Friday, 25 April 2014

A Gordon's with a touch of elderflower and other news and views for Friday 25 April

2014-04-25_gordons
  • Gin Craze Returns to London With Small, Domestic Batches - “Craft distillers like Sipsmith, Hendrick’s, and Sacred Spirits — produced in a north London living room — are changing all of that, inspiring even mass-market brands like Diageo Plc (DGE)’s Gordon’s gin to tweak their formulas. The domestic production revival brings the drink full circle from the 1700s, when a rash of homemade brews made it the favorite tipple of the city’s poor and earned it the nickname ‘mother’s ruin’.”
  • Europe braces for first EU-wide vote since 2008 crash – “Europe’s elections are just over a month away. Campaigns have started, but with a whimper. There are few signs, so far, that the European electorate is engaged. For the moment it is a ghost campaign – apart from the struggle for the top jobs in Brussels. Mainstream parties will argue over tax and spending and appeal to their traditional supporters, but in many countries this will be a referendum on the European project.”
  • Climate policy targets revisited – “The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report estimates lower costs of climate change and higher costs of abatement than the Stern Review. However, current UN negotiations focus on stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at even lower levels than recommended by Stern. This column argues that, given realistic estimates of the rate at which people discount the future, the UN’s target is probably too stringent. Moreover, since real-world climate policy is far from the ideal of a uniform carbon price, the costs of emission reduction are likely to be much higher than the IPCC’s estimates.”
  • With New E-Cigarette Rules, FDA Hopes To Tame A ‘Wild, Wild West’ - “The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to expand its regulatory powers to e-cigarettes and other popular products containing nicotine.”
  • Bracing For A Battle, Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Bill
  • Tweet Suits: Social Media And The Law – “Now that folks are posting and tweeting — and retweeting — complaints and grievances around the clock, is every negative experience a possible class action? If someone has a bad experience with a bank or someone gets food poisoning at a restaurant or someone has a problem with a prescribed medicine, he can immediately find others with similar outrages. Are social media making it easier for plaintiffs to band together?”
  • Russia’s tit for tat – “In reaction to the Crimean crisis, the EU imposed certain sanctions on Russia. Russia responded by blacklisting EU and US officials. This column discusses the comparative vulnerability of the EU and Russia amid this tit for tat pattern. In purely economic terms, the EU is in a much better position than Russia. However, political regimes also matter. The autocracy score for Russia dampens the impact that the economic sanctions would have politically. The democratic nature of the European governments would translate the sanctions imposed by Russia into great political pressure for the EU. This makes the Russian tit for tat threat realistic.”
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