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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 8/13/2018

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

1 min

▶ Time’s Nearly Up for a Brexit Deal U.K. and EU negotiators meet again on Aug. 16 and 17 to hash out Britain’s exit from the European bloc before Prime Minister Theresa May’s self-imposed October deadline. Members of her government have offered conflicting assessments of the likelihood of reaching an agreement. ▶ Argentina’s ex-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, will testify about bribes allegedly paid to her and her late husband, President Néstor Kirchner. ▶ The deadline to file for candidacy in Brazil’s October presidential election is Aug. 15. Campaigning officially starts the following day. ▶ Chinese tech giant Tencent reports earnings for the second quarter on Aug. 15. The company has lost more than $150 billion in market value since January. ▶ As of Aug. 15, MoviePass subscribers, who formerly could see one film…

6 min
back to square one

In the runup to the Aug. 7 resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the country’s beleaguered president, Hassan Rouhani, got stern directives from a few corners of the Islamic Republic. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, urged him to deal with corruption. The powerful Revolutionary Guards commander told him to focus on Iran’s slumping currency, the rial, while a sizable chunk of Parliament summoned Rouhani to harangue him about the sinking economy. None of them, however, had any advice on how to ease the growing sense of despair and outrage in the streets. Over the past few weeks, record temperatures, power outages, and water shortages, along with a 50 percent rise in the price of some food items, have triggered scattered protests. One person was killed and 20 others detained in the…

5 min
a deeper pocket

“Sharing something with a crazy headline isn’t going to make it prominent in Pocket. Our platform just isn’t set up that way. It’s a lot slower” The jittery system of homepages, search engines, social networks, and content aggregators that helps people find topical things to read and watch online has spent 2018 readjusting to a dramatic disturbance. At the start of the year, facing a backlash over its role in spreading misinformation, Facebook Inc. announced that its News Feed would begin favoring posts by users’ friends and family over those posted by professional sources. The switch left publishers racing to find new sources of reader referrals and, where possible, wring more ad dollars from fewer clicks. Publishers tend to focus their pitches to advertisers or investors on how much time the audience…

2 min
build a better system

Examine Postal Votes Given the increase in mail-in voting—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state conduct all elections entirely by mail, and five California counties made the switch this year—experts recommend spot-checking requests for absentee ballots and completed ballots before processing them, to ensure each one was actually requested by the person named on the form. It’s easier for scammers to manipulate, say, thousands of mail-in ballots than to impersonate the same number of voters. Sampling ballots could reveal patterns of irregularities that would prompt wider investigation. Voter Receipts The Verified Voting Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for electoral reform, suggests using electronic voting machines that spit out paper receipts for voters, so they can review their choices before leaving the booth and make sure they were recorded accurately. This is a different type of…

6 min
private? or... private?

Not long ago, a brash entrepreneur whose once-beloved consumer brand had fallen on hard times announced a plan to take his company private. Completing the transaction—the purchase of Dell Inc. for $25 billion by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC—required countless meetings with special committees, activist shareholders, investment banks, management consultants, and at least four law firms. There were competing offers to consider, and a lawsuit from Carl Icahn to contend with. It took Dell six months just to announce the deal and another nine to close it in 2013. On Aug. 7, Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., appeared to pull off the same trick with a single tweet: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding Secured.” A buyout of Tesla at that price—almost 25…

1 min
the long fall

The launch of two zero-fee index funds comes after decades of increased competition on investment costs and fees and the rising popularity of passively managed funds. Even so, low costs haven’t fully democratized share ownership and the wealth it brings. After spiking in the 1990s, the share of households owning some equity has flattened out. 1975 Broker commissions for trading are fixed, complicated, and high. But on May 1—known as “Mayday” on Wall Street—fixed prices are eliminated. This opens the door for Charles Schwab and other discount brokers to start driving down prices. 1976 Vanguard introduces the first index mutual fund. It charged 0.43 percent of assets per year—10 times the cost of its cheapest retail share class now. 1988 Fidelity Investments gets into the game with its first index fund. 1993 State Street starts the first U.S.…