Business And Finance

Ryanair stops Christmas strikes, but at a cost

AIRLINES respond to greater demand for travel around Christmas by increasing fares. But this year, Ryanair has found that it is not the only one taking advantage of the desire to be home for the holidays. To avert proposed strikes by pilots across Europe, the Dublin-based carrier offered on December 15th to recognise pilot unions for the first time in ...

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Intangible assets are changing investment

WHEN you work as an equity analyst at an investment bank, your task is clear. It is to comb all the statements made by corporate executives, to scour the industry trends and arrive at an accurate forecast of the company’s profits. Achieve this and your clients will be happy and your bonus cheque will have many digits. But is all ...

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Countries rarely default on their debts

VENEZUELA is an unusual country. It is home to the world’s largest reserves of oil and its highest rate of inflation. It is known for its unusual number of beauty queens and its frightening rate of murders. Its bitterest foe, America, is also its biggest customer, buying a third of its exports. In defaulting on its sovereign bonds last month ...

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Have yourself a dismal Christmas

ONLY an economist would think to ask whether Christmas is efficient. In 1993 Joel Waldfogel, then a professor at Yale University, turned a lunchtime conversation with colleagues into a paper entitled “The deadweight loss of Christmas”, which argued that, no, it is not. That gift-giving might actually be bad is the kind of opinion which breeds a deep mistrust of ...

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Russia’s dysfunctional funeral business gets a makeover

Stiffer competition is coming THE calls began shortly after Yulia’s grandmother died. The undertaker offered help arranging the funeral, for 47,000 roubles ($800) in cash. She then travelled to Moscow’s Khovanskoe Cemetery, where she was offered a discount on a gravesite—150,000 roubles off—if she could bring cash within three hours and sign a receipt saying she had paid half that ...

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America’s Department of Commerce imposes a tariff of 292% on Bombardier’s C-Series jets

Flying away from Boeing A YEAR ago Dennis Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, the American aerospace giant, had a problem. Tweets written by Donald Trump, America’s newly elected president, were hitting Boeing’s share price. Initially buoyed by Mr Trump’s promise of extra spending on defence, the firm’s share price fell in December 2016 when he suggested in a tweet ...

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New research reveals simmering misunderstanding under the tree

IS THERE any other time of year when good intentions and materialism converge so tightly? The caring, the artistic and the diligent spend their days before Christmas wrapping gifts. Whatever lies inside, their love for the recipients will also be expressed through paper, tape, bows and ribbon. Then it all goes horribly wrong. New research* into the unwrapping of presents ...

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