The outlook for US government debt

The outlook for US government debt

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The outlook for US government debt
THE bond market used to be the prime exhibit for those predicting low long-term economic growth. In the summer of 2016 the ten-year Treasury yield briefly dipped below 1.5%, as expectations for growth and inflation sagged. Things have changed. Earlier this year the ten-year yield briefly went higher than 2.9%. Even after recent share-price gyrations, […]
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Americans will no longer have to sign for credit-card purchases

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Americans will no longer have to sign for credit-card purchases
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 […]
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A Victorian survivor in fund management

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A Victorian survivor in fund management
WHEN the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust was launched in 1868, The Economist had its doubts. “The shape is very peculiar,” we worried, adding that “the exact idea upon which it starts has never been used before.” Some of the trust’s promises were “far too sanguine to ever be performed”. Nevertheless, we concluded that: “In […]
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One person dies after an engine explodes on a Southwest flight in America

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One person dies after an engine explodes on a Southwest flight in America
A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES flight became the stuff of nightmares on April 17th when a jet engine apparently exploded in mid-air and a passenger was partially sucked out of a window before being rescued by fellow flyers. The flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport was bound for Dallas, but at 11:30 am, when it was near […]
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Kinder Morgan’s attempt to build a pipeline reflects badly on Canada

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Kinder Morgan’s attempt to build a pipeline reflects badly on Canada
ALMOST all Canada’s oil and gas is landlocked, so getting it to market requires pipelines—lots of them. But building them requires skills more suited to circus artists than engineers. They must walk the financial high wire, jump through ever-changing regulatory hoops and juggle conflicting demands from environmental groups and numerous governments. The list of failures […]
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Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten struggles to retake the lead from Amazon

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Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten struggles to retake the lead from Amazon
RAKUTEN is a jack-of-all-trades. Since pioneering e-commerce in Japan in 1997, it has been a rare example of a highly entrepreneurial Japanese firm. Today it spans more than 70 businesses providing credit cards, a travel agency, a golf-reservation system, matchmaking, wedding planning and insurance. It owns Viber, a calling and messaging app and has invested […]
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The smartphone and the toilet

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The smartphone and the toilet
THE impact of technology on the economy is one of the most-debated issues of the moment, whether it is the potential for automation to cause unemployment, boost long-term productivity, or widen inequality. A good deal of the annual Barclays Equity-Gilt Study, published yesterday, was devoted to the subject. But one section caught my eye; the […]
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Europe’s tough new data-protection law

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Europe’s tough new data-protection law
BOOK clubs usually meet to discuss literature. But members of DataKind, a group of volunteers that helps charities use data to improve their services, are gathering in London to study a legal text. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), set to come into effect on May 25th, is arguably the most complex piece of regulation […]
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Technology has upended the world’s advertising giants

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Technology has upended the world’s advertising giants
IN BUILDING the world’s largest advertising company over the past 30 years, Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, has weathered two recessions and survived a global financial crisis. His firm nearly went bankrupt in the early 1990s. Now he must make his hardest advertising pitch yet, to convince the corporate world that image-making agencies […]
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Uber makes a tactical retreat from South-East Asia

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Uber makes a tactical retreat from South-East Asia
Green is the new black BEING a commuter in much of South-East Asia requires reserves of patience. In city after city, bar Singapore, jams confine people in taxis for hours, or force them onto the back of motorbikes that weave precariously through traffic. These qualities of perseverance are not shared by Uber, an American ride-hailing […]
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A long overdue disruption in menstrual products

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A long overdue disruption in menstrual products
Period piece THE disposable sanitary pad debuted in the late 19th century. It was such a taboo that a purchase involved dropping the exact sum in a box at the chemist’s counter. The pack was handed over, no words uttered. Menstrual products could not be advertised on American television until 1972. In 2015 an ad […]
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Wakandanomics

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Wakandanomics
“THIS will require a quick lesson in global economics…bear with me,” says Erik Killmonger, the muscular villain in “Black Panther”, a long-running Marvel Comics series. In that saga and the recent film it inspired, Killmonger and the Black Panther vie for the throne of Wakanda, a fictional African kingdom little known to the outside world. […]
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Why tariffs on steel and aluminium are easier said than done

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Why tariffs on steel and aluminium are easier said than done
HISTORY will rhyme on March 23rd, when Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium imports are due to come into force. Several previous presidents, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, also used tariffs in an attempt to protect America’s steel producers from foreign competition. (There are historical echoes, too, in Mr Trump’s plans to slap […]
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Li Ka-shing cedes a sprawling empire to his son

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Li Ka-shing cedes a sprawling empire to his son
“TOO long” was how Li Ka-shing, known fondly by locals as chiu yan (Superman) for his business nous, described his working life when he announced on March 16th that he would be retiring in May. Asia’s pre-eminent dealmaker has been around for longer than his fictional namesake, scoring and selling assets in ports, telecoms, retail […]
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Ukraine convinces Ryanair to return

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Ukraine convinces Ryanair to return
ALMOST one year ago to the day, Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, announced plans to begin serving Ukraine. The eastern European country had been a glaring hole in the airline’s route network, deliberately avoided because of the anti-competitive advantages afforded to Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the flag carrier based in Kiev, the capital city. A […]
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Brownwood Chamber and SBDC to Offer Social Media Management Workshop March 22nd

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Brownwood Chamber and SBDC to Offer Social Media Management Workshop March 22nd
The Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the America’s Small Business Development Center are offering a business workshop on the topic of social media management Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Buffer WhatsApp
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Germany’s two biggest utilities strike a deal

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Germany’s two biggest utilities strike a deal
Windy with a chance of profits WHEN Johannes Teyssen took control of E.ON in 2010, it was Germany’s second-biggest company after Siemens, an industrial giant. From its headquarters in chic Düsseldorf, the utility looked down on RWE, its longtime rival, based in Essen, a down-at-heel former coal-and-steel town 40 minutes’ drive away. The illusion of […]
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Investors must watch fundamentals right now – not share prices, says expert

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Investors must watch fundamentals right now – not share prices, says expert
There is a disconnect between underlying business performance and share price performance in some stocks, says experienced fund manager and small caps expert Dean Fergie of Cyan Investment Management. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Buffer WhatsApp
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The reckoning at Theranos

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The reckoning at Theranos
“The Next Steve Jobs” “THE Next Steve Jobs” is how Inc., an American business magazine, described Elizabeth Holmes when her photograph appeared on its cover in 2015. They may share an affinity for black turtlenecks but the reputations of Ms Holmes and Apple’s celebrated late boss could not be more different. On March 14th Ms […]
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AT&T’s merger with Time Warner goes on trial

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AT&T’s merger with Time Warner goes on trial
AN ANTITRUST trial over AT&T’s $109bn acquisition of Time Warner, which begins on March 19th, will have more keen observers than one courtroom can handle. Disney, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Verizon, Charter Communications, CBS and Viacom will be watching. So will Netflix, Amazon and Google. The reason is simple. If AT&T wins the case against […]
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United Airlines kills another pet

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United Airlines kills another pet
GULLIVER recently wrote about a pet that suffered a grizzly end after it was not permitted to fly. Spirit Airlines refused to allow a hamster on board as an emotional-support animal and it ended up being flushed down an airport toilet. But sometimes it is more dangerous for an animal to be permitted to ascend […]
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America’s companies have binged on debt; a reckoning looms

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America’s companies have binged on debt; a reckoning looms
AMERICA’s companies have been powering ahead for years. Amid growing profits, the recession that began in 2007 seems an increasingly distant memory. Yet the situation has a dark side: companies have binged on debt. For now, as the good times have coincided with a period of record-low interest rates, markets have been untroubled. But a […]
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Markets fret about America’s turn toward protectionism

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Markets fret about America’s turn toward protectionism
IN THE run-up to the presidential election of 2016, investors were nervous about Donald Trump. They liked his tax-cutting, anti-regulation promises, but fretted about his foreign and trade policies. Some dubbed the two agendas “Trump lite” and “Donnie Darko”. Almost as soon as it became clear that Mr Trump would become president, the markets decided […]
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CFIUS intervenes in Broadcom’s attempt to buy Qualcomm

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CFIUS intervenes in Broadcom’s attempt to buy Qualcomm
IT WAS only five months ago that President Donald Trump lauded Broadcom, a chipmaker, as “one of the really great, great companies” for announcing its plan to move its legal headquarters to America from Singapore. With such praise in the bank, the firm’s chief executive, Hock Tan, may have expected his subsequent offer for a […]
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Online Presence Management (OPM) and Why Your Business Will Fail Without It

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Online Presence Management (OPM) and Why Your Business Will Fail Without It
Online presence management (OPM) isn’t something most small business owners know much about, after all, most of us didn’t go to business school during the current digital age. It’s important to know, Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Buffer WhatsApp
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Ericsson and Nokia are now direct rivals. How do they compare?

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Ericsson and Nokia are now direct rivals. How do they compare?
“SUCCESS is toxic,” says Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s chairman, as snowflakes swirl in the wind outside. Asked what lesson to draw from his firm’s collapse, which started a decade ago, he underlines the dangers of doing too well. In its heyday, Nokia was a monster; its market capitalisation surpassed $290bn in mid-2000 and by 2007 it […]
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Capital is on its way to America, but for bad reasons

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Capital is on its way to America, but for bad reasons
ACCORDING to President Donald Trump, money is pouring into America from abroad. The tax reform he signed into law in December means American firms can no longer defer paying taxes on profits left sitting in foreign subsidiaries. The change has led to some uplifting headlines. Apple said that it would make a one-off tax payment […]
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