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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek August 17, 2020

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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

Globally, the number of Covid-19 cases breached 20m after doubling in six weeks. More than 745,000 have died. Russia registered the first vaccine, which it claims effectively provides immunity. Among those who’ve already been vaccinated: one of President Vladimir Putin’s daughters. ▷ 54 Protesters continued demonstrating in Belarus, despite clashes with riot police. President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s been in power for 26 years, claimed a landslide victory in elections on Aug. 9. His rival, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, fearing for her safety, fled to neighboring Lithuania. Lebanon’s embattled government stepped down on Aug. 10. Protesters say years of negligence and mismanagement caused the devastating explosion that rocked Beirut on Aug. 4. The blast in the city’s port district, where dangerous materials had been stored without precautions, killed more than 150 people and left…

3 min.
biden’s smart vp pick tells us a lot

Every smart executive knows that you’re only as good as the team you build around you. It’s a lesson I’ve learned over my entire career, and a lesson that clearly escaped our current president. Joe Biden just proved he gets it. By picking Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has selected a strong governing partner for his White House. At a time when the country is facing the worst series of crises in generations, we have seen how debilitating it is to have a White House that’s in a constant state of chaos and turmoil, bouncing from one scandal to another, from one reckless decision to another, from one broken promise to another, and from one petty Twitter fight to another. The country needs stable, mature, responsible leadership to pull…

1 min.
shopping well is the best revenge

Alibaba reports first-quarter earnings on Aug. 20. Postlockdown, China’s consumers are spending more on food again, but apparel—the online-commerce giant’s strongest category—has been slower to rebound. Qantas releases its quarterly earnings on Aug. 20. The Australian carrier, which specializes in long-haul routes, is cutting 6,000 jobs to adapt to an implosion in travel. On Aug. 19 the Federal Reserve provides the minutes from its July 28-29 meeting, when the Open Market Committee decided to keep borrowing costs at close to zero. The Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee holds its next meeting on Aug. 18 to craft a response to slack oil demand, which has fallen during the pandemic. Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, sets its benchmark rate on Aug. 20. Borrowing costs are expected to remain at zero through the end of 2020 after…

9 min.
qanon crashes the internet party

Imagine it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, the one where the entire extended family shows up. There’s a little corner of the long dinner table where you put the relatives most likely to be awkward, so they can chat among themselves. You know who they are, the uncle and cousins who go on rants about Trump’s righteous war against an international cabal of pedophiles or Hillary Clinton’s imminent arrest. Everyone else in the family remembers the stir that corner caused when they claimed that Tom Hanks had a sex slave. No one with any sense took them seriously. Picking a fight would sap your energy and divide the clan. For the most part, social media companies have been content to treat QAnon like those relatives. (And those are actual QAnon beliefs.) None…

6 min.
chevron keeps it old-school

Speaking to the Texas Oil & Gas Association in July, Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth assured his audience that the global clamor for clean energy “doesn’t mean the end of oil and gas.” On the contrary, Wirth said, the energy business is simply undergoing another of its natural transitions. “We’ll find ways to make oil and gas more efficient, more environmentally benign,” he said. “And it will be a part of the mix, just as biomass and coal are still enormous parts of the mix today.” To activists alarmed at the urgency of the climate crisis, Wirth’s comments are as out of touch as they are predictable, coming from someone who profits from the status quo. For unlike its rivals in Europe, Chevron is betting its future less on…

5 min.
airports are catching covid, too

In surveys of the world’s best airports, Singapore’s Changi regularly ranks near the top. A leader among utilitarian transportation hubs that have been transformed into upscale shopping destinations, Changi Airport in 2019 added Jewel, a futuristic playland with 1.5 million square feet of stores and attractions including a rainforest, hedge maze, and the world’s highest indoor waterfall. And the government had planned this year to begin selecting contractors to work on a huge fifth terminal to boost annual capacity 55%, to 140 million passengers. Then came Covid-19. Traffic at the airport—long a preferred hub for globe-girdling business travelers—fell more than 99% in April, May, and June from a year earlier. Changi is hunkering down, mothballing two of its four terminals and delaying plans to build the additional one. At airports the world…