Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition April 20, 2020

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

United Kingdom
Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
in brief

Global cases of coronavirus reached 2 million. The number has doubled since April 2. The U.S. has the biggest number of deaths, at more than 24,000. Still, President Trump is eager to reopen the economy from its weekslong shutdown. In the meantime, unemployment has approached 15%. The OPEC+ alliance agreed on an historic deal to cut oil production by 9.7m barrels a day to stem the slump in prices and demand. The biggest-ever intervention in the crude market followed days of tense negotiations among member states, conducted via videoconference. Pope Francis delivered a blessing on Easter Monday to an empty square in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, a venue typically filled with as many as 100,000 pilgrims when the pontiff speaks from the window of his papal apartment. SoftBank forecast a record…

1 min.

A Tough Start at Credit Suisse Thomas Gottstein, named CEO in February after his predecessor was ousted, presides over his first set of quarterly earnings on April 24. Investor focus will be on possible provisions to survive the economic slowdown. Brexit talks between the U.K. and Brussels are set to resume on April 20, though only virtually. Britain is keen to avoid facing another delay to leaving the European Union. Boeing reports earnings on April 24. The U.S. plane maker’s fortunes since the grounding of the 737 Max have worsened considerably with the global grounding of airline fleets. The fourth Global Solutions Summit will be held online on April 20-21, with keynote speakers including German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.…

9 min.
how german is your government?

Today’s political leaders, from Angela Merkel to Donald Trump, are in rare agreement that the fight to defeat the novel coronavirus is a challenge unique since 1945. “We are at war,” is French President Emmanuel Macron’s refrain. In the U.S., Trump has proclaimed himself a “wartime president.” Yet, as Winston Churchill discovered, it’s possible to win the war and lose the peace. At the end of World War II, Britain surprised the world by voting out Churchill—who’d led it through the conflict—in favor of the opposition Labour Party and its promise of a welfare state and a national health service. A similar shift from traditional budgetary priorities—such as the military—to dealing with basic health and welfare issues may be in store for the governments of the world. Even after the disease has…

5 min.
wuhan’s life after lockdown isn’t business as usual

After more than two months of being confined to their homes, most of Wuhan’s 11 million residents are now free to venture out, with infections dwindling from thousands of new cases a day in mid-February to just a handful a week. But for restaurant owner Xiong Fei, the end of the lockdown in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began hasn’t brought relief, just a new set of challenges. While factories around Wuhan are working around the clock to get back up to speed, the recovery of consumer-focused businesses such as Xiong’s won’t be so straightforward. Although people are cautiously taking to the streets again, they remain subject to curbs on their movements aimed at keeping the virus at bay. Residents are encouraged to stay home and still must have…

5 min.
a very private risk with huawei

More than a year ago, the U.S. asked its allies to ban equipment manufactured by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. because of American concerns about its ties to the Chinese Communist Party. But European governments are still pushing back, saying there’s a safe way to work with the world’s biggest communications equipment supplier. Italy and Germany are reinforcing security testing and approvals for new equipment to allay fears that Beijing could use Huawei systems for intellectual-property theft, spying, or sabotage. But neither country has banned Huawei gear, nor has France. And the U.K. has taken a different tack, effectively capping the Shenzhen-based vendor’s market share and excluding it from the most sensitive parts of its national mobile networks. No one, however, has yet figured out what to do about Huawei’s role in the…

4 min.
the virus clips air asia’s wings

In 2001, when Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes introduced Asia’s first low-cost airline, AirAsia, by purchasing a failing two-plane carrier for less than $1, it was the perfect time and place. The region’s economic ascent was raising millions of families each year into a new middle class that was eager to travel. Governments from Malaysia to China were building modern international terminals and more runways and often welcomed upstarts to help draw business travelers and tourists. And in most of Southeast Asia—a group of 11 countries with 25,000 islands spread over an area larger than North America—air travel was the easiest and often the only way to get around. Other entrepreneurs followed, and by 2018 low-cost airlines had half of the region’s rapidly expanding market. Before the coronavirus pandemic, AirAsia was serving…