Opinions

China’s Great Wall of Water

Giulio Boccaletti LONDON – The East Asian monsoon is pummeling China this summer. As of late July, flood alerts had been issued for 433 rivers, thousands of homes and businesses had been destroyed, and millions of people were on the verge of becoming homeless. The water level of Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, has risen […]

Opinions

The US May Lose in Trump’s TikTok War

Shang-Jin Wei NEW YORK – Following US President Donald Trump’s vow to block US access to TikTok, the popular short-video app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has been in frantic talks with Microsoft, presumably to sell its subsidiary quickly before the ban goes into effect. Of course, it is possible – even likely – that Trump’s […]

Opinions

Minding the Perils of Progress

Daron Acemoglu CAMBRIDGE – It is always worth remembering that in the grand sweep of history, we are the fortunate ones. Thomas Hobbes’s description of life as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” was apt for most of human history. Not anymore. Famines and hunger have become rarer, living standards for most people have risen, and extreme […]

Opinions

Avoiding the Japanification of Europe

Lucrezia Reichlin BOLOGNA – As monetary and fiscal authorities have acted aggressively to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact, public debt and central-bank balance sheets have swelled rapidly. In the European Union, this trend is compounded by a new €750 billion ($886 billion) COVID-19 recovery fund, which includes the issuance of so-called “recovery bonds” guaranteed […]

Africa ICT Industry

Absa ARO Moves to Fiserv for Card Management and Processing Across Nine African Nations

Brookfield, Wis., and Johannesburg, August 4, 2020 – Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology, today announced that Absa Regional Operations (ARO) has moved to Fiserv to support credit card management and processing in nine African nations. What started as a program to enable Absa to separate its […]

Opinions

COVID and Common Sense

Kaushik Basu ITHACA – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, our understanding of it is improving. Through a combination of epidemiology and physics – including knowledge of the virus’s character and how aerosols float in the air – we are learning more about how the microbe infects new hosts. This understanding is fueling hopes that […]

Opinions

Should Governments Spend Away?

Raghuram G. Rajan CHICAGO – Advanced economies have already spent enormous amounts providing pandemic relief to households and small- and medium-size businesses. The International Monetary Fund’s June outlook estimates that, including fiscal measures and credit guarantees, spending reached approximately 20 percentage points of GDP. In the United States, Congress is considering new spending ranging from 5% of […]

Africa Industry Travel

Kenya Airways Resumes International Passenger Flights With A Colourful Event

Kenya Airways resumes international flights to 30 destinations across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East Nairobi, 30 July 2020 – Kenya Airways (KQ) today resumed international passenger services following the easing of movement restrictions as directed by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta. The first international flights depart today 1st August to the following international destinations; London, […]

ICT Opinions

Tech Titans at Bay?

Diane Coyle CAMBRIDGE – Big Tech is back in the spotlight – and not in a good way. On July 29, the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook spent more than five hours fielding tough questions about their overwhelming market power from a bipartisan antitrust panel in the US House of Representatives. Is […]

Opinions

Nature by the Numbers

Robert Watson NORWICH – When Cyclone Amphan came barreling up the Bay of Bengal this past May, South Asia’s first named storm of the year appeared to pose a massive threat to the people who live on the coastal floodplains and to the animals and plants – including many endangered species – that rely on […]