In the World


Drought’s billionaire impact

Food prices have spiked so high in August that many people around the developing world are having troubles to feed themselves. In the U.S. meat has become a luxury for many and the Department of Agriculture expects beef and veal prices to rise as much as 4.5 percent this year, and as much as 5 percent in 2013. Livestock farmers are hurting and the pork industry is losing millions. The…

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China, alone in the dark

BEIJING | The world was confident about China. She was expected to be the engine of growth of the world economy. The remedy against the bitterness that surrounds Western markets. The fear of a hard landing is part of the subconscious of many experts but there is still confidence that the second world’s economy will manage to land softly. Opinions are divided: Pessimists predict a greater slowdown within the following months….


How Americans use their free time

Having breakfast, going to the office, running some errands, fixing dinner… routine looks pretty much the same in all developed countries. In the U.S. there is an interesting study (the American Time Use Survey) conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics about what people do in their typical working day. It measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing. It’s…


China urges Europe to work on its debt

China is willing to help, but everyone has limits. Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a state visit in Beijing on Thursday that Beijing plans to continue buying European sovereign debt, the strongest sign of support for its biggest trading partner in months, although it urged further measures to be taken. “The European debt crisis has continued to worsen, giving rise to serious concerns in the…

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Eurozone recovery signs (Barclays)

By Tania Suárez, Madrid | European markets suffered form a slight contraction on Wednesday whereas the U.S. stood firm, not influenced by the European weakness nor the consumer confidence data and the Richmond. Barclays team suggest that money supply data meant both good news and bad news. Good ones first: “The trend in Europe is to raise liquidity, and usually (not always), that is associated with an economic recovery.” According…

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Reading the tea leaves of Apple-Samsung’s battle

Apple-Samsung war is far from over. Steve Job’s company got what it wanted from the jury -more than $1 billion- but it’s still fighting to get a ban on eight models of the South Korean company’s smartphones, including its Galaxy S devices. This is how the two giants, which once played as friendly competitors, have reacted: Apple: “The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung’s copying went…


Gallup: Sales, Certainty Key to U.S. Small Business Capital Spending

Asked about what would make them more likely to make capital investments in the next 12 months, 70 percent of U.S. small-business owners point out to three circumstances: a better sales outlook, more certainty about their operating environment, and lower federal taxes. According to the Wells Fargo-Gallup Small Business Index released by Gallup, that has surveyed small-business owners on current and future perceptions of their business financial situations, some of…

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“Financial development can become a drag on growth”

NOTE: The following article is based on a paper by Economic Adviser at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Stephen G. Cecchetti and his colleague Enisse Kharroubi. The full publication is available at BIS website. You can also download it here. One of the principal conclusions of modern economics is that finance is good for growth. But recent experience has led many people to question whether this conclusion is definitive….


Euro zone: different GDPs, not so much with retail sales

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | Economic slowdown is difficult to stabilise within a context of rising uncertainty that hampers aggregate demand. Economic activity slowed down in the first quarter of the year with negative growth of 0.1% year-on-year, as shown by the detailed figures for gross domestic product in the first quarter. Private consumption continues to adjust, shrinking by 0.6% year-on-year. Gross fixed capital formation has also decreased…


In Tough Economic Times, Is Higher Education Still Worth The Price?

Remember when a higher education used to be a guarantee of success in the market? With the crisis, the picture has turned 180 degrees: too many graduates in Europe and the U.S are waiting tables, going back to their parents and coping with frustration. New grads are also facing competition from older, laid-off job seekers. In the case of American youngsters, they also need to repay their loans (see our…