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Bloomberg Businessweek June 10, 2019

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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Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues


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in brief

Shares of Google parent Alphabet,, and Facebook slumped as top U.S. antitrust officials and lawmakers prepare to investigate their business practices and whether digital platform companies are using their market power to hurt competition. ▷ 38 Venezuela defaulted on a gold swap agreement with Deutsche Bank valued at $750m according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The Arkansas River continued flooding as U.S. farmers contended with one of the wettest planting seasons ever, compounding their woes from the trade war. This was the scene in Pine Bluff, Ark., on June 4. Neil Woodford, a star fund manager in the U.K., froze redemptions in his flagship LF Woodford Equity Income Fund after assets tumbled. The move leaves about £3.8b ($4.8 billion) trapped in the fund while Woodford works to increase…

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▶ China’s Trade in the Balance Beijing releases its international trade balance on June 10, providing insight into how the escalating trade war with the U.S. and slowing domestic demand are affecting Asia’s biggest economy. Economists still see the risk of recession as low in the next 12 months. ▶ The Bank of Russia announces its key rate on June 14. The bank has said a cut is possible after two surprise hikes last year helped control inflation. ▶ Tesla holds its annual general meeting on June 11. The stock has lost about 40% in value this year as demand slides for its cars and its debt load takes a toll. ▶ Inditex, parent of the Zara fashion chain, reports first-quarter earnings on June 12. Retailers are struggling to emerge from a prolonged…

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end the qatar embargo

It’s now almost two years since a coalition of Arab countries imposed a misguided economic embargo on Qatar. The group—Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—said it was punishing the gas-rich emirate for its ties with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, but it’s widely seen as part of a larger competition for preeminence in Arab affairs. Ending it should be a priority for President Trump. Of the Arab world’s many divisions, none is more damaging to U.S. interests. The Saudi-led group’s objectives haven’t been met. On the contrary, denied food supplies from—and air routes over—the sanctioning states, Qatar has grown more dependent on Iran, while its economy has easily weathered the embargo. Meanwhile, the dispute is putting U.S. allies Kuwait and Oman in an awkward position. Both have strong relationships…

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open for business

Donald Trump has become quite comfortable deploying the U.S. economy both as lure and as threat. In London on a state visit, he tweeted that the U.K. could expect a “big Trade Deal” with the U.S. once it “gets rid of the shackles” to the European Union. In the previous week, a short one in Washington because of the Memorial Day holiday, he still found time to escalate hostilities in America’s economic war with just about everyone. The countries of the EU had already been in that firing line. On May 29 news broke that Trump had threatened them with sanctions on the grounds that they’re attempting—not very successfully—to trade with Iran, as they are entitled to do under international law. The next day, Trump warned Mexico that he would impose…

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can this 10-year-old save the olympics?

The Olympic Games have long been among the world’s premier marketing events, with hundreds of millions of people worldwide tuning in to watch the human drama as athletes from more than 200 nations compete for the gold. Yet this decidedly mass-market broadcast event has been losing younger viewers, who increasingly spend time on social media and online entertainment. So organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are counting on skateboarding to help bring back millennials as fans, and it may be a 10-year-old girl who steals the show. With key measures of television audiences down from 2008 levels and interest among the key youth demographic waning—viewership among 18-to 35-year-olds fell at least 25% for the 2016 Rio Games from four years earlier—organizers of the 2020 Games have added skateboarding as a medal…

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china’s discount cancer drugs

Western companies last year began selling some of their hottest cancer drugs, called PD-1 inhibitors, with much fanfare in China. But rather than quickly conquering the mainland market, American drug-makers Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. have found themselves facing a surprising challenge: local competitors. Chinese companies are introducing patented cancer therapies in their home market based on PD-1 inhibitors, which use the body’s immune system to fight tumors. They’re doing it at far lower prices—sometimes a third of what U.S. drugmakers charge—which will likely give them a leg up at home. And their ambitions go far beyond the mainland, with several already preparing to sell their medicines in the U.S. and worldwide. The push into PD-1 drugs marks one of the first forays by China’s pharmaceutical industry into complex…