Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition March 8, 2021

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

United Kingdom
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2 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases have topped 115m and more than 2.5 million people have died. In the U.S., regulators authorized Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine. The government hopes to ship 20 million J&J doses this month and 100 million by the end of June. More than 265 million vaccine doses have been given worldwide. Apollo Global Management pulled off two big deals within a few hours. The private equity powerhouse, together with Vici Properties, agreed to buy Las Vegas Sands’ real estate portfolio for $6.25 billion on March 3, before announcing the purchase of U.S. crafting and hobby chain Michaels for about $3.3 billion. Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to a one-year prison term on a corruption charge. The former French president was accused of pulling strings to help a magistrate land a prestigious job in…

2 min
how farmers could profit from fighting climate change

Agriculture has never been a principal focus of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. But farm emissions—which make up about 10% of the U.S. total—are coming under increasing scrutiny as Democrats take control of agricultural policy and farmers themselves awaken to the threats of climate change. One strategy in particular is getting attention this year: encouraging farmers to view emissions reduction and carbon sequestration as potential sources of income. The idea is fairly straightforward. Farmers would take steps to decrease their carbon output, such as reducing tillage to avoid releasing soil carbon, planting cover crops to hold more carbon in the soil, applying manure treatments and “digesters” to limit emissions of methane, and using nitrogen fertilizer more precisely to lower emissions of nitrous oxide. In return, the farmers could sell credits to…

1 min

Testing the Waters Two of Germany’s 16 federal states hold regional elections on March 14. The vote will be an important gauge of the political mood six months ahead of general elections, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel won’t run for another term. Sportswear maker Adidas unveils its five-year strategic plan on March 10. It’s likely to sell its Reebok subsidiary after studying options for the underperforming brand. Senate Democrats will work to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal before March 14, when supplemental unemployment benefits are set to expire. Saudi Arabia will remove some controversial restrictions on foreign workers by March 14. They will no longer need employer permission to change jobs or travel abroad. The European Central Bank sets interest rates on March 11. The bank has said it may need to boost…

6 min
the hyperinflation hype

We know from the past year that quite a few people inhabit alternate realities that float above the factual landscape like giant, impervious, untethered balloons. One unmoored balloon that’s reached enormous proportions recently is the specter of hyperinflation—the conviction that a reckless expansion in the money supply will trigger an endless cycle of currency depreciation and price hikes, turning the U.S. into the equivalent of Weimar Germany circa 1923, Zimbabwe circa 2020, or present-day Venezuela. This is meme economics, so the underlying theory can be hard to pin down, but the general idea seems to be that the Federal Reserve is in league with dark forces—perhaps the Democratic Party—to destroy the nation and deliver … something. “Hyperinflation this summer will usher in the next wave of leftist authoritarianism. There will be…

5 min
tesla’s european headache

Car buyers are showing increasing interest in Tesla models, and the employees at German software maker SAP are no exception. Europe’s largest tech company, like major corporations across the Continent, provides cars for company and personal use as an employee perk. And SAP lately has been getting dozens of requests for Teslas each month. But the company won’t buy them, saying Tesla Inc.’s lack of servicing centers near its Walldorf headquarters and other SAP SE facilities has fueled concerns that employees would take time off to deal with repairs if they were given the coveted electric vehicle. BMW AG and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz—longtime fixtures on the company’s approved list—offer same-day fixes nearby, making their hybrid models the most popular plug-ins SAP provides. Servicing teams “need to be there at short notice,…

4 min
protecting vaccines, james bond-style

Billions of doses of coronavirus vaccines will be dispatched in the coming months via truck, plane, ship, and rail to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies around the world. With that cargo worth tens of billions of dollars—and some individual shipments valued at as much as $70 million—one thing is certain: Crooks will try to steal some of it. For freight haulers, the vaccine rollout poses “the biggest security challenge in a generation,” says Thorsten Neumann, chief executive officer of the European arm of the Transported Asset Protection Association, an industry group representing companies that carry precious goods. Interpol in December issued an orange alert notice warning that it expects a dramatic increase in armed robberies of the shipments, as well as vandalism by anti-vaccine militants. And if the profitable black markets for…