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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 5/29/2017

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
brazil's carwash scandal

Most Brazilians hope Lava Jato will be a crossroads for change. But sadly, that’s been said of most Brazilian scandals In U.S. history, entire cities and states have been branded corrupt: Think Richard J. Daley’s Chicago or Huey Long’s Louisiana. But amid even the worst federal scandals, Watergate included, the country has never been nationally profiled as crooked—a venal society from coast to coast, from dogcatcher to commander-in-chief. Brazil feels that way right now, largely the result of a bribery scandal of Amazonian proportions known in Portuguese as Lava Jato, or Operation Car Wash, believed to be the largest corruption case in modern history. The multibillion-dollar tsunami of sleaze barreling through Latin America’s largest country and economy is deeper and broader than any Trump-Russia allegations pouring out of Washington. And it…

2 min
don’t scrap nafta, improve it

Donald Trump has frequently denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement, promising either to renegotiate it with extreme prejudice or terminate it altogether. On May 18 his administration served official notice that he’s serious, notifying Congress that it intends to start negotiations with Canada and Mexico in 90 days. So is Nafta as good as doomed? Maybe not. The agreement can easily be changed in ways that enlarge rather than shrink opportunities for mutually beneficial trade—and there’s reason to hope that this might actually happen. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s letter to Congress is far from belligerent. It proposes “modernization” of the agreement, with new provisions on digital trade, intellectual-property rights, labor and environmental standards, regulatory measures, and so on. There’s no suggestion of higher tariffs. Lighthizer told reporters, “As a starting…

1 min
for the u.s., a big stake in africa’s success

The Trump administration shows little interest in sub-Saharan Africa beyond terrorism. That’s a mistake. The U.S. has a stake in Africa’s broader stability and prosperity. Since taking office, Trump has left senior Africa-policy positions unfilled and has had only brief phone conversations with three African leaders. Those calls stressed counterterrorism and security. Trump’s preliminary budget for the next fiscal year squeezes U.S. aid programs in Africa more than in any other region, cutting humanitarian funding at a time of extreme need and eliminating cultural exchange and other so-called soft-power programs. His reinstatement of the rule banning funding for aid groups that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” will also hit Africa hard. Given the threat posed by Islamist militants across the region, the commander of U.S. defense…

3 min

Ups • Fidelity Investments said it would integrate bitcoin and other digital currencies into its suite of services for retail investors. Fidelity also disclosed its own bitcoinmining operation, and that it allows employees to use it in the company cafeteria. • Huntsman and Clariant have agreed to a $14 billion merger, as both companies seek pricing power for their industrial chemicals. Together they employ 32,000. • The Trump administration unveiled a budget on May 23 that calls for $469b in additional discretionary defense spending in the coming decade … • Zhejiang Geely Holding Group agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in long-struggling Lotus Cars for $66 million. The Chinese owner of Volvo also acquired almost half of Malaysia’s Proton. • Stephen Colbert was cleared of wrongdoing by the Federal Communications Commission after a profanity-tinged…

6 min
iran’s islamic evolution

Maryam was 22 days old when Iranians dethroned their king in 1979. The Islamic regime that followed—with its black and brown robes, covered heads, and dour religiosity—was “just a fact” of life, she says. “We never thought about anything different, because we hadn’t seen anything else.” Thirty-eight years later, that acceptance is wearing thin. The May 19 presidential vote—and the jubilant street celebrations that followed the reelection of President Hassan Rouhani, the nearest thing to a liberal allowed onto the ballot—showed an Iranian society much changed since the days of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution and unwilling to turn back. “One of my teachers used to tell us that if any strand of your hair showed, you would be hung up by it,” says Maryam, who like others interviewed for this…

6 min
the race to lead south africa is on

Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s embattled president, still has two years left in his term, but for most business leaders, labor unionists, and even some of his own party’s most venerated leaders, he can’t go soon enough. The campaign to succeed him is already in full swing. The contest will likely be decided in December, when the ruling African National Congress meets to choose a new leader, who’ll also be the party’s candidate in 2019 elections. The front-runners are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former chairwoman of the African Union Commission. While Zuma is constitutionally barred from serving a third term, he has a vested interest in the succession race: He may be reliant on his replacement to shield him from graft charges that were dropped weeks before he became president…