A flood of false headlines probably did not swing America’s election

DONALD TRUMP often presents himself as the great enemy of fake news. He has a pronounced tendency to accuse his opponents of peddling it. But some suspect it helped to deliver him the White House. One story, widely shared on social media in the run-up to the American election, alleged that the Clinton Foundation bought $137m… Continue reading A flood of false headlines probably did not swing America’s election

Republican tax-reform plans face many hurdles, including Donald Trump

AMONG other things, the start of Donald Trump’s presidency this week heralds a collision between campaigning rhetoric and legislative and economic reality. What follows will be a learning experience for all, it is fair to say. Though not perhaps the most consequential of the looming reality checks, the outcome of a brewing debate over a… Continue reading Republican tax-reform plans face many hurdles, including Donald Trump

A merger is the latest sign of Big Tobacco’s resilience

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (BAT) announced on January 17th a final deal to buy Reynolds American for $49bn. BAT already owns 42% of Reynolds; buying the rest of it will create the world’s largest listed tobacco company by sales and profits. It will peddle brands such as Dunhill, Camel and Newport. The casual observer might imagine… Continue reading A merger is the latest sign of Big Tobacco’s resilience

Should films on planes be censored?

“FLYING’S very dangerous. In 1987, there were 30 airline accidents; 211 were fatalities and 230 were definitely passengers.” When “Rain Man” was released in 1988, airlines edited this scene out of the film before showing it to passengers. The deleted segment was important to the plot—it explains why Raymond and Charlie drive cross-country rather than… Continue reading Should films on planes be censored?

Businesses can and will adapt to the age of populism

AS THEY slid down the streets of Davos this week, many executives will have felt a question gnawing in their guts. Who matters most: shareholders or the people? Around the world a revolt seems under way. A growing cohort—perhaps a majority—of citizens want corporations to be cuddlier, invest more at home, pay higher taxes and… Continue reading Businesses can and will adapt to the age of populism

Ukraine’s conflict with Russia is also financial

IN THE tense, uncertain days of late 2013, when Ukrainians filled Kiev’s Independence Square in protest at their government’s turn towards Russia, the then president, Viktor Yanukovych, grabbed a lifeline. To bolster his resolve in resisting the demands of pro-EU protesters, Russia lent Ukraine $3bn in the form of a bond. Mr Yanukovych was subsequently… Continue reading Ukraine’s conflict with Russia is also financial

Air India may segregate some women passengers for their own safety

SEGREGATION on airlines has a long history. Sometimes it is understandable. Carriers’ business models depend on them drawing a curtain between those of us stuffed into economy-class seats and our betters who have paid for lie-flat beds. Other times it has been immoral. While racial segregation on American planes was never legal, in some airports… Continue reading Air India may segregate some women passengers for their own safety