ZINIO logo
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 5/21/2018

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.

Read More
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min
in brief

● The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that precluded states from legalizing betting on sports. New Jersey has long pushed for such a measure to buttress Atlantic City casinos. Bookmakers in Las Vegas, where sports betting was grandfathered, handle $150 billion a year in wagers. ● Japan’s economy shrank during the first three months of the year, the first contraction since the final quarter of 2015, snapping the country’s longest growth streak in 28 years. Analysts expect the retreat to be temporary. ● Michigan State University settled a lawsuit with hundreds of women who say they were abused by Larry Nassar, a former sports physician at the school and for USA Gymnastics, for $500 million. The settlement didn’t include a confidentiality agreement. ● Aurora Cannabis, based in British Columbia, bought Ontario’s…

3 min
remembering tom wolfe

There are many reasons to praise Tom Wolfe, both as a novelist and as a journalist. If Charles Dickens defined Victorian London, then the capital of the world, Wolfe, who died on May 14 at 88, held up a similar mirror to modern America—and New York in particular. One of Wolfe’s less celebrated achievements was that he was a great novelist of finance—the only one that this frenzied era of moneymaking has produced. The Bonfire of the Vanities was arguably the first great financial novel since Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now. Many eminent American writers have looked at the victims of Wall Street and broader capitalism, including Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck. But Wolfe was the first American one to look at the victors—the “Masters of the Universe”—like Sherman…

17 min
● deeper minds

Many of the biggest names in the technology industry are consumed with developing an artificial general intelligence, or AGI. Unlike today’s leading artificial intelligence software, an AGI wouldn’t need flesh-and-blood trainers to figure out how to translate English to Mandarin or spot tumors in an X-ray. In theory, it would have some measure of independence from its creators, solve complex, novel problems on its own, and herald an era in which humankind is no longer superior to machines. The consensus among our pitiful fleshbrains is that if humans ever manage to create an AGI, it’ll arise in Beijing, Moscow, or Mountain View, Calif. All three cities are near world-class AI research universities and are home to companies that have pumped billions into the AGI race. There exists, however, a chance that…

5 min
a fund with partisan politics

Building buzz about a new exchange-traded fund often just means buying newspaper ads. Hal Lambert has a different approach: He’s hitting right-wing talk shows and roaming conservative conferences in a familiar-looking red cap. “It’s like the opposite of ESG” That’s because his fund is different, too. Sure, it has an investment thesis, but it’s also a badge for the political identity its stock ticker evokes: MAGA. As in “Make America Great Again.” The ETF not only markets to people loyal to the U.S. president, it also invests in companies that are loyal to his party. Not necessarily the most profitable companies, or the fastest-growing, or the ones with the most attractive price-earnings ratios—or any of a number of metrics a typical investor would use. Instead, it selects companies based on public information…

4 min
● later than you thought

● Useful Blockchain Digital ledgers may yet end up being the solution for everything, but so far they’ve solved almost nothing. On its busiest day, the nine-year-old Bitcoin economy registered about 400,000 transactions. On an average day, Visa Inc. racks up 150 million. Most other blockchain applications are in even earlier stages—for now, many are just white papers. And it’s unclear whether the principle behind blockchain, which holds that distributed computing systems are inherently more trustworthy than those controlled by a central entity, even makes sense for most applications. The decentralized ledger is going to be far less helpful than Visa’s consumer support line when someone runs up a bunch of fraudulent charges on your account. ● 100 Percent Renewable Energy Although solar and wind power are coming on strong, don’t expect the…

5 min
why japan’s automakers are finally recruiting women

The story of Yui Mitsuhashi illustrates the bind that Japan’s carmakers find themselves in as the country struggles with its worst labor shortage in decades. Captain of a team that builds race cars at prestigious Osaka University, the 24-year-old engineering student would be among the most prized recruits for Toyota Motor Corp. or Nissan Motor Co.—if only she wanted to work for them. But as much as she loves cars, she isn’t sure she wants to spend her life in the industry, which has a reputation for long hours and big gender imbalances. “People are always telling me, ‘You could go to any company you want,’ ” Mitsuhashi says, standing in the center of the university’s tool-strewn shop. “I want to have kids, but right now I’m not sure whether I…