America’s presidential election in 1980, George H.W. Bush paid a visit to Beijing. He got a frosty reception. Days earlier, Bush’s running mate, Ronald…

China’s leaders are flailing as markets drop

economist.com In recent weeks, China’s economic policymaking has been not just inadequate but a little skittish. On January 23rd draft rules on video games disappeared from the…

Biden’s chances of re-election are better than they appear

economist.com AMERICANS HAVE not been impressed by President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy. In fact, according to polling averages, nearly 60% disapprove of it. Meanwhile, Donald…

What four more years of Joe Biden would mean for America’s economy

economist.com Joe Biden’s opponents focus on his age as something that makes him doddering, confused and ultimately unfit for office. So the great paradox of the 81-year-old’s first term…

Evergrande’s liquidation is a new low in China’s property crisis

economist.com “Enough is enough,” declared a Hong Kong judge on January 29th of Evergrande, a failing Chinese property behemoth, and its two-year struggle to avoid repaying its creditors.…

Your pay is still going up too fast

economist.com Central bankers are entering the final stretch. Rich-world prices are rising by 5.4% year on year, down from a peak of 10.7% in October 2022. Although this is impressive…

Australian houses are less affordable than they have been in decades

economist.com In Australia, as in most places, waterfront property comes at a premium. But to see the full effects of high-cost Australian housing, look beyond trophy homes on Sydney…

The countries which raised rates first are now cutting them

economist.com Over the past two years The Economist has studied the economic fortunes of Hikelandia. This group of eight countries—Brazil, Chile, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Peru,…

What economists have learnt from the post-pandemic business cycle

economist.com Science advances one funeral at a time, to paraphrase Max Planck. The Nobel prize-winning physicist was arguing that new ideas in his field would only catch on once the…

China’s population is shrinking and its economy is losing ground

economist.com “HOW SHOULD one look at the Chinese economy?”, asked Li Qiang, the country’s prime minister, at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 16th. “It is similar to looking…

Ted Pick takes charge of Morgan Stanley

economist.com WHEN JAMES GORMAN took the helm at Morgan Stanley it was barely afloat. His tenure as the bank’s chief executive began on January 1st 2010, in the teeth of the global…

Three surprises that could inflame commodity markets in 2024

economist.com As Russia continues to pound Kyiv, Western sanctions are beginning to cripple Arctic LNG 2, the aggressor’s largest gas-export project. In the Red Sea, through which 10% of…

American stocks loiter near an all-time high

economist.com It is the first trading day of the year. The stockmarket opens a whisker away from an all-time high. American equities have soared over the past 12 months, up by around 25%,…

Robert Solow was an intellectual giant

economist.com Ensconced in a lorry, hidden from the enemy by the brow of a hill, the young Robert Solow decoded the radio signals of Nazi platoons across Italy. “We were very, very good…

Has America really escaped inflation?

economist.com At some point American economic growth will disappoint expectations. For now, though, it appears to have ended 2023 much as it passed the previous few years, with yet…

Hong Kong’s problems trace back to China. And also America

economist.com Sevva, a swanky bar and restaurant with electrifying views, has been serving bankers and sightseers for more than 15 years. From its terrace, you can peer over a cocktail…

Can the carbon-offset market be saved?

economist.com “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs,” ran an early advertising jingle attributed to Johann Tetzel, a 16th-century indulgence salesman.…

Where does the modern state come from?

economist.com It is part metaphor, part myth and part history. Thomas Hobbes thought life there was nasty, brutish and short. John Locke disagreed, proclaiming that it was where people…

Which economy did best in 2023?

economist.com Almost everyone expected a global recession in 2023, as central bankers raised interest rates to cool inflation. The consensus was wrong. Global GDP has probably grown by…

Vladimir Putin is running Russia’s economy dangerously hot

economist.com The history of Russian inflation is long and painful. After revolution in 1917 the country dealt with years of soaring prices; it then faced sustained price pressure under…

Will China leave behind its economic woes in 2024?

economist.com After the global financial crisis of 2007-09, economists quickly understood that the world economy would never be the same again. Although it would get past the disaster, it…

How to sell free trade to green types

economist.com Environmentalists do not get on with free-traders. Suspicion is the norm, if not the outright hostility on display at the “Battle of Seattle” in 1999, which took place…

Will a fiscal mess thwart Japan’s nascent economic growth?

economist.com When moody’s, a research firm, cut Japan’s top-grade credit rating and warned of a “significant deterioration in the government’s fiscal position”, Nintendo’s first colour…

At last, a convincing explanation for America’s drug-death crisis

economist.com It is hard to overstate the impact of America’s fentanyl epidemic. The synthetic opioid and its close chemical relatives were involved in about 70% of the country’s 110,000…

Who made millions trading the October 7th attacks?

economist.com Before its attack on October 7th, Hamas maintained tight operational security. The assault blindsided Israel’s spies, and seems to have surprised even Hamas’s political…

Is the world’s most important asset market broken?

economist.com In 1790 America’s finances were precarious: debt-servicing costs were higher than revenues and government bonds traded at 20 cents on the dollar. Alexander Hamilton, the…

Why economists are at war over inequality

economist.com According to a familiar saying, academic disputes are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so low. But in a scholarly battle over inequality, the stakes are rather…

China edges towards a big bail-out

economist.com Chinese buses are idling. Statements released by a handful of transport companies complain of deteriorating economic conditions and a lack of financial support. In October…

An unruly OPEC is causing problems for Russia and Saudi Arabia

economist.com The meeting in November of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners (opec+) was meant to be a staid affair. Instead, the summit was first…

Welcome to a golden age for workers

economist.com Almost everyone agreed that the mid-2010s were a terrible time to be a worker. David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, coined the term “bullshit…

How the young should invest

economist.com Young investors, as well as everyone starting to save, have no shortage of lessons to learn. The main ones are classics. Begin early to give the magic of compounding time to…

Joe Biden’s failures on trade benefit China

economist.com At the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in San Francisco, all eyes were on the meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden. But when it comes to competition…

What can inflation-strugglers learn from inflation-killers?

economist.com Could the nightmare be over? Across the oecd club of rich countries, consumer-price inflation fell from a peak of 10.7% in October 2022 to 6.2% in September. The latest data…

The Chinese yuan is losing value, yet gaining ground

economist.com China owes a lot to foreign investment. Long before Foxconn started making iPhones for Apple, manufacturers from Hong Kong tiptoed across the border to Guangdong in search…

In praise of America’s car addiction

economist.com No tradition is sacred—not even trick-or-treating. In recent Halloween festivities, many Americans switched to trunk-or-treating. Instead of going door-to-door on…

Why American manufacturing is becoming less efficient

economist.com Advocates of industrial policy have long argued that manufacturing possesses special powers. Industry’s demands lead to technological progress; the goods it produces must…

America’s bad auto loans could have nasty consequences

economist.com The Federal Reserve’s interest-rate rises are causing pain in the land of casinos: Nevadans are googling how to return their car more than folk in any other state. Yet while…

America’s economic might gives it little sway in the Middle East

economist.com For the past month, American diplomats have been trying to stop the Middle East from falling apart. Ever since Hamas attacked Israel and Israel retaliated, they have lobbied…

Will Work From Home Spark A Financial Crisis?

economist.com In midtown manhattan reminders of commercial property’s difficulties are everywhere. On the west side, near Carnegie Hall, stands 1740 Broadway, a 26-storey building that…

The Ukraine war offers energy arbitrage opportunities

economist.com Europe had weathered one winter since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. But although gas prices had returned to Earth, they were sure to rise in the colder months to…

In defence of a financial instrument that fails to do its job

economist.com Although buying inflation-protected bonds to protect against inflation does not seem unreasonable, it would have been a spectacularly unprofitable move during the latest…

Will spiking shipping costs cause inflation to surge?

economist.com When economists talk about bottlenecks, they typically refer to points in a supply chain that slow down production. The global economy is at present providing a rather…

A guide to the Chinese Communist Party’s economic jargon

economist.com A new Communist Party slogan was born on January 9th. The phrase, which appeared on the front page of the People’s Daily, a party mouthpiece, defies easy interpretation. A…

Has Team Transitory really won America’s inflation debate?

economist.com In late 2021 Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, called for the retirement of “transitory” as a description for the inflation afflicting America. The word had…

Xi Jinping risks setting off another trade war

economist.com China’s leaders are obsessed with lithium-ion batteries, electric cars and solar panels. These sorts of technologies will, Xi Jinping has proclaimed, become “pillars of the…

What happened to the artificial-intelligence investment boom?

economist.com Many economists believe that generative artificial intelligence (AI) is about to transform the global economy. A paper published last year by Ege Erdil and Tamay Besiroglu…

Is China understating its own export success?

economist.com China’s current-account surplus was once one of the most controversial statistics in economics. The figure, which peaked at almost 10% of gdp in 2007, measures the gap…

How to sneak billions of dollars out of China

economist.com It has been a terrible year to be bullish on China. The CSI 300 index of Chinese stocks has dropped by 13% so far in 2023, to below the level reached during the last of the…

Why stockpickers should get out more

economist.com In Joseph O’Neill’s novel “Netherland”, a jaded equities analyst, covering oil and gas firms, confesses to the tricks he uses to add credibility to his stock picks. “Voice a…

How to put boosters under India’s economy

economist.com Land in any Indian city, such as Bangalore or Hyderabad, and you will be struck by its heady optimism. India’s economy may be in the early stage of a historic boom. Recently…

Europe’s economy is in a bad way. Policymakers need to react

economist.com European stocks and bonds have had a lot to deal with in recent years, not least war, an energy crisis and surging inflation. Now things are looking up. Germany’s DAX index…

How will America’s economy fare in 2024? Don’t ask a forecaster

economist.com November brings with it the beginning of the end of the year. The first frost signals winter has arrived. Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. And from the…

The obesity pay gap is worse than previously thought

economist.com Obese people experience discrimination in many parts of their lives, and the workplace is no exception. Studies have long shown that obese workers, defined as those with a…

How to save China’s economy

economist.com EARLIER THIS year a Chinese publisher released a translation of “In Defence of Public Debt”, a book by Barry Eichengreen of the University of California, Berkeley, and…

The rich world claims it has paid its overdue climate debts

economist.com Mission accomplished? Rich countries have at last met a promise to provide $100bn a year of climate finance to poorer ones, according to estimates for 2022 from the OECD, a…

Another crypto boss falls

economist.com Fictional money, a shot at inordinate riches and a good chance of landing in jail at some point. That, in a nutshell, is the popular board game of Monopoly. But it describes…

Why house prices have risen once again

economist.com In parts of San Francisco, the housing market is in dire straits. Consider the example of one swish apartment close to City Hall, with quartz countertops and a rooftop deck,…

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