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14 сентября, 17:54

Paradise lost: How Hurricane Irma will change the Caribbean

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Print section Print Rubric:  After one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the Caribbean, the region will have to change the way it plans for disasters Print Headline:  Paradise lost Print Fly Title:  Hurricane Irma (1) UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Paradise lost Main image:  20170916_AMP001_0.jpg FOR three days in early September Hurricane Irma ground through the eastern Caribbean like a bulldozer made out of wind and rain. Tropical breezes became 300kph (185mph) blasts, turning “tin roofs into flying razor blades”, as Maarten van Aalst of the Red Cross put it. Placid seas reared up in giant waves and rainwater coursed through streets. Even when the sun eventually came out the nightmare did not end. Shortages of food and water sparked looting on some islands. Survivors were grateful that fewer than 50 ...

14 сентября, 17:54

Tracking changes: Egypt is making renewed efforts to reform its economy

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Print section Print Rubric:  The Egyptian government is making renewed efforts to reform the economy through privatisation Print Headline:  Changing track Print Fly Title:  Egypt’s economy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Tracking changes Main image:  20170916_map001.jpg THE train north from Cairo winds through the lush fields and meandering canals of the Nile Delta, before chugging into Alexandria. The scenery is pleasant on a 180km journey that can drag on for more than four hours. It is slow enough that EgyptAir offers flights on the same route. Egypt’s state-owned, 6,700km rail network, the oldest in Africa, has seen better days. Stations are dingy; trains are dangerous and often delayed. In August 41 people were killed in one collision. It was the deadliest crash since 2012, but smaller ones are common, with over ...

14 сентября, 17:54

Just the job: Ever more Indians are struggling to find work

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Print section Print Rubric:  Ever more Indians are struggling to find work Print Headline:  Just the job Print Fly Title:  India’s economy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Just the job Location:  LUCKNOW Main image:  20170916_ASP001_0.jpg A DOZEN hefty wooden crates sit outside a small factory on the outskirts of Lucknow, the capital of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. On the shop floor inside, where chattering machines bag and package herbal teas, a manager explains what will happen when he opens the crates. “His job will go,” he says, nodding at one boiler-suited operator. “And his over there, and that one’s too.” Improved technology has already boosted the firm’s output fivefold since its launch in 2002, with no increase in staff. The new ...

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14 сентября, 17:54

Generation games: Great strides have been made against disease and poverty

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Print section Print Rubric:  The past 15 years have seen spectacular falls in poverty and ill health. The next 15 are unlikely to be as good Print Headline:  Generation games Print Fly Title:  The Gates report UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Generation games Main image:  20170916_irp002.jpg IF YOU look beyond the rich West, most of which has been in a funk ever since the financial crisis of 2007-08, the world has had an amazing run. Fully 6m fewer children under the age of five died in 2016 than in 1990. Never before have so many people been free of grinding poverty and ill health. Never have women been so unlikely to die as a result of giving birth, or to lose a baby to illness. But the possibility that after this long winning streak humanity could be about to trip and fall is preoccupying Bill and Melinda Gates, a ...

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14 сентября, 17:54

Switching to autopilot: The Fed prepares for its balance-sheet—and its board—to shrink

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Print section Print Rubric:  The Fed prepares for its balance-sheet—and its board—to shrink Print Headline:  Switching to autopilot Print Fly Title:  The Federal Reserve UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Switching to autopilot Location:  WASHINGTON, DC Main image:  20170916_FNP003_0.jpg NINE years ago, in the autumn of 2008, the Federal Reserve was fighting a financial collapse. To stave off disaster, it lent aggressively—to banks, to money-market funds, even to other central banks. As a result, its balance-sheet ballooned. At the start of September 2008, the month when Lehman Brothers collapsed, the Fed’s assets totalled $905bn (at the time, about 6% of GDP). By December they had more than doubled in size, to $2.1trn. That was only the start. As its ...

14 сентября, 17:54

Free exchange: Stanley Fischer and the twilight of technocracy

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Print section Print Rubric:  Stanley Fischer and the twilight of the technocrat Print Headline:  Remote control Print Fly Title:  Free exchange UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer Fly Title:  Free exchange Main image:  20170916_FND000_0.jpg IN 2004 Stanley Fischer described the wonder he felt as an economics student in the 1960s. “You had a set of equations”, he said, “that meant you could control the economy.” Technocracy—the dream of scientific government by a caste of wise men—arose in the 20th century, as rapid change rendered the world unfathomably complex; in economics, it came of age in the Keynesian revolution of the 1930s. On September 6th, after a remarkably distinguished career in public service, Mr Fischer, an intellectual heir to Keynes, announced his imminent retirement as the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve. It is ...

14 сентября, 12:03

Youth unemployment

Print section Print Headline:  Youth unemployment UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Closing in on cancer   Since 2005 the share of young people (aged 20-24) in the OECD who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs, for short) has fallen slightly, from 17.3% to 16.3%. Some countries have made striking progress, largely owing to increased access to further education. Nearly half of young Turkish adults were NEETs in 2005; by 2016 less than a third were. In Germany 18.7% of youths were NEETs back in 2005, well above the OECD average; by 2016 only 10.8% were. Other countries have not fared so well. Despite having more young people in education, the share of NEETs in Ireland, Portugal and Spain has risen to at least a fifth since 2005, principally because of the financial crisis and its aftermath. Article body images:  20170916_INC680.png Published:  20170916 Source:  The Economist Newspaper ...

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08 сентября, 18:52

The global economy: Will credit cause a slowdown?

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Main image:  IF THERE is a consensus at the moment, it is that the global economy is finally managing a synchronised recovery. The purchasing managers' index for global manufacturing is at its highest level for six years; copper, the metal often seen as the most sensitive to global conditions, is up by a quarter since May.  But Steen Jakobsen of Saxo Bank thinks this strength will not last. His leading indicator is a measure of the change in private sector credit growth. This peaked at the turn of the year and is now heading down sharply. Indeed the change in trend is the most negative since the financial crisis (see chart). Since this indicator leads the economy by 9-12 months, that suggests a significant economic slowdown either late this year or early  in 2018. He says thatThis call for a significant slowdown coincides with several facts: the ECB’s QE programme will conclude by end-2017 and will at best be scaled down by €10 billion per ECB meeting in 2018.  The Fed, for its part, will engage in quantitative tightening with its announced balance sheet runoff. All in all, the market already predicts significant tightening by mid-2018.Given the role played by central banks in propping up the economy and markets since 2009, it is certainly plausible that their role will be vital ...

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07 сентября, 17:44

Free exchange: Governments need to rethink their attitudes to debt

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Print section Print Rubric:  Political leaders must learn to appreciate the virtues of budget deficits Print Headline:  The borrowers Print Fly Title:  Free exchange UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  What machines can tell from your face Fly Title:  Free exchange GOVERNMENTS do not always make the best budget managers. Assuming it avoids an accidental debt default, America will run a bigger budget deficit this year than the last, despite a booming economy. Germany runs a surplus—but scrimps on critical investments and annoys its euro-area neighbours in the process. Japan, cowering under a mammoth public-debt pile, is weighing raising its consumption tax, though the last rise strangled a tenuous economic recovery. It is awkward, therefore, that the role of fiscal policy as a recession-fighting tool is only growing. The next downturn will be a painful and dangerous learning experience for many politicians. When that comes, at ...

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07 сентября, 17:44

Underserved and overlooked: Digital technology can make financial struggles easier to manage

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Print section Print Rubric:  In rich countries, just as in developing ones, digital technology could make financial struggles easier to manage. Its potential has scarcely been tapped Print Headline:  Underserved and overlooked Print Fly Title:  Technology and financial inclusion UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  What machines can tell from your face Fly Title:  Underserved and overlooked Main image:  20170909_IRD001_0.jpg BETWEEN 2011 and 2014, according to the World Bank, the number of people in the world with a bank account, either directly or through a mobile-money provider, grew by no fewer than 700m. The global ranks of “unbanked” adults thinned from 2.5bn, 49% of the total, to 2bn, just 38%. Data being collected this year are likely to show further progress, with more people who used to rely on cash and informal, often expensive, means of saving, ...

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06 сентября, 17:04

Salute!: Some good news from Italy

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Print section Print Rubric:  At last, some good news from the battered republic Print Headline:  Salute! Print Fly Title:  Italy UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  What machines can tell from your face Fly Title:  Salute! Location:  ROME Main image:  20170909_eup501.jpg AT THE end of each summer Italian business leaders, politicians and journalists mingle with foreign guests at the Ambrosetti Forum in the Villa d’Este by the shores of the lovely Lake Como. This year, the breezes off the lake carried something not scented in almost a decade: a whiff of optimism about the Italian economy. GDP in the second quarter was up by an annual 1.5%, and on September 5th the government’s statisticians said that leading indicators pointed to “a reinforcement of the prospects for growth”. The previous ...

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06 сентября, 07:50

The Economist explains: How Australia broke the record for economic growth

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Main image:  THE last time Australia suffered a recession the web browser had just been invented and Bryan Adams topped the charts. Figures released today will show that its economy has racked up the longest stretch of growth in modern history: 104 quarters. The Netherlands, the previous title-holder, dipped into recession—defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction—after 103. In these 26 years, Australia has navigated the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of the dotcom bubble and the Great Recession, largely without scars. Its once-in-a-generation mining boom ended in 2014. Yet it has managed to avoid a bust. How did it break the record for economic growth?Its success was built on the structural reforms of the 1980s and ’90s, when trade barriers crumbled and foreign-exchange controls were removed. A floating dollar cushioned the economy against external aches; inflation stabilised around a target band of 2-3%; and government finances greatly improved. By the time the global financial crisis hit, Australia had enjoyed over a decade of budget surpluses and net debt had been eliminated. It helped that China’s demand for commodities was fuelling a mining boom that created jobs and pushed up wages. Australia’s terms of trade soared as it churned out coal and iron ore to feed its neighbour’s ...