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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 1/30/2017

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
time to debate arctic drilling again

Far above the Arctic Circle, one of the longest-running controversies in U.S. oil is about to reignite. Republicans are pushing to allow exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the frigid wilderness in northern Alaska that’s been a political battleground for drillers and conservationists for decades. With the party in control of Congress and President Donald Trump vowing to boost energy production—on Jan. 24 he moved to advance the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines—the industry’s chances of getting into the refuge look better than they have in years. There’s just one catch. No one really knows how much oil actually lies beneath the refuge or how much big producers such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips care about it in a world awash in cheap oil. While the government estimates the…

3 min
see the light

Why are these a thing now? The technology behind infrared saunas isn’t new, but the buzz around them has been growing since 2009, when Dr. Mehmet Oz went on The Oprah Winfrey Show and extolled their benefits. (No, audience members didn’t receive free infrared saunas.) Since then, gyms, spas, and wellness centers across the country have been installing the rooms. Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed them in her lifestyle publication, Goop, and power couple Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux installed one in their home gym. Does this really work? A 2012 study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health found traces of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in participants’ sweat and concluded that “sweating deserves consideration for toxic element detoxification.” As far as infrared’s particular effectiveness, there’s no scientific evidence. But many people find…

6 min
the incredible shrinking state

On a recent morning in Baton Rouge, a thousand miles from where Senate Democrats were jousting with Donald Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about whether humans are warming the planet, the future of U.S. climate policy was being crafted in a small room in the east wing of the Louisiana Capitol. The state’s 7,700-mile shoreline is disappearing at the fastest rate in the country. Officials had gathered to consider a method of deciding which communities to save—and which to abandon to the Gulf of Mexico. Bren Haase, chief of planning for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), was presenting his team’s updated Coastal Master Plan. Five years in the making and comprising 6,000 pages of text and appendices, the document details $50 billion in investments over…

32 min
how uber and airbnb fought city halls, won over the citizenry, outlasted rivals, and figured out the sharing economy

In January 2009 the three founders of a little-known website called Airbedandbreakfast.com decided at the last minute to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama. Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk were all in their mid-20s and had no tickets to the festivities, or winter clothes, or even a firm grasp of the week’s schedule. But they saw an opportunity. Their online home-sharing company had limped along for more than a year with little to show for it. Now the eyes of the world would be on the nation’s capital, and they wanted to take advantage. They found a cheap crash pad in D.C., an apartment in a drafty three-floor house near Howard University that, like so many other homes during that desperate time, was in foreclosure. The rooms were unfurnished…

4 min
peddling weed like it’s coca-cola

Visit a dispensary in one of the 28 states that legally sell marijuana, and you’re likely to find products with street-smart monikers such as God’s Green Crack, Super Lemon Haze, or Skywalker. That’s all about to change as a new breed of ganjapreneurs swoop into the fledgling industry. In a classic consumer products move, they’re getting rid of the stoner slang and replacing it with supermarket-friendly names that purport to help customers live better. Their message: Weed is no longer just for getting high. It’s to help you through your stress, to ease you into sleep, and to get you in the mood for love. In other words, these marketers want to transform the image of marijuana so that it competes with scores of products already in liquor stores, supermarkets, and…

4 min
nato makes it rain

Donald Trump is right when he says America’s allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization aren’t paying their fair share. Just 5 of the 28 member states have devoted 2 percent of gross domestic product to defense as stipulated in NATO’s guidelines: the U.S., the U.K., Greece, Poland, and Estonia. But, to the delight of the arms industry, the Europeans may be revising their views. Trump himself is the change-maker. Although not famous for his policy consistency, his positions on NATO have held fairly steady—leaving European leaders wondering whether they can still rely on the American security umbrella. “Let’s not fool ourselves,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Jan. 12. “There is no infinite guarantee.” Germany and many other European nations are finally boosting military budgets. The plans have been around since…