Qatar Airways thinks it has found a way around America’s laptop ban

Qatar Airways thinks it has found a way around America’s laptop ban

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Qatar Airways thinks it has found a way around America’s laptop ban
THE ban on taking large electronic devices into plane cabins, imposed on March 20th by the United States on flights from ten Middle Eastern airports, is a particular headache for the four “superconnector” airlines. Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, like many carriers, depend on premium travellers for their profits. Those in business-class cabins […]
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Amazon’s big, fresh deal with Whole Foods

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Amazon’s big, fresh deal with Whole Foods
JEFF BEZOS does not like sitting still. In his annual letter to Amazon’s shareholders this year, he warned of “stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death.” Competitors are toiling to avoid the same fate but it is hard to keep up. On June 16th Amazon said it would pay $13.7bn […]
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Etihad allows flyers to bid to keep adjacent seats empty

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Etihad allows flyers to bid to keep adjacent seats empty
THERE are few things that airlines will not now put a price on. Even so, Etihad Airways has come up with an intriguing idea. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is offering flyers the chance to bid to keep adjacent seats on a flight empty. Passengers can suggest the price they are willing to pay to block […]
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Fund managers rarely outperform the market for long

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Fund managers rarely outperform the market for long
THE big investment shift of recent years is from active to passive. Clients have been buying index funds, which passively track a benchmark like the S&P 500 index, and shunning fund managers who actively try to pick the best shares. One reason for the shift is that passive managers charge lower fees than active funds. […]
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Qatar Airways wants a 10% stake in American Airlines

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Qatar Airways wants a 10% stake in American Airlines
IT SEEMED, at first blush, to be a masterclass in how to bait a rival. For years, American Airlines, along with other big American carriers, has complained of “unfair” competition from Middle Eastern operators, which stand accused of taking state subsidies. On June 22nd one of those accused, Qatar Airways, said it planned to take […]
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An industry shudders as Amazon buys Whole Foods for $13.7bn

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An industry shudders as Amazon buys Whole Foods for $13.7bn
AMAZON announced on June 16th that it would pay $13.7bn to buy Whole Foods, a grocer known for its organic produce. On the face of it, the purchase might not seem to upset the grocery cart, either for Amazon or for the supermarket business. Amazon controls a measly 0.2% of America’s grocery market; Whole Foods […]
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Finland tests an unconditional basic income

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Finland tests an unconditional basic income
JUHA JARVINEN, an unemployed young father in a village near Jurva, western Finland, brims with ideas for earning a living. “I’m an artist and entrepreneur. Sometimes I’m too active, I don’t have time to stop,” he says. He just agreed to paint the roofs of two neighbours’ houses. His old business, making decorative window frames, […]
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Complaints against America’s airlines are rising

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Complaints against America’s airlines are rising
LAST year, Bob Fornaro, the boss of Spirit Airlines, talked of the effort his firm had made to reduce the number of customer complaints. The ultra-low-cost carrier, dubbed the most hated airline in America by Bloomberg, had long been ranked as a primary purveyor of passenger pain, regularly propping up lists that rate airline service. […]
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Canadian banks don’t face a crisis. They do face a strategic trilemma

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Canadian banks don’t face a crisis. They do face a strategic trilemma
AS the global financial system was engulfed in crisis in 2008-10, only one set of banks in Europe and North America stayed serene and safe: Canada’s big five lenders. They were largely untouched by the madness south of the border and across the pond and kept churning out profits. After the crisis experts went on […]
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Podcast: A poison chalice for GE’s new boss

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Podcast: A poison chalice for GE’s new boss
Patrick Foulis asks if a break-up is on the cards as General Electric appoints a new CEO. Also, Uber is on a collision course as it grapples with management problems. Why confidence among European companies is sky high. And tension in global trade in aluminium. Hosted by Philip Coggan. <param name="labels"…Continue reading Facebook Twitter Google+ […]
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Younger business travellers are more likely to extend trips for fun

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Younger business travellers are more likely to extend trips for fun
ACCENTURE, advertorial, jeggings. The competition for ugliest portmanteau is fierce. Few constructions, though, can match “bleisure” for barbarousness. For the uninitiated, the word is a blend of business and leisure. But ugly as it is, it exists for a reason: the practice of adding a few days of pleasure to a work trip is becoming […]
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Big business sees the promise of clean energy

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Big business sees the promise of clean energy
PITY America’s big businesses. For years their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint were dismissed by environmentalists as “greenwashing”. Now, after months trying to persuade a supposedly pro-business new president, Donald Trump, of the merits of staying in the Paris climate accord, he practically laughed in their faces by withdrawing on June 1st. Executives fear […]
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Banco Popular fails and is bought by Santander

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Banco Popular fails and is bought by Santander
EVEN a bank failure can be presented as a triumph. This week Banco Popular, a big Spanish lender, endured a run. Depositors were said to be withdrawing €2bn ($2.2bn) a day. The bank lost half its stockmarket value in four days, as a self-imposed deadline to find a saviour loomed. On June 6th, it was […]
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Why the Fed is likely to raise rates, despite low inflation

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Why the Fed is likely to raise rates, despite low inflation
CREDIBILITY is a thing you have to worry about with toddlers. You cannot reason with them. The best you can hope to do is respond consistently to undesirable behaviour. Get this wrong and your work becomes harder. If your correspondent doesn’t actually go and hide the box of Legos every time he has to count […]
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BCMA Thinks: When Light Becomes Sound…

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BCMA Thinks: When Light Becomes Sound…
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Political ostracism means more woe for Qatar Airways

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Political ostracism means more woe for Qatar Airways
AFTER years of ascension, the three Gulf superconnectors, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, have recently suffered a bad spell. The low price of oil—usually a boon for airlines—has reduced spending power in oil-rich states, which has dampened demand for flights from the region. Terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East, too, have proved a deterrent. Then […]
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Britain needs a second flag-carrier

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Britain needs a second flag-carrier
AIRLINES, like all firms, have a duty to shareholders to cut costs, if it makes them more competitive and more profitable in the long term. British Airways has been zealous in this regard. Over the past few years, the airline, under the stewardship of Willie Walsh and Alex Cruz, has cut staff, outsourced IT, and […]
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British Airways botches its response to its latest technical woes

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British Airways botches its response to its latest technical woes
IT IS easy to blame infrastructure when things go wrong, as they did on May 27th when British Airways (BA) grounded planes across the globe after a global IT systems crash. More than 1,200 flights, booked to carry over 75,000 passengers, were cancelled over three days; hundreds of thousands more miserable travellers had their trips […]
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America’s community banks hope for lighter regulation

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America’s community banks hope for lighter regulation
A FEW weeks ago Standard Financial, a bank with assets of just $488m and a mere nine branches, merged with Allegheny Valley Bancorp, a slightly smaller neighbour in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. The main reason for the deal, says Tim Zimmerman, Standard’s chief executive, was the rising cost of regulation—though competition from PNC, a $371bn […]
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Why flying in the summer is so hellish

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Why flying in the summer is so hellish
HERE in America, we recently celebrated Memorial Day, when barbecues and pool openings mark the beginning of summer, astronomers be damned. For leisure travellers, that means sun, surf and spritzes. For business travellers, it can mean headaches, as airport lines grow ever longer and flight delays more common. Who is to blame for the annoyances […]
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The threat of a laptop ban resurfaces

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The threat of a laptop ban resurfaces
MODERN air travel has become less tolerable in many ways. Seats are narrower, legroom more cramped and luggage space elusive. But in one way it has vastly improved. Keeping yourself amused on a flight once meant squinting at a flickering movie on a distant screen. Today flyers can travel with a library of films, music […]
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A computer failure at British Airways causes chaos

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A computer failure at British Airways causes chaos
BRITISH AIRWAYS usually relishes the spring bank-holiday weekend, as families take advantage of the extended break to jet off somewhere pleasant. This year’s won’t end soon enough for the airline. A catastrophic computer failure on May 27th grounded over a thousand flights and caused chaos for flyers.   The incident, which was reportedly related to […]
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An inglorious return to Austin for Uber and Lyft

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An inglorious return to Austin for Uber and Lyft
UBER and Lyft will make their triumphant return to Austin on Monday. Whether the Texas capital will welcome them back is another matter. The ride-hailing giants left in a huff a year ago, after Austinites had the temerity to vote in favour of maintaining the city’s requirement that the firms perform fingerprint checks on their […]
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Donald Trump considers congestion pricing for American cities

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Donald Trump considers congestion pricing for American cities
DONALD TRUMP made a splash during the American presidential campaign when he called for a trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure. But when he actually released his first major budget proposal this week, funds for roads and bridges hardly attracted notice. Though the document does lay out a target of $200bn in direct federal spending, to be […]
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A surge in the value of crypto-currencies provokes alarm

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A surge in the value of crypto-currencies provokes alarm
IT IS hard to predict when bubbles will pop, in particular when they are nested within each other. It helps to keep this image in mind when considering one of the biggest surges in asset values of recent years: the market value of all the world’s crypto-currencies has trebled since the beginning of the year, […]
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Insurers get a new global accounting regime

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Insurers get a new global accounting regime
LISTED firms in over 120 countries, including all large economies bar America, issue financial statements according to international financial reporting standards (IFRS) set by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). One industry, however, has been in practice free to keep using divergent national standards: insurance. That, too, is about to change. IFRS 17, issued on […]
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A new sort of hedge fund relies on crowd-sourcing

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A new sort of hedge fund relies on crowd-sourcing
“QUANT” hedge funds have long been seen as the nerdy vanguard of finance. Firms such as Renaissance Technologies, Two Sigma and Man AHL, each of which manages tens of billions of dollars, hire talented mathematicians and physicists to sit in their airy offices and develop trading algorithms. But what if such talent could be harnessed […]
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