Business et Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek July 6, 2020

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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1 min.
the heist issue

A public service announcement: Put your phone down. Get off Facebook. And Twitter. You already know the world is in a bad place. The Covid-19 pandemic has stolen so much from us, killing hundreds of thousands of people and taking our economies hostage, and it’s still raging on. Which is why we’ve worked so hard to bring you our third annual Heist Issue. You deserve a break right now—so plop down on an empty beach, find a socially distant patch of grass, or at least give those couch cushions a serious fluffing. Fetch yourself a drink and let us tell you a damn good story. You’ll find a bunch of them here—tales of crime capers and botched burglaries entertaining enough to make you forget you ever knew the phrase “toilet…

25 min.
the master thief

It was the play that turned “Manning” into a bad word in Boston. There was a minute left in Super Bowl XLII. The New England Patriots—Tom Brady’s undefeated New England Patriots—needed one defensive stop to beat the New York Giants. On third down, multiple Patriot defenders pushed through the line and grabbed quarterback Eli Manning’s jersey. But Manning slipped away and chucked a wobbly pass downfield, where a mediocre receiver, David Tyree, leapt, pinned the ball against his helmet, and somehow hung on to it as he crashed to the turf. Manning, the interception-prone doofus with the look of a confused middle schooler, would go on to beat Brady in the sport’s biggest game. Sean Murphy seethed as he watched from his weed dealer’s couch. It was February 2008. Skinny, with…

24 min.
how the american worker got fleeced

Amazon.com Inc. fired Emily Cunningham a little before the end of Good Friday, though the human resources rep put it a little differently. “You have ended your relationship with Amazon,” Cunningham recalls being told an hour after her company email account stopped working. She’d been a software engineer at the Seattle headquarters for seven years. The HR rep didn’t cite any deficiencies in her work but said she’d violated company policies. According to Amazon, she’d been breaking its rule against “solicitations.” Cunningham says that’s a policy ignored on a daily basis when it comes to things like selling Girl Scout Cookies in the office. Neither Cunningham nor fellow software engineer Maren Costa, a 15-year Amazon employee fired the same day, were big in the Thin Mints game. But both had been…

4 min.
a crime against property

People were property in the plantation South. Everybody knows that. But let’s consider the logical consequences. Suppose you were to help an enslaved worker escape. What crime have you committed? The answer is theft. It makes a bizarre, painful sort of sense. Under the ideology of slavery, if you assist in an escape, you’ve taken what is legally someone else’s property. You’ve stolen chattel. In the eyes of a slaveholder, you’re not a noble freer of captives. You’re a petty criminal, no better than—for example—a cattle rustler. “Slave stealing,” the law called it, or, in some places, “man stealing.” And the theory behind it has implications even today. Theft of a slave was a crime against property, like burglary or arson. In many instances, those who helped free the enslaved were prosecuted simply…

16 min.
the nortel job

The documents began arriving in China at 8:48 a.m. on a Saturday in April 2004. There were close to 800 of them: PowerPoint presentations from customer meetings, an analysis of a recent sales loss, design details for an American communications network. Others were technical, including source code that represented some of the most sensitive information owned by Nortel Networks Corp., then one of the world’s largest companies. At its height in 2000, the telecom equipment manufacturer employed 90,000 people and had a market value of C$367 billion (about $250 billion at the time), accounting for more than 35% of Canada’s benchmark stock market index, the TSE 300. Nortel’s sprawling Ottawa research campus sat at the center of a promising tech ecosystem, surrounded by dozens of startups packed with its former employees.…

19 min.
the mercenary influencer

Nelson Galvis slept through the first shots. His wife, an insomniac, ran in from the other room and woke him up. Still groggy, the retired business professor stepped to the balcony of their eighth-floor apartment and peered into the 4 a.m. darkness of Macuto, a coastal Caribbean town 25 miles from Caracas. He had a long view of the shoreline, where he could see two boats, one of them flashing blue police lights, and a helicopter circling overhead. Drug seizure, he figured. More gunshots followed. When Galvis looked again a couple hours later, as day broke on May 3, he could make out a dozen soldiers and police standing on a rock jetty on the beach, with several unmoving human forms at their feet. The state-owned TV news soon reported that…