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Bloomberg Businessweek 2/5/2018

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

4 min
in brief

Europe ● Jan. 31 was a big day for Big Oil: France’s Total, in partnership with U.S.-based Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell unlocked major discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, while BP said it found two new drilling spots in the North Sea. The same day, the U.S. reported that it had produced more than 10 million barrels a day for the first time in 47 years. ● Czech President Milos Zeman narrowly won reelection on an anti-immigration platform. •“The list looks like the book Who’s Who in Russian Politics.” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, reacting to a roster of 210 prominent Russians released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The list describes who might be sanctioned in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. ● SAP agreed to buy Callidus…

7 min
we’ve been gamed

With the Winter Olympics set to kick off in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang, South Korea has welcomed a regime that only months ago was threatening to destroy it. North Korea has crashed the party, dispatching pop diva Hyon Song Wol and a cheerleading troupe, dubbed the “army of beauties,” as cultural emissaries. On Feb. 9, in a gesture designed to strike an emotional chord, a combined North-South team will march behind a Korean unity flag at the opening ceremony that will be broadcast worldwide. Such is the surreal state of play on the Korean Peninsula, thanks to a diplomatic gambit initiated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and embraced at the start of the year by North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Both sides are counting on sports…

2 min
take trump’s immigration plan seriously

Donald Trump has done something that’s eluded the Republican Party for almost a decade: He’s outlined the possibility of broad immigration reform. His immigration framework is far from perfect. But the fact that it’s being criticized by the extreme wing of his party should be taken as a sign of hope that it may be the basis for bipartisan discussion. Democrats should treat the proposal with more seriousness (and less derision) than they have so far. To be sure, there’s plenty wrong with the plan: wasting $25 billion for a wall and the veiled curbs on asylum. But the proposal is also an advance for the 700,000 so-called Dreamers—anything less than a path to citizenship would be unfair. And, in principle, it makes good economic sense to replace the U.S. emphasis on…

6 min
conglomerates don't work

In September 1967 the cover of Time magazine featured a grinning portrait of industrialist Harold Geneen underneath a banner headline declaring, “CONGLOMERATES: The New Business Giants.” It seemed appropriate for the era. During the ’60s, Geneen had used hundreds of acquisitions to build International Telephone & Telegraph Corp. into a dizzying collection of businesses—everything from Wonder Bread to Sheraton Hotels & Resorts to timberland giant Rayonier Inc., one of the largest private landowners in the U.S. ITT’s constituent parts had little in common beyond their parent. But after being heralded as the cutting-edge model of American business, the giant shrank. Over the next few decades, a series of splits and sales whittled away most traces of ITT, leaving what is today a smallish manufacturer of industrial and aerospace parts. To Jerry…

4 min
taylor swift wants her money back

Taylor Swift’s most recent tour was a success by every measure. Named after the best-selling album of her career, 1989, it grossed more than $250 million worldwide, the top tour of 2015. Critics raved about the production, with one going so far as to say it was “engineered to be the best night of your life.” Yet Swift felt something was missing—about $85 million in revenue that went to scalpers. Some 30 percent to 40 percent of tickets to the world’s top concerts are resold on secondary websites such as StubHub and SeatGeek. Many of those sales are by scalpers who believe people are willing to pay far more than the initial price to see stars of Swift’s magnitude; they double and sometimes triple the ticket price. Thousands of Swift’s die-hard…

6 min
dirty dancing meets asian gamblers

In the film Dirty Dancing, an against-all-odds love affair flourished during a 1960s summer at a resort in the Catskill Mountains, an area that was once the favored summer home for generations of Jewish New Yorkers. Now, if a billionaire from Malaysia has his way, a different group will be flocking to the so-called Borscht Belt: Asian tourists eager to try their luck at a casino tailored to their tastes. Empire Resorts Inc., controlled by Lim Kok Thay, chairman of Genting Bhd., on Feb. 8 will open Resorts World Catskills, a $1.2 billion casino, hotel, and entertainment complex at the site of the old Concord Hotel, the largest of the upstate New York resorts that helped launch the careers of Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Sid Caesar, and other comedians. For the Genting…