Business And Finance

Encouraging African entrepreneurship

“YOU are either part of the solution or part of the problem,” it says in painted letters on a wall. “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” says the wall opposite. An old rickshaw sits among beanbags and a vase of flowers rests on an ancient oil barrel in the corner. “We wanted the space to feel like Google,” says Eleni Gabre-Madhin, the ...

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Looking good can be extremely bad for the planet

STYLE is supposedly for ever. But the garments needed to conjure up eternal chic are spending less time on shop racks and in homes than ever before. Global clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2014, as apparel firms’ operations became more efficient, their production cycles became quicker and fashionistas got more for their money. From just a few collections a ...

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America’s disproportionate weight in global stockmarket indices

THE aims of a stockmarket index are threefold. First, to reflect what is actually going on in the market; second, to create a benchmark against which professional fund managers can be judged; and third, to allow investors to assemble well-diversified, low-cost portfolios. On all three counts, there are reasons to worry about the MSCI All Country World Index, one of ...

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Should America break up Washington?

CONCERNS about regional inequality and frustration with elites are contributing to interest in an intriguing idea: reining in the economic and political power of Washington by dispersing government agencies more widely. Tyler Cowen muses on the subject here. Matthew Yglesias makes the case for such a policy here. Ross Douthat makes a somewhat different but related argument here. So: is ...

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Masayoshi Son goes on a $100bn shopping spree

IF YOU want to find a spectacular vision of the future, Silicon Valley is not the only place to look. In Tokyo Masayoshi Son, the boss of SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms group, is starting an investment fund worth $100bn which, he hopes, will make him the Warren Buffett of technology. “Masa” is no stranger to risky bets: SoftBank was an ...

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Luxury-goods companies are belatedly trying to go digital

IT TAKES at least a month to wash, comb, spin and otherwise prepare fine mohair to become cloth that is stitched into suits by Ermenegildo Zegna, a 107-year-old Italian brand. In Trivero, an Alpine village west of Milan, 150 artisans in an elegant factory work at carding, dying, weaving and warping. As looms rattle, bespectacled women stretch cloth over illuminated ...

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Democrats should be more comfortable discussing economic growth

STEVE BANNON is right. This week, in a New York Times Magazine piece otherwise dedicated to the President’s dance with Congress, he offered this:  I think the Democrats are fundamentally afflicted with the inability to discuss and have an adult conversation about economics and jobs, because they’re too consumed by identity politics. And then the Republicans, it’s all this theoretical ...

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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 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 like to get work done on ...

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