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category_outlined / Business & Finance
The EconomistThe Economist

The Economist September 21, 2019

Get The Economist digital magazine subscription today and explore domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics Donald Trump said he would impose fresh sanctions on Iran following an audacious missile and drone attack on two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia: the Abqaiq crude-processing plant, the biggest of its kind in the world, and the Khurais oilfield. Claims by Houthi rebels in Yemen that they staged the attack were dismissed by American and Saudi officials. The Houthis are backed by Iran in a proxy war fighting a Saudi-led coalition. Iran insists it was not responsible for the strike. Israel’s general election, the second this year, produced no clear result. Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud coalition lost seats, so he will struggle to remain prime minister. The centrist Blue and White party, led by Benny Gantz, a former general, is now the largest in the Knesset but will need the support…

access_time7 min.
the climate issue

FROM ONE year to the next, you cannot feel the difference. As the decades stack up, though, the story becomes clear. The stripes on our cover represent the world’s average temperature in every year since the mid-19th century. Dark blue years are cooler and red ones warmer than the average in 1971-2000. The cumulative change jumps out. The world is about 1o C hotter than when this newspaper was young. To represent this span of human history as a set of simple stripes may seem reductive. These are years which saw world wars, technological innovation, trade on an unprecedented scale and a staggering creation of wealth. But those complex histories and the simplifying stripes share a common cause. The changing climate of the planet and the remarkable growth in human numbers…

access_time4 min.
abqaiq the powder keg

TO REDUCE ITS climate risks, the world needs to curtail its production of oil. But there was nothing risk-reducing about the strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on September 14th. The drones and missiles that pummelled Abqaiq and Khurais cut the kingdom’s output by 5.7m barrels a day (see Middle East & Africa section). It was a bigger loss to world markets than that brought about by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991. That aggression led to a march on Baghdad by 35 countries. The strike last weekend was not an invasion; but an attack that reduces global oil supply by 6% is everybody’s business. Even if Saudi Arabia fulfils its pledge to restore output by the end of September, supplies from the world’s largest oil exporter are now…

access_time4 min.
king bibi’s reign is ending

HIS DEVOTEES call him King Bibi, but the crown is slipping. Twice this year Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has gone to the country to ask voters for a clear majority. Twice they have denied him one. With almost all the votes counted from the ballot on September 17th, Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party was two seats behind Blue and White, a centrist alliance led by Benny Gantz, a former military chief. Mr Netanyahu’s coalition of right-wing and religious parties fell six short of a majority, a larger shortfall than at the previous election in April. Mr Netanyahu (pictured, left) still hopes to cling to power as Mr Gantz (right), too, has no clear path to a governing coalition. Yet the era of King Bibi is surely coming to a close. Having…

access_time3 min.
control your instincts

THE OVER-REGULATION of homebuilding in and around thriving cities is one of the great economic-policy failures of recent times. In London the median full-time employee renting the median two-bedroom flat works nearly half the year just to pay the landlord. In San Francisco rent is so high that a four-person household with an income of $129,000 might still qualify for federal handouts. Housing shortages like these have helped suck wealth away from young renters, fuelling tension between the generations. Supply restrictions have a high economic cost—by one estimate, curbs in just three successful cities lower overall GDP in the United States by almost 4%. As more and more voters find themselves on the losing end of property markets, they have also generated a political backlash. In America and Europe politicians…

access_time5 min.
letters

Repairing capitalism Your leader and briefing on “What companies are for” (August 24th) were among the most important I have read in The Economist. We live in strange times, when innovations are expanding potential GDP hugely, and, at the same time, fuelling conflict, disenchantment and the marginalisation of many. We saw similar changes during the Industrial Revolution. We came out of that era just fine, not just because of reformers like Robert Peel and Robert Owen, but also because of original thinkers who changed our very understanding of capitalism. The Industrial Revolution coincided with the biggest breakthroughs in economics, from Adam Smith’s seminal book in 1776, through the works of Augustin Cournot, Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill, to Léon Walras. The complexity of your cover story’s prescriptions is a reminder that…

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