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The dollar keeps weakening. Is that good news for the world?

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AT THE start of 2017, just before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, a survey of fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) found they believed that being positive on the dollar was “the most crowded trade”. It turned out they were right to be cautious. On a trade-weighted basis, the currency has fallen by 9% against other major currencies in the past year.It is not clear what the Trump administration thinks about this. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, said: “Obviously a weak dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities.” Although the rest of his statement was more nuanced, it is unusual for anyone in his position to depart from a “strong dollar” line. The greenback duly fell in price.Mr Trump then fol

A travel agent is trying to charge fees for sunbeds

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IN KEEPING with the trend for charging for things travellers used to get free, it should perhaps come as no surprise that sunbeds are the latest feature of a standard holiday on which travel agents are slapping extra fees. Thomas Cook, a British package-holiday firm, has announced that it will allow holidaymakers to pre-book poolside loungers for £22 ($31) per person. Six days before the start of a trip, travellers will get an email offering them the chance to reserve specific sunbeds. The booking tool will include a map that allows people to see where the sun will shine at various times of day. The experiment will start in late February at three hotels on the Canary Islands and will expand to 30 hotels this summer. To some holidaymakers, this will seem like yet another attempt by the trav

How to board a plane without a boarding pass

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EARLIER this month a woman arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago without a ticket, boarding pass, or passport and flew to London. Prosecutors claim she did this by sneaking past officials from the Transportation Security Administration, a government agency responsible for airport security, while they were inspecting other travellers’ boarding passes. She was briefly thwarted when she tried to do the same thing at the boarding gate for a flight to Connecticut. But the gate agent caught her and asked her to sit down. After spending the night in the airport, she took the shuttle to the international terminal—again without the required boarding pass and passport—and got on a British Airways flight to Heathrow, where she was arrested on arrival.The woman, 66-year-old Marilyn Hartma

Why don’t foreign investors take fright more often?

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BACK in the days of the gold standard, central bankers were very concerned about the views of international investors. They believed that maintaining the value of their currencies would reassure creditors. That is why they were so resistant to the idea of floating currencies. Georges Bonnet, a French finance minister, put it bestWho would be prepared to lend with the fear of being paid in depreciated currencies always before his eyes?This fear still shows up from time to time. Under the old exchange rate mechanism, countries like Italy would undergo periodic devaluations to restore their competitiveness*. As a result, investors would demand a higher bond yield to compensate for this risk. When the single currency was planned, bond yields slowly converged on the German level as the risk of ...

FIFA, Coca-Cola kick-off World Cup Trophy Tour

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FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola flagged-off on Monday with an official launch ceremony in London, with former FIFA World Cup winners Sir Geoff Hurst of England and Andrea Pirlo of Italy on hand to send the FIFA World Cup Trophy on its worldwide journey. The global tour which is in partnership with Coca-Cola will visit 91 cities, in 51 countries and six continents, giving thousands of football fans the chance to experience football’s most coveted prize. The trophy will be in Nigeria on 7th March, with a first stop in Abuja between 7 – 8th March and continuing on to Lagos between 9 – 10th March 2018. According to FIFA, this is the same trophy that will be presented to the winning country of the tournament in July. The event marks the fourth time in history that FIFA and Coca-Cola hav

Guinness Ireland launches non-alcoholic Lager beer

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Guinness Ireland has unveiled its first non-alcoholic lager beer as it looks to tap into a growing consumer trend of declining alcohol consumption or no alcohol consumption. The new creation which is called ‘Pure Brew’ was developed at Diageo’s Open Gate experimental brewery at St. Jame’s Gate in Dublin. According to Guinness, the beer will be unveiled to 250 pubs in the Irish capital this January and to the rest of the country from March. Brewers typically have had a difficult time making non-alcoholic beers without losing their original taste and character because of the way they are made. Beer makers usually start the process with full-strength beers, with alcohol content gradually removed through evaporation, a process that alters the flavor and character of the beer. According to Guin

Some hotels charge visitors for bad reviews

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TRAVELLERS have grown accustomed to annoying hidden fees, from the baggage charges that bring airlines tens of billions of dollars a year to the resort fees that account for nearly a fifth of American hotels’ revenue. But a new one that has popped up in recent years might be the most irksome of all due to its sheer perversity: fees for leaving bad reviews.Last March, a couple arrived at the suite they had booked at the Abbey Inn in Indiana only to find, they claim, a dirty bed, a foul smell, an insect infestation and no hotel employees on the premises to assist them. Upon leaving, they did what so many travellers do these days. They wrote an online review warning others about the hotel’s shortcomings. Sometimes, negative reviews prompt apologies and compensation from their subjects. But in