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Business & Finance
Fortune

Fortune April 2020

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success. Fortune currently publishes 3 double issues. Each count as two of 12 issues in an annual subscription.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
game theory

ON SEPT. 17, the U.S. Naval War College and the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health began a war-game simulation they called Urban Outbreak. Benjamin Davies, a researcher and game designer at the college, gathered 50 experts in disaster response from the government, military, academia, and the private and nonprofit sectors for two days of exercises at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. The aim, Davies told me, was to see how people would respond in real time to “a profoundly dangerous and complex problem set”—the sudden arrival of a deadly pathogen in a dense metropolis. The question, in short: Would we be ready? Within three months of that exercise, the first cases of illness from a novel strain of coronavirus were being identified in Wuhan, China,…

9 min.
julie sweet

THIS EDITED Q&A HAS BEEN CONDENSED FOR SPACE AND CLARITY. “Large companies are looking at this as the decade of delivery on the promise of technology.” THE DIGITAL DECADE Prior to being named CEO of Accenture in September, you were CEO of the firm’s North American business. (2) How have your daily conversations changed? SWEET I’ve spent the last six months traveling the globe, meeting with over 70 CEOs and 100 other C-suite leaders and our clients in Europe, Asia, and North America. It’s been an incredibly intense time but exciting because when you do that in such a compressed time period, you hear consistent themes around the globe and across industry. One theme is that we are at an inflection point. For large companies, they are looking at 2020 as the decade of…

5 min.
distrust is contagious

FROM THE MOMENT it erupted in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 virus has proved particularly lethal to patients with the prior, chronic illnesses often described as “underlying health conditions.” Now the contagion is having a similarly grim effect on the U.S.-China economic relationship—where accumulated mistrust and resentment have created unhealthy conditions of a different kind. As the virus shakes the world’s business community, sending global stocks into or close to bear-market territory, it’s easy to forget that many of the first economic warning signs came from U.S. companies with significant China exposure. Apple and Nike reported supply-line disruptions. Ford, General Motors, and Tesla shuttered factories in China and fretted over shortages everywhere else. Starbucks and Walmart closed Chinese stores, while Disney suspended operations at parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong. At minimum, the…

4 min.
riding a roller-coaster stock market

THINK BACK TO a simpler time. For instance, January and February. Though it seems distant now, the S&P 500 hit its all-time high of 3394 on Feb. 19. “The stock markets previously had priced in a Goldilocks scenario and entered the year with an elevated price-to-earnings multiple, providing little cushion,” says Jared Franz, an economist at investment giant Capital Group. Then came the coronavirus. As the effects of the coronavirus continued to spread throughout late February and March, the stock market sustained a series of blows. Investors were not only plagued by uncertainty, they also began to reassess the rich premiums they had been paying for all sorts of assets. And once they started asking “How much is this market really worth?” the answer was bleak indeed. “In the past cycle,…

2 min.
in the money

JOE BIDEN’S SURPRISE Super Tuesday win jabbed his floundering campaign with a shot of adrenaline, vaulting him ahead in the polls and the delegate count. But as dramatic as those gains may be, they pale in comparison to what the triumph is poised to do to his campaign coffers. At the end of 2019, it took the Biden campaign a full three months to drum up about $22 million, a figure that put him squarely behind Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg. In the week following his 10-state victory, Biden brought in the same sum in just five days. “It’s an avalanche now,” says John Morgan, an attorney and top bundler for Biden, of the incoming interest in backing the former Veep. The question has gone from, Will there be…

6 min.
bringing a.i. to the coronavirus fight

ON THE LAST DAY of 2019, an artificial intelligence warning system run by Toronto startup BlueDot flagged a news report from China about a mysterious pneumonia strain in the city of Wuhan. The system, which sifts through 100,000 articles and online posts daily in 65 languages, alerted BlueDot’s human employees, who immediately saw parallels to the deadly SARS outbreak in 2003. After switching to a system based on data from billions of airline passenger itineraries, BlueDot was able to determine almost instantaneously which cities worldwide were most at risk if the mystery illness spread. The company quickly sent out warnings to health authorities and other clients about what would come to be called the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far infected almost 100,000 people and killed more than 3,000 as of…