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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 5/15/2017

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

6 min
return of the strongman

The leadership style epitomized by politicians like Le Pen and Trump is popping up everywhereCan a single powerful personality solve problems democratic institutions can’t? To many political observers, Marine Le Pen’s defeat in the French presidential election halted a worrisome political trend in the developed world. However, the style of leadership she epitomized—along with Donald Trump and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan—continues to roll on around the world. The old-fashioned term “strongman” can be used to describe those who’ve adopted the style—with a difference. In the past, a strongman was a true dictator, someone like Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union or Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt who grabbed power through undemocratic means and then ruled over an authoritarian state. Today’s strongmen, by contrast, win real elections but then undermine democratic norms…

2 min
how to dispose of nuclear waste

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is right to say the U.S. needs a long-term solution for its massive nuclear waste problem. It also makes sense for Perry and some members of Congress to see Yucca Mountain as part of that solution—though many Nevadans promise to make sure it won’t be. But even if the Yucca option survives the political fight, it can’t be the only option for disposing of America’s spent nuclear fuel. More than 75,000 metric tons of the stuff are cooling in pools and casks at dozens of power-plant sites around the country. That’s already too much to fit at Yucca, and the total grows by more than 2,000 tons a year. Other strategies are needed, ideally ones that are less politically radioactive. Consider, for instance, the idea of sinking the…

2 min
the kushner roadshow in beijing

In Donald Trump’s White House, the conflicts of interest are vivid, varied, and globally expansive, and each day seems to bring more. Nicole Kushner Meyer, the sister of Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has been pitching the family business’s latest real estate venture, a luxury complex in New Jersey, to potential Chinese investors—and offering them a shot at a U.S. visa in return. Although the White House wasn’t involved, promotional material made quite clear whose sister was making the offer. One slide showed a photo of Trump, identifying him as a “key decision maker” on the visa program. Nothing was offered explicitly, but audience members surely got the hint. It’s common enough for U.S. developers to lure Chinese cash with such marketing. The EB-5 visa program, which offers a fast-track…

3 min

Ups • Wendy’s reported surprisingly strong results for its most recent quarter. The fast-food chain opened 33 restaurants globally and showed 1.6% growth in same-store sales from a year ago in North America. • Coach will acquire Kate Spade for $2.4b The handbag maker said it will likely pull Kate Spade merchandise from low-end retailers and flash-sale sites to bolster the brand’s image and fatten its profit margin. • Fireworks marked Russia’s 72nd annual Victory Day, celebrating the triumph over Nazi Germany. President Vladimir Putin used the holiday to call for international cooperation in fighting terrorism. • Moon Jae-in is South Korea’s new president. The human-rights lawyer has pledged to push for peace with North Korea and to crack down on corruption stemming from close ties between politicians and the chaebol, family-run conglomerates. • Centrist…

6 min
faces of the venezuelan exodus

The newest members of the Venezuelan diaspora can be found every Friday at the Value Store It Self Storage in Doral, Fla. On the fluorescent-bright fourth floor, four units are stacked to the ceiling with donated sheet sets, towels, dishes, toys, clothes, and, on this day, 60 boxes of floral slip-on women’s shoes. The recipients begin arriving at 2 p.m.: a public accountant and his journalist wife, a veterinarian, a registered nurse with her baby and 10-year-old daughter in tow. All have been in the U.S. for mere months. “I didn’t know there were places like this,” says Idianna Diaz, the nurse, who started to cry after collecting some kitchenware and a microwave. They’re mostly young, educated professionals and have been arriving in greater numbers as they flee political persecution or…

5 min
how to launder a russian

In Limassol, on the southern coast of Cyprus, shop signs in Cyrillic outnumber those in Greek, the local language. Yachts emblazoned with Russian names fill berths at a newly built marina. Just past the office of radio station Russkaya Volna, restaurants lining the boardwalk serve pelmeni (dumplings) with—what else?—vodka. Cyprus has long been a haven for Russians seeking to shield assets from their government’s prying eyes. Limassol’s status as Moscow-on-the-Mediterranean was already under threat from a global crackdown on tax evasion when a banking crisis erupted in 2013. Since then the tiny European Union member’s efforts to attract foreign investors have given rise to a more sophisticated way to camouflage questionable funds: If you can’t launder a Russian’s cash, why not launder the Russian himself? Under a program introduced a decade ago…