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category_outlined / Business & Finance
The Economist Asia EditionThe Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition October 5, 2019

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics China staged a huge parade to celebrate 70 years of Communist rule. It involved more than 100,000 civilians, 15,000 troops and hundreds of weapons. Some of the equipment had not been shown in public before, including the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile, which can hit any part of America. But a “white paper” issued by China said the country had “no intention” of challenging the United States, or supplanting it. In Hong Kong, meanwhile, thousands of people marked the occasion as a “day of mourning” by staging an unauthorised march. Some people later clashed with police in several locations. A policeman shot a teenage student in the chest—the first injury involving live ammunition since pro-democracy unrest broke out in the city four months ago. Afghans voted in a presidential election. The Taliban had…

access_time5 min.
masters of the universe

THE JOB of capital markets is to process information so that savings flow to the best projects and firms. That makes high finance sound simple; in reality it is dynamic and intoxicating. It reflects a changing world. Today’s markets, for instance, are grappling with a trade war and low interest rates. But it also reflects changes within finance, which constantly reinvents itself in a perpetual struggle to gain a competitive edge. As our Briefing reports, the latest revolution is in full swing. Machines are taking control of investing—not just the humdrum buying and selling of securities, but also the commanding heights of monitoring the economy and allocating capital. Funds run by computers that follow rules set by humans account for 35% of America’s stockmarket, 60% of institutional equity assets and 60%…

access_time3 min.
time to end extend and pretend

TEN YEARS ago this month George Papandreou, then the newly elected prime minister of Greece, announced to the world that the government’s books had been cooked and that the budget deficit in 2009 was in fact double previous estimates. Investors panicked and Greece lost access to capital markets, eventually forcing it to seek help from the European Union and the IMF. A severe financial crisis, together with swingeing spending cuts demanded by the creditors, plunged Greece into one of the deepest downturns experienced by a rich country since the second world war. Now another new prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is trying to get Greece back on its feet (see Finance section). Though the economy has begun expanding again, growth is lacklustre and output is nearly a quarter below its level in…

access_time4 min.
vale of tears

IT IS TWO months now since India’s parliament abruptly amended the constitution to downgrade Jammu & Kashmir from a partly autonomous state to a territory administered by the central government. That means it is also two months since the Indian authorities detained some 2,000 prominent Kashmiris—politicians, businessmen, activists, journalists—to prevent them from protesting. They continue to be held without charge, many in unknown places. Meanwhile the 7m-odd residents of the Kashmir valley, the state’s main population centre, are under a lockdown of a different sort. Mobile phones and the internet remain cut off; getting around is hard and getting in or out is possible only on the authorities’ say-so. In theory the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is integrating Kashmir into the rest of India. In practice it has turned…

access_time3 min.
open season

TO THE AVERAGE capitalist “open source” software may seem like a pretty odd idea. Like most products, conventional computer software—from video games to operating systems—is developed in secret, away from the prying eyes of competitors, and then sold to customers as a finished product. Open-source software, which has roots in the collaborative atmosphere of computing’s earliest days, takes the opposite approach. Code is public, and anyone is free to take it, modify it, share it, suggest improvements or add new features. It has been a striking success. Open-source software runs more than half the world’s websites and, in the form of Android, more than 80% of its smartphones. Some governments, including Germany’s and Brazil’s, prefer their officials to use open-source software, in part because it reduces their dependence on foreign companies.…

access_time4 min.
down with the people

SINCE THE first three words of the preamble to the United States’ constitution thundered into the world’s political lexicon, “the people” has been one of the favourite invocations of those in, or in pursuit of, power. It has also been one of the most abused. No state has been as undemocratic or unpopular as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola has paid more attention to liberating the country’s assets into its leaders’ foreign bank accounts than to freeing Angolans from the oppression of poverty. In the media the formula signals a determination to ignore popular taste: the People’s Daily makes no more effort to appeal to its Chinese readers than Pravda did to tell the truth to its Soviet ones. So when…

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