Wobbling figures with the heads of Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton
Image: © Press Association

27 February to 4 March: What just happened?

Donald Trump is happy. Hillary Clinton is happy. And Mark Zuckerberg has to cough up more cash. Here’s our regular bitesize review of all the big news over the last seven days

Super Tuesday

This week saw the US presidential nominations seriously hot up. Super Tuesday might sound a bit like an Abba song, but it actually refers to the day on which the biggest number of states hold primary elections. This time 12 states voted and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton led the way with seven victories each. Here’s what each of them has said recently about the economy:

Donald Trump

On jobs: “I will bring jobs back from China, I will bring jobs back from Japan. I will bring jobs back from Mexico.”
On Apple making its products in foreign countries: “[they should] start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”
Hillary Clinton
On wages: “I know a lot of Americans are angry at the economy and for good cause. Americans haven't had a raise in 15 years.”
On the financial industry: “Wall Street [should] never wreck Main Street again.”

First we had the Big Mac Index, now there’s the KFC Index

Customers waiting to place their orders at Kentucky fried chicken restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya
Image: © Khalil Senosi/AP/Press Association Images

Apparently, KFC is the leading fast food chain in Africa. There’s over 1000 KFC outlets across the continent. Now the average price of a bucket of fried chicken is being used as a measure of the value of the currencies of individual African countries. The winner - actually, the loser - is Angola. It’s currency is overvalued against the dollar by some 72%. That’s finger lickin’ bad.

Facebook will pay millions more in UK tax

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg runs with bodyguards in Berlin, Germany
Image: © Paul Zinken/DPA/PA Images

The amount that big companies like Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks pay in tax has been a big issue in the UK for some time now. Corporations making billions in profits pay less as a proportion of their income than the average person, which annoys a lot of people, but others say that if tax laws aren’t working, we should change them to something that businesses, governments, and consumers are happy to follow. Facebook has gone ahead and changed its own tax structure instead, which means they’ll be having to cough up more pounds to the UK taxman. Sad face. Sad face.

You know when you borrow money from someone, swear you’ll pay it back even though you can’t, and then hope they never ask for it back?

Vulture mask and placard at Jubilee Debt Campaign protest in solidarity on Argentinian Independence day.
Image: © Peter Marshall / Demotix / Demotix/Press Association Images

Argentina’s been doing that with $80 billion since 2001. It’s more complicated than it sounds though, because funds like Elliot Management Corp are actually asking for 10 to 15 times more than they invested in the country, on the grounds that back payments are calculated with a 9% penalty. Argentina’s now coughing up a $4.56 billion settlement, giving Elliot a whopping 905% return on what they originally paid. If only we could get that kind of return every time someone owes us a pint...

Former Brazilian President Lula detained as part of a huge fraud inquiry into the state oil company Petrobras

Brazil's former President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Image: © Ricardo Stuckert/Insituto Lula/H / DPA/PA Images

Former Brazilian president Lula, who left office with a 90% approval rating, is now being questioned by the authorities as part of the ongoing investigations into the Brazilian oil company Petrobras. The corruption scandal exposes a damning list of politicians and business people’s involvement in money laundering, but until now, Lula’s been safe from scrutiny, despite being the president in office when it all began. Brazil’s been in the middle of its deepest recession in 25 years recently, but it looks like investors are glad that action is being taken, with the value of the Brazilian real shooting up since the news came out.

Communist nostalgia is inspiring new entrepreneurs in Romania

A Pegas bike in a bike rack in Bucharest
Image: © John PX via Flickr

Entrepreneurs in Romania are cashing in on nostalgia for the brands and products of the old communist era. The BBC spoke to Andrei Botescu who has relaunched the country’s old Pegas bikes and Laurentiu Banescu, who has started a brewery to produce beers in the style of the pre-democracy days, when each county had its own unique brew. Beer and bikes. Yes please. Though perhaps not at the same time.

How to make millions at the movies

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Image: © Twentieth Century Fox

Huge stars? Amazing special effects? Brilliant story? Nope. The Economist has done a study that found that the only reliable indicator as to whether or not a movie will be successful is how big the budget is. Seems like the only thing likely to guarantee you financial success in Hollywood is to spend a truck load of money in the first place!

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