Business & Financiën
Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 8/28/2017

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50 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
in brief

Asia ● South Korean negotiators rejected a U.S. proposal to revise a five-year-old trade deal to shift a trade imbalance. ● The U.S. Navy removed the vice admiral in charge of its Pacific fleet after a destroyer collided with an oil tanker on Aug. 21. Five nations, including Australia and Malaysia, joined the search for 10 sailors who remained missing days after the crash. This was the fourth recent major naval accident in the region. ● Australia said it would surround more public spaces with barriers to protect against terror attacks. The policy was unveiled days after two vehicles killed 14 people in Spain. ● Typhoon Hato grounded hundreds of flights and shut down the Hong Kong stock market on Aug. 23. ● McDonald’s severed ties with its leading franchisee in India and began…

6 min.
a survival guide for democracies

Over the past seven months, Donald Trump has attacked what for many are the pillars of American democracy. He’s blasted the news media, sowed distrust in the election process, and fired the FBI director for apparently political reasons. He has torn at the U.S.’s racial fabric, perhaps to embolden his base. Political scientists, historians, and other experts have been trying to gauge how much damage he’s inflicting on democracy. The New Yorker wondered if the U.S. might be on the verge of a new civil war. Damaging the American political process has global ramifications. But an examination of other countries’ experiences shows that Trump may not be as successful in destroying U.S. norms and institutions as media coverage fearfully suggests. In many ways, he isn’t unique. A wave of authoritarian-leaning populists…

4 min.
trump will always be trump

After being dismissed from his job, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called it the end of an era—for the country, not just his career. “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he said. It’s the kind of self-aggrandizing comment to a reporter that contributed to his departure from the White House. It’s also probably wrong. Trump’s conduct of the presidency so far has reflected his own predispositions more than it has Bannon’s influence, and so the strategist’s departure is unlikely to change it as dramatically as he expects. Trump didn’t campaign on standard Republican views. In contrast to other GOP politicians, he was more hostile to foreign trade, skeptical of overseas interventions, opposed to immigration, supportive of entitlements, and enthusiastic about infrastructure spending. These views attracted…

5 min.
why costco is lagging online

Costco Wholesale Corp. first went online in November 1998, the same year a dot-com upstart called Amazon.com Inc. branched out from books to music and DVDs. Retail giants Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had yet to make their initial forays onto the web. Since then, Amazon has surged ahead to dominate e-commerce, and Wal-Mart and Target have invested billions to develop their own digital chops. Meanwhile, online bulk-shopping upstart Boxed.com is mimicking Costco’s warehouse approach—only without the stores. But during all those years, Costco.com just plodded along, growing no faster than the broader online retail market and lacking elements that have become commonplace among web merchants, such as in-store order pickup and an active social media presence. That obstinacy has paid off—for now. In both June and July, Costco’s sales growth…

5 min.
a few tweaks to keep pharma profits rolling

In the remote forests of northern Sweden, Anders Svenningsson’s multiple sclerosis patients have benefited from a drug he’s been prescribing for the past eight years. It doesn’t require weekly injections; doesn’t leave patients feeling achy and feverish; and, most important, halts their disease. That drug, Rituxan—originally developed to treat cancer—has become Sweden’s most prescribed medicine for MS, in which the body attacks its own central nervous system. Swedish doctors have great freedom to prescribe treatments they believe are appropriate, but few MS patients elsewhere can get the drug. That’s because its maker, Roche Holding AG, has never tried to sell it for the disease. Instead, Roche this year introduced an almost identical medication that it markets under a new name and at 10 times the cost. The tale of the two…

4 min.
a fashion empire’s new clothes

It’s been a banner year for clothing at Louis Vuitton. Shoppers queuing for a streetwear collection developed with the cult New York brand Supreme; red-carpet appearances by actresses Michelle Williams and Isabelle Huppert wearing the brand; runway shows by star designer Nicolas Ghesquière at dramatic venues including the Louvre and the Miho Museum in Japan. All of this has pushed Louis Vuitton’s apparel business into the spotlight. The brand also is enjoying a blast of media exposure as France’s new first lady, Brigitte Macron, wears Vuitton at almost all her public appearances. “Ready-to-wear is our fastest-growing category,” says Michael Burke, Vuitton’s chief executive officer. But don’t expect Vuitton to shift away from its iconic monogrammed handbags. There’s a simple reason: High-end clothes are famously unprofitable. The expense of producing collections, staging…