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The Economist

  • IN THE latest—and possibly most alarming—in a recent string of allegations of racism against airlines, two black musicians claim they were downgraded from business class on a British Airways-branded flight in South Africa to make room for a white woman. Thabo Mabogwane and Bongani Mohosana, a South African musical duo known as Black Motion, purchased business-class tickets for a flight
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    Published on 12-09-17
    2 days ago
  • SCENE: A pet shop with a bored looking proprietor. A customer approachesCUSTOMER: I’d like to buy a parrot.OWNER: Certainly, sir. How about this one? It’s a Norwegian Blue. Beautiful plumage.CUSTOMER: It’s not moving muchOWNER: It is tired and shagged out after a long squawkCUSTOMER: Fair enough. How much is it?OWNER: $20,000CUSTOMER: I’ll pay with this BitcoinOWNER: Sorry, sir. On WavesDEX,
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    Published on 12-08-17
    3 days ago
  • ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) has already changed some activities, including parts of finance like fraud prevention, but not yet fund management and stock-picking. That seems odd: machine learning, a subset of AI that excels at finding patterns and making predictions using reams of data, looks like an ideal tool for the business. Yet well-established “quant” hedge funds in London or New
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • Four-sided banditA DECADE ago the idea of paying real money for virtual items was strange and exotic. These days many video-game publishers build their business models around it. Some of the world’s biggest games, such as “League of Legends”, cost nothing to buy. Instead they rely for their revenue on players buying things for use in the game, such as
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • Who believes in Nicolás?ON NOVEMBER 30th, as oil tsars from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia met in Vienna, Venezuela’s former oil minister, Eulogio del Pino, once one of their number, was seized by armed guards at dawn in Caracas, and taken to jail. His arrest was not publicly acknowledged in Vienna. His replacement, Manuel Quevedo,
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • ANOTHER week, another record. The repeated surge of share prices on Wall Street is getting monotonous. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has passed another milestone—24,000—and the more statistically robust S&P 500 index is up by 17% so far this year. Emerging markets have performed even better, as have European shares in dollar terms (see chart).Political worries about trade disputes, the
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • MCDONALD’S drew ridicule in China when it changed its registered name there to Jingongmen, or “Golden Arches”, in October, after it was sold to a Chinese consortium. Some on Weibo, a microblogging site, thought it sounded old-fashioned and awkward, others that it had connotations of furniture. The fast-food chain was quick to reassure customers that its restaurants would continue to
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • “AFRICA must unite,” wrote Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, in 1963, lamenting that African countries sold raw materials to their former colonisers rather than trading among themselves. His pan-African dream never became reality. Even today, African countries still trade twice as much with Europe as they do with each other (see chart). But that spirit of unity now animates a
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • Data-mine oreFOR millennia, man has broken rocks. Whether with pickaxe or dynamite, their own or animal muscle, in a digger or a diesel truck, thick-necked miners have been at the centre of an industry that supplies the raw materials for almost all industrial activity. Making mining more profitable has long involved squeezing out more tonnes of metal per ounce of
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago
  • A BOA constrictor swallowing capitalism. A cyclone dragging the economy into its vortex. If you look back at how people described Walmart a decade ago, it is eerily similar to how Amazon is viewed now. The supermarket chain has “a scale of economic power we haven’t encountered before”, warned “The Walmart Effect”, a best selling book in 2006. But capitalism
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    Published on 12-07-17
    4 days ago