The Economist : leaders
15h51 25  février
Time to end duty-free
IN L’ENFER , a recent novel by the French philosopher Gaspard Koenig, a university professor dies only to discover that hell is an eternity spent traipsing around airport duty-free shops. Others seem to enjoy the experience rather more. Travel retail has grown into a mastodon, with annual sales...
15h51
How to make African politics less costly
AYISHA OSORI, a Nigerian lawyer and author, has vividly described running for political office in her country. She twists the arms of party elders, flatters their wives and hands over wads of banknotes the cleaner the better. Without money , she concludes, most aspirations would evaporate like...
15h51
Lessons from Britain’s pandemic on promoting innovation
WHAT IS IMPORTANT is seldom urgent, declared Dwight Eisenhower. And what is urgent is seldom important. Eisenhower did not have to lead America through covid-19. The urgency and importance of the task over the past year have banished pretty much everything else from most leaders’ minds. But...
10h03
The rivalry between America and China will hinge on South-East Asia
DURING THEIR 45-year feud, America and the Soviet Union fought proxy battles all across the world. But the cold war was at its most intense in Europe, where the Soviets constantly worried about their satellites breaking away, and America always fretted that its allies were going soft. The contest...
10h03
The rules of the tech game are changing
THE IDEA of the technology industry being dominated by monopolies is so widely held that it has monopolised much thinking, from investors’ strategies to antitrust watchdogs’ legal briefs. Yet, as we explain, it is getting harder to sustain (see article). After a long period of ossification, the...
16h01 18  février
Only 7% of urban Indian women have paid jobs
INDIA WILL soon end China’s long run as the world’s most populous country. But by some projections its workforce will not exceed China’s until mid-century, even though Indians are much younger. One reason is that so few women in India are in paid work (see article). The International Labour...
16h01
Mario Draghi gives Italy another chance
ITALY IS BIG enough to break Europe. Some countries, such as Greece or Portugal, are highly indebted but their fellow Europeans can bail them out, if necessary. Others, like France, Spain or indeed Germany, have large debts in absolute terms, but thanks to the size of their economies and a decent...
16h01
The Spactacular boom on Wall Street
IT IS EASY to mock SPACs. For decades these special purpose acquisition vehicles , publicly listed pots of capital raised by investors who seek out private firms to merge with, have ushered a small number of flaky and irrelevant companies onto public markets. The present SPAC boom on Wall Street...
16h01
How France can avoid a forever war in the Sahel
FOR THE past eight years France has been leading a counter-terrorism war in Africa. The fighting is mainly in three countries Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and straddles an area four times the size of France itself, stretching from the great dunes on the southern edge of the Sahara down through the...
09h48
How America can rid itself of both carbon and blackouts
TEXAS PRIDES itself on being different. Yet it is in the grip of a winter storm that typifies the Snowmageddon-size problems facing energy in America. Although nobody can be sure if this particular freeze is a sign of climate change, the growing frequency of extreme weather across the country is....
15h49 11  février
Reducing child poverty in America
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM takes many forms. One, alas, is a shockingly high rate of child poverty. According to the OECD’s measure, which defines as poor those families living on less than half of median family income, 21% of American children are in poverty. This is double the rate in France and...
15h49
The search for ET may soon yield an answer
MOST SCIENTIFIC research has practical ends. But some still pursues goals better described by the field’s original name: natural philosophy . One of its most philosophical questions is, Is there life elsewhere in the universe? It is philosophical for two reasons. One is its grand sweep. If...
15h49
Genocide is the wrong word for the horrors of Xinjiang
WHEN RONALD REAGAN cried tear down this wall , everyone knew what he meant. There was a wall. It imprisoned East Germans. It had to come down. One day, it did. In the struggle between democracy and dictatorship, it is crucial that democracies tell the truth in plain language. Dictatorships will...
10h33
How well will vaccines work?
EVEN MIRACLES have their limits. Vaccines against the coronavirus have arrived sooner and worked better than many people dared hope. Without them, the pandemic threatened to take more than 150m lives. And yet, while the world rolls up a sleeve, it has become clear that expecting vaccines to see off...
15h55 04  février
Access to the EU financial-services market is not worth the price
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...
10h33
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...
09h48
The pandemic could undercut Africa’s precarious progress
IN THE YEARS before covid-19 sub-Saharan Africans were not only the world’s youngest people, with a median age of less than 20, they were also some of the most optimistic. Just 12% of Japanese told pollsters they thought their lives would improve over the following 15 years, compared with 78% of...
09h48
Why Joe Biden’s proposed stimulus is too big
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...
18h58 03  février
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...
15h48 28  janvier
Buy American is an economic-policy mistake
MODERN PRESIDENTS of the United States do not sit in the Oval Office for long before reaching for the pen. Since entering the White House on January 20th Joe Biden has signed nearly 40 executive orders and proclamations. Many are welcome; some are crucial. He is overturning some of the harshest...