ZINIO logo
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition August 19, 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.

Read More
Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

3 min
in brief

● The U.S. fiscal deficit grew to almost $867b for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, exceeding the figure for all of last year. Republican tax cuts, increased federal spending, and an aging population have contributed to the strain. ● Argentina’s stocks, bonds, and currency fell after President Mauricio Macri lost in primary elections. Investors fear his shock upset on Aug. 12 may set the stage for a populist government that could seek to renegotiate billions in foreign currency debt and hard-won agreements with the IMF. ▷ 32 ● On Aug. 14 the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes briefly dropped below that of 2-year notes. That reversal, known as a yield curve inversion, is considered a sign that a recession will occur within about 18 months. By the market’s close,…

3 min
craft beer for nondrinkers

Just before noon at the O’Fallon Brewery O’Bar in Maryland Heights, Mo., the pub begins to fill with workers from nearby office parks. Scattered among the usual burgers and build-your-own flatbreads are more than a few pints of beer. This is a brewery, after all, in a suburb of St. Louis, the ancestral home of Anheuser-Busch. A closer look at these midday libations, however, yields surprises. Among the standard lagers and India pale ales, the bar serves a Hellraiser dark amber to patrons who want to stay clear for the drive and alert for the afternoon—or just save a few calories. Although it looks and tastes like a craft ale, it contains barely any alcohol. The beer is one of four brews created in this building by the upstart WellBeing Brewing…

4 min
when patience isn’t a virtue

Keyairra Wright, 32, of Bridgeport, Conn., is proud of being frugal. “I have clothes since I was a first-year teacher in 2008,” says Wright, who switched careers this year from teaching math to developing educational software. “There are no holes in them. They may not be the latest fashion, but they serve the functions that clothes serve.” Writ large, frugality like hers may be one explanation there’s almost $16 trillion of debt worldwide with a yield of less than zero. Patience, thrift, and caution might be too much of a good thing, contributing to a glut of savings. People no longer have to be bribed with a high interest rate to save rather than consume. The yield on 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds, while not negative, fell to a record low on…

4 min
but is it good ?

As chief executive officer of Unilever, Paul Polman transformed the sprawling maker of Dove soap, Knorr stock cubes, Cif cleaning sprays, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise into a test bed for the idea that companies can benefit from affiliation with social causes, such as improved hygiene or better access to toilets. While investors and analysts were initially skeptical, Polman was ultimately lauded for redefining the corporation as something more benign than a purely profit-driven enterprise, even as margins edged up slightly from the midteens to almost 20% during his tenure. Now, Alan Jope, the Scotsman who succeeded Polman in January, is amping up the strategy. To set Unilever apart and combat what Jope calls “woke-washing”—the social responsibility equivalent of bogus “greenwashing” campaigns aimed at appearing environmentally conscious—he’s raising the volume on the message.…

1 min

▶ Retail Therapy in a Trade War A busy week beckons for retailers, with Home Depot, Gap, Kohl’s, and TJX all reporting numbers on Aug. 20. To keep consumers happy, President Trump said on Aug. 13 that he will delay tariffs until mid-December on some products that are holiday-season favorites. ▶ On Aug. 19, German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Sopron, which played a key role in the Iron Curtain’s fall. ▶ France hosts the Group of Seven meeting on Aug. 24-26 in Biarritz, with President Trump attending amid increasingly frayed trans-Atlantic relations. ▶ BHP Group releases earnings on Aug. 20. Demand for copper and iron ore at the world’s biggest miner provides a barometer for economic growth. ▶ Nauru, the world’s smallest island nation, whose fertilizer reserves once…

5 min
when midwest startups sell, their hometowns often lose

City officials in Columbus, Ohio, could hardly believe their luck. In less than a decade, $850,000 worth of state dollars for local startup CoverMyMeds appeared to have paid off many times over. Drug distribution giant McKesson Corp. acquired the company for $1.3 billion, a state record. At each stage of development, CoverMyMeds, which makes software that automates insurance approvals for prescription drugs and sells it to doctors and pharmacists, had been nurtured by public money. The deal seemed to vindicate the local boosters who’d steered millions of dollars’ worth of public funds into tax incentives and other support for Ohio’s fledgling startup scene. That was two years ago. Today, roughly 1,000 of Columbus’s 4,300 public schoolteachers are spending part of their summer vacation near CoverMyMeds’ downtown headquarters, protesting the property tax…