Economist/Economics

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Joe Biden’s choice of economic advisers signals his priorities

Presidential picksJoe Biden’s choice of economic advisers signals his prioritiesThe team stands out for its diversity, and its emphasis on climate change and labour rightsFinance & economicsDec 5th 2020 editionJOE BIDEN’S record as president may well hinge on his response to America’s economic woes. On December 1st the president-elect launched his...

Will central-bank digital currencies break the banking system?

Free exchangeWill central-bank digital currencies break the banking system?Perhaps. But that might not be so badFinance & economicsDec 5th 2020 editionIMAGINE IT IS 2035 and a financial crisis is raging. Credit is drying up; banks’ share prices look like ski slopes and every news report features sweaty traders in shirtsleeves tugging at their collars....

Meet the data firms cashing in on the quant-investing boom

Go figureMeet the data firms cashing in on the quant-investing boomS&P’s plan to buy IHS Markit is the latest in a slew of deals in the industryFinance & economicsDec 5th 2020 editionTRADERS AND their Bloomberg terminals are seldom parted. Some 330,000 people fork out around $25,000 annually to access Bloomberg’s suite of services: financial-market...

Music royalties are proving a hit for investors

Tuning inMusic royalties are proving a hit for investorsApart from being fun to own, they offer steady dividendsFinance & economicsDec 3rd 2020 editionBEN STENNIS is a country-music songwriter from Nashville who has written hits for performers such as Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean. Earlier this year, as the music industry was stopped in its tracks...

Despite a weak economy, India’s stockmarket is at record highs

Dramatic disconnectDespite a weak economy, India’s stockmarket is at record highsWhat do investors know that economists don’t?Finance & economicsDec 5th 2020 editionTHE MOOD ON Dalal Street, Mumbai’s version of Wall Street, is jubilant. Record highs are being achieved in one session after another on the Bombay Stock Exchange, most recently on December...

How Ping An, an insurer, became a fintech super-app

MetamorphosisHow Ping An, an insurer, became a fintech super-appCould others follow the Chinese firm’s lead?Finance & economicsDec 3rd 2020 editionA JOB INTERVIEW at Ping An is a strange experience. To become an agent at the insurance group, the world’s largest by market capitalisation, candidates must take questions from an intelligent machine....

S&P pays $44bn for IHS Markit as financial-data providers race for scale

Go figureS&P pays $44bn for IHS Markit as financial-data providers race for scaleLike their consumer-tech counterparts, market-information providers want to lock clients into self-contained ecosystemsFinance & economicsIN 2003 LANCE UGGLA, a Canadian stockbroker, founded a financial-data startup in a British barn. Endowed with just $17m in seed...

Bad debts in China

Overdue actionBad debts in ChinaDebt collection, Chinese styleFinance & economicsNov 28th 2020 editionDEBT-COLLECTION videos have become a popular subgenre on Chinese clip-sharing platforms. Many feature young men deftly fielding phone calls from aggressive collectors. Some portray the abuses—hair pulling, slapping—that have come to define a business...

Christine Lagarde is taking the ECB out of its comfort zone

Culture shockChristine Lagarde is taking the ECB out of its comfort zoneThat is causing some controversy among the expertsFinance & economicsNov 28th 2020 editionCHRISTINE LAGARDE has been an outsider before. Speaking to The Economist, she relishes the memory of shaking up bureaucrats—“men in grey suits”—when she took over as France’s finance minister...

Jerome Powell and Steven Mnuchin are at odds over emergency loans

A clash over cashJerome Powell and Steven Mnuchin are at odds over emergency loansMr Mnuchin argues the funds could be better used elsewhereFinance & economicsNov 28th 2020 editionAS COVID-19 spread across America, its fiscal and monetary tsars donned their masks, bumped elbows and presented a united front. Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal...

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