China has been the greatest beneficiary of the wave of globalisation promoted since the 1990s – more so than either the US or Europe. Yet the Communist Party, which came to power on a nationalistic agenda with a xenophobic streak, remains deeply suspicious of foreign influence. This insular outlook not only threatens to undo the progress China has made by opening up its markets, but would also be suicidal for the Communist Party.
On Tuesday, Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican race and marked the occasion by elbowing his wife Heidi in the face. It was a clumsy end to what had been a clumsy campaign. Cruz looked like the ideal fit for Republicans who felt a compelling urge to vote for a political outsider, but his inability to inspire and connect with voters soon became clear. Here was a guy who has a copy of the US Constitution swinging where his heart used to be.
The robotics revolution is not the first time that humanity has had to deal with profound economic change. From the development of agriculture ten millennia ago to the industrial revolution, we have progressed from farming and feudalism to democracy and capitalism, and humanity has adapted. Today, we are witnessing the dawn of a robotics revolution. And if past truly is prologue, humans will adapt.
ProPublica has unveiled details of tax-avoidance schemes known as dividend-arbitrage. US managers briefly lend out some of their stocks to German investment funds and banks that by law pay no tax on German dividends. The shares are then returned after the dividend is paid. Div-arb has been an open secret on Wall Street for years but now faces scrutiny about its legality.
President Benigno Aquino has made the Philippines an Asian success story - it is now one of the fastest growing economies in the region. But none of the five candidates in the election on May 9th appear likely to continue his reforms. The frontrunner wants to drown criminals in Manila Bay and has joked about gang-rape. His closest rival is dodging criminal investigations. Can present growth trends continue with one of these people in charge?
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