Business And Finance

Spotify makes its stockmarket debut

WHEN Spotify, a music-streaming service, went public on April 3rd, its founder, Daniel Ek, rang no bells on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Rather than the “pomp and circumstance” of an initial public offering, the Swedish firm, which is widely credited with turning round the fortunes of the music industry, opted for an unusual direct listing. ...

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The average American is much better off now than four decades ago

JUST how bad have the past four decades been for ordinary Americans? One much-cited figure suggests they have been pretty bad. The Census Bureau estimates that for the median household, halfway along the distribution, income has barely grown in real terms since 1979. But a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan think-tank, gives a cheerier rise ...

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Asia’s small open economies may suffer in America’s trade war

CHINA is the stated adversary in Donald Trump’s incipient trade war. But 30% of the value of the goods China exports to America is added elsewhere. If the row escalates, countries entwined in Chinese supply chains will suffer. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. In absolute terms, Japanese suppliers will fare ...

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America’s trade strategy has many risks and few upsides

AMERICA’S president claims to view China as a friend. But the friendship is going through a rocky patch, to say the least. America’s trade deficit with China, “the largest deficit in the history of our world”, is “out of control”, Donald Trump groused on March 22nd. “A tremendous intellectual-property theft situation” also irks him. And so, after laying out his ...

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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 like his are not dinosaurs ...

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Uber makes a tactical retreat from South-East Asia

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 firm. This week it announced that after five years and ...

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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. A land of great wealth ...

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What if China corners the cobalt market?

COBALT derives its name from Kobold, a mischievous German goblin who, according to legend, lurks underground. For centuries it vexed medieval miners by looking like a valuable ore that subsequently turned into worthless—and sometimes noxious—rubble. Once again it is threatening to cause trouble, this time in the growing market for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), each of which uses about ...

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