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What will humans do if technology solves everything?

Finance and economics | Free exchangeWelcome to a high-tech utopiaIllustration: Álvaro Bernis Apr 9th 2024In “Permutation City”, a novel by Greg Egan, the character Peer, having achieved immortality within a virtual reality over which he has total control, finds himself terribly bored. So he engineers himself to have new passions. One moment he is pushing...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 17:21
What China’s central bank and Costco shoppers have in common

Finance and economics | ButtonwoodHint: it is not a fondness for cryptocurrenciesPhotograph: Satoshi Kambayashi Apr 11th 2024Gold has always held an allure. The earliest civilisations used it for jewellery; the first forms of money were forged from it. For centuries kings clamoured to get their hands on the stuff. Charlemagne conquered much of Europe...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 13:22
How fast is India’s economy really growing?

Finance and economics | Beyond GDPStatisticians take the country’s figures with a pinch of saltPhotograph: Getty Images Apr 11th 2024|MumbaiOptimism about India tends to spike now and again. In 1996, a few years after the country opened to foreign capital, the price of property in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, soared to the highest of any global city,...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 13:22
Ukrainian drone strikes are hurting Russia’s oil industry

Finance and economics | Behind enemy linesThe world’s third-largest producer is now an importer of petrolPeaceful, for nowPhotograph: Reuters Apr 11th 2024Selling more oil at higher prices ought to be the stuff of dreams for a petrostate. But for Russia it is a sign of a new, punishing phase in its war with Ukraine. Months of Ukrainian drone strikes...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 13:22
China’s state is eating the private property market

Finance and economics | Xi’s healthy appetitePity those soon to buy a homeCastles in the skyPhotograph: Getty Images Apr 11th 2024|WuhanAt an upmarket housing development in Wuhan, sales agents want to make clear that their state-owned firm has severed all its ties to the private sector. The firm had at first partnered with Sunac, a private developer,...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 13:22
America suffers a nasty inflation surprise

Finance and economics | Put the axe awayFollowing another nasty surprise, some wonder if it may be after the presidential electionPhotograph: Reuters Apr 10th 2024|Washington, DCPerhaps it was always too good to be true. The big economic story of 2023 was the seemingly painless disinflation in America, with consumer price pressures receding even as...

Thu Apr 11, 2024 09:11


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