Global Economy

admin May 9, 2019

IMAGINE THAT, by some twist of fate, you become the ruler of an oil-rich state. A crash in the oil price has left a hole in its budget. You are forced to consider selling the kingdom’s assets. Among them is a mothballed oilfield in a remote part of the country—so remote that it costs $90 […]

admin May 3, 2019

COMPLIANCE OFFICERS are the killjoys of finance. To bankers and traders keen to let rip, they are the po-faced types who frown at any transaction that might breach this rule or contravene that regulation. A recent episode of “Billions”, a television drama about Wall Street, captured the rainmakers’ frustration: so fed up is “Dollar” Bill Stern […]

admin May 2, 2019

A CENTRAL BANK’S words have power. Three of them (“whatever it takes”) calmed the euro area’s debt panic in 2012. Another few (the Federal Reserve mulling a “step down in our pace of purchases”) started the taper tantrum that upset emerging markets in 2013. What is left unsaid can also be powerful. After its interest-rate […]

admin April 26, 2019

AMERICA HAS been a superpower for decades. As a superpower in global energy markets, however, it is barely an adolescent. As recently as 2015 it was illegal to export oil. Within ten years the shale boom has transformed it into the world’s biggest producer of crude. No longer must it tiptoe around regimes whose policies […]

admin April 26, 2019

THE COLLAPSE of the oil price that began in 2014 was bad news for Nigerian banks. A quarter of their lending was to oil and gas firms. Many businesses were left reeling after a currency crisis. The economy stuttered, then plunged into recession. Before the oil slump just 3% of loans were not being paid […]

admin April 25, 2019

“I JUST WANT an end to the price madness,” says Sonia Valverde, a mother of three, at a supermarket in Buenos Aires. She points to a government sticker advertising new price controls, which have frozen the price of 64 products, including sachets of milk. The only difficulty is that no sachets remain on the shelf. […]

admin April 18, 2019

FOR CENTURIES prior to the Industrial Revolution, Asia’s massively populous societies made the continent the world’s centre of economic gravity. Industrialisation in Europe and North America in the 19th century briefly knocked it from its perch. But now their collective economic might, measured in real output on a purchasing-power-parity basis, is forecast to account for more […]

admin April 18, 2019

IMAGINE TWO countries that differ only in the scale of public debt. In Vulgaria it is 50% of GDP; in Freedonia it is 5%. Vulgaria used the proceeds of its extra debt-raising to buy land for public parks. Because of these assets, it is regarded as being as good a credit risk as Freedonia. Taxes […]

admin April 18, 2019

PROTONS POP up in every atom. Proton cars are not quite so ubiquitous. Founded in 1983 by Malaysia’s government, the Proton company strove to build a truly “national car”, but its parent lost over 1bn ringgit ($280m) in the two financial years before it sold a stake to Geely, a Chinese carmaker, in 2017. Neighbouring […]

admin April 17, 2019

NO ONE IS more aware of the value of a brand than Goldman Sachs. The investment bank, founded in 1869, has advised the biggest and best American companies on the value of theirs for the past 150 years. It helped F.W. Woolworth, a pioneering department store, with its initial public offering in 1912. It took […]