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Bloomberg Businessweek 1/15/2018

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

3 min
in brief

Asia ● China ordered local governments to crack down on bitcoin miners, urging them to make an “orderly exit” from the cryptocurrency craze. ● Iranian security forces arrested almost 4,000 protesters and blocked access to social networks, as demonstrations over the country’s economy and human rights record reached a head. At least 21 people have been killed in clashes with police. • “It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that inter-Korean relations have been frozen more than the natural weather.” North Korean negotiator Ri Son Gwon opened talks with South Korean officials with a joke about the freezing temperatures outside. In the course of the daylong meeting, North Korea said it would send a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, and the two nations issued a joint statement promising further high-level communications. ● A heat…

7 min
investors are terrified of missing the market “melt-up”

Make no mistake, fear is running amok on Wall Street these days—fear of missing out. As the S&P 500 got off to its best start to a year since 1999 and the Dow Jones industrial average topped 25,000, it’s clear that fear of missing out—FOMO—has jumped to the top of the fear charts with a bullet. It’s risen above worries about North Korea’s “Rocket Man” and the unpredictable U.S. president who revels in provoking him. It’s blown past lingering concerns about the European Union coming apart at the seams. It’s even eclipsing the most popular talking point of fear merchants everywhere: marketwide valuations that in many cases are approaching the highest they’ve ever been. Is this such a bad thing? Maybe yes, probably no. Unlike other FOMO-driven rallies of the distant and…

2 min
britain’s unavoidable health-care choice

Can a relatively low-tax country run a high-quality, taxpayer-funded health service that’s free to all? A look at Britain’s National Health Service suggests the answer is no. The NHS is good at some things but bad, bordering on disastrous, at others. Its great virtue is truly universal coverage, no questions asked—and by international standards, the system is also cheap to run. As a result, though, it’s perpetually short of money, and the service is erratic. Today the NHS is yet again dealing with a financial crisis and a surge of complaints about standards. Prime Minister Theresa May has had to apologize to patients for a winter breakdown that’s seen operations postponed and emergency room waiting times rise well over the promised four-hour maximum. That comes a year after the British Red Cross…

5 min
slowest rollout ever

Businessweek.com When Elon Musk first unveiled the Tesla Model 3 sedan in March 2016, consumers stood in long lines at showrooms to place $1,000 deposits, giving Musk an iPhone moment unprecedented in the auto industry. When people stand in line at an Apple Store, they typically walk away with a new phone; the all-electric Model 3 had yet to be built. Overwhelming demand inspired Musk to announce in a May 2016 letter to shareholders that he was advancing Tesla Inc.’s production plans by two years: It would build a total of half a million cars annually by the end of 2018, rather than 2020—a fivefold production boost in just two years. For Tesla, which had no experience manufacturing cars in high volume, the already steep production learning curve suddenly looked like a…

4 min
will amazon give cosmetics a makeover?

For beauty companies, image is everything. For Amazon.com Inc.—which made a name for itself based on assortment, price, and speedy delivery—not so much. In fact, some beauty brands see the internet giant’s way of doing business as an affront to glamour itself. With its utilitarian website—a scroll of endless products on white backgrounds—Amazon doesn’t carry the prestige that companies such as Estée Lauder Cos. and Coty Inc. want for their premium brands. The cosmetics makers have instead focused on their own sites and retailers where they can tightly control presentation and pricing. Yet with Amazon expanding into every corner of retailing, these brands may have to reverse that strategy quickly—or risk losing a high-growth opportunity that could offset declining foot traffic at physical stores. They also could boost profits by selling…

5 min
ikea tries breaking out of the big box

Whether in San Diego, Novosibirsk, or Tokyo, the Ikea experience is nearly as standardized as its flat packs. The blue-and-yellow big box, the vast showroom maze, the Swedish meatballs in the cafeteria—this formula propelled Ikea to global No. 1 in furniture retailing, with €38.3 billion ($45.7 billion) in sales and more than 400 stores in 49 countries. There are no meatballs in Ikea’s newest London outlet, part of a shopping mall in an urban neighborhood near the 2012 Olympics complex. One of two dozen small-scale stores that Ikea has opened since 2015, it measures only 900 square meters (9,688 square feet), while the typical suburban Ikea is almost 30 times that size. It has a few model rooms fitted out with furniture and accessories, but hardly anything can be purchased and…