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Growing by shrinking

IT TOOK more than three years, but on February 24th Finmeccanica, Italy’s state-controlled aerospace and defence group, said it had found a buyer for its rail businesses.

Why Target lost its aim


Where are the shoppers? AT ONE of Target’s shops in downtown Chicago, one recent weekend, customers congregated in the electronics department and the area that sells towels and bedding.

Recalling the boss


“I’D SOONER die than imitate other people,” said Soichiro Honda, founder of the firm that is now Japan’s third-largest carmaker.

Spring tide


The fresh, clean, premium-priced waters of Changbaishan BENEATH the frozen flanks of East Asia’s most revered mountain, in China’s north-eastern Jilin province, a huddle of sleek new processing plants will soon be packaging its precious essence: spring water.

Clarification: Boston Consulting Group

Clarification: The Boston Consulting Group has asked to clarify the information it supplied to us about its forecasts for the uptake of automation in cars (“Upsetting the Apple car”, February 21st).

Golden scenarios


ONCE upon a time, in a world in which oil was costly and energy sources seemed scarce, the International Energy Agency, a think-tank for countries which import fossil fuels, produced a special report heralding a “golden age of gas”.

The Xiaomi shock


“FROM the beginning, Xiaomi has considered the mobile phone to be a converged gadget of software, internet services and hardware, not just a simple device.” So declared Lei Jun, the charismatic founder of Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone-maker with global aspirations, during a recent meeting at his firm’s headquarters in Beijing with Choi Yang-hee, South Korea’s telecoms minister.

Brazil’s business Belindia


BRAZILIANS make up almost 3% of the planet’s population and produce about 3% of its output. Yet of the firms in Fortune magazine’s 2014 “Global 500” ranking of the biggest companies by revenue only seven, or 1.4%, were from Brazil, down from eight in 2013.

Avalanche in the Alps

SIKA, one of Switzerland’s most successful family-controlled firms, was founded 105 years ago by Kaspar Winkler, a cobbler’s son who invented the compound used to waterproof the Gotthard railway tunnel under the Alps.

Supersize me


In Spain, good things come in small packages THE successful stockmarket flotation this month of Aena, a state-controlled airport operator, reinforced optimism that Spain’s economy is finally on the road to recovery.

Letting the cream rise


CHINESE mothers are feeding their infants more milk-based formula. Aspiring Russians have grown addicted to decadent foreign cheeses.

An overburdened champion

THE contrast between the compound of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, and the kingdom beyond its walls is stark.

The Kaspersky equation


Casting Kaspersions THERE is more than one reason to harbour doubts about Eugene Kaspersky and the computer-security company that bears his name.

The tethers loosen


Game of drones LIKE driverless cars, pilotless aircraft also promise to be a huge business if regulatory obstacles can be overcome.

How to bag a geek


AT A recent dinner party in Silicon Valley, Schumpeter was chatting with an impressive entrepreneur who was grumbling about how hard it was to find a decent date.

Upsetting the Apple car


APPLE’S ability to make desirable iGadgets designed for easy portability is beyond question. Reports emerged this week that it is planning to make a mobile device that will instead carry its users—an electric car.

Crowdfunding: The stars are the limit


Boldly going where no fund-raising effort has gone before AS STARSHIPS go, it’s cheap. For $180 you can buy a Constellation Taurus, a 59-metre, 80-tonne freighter that is perfect for anyone looking to break into interstellar trading.

Fashion designers: Strutting their stuff

FOR fashion buyers and editors, New York Fashion Week, which opens on February 12th, marks the beginning of their twice-yearly, month-long tour of the world’s main shows.

Schumpeter: Authorpreneurship


THE mystery is worth a book in itself. How could a hitherto unknown novel by Harper Lee, writer of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, remain hidden for 60 years, and why was it not published before?

Dalian Wanda: It’s a Wanda-ful life


WANG JIANLIN started life with a red spoon in his mouth. His father was a Communist military hero who fought alongside Mao.


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