Business & Financiën
Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 6/26/2017

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50 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
in brief

Europe ● After a five-year investigation, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office accused Barclays of fraud in connection with investments in the bank by the Gulf state of Qatar. Qatar The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund and other entities made two separate investments in the troubled bank during the global financial crisis 1 £4.5b June 2008 2 £7.3b October 2008 Barclays Former executives charged ◼ John Varley ◼ Roger Jenkins ◼ Thomas Kalaris ◼ Richard Boath Allegedly not disclosed 3 £2b Barclays loan to the Qatari government, November 2008 4 £332m Fees to the Qatar Investment Authority, 2008-13 Barclays says it “is considering its position.” Varley’s and Kalaris’s attorneys had no comment. Jenkins’s lawyer said he would contest the charges. Boath said the charges were false. ● Boeing unveiled its 737 Max 10, a larger version of its best-selling jet, at the Paris air show. The company quickly collected…

6 min.
the robots are coming (but you’ll still need to work)

JOBS The world’s workers seem to be in a bad spot: A recent study found that each new industrial robot displaces six employees. Automation is on the rise in fields from radiology to volleyball coaching (page 50 of this special Jobs Issue). Workers in poorer manufacturing-reliant nations are especially vulnerable, it’s said, because their jobs could soon be done by robots. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the new book Homo Deus, speculates in a recent Bloomberg View column about the rise of a huge, embittered “useless class” living on the dole. But if work is being automated out of existence, how do you explain a 2.8 percent unemployment rate in Japan, one of the world’s most roboticized nations? What accounts for shortages of skilled workers in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Turkey? And…

3 min.
government and the rise of automation

JOBS Capitalism has brought opportunity to billions of people around the world and reduced poverty and disease on a monumental scale. Driving that progress have been advances in knowledge and technology that disrupt industries and create new ones. We celebrate market disruptions for the overall benefits they generate, but they also present challenges to workers whose skills are rendered obsolete. Today, as the age of automation affects more industries, those challenges are affecting more and more people. Attempting to slow the pace of technological change to preserve particular jobs is neither possible nor desirable, and there may be no better example than in the energy industry. In the 1920s more than 800,000 Americans worked in the coal mines. Many developed debilitating and deadly health problems. In 2008 national coal production peaked, yet technology…

5 min.
target slips up

Amazon.com Inc.’s $13.7 billion bid for Whole Foods Market Inc. sent shock waves across the retail industry: Investors and rivals suddenly had to ponder how quickly the dominant online merchant might turbocharge a struggling chain, known for pricey hand-butchered meats and $30 emu eggs, to challenge U.S. supermarket leader Wal-Mart Stores Inc. But a bigger uncertainty surrounds a retailer not involved in the deal: Target Corp. The No. 2 U.S. discounter has been losing shoppers despite an expanded food offering that includes more fresh produce, gluten-free and organic products, and grab-and-go items. Now Target will likely face a reenergized Whole Foods that’s backed by a deep-pocketed parent-to-be already challenging the company in apparel and beauty products. Amazon’s march into brick-and-mortar groceries comes just as Target embarks on a three-year, $7 billion…

5 min.
the truth about the gig economy

JOBS As you’ve surely heard—and perhaps experienced firsthand—American jobs aren’t what they used to be. Corporations long ago stopped being a source of secure employment. Workers have responded by jumping from job to job and reinventing their careers. Loyalty is out the window. Before long the very idea of a “job” itself may be history, too, with fleeting gigs as independent free agents, or maybe just robots, taking its place. At least, that’s the frequently told story. So why is it that so much of the data seems to contradict it? To wit: The median number of years that wage and salary workers in the U.S. have been with their current employer 1 was 4.2 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics last checked in January 2016. That’s higher than at any time in…

4 min.
500,000 tons of steel. 14 jobs

JOBS The Austrian village of Donawitz has been an iron-smelting center since the 1400s, when ore was dug from mines carved out of the snow-capped peaks nearby. Over the centuries, Donawitz developed into the Hapsburg Empire’s steel-production hub, and by the early 1900s it was home to Europe’s largest mill. With the opening of Voestalpine AG’s new rolling mill this year, the industry appears secure. What’s less certain are the jobs. The plant, a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna, will need just 14 employees to make 500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year—vs. as many as 1,000 in a mill with similar capacity built in the 1960s. Inside the facility, red-hot metal snakes its way along a 700-meter (2,297-foot) production line. Yet the floors are spotless, the only noise is a…