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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Wobbling into the World Trade Organisation: Brexiteers claim that trade on WTO terms would be fine. Wrong

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Print section Print Rubric:  Brexiteers claim that trade on WTO terms alone would be just fine. Wrong Print Headline:  Wobbling into the WTO Print Fly Title:  Trade after no deal UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Wobbling into the World Trade Organisation Main image:  20171202_BRD002.jpg IT HAS long been an article of faith for hard Brexiteers: there is nothing to fear from the World Trade Organisation. Many are suspicious of the compromises that a free-trade deal with the EU may entail, such as accepting its rules or even its courts. So why not just walk out and trade with the EU as other countries do, on WTO terms? One answer is that Britain’s relationship with the EU is far more intimate than most countries’. The EU accounts for 43% of Britain’s goods exports and half its imports. In services, which ...

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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

A handover of confidence: London’s property market is rescued by its former colony, Hong Kong

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Print section Print Rubric:  A former colony rescues London’s property market Print Headline:  A handover of confidence Print Fly Title:  Property UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  A handover of confidence Location:  HONG KONG Main image:  20171202_BRP002.jpg IF ANYWHERE is more obsessed with property than Britain, it is Hong Kong. In the storeyed former colony, handed over to China 20 years ago, real estate fills the conversation just as it fills the skyline. Nor is this interest confined to Hong Kong’s own tightly packed buildings. On a recent weekend, an international property fair organised by REA Group, an online estate agent, drew over 2,500 participants. They were treated to an eclectic menu of options, from luxury flats in Dubai ...

30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Deal or no deal?: The siren song of a no-deal Brexit

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Print section Print Rubric:  The government’s slow and painful concessions have not killed off the idea that it would be better just to walk out. That is a dangerous delusion Print Headline:  The siren song of no deal Print Fly Title:  The Brexit negotiations UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Deal or no deal? Main image:  20171202_BRD001.jpg ALL the signs are that Britain is caving in on the three issues in the first phase of the Brexit talks. Theresa May was told she had to yield by next week to persuade the European Union summit on December 14th-15th to agree that there had been sufficient progress to begin talks on transition and a future trade framework. The prime minister has duly made big concessions on the rights of EU citizens in Britain and on the exit bill, perhaps enough to pass the test. There ...

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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Buzz killed: Digital news outlets are in for a reckoning

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Print section Print Rubric:  The last in our series on the future of journalism looks at digital news outlets Print Headline:  Buzz kill Print Fly Title:  Digital news organisations UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Buzz killed Location:  NEW YORK Main image:  20171202_WBP503.jpg GREAT expectations attended digital journalism outfits. Firms such as BuzzFeed and Mashable were the hip kids destined to conquer the internet with their younger, advertiser-friendly audience, smart manipulation of social media and affinity for technology. They seemed able to generate massive web traffic and, with it, ad revenues. They saw the promise of video, predicting that advertising dollars spent on television would migrate online. Their investors, including ...

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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Free exchange: The euro zone’s boom masks problems that will return to haunt it

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Print section Print Rubric:  Europe’s boom will not last; it had better make the most of it Print Headline:  The second chance Print Fly Title:  Free exchange UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Free exchange “WHAT does not kill me makes me stronger,” wrote Nietzsche in “Götzen-Dämmerung”, or “Twilight of the Idols”. Alternatively, it leaves the body dangerously weakened, as did the illnesses that plagued the German philosopher all his life. The euro area survived a hellish decade, and is now enjoying an unlikely boom. The OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, reckons that the euro zone will have grown faster in 2017 than America, Britain or Japan. But, sadly, although the currency bloc has undoubtedly proven more resilient than many economists expected, it is only a little better equipped to survive its next recession than it was the previous one. Europe’s crisis was brutal. ...

30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Think of a number: Europe’s banks face a glut of new rules

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Print section Print Rubric:  Ten years after the crisis, Europe’s banks face a glut of new rules Print Headline:  Think of a number Print Fly Title:  Regulating European banks UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Think of a number Main image:  20171202_FND001_0.jpg FOR those oddballs whose hearts sing at the thought of bank regulation, Europe is a pretty good place to be. No fewer than five lots of rules are about to come into force, are near completion or are due for overhaul. They will open up European banking to more competition, tighten rules on trading, dent reported profits and boost capital requirements. Although they should also make Europe’s financial system healthier, bankers—after a decade of ever-tightening regulation since the crisis of 2007-08—may be less enthused. Start with the extra ...

30 ноября 2017, 18:56

High prices and homelessness: The roots of Ireland’s property crisis

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Print section Print Rubric:  High prices and homelessness Print Headline:  In short supply Print Fly Title:  Ireland property UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  High prices and homelessness Location:  DUBLIN Main image:  Dublin down and out Dublin down and out DUBLIN has long been a popular destination for foreign tourists, who enjoy its warm pubs, silky beer, Georgian streetscapes and leisurely approach to life. But lately it seems that longer-term visitors have been falling out of love with Ireland’s lively capital. Last month a survey of 13,000 expatriates put Dublin fifth from bottom of a list of 51 global cities, ranked by quality of life. Their main gripe (as with Paris, which finished two places lower, sandwiched between Riyadh and ...

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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

A job half-finished: Europe’s banks are stronger than they were, but not strong enough

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Print section Print Rubric:  Much has been done to strengthen Europe’s banking system. But not enough Print Headline:  A job half-finished Print Fly Title:  European banks UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  A job half-finished Main image:  20171202_LDD002_0.jpg THE permanent revolution rumbles on. Ten years after the financial crisis, Europe’s bankers must wonder whether the regulatory upheaval will ever cease (see article). Next month two European Union directives start to bite. MiFID2 will make trading more transparent and oblige banks to charge clients separately for research; PSD2 will expose banks to more competition from technology companies, and each other, in everything from payment services to budgeting advice. A new accounting rule, IFRS 9, also kicks in, demanding timelier provisions for credit ...

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30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Borderline solution: The fate of the Irish frontier shows the compromises that Brexit entails

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Print section Print Rubric:  The fate of the Irish frontier shows the compromises that Brexit will force Britain to make Print Headline:  Borderline solution Print Fly Title:  Brexit and the Irish question UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Borderline solution Main image:  20171202_LDP001_0.jpg NORTHERN IRELAND barely featured in last year’s Brexit referendum campaign, in which Britons were more interested in matters of migration and money. Yet the future of the 500km border that separates the North from the Irish Republic—and which will soon separate the United Kingdom from the European Union—has become one of the trickiest issues of the exit talks. The winding border has revealed a tangle in the “red lines” laid down by Theresa May. After leaving the EU, Britain wants to do its own trade deals with the ...

30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Afterlife: India’s new bankruptcy code takes aim at delinquent tycoons

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Print section Print Rubric:  Grim times for defaulting tycoons Print Headline:  Afterlife Print Fly Title:  Bankruptcy in India UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Afterlife Location:  MUMBAI Main image:  20171202_FNP504.jpg A SMOOTH bankruptcy process is akin to reincarnation: a company at death’s door gets to shuffle off its old debts, often gain new owners, and start a new life. Might the idea catch on in India? A first wave of cadaverous firms are seeking rebirth under a bankruptcy code adopted in December 2016. In a hopeful development, tycoons once able to hold on to “their” businesses even as banks got stiffed seem likely to be forced to cede control. India badly needs a fresh approach to insolvent businesses. Its banks’ ...

30 ноября 2017, 18:56

Yielding insight: A flattening yield curve argues against higher interest rates

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Print section Print Rubric:  A flattening yield curve weakens the case for higher interest rates Print Headline:  Yielding insight Print Fly Title:  American interest rates UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How—and why—to end the war in Yemen Fly Title:  Yielding insight Location:  WASHINGTON, DC CENTRAL bankers may control short-term interest rates, but long-term ones are mostly free to wander. They do not always behave. When Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, was raising short rates in 2005, he described a simultaneous decline in long rates as a “conundrum”. His successor-to-be, Ben Bernanke, blamed foreign investments in American assets because of a “global saving glut”. Janet Yellen, today’s (outgoing) Fed chair, faces a similar puzzle. Ms Yellen’s Fed has raised rates twice this year, and will probably make it three times in December. ...

30 ноября 2017, 17:44

Markets: How to spot the next crisis

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Main image:  WHILE the world of geopolitics looks as risky as ever, the markets seem to go on their sweet way, recording new highs for equity indices. In large part, of course, this is down to signs of an improving global economy and a sense that politics doesn’t really matter, despite the tweets of President Donald Trump (defending Vladimir Putin and attacking Theresa May is a first for American diplomacy).Where might trouble first emerge? The most likely venue is the corporate bond market. This has changed a lot over the past ten years. As late as 2008, more than 80% of non-financial corporate bond issuance was rated A or above, according to Torsten Slok of Deutsche Bank; in the past five years, the proportion has been consistently under 60%. That means the average corporate bond is riskier than before. At the same time, the reforms that followed the crash of 2008 mean that banks have to hold more capital (quite rightly). But this also means they are less willing to devote capital to market-making; as a result, the bond market is less liquid than before. So investors in corporate bonds are holding a riskier, less liquid asset.So you might expect that investors would demand a higher yield in compensation. But of course, the past ten years have been marked by record lows in government bond yields and ...