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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek September 21, 2020

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in brief

Global coronavirus cases topped 29.6 million, and deaths exceeded 936,000 Infections have flared up again across Europe, and Israel became the first country to respond to a renewed outbreak by reintroducing a full lockdown. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to renege on part of the Brexit deal. He would nullify aspects involving state aid and customs rules. The proposal has prompted a revolt in his party, and the European Union has threatened legal action. Billionaire money manager Steve Cohen clinched a deal to acquire the New York Mets from the families who own the team. The accord values the Mets at about $2.4 billion. That’s a record price for a U.S. baseball franchise. In the semiconductor industry’s largest-ever deal, Nvidia agreed to buy Arm from SoftBank for $40b Arm, a U.K. chipmaker that…

3 min.
europe needs to recognize the threat from russia

During two decades as Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin has rarely concealed his contempt for Western-style democracy and the rule of law. The poisoning of activist Alexei Navalny, amid a widening Russia-supported crackdown on opposition leaders in Belarus, indicates the lengths to which Putin and his cronies will go to silence enemies and maintain power. Russia’s forthright challenge to international norms demands a forceful Western response. It won’t come from the Trump administration, whose mild rebukes are consistently undercut by the president’s evident regard for Putin. In America’s absence, European leaders should develop a coordinated strategy to counter Russia’s threat to the continent’s stability and impose steeper costs for its misconduct. The crisis in Belarus is the most immediate test. Five weeks since a fraudulent election sparked mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko,…

1 min.
recharging a battered stock

The 75th United Nations General Assembly holds debates from Sept. 22, the first time the meeting has been virtual. Key topics will be the pandemic and climate change. Nike reports fiscal first-quarter earnings on Sept. 22. The company has suffered from shuttered retail stores, which e-commerce sales haven’t been able to fully offset. Sweden’s Riksbank sets interest rates on Sept. 22. The biggest Nordic economy has been less hurt by the virus than others, with much of the country operating normally. Palantir starts trading on Sept. 23, selling shares to the public (page 22). It’s set to be the largest so-called direct listing of a startup since ride-hailing company Uber last year. The virtual World Aviation Forum on Sept. 23-25 brings together executives from JetBlue, Lufthansa, and United Airlines to find a way out…

8 min.
trump needs more carrot

Donald Trump got elected in 2016 in no small part because he had the good sense to recognize a bad deal—and to offer voters a better one. One afternoon in May 2016, soon after knocking off 16 Republican challengers to cinch his party’s presidential nomination, Trump matter-of-factly explained how he’d done it. Sitting in his Trump Tower office beside a replica model of a Trump airliner, the future president described for me a confrontation he’d just had with soon-to-be-House Speaker Paul Ryan, a proud avatar of small-government conservatism. Trump realized that Ryan’s plan to finance a tax cut for the rich by cutting programs such as Medicaid and Social Security would harm the GOP’s White, blue-collar base. It offered voters a lousy deal, while Democrats promised a better one. “I told…

7 min.
where vaccine hopes run high bloomberg businessweek

On a scorching August day in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, two dozen volunteers arrive at a small community clinic inside a narrow alley to take part in the last stage of one of the world’s fastest-moving trials for a coronavirus vaccine. There, surrounded by cramped homes and kids playing outdoors without masks, they prepare to take an experimental shot developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., which many in Indonesia hope will bring an end to the destruction wreaked by the virus. With about a quarter-million infections, Indonesia’s outbreak is the second-worst in Southeast Asia after the Philippines, its daily case count hitting records every week since the end of August. “I’m tired of seeing how we are dealing with this disease. I just want to help in any way…

4 min.
using ‘god’s gold’ to pay pandemic bills

Collectively, Indians own the biggest private stash of gold in the world, and religious adherents have long donated gold to temples, often to honor deities associated with individual temples. Over the centuries, that’s made the country’s 3 million religious houses some of the world’s largest holders of the precious metal. But now India’s temples—shut for months because of the coronavirus pandemic and deprived of donations—are being forced to consider depositing some of their famed stashes of gold with banks to pay mounting bills. Hindu temples hold as much as 4,000 tons of the precious metal, according to the World Gold Council, a stockpile as big as Fort Knox’s and administered by trusts empowered by Indian law to act on behalf of the deity. The Travancore Devaswom Board, a prominent temple association…