Business News

Conscious decoupling

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Print edition | Business Feb 28th 2019 THINK ABOUT the companies like Uber and Airbnb that have burst through into public consciousness in the past ten years. While many of them depend on the internet, their success is not down to any particular technological innovation of their own design. Instead, their secret lies in their […]

Business News

Nvidia plays the diversification game

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Print edition | Business Feb 21st 2019 THE CHIP-DESIGN business is enjoying a “golden age”, declared John Hennessy and David Patterson, two gurus of computer design, earlier this month (Mr Hennessy chairs Alphabet, Google’s parent company). The shift to cloud computing, the rise of specialised computing tasks such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the slow […]

Business News

Conglomerates will never die out, but their form is evolving

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INDUSTRIAL CONGLOMERATES have long been considered the megafauna of the corporate world: big beasts like mastodons, who were condemned to extinction by spear-wielding corporate raiders in the 1980s. But a better analogy is with cockroaches because, against the odds, conglomerates have refused to die out. They flourish in most climates and are highly adaptive. And […]

Business News

Business and the effects of global warming

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NESTLED IN A forest an hour’s drive from Providence, Rhode Island, sits what some employees call “the world’s biggest facility for property destruction”. Here workers for FM Global, an engineer-cum-insurer, set fire to wall cladding, hurl projectiles at reinforced glass or test roofing designs for the gusts of wind they can take before tearing off. […]

Business News

JAB upends coffee trading

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Print edition | Business Feb 21st 2019 BRAZIL, GUATEMALA or Kenya are the sorts of exotic locations that most people would associate with the cup of coffee that kickstarts their day. But increasingly it is Luxembourg that is providing the coffee business with an industrial shot of caffeine. JAB Holding, a private-investment company based there, […]

Business News

The new aristocrats of power

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Print edition | Business Feb 21st 2019 THIS AUTUMN “Downton Abbey”, a film based on the British television series, will be released and audiences will once more be transported back to the days when a powerful elite was surrounded by subservient staff who catered to their every need. But the modern versions of Lord and […]

Business News

America and its allies disagree on Huawei

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Print edition | Business Feb 21st 2019 THE “FIVE EYES” is probably the world’s most comprehensive spying agreement. Originating in Allied intelligence-sharing during the second world war it now links together the signals-intelligence agencies of America, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. Despite its undercover nature, its members are having a very public disagreement over […]