Apr 30, 2017

Globalization and French lace

Emilio Morenatti / AP

An excellent Sunday New York Times piece traces the path of globalization using French lace:

Calais became a major center of lace production in the early 19th century. As of the 1960s, 30,000 people worked in lace factories there, at which point technological improvements meant fewer workers were needed.Soon after, demand began to drop and factories opened in Asia in which 15 employees cost the same as one in Calais.In 2005, the E.U. ended textile import quotas — the "final blow" for French lace as Asian lace flooded the market.Today: Fewer than 300 people work in the remaining lace factories in Calais, which "rely more on machinery than manpower."Why it matters: Globalization and mechanization have cost millions of manufacturing jobs from Calais to Cleveland, and it's affecting politics. Calais used to be a left-wing stronghold — now it's expected to go for far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in the May 8 presidential runoff.

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Stocks jump 7% despite bleak coronavirus projections

People passing by the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.

Why it matters: The huge market surge comes amid rare optimistic signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing in parts of the country, including New York. But government officials say this will be a difficult week, while economists — including former Fed chair Janet Yellen today — warn that the pandemic could have a catastrophic impact on the global economy.

Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to the intensive care unit of St. Thomas Hospital in London due to increasingly severe coronavirus symptoms.

The backdrop: Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for what Downing Street called "routine tests" because his condition had not improved 10 days after he tested positive for the virus. His condition has since "worsened," according to a statement, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will step into his place "where necessary."

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