Amazon Go promo picture.
Image: © Amazon Go. Look at her go!

Fake news, banking blues and a world without queues. 5-9 December: What just happened?

Amazon announces queue-less stores, Fiat funds fake media by mistake, and bankers are worried about Brexit (what else is new). Here's our review of the news in the past seven days

A world without queues

Amazon is launching grocery stores that know what you put in your cart and charge you by credit card, so you never have to stand in a checkout line again. Simply take what you want and go; their supercomputer will add up everything you bought and automatically take the money from your Amazon account. It'll save the shopper time, and will save the supermarket money. But it'll cost us a lot of jobs too – the kind of jobs people without further education, or just starting out their careers without much experience, rely on... But then again, look how happy that lady from their promo website looks (above). It can't be all bad. 1, 2, 3, (Amazon) Go!

You'll never guess what Mario did last night

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The financial twitter-sphere can’t stop talking about what Mario Draghi, head of the European (ECB), said last night...about European bonds (sorry, we know we built that up to sound like it was going to be juicier…) The ECB’s main job is to keep Europe’s economy as stable as poss. The big announcement yesterday was that they’ll be buying less government bonds – i.e. bits of paper symbolizing an investment in a government – than they used to. You know how a parent might buy their kid’s first few pieces of art, not because they’re good, but because they want to encourage them, and maybe even up the price of the few that are left (if people start to think they’re popular?) That’s kind of what the ECB’s been doing, but now they’re saying government bonds are ready to leave the nest. Other investors aren’t so sure though, saying Brexit and Trump are enough to cause instability out in the real world. Draghi’s adopting the tough love line – let’s see who’s right.

Who actually funds fake news?


Everyone from Angela Merkel to Mark Zuckerberg is talking about how to tackle fake news – but it turns out big brand companies have a part to play too. The Wall Street Journal revealed this week that ads for brands like Fiat Chrysler, Soundcloud, and Bose Corp are generating tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue for fake news sites. The amount of middleman firms between the brand and the site means the brand often doesn’t know where their ad will end up. And because there’s no such thing as a ‘truth filter’, they can’t just use an algorithm to block fake news sites – they’re literally hiring staff members to do it site by site. High fives all round for job creation..?!

In other news…

Brexit does indeed mean Brexit, in case you hadn't got the memo UK Parliament has now officially voted through to trigger Article 50 (here's our explainer on what that means). We're keeping our eyes peeled for some detailed plans ASAP on the details of what this plan's gonna look like – hard, soft, red, white, blue, grey, or whatever this breakfast– sorry, Brexit! will be.


Is any job safe? China unveiled two dancing robotic dragons at this week's World Manufacturing Summit. Because people doing the conga with sticks and wavy pieces of cloth just isn't good enough in 2016.

The most frustrating time of the year? Hate untangling your Christmas lights? Live in Wrexham, Wales? Then head to Tesco! The grocery story has just hired the most patient person in the world as a full time Christmas-light-detangler.

We will always love you

Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's had enough of seeing her home state engulfed by wildfires, and she's doing something about it. In a video message released today, she's announced a telethon to raise a total of $1000 per month to every family affected by the wildfires. From the very beginnings of her career when she paid her chickens to listen to her sing, to her launch of a library for preschoolers across the nation, here's 7 things that prove Dolly's got a natural flair for economics.

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