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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 3/6/2017

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

Land:
United States
Taal:
English
Uitgever:
Bloomberg Finance LP
Verschijningsfrequentie:
Weekly
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50 Edities

in deze editie

7 min.
the boy scout leading state

His department isn’t an integrated corporation—more like a loosely organized conglomerate After meeting Donald Trump for the first time, in New York on Dec. 6, Rex Tillerson told his wife, Renda, that the president-elect had offered him the job of secretary of state. Tillerson had spent his entire 41-year career at Exxon Mobil Corp., the previous decade as chief executive officer. His assets are worth an estimated $400 million. He’d planned to step down in the spring of 2017 and retire to a ranch near his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. Few people close to Tillerson believed he was destined for government service, except his wife. “You didn’t know it, but you’ve been in a 41-year training program for this job,” she told him. “You’re supposed to do this.” Tillerson recounted this…

2 min.
trustworthy—not alternative—statistics

Donald Trump’s penchant for “alternative facts” raises a troubling question: What if the same instinct leads him to pressure government agencies—the ones that track everything from jobs to air quality—into producing data to support whatever he wants to believe? If he won’t draw the line, Congress should. Two recent cases suggest where things may be headed. Trump’s officials have considered changing the way they calculate foreign-trade balances, turning some surpluses into deficits and bolstering the president’s case for tearing up free-trade deals. In another, the administration instructed its economists to forecast U.S. growth rates a full percentage point higher than consensus estimates—an alteration that, if included in Trump’s final budget proposal, would mask the effect of his tax cuts and spending plans on the nation’s finances. To be sure, lying with statistics…

1 min.
europe begins to take defense seriously

Say this for Trump: He’s forcing Europeans to think more seriously about how to protect and defend their continent. His disparagement of NATO goes too far, and his focus on getting Europeans to spend more on defense is misplaced. That said, European nations have for too long treated their defense budgets as an extension of social policy. Expenditure on personnel is more than 50 percent of military spending in almost all European Union countries compared with about a quarter in the U.S. Meanwhile, Europe’s spending on equipment and research and development is barely 20 percent compared with about 30 percent in the U.S., and only about 22 percent of procurement is collaborative. The European Commission has a proposal to make European military spending more rational. But such top-down efforts haven’t amounted…

3 min.
movers

Ups $65m • Penguin Random House paid handsomely for rights to forthcoming books by former President Barack Obama and FIrst Lady Michelle Obama. They will donate a portion to charity. • SoftBank’s OneWeb satellite operator will merge with Intelsat, a debt-laden rival. Together, they plan to conquer the world with low-cost internet access. • Snap priced the shares in its initial public offering at $17 each, giving the maker of disappearing-photo app Snapchat a market value of about $20b • David Bowie’s art collection helped Sotheby’s swing to a $65.5 million profit in the fourth quarter. Sales for the year were down 27%, but its auction margins improved. • Comcast struck a deal to integrate Alphabet’s YouTube into its Xfinity X1 service. The app will be available to about half of the 22.5 million households…

4 min.
samsung’s new board gets back to business

“No chaebol chiefs want to lose control over their empires,” says one analyst. “Their tendency is to lie flat on the ground, tough it out, and then resume business as usual.” While this could be a commentary on Seoul today, the reporting comes from a Businessweek article in the late 1990s, when South Korea was ensnared in the Asian financial crisis. Then South Korea’s corporate empires were under attack. The Korean economy was struggling, and politicians were responding by pledging to reform the chaebol, the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate businesses ranging from shipbuilding to chipmaking. The conglomerates waited for the storm to pass. For the chaebol, reformers come and reformers go. In the decades since the Asian crisis, politicians have made repeated calls for reform of the conglomerates, and prosecutors have won…

3 min.
job switchers solve an inflation mystery

Tight labor markets won’t necessarily lead to higher prices “Job-to-job changes … are strongly predictive of wage increases” Adrienne Heintz, an Atlanta marketing employee, has discovered a reliable way to earn higher wages, and Federal Reserve economists are taking note. The Auburn University alumnus changed jobs twice in the past two years and got above-average raises of 10 percent and 8 percent as a result. “Switching positions internally or externally is definitely the fastest way to a larger salary,” says Heintz, 28. More Americans are changing employers in search of better pay. That trend is attracting the attention of labor economists, who are increasingly studying how job-hopping Americans drive compensation gains and affect the traditional interplay of low unemployment, wage gains, and inflation. Economists led by Jason Faberman at the Chicago Fed studied…