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Have economists misunderstood inflation?

Finance & economics | Free exchangeGovernment debt is at the core of rising prices, argues an important new book Jan 26th 2023Imagine it is late 2024. Inflation in the rich world has fallen from its peak but stayed stubbornly high. At around 4%, it is well above the level at which most central banks are comfortable. Governments, weighed down by...

Christians fight about how to serve God and mammon

Finance & economics | Religious investingIs ESG simply a social-Marxist agenda? Jan 26th 2023Is it possible to manage money successfully and be a virtuous Christian? For 2,000-odd years, followers of the world’s largest religion have debated the issue. Recently the debate has become fractious. The management of Christian money, once farmed out to...

What inflation means for the Big Mac index

Finance & economics | Overheated and overvaluedThe competitive advantage of fast-food nations Jan 26th 2023 | Hong KongFor much of the past two years, economists have argued fiercely about prices. As inflation in America and elsewhere has exceeded central-bank targets, analysts have dissected different components of the cost of living, including...

When professional stockpickers beat the algorithms

Finance & economics | ButtonwoodJust occasionally, their fees are worth it Jan 26th 2023Last year’s plunging markets left few investors smiling. Stocks and bonds fell in tandem; haven assets failed to offer safe harbour. Doing well meant making single-figure percentage losses rather than double. It might, therefore, seem an odd time for fund managers...

Argentina and Brazil propose a bizarre common currency

Finance & economics | Gaucho, grilledWhat are they thinking? Jan 26th 2023Argentina is running out of vaults. With annual inflation nearing 100%, as the central bank prints bills to cover the government’s fiscal deficit, local banks are making space for ballooning stocks of pesos. Officials have tightened capital controls. Imports are at a standstill....

How the world economy could avoid recession

Finance & economics | Dare to dreamMarkets are giddy, but there is a long way to go Jan 24th 2023Last year markets had a terrible time. So far 2023 looks different. Many indices, including the Euro Stoxx 600, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and a broad measure of emerging-market share prices, have seen their best start to the year in decades. America’s s&p...

How the economy could avoid recession

Finance & economics | Dare to dreamMarkets are giddy, but there is a long way to go Jan 24th 2023Last year markets had a terrible time. So far 2023 looks different. Many indices, including the Euro Stoxx 600, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and a broad measure of emerging-market share prices, have seen their best start to the year in decades. America’s s&p...

Could the world really avoid a recession?

Finance & economics | Dare to dreamMarkets are giddy, but there is a long way to go Jan 24th 2023Last year markets had a terrible time. So far 2023 looks different. Many indices, including the Euro Stoxx 600, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and a broad measure of emerging-market share prices, have seen their best start to the year in decades. America’s s&p...

Can China fix its property crisis?

Finance & economics | All at seaReforms risk another wave of excess Jan 23rd 2023 | HaiyangTo judge by the high-rises dotted along the shore in Haiyang, a small coastal city, Country Garden’s prospects are pretty meagre. The firm, China’s biggest developer by sales, has sold few beachside flats. A handful of towers appear only partly built. A faux-German...

Could Europe end up with a worse inflation problem than America?

Finance & economics | Free exchangeThe new transatlantic divide Jan 19th 2023Inflation is coming down. On both sides of the Atlantic, falling energy costs are provoking sighs of relief. Price-watchers are now focused on core inflation, a measure that strips out volatile food and energy prices, and is usually much slower to rise—and more difficult...

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