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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek 8/20/2018

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

2 min
in brief

● Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million in a lawsuit over its Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers. A California jury determined that the company hadn’t done enough to warn consumers that the main ingredient, glyphosate, can cause cancer. The Aug. 10 verdict may embolden thousands more potential plaintiffs. Shares of Bayer, which closed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in June, swooned as much as 14 percent the next day of trading. The company plans to appeal the decision. ● The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Tesla on Aug. 15. The demand for information came after CEO Elon Musk’s Aug. 7 tweet saying he was considering taking the company private. Both the SEC and Tesla declined to comment. ● A grand jury found that more than 300 Pennsylvania priests covered up…

2 min
making sanctions work

The Trump administration’s new sanctions against Russia, imposed in response to the poisoning in the U.K. of a former Russian spy and his daughter, are welcome. They are also confusing, contrasting as they do the words and behavior of President Donald Trump himself, who has repeatedly and publicly lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin. One hopes the real U.S. strategy is to stand strong against Russia’s transgressions. But unless Trump speaks forcefully, no amount of punishment will deter Putin from his agenda. The Trump administration has found many ways to push back against Russia. It’s built on sanctions begun by Barack Obama, approved the sale of so-called lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, struck Syrian military sites after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, and expelled scores of Russian diplomats from…

1 min

▶ The Calm Before the Storms Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, the most active period begins on Aug. 20 and typically peaks in mid-September. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts as many as 13 storms this year, down from 17 in 2017. ▶ On Aug. 20, Venezuela will lop five zeros off denominations of the bolívar and peg its value to its Petro cryptocurrency in a bid to quell hyperinflation. ▶ Cigna shareholders are likely to approve its purchase of Express Scripts on Aug. 24, now that investor Carl Icahn has dropped his opposition. ▶ Honda begins a recall of more than 300,000 vehicles in China on Aug. 20 to fix flaws in some engines and braking systems. ▶ Liberal groups plan rallies for Aug.…

9 min
the turkish contagion

The hurt that President Trump laid on Turkey on Aug. 10 was feather-light—a doubling of tariffs on imported Turkish steel and aluminum. Turkey sells only about $1.4 billion in primary metals to the U.S. in an average year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. So the new levies will reduce the country’s gross domestic product by just about 0.04 percent. And that’s assuming Turkish mills and smelters have to cut prices by 25 percent to retain their American customers—the hit will be even less if the Turks find customers in other nations that aren’t jamming it with high tariffs. So why did a 0.04 percent slap on the wrist—more of a tap, really—cause the Turkish lira to plummet; prompt President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to complain of “economic warfare”; push down the…

6 min
amazon has youtube envy

YouTube has become synonymous with online video and the lucrative advertising that it commands.Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch streaming site is the go-to place for the much smaller audience of video gaming enthusiasts. Now, in a bid to grab a larger slice of the online advertising pie, Amazon has decided to aggressively broaden the programming on Twitch to take on its video rival. Amazon in recent months has been pursuing exclusive livestreaming deals with dozens of popular media companies and personalities, many with large followings on YouTube. Twitch is offering minimum guarantees of as much as a few million dollars a year, as well as a share of future advertising sales and subscription revenue, according to several people who’ve been contacted by Twitch. The company has approached everyone from lifestyle influencer Gigi Gorgeous to…

3 min
don’t blame us, blame climate change

In late July and August, wildfires devastated an area north of San Francisco far bigger than New York City. They’re part of a rash of fast-spreading blazes that have killed at least 57 people this year and last in the Golden State. Authorities haven’t yet determined the cause of some of the fires, but the region’s giant utility, PG&E Corp., sees a culprit: climate change. The blazes in recent years, it contends, are the latest example of how global warming has produced unusually hot, dry conditions that spawn more frequent and intense fires. “Climate change is no longer coming, it’s here,” Geisha Williams, chief executive officer of PG&E, said in an email. “And we are living with it every day.” California’s biggest utility has an especially compelling reason to link the…