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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition January 26, 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 - UK
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics Juan Guaidó (pictured), the head of Venezuela’s national assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s acting president at a large protest against the socialist regime in Caracas, the capital. Venezuela’s opposition says that President Nicolás Maduro is a usurper: he won a rigged election last year and has been sworn in to a second term. The United States recognised Mr Guaidó as interim leader, as did Canada and most large Latin American countries. Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with America and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. At least 98 people were killed by an explosion as they collected fuel from a leaking petrol pipeline in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The pipeline has been repeatedly tapped by thieves at the location of the blast. This month Mexico cracked…

access_time5 min.
slowbalisation

WHEN AMERICA took a protectionist turn two years ago, it provoked dark warnings about the miseries of the 1930s. Today those ominous predictions look misplaced. Yes, China is slowing. And, yes, Western firms exposed to China, such as Apple, have been clobbered. But global growth in 2018 was decent, unemployment fell and profits rose. In November President Donald Trump signed a trade pact with Mexico and Canada. If talks over the next month lead to a deal with Xi Jinping, markets will conclude that the trade war is political theatre designed to squeeze a few concessions from China, not blow up commerce. Such complacency is mistaken. Today’s trade tensions are compounding a shift that has been under way since the financial crisis of 2008-09. Cross-border investment, trade, bank loans and supply…

access_time3 min.
removing maduro

FOR YEARS Venezuela’s socialist regime has seemed on the verge of collapse. It has so mismanaged the economy that GDP has dropped by nearly half since 2013. Inflation last year was thought to be more than 1m per cent. This, plus shortages of food, medicine, running water and electricity, has prompted some 3m Venezuelans, a tenth of the population, to flee the country. Yet its president, Nicolás Maduro, has clung on by flouting the constitution, repressing the opposition and using the country’s dwindling income from oil, almost its only export, to pay off the armed forces that support him. On January 10th Latin America’s most incompetent ruler was sworn in to a second six-year term. Yet Mr Maduro’s second inauguration also marked the moment his disastrous presidency lost its formal legitimacy.…

access_time3 min.
hovering saviour or menace?

WHILE TESTING a drone to detect sharks off a beach in New South Wales last year, Australian lifeguards spotted two young men struggling to swim in the violent surf. The drone was dispatched to drop an inflatable pod, which the men used to reach the shore safely. Such civilian drones are saviours that have helped rescue mountain-climbers and people trapped by natural disasters. They carry emergency medical supplies and organs for transplant. Apart from saving souls, civilian drones are becoming a good business. Goldman Sachs, a bank, reckons that the market will be worth $100bn by 2020 in areas such as surveying, security and delivery. The trouble is that drones also endanger life and cause disruption, as they did on January 22nd when Newark airport near New York closed briefly after…

access_time4 min.
the great election robbery

WHEN THE constitutional court declared him the next president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi toasted his victory with a glass of champagne. He was due to be inaugurated as The Economist went to press. Optimists chirp that this is Congo’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960. South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, congratulated Mr Tshisekedi and urged “all stakeholders” to accept the result and “continue with a journey of consolidating peace, uniting the people of Congo, and creating a better life for all”. What a travesty. The election was really won by Martin Fayulu, a former oil executive—and by a wide margin. Bishops from the Catholic church, one of Congo’s few functional and respected institutions, sent out 40,000 observers. According to their tally Mr Fayulu won…

access_time3 min.
beating the pros

IN DECEMBER 2009 Paul Volcker, a revered former chairman of the Federal Reserve, took part in a conference on the future of finance. America was plunging into its worst recession since the 1930s, pushed to the brink of disaster by toxic products concocted by Wall Street alchemists. To underline his argument, Mr Volcker made a bold claim: the most useful financial innovation—indeed the only beneficial one—of the past few decades was the automated teller machine, or ATM. Mr Volcker is right about many things, but wrong on this one. The prize must go to the index fund, pioneered in the mid-1970s by Jack Bogle, who died last week, aged 89. When Vanguard, the mutual-fund group founded by Mr Bogle, launched its first index fund in 1975 after he had spotted the idea…

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