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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek April 13, 2020

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
in brief

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 1.5 million. The U.S. reported the highest number, more than 400,000. But new infections showed their first signs of slowing in France, Italy, and Spain, Europe’s hardest-hit countries, where lockdowns have lasted for more than two weeks. China said it didn’t have any new deaths for the first time since the pandemic began. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent the previous week quarantined with a coronavirus infection, was taken to a hospital on April 5 and transferred to an intensive-care unit to receive oxygen after his health deteriorated. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab took over most of his duties. Rolls-Royce eliminated its dividend, the first time the biggest U.K. manufacturer won’t make a payout to shareholders. The stock rose a record 18% on April 6 after the aircraft engine maker…

1 min.

Tallying China’s Lockdown Fallout China releases key economic data for the first quarter on April 17, with economists predicting GDP to contract by more than 5% after the coronavirus froze large parts of the country’s industrial production. JPMorgan Chase opens the earnings season on April 14, and Wells Fargo files on the same day. Bank of America, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs disclose on April 15. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hold their spring meetings April 14-17 to discuss ways out of the global economic crisis. On April 14, the Bank of Indonesia decides on interest rates. It lowered borrowing costs for the second straight month in March to shore up the economy. The health ministers of EU member states hold a videoconference on April 15 to exchange strategies on the region’s fight…

10 min.
racing against time and the virus

Much about the coronavirus has defied belief—the speed at which it has spread around the world, the insidious way it penetrates the lungs, the unexpected impact it’s having on young people in some parts of the world while sparing them elsewhere. The most effective way to stop it would be to vaccinate the global population. For that to happen in the next year or so, an almost equally implausible set of circumstances has to occur: flawless scientific execution, breakneck trials, and a military-style manufacturing mobilization unlike any the pharmaceutical industry has put in place before. Normally it takes 10 or 15 years of careful lab work and meticulous testing to bring a totally new vaccine to market. For the coronavirus, the drug industry hopes to compress this time frame by…

4 min.
ev makers in china could use a jump

This year was supposed to be a watershed for electric vehicles, with BYD, Daimler, General Motors, Tesla, and other titans set to roll out new models and open manufacturing plants in China, the technology’s largest market. Then the coronavirus hit, short-circuiting demand for cars of every sort and leaving EV makers with, at best, a dream deferred. Because of the pandemic and its accompanying economic meltdown, 2020 is on track to be the third straight year of declining sales in the world’s biggest auto market, jeopardizing multibillion-dollar expansion plans by EV makers. Tesla Inc. in January began deliveries from a new factory in Shanghai after co-founder Elon Musk spent years courting Chinese leaders, only to temporarily shut it weeks later when the government imposed a lockdown that kept workers and buyers…

5 min.
3d printing startups hack the pandemic

As New York state has become the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, officials say they will need 30,000 ventilators for use by the most critical patients in coming weeks. But getting even a few of the lifesaving machines has proved a huge challenge as hospitals around the world jockey for the scarce supply. So engineers at Formlabs Inc., a venture-backed manufacturer of 3D printers, helped doctors and researchers at Northwell Health, the state’s biggest private health-care provider, to quickly design an adapter that converts breathing machines normally used to treat sleep apnea and other nighttime respiratory conditions into emergency ventilators. “We’re really trying to innovate our way out of it,” says Todd Goldstein, director of Northwell’s 3D design and innovation department, which began using the printed adapters last month. “We’re not…

4 min.
farmers are panic-buying, too

Days after President Trump extended America’s quarantine guidelines, Tyler Beaver, the 31-year-old founder of brokerage Beaf Cattle Co., couldn’t get hold of the rations that feed his clients’ cows. He’d already tried sellers in the traditional producing areas of the U.S. such as Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, only to find they were mostly sold out. Soon, in a bid to connect his customers with a feed mill still willing to sell, he changed strategy and tried to pull feed from the Delta region, hundreds of miles away—again without luck. Just as virus-spooked consumers have rushed to grocery stores to stockpile everything from toilet paper to pasta, farmers raising America’s cattle, hogs, and chickens have filled their bins with feed, fearing the spread of the coronavirus would disrupt their supply chains. “There’s…