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Phil Hogan, Europe’s trade commissioner, resigns

Exit bruiserPhil Hogan, Europe’s trade commissioner, resignsA controversy over quarantine forces him outFinance & economicsTOP TRADE negotiators are renowned for being savvy and tough. When Phil Hogan took over as the European Commission’s negotiator last year, he was seen a bruiser, and a worthy match for Robert Lighthizer, his American counterpart....

Can Dubai enter the premier league of financial centres?

Navigating the stormCan Dubai enter the premier league of financial centres?It will need to adapt to a less globalised world, and clean up its actFinance & economicsAug 22nd 2020 editionEditor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our...

Why the economic value of a face mask is $56.14

Cloth of goldWhy the economic value of a face mask is $56.14A new frontier in facial financeFinance & economicsAug 22nd 2020 editionAFTER A BRUTAL first six months of the year, governments across the world are hoping for an economic bounce-back. Rich-world GDP fell by about 10% in the first half of 2020. Yet much has changed since—including that...

China’s monetary stimulus is unusually restrained

Conforming to normsChina’s monetary stimulus is unusually restrainedIts apparent conservatism is partly an unwinding of past excessesFinance & economicsAug 22nd 2020 editionYI GANG, THE head of China’s central bank, is fond of saying that he wants to run “normal” monetary policy. By that he means keeping interest rates well above zero, ensuring...

America’s fiscal federalism is less superior than you might think

Free exchangeAmerica’s fiscal federalism is less superior than you might thinkEurope’s federation has been surprisingly effectiveFinance & economicsAug 20th 2020 editionQUICK: WOULD you rather face the worst economic crisis in history as a resident of America’s fiscal union, or Europe’s? An easy choice, surely; a decade ago, the euro area’s skeletal...

Bubble-hunting has become more art than science

ButtonwoodBubble-hunting has become more art than scienceWith the usual gauges of frothiness out of action, behavioural signals are all investors haveFinance & economicsUPON BEING sucked into investing during the South Sea Bubble, Sir Isaac Newton reflected that he could “calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies but not the madness of people”....

In India, gold-based finance is booming

Financial alchemyIn India, gold-based finance is boomingJewellery turns to collateral in troubled timesFinance & economicsAug 15th 2020 editionCLOSING TIME for the Kondapur branch of Muthoot Finance, in Hyderabad, is usually 5.30pm on a Monday. But on August 10th it was only two hours later that the manager, Haripuri Padmavati, and her five colleagues,...

As the lira slides, what will Turkey’s central bank do?

Not at this rateAs the lira slides, what will Turkey’s central bank do?The authorities are desperately trying to avoid rate risesFinance & economicsAug 15th 2020 editionTHERE SEEMED to be no end to the unusual measures Turkey would take to shore up the lira. The government had made it prohibitively hard for foreigners to bet against the battered...

A new study shows emerging economies are catching up

Club classA new study shows emerging economies are catching upIt also sheds light on some of the mysteries of economic growthFinance & economicsTHIS AWFUL year could, paradoxically, be a good one for what economists call convergence. This normally takes place when poor economies grow faster than rich ones, narrowing the income gap between them....

Should personal financial data be sent to foreign tax authorities?

Hands off, Uncle SamShould personal financial data be sent to foreign tax authorities?Activists argue current rules favour transparency over privacyFinance & economicsAMERICA’S ONGOING assault on firms from China, spurred by worries about its citizens’ personal data being passed to the Chinese government, will have put wry smiles on some faces—not...

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