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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 12/19/2016

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

7 min
how climate rules might fade away

In February 2009, a month after Barack Obama took office, two academics sat across from each other in the White House mess hall. Over a club sandwich, Michael Greenstone, a White House economist, and Cass Sunstein, Obama’s top regulatory officer, decided that the executive branch needed to figure out how to estimate the economic damage from climate change. With the recession in full swing, they were rightly skeptical about the chances that Congress would pass a nationwide cap-and-trade bill. Greenstone and Sunstein knew they needed a Plan B: a way to regulate carbon emissions without going through Congress. Over the next year, a team of economists, scientists, and lawyers from across the federal government convened to come up with a dollar amount for the economic cost of carbon emissions. Whatever value…

2 min
keeping the deal and cracking down on iran

As a candidate, Donald Trump said his “No. 1 priority” was to dismantle the “disastrous” nuclear deal with Iran. Tempting as that may be, he should resist. Instead, the man who fancies himself the world’s greatest negotiator should use U.S. leverage to hold Iran to the letter of the agreement. This is the hard work of diplomacy, which takes place mostly out of public view and off Twitter. At least Trump’s job will be made easier by Congress, which just extended the Iran Sanctions Act, allowing the U.S. to punish Iranian entities involved with terrorism, illegal weapons, and human-rights violations. Trump can and should also end the de facto policy of looking the other way at Iran’s early infringements of the pact, such as the recent revelation that it had exceeded…

2 min
making america (measurably) great

Is there a way to measure a country’s overall success? Gross domestic product indicates how well the economy is working. Labor force participation rates and median wages are a gauge of how workers are faring. Newer measures of happiness, pride, and other intangibles may fill in some details. There’s one metric, however, that speaks volumes about how well a country or society operates: life expectancy. Last year average life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the first time since 1993, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That should come as a wake-up call. The CDC report doesn’t say what’s causing the decline, but it offers three clues. Life span declined only among the non-elderly. The cause of death that increased most, after Alzheimer’s, was unintentional injury.…

3 min

Ups • America’s first offshore wind farm started spinning near the coast of Rhode Island. The five turbines, developed by Deepwater Wind and sourced from General Electric, will generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes. • Team Trump drafted a few more players. The president-elect tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, former Texas Governor Rick Perry as energy secretary, and Montana Representative Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior. Donald Trump met with Kanye West but did not pick him for a cabinet position. • Google spun off Waymo, its seven-year-old self-driving car unit. In San Francisco, Uber started picking up passengers in self-driving cars, expanding a pilot program that began in Pittsburgh. • Goldman Sachs’s Gary Cohn is giving up the COO job to become Trump’s chief economic adviser. It…

6 min
wanted: forklift driver ***also wanted: forklift

All Paul Heinauer wants is a few good auto-glass installers, no experience necessary. The only requirements are mechanical aptitude, a clean driving record, U.S. citizenship or a green card, friendliness, and honesty; pay starts at $12 an hour and goes up to $70,000 a year including overtime and bonuses. So few people are applying that Heinauer, the owner of Glasspro in North Charleston, S.C., went to Blessed Sacrament Church in Charleston on Dec. 11 to make a pitch after the Spanish-language Mass. “I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to recruit within the last year,” he says. Futurists have been saying for a while that the U.S. is hurtling toward a jobless economy, with driverless long-haul trucks and cashier-free brick-and-mortar Amazon stores. Someday, maybe. Right now the problem isn’t too…

5 min
south korea tries to curb the chaebol

Even before South Korean prosecutors tied the chaebol to the influence-peddling scandal that culminated with the Dec. 9 impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, 2016 was a year to forget for the conglomerates that dominate the economy. The country’s biggest container line, Hanjin Shipping, filed for bankruptcy protection in August, stranding an estimated $14 billion of goods at sea. The top automaker, Hyundai Motor, suffered 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) in lost production from labor disputes, including a three-week wage strike in September and October. Prosecutors in October indicted five members of retail giant Lotte Group’s founding family, including Chairman Shin Dong-bin, on charges including tax evasion and embezzlement. In the most embarrassing setback, mighty Samsung Electronics in October killed its Note 7 smartphone after the handsets kept exploding or catching…