The Economist tagged posts

Will Scotland vote “Yes” to independence on 18 September 2014?

SNp manifestoOn the 18 September 2014 the Scottish people (pop. just over 5m) will make an historic decision. They will vote whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to separate from the union that has bound us together since the Act of Union 1707.

Historical background to this important referendum

This is probably one of the most important decisions that the Scottish people have had to make in the last 700 years. To understand the importance of this historic vote, it’s helpful to take a look at the events that happened over 700 years ago and in particular the Battle of Bannockburn.

Today, the Scottish town of Bannockburn lies immediately south of Sterling. It takes its name after Bannock Burn, a small stream running through the town before flowing into the River Forth.

Historians beli...

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When bankers cry

croc tearsThe recent out of court deal between US authorities and the French bank BNP Paribas have raised eyebrows within the global banking community about whether the punishment for providing banking facilities to the totalitarian regime in Sudan is proportionate with the billions of US dollars that the bank must now pay out to settle the matter – equivalent to about a year’s profit.

Perhaps not one of its finest hours, the French bank has been forced to admit helping the Sudanese Government sell oil, clearing proceeds through New York in direct violation of US sanctions.

At that time, Sudanese Government-backed militias in the region of Darfur were massacring innocent civilians on an industrial scale; hardly the backdrop for providing banking facilities and making a handsome profit in the pro...

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Evidence of cultural stereotypes holding back innovative new business and marketing opportunities for British companies

halal meatThe recent food labeling controversy where supermarket meat products were halal but not labelled as such threw a spotlight on the choices as consumers we want to make not just about the quality of our food but also the method of its production and manufacture.

We live in a world of infinite choice and it’s absolutely right that as consumers we are given the choice of eating halal or non-halal food which is why labeling is so important.

Taking that one step further, when flying long-haul, many airline passengers will be asked for their food preferences ahead of such a journey and of course many Muslim travelers will choose halal food to be served to them on the flight.

But Muslim consumers are just as discerning in their choice of food as anyone else.

So it won’t come as any surprise that...

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