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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 5/8/2017

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
in ads we trust

Google and Facebook have idealistic visions for our future. But first they’d like you to click In 2011 a young computer scientist named Jeff Hammerbacher said something profound while explaining why he’d decided to leave Facebook—and the promise of a small fortune—to start a company. “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” he said. “That sucks.” Hammerbacher was getting at the idea that so many of the world’s best and brightest people flocking to Silicon Valley for jobs at companies such as Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. might be an unhealthy use of human capital. Sure, these companies offered plenty of interesting work, but much of it revolved around the core business of advertising. Very smart people were pouring their energy into an unromantic…

2 min
may should go easy on brexit promises

British Prime Minister Theresa May recently surprised the country—and most of her ministers—by calling an election for early June. Up against self-imposed deadlines, and anxious to increase her majority in Parliament, she’s scrambling to devise a policy platform. With Brexit looming, this isn’t a normal election, and the usual litany of detailed proposals won’t serve. For the purposes of this manifesto and this election, less is more. May needs to set out her basic approach to the Brexit talks, but she can’t afford to get too specific because she has a weak hand and will have to give way on many issues. What she can do, though, is set out the principles that will guide her team: Britain should seek the closest possible relationship with the European Union while recovering its powers…

2 min
leaky pipes are a fixable climate threat

An invisible, underappreciated source of greenhouse gases is right in America’s front yards: leaking pipes that carry gas into people’s homes. The good news is scientists have devised a clever way to find these leaks by attaching methane detectors to car bumpers—they’ve used Google Street View photography cars—and driving along city streets. It’s a strategy that natural gas utilities should use to monitor their networks and seal the biggest leaks. Utility companies and their state regulators’ primary concern is leaks that threaten to explode. Even rather large leaks are often considered “nonhazardous” if they’re venting into the air through someone’s front lawn or cracks in the sidewalk. But leaked natural gas—largely methane—is a hazardous greenhouse gas. Although it’s not as ubiquitous as carbon dioxide and remains in the air for only about…

3 min

Ups • The value of a bitcoin surged to a record $1,481 on May 2. The juice came from Japan, which recently deemed the digital currency a legal form of payment. • Oscar Mayer said it will no longer add nitrates and artificial preservatives to its hot dogs. Sales of chilled processed meat slipped 2 percent last year. • Yum! Brands beat profit estimates in the first quarter, as its Taco Bell unit increased same-store sales by 8 percent. A new offering from the Mexican chain: fried chicken nuggets shaped like tortilla chips. • IAC/ InterActiveCorp agreed to buy Angie’s List for $500 million, a 44 percent premium to the contractor-search service’s recent value. Angie’s List will be combined with IAC’s HomeAdvisor unit. • South Korean presidential candidates with cards reading “Let’s vote” before an…

7 min
why mexico’s autoworkers aren’t prospering

At a ceremony at Mexico’s Los Pinos presidential residence in July 2014, BMW Chief Executive Officer Harald Krüger pledged to spend $1 billion to build a factory in the northern state of San Luis Potosí that will employ 1,500 workers. To mark the occasion, he presented President Enrique Peña Nieto with a model of a silver BMW race car. The German automaker had unwrapped its own gift two days earlier, a labor contract signed by a representative from the state chapter of the Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM), the country’s largest union confederation, and notarized by a Labor Ministry official. The document, which Bloomberg reviewed, sets a starting wage of about $1.10 per hour and a top wage of $2.53 for assembly-line workers. The starting rate is only a bit…

4 min
iranian voters want a share of the wealth

Aryan, a 26-year-old with a master’s degree in engineering, showed impeccable timing when he returned home to Tehran from Canada. It was early 2016, and a decade of economic sanctions was drawing to an end, boosting Iran’s economy and kicking off a scramble for the country’s small pool of white-collar professionals. The job offers piled up. “Abroad, you’re a small fish in a big pond,” says Aryan as he unwinds in a garden cafe after a day spent drafting investment strategies for clients of the European consulting firm he works for. (He asked that his last name and the name of his employer be withheld.) “Here, each person can be the first to launch something or become a leader in their field.” The thriving metropolitan upper-middle class that Aryan represents is…