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McDonald’s: A sense of urgency

Driven out? EVERYONE had assumed that his job was on the line, but the swiftness of the departure of Don Thompson, chief executive of McDonald’s, came as a surprise.

Business and the euro: Only a tailwind

ONLOOKERS could be excused for thinking that Christmas had come again to the euro zone this month. On January 22nd the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was ready to buy over €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) of sovereign and asset-backed bonds between March 2015 and September 2016.

Chinese legal mergers: Rules and laws

LAST October China’s Communist Party announced an “extensive and profound revolution” aimed at establishing the rule of law by 2020.

Network neutrality: To be continued

A TERSE 900-word letter sent by AT&T to America’s attorney-general a century ago changed the course of the telecoms industry.

Manufacturing in India: Symphony solo

No longer just for nabobs THE plastics factory in Sanand, an industrial city in Gujarat, looks like just another car-component supplier.

Apple: iThrone

NEVER before has so much money been made by a single firm in such a short period of time. On January 27th Tim Cook, the boss of Apple, announced that it had made $18 billion in its latest fiscal quarter, which ran almost to the end of December 2014.

Schumpeter: Mammon’s Manichean turn

SOME of the world’s best businesspeople are giddy with optimism. They live in a world of digital wonders where every problem has a solution and every scarcity is yielding to abundance.

Publishing: Spotify for books

A world of books at your fingertips “BEWARE of the person of one book,” said Thomas Aquinas, a medieval friar and author.

Foreign firms in China: You’re still welcome

THE bosses of foreign firms with operations in China grumble that their lives have got harder of late.

America’s oil industry: The tough get going

PRIDE of place in this week’s Houston Auto Show goes to “Texas Edition” trucks: hulking vehicles, selling for $50,000 and upwards, specially designed for the Lone Star state’s expansive tastes.

Italian football: More than just trophy assets

FOR all their fans’ passion, Italian football clubs struggle to make profits. In the 1990s Italy’s Serie A was the most glamorous and high-profile of Europe’s five main football leagues; it has since fallen, in revenue terms, from second to fourth place.

Telecoms in Myanmar: Mobile mania

ON THE outskirts of Bago, a scruffy town in southern Myanmar, a tall, pale Scandinavian-looking man squints up at a four-legged telecoms mast that has recently sprouted next to a mud track.

Schumpeter: Cheap and cheerful

VICTOR HUGO once said that “nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. He failed to add that a lousy product launch can delay it.

Foreign investment in Africa: A sub-Saharan scramble

WHEN Paul Kavuma began approaching private companies in Africa a decade ago to suggest investing in their businesses and improving the way they were run, he was often shown the door.

South Korean consumers: Won over

The drink of patriots WHEN South Korean celebrities, eager to prove their patriotism, swapped their German BMW cars for home-grown Hyundais on television, during the Asian financial crisis in 1998, they rallied the whole nation behind domestic products.

Cyber-crime and business: Think of a number and double it

CHICK-FIL-A, a fast-food chain, and Morgan Stanley, a bank, have in recent days joined a long list of big American companies to admit that their systems have been hacked into, putting customers’ financial information at risk.

Airlines and the internet: Phantom flights

THERE are few better ways to draw attention to something than trying to have information about it taken down from the internet.

The disunited state of cannabis: High times

As Colorado celebrated a year of cannabis legalisation, Founders Fund, a venture-capital firm with $2 billion in assets that backed Facebook, has announced an investment in Privateer Holdings, a marijuana outfit behind names such as Leafly and [Bob] Marley Natural.

Information technology: Computing, fast and slow

IBM’s Rometty dives into the cloud SOME ingredients are missing: the ping-pong table, cheap furniture, and inappropriate T-shirts.

Li Ka-shing: Superman sheds his concubines

LI KA-SHING has long been Asia’s premier dealmaker. For decades he has shrewdly been buying and selling holdings in energy, telecoms, retail and property.