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Japanese carmakers: Lots of oomph

ONE of the conundrums of the car business is that five smaller Japanese firms continue to prosper alongside three giants, Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

Gluten-free food: Against the grain

MCDONALD’S is by no means the most accommodating of fast-food chains to people with special dietary requirements.

Schumpeter: A guide to skiving

THE best way to understand a system is to look at it from the point of view of people who want to subvert it.

Information technology: A fork in the digital road

IMAGINE that Apple had folded in the mid-1990s, as some predicted at the time. Perhaps music downloads would still be a hassle, smartphones a novelty and tablet computers two inches thick.

China’s handset manufacturers: Smartening up their act

IF YOU want to understand how China innovates, look no further than its hyper-competitive market for smartphones.

American television: Switching channels

ONE of the most popular television shows in America this autumn is called “How to Get Away with Murder”, about a law professor and her students, who become involved in a mysterious killing.

Schumpeter: Pointers to the future

PROGNOSTICATORS have a bad record when it comes to new technologies. Safety razors were supposed to produce a clean-shaven future.

Power distribution: Grid unlocked

AMERICA’S electricity grid is a mind-boggling mess. For one thing, it is two large and three small grids, rolled into one.

Grocery retailing in India: A long way from the supermarket

ON THE morning of Dussehra, a Hindu festival, Amar Singh is explaining why he stocks “exotic” produce, such as broccoli and iceberg lettuce, at his vegetable stall in Thane, a commuter city north of Mumbai.

German business and government: Still cosy?

Who will trumpet German business? A REPORT bemoaning the lack of transparency surrounding the influence of business on German politics, published on October 13th by Transparency International, a corruption watchdog, must have struck lobbyists as dark humour.

Foreign entrepreneurs in China: Small is not beautiful

ENTREPRENEURS do more with less, proclaimed Fiona Woolf this week on a visit to Shanghai. Lady Woolf, the current Lord Mayor of the City of London, was speaking at an academic conference devoted to helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) flourish in China.

European chipmakers: Fighting back

NESTLED in the foothills of the French Alps, Grenoble feels more like a skiing base camp than the centre of one of Europe’s hottest technology clusters.

Business in Myanmar: Let a million factories rise

Clearing a pathway to growth PREPARATIONS for the first section of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) included clearing nearly 400 hectares of land and building roads to a nearby port.

The world’s best business programmes: Which MBA?, 2014

For the fourth time in five years, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tops The Economist’s ranking of full-time MBA programmes.

Technology firms: Split today, merge tomorrow

WHEN Hewlett-Packard said this week that it would split into two firms, one selling personal computers and printers and another selling servers and other business equipment and services, there was a touch of déjà vu.

Schumpeter: Beware the angry birds

THE New Yorker magazine ran a cartoon last year of three monkeys in a row: one with a microphone (labelled “hear all evil”), one with a television camera (“see all evil”) and one with a laptop (“post all evil”).

Oil firms in Kazakhstan: Cash all gone

WHEN it was discovered in 2000, the Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan’s waters in the northern Caspian Sea was the world’s biggest oil find in three decades.

Oil companies: Unsustainable energy

THIS has been a nerve-racking summer for oil companies. Since June the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil—the global benchmark—has slumped from $115 to $92, a decline of 20% and the lowest for more than two years.

Europe’s carmakers: Polishing up

It’s shiny, but who will buy it? AN ARMY of buffers attends to the cars at motor shows, continually polishing them to a level of otherworldly gleam.

Crony capitalism: Friends in high places

THE Arab Spring has not delivered all that was hoped for it, but it did call time on two egregious examples of crony capitalism.