Business review from the Economist
U.S. postpones China tariffs, warns of more
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned China that a new round of tariffs would be imposed in December if it did not adhere to the accord struck between the two countries on Oct. 11. Under the deal, China will buy more U.S. agricultural produce, toughen protections for intellectual property and provide more access to its financial-services market, enough concessions to stop the United States from raising tariffs on $250 billion-worth of exports. China was cautious about the prospect for a breakthrough that will end the trade war. President Donald Trump declared that the deal amounted to a "love fest."
Huawei reported that its business supplying 5G network equipment is thriving, despite being blacklisted by the U.S. government, and that to date, it has signed 60 contracts with telecoms companies around the world. The Chinese maker of telecoms equipment has stockpiled essential components that are in limited supply from U.S. firms because of the ban.
Goldman Sachs reported a big drop in quarterly profit and revealed that it had lost $80 million so far on its investment in WeWork, a loss-making office-rentals startup that had to abort its long-awaited stock market debut when its valuation sank. By contrast, JPMorgan Chase, which was the lead underwriter on WeWork's IPO, recorded a rise in net profit, to $9.1 billion. The bank is said to be working on a financing package for WeWork to stop it running out of cash next month.
An international panel of experts reviewing the certification process of Boeing's 737 Max jetliner, which has been grounded following two crashes, published a report that was highly critical of the aerospace company and the Federal Aviation Administration. The report found that the FAA had "inadequate awareness" of what the plane's new automated system was supposed to do.
Nestlé said it would return $20 billion to shareholders over the next few years, after reporting solid revenue and a boost from the sale of its skin care business. The Swiss food-and-drink maker's share price has risen by a third since January.
Investors responded positively to Netflix's quarterly earnings. The video-streaming company undershot its forecast for new subscribers in the United States during the third quarter, though that was still a rebound from the previous three months, when it lost domestic users. It added 6.3 million international customers, above expectations. Netflix also lowered its outlook, as it braces for the launch of rival streaming services from Apple and Disney next month.
The IMF again downgraded its growth forecasts amid "uncertainty about the future of the global trading system and international cooperation." The world economy is projected to grow by just 3% this year, the slowest pace in a decade. The "systemic economies" of the U.S., China, Europe and Japan can expect only a moderate expansion over the next few years. The IMF pointed out that subdued growth has coincided with easy monetary policy, but warned that central banks have little ammunition left when economies are in a "tougher spot."
Global politics from the Economist
Turkey presses ahead in northern Syria
Turkey continued its invasion of northern Syria, despite Western pressure to stop. Turkey's autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aims to crush Syria's Kurds, who have been ditched by President Donald Trump. The Kurds have turned to Syria's despot, Bashar Assad, for protection. Russia, which backs Assad, strolled into abandoned U.S. outposts. Trump, who has been criticized even by fellow Republicans for creating a power vacuum in the Middle East, said he would impose sanctions on some Turkish officials and raise tariffs on Turkish steel. Later, he said the conflict has nothing to do with the United States.
Kais Saied trounced his opponent in Tunisia's presidential election. The former law professor and political outsider spent little on his campaign. Voters chose him in the hope that he will tackle corruption and take the elite down a peg.
Iran said one of its oil tankers was attacked by an unknown assailant off the coast of Saudi Arabia, its regional rival. Photos showed two large holes in the vessel.
Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Since taking office last year Abiy has freed dissidents and vowed to hold free elections. He also is credited with helping end the nation's 20-year war with Eritrea.
Viktor Orban, Hungary's nationalist leader, lost control of Budapest. The opposition were uncharacteristically united in city elections, and Orban's cronies do not completely dominate the media in the capital, unlike in the rest of the country.
Typhoon Hagibis dropped record-breaking rains on Japan, killing 70 people and flooding some 10,000 homes.