The Economist Asia Edition April 10, 2021

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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
51 期号


coronavirus briefs

Brazil recorded over 4,000 deaths in a day. Jair Bolsonaro, the president, still opposes lockdowns; Brazil’s vaccine programme lags behind others in Latin America. The White House said that the government does not support vaccine passports because they intrude into the personal lives of Americans, and ruled out the possibility of a federal vaccine database. Such measures would be used unfairly, it said. Britain and the EU , by contrast, are working on plans to certify people who have been vaccinated. California will drop most of its pandemic restrictions on June 15th, if vaccines remain available and hospitalisations remain stable. The Italian government decreed that all health workers, including pharmacists, must take the vaccine, the first country to issue such an order. Those who do not could be suspended without pay. → For our…

the world this week

Politics Around 20 people were arrested in Jordan on charges of plotting against the crown. Prince Hamzah, a half-brother of the king and former heir apparent, was confined to a palace outside Amman. No evidence of an actual plot was shared by the authorities. Prince Hamzah has been a vocal critic of the government. From detention he released a video in which he assailed it for alleged corruption and repression, though he later pledged his loyalty to King Abdullah. Israel's president gave Binyamin Netanyahu the first crack at forming a government. The prime minister’s party won the most seats in an election last month, but his coalition is short of a majority. An Iranian cargo ship anchored off Yemen was damaged by an explosion. Iran says the ship is a civilian one providing…

riding high

IN THE POPULAR imagination the past four decades were wonderful for the owners of capital and miserable for labour. The rich world’s workers endured competition from trade, relentless technological change, more unequal wages and tepid recoveries from recessions. Investors and companies enjoyed expanding global markets, liberalised finance and low corporate taxes. Even before covid-19, this caricature of broken labour markets was mistaken. Today, as the economy emerges from the pandemic, a reversal of the primacy of capital over labour beckons—and it will come sooner than you think. It might seem premature to predict a wonderful world of work only a year on from a labour-market catastrophe. But America is showing how rapidly jobs can come back as the virus recedes. In the spring of 2020 the country’s unemployment rate was nearly…

battle royal

DON’T BE FOOLED by its nickname. The Hashemite Kingdom of Boredom, aka Jordan, has had its share of palace intrigue. After surviving uprisings and assassination attempts, the late King Hussein used his dying breaths to remove his brother, Hassan, from the line of succession. That made way for Abdullah, Hussein’s son, who has just faced down a plot against the crown, or so the authorities claim. Perhaps 20 people were arrested. Prince Hamzah, a half-brother of the king and former heir apparent, was confined to a palace outside Amman, the capital. The government has provided no evidence of a plot. A pledge of loyalty from prince to king has calmed things for the time being (see Middle East & Africa section). But what of Prince Hamzah’s criticisms, declaimed on video just…

at last, a serious effort

THE PLAN that President Joe Biden unveiled in Pittsburgh on March 31st proposes over $2trn of spending on jobs and infrastructure. However, at the heart of the American Jobs Plan is action to combat climate change (see United States section). It bristles with support for electric vehicles and renewable energy, as well as proposals for research and sorely needed large government-funded demonstration projects for potentially crucial technologies. Fans of transmission lines are well served; so are railway enthusiasts. A highly diverse range of spending commitments often stems from a lack of focus and an excessive attention to special interests. Not so this time. Eliminating the vast majority of America’s greenhouse-gas emissions is a massive problem against which the country’s leaders have failed to make legislative progress for far too long. A…

don’t stop me now

ONE OBSESSION unites the rich world: housing. In the past year billions of people have been cooped up inside their homes for hours on end. As restrictions have eased, house prices have started to go through the roof. In America prices increased by 11% in the year to January, their fastest pace in 15 years. In New Zealand prices are up by 22%. Among the 25 countries that The Economist tracks, real house prices rose by 5% on average in the latest 12-month period, the quickest in over a decade. Home values, like the price of other assets, have been boosted by low interest rates and fiscal stimulus. Many households have spare cash sloshing around—savings rates have increased by more than half in the rich world—and borrowing has rarely been cheaper.…