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The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition February 6, 2021

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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.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
Frequency:
Weekly
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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
coronavirus briefs

A non-peer-reviewed study suggested that the Astra-Zeneca-Oxford vaccine can reduce transmissions by two-thirds. Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency approved the AZ jab for everyone over 18. But officials in France, Germany and Sweden are recommending that it not be offered to over 65s, and in Poland to over 60s, believing there is insufficient data to say it is effective in those age groups. Switzerland refused to license it at all. Johnson & Johnson reported that its new single-jab vaccine was 66% effective overall in preventing covid-19, and that protection increases over time. As with other vaccines, J&J’s trials showed its jab has lower efficacy in South Africa, where a particularly pernicious strain of covid-19 has been observed. A peer-reviewed analysis in the Lancet of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine showed it had an…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics The army seized power in a coup in Myanmar and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the ruling party, the National League for Democracy. It claimed that elections the NLD won by a landslide in November were fraudulent, and that it had to intervene to ensure a fair poll could be conducted. The army said it would return power to civilians within a year. The military authorities indicted Ms Suu Kyi with the bizarre charge of importing some walkie-talkies without the proper paperwork, and the president, Win Myint, also from the NLD, with violating social-distancing rules. Mori Yoshiro, a former prime minister and the head of the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to start in July, complained about how long women talk at board meetings.…

5 min.
the real revolution on wall street

EVENTS ON Wall Street have become so strange that Netflix is said to be planning a show to immortalise them. But what should be the plot? One story is of an anti-establishment movement causing chaos in high finance, just as it has in politics. Another is how volatile shares, strutting online traders and cash-crunches at brokerage firms signal that a toppy market is poised to crash. Both gloss over what is really going on. Information technology is being used to make trading free, shift information flows and catalyse new business models, transforming how markets work (see Finance section). And, despite the clamour of recent weeks, this promises to bring big long-term benefits. Don’t expect screenwriters to dwell on that, obviously. Their focus will be the 8m followers of WallStreetBets, an investment…

3 min.
how much is too much?

AMERICA’S ECONOMY will recover faster from the pandemic than its rich-world peers, the IMF predicts. Not because it has controlled the spread of disease—it hasn’t—but mostly because of its enormous economic stimulus, which boosted household incomes by more than 6% in 2020 even as the unemployment rate peaked near 15%. Before Joe Biden became president, Congress had already spent $4trn fighting the crisis. Now he proposes $1.9trn more emergency spending, which would take the total to over 25% of GDP in 2019. Republicans think that is too much. A group of the party’s senators has made a counteroffer of a plan worth about $600bn (see United States section). The right size for the bill is not best judged from the top down. America is not in a normal recession that is…

3 min.
the meaning of myanmar’s coup

MOST POLITICIANS find winning over a majority of the electorate challenging enough. Imagine, then, the difficulties of candidates in Myanmar, who must secure the approval not only of voters, but also of the army’s top brass. The National League for Democracy, the party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, a veteran dissident, excels at the first task. It has won the past two national elections with landslide votes. But it is not so good at the second. On February 1st, as MPs elected at the most recent poll were about to take their seats, the army arrested them and said that it would run the country instead (see Briefing). Few outsiders had predicted the coup, despite the snarling statements emanating from the high command in the days beforehand, for the simple…

3 min.
the price is wrong

WHEN TALKS between Britain and the European Union about trade went to the wire in December, they nearly collapsed over fishing, which contributes less than 0.1% to British GDP. Financial services, which contribute 7%, were left in the cold. As far as banks, insurance firms and the like are concerned, there might just as well have been no deal at all. American firms now trade with the EU on better terms than British ones do. Britain’s financial-services industry is already counting the cost of the government’s negligence. Between the referendum in June 2016 and the end of 2020, around 7,500 jobs and over £1.2trn ($1.6trn) of assets moved from Britain to various European capitals. But as with much about Brexit, the terms of Britain’s departure from this market have still to…