Free Reads from The Economist

Free reads from latest edition of The Economist;

Climate change- The heat is on; The uncertainty surrounding climate change argues for action, not inaction. America should lead the way. Editorial on a survey of the topic.

A discussion with Emma Duncan, Deputy Editor of The Economist; “We need to think about climate change maybe as individuals think about insuring their houses: you spend maybe 1% of your annual income insuring your house not because you think it's going to burn down, but because if by any chance it did burn down, the consequences for you would be disastrous.” Listen to the podcast

Doing business; Singapore took first prize as the easiest place to do business in the World Bank's “Doing Business 2007” report. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the hardest place. Reform was the theme and Georgia the quickest reformer, leaping to 37th place in the rankings from 112th last year. China became one of the top-ten reformers by improving investor protection, cutting red tape and establishing credit history for loans

Sex and scientists' salaries

India's rupee- A disappointment for those hoping capital controls might ease soon; “THE chapter on the Fall of the Rupee you may omit,” counselled Oscar Wilde's prudish governess in “The Importance of Being Earnest”. “It is somewhat too sensational.” A new work on the rupee, in contrast, has set few pulses racing. A report by a committee set up in March by the Reserve Bank, India's central bank, to “revisit” the question of full convertibility of the currency recommends only slow change—too slow, for two of the committee's members, who have dissented from some of its cautious conclusions.

Business in Africa-Once again, Africa is listed as the most difficult place in the world to do business. So why are some businessmen happy to be there?; Foreign investors are governed by trust. India and China also rank relatively poorly in the World Bank survey, but are nonetheless investment magnets. Mr Klein argues this is because investors are confident that these countries are going in the right direction and they want to tap into their large markets early. Africa will have to prove itself through years of good performance and sustained reform before it can gain such confidence. But if it does, those who are already betting on the continent will be miles ahead.

Globalisation- Joe has another go; But if the writing is crisp, the arguments are a little soggy. Mr Stiglitz assumes the worst of markets, the best of governments—except, of course, his own. Too often, he wants to have it both ways: his distaste for the IMF has made him suspicious of all technocratic bodies, even to the point where he questions the case for independent central banks. But at the same time he wants to set up international tribunals to rule on unfair tax competition, for example, or health standards. He says that debt relief for the poorest countries is “simply a matter of accounting”, because they could not repay anyway. But he also wants to argue that the burden of red ink has crippled them.

Dismal science, dismal sentence-The efficient markets hypothesis can land you in jail

The Swedish model

Can America's farmers be weaned from their government money?

Mexico's presidential election
Japan- The imperial imperative
Qatar-A bouncy bantam
The French presidency

Charlemagne-Europe's tentative reformers; In Germany it has long been customary for the government, in the interests of consensus politics and social stability, to give “the social partners”—the catch-all name for employers' associations, trade unions and other interest groups—special privileges when writing new laws. On occasion, governments have even asked specific groups to draft legislation. But in drawing up health-care and tax reforms, Angela Merkel's grand coalition has tried to shut health insurers and other lobby groups out of the decision-making process, refused to listen to mere objections and demanded that, if a lobby group has a criticism, it must come up with an alternative way of meeting the government's aim (one reason why the lobbies have turned on the government with offended fury). At the same time, two members of parliament who are also heads of employers' federations (and thus personify Germany's close ties between lobbies and government) have had to choose between their business jobs and their parliamentary seats. Oh, the indignity.

Bagehot-The sands run out ; Labour MPs may come to regret their attempt to force Tony Blair from office

Steve Irwin, crocodile hunter, died on September 4th, aged 44

Economic forecasts-The panel now expects America's GDP growth to slow to 2.5% in 2007, compared with August's prediction of 2.7%. The soothsayers think that the euro area will grow by 2.3% this year (up from 2.2% in August), then slow to 1.8% next year. Germany's growth in 2006 has been revised up from 1.7% to 2.0%. But Japan is now tipped to grow by 2.8%, down from August's prediction of 3.0%. The biggest upward revision is in Sweden's growth this year: it is now forecast to be 4.1%, the fastest of all the economies in the table

Government-bond yields

Cancer genetics-Variations on a theme; There are a lot more cancer genes around than were previously known
An explanation of how the Atkins diet works
A promising new artificial heart wins regulatory approval
Pluto fights back

Europe's financial sector is ill prepared for a coming upheaval
A row breaks out over the future of Japan's consumer finance
Banks in developing countries
The global housing market

Lexington- Paleocon Pat

Business Section; Mobile phones on planes / Pharmaceuticals / Drug patents / Viacom / Corporate corruption in Germany / Japan's basic industries / Mobile telecoms

Alan Mulally jumps from Boeing to rescue America's troubled carmaker


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 8, 2006 1:48 PM.

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