The Economist DigestPosted: May 3, 2020
Considering converting Helytimes into just a summary of each week’s issue of The Economist. That would provide a public service.
From this week’s issue
- the President of Liberia, George Weah, a former striker for AC Milan, has recorded a song about Coronavirus. (Learning more about this story led me to the BBC Pidgin page, which will be bookmarked for future return). Meanwhile the Governor of Nairobi distributed mini bottles of Hennessey, which he calls “throat sanitizer”
- The price to book value of the German DAX Index fell below one? Must investigate. The S&P 500 by comparison fell to 2.35 at its lowest (March 23) of 2020. It was at 1.39 on its lowest day in the 2008-2009 crisis. Are German companies “cheap”? Paging Ben Graham!
- Flogging has been banned as a punishment in Saudi Arabia
- “Eating pangolins is illegal in China, but putting their scales into medical concoctions is not.”
- Good piece on the Toyota Hilux as a desired vehicle for warlords: “they can cram 30 people into one and can still climb a sand dune.” You can’t buy a Toyota Hilux in the USA, which pisses me off. Why wouldn’t you want a tougher, stronger, truck in a more compact form? It’s the warlord’s choice!
- Melissa Dell won the John Bates Clark Medal for economists under 40 for work showing that the colonial “mita” system, which between 1573 and 1812 forced indigenous men in Bolivia and Peru to work in silver mines, had negative effects that persist to this day (uh, no shit? just kidding Professor Dell)
- Most US states begin their fiscal year on July 1. Because they’re obligated by “a combination of constitutional requirement, statute and tradition” to balance their budgets, there are gonna have to be tax increases or layoffs. (Interesting that The Economist, a very Oxford publication, doesn’t use the Oxford comma).
- I didn’t know Samsung began as “a provincial vegetable and dried fish shop”
- Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is in trouble. He too, like our president, has a shithead son who’s in the online fake-news business.
- The Economist puts Joe Biden up six points over Donald Trump
- Italy’s foreign minister is 33?
- An obituary for rock climber Joe Brown, who climbed the south side of the Old Man of Hoy
Also if any Helytimes readers are looking for work: