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The international role of the euro

CurrenciesThe international role of the euroEurope’s currency aspirations are getting a boostFinance & economicsWHEN THE European Union launched the euro two decades ago, economists wondered if this novel currency might pull off a feat none other had managed in the post-war period: to challenge the mighty American dollar. However, reserve managers...

Global markets adapt to a change in the Federal Reserve’s tone

Reflate debateGlobal markets adapt to a change in the Federal Reserve’s toneAfter an unsettling week, investors have to retuneFinance & economicsFOR SEVEN months most investors have been singing the same uplifting song. Since Pfizer and BioNTech published the successful results of trials of their covid-19 vaccine last November, the way to make money...

Is the pandemic accelerating automation? Don’t be so sure

Free exchangeIs the pandemic accelerating automation? Don’t be so sureThe pessimists could, of course, eventually be proven rightFinance & economicsJun 19th 2021 editionAS ECONOMIES REOPEN, labour shortages are still worsening. In America the number of unfilled vacancies, at 9.3m, has never been so high. Job postings in Canada are 20% above pre-pandemic...

Why China has learned to relax about its currency

ButtonwoodWhy China has learned to relax about its currencyIn a sign of tolerance, it has not slammed the door on capital inflowsFinance & economicsJun 19th 2021 editionIN A WORLD in which transparency has become a fetish, it is refreshing to try to get a read on the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Its various nods and winks give market analysts...

Will America’s housing boom lead to another financial crisis?

A prettier pictureWill America’s housing boom lead to another financial crisis?It is hard not to feel uneasy, but lending standards are much higherFinance & economicsJun 19th 2021 editionA FAVOURED PASTIME for city dwellers on holiday to quainter towns and villages is to peruse the windows of local property firms and dream of swapping their cramped...

America’s high-yield debt is on ever-shakier foundations

The junk heapAmerica’s high-yield debt is on ever-shakier foundationsDefaults may be heading lower but the market has become much riskierFinance & economicsJun 19th 2021 editionINVESTORS IN COMPANIES issuing high-yield or “junk” debt have had a relatively benign pandemic. Usually such highly leveraged borrowers are stung by economic hardship. During...

The methods and menace of the new bank robbers

Cyber-heistsThe methods and menace of the new bank robbersHacker gangs go where the money—and the data—areFinance & economicsTALK TO BANKERS and some will tell you that when it comes to cyber-crime, they are second only to the military in terms of the strength of their defences. And yet trawl the dark web, as Intel 471, an intelligence firm, did...

Uneven vaccination rates are creating a new economic divide

The jabs and the jab-notsUneven vaccination rates are creating a new economic divideThey may also stoke fears of a new taper tantrumFinance & economicsIN THE 1970S the fortunes of the world economy, in all its unfathomable complexity, seemed to turn on one product: oil. Exported by a narrow clique of countries, this vital input was hostage to ferocious...

Will empty shopfronts revive as New York comes back to life?

Vacancies in the VillageWill empty shopfronts revive as New York comes back to life?A mismatch between what landlords and tenants want could hold things upFinance & economicsJun 12th 2021 editionSIT BY BAR Pisellino, a chic watering hole in the West Village, a swanky neighbourhood in Manhattan, and the world seems to have righted itself. Patrons...

Why the market for secondhand private-equity stakes is thriving

ButtonwoodWhy the market for secondhand private-equity stakes is thrivingWherever there is a primary market, a secondary one is never far behindFinance & economicsJun 12th 2021 editionAT MIDNIGHT ON August 31st 1602, the public offering of shares in a new kind of enterprise closed. The charter for the venture, the Dutch East India Company, granted...

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