The Economist Latin America October 9, 2021

THE ECONOMIST is a global weekly magazine written for those who share an uncommon interest in being well and broadly informed. Each issue explores the close links between domestic and international issues, business, politics, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts. In addition to regular weekly content, Special Reports are published approximately 20 times a year, spotlighting a specific country, industry, or hot-button topic. The Technology Quarterly, published 4 times a year, highlights and analyzes new technologies that will change the world we live in.

The Economist Newspaper Limited
USD 7.99
USD 156
51 Números

en este número

8 min.
the world this week

Politics A congressional stalemate over whether to raise America’s debt ceiling showed signs of easing. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said he would support raising the limit until December, avoiding a sovereign default as early as October 18th. As a condition, he wants Democrats to raise the borrowing cap by a fixed amount, rather than suspend it altogether until some future time. December may bring another round of brinkmanship. A federal judge blocked an abortion law passed in Texas that allows anyone in America to sue anyone who helps someone in the state abort a fetus older than six weeks. Robert Pitman, whom Barack Obama nominated to the bench in 2014, forbade state courts from accepting suits under the law. Texas filed an appeal. The conservativemajority Supreme Court last…

5 min.
the shortage economy

FOR A DECADE after the financial crisis the world economy’s problem was a lack of spending. Worried households paid down their debts, governments imposed austerity and wary firms held back investment, especially in physical capacity, while hiring from a seemingly infinite pool of workers. Now spending has come roaring back, as governments have stimulated the economy and consumers let rip. The surge in demand is so powerful that supply is struggling to keep up. Lorry drivers are getting signing bonuses, an armada of container ships is anchored off California waiting for ports to clear and energy prices are spiralling upwards. As rising inflation spooks investors, the gluts of the 2010s have given way to a shortage economy. The immediate cause is covid-19. Some $10.4trn of global stimulus has unleashed a furious…

3 min.

DISASTER STRUCK the world’s biggest social network on October 4th when Facebook and its sister apps were knocked offline for six hours. It was one of the less embarrassing moments of the company’s week. The next day a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, told Congress of all manner of wickedness at the firm, from promoting eating disorders to endangering democracy (see United States section). Some wondered whether the world would be a better place if the outage were permanent. A share of the opprobrium heaped on Facebook is incoherent. Politicians are angry but so far seem incapable of co-ordinating reform to rein it in. And investors have kept buying the stock, regardless of the bad headlines. Yet the company should take no comfort from this. The blind fury unleashed shows that its reputational…

4 min.
h 2 ’s hope and hype

HYDROGEN HAS been controversial ever since the tragedy of the Hindenburg, an airship filled with it that went down in flames in 1937. Boosters say that the gas is a low-carbon miracle which can power cars and homes. The hydrogen economy, they hope, will redraw the energy map. Sceptics note that several hydrogen investment drives since the 1970s have ended in tears as the gas’s shortcomings were exposed. As we explain (see Briefing), the reality lies in between. Hydrogen technologies could eliminate perhaps a tenth of today’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. That is a sliver—but, considering the scale of the energy transition, a crucial and lucrative one. Hydrogen is not a primary source of energy like oil or coal. It is best thought of as an energy carrier, akin to electricity,…

4 min.
an all-weather frenemy

WHEN THE last American troops departed from Kabul on August 30th, it meant not only the end of a 20-year campaign in Afghanistan but also the end of Western reliance on neighbouring Pakistan. In that time the country had been an infuriating partner that had helped NATO forces with logistics and intelligence even as it provided a haven to the Taliban’s leaders. Now, perhaps America could wash its hands and walk away. America and its allies have plenty of reasons to feel aggrieved. Pakistan is perpetually sparring with its neighbour, India—which is steadily becoming a vital regional partner for the West. It has close diplomatic and commercial ties with China, to which it provides access to the Indian Ocean, via the Karakoram highway and the port of Gwadar. It is home…

3 min.
no favours for killers

IT IS ALMOST a year since Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, launched a “law enforcement” operation against the government of the northern region of Tigray, which he accused of rebellion. Since the beginning, the ensuing conflict has been marked by war crimes. Late last year in the city of Axum, for instance, Eritrean troops fighting alongside Ethiopian forces murdered hundreds of civilians, mostly men and boys. Some were lined up and shot in the back. Others were gunned down as they came out of church or murdered while lying in bed in hospital. And the Tigrayans have been accused, among other atrocities, of raping and killing Eritrean refugees in UN camps. Horrifying as these crimes are, they are now being eclipsed by an even more heinous one: a deliberate…