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Vaccine-makers and Ebola: Giving it a shot

IN MAY 2013 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British pharmaceuticals firm, bought a small Swiss vaccine-maker for $325m.

Schumpeter: Creative capitalism

THE main building on Disney’s studio lot has seven huge replicas of Snow White’s dwarfs holding up its roof, a reminder of how Hollywood does not take itself too seriously.

Insolvency and commercial disputes: Caught up in the courts

ON OCTOBER 29th the World Bank released its annual “Doing Business” report, ranking 189 economies by how attractive they are to firms.

French companies: Room at the top

Adieu, Monsieur Viehbacher THE once-familiar line-up of bosses at France’s largest firms is getting less familiar all the time, as one after another is moved, fired or quits.

Family firms: Business in the blood

THE “Lucky Sperm Club”, as Warren Buffett likes to call it, is still going strong in the commanding heights of business.

Companies and the Ebola outbreak: Still open for business

THE death toll and the devastation caused by the Ebola outbreak continue to rise. As many as 5,000 people are now recorded as having been killed by the virus rampaging through Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (with a few cases elsewhere), and about double that number have been infected.

Business in Iran: Awaiting the gold rush

THE currency traders plying the half-empty arrivals hall of Tehran’s international airport have a simple view of the nuclear talks that Iran’s government is conducting with assorted foreign powers.

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.

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.