Chevron buys Anadarko for its shale assets

SHALE HAS transformed America into an energy superpower, which pumps more crude than Saudi Arabia. Investors are nonplussed. They clamour to buy bonds from Saudi Aramco (see Schumpeter). At the same time shale producers surveyed by the Dallas Federal Reserve gripe about access to debt. Oil prices climbed in recent months, but shares of many […]

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How to predict when a despot will fall

THE REMOVALS in the same month of two presidents—Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan—look like an unforeseeable coincidence. But they are also two more data points for analysts trying to turn the art of predicting political upheaval into something approaching a science. Some believe they have the tools to make an attempt. […]

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The subtle ways that discrimination works

PREGNANT WOMEN have limited mobility. That is obvious to anyone who has had a baby, but didn’t occur to the founders of Google when they designed their car park. When Sheryl Sandberg, then head of online sales, became pregnant in 2004, she made a simple request: parking spaces for expectant women as close to the […]

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Saudi Aramco looks downstream, and East

IN MOST WESTERN eyes Saudi Aramco inspires either awe or disdain. Financiers are in the first camp. They gobbled up the state-owned behemoth’s first-ever global bonds last week, gasped at its $111bn annual profit and, for all their professed concern about climate change, gushed over how cheaply it can pump oil for decades to come. […]

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India’s bankruptcy code collides with reality

REINCARNATION IS A religious tenet in India. It has also traditionally guided corporate life. Many of the country’s most powerful companies have looked dead and buried under a mountain of debt, only to be revived by biddable state-run banks willing to “extend (terms) and pretend (that politically connected debtors will pay)”. In the 1990s, after […]

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