A Trump supporter celebrates his victory.

Trump wins, Toblerone shrinks, China shops. 4 – 11 November: What just happened?

It's been a crazy week on all counts. But Toblerone really pushed us over the edge. Here's our review of the news over the past seven days

Trump is the 45th president of the United States of America

So there it is: Trump is the new POTUS-to-be. What this means for the economy is uncertain. We know some broad things about Trump’s views: anti- climate change legislation, anti-immigration, pro-protectionism, pro-growth. But given how many times he changed his mind on what this actually means in detail, only time will tell how his positions will pan out in policy terms. What Trump did succeed at was speaking directly to people’s daily realities in a way that other politicians (and economists) often fail to do. Take a look at our assessment of how ‘understandable’ the two candidates’ economic ideas were during the campaign, and let us know what you think.

Four revolutions, six years of conflict? That’ll be $614 bn

Protesters in Iraq.
Image: © Karim Kadim AP/Press Association Images

A huge study of the economies of the Arab world found that the Arab Spring – a series of revolutions sparked by decades of instability, poverty, and unrest – has cost the region $614bn in lost growth (the amount of goods and services they could have produced in times of peace). We’re as weirded out as you are by the idea of putting a figure to the price of countless lives lost and nations torn apart – but in the world of political decisionmaking, these studies can be incredibly powerful. The United Nations, who authored the study, looked at things like corruption, the refugee crisis, businesses shutting down, and falling oil prices to make their call on the figure.

China cashes in a billion dollars in 5 minutes in Singles Day sales


What started as a group of single university students cheering themselves up by naming the 11 November Singles Day (1111...get it?) has turned into an annual shopping frenzy bringing $20bn worth of sales to China’s economy. It’s basically a mad day of massive discounts designed to allow singletons to treat themselves, which now is used as an indicator of how well China’s economy is doing. The day kicked off with a televised festival starring David & Victoria Beckham, Kobe Bryant, and One Republic, and ended in bigger sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.  Here’s John Oliver on the madness of it all:

In other news...

Gender & pension rights. Transgender women in the UK are being denied the right to claim their pensions at 60 rather than 65 because they don’t have a certificate introduced in 2005 determining their gender status – but legal complications mean even those who transitioned 30 years ago have trouble getting the certificate, and by extension, their economic rights. Buzzfeed has the full story.

You’re already voting for prez… may as well vote on weed too. California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine legalized marijuana for leisure(as Trevor Noah put it, “As opposed to marijuana for work..?!”) this week. Colorado put all its wholesale pot tax straight into schools, so if others follow suit, this could be good news for their public services.

The shrinkflation continues. As if 2016 hadn’t given us enough instability already, Toblerone decided to increase the gap between triangles in its chocolate bars this week – apparently ingredients are getting more expensive so it was either this, or reduce the size of the bar. People are pretty pissed. 

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