HOW many days does it take to correct a misleading newspaper interview? Four, in the case of Paul Romer, the World Bank’s chief economist. On January 12th a surprising article in the Wall Street Journal alleged that one of the bank’s signature reports—on the ease of doing business around the world—may have been tainted by the political motivations of bank staff. The story was based on an interview with Mr Romer, who pointed out that Chile’s ranking in the yearly report had dropped sharply during the presidency of Michelle Bachelet, a left-leaning politician who took office for the second time in 2014. Chile sank so heavily not because doing business had become harder, but because the bank had repeatedly changed its method of assessment.That method mostly entails answering measurable questi
THE calls began shortly after Yulia’s grandmother died. The undertaker offered help arranging the funeral, for 47,000 roubles ($ 800) in cash. She then travelled to Moscow’s Khovanskoe Cemetery, where she was offered a discount on a gravesite—150,000 roubles off—if she could bring cash within three hours and sign a receipt saying she had paid half that amount. Yulia (whose name has been changed) and her family gave in. “We knew we were paying a bribe, but what else could we do?”To bury a loved one in Russia often means entering an underworld of corruption and red tape. The myriad goods and services needed, from preparing the body for burial to funeral arrangements to carving a headstone, all represent opportunities for extortion in a largely informal market. “Instead of a funeral as a comm
The Brexit-battered pound has failed to benefit from the UK's deal with the EU to secure trade talks.Sterling fell half a cent against the greenback as the breakthrough was confirmed in Brussels, sinking from above $ 1.35 to $ 1.3465.Analysts said a strengthening of the US currency later, with the pound dropping to $ 1.34 on Friday evening, was driven by a strong set of US employment figures which dominated sentiment.The pound also fell back against the euro after hitting six-month highs when European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared "sufficient progress" had been made in the first phase of Brexit talks to allow negotiations on future trade to begin later this month.:: LIVE: PM secures Brexit deal with £40bn feeVideo:May: I look forward to 'next phase of talks'It was the d
A little while back, I argued that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) made the right decision to bet on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM) for the manufacture of its A10 Fusion and A11 Bionic chips, rather than on chip maker Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) .Despite Intel's continued protestations that it has a significant technology leadership position against the rest of the industry, the truth is that the production ramps of its latest technologies have proven, to say the least, highly problematic.Image source: Intel.This is, perhaps, best illustrated by the continued delays in Intel's upcoming 10nm technology. In late 2013, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told investors to expect 10nm to be production-ready by the end of 2015.Intel recently said it will b...
Google has bought part of Taiwanese technology company HTC in an effort to further expand its smartphone business.The Silicon Valley tech giant announced that it is spending $ 1.1bn (£820m) to acquire the team that developed its Pixel smartphone, released in 2016.About 2,000 employees, which represent half of HTC's existing smartphone development workforce, will move to Google as a result of the acquisition.The deal is a cash transaction and won't see Google take a stake in HTC, as had been speculated earlier in the week.Image:Google has previously outsourced the development of its Pixel smartphone range to HTCShares in HTC were suspended on Wednesday as rumours of an all-out buyout deal by Google's parent company Alphabet abounded.Google has been pushing its new Pixel phone as an increasi