The Economist

Qatar Airways wants a 10% stake in American Airlines
www.economist.com

IT SEEMED, at first blush, to be a masterclass in how to bait a rival. For years, American Airlines, along with other big American carriers, has complained of “unfair” competition from Middle Eastern operators, which stand accused of taking state subsidies. On June 22nd one of those accused, Qatar Airways, said it planned to take […]

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The perils of nationalisation
www.economist.com

WHEN Jeremy Corbyn unveiled his Labour manifesto ahead of the recent British election, opponents gawked at pledges to renationalise the postal and rail systems. Such enthusiasm for state ownership smacks of a philosophy long since abandoned by leaders on both left and right. Despite Labour’s decent electoral performance, nationalisation is not everywhere on the march; […]

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A high-flying Chinese dealmaker has his wings clipped
www.economist.com

“THE total number of airline miles travelled by this team is equal to a round trip between Earth and the moon.” So bragged Wu Xiaohui at a recruiting event held at Harvard University in January 2015. The boss of Anbang, a big Chinese insurer, was dazzling potential hires with his plans to go global. Anbang […]

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Why government-bond yields have been falling again
www.economist.com

EVERY year it seems that analysts and investors play a ritual game. They begin by asserting that government bonds are terrible value and that, accordingly, this must be the year when yields will rise (and prices fall). And then they get mugged by reality. The same pattern seems to be playing out in 2017. Back […]

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President Trump wants to privatise air-traffic control
www.economist.com

IN JUNE 1956 a TWA Constellation collided with a United Air Lines DC-7 over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people on both aircraft. At the time it was the worst ever airline disaster. Struggling with outdated technology and a post-war boom in air travel, overworked air-traffic controllers failed to spot that the […]

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Big business sees the promise of clean energy
www.economist.com

PITY America’s big businesses. For years their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint were dismissed by environmentalists as “greenwashing”. Now, after months trying to persuade a supposedly pro-business new president, Donald Trump, of the merits of staying in the Paris climate accord, he practically laughed in their faces by withdrawing on June 1st. Executives fear […]

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What will the markets do if Labour wins?
www.economist.com

WHEN the British election campaign started, a victory for Theresa May looked a nailed-on certainty. The Conservative lead was as high as 20 percentage points and the party was 1/20 on to claim the most seats. But a poorly run campaign means that the gap has narrowed; the latest from Survation had the Conservatives with just […]

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Political ostracism means more woe for Qatar Airways
www.economist.com

AFTER years of ascension, the three Gulf superconnectors, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, have recently suffered a bad spell. The low price of oil—usually a boon for airlines—has reduced spending power in oil-rich states, which has dampened demand for flights from the region. Terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East, too, have proved a deterrent. Then […]

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Europe inches closer to a plan for fixing its financial flaws
www.economist.com

DONALD TRUMP and Theresa May may have done more to push Europeans together, and open up an opportunity for reform of its institutions, than any pro-European American president or British prime minister could ever have dreamt. The Commission’s “Reflection paper on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union”, issued on May 31st, points the […]

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Will President Trump rescue failing pension funds?
www.economist.com

TO THE exasperation of budget hawks, Donald Trump has long made clear that he will not reform Social Security (public pensions). But maintaining these entitlements does not fully protect workers’ retirement income. For many, pension promises from their employers are more important. These can shrink or vanish when firms fail. And, like Social Security, the […]

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Donald Trump considers congestion pricing for American cities
www.economist.com

DONALD TRUMP made a splash during the American presidential campaign when he called for a trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure. But when he actually released his first major budget proposal this week, funds for roads and bridges hardly attracted notice. Though the document does lay out a target of $200bn in direct federal spending, to be […]

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Donald Trump’s budget ignores what is ailing American workers
www.economist.com

PRESIDENTIAL budget requests are worth exactly nothing. They carry no force of legislation. They land, heavy, bound and shrink-wrapped, so they can be immediately binned as Congress continues its now yearly stumble toward a “continuing resolution”—a supposedly temporary legislative act that in recent decades has almost entirely replaced the statutory budget process. The request from […]

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America’s trade policy has a new face, Robert Lighthizer
www.economist.com

AS IS well known, Donald Trump wants the press to focus not on what he calls “fake” news about himself, but on his administration’s achievements. On May 12th he helpfully tweeted an example: “China just agreed that the US will be allowed to sell beef, and other major products, into China once again. This is […]

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From Russia with risk
www.economist.com

BE CAREFUL what you wish for. Traders were bored last week and now they have got some excitement. The US equity market suffered its worst trading day in eight months, falling 1.8%, with banks dropping 4%. The Volatility index, or Vix, which recently dipped below 10, jumped above 15. The dollar has lost most of […]

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Donald Trump’s family and a controversial visa scheme
www.economist.com

A family affair THE events seemed inconspicuous enough: presentations in smart hotels in Beijing and Shanghai seeking investors for luxury American apartments. The details might have gone unnoticed had not a journalist from the Washington Post heard about the event’s star attraction. But these days the surname “Kushner” is like a magnet. It quickly emerged […]

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On China, commodities, credit and complacency
www.economist.com

THERE is a familiar scene in westerns where the cavalry is riding through the mountain pass and the captain says “I don’t like it. It’s quiet. Too quiet.” Seconds later, a soldier gets an arrow in his chest and all hell breaks loose. Some people feel that about markets at the moment. Deutsche Bank reckons […]

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Podcast: Trumponomics
www.economist.com

Simon Long delves into what Donald Trump means for taxes, growth and trade. Also: the markets react to Emmanuel Macron’s election victory in France and China develops its first large passenger jet <param name="playerKey"…Continue reading

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America may extend its laptop ban to cover flights from Europe
www.economist.com

THE Trump administration is considering extending its ban on laptops and tablets to include flights from Europe, according to CBS news. Security officials originally banned electronic devices larger than a phone on routes from ten Middle Eastern airports in March, citing intelligence that suggested terrorists might be planning to smuggle a bomb on board flights […]

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Did a selfie accidentally reveal the administration’s plan to halt all visas?
www.economist.com

PEOPLE tend to disagree on which adjective best describes Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s strategy chief, but most agree that he is canny. So in reporting that on May 2nd, a rabbi tweeted a selfie with Mr Bannon posing in front of a whiteboard in his office, and thus “inadvertently” revealed a list of possible policies, […]

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America’s economic growth slows to 0.7%
www.economist.com

THE news that America’s GDP growth slowed to 0.7% on an annualised basis in the first quarter of 2017 is no real surprise, for two reasons. First, although consumer and small business confidence have soared since Donald Trump won the presidential election, most measures of actual economic activity have failed to display the same vim […]

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Steven Mnuchin gets started on tax reform but there is more to do
www.economist.com

OF THE things that investors and bosses have come to like about Donald Trump, the most important is his promise to redraw America’s knackered corporate-tax system. On April 26th Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, laid out a guide for reform. After weeks of anticipation, Wall Street will be relieved. The thrust of the plan is […]

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Reducing rates for “pass-through” businesses will be tough to justify
www.economist.com

THERE are two main reasons for a country to paw around in its tax code: to create more economic growth, or to repair a structural deficit. Any politician who wishes to quietly give money to friends or kill a troublesome programme will supply one of them. He will either say “businesses need tax certainty to […]

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Reports of populism’s death are premature
www.economist.com

MONDAY April 24th was a day when, in the latest jargon, the markets went “risk on”. Equities rose, the spread between the yields of French and German bonds narrowed and the euro rebounded. The reason was the first round of the French presidential election. As the results emerged on Sunday night, it was clear that […]

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How Donald Trump affects America’s tourist business
www.economist.com

TRUMP Tower, in midtown Manhattan, has become a modern-day Mount Vernon. Tourists have long visited George Washington’s homestead. Now they venture through Trump Tower’s brass doors to ogle the decor—“it’s so gold,” said a German teenager standing near the lobby’s waterfall on a recent afternoon—or buy souvenirs. The Choi family, visiting from South Korea, wandered […]

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The IMF nudges up its forecast for global growth
www.economist.com

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, and, in Washington, chirpy forecasts from the IMF that often prove a bit too chirpy. On April 18th the fund released its semi-annual World Economic Outlook (WEO), raising its forecast for global growth in 2017 to 3.5%. Growth forecasts for the emerging world […]

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Emirates cuts services to America as Donald Trump’s actions bite
www.economist.com

WHEN American officials announced last month that laptops and tablets would be banned from aeroplane cabins on flights from certain Muslim countries, many questioned the administration’s motive. Was it a proportionate response to specific intelligence about a terrorist threat? Or had the government taken the opportunity to clobber swanky foreign operators that compete with the country’s […]

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America has a retirement problem, not a saving problem
www.economist.com

HOUSE Resolution 67, which Donald Trump signed last week, rolls back a rule that the Labor Department finalised late last year, which would have made it easier for cities and counties to run retirement savings plans for citizens who couldn’t get them through work. It is an odd choice for Republicans to kill plans that […]

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America may demand the right to peruse visitors’ mobile phones on arrival
www.economist.com

THE effect that Donald Trump is having on American tourism seems pretty clear. Data from online travel agents, which analyse customers’ searches and are thus privy to the most timely information on travel trends, are unanimous in the bleakness of their assessments. Expedia, Cheapflights and Kayak are just some of the sites reporting that interest in […]

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China’s growing clout in international economic affairs
www.economist.com

THE IMF “systematically impoverishes foreigners”, and the World Bank’s advice has “negative value to its best clients”. These harsh words were voiced not by lefty critics of the Washington Consensus, but by two men (David Malpass and Adam Lerrick, respectively) whom Donald Trump has picked to lead his Treasury’s dealings with the rest of the […]

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The Trump administration will review all of America’s trade deals
www.economist.com

ACCORDING to a document crafted by the Trump administration, a model trade agreement has 24 elements. Second on the list is “trade-deficit reduction”, giving a hint as to why Mr Trump wants to review America’s existing agreements. In January Sean Spicer, his press secretary, said the administration would “re-examine all of the current trade deals.” […]

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The battle to build Donald Trump’s wall
www.economist.com

FEW slogans were chanted with as much passion by Donald Trump’s supporters in the presidential campaign as “Build that wall!”. The construction industry is almost as enthusiastic. Last week America’s Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) issued two invitations for companies to bid to build the wall on the border with Mexico, which is expected […]

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America and Britain prohibit large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on some routes
www.economist.com

For whom the belt tolls NEW intelligence appears to have prompted the decision of the authorities in both America and Britain to prevent the carrying of large electronic devices into the passenger cabins of aircraft flying from several Middle Eastern and North African countries. However, the announcements, which both came on March 21st, raise several […]

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Donald Trump, trade and the new world order
www.economist.com

TWO months into the Trump administration and we have had more sound and fury than concrete proposals about its economic agenda. The most alarming sign so far is that America forced the G20 to drop a pledge about resisting “all forms of protectionism” from a joint statement but this may be purely symbolic. Nevertheless, Mr […]

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Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts would have serious implications for travellers
www.economist.com

THREE months into his presidency, Donald Trump has engendered little but despair among among travel-industry types. Restrictions announced today on taking laptops and iPads aboard airlines originating from eight Middle Eastern countries are probably reasonable (see Gulliver). But an ill-considered attempt in January to ban travellers from seven mostly-Muslim countries seems to have affected visitor […]

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The progressive case for immigration
www.economist.com

“WE CAN’T restore our civilisation with somebody else’s babies.” Steve King, a Republican congressman from Iowa, could hardly have been clearer in his meaning in a tweet this week supporting Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician with anti-immigrant views. Across the rich world, those of a similar mind have been emboldened by a nativist turn in […]

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America’s pot industry shrugs off Donald Trump’s harder line on legal drugs
www.economist.com

THESE are high times for America’s marijuana-industrial complex. More than half the country’s states have legalised medical cannabis, often rather loosely defined. Eight have voted to legalise the drug for recreational purposes. The industry was worth about $6bn last year, a figure that is likely to rise sharply in 2018 when recreational sales begin in […]

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The hounding of Owen Jones
www.economist.com

IN THE big scheme of things, the retreat of a Guardian columnist from social media is not a huge event—it will be drowned out by the latest antics of Donald Trump, the extraordinary diplomatic dispute between the Netherlands and Turkey, the triggering of article 50 by the UK and Scotland’s push for a second independence […]

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Economists argue about the impact of Chinese imports on America
www.economist.com

COMPETITION from Chinese imports may have cost some Americans jobs, but economists have done pretty well out of it. Since 2013 David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson have published nine separate studies digging into the costs of trade. They have found that, of the fall in manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2007, one-quarter could […]

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Foreign buyers push up global house prices
www.economist.com

MANY Americans were taken aback when news broke in January that Peter Thiel, an internet billionaire and adviser to Donald Trump, had New Zealand citizenship. For five years this backer of an “America first” president had kept his Kiwi passport quiet. Then the government released details of his $10m-lakeside estate (pictured). A growing horde of […]

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A clause in Donald Trump's new travel ban could cause problems for all visitors
www.economist.com

IF YOU are an Iraqi, or a Syrian refugee, President Donald Trump’s new travel ban will seem like an improvement over the old one. But a little-noticed clause in the measure could make travelling to America a much greater hassle, even for people carrying passports that spare them the toughest restrictions, such as Europe and […]

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GM says ‘au revoir’ to Europe
www.economist.com

General Motors has sold its Vauxhall and Opel brands to PSA in France. Adam Roberts our European business editor asks how the car industry is reacting to the consolidation. Also: can Snapchat succeed as a public company? And might President Trump’s accusation that China hasn’t been playing by the rules have a point? Simon Long […]

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The ouija-board theory of democracy
www.economist.com

EVER since the June 2016 referendum vote in Britain on membership of the European Union, there has been a battle over the terms of departure. The government, and right-wing press, are averse to there being any kind of scrutiny over the process by either the courts or Parliament. Judges who ruled that Parliament should approve […]

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The European Parliament votes to reintroduce visas for Americans
www.economist.com

EUROPE and America have been slowly drifting apart for millions of years. Tectonic shift means that the physical distance between the continents grows by about an inch every year. If only the political divergence were so languid. From NATO to Donald Trump’s travel ban to accusations of currency manipulation, the gap between once-strong allies on […]

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China and currency manipulation
www.economist.com

SINCE his election as president, Donald Trump has not softened his criticism of China over its alleged meddling to control the value of its currency, the yuan. On the contrary, he has called China “the grand champion” of currency manipulators. The kindest interpretation of this is that Mr Trump is out of date, as his […]

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Who will lose when globalisation retreats?
www.economist.com

THE new nationalists are on the march in Europe and America. They argue that globalisation has benefited the elites and penalised the ordinary workers and that governments should put America/Britain/France first. That means favouring domestic producers and restricting global flows of people, goods and (this gets mentioned less often) capital. The latest proposal came from the Trump […]

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The Trump administration’s trade strategy is dangerously outdated
www.economist.com

The trade guns of Navarro ON THE campaign trail, Donald Trump’s trade policy was an alarming mixture of coruscating complaints and fierce threats of protectionist retaliation. But the world has been in the dark about how much of this rhetoric his administration might turn into reality. A flicker of light came on March 1st as […]

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Travis Kalanick’s uber-apology
www.economist.com

“I MUST fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.” It is rare for the boss of a big technology firm to be so contrite. It is even more of a surprise to have Travis Kalanick (pictured), the chief executive of Uber, a popular ride-hailing company, go that far: he is one of the most […]

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How quickly will the Federal Reserve tighten?
www.economist.com

EVER since the Presidential election, markets have focused on the potential for fiscal policy—tax cuts and spending increases—to boost the American economy. But over the last few days, there has been a reminder that monetary policy, which has dominated investors’ thoughts for much of the period 2008, still has the potential to have a big […]

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William Jennings Trump and the monetary elite
www.economist.com

DONALD Trump has been compared with many past politicians—Richard Nixon for his suspicion of the press and Warren Harding for his isolationism are two obvious examples. Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s alt-right hand man, has just compared him with William Jennings Bryan, who ran unsuccessfully for President in 1896, 1904 and 1908 on the Democratic ticket. […]

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