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Business & Finance
Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition December 16, 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.

Country:
China
Language:
English
Publisher:
Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues

In this issue

3 min.
in brief

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker died at 92 on Dec. 9. He was widely celebrated for taming inflation in the 1980s and attempting to rein in risk-taking at big banks in response to the 2008 collapse of the housing market. Hong Kong police defused two homemade bombs at a high school on Dec. 10. Authorities said the explosives were fully functional and ready to be activated by mobile phone. The scare came just days after pro-democracy demonstrators held their largest march in months. President Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.” From the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s draft articles of impeachment, released on Dec. 10. The committee began debating the articles, which could be sent to the floor for a vote by…

1 min.
agenda

▶ Carney Heads for the Exit Governor Mark Carney chairs his penultimate rate meeting at the Bank of England on Dec. 19, days after elections that will determine the future of Brexit. His two-term tenure ends on Jan. 31, leaving his successor to manage the economic fallout from the U.K.’s planned departure from the EU. ▶ The departure of Kamala Harris from the Democratic presidential primary shrinks the number of candidates who’ve qualified for the next debate, on Dec. 19, to seven. ▶ On Dec. 15, in the same week the U.S. House is expected to impeach President Trump, he will host the Congressional Ball at the White House. ▶ Uber has until Dec. 16 to file an appeal following the decision of London transport officials to revoke the ride-hailing service’s license to…

9 min.
the great moscow bank shakedown

Kirill Cherkalin told his parents the piles of cash stashed at their apartment—$50 million, €1.8 million ($1.9 million), and 17 million rubles ($267,000)—were “for work.” At the downtown pad he shared with a girlfriend he had shoeboxes, tote bags, and suitcases stuffed with $22 million, €6.5 million, and 794 million rubles. In his supercharged Mercedes-Benz SUV: $200,000. All told, he had some $100 million in various currencies, dozens of pricey timepieces such as gold-and-diamond Patek Philippes, four apartments, and a 5,000-square-foot house in Razdory, a leafy suburb where rich Muscovites keep homes modeled on English country estates. Yet Cherkalin isn’t a Kremlin boss or an oil-pumping oligarch. He’s not even a general. Until this spring, he was a colonel heading one of dozens of subdepartments within Russia’s FSB—the Federal Security Service,…

6 min.
not in my backyard

The countryside of St. James Parish, an hour west of New Orleans, is a hodgepodge of bayous and sugarcane fields, smokestacks and riotous tangles of steel pipe. Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group has a $9.4 billion plan to add a new landmark: a giant complex to make petrochemicals used in products such as playground equipment, drainage pipes, and artificial turf. The company calls it the Sunshine Project. But environmentalists consider its arrival as anything but sunny, saying it could emit more than 13.5 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to about 10% of the increase in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 compared to a year earlier. Formosa says emissions from the complex won’t be that high. Over the past decade, Taiwan has tightened regulations, making major local expansion difficult for…

4 min.
how to spend $26 billion

Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s initial public offering this month is a watershed moment for a company that’s bankrolled the kingdom and its rulers for decades. Less clear is how much the money raised by the IPO will help overhaul the economy of the world’s biggest oil exporter. The share sale is a central component of Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious blueprint for diversifying the oil-dependent economy. Under the plan, unveiled with much fanfare in 2016, proceeds from the listing will be used to develop industries such as tourism and leisure, mining, and renewable energy, with the ultimate goal of creating a bigger role for the private sector and luring foreign capital. After global investors balked at Saudi efforts to engineer a $2 trillion valuation for Aramco, the prince settled…

6 min.
that other streaming war

More than 30 million people use a Roku device to navigate the constellation of streaming TV services. The company’s portfolio includes the “stick” ($49.99), which resembles a USB drive; the “puck” ($79.99), a black square with smooth edges and minimal detailing; and a $400 smart TV with Roku Inc.’s operating system. The more expensive options offer better image quality and such features as extra digital storage space. As the era of cable and satellite TV dims, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood says Roku is poised to keep capitalizing on the boom in streaming video. It’s an independent player that can work well with all the entrants, he says, including new services from Disney and Apple and forthcoming ones from AT&T and Comcast. “It’s satisfying to see the world be all in…