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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek August 31, 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

Global Covid-19 cases have now topped 24m and deaths have surpassed 822,000. President Trump said he would expand access to a treatment using blood plasma from people who’ve recovered from the virus, but researchers warned that the therapy’s benefits haven’t been proven. Alexei Navalny, a longtime critic of Vladimir Putin, was evacuated to Berlin on Aug. 22 after falling ill from suspected poisoning on a flight to Moscow. Doctors treating the dissident said they found evidence of a toxin in his body and warned that he may suffer longterm damage. ▷ 7 A demonstrator in Kenosha, Wis., holds a makeshift shield on Aug. 25. Police on Aug. 26 arrested a counterprotester who they say killed two people on the third night of unrest in the city after officers shot Jacob Blake, 29,…

3 min.
the u.s. needs a realistic russia strategy

The suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny underscores the dangers Russians face for speaking out against President Vladimir Putin. It’s also a warning to those protesting for democratic change in neighboring Belarus. So long as Putin remains at the helm, Russia will continue to pose a serious threat to democratic values, in its periphery and beyond. A coherent strategy to confront this challenge will be essential for the next U.S. administration. It should include responding more directly to Putin’s provocations, raising the costs for Russian misconduct, and strengthening America’s relationships with its NATO allies. The U.S. shouldn’t rule out cooperation with Moscow in areas of mutual interest, but only when doing so demonstrably advances its own security. Above all, Washington must send clear signals to Putin about the kinds of…

1 min.
an economic tumble

India releases its fiscal first-quarter GDP figures on Aug. 31. Economists predict a contraction of about 20%, and the central bank has warned of a severe shock to consumption that will take a long time to recover from. 32 Daimler unveils its new S-Class in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sept. 2. The flagship Mercedes sedan has long been a top seller, but SUVs in the line have become popular in recent years. Delegates from China, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.K. meet with Iranians in Vienna on Sept. 1 to review Iran’s nuclear accord, which the U.S. has abandoned. The Central Bank Research Association, based in Switzerland, holds its virtual annual meeting on Sept. 1-3. Discussions will focus on digital currencies and payment systems. New York Federal Reserve President and CEO John Williams speaks with…

3 min.
dear fed,

Hey there! It’s me, the stock market. I know it’s weird to write you like this, but I felt like I needed to drop a quick thank-you note for everything you’ve done for me this year. I mean, your big ol’ balance sheet is almost $3 trillion larger since early March! You’re backing up the truck and loading it with Treasuries and corporate bonds and bond ETFs, all to keep the competition to stocks from fixed-income yields as limited as Jim Cramer’s understanding of me. It’s been a dream come true, honestly. I mean, fess up: Have you been reading my diary?! Maybe you’ve noticed, but everything else is a royal mess. Covid-19 is still killing people. Parents are dreading the beginning of “school.” U.S. unemployment is still above 10%, higher…

5 min.
can direct-to-door slushees beat amazon?

America’s 152,000 convenience stores survived—even thrived—during the Amazon era by being the quickest way to buy things like ice cream and cigarettes. They mostly ignored the web because they could, thanks to their ubiquitous presence on urban street corners and suburban roadways. The coronavirus is quickly challenging that business model. Since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, drastically reducing in-store shopping, big players like 7-Eleven, Circle K, and Casey’s General Stores have accelerated the rollout of delivery from thousands of locations via third-party platforms such as DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats. “What Covid really did is it gave the industry a peek into the future,” says Frank Beard, a retail consultant. Convenience stores were eventually going to face the same challenges from e-commerce specialists that have already crushed department stores and…

5 min.
china’s factories need a little christmas

In January toymaker Dave Cave was feeling good about the year ahead. Orders were coming in for Mighty Megasaur, and he was readying a racing game to coincide with the release of the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. Then the coronavirus shut down the world economy, and Vin Diesel announced the flick would be pushed back a year. Cave saw demand collapse. His Hong Kong-based company, Dragon-I Toys, which makes its goods in China and sells them to 240 retailers in 53 countries, including Walmart Inc., was forced to cut costs as it waited for the crisis to pass. Now, as global retailers start to stock up before the crucial yearend holiday-shopping season, a hopeful Cave says Dragon-I Toys’ order book is at its best level in years. “Nobody…