Business & Finanz
The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 09/02/2017

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 Hurricane Harvey battered the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. Downgraded to a tropical storm, the incessant deluge broke records, with some places measuring over 1.3 metres of rainfall. Houston suffered severe flooding; the mayor imposed a curfew to deter looters. At least 38 people died in Texas; that figure is expected to rise when the waters recede. By one estimate the damage from the storm could cost as much as $100bn. The death toll from monsoon floods that have swept Bangladesh, India and Nepal rose above 1,200. Millions have been left homeless. Most of the destruction is in rural areas, though the rains caused Mumbai’s transport network to come to a standstill. Acting with abandon North Korea launched an audacious missile test, firing an intermediate-range one over Japan and far into the Pacific.…

5 Min.
how to cope with floods

THE extent of the devastation will become clear only when the floodwater recedes, leaving ruined cars, filthy mud-choked houses and the bloated corpses of the drowned. But as we went to press, with the rain pounding South Texas for the sixth day, Hurricane Harvey had already set records as America’s most severe deluge (see briefing). In Houston it drenched Harris County in over 4.5trn litres of water in just 100 hours—enough rainfall to cover an eight-year-old child. The fate of America’s fourth-largest city holds the world’s attention, but it is hardly alone. In India, Bangladesh and Nepal, at least 1,200 people have died and millions have been left homeless by this year’s monsoon floods. Last month torrential rains caused a mudslide in Sierra Leone that killed over 1,000—though the exact toll…

3 Min.
more tragedy than comedy

“NEITHER corrupt nor a thief.” With that slogan Jimmy Morales, a comedian with almost no record in politics, won Guatemala’s presidential election in October 2015. It is easy to see why that line, and that biography, persuaded voters. The election came just after the country’s president and vice-president had been jailed on charges that they masterminded a scheme to bilk the customs authority of its revenues. That turned out to be one of several scams in which they allegedly took part. The detective work that led to their downfall was carried out by a UN-backed “commission against impunity” (CICIG) and Guatemala’s chief prosecutor. It came after months of protests by tens of thousands of Guatemalans. Mr Morales has let them down. CICIG is investigating claims that his party took illegal donations,…

4 Min.
stand by japan

KIM JONG UN has shown what he thinks of President Donald Trump’s promise in early August to respond with “fire and fury” to North Korea’s growing nuclear threat. After pausing his missile tests just long enough for America’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to say that Mr Kim was showing “restraint”, and for Mr Trump himself to claim to have Mr Kim’s “respect”, North Korea’s dictator unleashed three short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. Most provocatively, on August 29th, an intermediate-range missile flew over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. Japanese under the missile’s path awoke to the sound of sirens, while the authorities urged them to seek shelter (see page 40). The missile crashed harmlessly into the Pacific 745 miles (1,200km) to the east, but Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo…

3 Min.
feed as well as food

BETWEEN now and 2050 the planet’s population is expected to rise by a third, from 7.6bn to 9.8bn. Those extra mouths will need feeding, and not just with staples. As people grow richer, their demand for protein rises, particularly for meat and fish. Beef consumption in Asia, for example, is expected to jump by 44% over the next decade alone. Raising animals to be eaten already has huge effects on the world’s environment. The number of farm animals soared during the 20th century. More than 20bn chickens, 1.5bn cattle and 1bn sheep are alive today. A quarter of the world’s land is used for grazing them. They consume 30% of the world’s crops. They guzzle water—you need about 15,000 litres of the stuff to produce a kilo of beef, compared with…

3 Min.
state-sponsored quackery

“ONCE eyed with suspicion for not being scientific enough, traditional Chinese medicine might just be about to take over the world.” So opined China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, in an article last year. It was, of course, indulging in playful hyperbole—even the Chinese Communist Party has no plans to supplant modern medical science with ancient and unproven forms of treatment. But the party is serious in its efforts to promote the use of such remedies (commonly known as TCM) globally, and to reinforce China’s own extensive network of TCM hospitals and clinics. In recent years, TCMhas been enjoying rapid growth in China. The number of Chinese hospitals offering it rose from about 2,500 in 2003 to about 4,000 by the end of 2015. In the past six years, the number of…