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The Economist

  • AMERICANS, and people who travel to America, have good reason to celebrate this month. By the end of April, the four major credit-card networks in the country will all stop requiring retailers to collect signatures from customers when completing transactions. Visa, the world’s biggest credit-card issuer announced in January that signatures would no longer be required from month for retailers
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • AMERICANS, and people who travel to America, have good reason to celebrate this month. By the end of April, the four major credit-card networks in the country will all stop requiring retailers to collect signatures from customers when completing transactions. Visa, the world’s biggest credit-card issuer, announced in January that signatures would no longer be required from this month for retailers
    read more ...
    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • DURING his spectacular rise from London beancounter to the globe-trotting boss of WPP, the advertising powerhouse he created out of a backstreet wire-basket and trolley company, Sir Martin Sorrell was rarely sentimental. The man who helped turn a ramshackle but chic industry into a global force poached accounts mercilessly and often pitted his own firms against each other in the
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • The Pony Express, British styleIT MAY be hard to imagine a world without cheap postal services, but 200 years ago sending mail was a luxury. Posting a letter from London to Edinburgh cost an average daily wage. In 1840, after a proposal by Rowland Hill, an inventor, Britain launched the Penny Post, the world’s first universal mail service. The state-run
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • THE Bralima brewery in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is an island of modernity in a city where chaos is the norm. Inside a building near the docks where barges begin the journey up the Congo river, conveyor belts rattle as thousands of glass bottles are washed and filled with amber liquid. A generator hums
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • TALK of restricting the use of Chinese telecoms equipment in the West is growing. This week the curbs went the other way, when America banned its companies from selling hardware and software for seven years to one of China’s state-owned tech champions, ZTE. On April 16th America’s Department of Commerce said that China’s second-largest telecoms firm had trampled on a
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • Hipster Hells Angel“WHEN you enter [the marketplace] with that level of hubris and arrogance, you don’t create trust.” So declared a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this week. He was upset about the sudden appearance of dockless electric scooters, rented via smartphone, all over the city. Several American startups are battling each other and the authorities to promote
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • WHEN flag carriers such as British Airways (BA) ruled the skies, only the rich could afford to fly across the Atlantic. That was until Freddie Laker, a British entrepreneur, came along. His dream was to open long-haul travel to the masses. In 1977 he launched Skytrain, the first low-cost long-haul flights between London and New York. “Thanks to Freddie Laker
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • THE first week for ESPN+, a sports streaming service that Disney, owner of ESPN, launched in America on April 12th, had none of the razzmatazz associated with a firm known for blockbuster openings. Forget marquee matchups from the National Basketball Association. The games come from lesser-known football (ie, soccer) leagues, minor college sports and international fixtures with limited American audiences,
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago
  • WATCHING financial markets can be like watching a horror film. A character walks into the darkness alone. A floorboard creaks. The latest spooky sign is the spread between the three-month dollar London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) and the overnight index swap (OIS) rate. It usually hovers at around 0.1%, but has recently climbed to 0.6% (see chart). As it widens,
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    Published on 04-19-18
    1 day ago