The Economist – Qatar is about to host the most expensive World Cup ever, costing as much as $300bn. Why has this small, gas-rich kingdom chosen to host football’s most prestigious event, and how does it fit into its broader plans for economic transformation?
Video timeline: 00:00 – Why is Qatar hosting the World Cup? 00:57 – World Cups are expensive competitions 01:56 – Qatar’s human rights violations 02:36 – Qatar’s place in the Gulf 04:43 – Qatar distinguishes itself from its neighbours 05:50 – Qatar bids to host the World Cup 07:18 – Qatar’s neighbours issue a blockade 10:12 – What might happen after the World Cup?
A country of political instability, low growth and subordination to the bond markets
In 2012 liz truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, two of the authors of a pamphlet called “Britannia Unchained”, used Italy as a warning. Bloated public services, low growth, poor productivity: the problems of Italy and other southern European countries were also present in Britain. Ten years later, in their botched attempt to forge a different path, Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng have helped make the comparison inescapable. Britain is still blighted by disappointing growth and regional inequality. But it is also hobbled by chronic political instability and under the thumb of the bond markets. Welcome to Britaly.
Changes in the housing market are often delayed in inflation data, which can make things difficult for the Fed. Housing is one of the most weighted categories when tracking inflation, but it’s also one of the most complicated to measure. WSJ’s David Harrison explains how the shelter index is calculated, and why it can muddy the inflation outlook for the Fed. Illustration: Laura Kammermann
Its five-yearly congress will further tighten one man’s grip
It will be an orderly affair. From October 16th the grandees of China’s Communist Party will gather in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for their five-yearly congress. Not a teacup will be out of place; not a whisper of protest will be audible. The Communist Party has always been obsessed with control. But under President Xi Jinping that obsession has deepened. After three decades of opening and reform under previous leaders, China has in many ways become more closed and autocratic under Mr Xi. Surveillance has broadened. Censorship has stiffened. Party cells flex their muscles in private firms. Preserving the party’s grip on power trumps any other consideration.
The U.S. dollar got a brief, welcome walloping this past week, falling 1.5% on Tuesday alone against a basket of six major currencies. It remains up a hefty 17% for the year, and close to its strongest level in decades. That matters for ordinary savers, and not just forex flippers.