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The Economist - 8 октября 2022

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 8 октября 2022

Год выпуска: октябрь 2022

Автор: The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group

Жанр: Экономика/Политика

Издательство: «The Economist Newspaper Ltd»

Формат: PDF (журнал на английском языке)

Качество: OCR

Количество страниц: 100

  • A new era of macro-economics is emerging, bringing promise and peril: leader, page 13, and special report, after page 46.
  • Where will the cracks appear? Page 69.
  • The world’s most important financial market is not fit for purpose: Buttonwood, page 73.

The many powers of Elon Musk

  • With great technological power comes great political responsibility: leader, page 18.
  • Mr Musk’s foray into geopolitics has Ukraine worried, page 24.
  • Twitter’s reluctant suitor avoids a trial, but inherits commercial and legal woes, page 67.

Biden (quietly) builds the wall

  • His administration is quietly completing bits of Donald Trump’s wall, page 27.

China’s interfering elders

  • To Xi Jinping, it matters what retired leaders think, page 43.

Are management consultants useful?

  • Amid the snake oil and the scandals, the industry provides a valuable service: leader, page 16, and analysis, page 63.

The world this week Politics

  • In the first round of Brazil’s presidential election Jair Bol-sonaro, the populist incumbent, did better than expected. He had been trailing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist ex-president, by double digits in the polls for months, but on the night he was only five points behind. The two candidates now head to a run-off on October 30th. Mr Bolsonaro, a fan of Donald Trump, falsely suggests that the election is likely to be rigged, and may not accept the result if he loses.
  • Russia went through the motions of illegally annexing four provinces of Ukraine, following sham referendums held at gunpoint. Vladimir Putin now claims that these provinces are part of Russia, but his spokesman was unable to say exactly where the borders might be. Russia does not fully control any of the four, and holds only roughly half of two of them. Mr Putin’s land-grab was widely condemned.
  • Ukraine ignored it and continued to push back the Russian invaders. Its forces recaptured Lyman, a rail hub, and advanced rapidly in the south, where tens of thousands of Russian troops are at risk of being trapped on the west side of the Dnieper river. The bridges they might retreat across have been blown up. Some of Mr Putin’s henchmen sought to blame Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, for the shambles.
  • The Kremlin said it had drafted 200,000 men to fight in Ukraine. At least 300,000 have fled Russia since the draft was announced. Finland stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians, many of whom have been using Helsinki airport to escape on planes that are not subject to sanctions.
  • Germany’s €200bn ($i97bn) energy aid package fuelled fury in Europe. Some politicians said that by going it alone Germany had undermined a common approach to dealing with the energy crunch. The European Commission said it was committed to “avoiding harmful subsidy races” in the single market.
  • The inaugural meeting of the European Political Community took place in Prague. Leaders from the 27 member states of the eu and 17 other European countries, including Britain, Switzerland, Turkey, and by video link, Ukraine, gathered to discuss security and economic issues. The forum was proposed by Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, as a means of forging pan-European unity on a number of issues.
  • Denmark called an early election for November 1st. The country faces soaring energy bills and is nervous about Russian aggression after two gas pipelines were sabotaged in nearby waters. Also, Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister, has come under pressure for having illegally ordered a cull of mink in 2020, believing it would help stop the spread of covid-19.
  • After ravaging Cuba, Hurricane Ian swept through Florida, killing 120 people. That was the highest storm death toll in the state since 1935.

The lady is for turning

  • Britain’s Conservative government plunged in the polls after markets punished its plan for unfunded tax cuts. A month after taking office, Liz Truss, the prime minister, is more unpopular than Boris Johnson, her predecessor, ever was. Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor of the exchequer, dropped plans to abolish the 45% top rate of tax. The Tories bickered over welfare cuts and other policies. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch put Britain’s credit rating on a “negative” outlook.
  • Thailand’s constitutional court ruled that Prayuth Chan-ocha, the prime minister, had not exceeded the constitution’s eight-year term limit and could stay in power. Mr Prayuth had been suspended from office by the court in August while it heard an opposition-party petition arguing that his time was up.
  • Also in Thailand, dozens of people, mostly children, were murdered in a gun-and-knife attack at a day-care centre in the north-east. The suspect, said to be a former police officer, killed himself.
  • A stampede at a football stadium in the Indonesian city of Malang killed at least 131 people. It was triggered by police firing tear-gas to disperse fans who had run onto the pitch.
  • A grid failure in Bangladesh left 75% of the country without electricity. Power was restored to Dhaka, the capital, by evening, and to the rest of the country by the following day. Bangladesh, like many poor countries, is suffering from shortages of gas as Europe tops up its supplies for winter.
  • North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew more than 4,000km, far enough to reach Guam. It was the farthest a North Korean missile has ever travelled. A South Korean missile test ended in failure when it crashed to the ground.
  • Protests against Iran’s theocracy continued across the country. Some of the most striking were in universities and schools, where many female students threw off their headscarves and chanted songs denouncing the bossiness and corruption of clerical rule.
  • The two main sides in the eight-year-long civil war in Yemen failed to renew a truce signed in April that had been extended several times. But all-out war has yet to resume. The United Nations special envoy, Hans Grundberg, begged the adversaries to return to negotiations.

The zero-covid approach

  • Xinjiang in western China suspended passenger train services leaving the region to prevent the spread of covid. A local official said Xinjiang was facing a “major public-health emergency”.
  • Indonesia became the first country to approve the emergency use of an mRNA covid vaccine developed in China. The Chinese government has yet to approve any mrna vaccines for use among its own population, except in clinical trials.
  • Burkina Faso suffered its second coup in less than a year. The new regime seized power after accusing the old one of not doing enough to stop jihadists who now plague large parts of the country.
  • Ethiopia agreed to participate in peace talks hosted by the African Union with rebel forces from Tigray that it has been battling for two years. The war has left thousands of people starving in Tigray.
  • The commander of Uganda’s army, Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, threatened on Twitter to invade neighbouring Kenya. It was a joke, but Kenyans did not find it funny. Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, stripped the general of his job but also promoted him. The general is his son, and possibly his favoured successor.

The world this week Business

  • Elon Musk changed course and offered to go ahead with his $44bn deal to buy Twitter, but only if a forthcoming trial that could force him to complete the takeover is stopped. A recent preliminary hearing in the case did not go well for his legal team. The mercurial Mr Musk offered to take Twitter private in April, said the offer was on hold in May, and abandoned the deal in July, prompting the legal action. He has suggested that he will turn the platform into “X”, an everything app, similar perhaps to the superapps that combine messaging, shopping and services in Asia.

Acruel summer

  • Stockmarkets rallied briefly over the first two days of trading of the fourth quarter, after a brutal sell-off at the end of the third quarter. Despite some gains in August, share indices recorded an overall loss from July 1st to September 30th. The s&p 500 was down by 5% over the quarter—September was its worst month since March 2020, the start of the pandemic. The NASDAQ Composite shed 4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 7%. The pain was worse in China. The csi 300, which comprises stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, finished the quarter 15% lower than at the start.
  • Bond markets were calmer. The yield on ten-year British gilts eased back to around 4% after the government ditched its plan to scrap the top rate of income tax (two months ago the yield was around 2%). The yield on the ten-year us Treasury fell back to 3.6% having risen above 4%. In Britain banks started re-offering some mortgage products they had withdrawn amid the market uncertainty. The interest rate on an average two-year fixed-rate mortgage rose above 6% for the first time since 2008.
  • The share prices of Chinese property companies rebounded following a number of government announcements to shore up the housing market. In addition, the People’s Bank of China lowered interest rates on certain loans for firsttime buyers.
  • opec+ said it would cut oil production by 2 m barrels a day, around 2% of global supply. The headline figure is the biggest reduction to output since 2020, but some opec members are already struggling with production targets so the overall effect will be lower. Still, it was a blow for the Biden administration and European governments, which had pressed the cartel to keep cuts to a minimum so that prices don’t rise. The White House press secretary said that opec was now clearly “aligning with Russia”.
  • Annual inflation in the Netherlands (measured by the cpi) surged to 14.5% in September. Energy prices were up by 200%, year on year. Turkey’s inflation rate rose above 83%; transport and food prices increased at an even faster clip.
  • Australia’s central bank lifted its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, to 2.6%. Markets had expected a bigger rise, but the bank defended the smaller move because the rate has “increased substantially” this year.
  • Executives at Credit Suisse had to battle rumours that the bank is in trouble. A memo sent by the chief executive, Ulrich Körner, to staff, reassuring them about the bank’s “strong capital base and liquidity position”, elicited the opposite effect in the markets. Its credit default swaps, which act as an insurance of a default, soared to new highs. Cooler heads dismissed the idea that Credit Suisse would become the next Lehman Brothers.
  • Apple will have to adapt the charger for iPhones in the eu, after the European Parliament approved new rules to standardise charging points for linking electronic devices to usb-c connections. The change applies to all products, so some items made by Samsung and others will also have to adapt.
  • The World Trade Organisation forecast that the global trade in goods, measured by volume, will grow by 3.5% this year, but by only 1% in 2023. Demand for imports will soften, it said, for a variety of reasons related to the squeeze on household spending.
  • Geely, a Chinese carmaker that owns the Volvo and Lotus brands, bought a 7.6% stake in Aston Martin. Geely has long wanted a piece of the British maker of sports cars (it is seen as a potential buyer of the firm), and says it looks forward to future collaborations.

Death and taxes

  • Dignity, the only publicly listed funeral provider in Britain, reported a half-year pre-tax loss. The firm is not immune from the more earthly problems bedevilling other businesses. Rising fuel costs have caused it to consider a surcharge on the gas burned at its crematoriums. And although lower death rates from covid-19 are a blessing for us all, it has made year-on-year comparisons about the business difficult. Still, Dignity noted “positive signs” about its market, a nod to the fact that there will always be a demand for its services.

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