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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 05/12/2018

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.

Land:
United Kingdom
Språk:
English
Utgiver:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
Hyppighet:
Weekly
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8 min.
the world this week

Politics President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal brokered by world powers in 2015 to roll back Iran’s nuclear-weapons programme, saying it was “rotten”. He reimposed all sanctions and gave foreign firms up to six months to stop doing business with the country. Other signatories—Britain, France and Germany—said they would continue to honour the agreement, to which Iran seemed to be adhering. “If we achieve the deal’s goals in co-operation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place,” said President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, applauded Mr Trump’s “bold decision”. Twenty rockets were fired from Syria into the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights. Israel blamed Iran and struck back at dozens of targets in Syria. It was the biggest exchange of fire…

5 min.
the $100 billion bet

TWO years ago, if you had asked experts to identify the most influential person in technology, you would have heard some familiar names: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Alibaba’s Jack Ma or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Today there is a new contender: Masayoshi Son. The founder of SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms and internet firm, has put together an enormous investment fund that is busy gobbling up stakes in the world’s most exciting young companies. The Vision Fund is disrupting both the industries in which it invests and other suppliers of capital. The fund is the result of a peculiar alliance forged in 2016 between Mr Son and Muhammad bin Salman. Saudi Arabia’s thrusting crown prince handed Mr Son $45bn as part of his attempt to diversify the kingdom’s economy. That great dollop of…

3 min.
tango tantrum

YAWNING deficits, stubborn inflation, a plunging currency, spiking interest rates, dwindling reserves and a humbling turn to the IMF. Argentina seems to be going through a classic emerging-market crisis, culminating in the government’s decision this week to seek a precautionary loan from the fund—an institution that fears Argentina almost as much as Argentina fears it. The country is not quite repeating its own crisis-ridden history. Argentina today has a reformist government largely intent on doing the right thing, rather than the populist administrations that blighted its recent past (see Finance section). But its troubles are real. Many wonder if they will spread to other emerging markets. Several economies share one or two of its vulnerabilities. Mercifully few share all of them. Argentina’s rate of inflation, which exceeds 25%, seems to belong to…

3 min.
blood money

THIS year marks the 200th anniversary of the first successful human-to-human blood transfusion, conducted by James Blundell, an English obstetrician working just across the Thames from The Economist’s offices. Today blood is big business—with global exports worth more, in 2016, than global exports of aeroplanes. But that trade is distorted by the refusal of most governments to allow payment to people who give plasma, blood’s yellowish liquid component. The blood trade today consists mostly not of blood for transfusion, demand for which is falling as medical techniques improve, but of plasma (see International section). Most of this comes from plasma-collection centres, where it is extracted from whole blood and the platelets and blood-cells are transfused back into the donor. Plasma is used to make drugs such as factor VIII, which helps…

4 min.
a new deal?

BY PULLING out of the Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump is counting on renegotiation or regime change. He is more likely to end up with war. On May 8th Mr Trump did not cut America’s ties with the Iran deal so much as take an axe to it. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as it is known, curtails Iran’s nuclear programme for a number of years and permanently subjects it to intrusive inspections, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Mr Trump’s withdrawal from the “decaying and rotten” agreement honoured a campaign promise. However, the president was unexpectedly harsh in vowing to extend sanctions, not just restore them, and to punish any firm doing business with Iran wherever it is based. Since the UN says that Iran was honouring the…

3 min.
what the doctor ordered

ELECTIONS in Malaysia are normally predictable. In fact, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and various allies had won all of them since 1955, until this week. Over the years UMNO has resorted to every conceivable trick to remain in power: stirring communal tensions among Malaysia’s ethnic groups, locking up critics, rigging the electoral system in its favour, bribing voters with populist handouts and threatening chaos if it lost. In the run-up to the election on May 9th it did all of that. It was testimony to the awfulness of the government of Najib Razak that the opposition was even in contention. And it is testimony to the good sense of Malaysian voters that the opposition won, convincingly, paving the way for Malaysia’s first ever change of government. For a country…