The leaders of China and India pretend to get along
DRAGON AND tiger, or panda and elephant? As Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, and Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, met for an “informal summit” on October 12th, the masala of metaphors in the Indian press was telling. Strongmen on their own political turf, the two men ambled as tourists through the eighth-century rock carvings of Mamallapuram...
Thailand’s army chief sees a commie conspiracy to topple the king
IT WAS A speech worthy of Dr Strangelove. In a 90-minute lecture-turned-rant at the army headquarters on October 11th, Apirat Kongsompong, the head of Thailand’s armed forces, accused academics and other leftists of implanting “communist chips” in the minds of brainwashed youths. Opposition politicians such as Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader...
For the sake of workers, Uzbekistan is privatising its cotton industry
UNDER THE blazing sun in a cloudless blue sky, green foliage droops with unfurling white cotton bolls. In the Fergana Valley in the heart of Central Asia, in the shadow of snow-dusted mountains, the cotton is ripe for picking. If the Uzbek authorities have their way, it will become T-shirts and skirts, to be sold around the world. Uzbekistan, already...
Japan’s emperor is a prisoner in his own palaces
IN HIS MEMOIR, “The Thames and I”, Prince Naruhito, as he was when he wrote it, recalls his brushes with greasy kippers and dingy pubs as a student at Oxford University in the 1980s. He recounts how doormen at a disco turned him away because he was wearing jeans—not the sort of reversal a Japanese royal often experiences. The picture above shows...
Signs of Discord as U.A.W. Locals Consider G.M. Deal
After a monthlong strike that has idled General Motors plants across the Midwest and South, union leaders are gathering on Thursday in Detroit to consider a deal that could send workers back to the assembly lines.But even before the meeting started, there were signs of dissent from union members gathered outside the Renaissance Center office complex,...
Wheels Up on More Flights to the African Continent
Want to plan a trip to Africa but are intimidated by the flight time? Your concern is reasonable. Flights from the United States to the African continent can take 30 or even 40 hours depending on the routing, and many travelers face lengthy layovers in Amsterdam or London, or Dubai or Doha in the Middle East. But that might be changing soon: Airlines...
A massive money-laundering scandal stains the image of Nordic banks
DANSKE BANK’S headquarters in Copenhagen, reminiscent of a Greek temple, speaks of an illustrious past. But Denmark’s biggest bank has “no vanity left”, says a spokesman. Since 2008 it has been embroiled in a disaster every five years. After one during the financial crisis, it was again in crisis mode in 2013 when the board sacked Eivind Kolding...
Is the board overseeing the territory’s bankruptcy unconstitutional?
“ARE YOU and your client here just to defend the integrity of the Constitution?” asked Samuel Alito, an associate justice of the America’s Supreme Court, on October 15th. “Or would one be excessively cynical to think that something else is involved here, involving money?” The court had heard arguments from Donald Verrilli, for the board overseeing...
Britain’s equity market is shrinking
A FEW MONTHS ago Trian, a hedge fund, revealed that it had built a 6% stake in Ferguson, a London-listed company that supplies the building trade. Trian is run by Nelson Peltz, who has a long history as the sort of activist investor who buys stakes in firms and then uses his influence over management to boost the share price. Ferguson makes most of...
How the twists and turns of the trade war are hurting growth
AFTER WELCOMING the St Louis Blues, a championship-winning ice-hockey team, to the White House on October 15th, President Donald Trump fondly recalled a recent triumph of his own: last week’s tentative trade deal with China. Simply put, America will impose no further punitive tariffs on Chinese imports if China promises to buy American farm goods...
Greta Thunberg accuses rich countries of “creative carbon accounting”
IT IS 5AM, and New Covent Garden Market is in full swing. On its swarming 57-acre site in Battersea wholesalers are flogging fruit, vegetables and flowers to London’s greengrocers and restaurateurs. Costa Rican pineapples are stacked next to Kenyan passion fruits and Peruvian asparagus. Rows of Danish conifers sit by buckets of Dutch roses. Fresh...
A Nobel economics prize goes to pioneers in understanding poverty
THE MOST important question in economics is also the hardest: why do some countries stay poor while others grow rich? In 2015, 10% of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 per day, down from 36% in 1990. But more than 700m people remain in extreme poverty, and the number grows every day in certain parts of the world, in particular sub-Saharan...
Warburg Pincus funds Softeon
Warburg Pincus has made an investment in Softeon, a provider of supply chain software. No financial terms were disclosed.Read More
Express Scripts acquires Verity Solutions
Express Scripts has acquired Verity Solutions, a provider of 340B software and services. No financial terms were disclosed. Verity Solutions was a portfolio company of Ignitions Partners.Read More
Toscafund invests 25 mln euros in Lemon Way
Toscafund invested 25 million euros in Paris-based Lemon Way, a regulated payment solutions provider. Goodwin Procter LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP advised Lemon Way and Toscafund, respectively, on the deal.Read More
Partners Group collects over $43 mln for sophomore PE fund
Partners Group has raised over $43 million for its second private equity fund, according to an SEC filing. No target was listed in the document.Read More
Charlesbank buys WolfePak
Charlesbank Capital Partners has acquired Abilene, Texas-based WolfePak Software, a provider of enterprise resource planning, operational and regulatory compliance software to the oil and gas industry. No financial terms were disclosed. Aeris Partners served as adviser to WolfePak on the deal with Goodwin providing legal advice to Charlesbank.Read More
Winnow grabs $12 mln Series B
Iowa City-based Winnow, a provider of AI tools for chefs, has secured $12 million in Series B funding. The investors included Ingka Group,Mustard Seed, Circularity Capital, D-Ax and The Ingenious Group. Read More
Sistine Solar nabs funding
Sistine Solar, a provider of solar panels, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The investors were Energy Foundry, MassCEC and Thin Line Capital.Read More
RiverGlade raises $325 mln for debut fund
RiverGlade Capital has closed its inaugural fund at $325 million, beating its $300 million target. The Chicago-based private equity firm invests in healthcare. Read More