Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition June 14, 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.

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Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Numéros

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2 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases have exceeded 174.1 million, and almost 3.8 million have died. But more than 2.2b vaccine doses have been administered. Governments are easing restrictions as infections fall: France will let vaccinated travelers from the EU enter without having to show a negative test. President Joe Biden revoked Donald Trump’s bans on the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat. He directed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to evaluate apps from foreign adversaries and block those that pose a security risk. Parts of Turkey’s Sea of Marmara have been covered in that gray sludge known as sea snot. A marine mucilage, the layer is formed by water pollution, including untreated sewage from Istanbul and other nearby cities. “You’re in a global craps game where everybody is talking to each other and they’re having a blast.” Ken Moelis,…

3 min
to stop ransomware gangs, cut off their profits

At least since Julius Caesar paid 50 talents to a band of Cilician pirates for his freedom, ransom has proved to be a popular and profitable criminal enterprise. In the digital age, it’s wreaking havoc far beyond its immediate victims. Ransomware attacks, in which gangs infiltrate a company’s computer systems and demand payment before unlocking their files, are surging. One on Colonial Pipeline Co. resulted in gas shortages last month along the East Coast. A similar infiltration caused the meat producer JBS SA to shut facilities in three countries (page 21). Even the operators of the Martha’s Vineyard ferry recently succumbed to digital extortion. These attacks impose serious costs. Last year victims paid out almost $350 million to ransomware groups, an increase of more than 300% from the previous year. As a…

1 min
united we stand

China reports retail sales on June 16. While consumer spending has recovered this year, coronavirus lockdowns have returned in parts of the country. The E3 video game conference happens virtually on June 12-15. Nintendo will likely introduce some games designed to run on its more powerful Switch console. VivaTech, Europe’s biggest startup and tech event, takes place in Paris on June 16-19. Guest speakers include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook. Democratic mayoral candidates for New York hold a debate on June 16. Eric Adams, Andrew Yang, and Kathryn Garcia lead the crowded field. The U.S. Federal Reserve sets interest rates on June 16. Investors will look for indications that the era of ultracheap money will end sooner rather than later. Iran holds elections on June 18, amid renewed tensions with the West and…

6 min
china’s dangerous diplomacy

After China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, lectured his U.S. counterparts on America’s moral failings, including police killings of Black citizens, during bilateral talks in March, national security adviser Jake Sullivan didn’t exactly argue with him. But he reminded Yang of what he called the “secret sauce” of U.S. governance: the ability to acknowledge and fix mistakes. “A confident country,” Sullivan said, “is able to look hard at its shortcomings and constantly seek to improve.” His implication, of course, was that at least in international relations China can seem unable to do the same. As the world’s most populous nation adopts a more aggressive posture, that view is becoming widely shared. China’s growing power has coincided with a drastic deterioration in public perceptions abroad. Surveys last year by the Pew Research Center…

5 min

Chris James pulled off a feat that for years had eluded the Rockefeller family, giant pension funds, and money managers. In just six months—and after staking his own money—James’s tiny investment startup, Engine No. 1, won a victory over one of America’s most iconic companies. Its acrimonious six-month proxy battle against Exxon Mobil Corp., centered on its flagging performance and resistance to preparing for a low-carbon future, resulted in three dissident directors being elected to the company’s 12-member board. The victory not only stunned the oil world and corporate America at large, but it also marked a coming of age for socially conscious investors who’ve long pressed companies to improve their environmental policies, often with mixed results. Engine No. 1’s proxy campaign may usher in a new age for them. “It…

4 min
a pop-up store hits the road

A new type of store is popping up at a California mall on June 10. It looks a lot like a regular shop, full of handbags, small leather goods, and jewelry. Oh, except it’ll be outside, and the floors, counters, and racks all fit on a flatbed truck, to be transported and remade anywhere—some assembly required. Cuyana, a San Francisco-based premium fashion label, is taking its traveling showroom on a summer road trip. The portable pop-up presents retailers and malls with a new way to sell goods, gather data, and try out locations without committing to a larger lease or paying repeatedly for major renovations. Just load the whole thing onto a truck and plop it down somewhere. “Retail’s not going away,” says Shilpa Shah, co-founder of Cuyana. “It just needs…