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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition June 21, 2021

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

20 min
know thyself down to the neuron

Over the next few weeks, a company called Kernel will begin sending dozens of customers across the U.S. a $50,000 helmet that can, crudely speaking, read their mind. Weighing a couple of pounds each, the helmets contain nests of sensors and other electronics that measure and analyze a brain’s electrical impulses and blood flow at the speed of thought, providing a window into how the organ responds to the world. The basic technology has been around for years, but it’s usually found in room-size machines that can cost millions of dollars and require patients to sit still in a clinical setting. The promise of a leagues-more-affordable technology that anyone can wear and walk around with is, well, mind-bending. Excited researchers anticipate using the helmets to gain insight into brain aging, mental…

6 min
nasdaq. nyse. sushiswap?

Money manager Vladimir Vishnevskiy can earn a negative interest rate for holding a European government bond. Or he can pocket the annual equivalent of a 20% yield for locking up money in one of the wilder corners of the cryptocurrency market, known as decentralized finance, or DeFi. He decided to go for the 20%. “You can’t get those yields in the traditional space,” says the co-founder of Swiss-based St. Gotthard Fund Management, which runs a portfolio designed to squeeze income out of crypto assets. The strategy is so new that even Wall Street pros may have trouble wrapping their heads around it. Take what you might know about Bitcoin—that it’s a digital currency that exists only on an online ledger governed by computer code. Now make it even more mind-bending, and…

6 min
to catch a (commodity) thief

Sergeant Tosha Ternes spends most of her time at the Saskatoon Police Service investigating cases of breaking and entering. In recent months her department has seen a “drastic” increase in one type of crime: lumber theft from construction sites. “Everything’s just lying there, kind of like a free-for-all,” Ternes says from the Saskatchewan city in Canada’s prairie region. “Some sites have been hit two, three, four times.” Theft of commodities such as lumber, metals, and food crops is nothing new. Yet the combination of soaring prices, the coronavirus pandemic, and the hit to economies has created an unusually fertile ground for criminals. Statistics are hard to come by because authorities use different data and much of it is from before the pandemic took hold. But interviews with experts, law enforcement agencies, and victims…

13 min
bitcoin beach

Before the tears start falling, the subject gripping the room is inflation. “We’re seeing [an] unprecedented amount of monetary expansion from central banks right now,” says Jack Mallers, pacing the stage like an evangelist stoking his audience. “It’s very scary.” The scene resembles a tropical TED Talk, one given by a crisply tanned, hoodie-clad 27-year-old who looks like he washed ashore from a night of clubbing. It’s Bitcoin 2021, a two-day confab in Miami in early June, where 12,000 techno-anarchists, Wall Street bankers, and the crypto-curious swarm to conspire about the future of Bitcoin. Mallers, the founder of a Bitcoin money-transfer startup called Strike, swiftly maneuvers from inflation and the farce of the Federal Reserve to deliver the real subject at hand: financial injustice in the developing world. In El Salvador,…

3 min
alzheimer’s drug furor shows two failures in the u.s. health system

Patients and their families may see hope in the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to slow the pace of Alzheimer’s disease. Aducanumab is the first medicine authorized to treat what might be an underlying cause: clumps of a protein, amyloid beta, that accumulate in the brain. Yet the evidence from clinical trials that the drug reduces Alzheimer’s is incomplete; it may be only minimally effective, if it works at all. The FDA’s expert panel strongly objected to the drug’s approval. All of which makes the agency’s announcement this month perplexing and wrong. It threatens to mislead millions of Alzheimer’s patients. At the same time, because Biogen Inc. plans to price the drug at $56,000 a year for the average patient, it also stands to…

2 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases have topped 176 million and deaths have passed 3.8 million, while more than 2.4b vaccine doses have been administered. The U.K. extended its final lockdown rules by four weeks to fight the rapid spread of the delta variant. Now the dominant strain in the country, it was first discovered in India. Together, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. possessed 13,080 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. While that’s down from 2020, the number of operational warheads has grown slightly. Naftali Bennett replaced Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s on trial for corruption, as Israel’s prime minister. The Jewish nationalist joined centrist Yair Lapid to form a ruling coalition. Commanding only 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, the coalition…