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Finance

China’s leaders face miserable economic-growth figures

The Jingxi Hotel in Beijing is known for its home-made yogurt—and for hosting some of the most important meetings in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. They include the “third plenum” of 1978, which confirmed Deng Xiaoping’s rise to…

Trumponomics would not be as bad as most expect

In markets it is known as the “Trump trade”, a bet that Donald Trump’s return to the White House would herald more inflation and higher interest rates. Many of Mr Trump’s core policies push in this direction: tariffs would add…

Betting markets are useful when politics is chaotic

In the early 20th century, for brief periods, the most frenetic American trading pits were not the raucous markets in which stocks were traded, nor the venues where bonds were exchanged. The real action was in the market for betting…

Europe prepares for a mighty trade war

“We cannot carry on trade without war, nor war without trade,” wrote Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a brutal governor-general of the Dutch East India Company, to shareholders in 1614. Four centuries later, things sound a bit different. “Let’s make no mistake:…

The dangerous rise of pension nationalism

Rachel Reeves, Britain’s new chancellor, says that she has inherited the worst fiscal circumstances since the second world war. An exaggeration, perhaps, but only a small one. To address the squeeze, Ms Reeves will seek the help of Britain’s retirement…

Xi Jinping really is unshakeably committed to the private sector

China’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping, contains multitudes. His economic philosophy touts both self-reliance and openness. His vision of policymaking embraces top-down design, but also bottom-up experimentation. During the covid-19 pandemic, he urged local officials to eliminate infections (which often required…

How strongmen abuse tools for fighting financial crime

In May 27 members of the Community Empowerment Resource Network (CERNET), a Philippine charity, were charged with bankrolling communist rebels. Straight away the case looked strange. A social-media post by police claimed they had jailed Estrella Flores-Catarata, one of CERNET’s…

America’s banks are more exposed to a downturn than they appear

The earliest depiction of the ouroboros—a serpent coiled in a circle, eating its own tail—was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, a pharaoh who ruled Egypt around 1320BC. It was used in his funerary texts to depict the infinite nature…

How much cash should be removed from the financial system?

The world is still, in a sense, swimming in cash. Or at least the electronic equivalent: central-bank reserves. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a club of central banks, estimates that the balance-sheets of rich-country central banks amount to roughly…

How Starbucks caffeinates local economies

Starbucks offers endless opportunities for innovation. Parts of social media delight in hacking the chain’s menu to create highly instagrammable drinks. Fancy a “cake batter Frappuccino”? Simply order a “vanilla bean crème Frappuccino”, add a pump of hazelnut syrup and…