Business & Finanz
The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 01/27/2018

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.

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The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 Min.
the world this week

Politics Backed by air strikes, Turkish troops attacked the Syrian region of Afrin, which is controlled by a Kurdish militia allied with America. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, said Turkey will extend its offensive to the town of Manbij, which could bring it into direct conflict with American troops in the area. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s president, said he would run for re-election. He won’t face much competition. Under pressure from the government, the last two major challengers called off their campaigns. Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, called on the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, not to run for a second term next year. It is the strongest signal yet that Mr Buhari may fail to garner enough support to win his party’s nomination. A former warlord in the Central African Republic was…

6 Min.
the next war

IN THE past 25 years war has claimed too many lives. Yet even as civil and religious strife have raged in Syria, central Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, a devastating clash between the world’s great powers has remained almost unimaginable. No longer. Last week the Pentagon issued a new national defence strategy that put China and Russia above jihadism as the main threat to America. This week the chief of Britain’s general staff warned of a Russian attack. Even now America and North Korea are perilously close to a conflict that risks dragging in China or escalating into nuclear catastrophe. As our special report this week on the future of war argues, powerful, long-term shifts in geopolitics and the proliferation of new technologies are eroding the extraordinary military dominance that America and its…

4 Min.
shut out by the small print

IN 2016 Misty Ashworth sued her employer, Five Guys, a fast-food chain, for sexual harassment and constructive dismissal. But the judge ruled that her case could not be heard in court. When she started the job, she had agreed to take any disputes with her employer to private arbitration. Ms Ashworth is not alone. Across private-sector workplaces in America, non-unionised employees are bound by mandatory-arbitration agreements. In the early 1990s such agreements covered only 2% of non-unionised workplaces; today they cover more than half. The growing use of arbitration is partly an indictment of America’s courts. Rarely is it in either side’s interests to litigate for years and at great expense. Arbitration, by contrast, is quick and flexible. It lets both sides choose procedural hoops they would forgo in return for a…

3 Min.
don’t do as robert mugabe did

OF THE many grievances from South Africa’s decades of white rule, the theft of land still smarts more than most. The “Natives Land Act” of 1913 set aside 90% of the country for whites, who made up less than a third of its people. Over the next eight decades a succession of white governments evicted 3.5m black South Africans from their homes, in cities and in the countryside, prodding them onto the backs of lorries at gunpoint and dumping them in barren reservations misleadingly called “homelands”. “Even criminals dropping straight from the gallows have an undisputed claim to six feet of ground,” mourned Sol Plaatje, one of the founders of the African National Congress (ANC), in 1916. When apartheid ended in 1994 the courts returned land to individuals who could show…

3 Min.
sorpasso on the street

FOR more than a decade, equity investors have reckoned that Goldman Sachs was worth more than its Wall Street rival, Morgan Stanley. But on January 17th their opinion was turned on its head. According to Bloomberg, the last time Morgan Stanley led Goldman was back in 2006. Back then, a heedless industry-wide race to win market share and raise returns was about to end in disaster. This time the industry is transformed, and the two investment banks are on strikingly different paths. Morgan Stanley is being rewarded, above all, for its post-crisis decision to take control of Smith Barney, Citigroup’s wealth-management business. In 2012 the bank’s core activity of selling and trading securities accounted for almost two-thirds of its net income, and wealth management for just over a quarter. The figures…

3 Min.
duties call

ON TRADE, President Donald Trump has launched lots of investigations, withdrawn from one deal (see Banyan) and started the renegotiation of another. But this week is the first time he has put up a big new barrier. On January 22nd he approved broad and punitive duties, of up to 30% on imports of solar panels and up to 50% on imports of washing machines. His backers say that the measure, which affects around $10bn of imports, will protect American workers. His critics cling to the hope that the damage will be mild. Both are wrong. Start with the claims made by the administration. Workers are also consumers, and Mr Trump’s actions will whack them. Tariffs raise prices and dull competition. Whirlpool Corporation, the washing-machine maker which asked for the duties, knows…