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Robinhood’s IPO, unrest in Tunisia and a Jupiter moon shot | tnewst.com Press "Enter" to skip to content

Robinhood’s IPO, unrest in Tunisia and a Jupiter moon shot

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Happy Friday, dear readers! It’s been a minute since we brought you the biggest economic and business news stories of the week.

But fear not, we have everything you need to know to wow a captive audience this weekend or be the smartest person at Sunday brunch. Without further ado, here are the biggest stories you might have missed this week.

$2.1bn

The amount that retail trader favourite Robinhood raised in its initial public offering (IPO) Wednesday before making its lacklustre Nasdaq debut Thursday. After selling shares for $38 — the low end of its range — Robinhood saw its stock price tumble during its first two days of trading.

It’s a rocky start for the United States-based stock trading app, which rose to fame thanks to first-time investors — including young people — who used coronavirus pandemic lockdown time to dive into the stock market with its no-fee trades.

While starting to invest at a young age definitely has its upsides (hello, compounding!), educators and more seasoned investors alike urge caution, writes Dominic Fitzsimmons. Read the full story here.

Vlad Tenev (left) and Baiju Bhatt (right), founders of the online brokerage Robinhood, walk along Wall Street Thursday after their firm’s lacklustre stock market debut [File: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

4.9 percent

The projected growth of the global economy next year, which represents a deceleration from this year’s projected 6 percent growth, according to the International Monetary Fund.

While growth is expected to slow across the board, not all countries will feel it equally. Advanced economies are expected to achieve 4.4 percent growth in 2022 – down from 5.6 percent in 2021 – while growth in emerging and developing economies is seen slowing to 5.2 percent in 2022 from an expected rebound of 6.3 percent in 2021, according to the IMF’s updated World Economic Outlook.

And, writes Al Jazeera’s Radmilla Suleymanova, “vaccine inequality is seen as a chief driver of the widening gulf between recoveries in developed and less developed economies”. Read the full story here.

People flocked to withdraw funds from their pensions in Chile to weather the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but experts worry the move could leave some without sufficient retirement savings in the future [File: Esteban Felix/AP Photo]

$49.9bn

The amount Chileans have withdrawn from their pensions as of June to weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus. When it was started 40 years ago during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Chile’s private pension system was held up by free-market fans as a model for emerging markets.

It’s now facing an “existential” crisis, however, after the government authorised three rounds of withdrawals of up to 10 percent of the funds a person has saved by Chileans struggling to make ends meet.

Al Jazeera’s Odette Magnet takes a deeper look at the South American country’s looming retirement crisis and why pension reform is finding support among Chileans as representatives work to draft a new constitution. Read her full report here.

8.6 percent

The amount Tunisia’s economy shrunk in 2020, made worse by another 3 percent contraction in the first three months of this year on an annualised basis, according to government data.

Al Jazeera’s Patricia Sabga examines how the country’s lack of opportunity — especially for young people — coupled with punishing debt, a broken social contract and the pressures of the pandemic made Tunisia the latest country to see unrest after being pushed to the breaking point.

“It was Tunisia’s youths who seeded and nurtured the Arab Spring. This year, a new generation has hit the streets to protest political ineffectiveness, corruption, and a chronic lack of opportunity,” Sabga writes. Read her full editor’s analysis here.

A poster with the images of Mexico’s past five presidents urges Mexicans to vote ‘yes’ in Sunday’s referendum, with the message ‘by judging the authorities of the past, those of the present and the future will think twice’ [Ann Deslandes/Al Jazeera]

Five

The number of former Mexican presidents who could someday be held accountable for alleged corruption during their time in office if a referendum being held on Sunday is successful.

The referendum covers the administrations of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Vicente Fox Quesada, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa and Enrique Pena Nieto, who ruled the country from 1988 to 2018. It was proposed by current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as a way to ask public citizens if they want their former leaders to be able to be prosecuted for actions they took while in office.

Forty percent of voters will have to turn out for the results to be valid under Mexico’s constitution, and it’s unclear whether statutes of limitations and other legal hurdles would make actually prosecuting ex-presidents feasible. But campaigners say the question is an important one to ask in a country wracked by corruption and violence. Al Jazeera’s Ann Deslandes breaks down what’s at stake here.

NASA selected SpaceX and its Falcon Heavy rocket (pictured above) to launch its Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will explore Jupiter [File: Joe Skipper/Reuters]

$178m

The value of a contract NASA awarded to Elon Musk’s SpaceX to explore Europa, Jupiter’s largest moon.

If all goes according to plan, the Europa Clipper spacecraft — worth $4.25bn — will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in October 2024 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the US and arrive at Jupiter in April 2030. Al Jazeera’s Amy Thompson has more on the Jupiter mission here.

The news is another win for SpaceX, which has become a NASA favourite. It also comes the same week that one of the US space agency’s other big contractors, aerospace firm Boeing, was forced to delay a test flight of its Starliner capsule to the International Space Station yet again after the Russian Nauka module briefly knocked the ISS off course.

The Starliner’s highly anticipated test flight is now set to take place on Tuesday, and Al Jazeera will have all the details on what’s at stake.


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