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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition June 22, 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 Trump administration is preparing to propose $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. According to people familiar with the plan, the money would pay for not only roads and bridges, but also 5G wireless networks and rural broadband. ▷ 24 Global cases of Covid-19 continued to climb, passing 8m Meanwhile, more than 438,000 people have died. China, where the cororonavirus first emerged last year, registered a fresh outbreak of the disease, linked to a wholesale seafood and meat market in Beijing. JPMorgan Chase plans to bring back about 50% of its trading staff by the middle of July. The biggest U.S. bank has rearranged desks and tweaked floor plans at its headquarters to ensure traders can maintain social distancing as Wall Street emerges from New York’s total lockdown. Indian border security soldiers keep watch on the…

3 min.
in this pandemic year, make voting by mail the norm in the u.s.

Georgia’s primary election on June 9 was hardly an exemplar of democratic efficiency. Equipment malfunctioned, backup ballots went missing, lines stretched interminably, and many voters waited for hours to cast a ballot—sometimes in vain. One reason for the chaos? Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of poll workers didn’t turn up. That should serve as a warning for November’s presidential election: All states need to offer no-excuse mail voting this year, and Congress should help them do it. Even before the coronavirus, the share of votes cast by mail had been increasing, reaching about a quarter in 2018. The practice has long been helpful for those who can’t get to a polling place because of disability, work obligations, or other concerns. It may also have broader advantages. In Colorado, which instituted all-mail…

1 min.
a war’s long shadow

The Euro Finance Summit on June 22 in Frankfurt brings together regulators, executives, and politicians to discuss ways to ease the region’s economic crisis. Turkey’s central bank sets interest rates on June 25. It’s delivered nine straight cuts in less than a year, navigating between stimulating the country’s economy and shielding its currency. Brazil unveils annual inflation-rate numbers on June 25. The country is suffering through one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks, bringing economic activity to a halt. The London SMMT automotive summit takes place on June 23, with speakers including Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark seeking to map a path out of the demand slump. Swedish discount fashion chain H&M reports earnings on June 26. The company will provide a barometer for global consumer demand as shoppers return to actual stores. Apple hosts its developers…

9 min.
the case for quotas

At a virtual panel moderated by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon on the evening of June 9, Jide Zeitlin made a simple but pointed comment. “We better have more than four Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies,” said the boss of Tapestry Inc., which owns Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. “And not in 10 years. Not in 15 years. But in the next year or two or three.” The Whiteness of America’s C-suites has always been glaring, but this call by Zeitlin—one of the four current African American corporate leaders and just 17 over the last two decades—is even more urgent against the backdrop of massive protests over police brutality and entrenched racism. His plea isn’t likely to be heeded, however, unless companies decide to radically…

5 min.
when jet jockeys get grounded

Two years ago, Qantas Airways Ltd. pilot Richard Garner, who’s based in Brisbane, Australia, set up a company to provide financial advice and arrange loans for airline staff. It was never meant to be a career—Garner flew his first plane at age 14 and never wanted to do anything else. Until March he was flying Airbus A330 widebodies on long-haul routes between Australia and Asia. Then Qantas furloughed two-thirds of its 30,000 employees, including the 43-year-old Garner. Now, he says, his firm, Crew Financial, “has turned into the No. 1 gig. It’s not the story I really wanted to have, but when the world gives you lemons, make lemonade. Isn’t that what you say?” Flying $250 million airliners was once a lucrative line of work, and there was no shortage of opportunity.…

4 min.
something to sneeze at

Early in the year, Michael Pack was preparing some tough measures. Röhm GmbH, the German acrylic glass manufacturer he leads, was emerging from a difficult winter season. Demand from the automotive and construction industries was lackluster, hurting prices, and the company’s new private equity owners were keen to map out how to get a return on their $3.2 billion purchase completed in July. In response, Pack, Röhm’s chief executive officer, started cutting production and workers’ hours at the hardest-hit plants. Then in March he noticed a sudden uptick in a part of the business that had long been steady at best: acrylic sheets sold under the Plexiglas brand. Orders were pouring in from retailers, offices, hospitals, and public transport companies, which were eager to get their hands on protective shields to…