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16 ноября, 18:58

Trade deals: Who needs America?

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Print section Print Rubric:  America damaged the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Others are fixing it Print Headline:  Repair job Print Fly Title:  Trade deals UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Trade deals Main image:  20171118_FNP506.jpg REVIVING the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal between 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, is technically impossible. To go into force, members making up at least 85% of their combined GDP had to ratify it. Three days into his presidency, Donald Trump announced that America was out. With 60% of members’ GDP gone, that deal was doomed. But on November 11th, another began to rise in its place, crowned with a tongue-twisting new name: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Ministers from ...

16 ноября, 18:58

Briefs encounter: A new class of startup is upending America’s consumer-goods industry

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Print section Print Rubric:  “Direct-to-consumer” startups are upending the consumer-goods industry Print Headline:  Briefs encounter Print Fly Title:  E-commerce UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Briefs encounter Main image:  Tommy John’s got the consumer covered Tommy John’s got the consumer covered IN MANY ways, Tommy John, a startup based in Manhattan, resembles a tech company straight out of Silicon Valley. On its website the venture-backed firm touts its innovative materials and patented designs. When recruiting talent, it describes itself as “disruptive” and “revolutionary”. But Tommy John does not deal in computer hardware, software or any other kind of technology. It makes men’s underwear. Following the example of successful e-commerce brands such as Warby Parker, a glasses ...

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16 ноября, 18:58

Guns v money: Fuelled by Middle East tension, the oil market has got ahead of itself

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Print section Print Rubric:  Fuelled by Middle East tension, the oil market has got ahead of itself Print Headline:  Guns v money Print Fly Title:  Oil UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Guns v money ONLY one thing spooks the oil market as much as hot-headed despots in the Middle East, and that is hot-headed hedge-fund managers. For the second time this year, record speculative bets on rising oil prices in American and European futures have made the market vulnerable to a sell-off. “You don’t want to be the last man standing,” says Ole Hansen of Saxo Bank. On November 15th, the widely traded Brent crude futures benchmark, which had hit a two-year high of $64 a barrel on November 7th, fell below $62. America’s West Texas Intermediate also fell. The declines coincided with a sharp drop across global metals markets, owing to concern about slowing demand in ...

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16 ноября, 18:58

Standard stuff: Timelier provisions may make banks’ profits and lending choppier

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Print section Print Rubric:  Timelier loan-loss provisions may make earnings and lending choppier Print Headline:  Stage fright Print Fly Title:  Accounting and banks UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Standard stuff Main image:  20171118_FNP505.jpg IN THE first quarter of 2018 thousands of banks will look a little less profitable. A new international accounting standard, IFRS 9, will oblige lenders in more than 120 countries, including the European Union’s members, to increase provisions for credit losses. In America, which has its own standard-setter, IFRS 9 will not be applied—but by 2019 banks there will also have to follow a slightly different regime. The new rule has its roots in the financial crisis of 2007-08, in the wake of which the leaders of the G20 countries declared that ...

16 ноября, 18:58

3% and no higher?: Britain may be through the worst of its bout of inflation

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Print section Print Rubric:  Britain may be through the worst of its bout of inflation Print Headline:  Up to the top of the hill… Print Fly Title:  Inflation UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  3% and no higher? Main image:  20171118_BRP501.jpg SINCE November 2015 the pound has depreciated by over 15% against other currencies, mainly because of worries caused by last year’s Brexit referendum. As the cost of imports has risen, inflation has jumped. Monthly figures released on November 14th showed that in October consumer-price inflation was 3%, the joint-highest level since 2012. Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s governor, was only just spared the embarrassment of having to write an explanatory letter to the chancellor, which he must do if inflation is more than a percentage point away ...

16 ноября, 18:58

Free exchange: What is the purpose of tax reform?

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Print section Print Rubric:  There are better motivations for tax reform than boosting growth Print Headline:  The grow-nothings Print Fly Title:  Free exchange UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Free exchange IF MAKING America great again is the aim, you could do worse than bring back the economic growth rates of the late 1990s. President Donald Trump’s team reckons that the Republican tax plan making its way through Congress will do just that. “We are creating a model that creates economic growth in this country,” says Gary Cohn, the director of Mr Trump’s National Economic Council. Kevin Hassett, who runs the Council of Economic Advisers, reckons the bill should push growth above 4% per year. Such heights are not beyond the realm of possibility, but if America reaches them tax reform will have little to do with it. That is not because of the specifics of ...

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16 ноября, 18:58

The sphinx of zinc: An Indian tycoon’s raid on Anglo American is a riddle

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Print section Print Rubric:  An Indian tycoon’s raid on Anglo American is a riddle Print Headline:  The sphinx of zinc Print Fly Title:  Mining UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  The sphinx of zinc Main image:  Agarwal contemplates his next move Agarwal contemplates his next move THE floors in the Mayfair mansion where Anil Agarwal, an Indian tycoon, lives in London are made of chequered marble. But the former scrap-metal dealer, whose home was once owned by the Rothschild family, is much less black and white. On his startling purchase this year of 21% of the shares of Anglo American, one of the world’s best-known mining groups, he is sphinx-like. The only thing that is clear is his ambition to be one of the world’s biggest mining moguls. Anglo American is part of that vision. Mr ...

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16 ноября, 18:58

The slow-grilled economy: What five years of Abenomics has and has not achieved

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Print section Print Rubric:  What five years of Abenomics has and has not achieved Print Headline:  The slow-grilled economy Print Fly Title:  Japan UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  The slow-grilled economy Main image:  20171118_FND001.jpg IN TOKYO’S Iidabashi district, north of the Imperial Palace, young salarymen and women gather after work to enjoy grilled chicken and a drink at Torikizoku, a chain of budget restaurants. They tap out their orders on touch-screen terminals, which the company has installed on many tables in an effort to economise on waiters, whose wages are hard to contain. Last month the company was forced to raise its price by over 6%, to ¥298 (about $2.60) plus tax, for two skewers of locally reared chicken yakitori. It was the firm’s first price increase in 28 ...

16 ноября, 14:17

Retail sales, producer prices, wages and exchange rates

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Print section Print Headline:  Retail sales, producer prices, wages and exchange rates UK Only Article:  standard article Article body images:  20171118_INT600.png Published:  20171116 Source:  Online extra Enabled

14 ноября, 20:47

Buttonwood: Criticism of index-tracking funds is ill-directed

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Print section Print Rubric:  Criticism of index-tracking funds is ill-directed Print Headline:  Passive aggressive Print Fly Title:  Buttonwood UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The army sidelines Robert Mugabe, Africa’s great dictator Fly Title:  Buttonwood Main image:  20171118_FND002_0.jpg INDEX funds were devised in the 1970s as a way of giving investors cheap, diversified portfolios. But they have only become very popular in the past decade. Last year more money flowed into “passive” funds (those tracking a benchmark like the S&P 500) than into “active” funds that try to pick the best stocks. In any other industry, this would be universally welcomed as a sign that innovation was coming up with cheaper products to the benefit of ordinary citizens. But the rise of index funds has provoked some fierce criticism. Two stand out. One argues that ...

14 ноября, 18:19

Daily chart: Britain may be through the worst of its bout of inflation

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Main image:  SINCE November 2015 the pound has depreciated by over 15% against other currencies, mainly because of worries caused by last year’s Brexit referendum. As the cost of imports has risen, inflation has jumped. Figures released on November 14th showed that in October consumer-price inflation was 3%, the joint-highest level since 2012. That is squeezing Britons’ living standards. Yet there is reason to think that inflation may soon be on its way down again.In the 1970s inflation was a scourge on the British economy. As unions battled with employers over wage settlements, it often rose above 20%. Yet lately inflation has become quiescent. The Bank of England won operational independence over monetary policy in 1997. Since then the annual rate of consumer-price inflation has averaged almost exactly 2%, in line with the bank’s official target.Nonetheless, as an open economy with a fairly volatile currency, Britain is prone to short-term spikes in inflation. In 2011, as oil prices soared and the government increased VAT, it hit 5.2%. With weak growth in nominal wages since the financial crisis of 2008-09, even relatively small rises in the inflation rate are felt keenly by workers. The latest bout of inflation has caused real-terms wages to fall in every month since February.Yet inflation may not ...

10 ноября, 08:30

The Economist explains: Why London’s house prices are falling

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Main image:  LONDON’S housing market has been bubbly for years. Since 1990 the price of the average house in the capital, once adjusted for inflation, has tripled. That growth has far outstripped what has been seen in the rest of Britain. Yet the market has turned of late—and in a big way. As recently as 2014 London’s house prices were growing at 20% a year, but they may now be falling. What has changed?A particular pocket of weakness is London’s “prime” market, which is often defined as the priciest 5-10% of homes. Prime prices in central London are 15% below their peak of three years ago. In Kensington and Chelsea, the city’s poshest borough, house prices have tumbled by 15% since January. The prime market is struggling in part because of Brexit. Some plutocrats have already left; others want to rent, not buy. Yet other factors have played a bigger role. In 2014 the government made changes to stamp duty, a tax on homebuyers, raising it for those buying houses worth more than about £1m ($1.3m). Recently stamp duty became heavier still for those purchasing second homes. London is stuffed with luxury pads—the city has over half the houses sold in Britain that cost more than £1m—so it is feeling these measures most keenly.Yet London’s prime market is not alone. In all price brackets, prices are less ...