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Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek September 28, 2020

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United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in brief

The global tally of coronavirus infections is approaching 32m The U.K. has tightened restrictions on public life again, urging people to work from home and setting a 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants starting on Sept. 24 to try to stem a surge in cases. Volunteers with the Covid Memorial Project place flags on the National Mall in Washington on Sept. 21. More than 201,000 Americans have died of the disease. China jailed outspoken property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang for 18 years on graft charges. The businessman had been under investigation since March, when he was linked to an anonymous article blaming a “crisis of governance” for early efforts to cover up the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. U.K. hotel operator Whitbread will cut as many as 6,000 jobs. It’s part of a broader crisis…

3 min.
a better way to end america’s ‘endless wars’

President Trump aims to bring home thousands of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan ahead of the November elections, to show he’s fulfilling his pledge to end America’s wars in the Islamic world. In fact, the best way to minimize the chances of getting dragged back into such conflicts is to leave some troops in place but to clarify and rationalize their mission. The truth is that the “endless wars” Trump constantly decries have, for all practical purposes, already ended. The U.S. footprint in both Iraq and Afghanistan has shrunk radically—from 170,000 troops at the peak in Iraq to 5,200 now, and from 100,000 to 8,600 in Afghanistan. Along with troops from NATO and other partner countries, those residual forces are performing critical missions at minimal cost. In Afghanistan, they train…

1 min.
cordial or contentious?

The Reserve Bank of India sets interest rates on Oct. 1. Economists do not foresee a change in policy, though the country has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Paris Fashion Week runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6. Most houses are doing only digital displays, but some of the biggest, including Chanel and Dior, will host physical presentations. Siemens Energy starts trading on Sept. 28 in Frankfurt. Siemens AG, the German engineering giant, split off its power business last year to simplify its company structure. Micron, the biggest U.S. maker of computer memory chips, reports earnings on Sept. 29. The company has warned it may not meet its revenue goal for the fiscal first quarter. On Sept. 30, New York restaurants can reopen for indoor dining at a quarter capacity. Daily…

10 min.
becoming the notorious rbg

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg began making the case for gender equality in the 1970s, she was anything but notorious. The page 10 New York Times story announcing her victory in the first case she argued before the Supreme Court didn’t even mention her name. It wasn’t until four decades later that she morphed into “the Notorious RBG,” a rock star in black robes, a role model for women and girls, and a cultural icon. How this happened says something about celebrity in the internet era, but it also underscores some essential aspects of a remarkable career devoted to promoting equality—one that ended on Sept. 18 when Ginsburg died at the age of 87. Already in her ninth decade when fame found her, Ginsburg went viral. Little girls dressed up like the…

6 min.
facing an empty future

Airlines have felt the pain of the coronavirus pandemic more than other companies. Almost overnight the bulk of their business ceased. But in mid-2020 there was at least hope that Covid-19 might not be as virulent as first thought; that warmer months would bring some respite; that travel corridors—agreements allowing passengers to fly between two countries without quarantine—might get people back in the air. Now, almost eight months into the pandemic, with cities reentering lockdown and a vaccine likely months away, it’s apparent there will be no quick comeback. International air traffic in July was 92% below 2019 levels, International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show. More than 400,000 airline jobs have been cut since February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “This is lasting longer and is deeper than most…

5 min.
black beauty brands’ mixed blessing

Six years ago, Lauren Napier founded her namesake beauty company with her tax refund check and American Express card after she was denied a $50,000 bank loan. Today, Napier is suddenly fielding hundreds of emails and Instagram DMs from venture capitalists and retailers who once wouldn’t take her calls. The financiers want to hear about her line of makeup wipes, and the retailers want to stock it; it’s a rapid reversal triggered by the violent murder of George Floyd in May that ushered in widespread global calls to “Buy Black.” Beauty retailers, long the arbiters of a feminine ideal that skewed skinny, rich, and White, have leaned into the cultural moment. Sephora has signed onto the fledgling 15 Percent Pledge to reserve that share of shelf space for products from Black-owned…