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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 1/16/2017

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.

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

4 min
an oily reset in u.s.-russia relations

In the early 2000s, the Russian and U.S. presidents, Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush, decided it was time their two countries had a closer relationship. The obvious place to start was the oil industry. The U.S. was importing almost twice as much crude as it produced and wanted to diversify away from Middle Eastern suppliers. Russia’s vast, untapped reserves of oil needed two things U.S. companies had plenty of: money and technology. In October 2002 the inaugural U.S.-Russia Commercial Energy Summit convened in Houston. Over two days, members of both governments and executives from 70 oil and gas companies mingled and talked business. Eleven months later, a second summit was held in St. Petersburg, where the focus was on improving the climate for energy investment in Russia. A closer relationship…

6 min
tfw your country’s shredding money and you own a payment app

“There are the digitally savvy, and then there are those who do not even own a cell phone. For many of them, it is not just a leapfrog, but a triple leapfrog.”——Vijay Shekhar Sharma The founder and chief executive officer of India’s largest digital-payments company has barely slept and is nursing a head cold. Having just arrived at Paytm’s office in Noida, about 15 miles south of New Delhi, Vijay Shekhar Sharma discovers the coffee machine is broken. With no time to send out for java, he settles for tea and plunges into a vortex of meetings—parsing a government circular on mobile card swipe services, discussing a team member’s appointment with the central bank the next day, and reviewing new app designs. It’s barely an hour into a mid-December workday. Sharma is…

4 min
when a startup means a fresh start

The California City Correctional Center, a medium-security lockup for 2,145 in the high desert north of Los Angeles, isn’t going to be confused with Disneyland. Still, a small program here sometimes produces a similar kind of whispered awe. In the U.S., most parolees are rearrested within a year. But the recidivism rate is just 3 percent among those who’ve gotten tech industry and entrepreneur training from Defy Ventures, a nonprofit that also works to finance businesses for some of the ex-cons who’ve gone through its program at California City. “That’s unheard of,” Chief Executive Officer Catherine Hoke isn’t too modest to point out. Hoke’s six-year-old nonprofit has sent a small army of volunteers from tech companies and venture capital firms, plus a team of dedicated staffers, to teach Startup 101 to about…

17 min
saving coal country

Jim Justice—6 feet 7 inches, 375 pounds, rumpled in the extreme—has the friendly, shambling demeanor of a high school basketball coach, which he’s been for decades. He’s also the richest man in West Virginia, with holdings in coal, timber, and tourism. This year he decided to run for governor—his second race for political office after a successful bid 17 years ago for a county school board seat. He ran as a Democrat, but kept his distance from Hillary Clinton and boasted of his friendship with Donald Trump. Justice and Trump have similarities beyond their reputations as iconoclastic billionaires: Both own real estate that’s part of an intricate web of businesses run with assistance from adult children. Both refused to disclose their tax returns. And both vowed they’d somehow revive West…

3 min
in mexico, pricier gas lures the gangs

“How long will it take you to get here?” Panchito, a gasoline thief, shouts into his cell phone at a truck driver headed his way. “I’ve got 12 canisters filled with diesel just for you.” “I’ll be there in about an hour,” replies the driver, known by his nickname, El Chile Verde. “I’m just leaving Mexico City now.” Panchito sells stolen fuel from the side of a highway outside Mexico City. He declined to give his last name. He says demand for his services will only grow after the government raised fuel prices as much as 20 percent on New Year’s Day—the most in almost two decades. The price hike brings to an end years of subsidies that kept gasoline cheap for drivers—but at an estimated annual cost of 200 billion pesos ($9…

4 min
bloomberg view

A New Attack on Abortion Rights The latest assault comes in a recommendation restricting medical research on fetal tissue So far the new Republican Congress has proved better at identifying things it doesn’t like—Obamacare, for example, or an independent ethics office—than actually getting rid of them. On one issue, however, Congress may yet get its way: abortion. On Dec. 30, a House panel issued a report recommending that the federal government restrict or end medical science performed with human fetal tissue. With a Republican majority in Congress and Tom Price, a staunch abortion opponent, about to take over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there’s a real possibility this proposal could become policy. And the goal here, to be clear, is to limit abortion. When the federal government funds research on…