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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition June 15, 2020

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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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Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
in brief

The global total of Covid-19 cases passed 7.2m and deaths exceeded 400,000. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist, warned that the virus won’t “burn itself out” and said, “We’re going to need a vaccine for the entire world, billions and billions of doses.” “He is going to change the world.” Rodney Floyd (third from the right), at the funeral for his brother, George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 when Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin kept his knee on his throat for almost 9 minutes. AstraZeneca has approached Gilead about a merger, say people familiar with the matter. AstraZeneca produces a broad array of drugs to treat cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and other ailments; Gilead makes blockbuster HIV medications, as well as the only Covid-19 treatment approved in the U.S. Their combination would…

3 min.
please keep the middle seat empty for now

Perhaps the most notorious of the many full-airline-cabin photos recently posted on Twitter is one taken by a cardiologist on his return trip to California after helping treat Covid-19 patients in New York City: Passengers wearing a variety of surgical and makeshift masks fill every seat. “I guess @united is relaxing their social distancing policy these days?” the caption asks. Restaurants, retail stores, gyms, and other businesses reopening across the U.S. are subject to state and local rules requiring 6 feet of space between customers, but airlines are responsible only to themselves. Surely, as Maria Cantwell of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, has argued to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, federal guidelines are needed to make people on long flights as…

1 min.
maybe flip a coin?

European Union leaders discuss their economic recovery package in a June 19 videoconference. The plan includes joint debt to help the worst-hit member countries. Germany and Austria reopen their border on June 15 after months of closure. The link is particularly vital for Austria, which relies heavily on German tourists in the summer. The United Nations marks World Refugee Day on June 20 to raise awareness of the millions of people around the world displaced by war, poverty, and famine. Germany’s influential Ifo economic institute holds its annual general meeting on June 18. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser is attending as a guest speaker. The Bank of Japan holds its monetary policy meeting on June 15 and 16. The bank has launched a virus-response measure totaling 75 trillion yen ($690 billion). On June 16, PG&E will…

9 min.
the next debt explosion? africa

The new airport serving the Angolan capital of Luanda was intended to be a bright and welcoming symbol of the former Portuguese colony’s renaissance—a counterpoint to the three-decade civil war that ended in 2002. Two parallel runways were to accommodate even the biggest jets, a new 40-kilometer (25-mile) rail line would whisk passengers to the city center, and a shimmering glass terminal bigger than the Pentagon was designed with dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops for the 15 million visitors the government expected to pass through annually. Sixteen years after construction crews broke ground, the terminal—largely completed in 2012—is gathering dust in the flat scrubland southeast of Luanda. The railway was never finished, the runways have yet to see a commercial flight, and the opening date has been repeatedly pushed back—now…

5 min.
liability risks come back to work, too

As Americans return to the offices, shops, restaurants, and factories they left months ago, employers are wrestling with the legal consequences of getting U.S. workers back on the job while the pandemic is still spreading. Because there’s no cure or vaccine yet for Covid-19, two things are certain: People will get sick, and many will end up in court demanding safer working conditions or compensation for lost wages and medical bills. Some employees already have filed lawsuits claiming companies including McDonald’s, Amazon.com, and Smithfield Foods aren’t doing enough to keep workers and their families free of coronavirus, even though employers are promising to follow such health guidelines as maintaining social distancing, improving sanitation, and providing personal protective gear. And legal experts see possible fights over other issues like privacy rights, age…

6 min.
creating the socially distanced office

To get into Cushman & Wakefield Plc’s Amsterdam office, employees must first secure a work spot through an app that assigns them to a sanitized desk—which could be far from their pre-pandemic workspace. The floors are marked with giant blue arrows directing one-way traffic. Don’t make a wrong turn! Otherwise it’s a lap around the floor to get back to where you were. Visual reminders to stay socially distant are everywhere, as are hand sanitizer dispensers. Individual desks are demarcated by screens and enveloped by circular boundaries on the carpet, lest workers roll their chairs too far. There are fewer communal tables, and those that remain have markings designating where people can sit, to avoid crowding. Cups are labeled with reminders to keep a 1.5-meter (about a 5-foot) distance, as…