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The Economist - 9 декабря 2023

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 9 декабря  2023

Год выпуска: декабрь 2023

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: 80


  • Do not dwell on the many ways the peace process can go wrong, but on bolstering the real possibility that it goes right: leader, page 11.
  • Despite the war in Gaza, talk of a two-state solution will not go away: briefing, page 17.

What if Trump stumbles?

  • Our poll tracker suggests that the competition behind Donald Trump is coming to a head: leader, page 73, and analysis, page 24.

Treasuries: Genslerv Griffin

  • By bashing hedge funds, America 's regulators could cost taxpayers money: leader, page 13.
  • Is the world's most important asset market broken? Page 69.

Make or break for renewables

  • Expanding renewable-energy capacity is becoming worryingly hard: leader, page 14.
  • Supplychain dysfunction, rising interest rates and protectionism are making life tough, page 57.
  • How to sell free trade togreen types, page 67.
  • In Europe green politicians struggle: Charlemagne, page 50.

Our books of the year

  • The picks of 2023 transport readers to the top of mountains, out to sea and back in time, page 75.

The world this week Politics

  • Israel brought its fight against Hamas to southern Gaza, encircling Khan Younis, where Hamas has consolidated its position after losing control of northern Gaza. Israeli warplanes stepped up their bombardment of the Palestinian strip. The fighting resumed after the collapse of a week-long ceasefire, which America and Israel blamed on Hamas for breaking its promise to release more hostages, firing rockets while the truce was in place and killing civilians in an attack in Jerusalem. With battles raging in the area where Gazans had sought shelter, concerns grew about civilian casualties. Hospitals are said to be running low on fuel and medical supplies.
  • America imposed visa sanctions on extremist Israeli settlers who are involved in attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. Antony Blinken, America’s secretary of state, has pressed the Israeli government to do more to hold settlers who commit violence accountable for their actions.
  • Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where he discussed oil (Russia is a big contributor to OPEC+) and business (the uae is a hub for Russian business dealings). Mr Putin was also set to meet Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in Moscow. Iran supplies drones to Russia for its war on Ukraine.
  • The military junta in Niger scrapped its military partnership with the European Union, which had been helping it fight against jihadists. Niger’s defence ministry said his country wants closer military co-operation with Russia.
  • The death toll rose from flooding in Tanzania. Some 300 people in east Africa have died recently, half of them in Kenya, in floods and landslides related to the El Nino climate pattern, which is causing unusually heavy rains in the region.
  • Nigeria’s air force killed at least 85 civilians when it mistakenly bombed a religious gathering in the northern state of Kaduna. The government has been battling jihadists and armed groups of bandits, who have terrorised large parts of the north.
  • Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s autocratic president, held a referendum asking voters if they wanted to annex two-thirds of neighbouring Guyana, which has benefited from discoveries of huge oil reserves. The exercise was skewed in favour of a yes vote as there was no official "no” campaign. The electoral authority claimed that over 10m people voted, an unlikely figure, given that few were seen at polling-stations. Even so, Brazil sent troops and 16 armoured vehicles to the border with Venezuela.

I'm away from my desk

  • Nayib Bukele stepped back from the presidency of El Salvador to campaign for elections in February. The country’s constitution bars a second consecutive term, but the Bukele-appointed Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that he could run again if he was out of the post for six months before the inauguration, which takes place on June ist. Mr Bukele has left his secretary in charge.
  • Javier Milei, a libertarian economist who takes office as Argentina’s president on December 10th, selected most of his cabinet. The appointments of Luis Caputo as economy minister and Santiago Bausili as central bank chief, two technocrats from a former centre-right administration, signalled that Mr Milei’s flagship plan of dollarisation would be put on hold.
  • The Republicans’ majority in America’s House of Representatives narrowed to just three, when George Santos was expelled as a member, only the sixth congressman everto meet that fate, amid charges of unlawful conduct. A special election will be held in his marginal Long Island district. Meanwhile Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted as speaker in October, said he would leave the House by the end of the year. He represents a safe Republican seat in California.
  • Republicans in the American Senate blocked a bill to provide more military support to Ukraine. The legislation became entangled in a row over migration, as the Republicans tied their support for the bill to stricter border measures, which Democrats rejected. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, cancelled a speech to Congress via video link amid the row. Before the vote the White House’s budget director warned that cutting aid would "kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield”.
  • The European Union’s home affairs commissioner warned of a "huge risk” of terrorists carrying out attacks in the region over the Christmas period. Ylva Johansson was speaking after a supporter of Islamic State stabbed a man to death and wounded two other people near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He had previously served time in prison for plotting another attack. Ms Johansson said the conflict in Gaza was polarising society, and increasing the risk of terrorism.
  • America signed a defence co-operation agreement with Sweden, describing the country as a "strong, capable defence partner that champions nato’s values”. The Hungarian and Turkish parliaments have still not ratified Sweden’s nato membership.
  • The eu criticised the Russian Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw the "international lgbt public movement” for supposed extremism. The ruling imperils those few gay organisations that have dared to still operate in Russia.
  • Germany’s coalition government scrambled to resolve a budget crisis caused by the Constitutional Court striking down its spending plans because they increased the federal debt. The government has been left with a spending shortfall of€6obn ($6sbn) for this year, and time is running out to present a revised budget to parliament.
  • Police in the Philippines said that two supporters of Islamic State were suspected of being behind the bombing of a Catholic mass in the city of Marawi, killing four people. In 2017 a pro-is group took command of Marawi for five months as it battled the country’s army, which eventually regained control.
  • At least 22 climbers were killed when Indonesia’s Mount Marapi volcano erupted. The volcano emitted a 3km-high cloud, covering nearby villages in ash.

Finding a place to stay

  • Britain’s ruling Conservatives were embroiled in fresh turmoil, after the immigration minister resigned in protest against an emergency bill that classifies Rwanda as a safe country in order to send illegal migrants there. The minister said the bill did not go far enough in deterring migration; the government insisted it tackled the recent objections to the policy raised by Britain’s Supreme Court. Rumours swirled that the bill might turn into a confidence vote on the government.

The world this week Business

  • ByteDance has offered to buy back stock from investors, according to reports, in a proposal that values the owner of the TikTok and Douyin platforms somewhere between $26obn and $268bn. That is about 10% less than what the firm was reportedly worth a year ago in a separate buy-back plan. ByteDance is still the world’s most valuable startup and one of the most valuable firms in China. It has toyed with listing on the Hong Kong stockmarket several times.
  • Meanwhile, a federal judge imposed an injunction against Montana’s statewide ban on TikTok. The ban was supposed to come into force in January, but the judge found that Montana was focused on "targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok”, and that foreign policy "is not an important Montana state interest”. The ban had been challenged by TikTok and free-speech advocates. Montana described the injunction as "a preliminary matter” in an ongoing process in which it would present "a complete legal argument” to the court.
  • China has started operating the world’s first "fourth-generation” nuclear reactor, according to state media. The coastal plant in China’s Shandong province generates power through a htr-pm high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor, based on a modular design. Over the past ten years China has added 37 nuclear reactors to its energy mix (America has added two) and is aiming to install between another six and eight a year.
  • British American Tobacco said it would take an impairment charge of around £25bn ($3i.5bn), as it writes down the carry value of its cigarette assets over the next 30 years. The company, which counts Dunhill, Kent and Lucky Strike among its brands, aims to get half its revenue from smokeless products by 2035.
  • Procter & Gamble also booked an impairment charge, on the value of Gillette, which it acquired almost two decades ago. The conglomerate is writing off $i.3bn from the male shaving-and-grooming business in the current quarter, which comes on top of the $8bn it wrote down in 2019. Gillette has struggled to compete against razor-sharp marketing from upstarts such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s.

Return to never-ever land

  • Disney was forced to defend its business strategy, after Nelson Peltz launched a fresh proxy fight to gain a seat on the company’s board. In February Mr Peltz’s hedge fund, Trian Partners, backed down from its battle to get a board seat, saying that Disney’s restructuring plan, which included 7,000 job losses, did "everything we wanted them to do”. But Mr Peltz now says that, since giving Disney the opportunity to "right the ship”, shareholders have lost $7obn in value. Disney responded by saying it is in the middle of a "significant transformation”.
  • The price of bitcoin surged past $44,000, its highest level in 20 months. It was boosted in part by investors betting that central banks will cut interest rates next year, which makes riskier assets more attractive. Gold, another asset that does well when interest rates are lower, hit a record high of $2,135 a troy ounce.
  • The bullish mood on rate cuts spurred investors to push up stockmarkets. On December ist the s&p 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average closed at their highest points this year (though they fell back in subsequent trading). The nasdaq composite has not been as buoyant these past few weeks, but it has still risen by more than 35% this year.
  • Australia’s economy grew by 2.1% in the third quarter on an annual basis, but was just 0.2% bigger than over the previous three months. The quarter-on-quarter rate came in below forecasts and was the slowest pace in a year. Household spending was flat in the Lucky Country, as inflation, interest rates and the end of a tax-offset scheme took their toll on personal finances.
  • Spotify decided to cut 1,500 jobs, its third and largest round of lay-offs this year. The music-streaming giant admitted that it hired too many employees in 2020 and 2021 when it "took advantage of the opportunity presented by lower-cost capital”, but it thanked those who were being shown the door for "sharing your talents with us”.

Virtual reality

  • After being warned about "greenwashing”, companies are now being told not to engage in Ai-washing, or claiming a product or service has been created with artificial intelligence when it has not. Gary Gensler, the chairman of America’s Securities and Exchange Commission, reminded firms that by law they are required to make "truthful” disclosures regarding their use of ai. Examples abound, but include a business that falsely claimed it had used "ai machine learning” to maximise revenues (some investors lost their life savings) and a startup that said it deployed ai to develop mobile apps (the work was mostly done by staff in India).

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