Global Economy

admin June 14, 2019

THE FEDERAL RESERVE is changing direction. In December it predicted that it would raise the federal funds rate twice in 2019, to 2.75-3.0%. In March it thought it would hold rates steady instead. Investors now think there is a one-in-five chance that it will cut rates at its meeting on June 19th, and a 95% […]

admin June 14, 2019

ALMOST TWO years ago Arvind Subramanian, then India’s chief economic adviser, published a little-noticed passage in the finance ministry’s annual economic survey. The previous two years posed a “puzzle”, he wrote. India had reported miracle growth in GDP (averaging 7.5%) despite miserable growth in investment, exports and credit. He looked for comparable examples elsewhere since […]

admin June 13, 2019

BY ALMOST ANY measure, America’s biggest banks are behemoths. JPMorgan Chase’s balance-sheet weighs in at $2.7trn, Bank of America’s (BofA) at $2.4trn. Citigroup tips the scales at almost $2trn and Wells Fargo at $1.9trn. Their combined market value is nearly $1trn. Last year they raked in over $100bn after tax. Yet by one gauge, the […]

admin June 7, 2019

NEW FRONTS in President Donald Trump’s assault on the global trading system are opening up by the day. On May 30th he dropped a bombshell on Mexico, threatening a 5% tariff on all its exports to America, rising to 25% by October if immigration flows do not fall (see article). On May 31st he turned […]

admin June 7, 2019

INDIA’S NEW finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman (pictured below), is an unusual figure in the country’s politics. She is the first woman to head the finance ministry since Indira Gandhi seized the post (while also serving as prime minister) 50 years ago, after nationalising many of India’s banks. She is an economist. But unlike most in […]

admin June 6, 2019

THE ALLEYS of the 150-year-old Chor (Thieves’) Bazaar, a colourfully named flea market in Mumbai, are crammed with goats, used tyres, speakers, drills and other assorted ephemera. But even in this unlikely place, modern payment methods are gaining a foothold. In stalls abutting the market, bags of sand can be paid for by providing a […]

admin June 6, 2019

AT THE END of 1989, an American in London received a call from a friend back home. The caller had watched the fall of the Berlin Wall and the toppling of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania with growing dismay. He was at the end of a four-year course in Russian Studies at an elite university with […]

admin May 31, 2019

GRIMSTAD, NORWAY, is an unlikely setting for financial-market shenanigans. But the fishing town is home to Einar Aas, a trader who took huge bets on Scandinavian energy markets. His 15 minutes of infamy came in September 2018, when his bets went spectacularly wrong. Unable to cover his losses, he blew a €114m ($133m) hole in […]

admin May 30, 2019

VICTORIA OPAI, a teacher in a remote part of West Kalimantan, Indonesia’s slice of Borneo, is charmed by the new road connecting her school to Putussibau, the nearest town. It is smooth, reasonably straight and cuts through swathes of jungle. It used to take three hours to get into town, she says. Now it takes […]

admin May 24, 2019

OUTSIDE THE headquarters of the German Taxpayers’ Federation in Berlin, a display tracks the public debt in real time. Now displaying a total of just under €2trn ($2.2trn), it has been ticking down since early 2018. Germany’s public-debt ratio, expected to be 58% of GDP in 2019, is as much the envy of other rich […]