Business And Finance

Who owns the space between reclining airline seats?

TO WHOM does the legroom on an aeroplane belong? More specifically, who owns the four inches of knee-space into which a passenger can recline his seat? The accepted notion is that such territory belongs to the person seated in front. That flyer has, after all, paid for a reclining chair and thus believes it is his “right” to occupy the ...

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Donald Trump’s family and a controversial visa scheme

A family affair THE events seemed inconspicuous enough: presentations in smart hotels in Beijing and Shanghai seeking investors for luxury American apartments. The details might have gone unnoticed had not a journalist from the Washington Post heard about the event’s star attraction. But these days the surname “Kushner” is like a magnet. It quickly emerged that Nicole Meyer, sister of ...

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A boss’s guide to fending off an activist attack

MODERN bosses are a resilient bunch who can handle everything from Twitter storms to takeovers. But one thing drives many of them berserk: activist hedge funds, which buy stakes in companies and lobby for change. Last month Klaus Kleinfeld, the boss of Arconic, an industrial firm, succumbed to a bout of “activist apoplexy”. He sent a confidential letter to Paul ...

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Management lessons from an American general

After war war, jaw jaw STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL’S voice is hoarse as he addresses a packed arena in Helsinki. His audience, mostly businessmen in dark suits, is rapt. The American former general tells thrilling battlefield stories of leading the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq, which captured Saddam Hussein and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda’s local chief. He explains how his ...

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Airport terminals for the super-rich might be best for everyone

ON MAY 7th a fist-fight broke out on a Southwest Airlines flight that had just landed at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. The violence began when a passenger accused another of “messing with his chair”. It was, inevitably, captured on video and quickly spread on social media. Twenty miles down the road, Los Angeles International Airport unveiled a new ...

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The super-connector airlines face a world of troubles

WHEN a video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight went viral last month, the American carrier’s Middle Eastern rivals were quick to mock its customer service. Qatar Airways updated its smartphone app to say it “doesn’t support drag and drop”. The ribbing was justified. Over a decade of expansion, Qatar Airways, along with Emirates of Dubai, ...

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The Tory and Labour parties fail to face the realities of Brexit

FOG in channel: continent cut off is an (alas apocryphal) newspaper headline that points to the innate British sense of superiority. Victory in two world wars and a long history without invasion has given Britain a sense of detachment from its European neighbours. As a result, it was always a reluctant member of the European Union. Now that Britain is ...

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Europe needs true fiscal integration, not its own IMF

THE euro-zone debt crisis exposed a critical need for stronger European financial safety nets and institutions. In March 2010, Thomas Mayer and Daniel Gros, two German economists, made a strong case for the creation of a European Monetary Fund (EMF). In the end, European leaders agreed on a European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in May 2010. This was later transformed ...

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