A trade dispute threatens America’s booming solar industry

LAST year California Solar Systems (CSS), a small installer of residential solar panels, decided to “Buy American”. It turned to Suniva, a Chinese-owned firm that makes photovoltaic panels in Georgia and Michigan, rather than use cheap imports. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726733-civil-war-breaks-out-between-two-troubled-firms-and-many-their-solar-peers-trade-dispute

China’s digital-payments giant keeps bank chiefs up at night

IN WESTERN countries it is common to talk about American technology being dominant. From an Asian perspective that seems off. Fresh from visiting the region, where buskers and kerbside fishmongers can be paid by presenting a phone, Schumpeter has found it a shock being back in New York. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726713-ant-financial-500m-customers-home-plans-expand-chinas-digital-payments-giant-keeps

Marine contractors have made huge leaps in productivity

THE Innovation, a 147-metre ship docked in Rotterdam, looks like a cross between an oil rig and a robot from a “Transformers” film. Her crane has been loading on giant pipes throughout the night. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726716-those-build-sea-offer-lessons-their-onshore-counterparts-marine-contractors-have

Efficiency eludes the construction industry

NINE years ago the first concrete was poured for Berlin Brandenburg airport. It was expected to open in 2012, to cost €1.2bn ($1.8bn) and to welcome 34m passengers each year. Today the only people in its terminals are those with hard hats. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726714-american-builders-productivity-has-plunged-half-late-1960s-efficiency-eludes

Donald Trump’s failure of character emboldens America’s far right

LAST weekend white supremacists flocked to the picturesque college town of Charlottesville, Virginia to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, from a city park. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21726678-only-principle-guiding-president-seems-be-support-those-who-support

The Philippine president’s zany ideas have not hurt the economy

IN MATTERS of economics, as in other realms, Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is more than capable of flamboyant, populist gestures. Earlier this month, to the consternation of much of his cabinet, he signed a law abolishing tuition fees for students in state universities. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21726315-when-it-comes-jobs-and-investment-rodrigo-duterte-more-reformer-wrecker-philippine

Donald Trump has no grasp of what it means to be president

DEFENDERS of President Donald Trump offer two arguments in his favour—that he is a businessman who will curb the excesses of the state; and that he will help America stand tall again by demolishing the politically correct taboos of left-leaning, establishment elites. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21726696-u-turns-self-regard-and-equivocation-are-not-what-it-takes-donald-trump-has-no-grasp-what-it

Indian officials are humiliating people who defecate outdoors

CRAMMED into Meena Choudhary’s mud-brick house in Yeoor, on the outskirts of Mumbai, are a television, fridge and washing machine. Yet until recently her family of six relieved themselves in nearby fields. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21726756-building-lots-toilets-does-not-guarantee-they-will-be-used-indian-officials-are-humiliating

The Philippine president’s zany ideas have not hurt the economy

IN MATTERS of economics, as in other realms, Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is more than capable of flamboyant, populist gestures. Earlier this month, to the consternation of much of his cabinet, he signed a law abolishing tuition fees for students in state universities. Read more: https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21726315-when-it-comes-jobs-and-investment-rodrigo-duterte-more-reformer-wrecker-philippine