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Bloomberg Businessweek 12/24/2018

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.

United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues


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in brief

Stocks fell and bond prices rose on Dec. 19 after the Federal Reserve lifted its target rate a quarter point and predicted “some further gradual increases.” President Trump had asked the Fed not to raise. Chairman Jerome Powell said, “Nothing will deter us from doing what we think is the right thing to do.” A United Nations conference in Poland backed the targets of the Paris climate accord signed three years ago—and since shunned by President Donald Trump. Malaysia turned up the heat on Goldman Sachs Group Inc., filing the first criminal charges against the U.S. bank in relation to a global corruption probe surrounding the 1MDB scandal. Goldman has blamed rogue employees for any wrongdoing. ▷ 31 LVMH splashed out $2.6b for Belmond Ltd., the owner of New York’s 21 Club and…

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making brexit worse

It’s unclear what U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May hoped to get from leaders of the European Union at their recent summit. As things turned out, she got less than nothing—a public brush-off that further weakened her standing at home, if that were possible. Her Brexit strategy has collapsed, and nothing is to be gained by persisting with it any longer. Playing for time is the only option May appears to have left, and time is not on her side. The withdrawal agreement she negotiated with the EU was set for a crushing defeat in Parliament on Dec. 11. Instead of facing that verdict and moving on to develop a workable alternative, she postponed the vote, suggesting that it might not happen until late January—just weeks before the U.K. is due to…

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▶ How to Deal with the Heat With Washington embroiled with the Mueller probe and Democrats pregaming their presidential campaigns, Donald Trump decamps to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida until Jan. 6, his longest retreat to the winter White House since taking office. ▶ The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries holds its annual general meeting on Dec. 23 in Kuwait. ▶ China’s official index of confidence in manufacturing growth is due on Dec. 31, amid concern of a global economic slowdown. ▶ French President Emmanuel Macron faces a difficult New Year’s address on Dec. 31, after weeks of violent protests in the streets of Paris. ▶ Next Plc reports sales for its crucial Christmas period on Jan. 3. Some U.K. retailers warned in December that things are looking ugly this season. ▶ Ford, Fiat…

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the huawei divergence

I’m an American journalist who lives in Beijing, but I just happened to be visiting South Korea when news broke that Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co., had been arrested in Canada on Dec. 1. She was detained at the behest of the U.S. for allegedly misleading financial institutions about the company’s Iran business, causing them to violate U.S. sanctions. I called my wife, who works in the Chinese capital too, and joked about this ominous turn in Chinese-American relations: “Maybe it’s safer not to go back.” The quip turned out not to be very funny after I did return. Within days, Chinese authorities scooped up two Canadian citizens who, despite Beijing’s denials, were soon seen by the outside world as pawns in China’s attempts…

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lyft puts drivers on a pedestal

On Dec. 6, Uber Technologies Inc. filed paperwork confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. According to sources familiar with the filing, Uber’s likely investment bankers—Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—believe the company could be valued at $120 billion. The news of the IPO was the latest achievement for Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi after a series of scandals, lawsuits, and embarrassments involving the previous CEO, Travis Kalanick. The biggest threat to Khosrowshahi’s turnaround effort: Lyft Inc., Uber’s smaller, friendlier, annoyingly persistent ride-hailing competitor. At times, Lyft had seemed like a long shot just to survive. In 2014, Kalanick tried to buy the smaller company, proposing to give Lyft’s shareholders a little less than a 10 percent stake in Uber, according to two people familiar with…

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a nasty feud in the airline family

While airlines and aircraft manufacturers typically conduct white-knuckle negotiations over everything from pricing to delivery dates, their pronouncements to the outside world are usually all smiles. Not so with Indonesia’s PT Lion Mentari Airlines, one of Boeing Co.’s most important customers. Since the October crash of one of its brand-new 737 narrowbody jets killed 189 people, Rusdi Kirana, owner of the carrier, has been vocal in his criticism of Boeing. And going beyond talk, Kirana is threatening to cancel an order for jets worth billions of dollars—a move that could slow momentum for Boeing’s plane and provide an opening for archrival Airbus SE. Kirana and his airline were little known to the public outside Southeast Asia before the crash, but he’s something of a legend in the industry. Eighteen years after…