Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition May 6, 2019

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.

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50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in brief

● Warren Buffett joined the takeover battle for Anadarko Petroleum, investing $10b in Occidental Petroleum, which made a $38 billion offer for control of the oil producer, topping a $33 billion bid from Chevron. ● Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó again attempted to depose President Nicolás Maduro, this time with help from some military mutineers. But the push appeared to fizzle within a few hours, leaving Maduro in command of the military and Guaidó’s fate in doubt. ● After a 30-year reign, Akihito of Japan stepped down as emperor because of health concerns, the first abdication of the Chrysanthemum Throne since 1817. The 85-year-old emperor was succeeded by his son Naruhito. ● Shares of Google parent Alphabet tumbled the most in one day since August 2015. After the company missed analysts’ sales estimates, investors…

1 min.

▶ Another Blockbuster for Disney? Walt Disney reports second-quarter earnings on May 8. It’s been a busy few months for the entertainment giant, with its integration of most of 21st Century Fox, the introduction of a streaming service, and the blowout success of Avengers: Endgame. ▶ On May 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will give traders, farmers, and analysts data on supply and demand in the grain, corn, and soybean markets. ▶ General Electric holds its annual meeting on May 9. It faces tough questions from shareholders after the stock lost half its value last year. ▶ Harley-Davidson hosts its shareholder meeting on May 9. The company, snared in the global trade wars, has moved some production abroad. ▶ The Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decision is due on May 7. Some economists…

2 min.
what macron’s got right

Emmanuel Macron is trying to be something new in French politics: a president who responds to public concerns without dropping his reforms at the first sign of trouble. Instead, he’s tried to air public grievances and react without caving in to all of the protesters’ demands. For this he deserves credit. To pull France out of the economic troubles that have created the protests, however, he needs to double down on his reforms. Macron’s first response to the protests—a €10 billion ($11.2 billion) package of handouts, including a minimum wage hike—failed to end them or to pull his popularity rating out of the low 30s. So he sent public officials out to listen to the people and did a lot of talking and listening himself. Thousands of conversations were conducted over…

7 min.
one more chance for south africa

When South Africans go to the polls on May 8 it will be the most important election since the black majority shook off the shackles of apartheid in 1994 and installed Nelson Mandela as the nation’s first black president. That election ended a half-century of brutal segregation and ushered in an era that promised equal opportunities for all. The African National Congress was brought into democratic power by a global icon who’d paid for his belief in a free South Africa with almost three decades in jail. It was a time of hope and reconciliation. The ANC has ruled the country for 25 years now. What’s at stake this time is just as important: rescuing what little is left of the gains South Africans have made since the end of apartheid.…

5 min.
big pay’s new frontier

Thrift and discretion have traditionally been seen as virtues in Germany—even in executive suites. Companies long resisted publishing individual compensation of top managers, whose pay is often a fraction of what many of their global peers receive. German chief executive officers rarely get more than €10 million ($11.2 million) annually. Volkswagen AG paid its CEO around €8 million last year, less than half the $22 million Mary Barra made at General Motors Co., even though VW’s sales are almost twice the size of GM’s. And on average, German leaders earn 97 times as much as employees, vs. 312 times as much at the biggest U.S. companies, according to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Yet a trio of German millennials could upend the status quo—and become Europe’s highest-paid executives in the…

5 min.
when a drug is too effective to succeed

Achaogen Inc. spent 15 years racing to develop antibiotics against resistant superbugs. It targeted one of the most-feared superbugs lurking in intensive care units: carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a strain that can kill up to half the people it attacks. Last June its first drug, Zemdri, which kills CRE bacteria in the test tube, was approved by U.S. regulators. From a public health perspective, Achaogen is a success. But as a business, it’s a failure. Zemdri’s sales in its first six months on the market were less than $1 million. Achaogen filed for bankruptcy in April. The failure has set off alarm bells among infectious disease doctors and public health experts. Big drug companies have been exiting antibiotic research for years, prompting the U.S. government and medical charities to step in…