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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 5/22/2017

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

7 min
would you let this man run your company?

In Washington, people struggling to come to terms with all the details of James Comey’s sacking and the claim that Donald Trump asked him to drop the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn have reached back to Watergate for comparison. But in many ways the more appropriate perspective is through a business lens: The immediate issue is whether a boss tried to halt embarrassing revelations about his company; the underlying one is whether he knows how to run it. Of course, running a country is not the same as running a company. A president is both more constrained (by Congress, the press, and voters) and less so (chief executive officers, as a rule, can’t bomb their opponents). And Trump is not the first incoming president to have boasted of his corporate experience;…

6 min
what we saw is what we’ve got

Donald Trump promised he’d be a different kind of president, and he’s certainly delivered. He’s not one of those politicians who campaigns as one sort of person and then governs as quite another. While voters were weighing him as a possible president, he made it clear that he saw the norms of American politics and government as contemptible. He showed himself to have excellent instincts—or at least an eye for the main chance—but not to be interested in the details of public policy or inclined to listen to those who are. A small circle of family and close friends were the only people whose counsel he took to heart. He had no guiding political principles but placed immense value on personal loyalty to him. His words weren’t meant to be taken…

3 min

Ups • A reformist candidate has pulled out of Iran’s May 19 presidential election to clear the way for moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani, who’s seeking a second term. His main challenger is conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi. • Ride-hailing service Lyft struck a deal to test its self-driving cars with Alphabet’s Waymo, which is also a self-driving lab for General Motors. • Online mattress giant Casper Sleep will sell its sheets and pillows in 1,200 Target stores. The company says lack of consumer awareness is still its biggest barrier to growth. • Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is rejoining the company in a new role focused on culture. He sold his image-search startup, Jelly, to Pinterest two months ago. • A pair of pink-and-blue diamond earrings fetched a record $57m at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on…

7 min
your money or your data!

On the morning of May 12, computer systems were held for ransom as a cyberattack on companies and critical infrastructure began to pinball around the world, rolling through Spain’s Telefónica SA, French carmaker Renault SA, and Russia’s interior ministry and crippling U.K. hospitals. The rogue code has reached more than 300,000 computers that run on Microsoft Windows in thousands of companies in 150 countries. It all sounds grim. In fact, we’ve been lucky. The WannaCry ransomware, the code in question, was fairly shoddy work. It achieves the basics: spreading through the computers on a network, encrypting everything on the machines, and demanding payment to return the contents to their original form. But it can’t evade investigators the way sophisticated malware can—which is designed to avoid systems used to test for dangerous…

4 min
it’s merkel 3, schulz 0 in german campaign

Shortly after Angela Merkel launched her campaign for a fourth term last winter, the German chancellor appeared to be running out of steam. Her open-door policy toward refugees—1.3 million of whom have arrived in the country since 2015—was driving some voters into the arms of the far-right nationalist Alternative for Germany party. On the left, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) was reinvigorated by the arrival of Martin Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament in Brussels who barnstormed the country to enthusiastic crowds seeking a fresh face. And with Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the wave of populism sweeping the globe, Merkel was looking increasingly isolated at home and abroad. After a February meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party in Munich,…

6 min
the mystery of tepid wage growth

The U.S. economy is behaving mysteriously. Usually wage growth accelerates when the job market is tight: Employers have to pay more to attract and retain workers. But even though the unemployment rate hit a decade low of 4.4 percent in April, average hourly earnings grew just 2.3 percent over the past year—compared with an annual rate of more than 4 percent the last time the jobless rate was this low. What has happened to the historical, and seemingly logical, link between unemployment and wages? A lot of people want to know, including the policymakers at the Federal Reserve, who’d ordinarily be raising interest rates much more than they have to prevent a wage-price inflation spiral. In the absence of a single convincing explanation, here are eight theories. One is that the Phillips…