The future of the dollar (a bit long, but important)

The mighty US dollar continues to reign supreme in global markets. But the greenback’s dominance may well be more fragile than it appears, because expected future changes in China’s exchange-rate regime are likely to trigger a significant shift in the international monetary order. For many reasons, the Chinese authorities will probably someday stop pegging the …

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Money under false pretences

Fossil fuel companies in the US received billions of dollars in tax benefits through government coronavirus relief measures, but laid off tens of thousands of workers, figures show. A group of 77 firms received $8.2bn in tax-code changes under the massive stimulus bill passed by Congress last last year, and some benefited from the paycheck …

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A side-effect of Brexit

Thousands of British citizens in France have been left without a valid driving licence, or face losing theirs within months, because of bureaucratic overload and the failure of the two countries’ governments to sign a post-Brexit reciprocal agreement. “I’d say there are 3,000 who are seriously worried – for whom this has really become nightmarish,” …

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So much for fighting global climate change!

The world’s 60 largest banks have provided $3.8tn of financing for fossil fuel companies since the Paris climate agreement in 2015, a coalition of NGOs have said. While the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a drop in energy use, funding is still net rising. US and Canadian banks comprise 13 of the 60 banks analysed but …

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Migrating to an empty continent?

This is the perspective of a native American: “Recently, Rick Santorum repeated a widely held myth of US exceptionalism. “We came here and created a blank slate, we birthed a nation from nothing,” the former US senator and CNN commentator told the rightwing Young America’s Foundation’s summit. “It was born of the people who came …

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The decline in the American birthrate, no. 2.

The pandemic may result in 300,000 to 500,000 fewer babies born in the U.S. Lockdowns and fear kept young people from meeting and marrying, and the economic hardship discouraged many young couples from having kids. Among the 32 states that had annual data available, there were about 95,000 fewer births in 2020 compared with the …

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The decline in the US birthrate, no. 1

Women are having fewer children than at any time on record. What are the implications? The U.S.’s total fertility rate, or the number of babies each woman is expected to have during her lifetime, reached a record low of 1.705 births per woman (that’s 1 point 705!)in 2019, the latest year for which data is …

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