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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition April 13, 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 Following months of mass protests in Sudan, it appeared that Omar al-Bashir had been ousted as president by the army. Mr al-Bashir had misruled since taking power in a coup in 1989. His civil war against non-Muslim black Africans ended with the secession of South Sudan. Separately, the International Criminal Court charged him with overseeing genocide in Darfur. Binyamin Netanyahu won a record fifth term as prime minister of Israel. His Likud party tied with Blue and White, a centrist rival. But the right-wing and religious bloc, of which Likud is a part, won a majority of seats in the Knesset. In the final days of the campaign Mr Netanyahu vowed to begin annexing parts of the West Bank, further dimming the prospect of any peace with…

access_time5 min.
interference day

CRITICS OF ECONOMICS like to say that its abstract theories lack real-world pay-offs. There is a glaring counter-example: the global rise of central-bank independence in the past 25 years. In the 1970s it was normal for politicians to manipulate interest rates to boost their own popularity. That led to a plague of inflation. And so rich countries and many poorer ones shifted to a system in which politicians set a broad goal—steady prices—and left independent central bankers to realise it. In a single generation billions of people around the world have grown used to low and stable inflation and to the idea that the interest rates on their bank deposits and mortgages are under control.Today this success is threatened by a confluence of populism, nationalism and economic forces that…

access_time3 min.
bibi the conjuror

MAKE IT OFFICIAL: henceforth, the Hebrew word for magician is Bibi. This is not just because Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, appears to have won a record fifth term in office on April 9th. It is also because he pulled off the trick with corruption charges hanging over him, and in the face of a tough challenge from a new party packed with generals. Bibi, as he is known, made some parties vanish by taking their supporters, and conjured more seats for his own Likud party. He may soon surpass David Ben-Gurion, the country’s founding father, as Israel’s longest-serving leader (see Middle East & Africa section).His victory has come at a cost. His potion—mixing muscular nationalism with Jewish chauvinism and anti-elitism—has helped poison Israel’s politics. He claims he is…

access_time4 min.
the wrong way to win

AMERICA HAS more people, but not as many of them turn out to vote. India’s voters are conscientious and far more numerous, but it divides its national elections into seven phases spread over as many weeks, to make the process more manageable. So April 17th, when Indonesia’s 265m people pick a president, parliament and regional assemblies, is likely to be the biggest single day of voting in human history.In the presidential race Joko Widodo, the incumbent, faces Prabowo Subianto, a former general, just as he did at the previous election in 2014. Jokowi, as the president is known, is a small-businessman and former mayor from a mid-sized city who has worked hard to improve the lives of poor Indonesians. He has rolled out a national health-insurance scheme, pumped money…

access_time4 min.
a class apart

IF SPENDING IS a measure of what matters, then the people of the developing world place a high value on brains. While private spending on education has not budged in real terms in the rich world in the past ten years, in China and India it has more than doubled. The Chinese now spend 5% of household income on education and the Indians 4%, compared with 2.5% for the Americans and 1% for the Europeans. As a result, private schooling, tuition, vocational and tertiary education are booming in developing countries (see our Special report).Since brainpower is the primary generator of progress, this burst of enthusiasm for investing in human capital is excellent news for the world. But not everybody is delighted. Because private education increases inequality, some governments are…

access_time3 min.
the migrants’ migraine

FOR MOST of human history, sending money across borders has cost the earth. Thankfully for globetrotters and e-shoppers in the rich world, that has changed in the past decade. A shift from cash and travellers’ cheques towards digital payments has cut the cost of moving funds around. And a new generation of fintech firms has broken the stranglehold that big banks used to have on money transfers (see Finance section). As a result, fees have fallen. The cost of a transfer between consumers or small firms who are both in G7 countries can now cost 2% or less. This year some $10trn will pass across borders. As prices fall further, the sums will grow.Yet one corner of this industry remains trapped in a dusty time warp: remittances, or the…

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