Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition May 13, 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

● Congress and the White House moved closer to a constitutional confrontation in the space of two days. 1 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wouldn’t comply with the House’s demand to see the president’s tax returns. 2 President Trump asserted executive privilege over all of Robert Mueller’s report. 3 The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. 4 The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr.to answer questions about his earlier testimony. ● Porsche agreed to pay about $600 million to end a probe into rigged diesel engines, its part in an emissions scandal that’s cost its parent, Volkswagen, billions of dollars in fines and reimbursements. ● A crash landing at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow of a Sukhoi Superjet operated by Aeroflot killed 41 people. Crew error,…

1 min.

▶ The Amazing Spider Woman Christie’s auction of contemporary art on May 15 in New York may top the record price for work by a female artist—now held by Georgia O’Keeffe, whose Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 sold for $44 million in 2014—when one of Louise Bourgeois’s bronze spider sculptures goes on sale. ▶ China releases industrial production and retail sales figures on May 15, as the trade war with the U.S. risks taking a turn for the worse. ▶ Alibaba unveils fourth-quarter earnings on May 15. Billionaire Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant is trying to revive demand despite slowing growth at home. ▶ The VivaTech conference takes place May 16-18 in Paris. Speakers include IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault. ▶ A congressional hearing with special counsel Robert Mueller is tentatively…

2 min.
germany’s to-do list

When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence declared in an April 3 speech marking NATO’s 70th anniversary that “too many” alliance members have failed to increase spending on their militaries, he singled one out: Germany. The complaints are excessive, but not entirely wrong. Rather than bristle, Germany’s leaders should take up the challenge and assume global responsibilities commensurate with its economic strength. This would be good for Europe, and for Germany. Upgrading the country’s armed forces is the first step. Years of neglect have left the Bundeswehr in dismal condition. More than half of its tanks, helicopters, and fighter planes have been judged unfit for deployment; all six of its submarines are too hobbled to leave port. The standing army, which numbered some 500,000 troops at the end of the Cold War,…

8 min.
we are the 1%

Liberals have a blind spot about inequality. They decry disparity between individuals—the fact, for example, that the 10 richest people in America have more money than the bottom 160 million. But they overlook inequality among companies, instead viewing Big Business as a troublesome monolith. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont occasionally tarred business with a broad brush, once saying the chiefs of large multinational companies “ain’t going to like me.” The surprising truth is there’s as much inequality among large companies as there is among people. As with individuals, a handful of companies make the lion’s share of profits, while struggling companies do so poorly they actually destroy value for their shareholders and debtholders. In the middle is a stressed-out majority: unable to keep up with the…

5 min.
a new formula for formula one

When the marshal waved the checkered flag at the Azerbaijan Formula One race on April 28, the result came as little surprise: The first car across the line was a Mercedes. The second was, too. In Shanghai two weeks earlier, the outcome was the same. Ditto the other two races this year. That puts Mercedes in pole position to win the 2019 team championship. Just as it did last year. And the four years before that. In fact, only two teams have won the title in the past nine years, and about the only mystery in the competition is which Mercedes driver will come in first, and whether third place will fall to Ferrari or Red Bull. That predictability has become a headache for John Malone, the Denver billionaire who in…

6 min.
why tiktok is music to bands’ ears

Fitz and the Tantrums were wrapping up the tour for their third album last year when their label, Atlantic Records, told them that their song HandClap was climbing the charts in South Korea. “We were shocked,” says Lisa Nupoff, one of the group’s managers. The Los Angeles-based pop band had never been there, or anywhere in Asia for that matter. But by April of 2018, HandClap had topped the international charts in the world’s sixth-largest music market, outperforming Camilla Cabello’s Havana, the most popular song in the world last year. A couple months later, the song surpassed 1 billion streams in China—even more than it had received in the U.S. Nupoff credits much of the song’s success in Asia to TikTok, a social video app that allows users to record and…