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The enemy within

EMPLOYEES are often said to be a company’s biggest resource. It is equally true that they are its biggest liability.

A load of tosh

Tanaka’s lost face “INCREASING profits is important,” declared Hisao Tanaka, the chief executive of Toshiba, a conglomerate, as he resigned on July 21st, “but it must be grounded in a basis of fair accounting.” The audience might have questioned his right to carry on preaching.

Scotch, not so neat

On his way to better drinking BEFORE he was lured by Diageo to run United Spirits Limited (USL), in which the British drinks giant secured a majority stake last year, Anand Kripalu had spent 30 years working for branded consumer-goods firms.

Booze around the world

The world may be getting warmer, but it is not getting much wetter. It quaffed 249 billion litres of alcoholic drinks in 2014, a modest increase of 1 billion over the preceding year.

Rotor slayed

This is not a drone HELICOPTERS appear to be on the up and up. On July 20th Lockheed Martin, America’s biggest defence contractor, agreed to pay $9 billion to buy Sikorsky, which makes helicopters, from United Technologies (UTC), a conglomerate.

When the sanctions come off

IF THE lobbies of Tehran’s more expensive hotels are any guide, the rush is already on. Six months ago they sported only the odd Chinese businessman.

Location, location, location

There’s a map for that THE world’s oldest map, etched into the wall of a cave in Spain 14,000 years ago, charted the best locations to hunt for food.

Boomtown, USA

EVEN if you expect everything to be bigger in Texas, the north Texas branch of the Nebraska Furniture Mart, near Dallas, is a shock.

Better off alone

eBye EXAMPLES of failed technology mergers abound, but spin-offs have a better record. The coming months will provide plenty of evidence on why they can be worth it.

The state of the union

SMILES and handshakes all around. On July 13th the bosses of General Motors and the United Automobile Workers (UAW) kicked off labour-contract negotiations, which occur every four years, between Detroit’s “Big Three” carmakers and the union that represents 140,000 of their workers.

The good oil boys club

IT SHOULD have been a day of high excitement. A public auction on July 15th marked the end of a 77-year monopoly on oil exploration and production by Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, and ushered in a new era of foreign investment in Mexican oil that until a few years ago was considered unimaginable.

Hitting turbulence

FOR a firm best-known for building engines to make things go forward fast, Rolls-Royce appears to have stopped dead in its tracks.

A new east Africa campaign

SAFARICOM is among the most innovative firms in the telecoms industry worldwide, and east Africa’s biggest company.

Reconstructing Samsung

FOR many South Korean consumers, the chaebol, family-owned conglomerates that are into everything from electronics to amusement parks, are a source of pride.

Calibrating Chinese creativity

“YEAH, the Chinese can take a test, but…they’re not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial.

Dry run

IN THE main office building at Welspun’s factory in Anjar, in the west of India, there is a replica of the showroom in New York where, twice a year, its sales staff pitch marketing ideas to buyers from American retailing chains.

Return to China

EACH day on the dot of noon, a former naval artillery piece is fired from a platform at the eastern end of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong.

Instant karma

Noodlegeddon IT TAKES only minutes to prepare, but India’s most popular processed-food dish is at the centre of a drawn-out dispute over its safety.

Business and finance correspondent

Job ad: The Economist is seeking a business and finance correspondent, based in New York. The successful candidate will have strong financial-analysis skills and demonstrate a deep interest in companies, management and finance.

Fractured finances

FROM atop Houston’s skyscrapers you can see evidence of the good times just gone. New towers are still being erected all around the city centre, a lagging indicator of the energy boom that ended abruptly in mid-2014 when the price of crude in America dropped from $100 to $43 (today it is around $57).