Business and financeGulliver

How resilient will travellers prove in the face of new atrocities?

ON MONDAY, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a trade group, released its annual report on the state of global travel. Last year was a strong one for the industry. Travel and tourism grew by 3.1% in 2015, directly generating 2.5m new jobs and indirectly contributing to the creation of 4.7m more. One-tenth of global GDP comes from travel and tourism, and the figure is expected to keep rising, thanks in large part to China, whose outbound tourism expenditures jumped 67% in the year to September 2015. The WTTC predicts 3.3% growth globally in the sector in 2016, and 4% a year over the next decade.

“Through the last year, safety and security concerns have moved into the spotlight, and we have to assume that these issues will continue to cause difficulties in the years ahead,” the report warned in its foreword. “We note that the sector…Continue reading

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As Starboard launches Yahoo proxy fight, Marissa Mayer faces the battle of her life. Again.

Just six weeks ago, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer appeared to have emerged at least temporarily victorious in her battle to steer the future of her hapless company. Whatever respite she might have won is proving to be short-lived. Yesterday, activist hedge fund Starboard announced that it was launching a proxy fight to replace all members of […]

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Angry Birds maker Rovio bringing its ToonsTV cartoon app to Apple TV

Angry Birds mobile game publisher Rovio is announcing today that its ToonsTV animated cartoon channel is flying to the Apple TV platform. The move shows that Apple is still trying to get content to attract viewers to its Apple TV platform, which is its major effort to get iTunes content into the living room. The […]

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Paris-based Bitit launches to let you buy Bitcoins from 100,000 physical stores around the world

Despite questions about Bitcoin’s future, a new Paris-based startup called Bitit has created a service designed to make it easier than ever for average people to acquire the virtual currency. Nicolas Katan, cofounder and CEO of Bitit, says the company’s goal is to solve two of Bitcoin’s biggest issues: accessibility and fraud. “We have a vision […]

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Sony launches new business to build PlayStation games for smartphones

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), the Sony subsidiary behind the PlayStation console, has announced that it’s forming a new company specifically to build games for mobile devices. “ForwardWorks” will be officially incorporated on April 1 — the same day SCE is due to merge with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) to create Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) a […]

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White House Puts Clamps on Data Center Development

The federal program for improving the operation of thousands of government data centers has entered a new phase that will impact significantly how electronic information is stored and managed. Proposed updates to data center operations will affect providers of data management products and could spur the use of cloud technology. Vendors have been invited to comment on the proposals by April 1.

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Business and financeButtonwood's notebook

The central bankers’ dilemma

CENTRAL banks have taken the brunt of supporting the global economy, ever since 2009, the last time that governments made any concerted attempt to indulge in a fiscal status. Low interest rates, quantitative easing, forward guidance and now negative rates have all been wheeled out.

But life for a central banker is more difficult than it used to be; the economic relationships that prevailed before the 2008 crisis may not hold good today. Take the relationship between unemployment and inflation, famously linked by the Phillips curve. As unemployment falls, inflation should start to rise as businesses compete for labour and wages go up. The relationship was the basis for the introduction of “forward guidance”. In August 2013, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that a fall in unemployment below 7% would be a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for tighter policy. UK unemployment has fallen to 5.1% but inflation is only 0.3% and there has been no need to tighten policy. 

The Federal Reserve had introduced forward guidance under Ben Bernanke Continue reading

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Mesosphere raises $73.5 million with Microsoft participating, launches Velocity tool

Mesosphere, a startup that sells a “data center operating system” drawing on open-source tools such as Apache Mesos, today announced a $73.5 million funding round. Hewlett Packard Enterprise led the round, with participation from Microsoft, according to a statement. In addition to the new funding, Mesosphere is announcing the 1.0 release of the Marathon open-source software […]

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