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It was Budget Day in Britain, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond held to tradition, hoisting the red briefcase in front of No. 11 Downing Street and cracking jokes in the House of Commons. He raised his forecast for 2017 U.K. economic growth to 2 percent but (as trailed) made few significant policy announcements. Tweeting economists and analysts found the speech short on substance but praised the wit. — Andy Reinhardt
Be careful what you wish for. Finland’s populists have become a lot less popular since gaining power. The anti-immigration and anti-EU Finns party vaulted into the government in 2015. Things haven’t gone well since, with its popularity now half of what it once was and the party leader about to step down.
Putting pollution into perspective. Eight of the world’s largest energy companies, including BP, Shell and Gazprom, are responsible for as much of the climate-damaging pollution spewed into the atmosphere as the entire U.S., according to a London researcher. The findings suggest politicians may be better off focusing on the practices of companies instead of national environmental policies.
Iran’s influence is spreading. Even as U.S. President Donald Trump raises his rhetoric, the Islamic Republic is quietly courting allies around the world, including Nigeria, where there’s a minority Shiite Muslim population. Iran’s growing economic and political reach alarms the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. “They are a concern to us and certainly that region of the world,” says Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood.
From sporting goods to lifestyle. The new CEO of Adidas, Kasper Rorsted, is increasing his focus on casual shoe lines like Stan Smith and Tubular as he bids to transform the German sportswear maker into more of a fast-fashion business. He also plans to “over-invest” in the U.S. to gain ground on larger rival Nike. The prospect of higher profits lifted Adidas shares to a record.
It was a good day for high-end travelers. Dubai-based Emirates revealed plans to make the bar area on its A380 superjumbos bigger and swankier, while Doha-based rival Qatar Air announced new double-bed seats that can convert into a small meeting area. And if you’re in Frankfurt waiting for a flight, you can now book into an ultra-private VIP lounge offering fancy liquor and cigars... for around €405 (£350).
Talk about the breakup of the euro is fashionable again. We take a look at three scenarios that could lead to the euro splintering—and three that could see the currency coming through the populist wave in even stronger shape.