Daily Archives: October 15, 2013

François Hollande (Getty)

François Hollande’s Socialist government is desperate to get across a message, not least to foreign investors, that France’s economy is in recovery mode and that it is now set to start reducing the heavy tax burden it has heaped on companies.

This sunny prospect received a cold shower on Tuesday in the form of a survey of American businesses in France.

Although respondents saw some improvement in economic conditions over the next two years after a worse-than-anticipated 2013, only 19 per cent expected to increase employment, while 26 per cent said they would be reducing jobs.

More worrying for Mr Hollande, the survey showed a sharp slide in the perception of France as a good place to invest.

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♦ The US federal government is shut down and within days of default on Treasury debt but it is still just possible the whole farrago could turn into good news for the US economy, says Robin Harding.

Iran’s stock market soars but this is partly down to a lack of investment opportunities in other sectors of the stagnant economy.

♦ For those following the negotiations in the US, the New Yorker has compiled a Conservatives’ guide to rhetoric.

♦ A decisive victory by the National Front in Brignoles, France, on Sunday night has set alarm bells ringing in Paris that the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen will repeat the feat more widely in municipal elections.

♦ The New York Times takes a journey through the heartlands of Russia – the Russia being left behind.

♦ For the last edition of the International Herald Tribune, Thomas Fuller looks back at his years reporting in Asia – the lands of charm and cruelty.  Read more

By Gideon Rachman
A few years ago Wired, the technology magazine, ran a regular feature called “Japanese schoolgirl watch”. The concept was not as dubious as it sounds. The idea was simply that the schoolgirls of Japan are technological trendsetters and that the gadgets they adopt today will go global tomorrow.