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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition August 10, 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

Global coronavirus cases topped 18.6m and deaths passed 702,000. President Trump said he thinks a vaccine may be ready before yearend, with more than a half-dozen prominent companies and researchers racing to develop one. Hong Kong delayed September’s Legislative Council election for a year, blaming a recent surge in Covid-19 cases. The move outraged pro-democracy advocates, who accuse Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and China’s central government of trying to stamp out dissent. A devastating blast in Beirut on Aug. 4 killed more than 100 people and injured thousands. The explosion, which has yet to be explained, destroyed the city’s only wheat silo. Now, in addition to the pandemic, Lebanon faces food shortages. Trump threatened to ban Chinese social media app TikTok. He’s given the company until Sept. 15 to strike a deal with…

3 min.
hire laid-off oil and gas workers to fight climate change

As Congress debates how to address the economic calamity we are facing, we have an unprecedented opportunity to put people to work addressing the climate crisis—and let’s start by hiring laid-off oil and gas workers to help lead the way. The fact is, the U.S. oil and gas sector was in trouble even before the pandemic struck. Last year more than three dozen producers declared bankruptcy, hobbled by declining energy prices and rising debt. The pace of filings has quickened with the spread of the coronavirus, and even after the virus threat subsides—which is unlikely to be anytime soon—cheap renew-ables will drive more companies under. This turmoil has hurt oil and gas workers—some 100,000 have been laid off in 2020—and communities that depend on fossil fuel extraction are suffering. The bankruptcies have…

1 min.
will the u.s. pull another plug?

New Zealand’s central bank sets rates on Aug. 12. A strong currency and low inflation have raised calls for stimulus, including negative interest rates. Royal Caribbean Cruises reports second-quarter earnings on Aug. 10. The pandemic has hit the industry particularly hard. The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, a closely watched gauge of demand for crops such as soy and wheat, is due on Aug. 12. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Aug. 11 reconsiders a ruling to dismiss a criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. China provides economic data on July industrial production and retail sales on Aug. 14. Economists are looking for signs of a rebound. J.P. Morgan hosts a virtual automotive conference on Aug. 11-12 to explore the road to recovery for the battered transport sector.…

9 min.
the italian bike bailout

It’s early evening on Via del Pellegrino, a narrow cobblestone street in the heart of ancient Rome, and Orsola Polimeno is taking delivery of a pair of bright-orange-detailed folding bicycles. The matching bikes will be a pleasure to ride, she says, but the purchase is even sweeter, because the €1,500 ($1,775) she’s spending will net her a government check for €900. The payout comes thanks to a provision in Italy’s Covid-19 recovery plan that offers 60% cash back to buyers of greener transport such as bicycles, electric scooters, even Segways and hoverboards. The rebate goes up to €500 per person, corresponding to the purchase of a bike costing €833. That means to take full advantage you’d have to be the sort of Italian who has that kind of money sitting around.…

6 min.
the aborted airline takeoff

Just a month ago, airlines around the world began adding flights as lockdowns eased and people craved escape. But as the travel season reaches what should be its annual peak, hopes for an industry comeback have been dashed by flareups of the pandemic in Asia, a deepening health crisis in the Americas, and the reimposition of flight curbs in Europe. With optimism about a quick rebound gone, the aviation world is increasingly resigned to years of depressed demand. Airlines are now rethinking plans to restore their schedules and facing a jump in bankruptcies. It’s also forcing a reassessment of just how long travel will take to return to normal, with the International Air Transport Association predicting that last year’s traffic probably won’t be matched until 2024, a year later than previously…

5 min.
airbus and boeing play the long game

For decades, the competition between Airbus SE and Boeing Co. has centered on issues such as which could build the biggest jumbo jet or log the most multibillion-dollar sales each year. Then the corona-virus hit. Now the world’s two dominant plane makers will battle to see which one can best weather an unprecedented downturn in air travel that’s emptied the wallets of the airlines that buy their planes. With new orders dormant, the challenge is to cut costs and protect cash while keeping factory systems and global webs of suppliers operating at a high enough pace to retain essential skills and be ready to bounce back when the crisis passes. Getting the balance right will be tough, given that Airbus and Boeing together employ almost 300,000 people and sell aircraft that…