State leaders take part in a group photo session for the G20 Summit in China
Image: © Ng Han Guan / AP/Press Association Images

G20 wraps up, social loans, and meaty millennials. 3-9 September: What just happened?

G20 party is over in China, Africa’s social finance revolution, and why millennials can’t get enough meat. Here's our review of the news over the last seven days

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It's all about women, and less developed countries, and women in less developed countries

The leaders of 20 of the world’s major economies all got together in China this week to discuss the big economic and political issues of the day, in what’s known as the ‘G20 summit’. With such important stuff on the agenda, we’re still a little confused by one newspaper’s obsession with UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s red dress. The big takeaway from the whole thing was a rather long 48-point document which set out what was said and what needs to happen next. So you don’t have to read the whole thing, we’ve done that for you - take a look at our summary which explains everything point by point. The main outcome - more growth please, but make sure it’s sustainable.

Your Facebook account looks pretty cool - here, have a loan

Two smiling men talking on mobile phones

A new way of deciding whether someone can have a loan based on their social media profile is helping to change personal finance across Africa. Apparently, 80% of the continent’s 1.2 billion people don’t have access to formal or other financial services. This makes it really difficult to grant credit when lenders have no idea whether a person will be able to pay back a loan. Now mobile and social technology is filling this gap. Firms like Social Lender in Nigeria are basing credit scores on social reputation, while Jumo in South Africa rate phone users’ creditworthiness on their data usage. This could revolutionize access to credit and provide a real boost to small businesses, which will in turn help economies grow. Check out the BBC’s full article which explains all.

Meat still top of the food chain for millennials

A man eating a Big Mac
Image: © MICHAL KAMARYT / Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

Despite their concerns over health and the environment, turns out millennials are still hungry for meat, according to new research. In fact, meat consumption by this group has increased 5% since last year. But why? Well, it seems eating out and buying convenience foods has a lot to do with it, as well as the fact that fewer people cook their own food these days. Plus, the meat industry’s lobbying efforts are also having an impact. This comes as other figures suggest that global meat consumption is expected to double by 2050, which may not be so great for the planet or our health. Look out for Economy Explores: Food next week where we’ll look into these issues and a lot more.

Trump says one thing, economists say another (as usual)

Donald Trump stands at a podium during a recent speech in the US

Donald Trump claimed last week that America was losing a significant number of jobs to Mexico, but turns out imports from China are causing far greater problems for US workers. Wait, politician exaggerates truth to fit media narrative? Shocker. As the latest reports suggest jobs growth has stalled in the US overall, Trump claimed that the “outflow of jobs” to Mexico was “tremendous”. A lot of economists disagree, saying only a net average of around 15,000 jobs are lost in this way (a tiny fraction of the market). This is nothing, they say, when compared to the effect of Chinese imports on homegrown US industry and workers. This piece in the Wall Street Journal outlines why.

In other news…

Workers Win. Employees of the UK sports retailer Sports Direct are to be paid more, given guaranteed hours and better working conditions. This follows a review that found “serious shortcomings” in their working practices. Controversial boss Mike Ashley has now apologised to staff.

Darth Vader meets F1. Yes, John Malone, the man known as the Darth Vader of Wall Street, has agreed a deal worth $8.5bn to buy control of Formula One. We’re hoping for better helmets and droids in the pit.

Toilet Tax. A college in China has started charging its students if they go over their quota of toilet flushes. They’re allocated 3,000 liters of water a month and if they go over this, the charge kicks in. Better stay off the Bran Flakes then.

Golden eyes, golden fingers, golden gun, golden wallet

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Producers of the James Bond film franchise have reportedly offered actor Daniel Craig $150m to continue in role for two more movies. This comes after weeks, no sorry months, of speculation about who the next Bond might be. Fans were reportedly shaken, and stirred, when they found out rumours of possible replacements, so many will be glad to hear that they may be getting ‘Craig Another Day’. Sorry. It’s’ now up to Daniel to decide whether he’s Dr No or Dr Yes. Really sorry. We’ll just have to wait and see if he never says never again. I’ll get my coat. Oh, but in a final twist, other reports suggest this may be all hot air.

Daniel Craig as James Bond

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