How do you solve a problem like Korea? Investors are unsure

How do you solve a problem like Korea? Investors are unsure

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How do you solve a problem like Korea? Investors are unsure
EUROPEAN markets have started the day with losses of 1% or so, following a 2% decline in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and the 1% loss in the S&P 500 index on Thursday. The Vix, a much used measure of market fear, jumped to 16, its highest level since the presidential election. These are significant […]
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Fuelled by Middle East tension, the oil market has got ahead of itself

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Fuelled by Middle East tension, the oil market has got ahead of itself
ONLY one thing spooks the oil market as much as hot-headed despots in the Middle East, and that is hot-headed hedge-fund managers. For the second time this year, record speculative bets on rising oil prices in American and European futures have made the market vulnerable to a sell-off. “You don’t want to be the last […]
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America’s culture wars are spreading to hotels

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America’s culture wars are spreading to hotels
CHOOSING a hotel for a trip is generally seen as an apolitical decision. In contrast, restaurants and cafes have sometimes taken on an ideological tinge, with conservatives mocking liberals for their latte coffees, and liberals ribbing conservatives for their deep-fried everything and well-done steaks. But for most hotel users, location and good Wi-Fi matter more […]
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Timelier provisions may make banks’ profits and lending choppier

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Timelier provisions may make banks’ profits and lending choppier
IN THE first quarter of 2018 thousands of banks will look a little less profitable. A new international accounting standard, IFRS 9, will oblige lenders in more than 120 countries, including the European Union’s members, to increase provisions for credit losses. In America, which has its own standard-setter, IFRS 9 will not be applied—but by […]
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The rules on allocating take-off and landing slots favour incumbents

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The rules on allocating take-off and landing slots favour incumbents
LAST year nearly 3.7bn passengers took to the sky on commercial jets. Few would have given much thought to exactly why their flight was scheduled at the time it was. Even fewer know about the tussles between regulators and airlines over how landing and take-off slots are allocated. For the past 70 years the business […]
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Britain’s 1970s retread

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Britain’s 1970s retread
THE strange 1970s revival in Britain has another twist. The main focus has been on the Labour party which, under Jeremy Corbyn, wants to return to the era marked by nationalisation and higher taxes. But in a sense the Brexiteers want to take Britain back to the 1970s too; to the “golden era” before 1973 […]
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Regulators begin to tackle the craze for initial coin offerings

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Regulators begin to tackle the craze for initial coin offerings
“I’M GONNA make a $hit t$n of money on August 2nd on the Stox.com ICO.” Written in July on Instagram, these words made Floyd Mayweather, a boxer, the first big celebrity to endorse an “initial coin offering”, a form of crowdfunding that issues cryptographic coins, or “tokens”. Stox, an online prediction market, went on to […]
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The New York Fed’s president announces his retirement

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The New York Fed’s president announces his retirement
He never really took the bull by the horns APPLICATIONS sought for leading Wall Street post. Duties: important role in setting interest rates (some vaguely defined other responsibilities). Perks: lovely office in Italianate palace; large staff. Requirements: eligibility for highest-level security clearance; tacit support in Washington, DC. Desirable but optional: broad knowledge of banking. This […]
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A massive trove of data on offshore transactions is leaked

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A massive trove of data on offshore transactions is leaked
IN APRIL 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) dropped a bombshell. Its articles about the “Panama Papersâ€�, a leaked trove of documents which had been stolen from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, sent shock waves round the world—felling the leaders of Pakistan and Iceland, leading to multiple arrests and pushing several countries […]
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Why Qatar Airways has bought 9.6% of Cathay Pacific

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Why Qatar Airways has bought 9.6% of Cathay Pacific
THIS morning’s news that Qatar Airways, a national carrier with global ambitions, has bought nearly 10% of Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag-carrier, came as a shock for financial markets. Shares in Cathay Pacific dropped in value by around 5% in the minutes after trading resumed first thing today. But the idea that Qatar Airways was […]
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Smoking rooms are disappearing from hotels

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Smoking rooms are disappearing from hotels
TO THE list of endangered travel facilities—which includes pay phones, communal aeroplane screens and concierges—there is one more to add: smoking rooms. Even a few years ago, guests were routinely asked whether they would prefer a smoking room or not. But today fewer hotels are offering smoking rooms and those that do have a vanishingly […]
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The bitcoin bubble

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The bitcoin bubble
PUT the word Bitcoin into Google and you get (in Britain, at least) four adverts at the top of the list: “Trade Bitcoin with no fees”, “Fastest Way to Buy Bitcoin”, “Where to Buy Bitcoins” and “Looking to Invest in Bitcoins”. Travelling to work on the tube this week, your blogger saw an ad offering […]
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How leading American newspapers got people to pay for news

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How leading American newspapers got people to pay for news
Past … SOMETIMES it feels like the 1970s in the New York Times and Washington Post newsrooms: reporters battling each other to break news about scandals that threaten to envelop the White House and the presidency of Donald Trump. Only now their scoops come not in the morning edition but in a tweet or iPhone […]
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A black-rights group warns would-be passengers about American Airlines

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A black-rights group warns would-be passengers about American Airlines
TRAVEL advisory notices, which alert passengers to the risks of going to certain places, are standard business for frequent flyers. But last week brought an unusual one. The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), America’s oldest civil-rights organisation, warned black flyers about the dangers of travelling with American Airlines. The NAACP says […]
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Silicon speculators

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Silicon speculators
Nail-biting decisions EXCHANGE-TRADED funds (ETFs) were supposed to make investing easy. Instead of spending hours researching individual stocks and bonds or paying an expert fund manager, investors could simply buy a few ETFs. But now there are too many to choose from. BlackRock offers 346 in America alone. Some investors need help allocating their money […]
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CopyCon17: Is your copy cheating? How to stop writing like everyone else

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CopyCon17: Is your copy cheating? How to stop writing like everyone else
Is your copy cheating? Deepa shares her tips for writing genuinely effective copy, from her trip to the Copywriting Conference 2017. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Buffer WhatsApp
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Millennials are doing better than the baby-boomers did at their age

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Millennials are doing better than the baby-boomers did at their age
ALL men are created equal, but they do not stay that way for long. That is one message of a report this month by the OECD, a club of 35 mostly rich democracies. Many studies show how income gaps have evolved over time or between countries. The OECD’s report looks instead at how inequality evolves […]
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Italy’s fourth-biggest bank returns to the stockmarket

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Italy’s fourth-biggest bank returns to the stockmarket
A TELEVISION advertisement for Monte dei Paschi di Siena begins with a toddler tumbling and a gymnast stumbling. “Falling is the first thing we learn,â€� declares the voice-over. “The second is getting up again.â€� Italy’s fourth-biggest bank and the world’s oldest, which was bailed out by the Italian government in July, has had several bruising […]
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Fears that Xi Jinping is bad for private enterprise are overblown

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Fears that Xi Jinping is bad for private enterprise are overblown
FOR a moment it seemed China was reverting to Maoist economic management. On the sidelines of the Communist Party congress this month, an official told Xi Jinping that her village distillery sells baijiu, a potent spirit, for 99 yuan ($15) a bottle. Mr Xi, China’s most powerful leader since Mao, remarked that this seemed a […]
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Public-relations woes may be catching up with Uber

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Public-relations woes may be catching up with Uber
UBER has had a tough year. It has fired staff on the back of sexual-harassment allegations and faced reports of a hostile workplace culture. It has been sued for allegedly stealing self-driving-car technology.  It lost customers when it flouted a New York taxi boycott in protest of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. And, amid all […]
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Saudi Aramco’s IPO is a mess

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Saudi Aramco’s IPO is a mess
THE proposal to sell shares in Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, stunned the financial markets last year. Muhammad bin Salman, now Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, promised that it would be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) of all time, valuing Aramco at $2trn. It was to be the centrepiece of his plan to […]
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When the revolution eats itself

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When the revolution eats itself
WHEN a revolution happens, the consequences are not obvious straight away. The British referendum on EU membership in June 2016 was seen as a revolt of ordinary people against a globalised elite. The politicians who led the Leave campaign did not seem to expect to win; as wags remarked, they were like “the dog that […]
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Economic optimism drives stockmarket highs

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Economic optimism drives stockmarket highs
BARELY a day goes by at the moment without Wall Street hitting a new record high. The market has kept marching upwards despite all the headlines about the North Korean nuclear threat, a potential break-up of NAFTA, and natural disasters like hurricanes. If you want to know why the market keeps rising, just look at […]
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The internationalisation of China’s currency has stalled

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The internationalisation of China’s currency has stalled
ON OCTOBER 18TH, President Xi Jinping will preside in Beijing over the most important political event in five years. At the Communist Party’s 19th congress much will be made of the triumphs achieved in nearly four decades of reform and opening up. So expect a glossing over of one part of that process where progress […]
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Richard Thaler wins the Nobel prize for economic sciences

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Richard Thaler wins the Nobel prize for economic sciences
THE credit-card bill arrives. You have enough money in a savings account to pay it off—the sensible thing to do, arithmetically speaking, since the interest rate on the credit-card balance far exceeds that earned on the savings. Yet you leave the savings untouched, and pay only as much of the bill as your current-account balance […]
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The Nobel in economics rewards a pioneer of “nudges�

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The Nobel in economics rewards a pioneer of “nudges�
NOT long ago, the starting assumption of any economic theory was that humans are rational actors who maximise their utility. Economists summarily dismissed anyone insisting otherwise. But over the past few decades, behavioural economists like Richard Thaler have progressively chipped away at this notion. They combine economics with insights from psychology to show how heavily […]
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Can you afford to retire?

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Can you afford to retire?
HOW much money do you need to retire? Depending on your age, it is a question you think about a lot (if retirement is imminent) or barely at all. For younger people, the subject is a combination of too far away, too complex and too boring, and too depressing. When you consider that you might […]
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