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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia EditionBloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition

February 18, 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.

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50 Issues


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in brief

● NASA declared Mars Opportunity’s mission complete on Feb. 13. The rover’s planned 90 days of service stretched out to 15 years. Among its achievements: the discovery of evidence that salty water once flowed on the planet. ● Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has accused the National Enquirer’s parent company of politically motivated blackmail and extortion. The tabloid published details of his extramarital affair and, according to a Bezos blog post, threatened to print more embarrassing photographs unless Bezos called off his own investigation into the paper and its intentions. ● French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said anti-Semitism is “spreading like poison” in the country. His statement came after the government revealed that bias incidents and hate crimes jumped 74 percent last year. ● Spain may be headed…

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(ILLUSTRATION BY XAVIER LALANNE-TAUZIA) ▶ The State of the Economy Address U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivers his semiannual monetary report to the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 26. Although he’s signaled the Fed is done raising rates for a while, economists will seek clues as to whether the plan will hold into the second half of the year. ▶ HSBC releases earnings on Feb. 19, a year after naming John Flint as CEO. He’s seeking profit growth while spending billions of dollars expanding in Asia. ▶ The Central Bank of Sri Lanka announces its rate decision on Feb. 22. The bank surprisingly raised rates in November to check inflation. ▶ Data on existing U.S. home sales are due on Feb. 21. Sales of previously owned homes have fallen…

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trump’s nuclear blunder

The Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the 1987 treaty with Russia on intermediate-range nuclear forces is a mistake. For all its faults, the pact was one of the West’s great Cold War triumphs, and it continued to serve U.S. interests. Fortunately, if the administration is willing to think again, there’s a way to correct the error.The White House said the treaty had to go mainly because Russia has been cheating. The U.S. has evidence that Moscow violated the agreement by developing and deploying ground-based cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,500 miles. Russia denies that and has made an unfounded counterclaim that the U.S. has been doing proscribed research.Even allowing for Russia’s violation—a measured transgression, less than an outright annulment—the treaty was good for the U.S.,…

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who’s going to the soviet reunion?

In the fall of 1991, as republics from Armenia to Ukraine were declaring independence from the Soviet empire, an adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev tried to persuade him to adopt the approach of his rival Boris Yeltsin, president of what was still called the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic: Let them go. “Once Russia revives, they will come back,” the adviser wrote in a memo. Yeltsin assumed it would take 20 years to rebuild Russia’s traditional sphere of influence. So, 27 years later and with elections looming in two of the 15 ex-Soviet republics—Moldova and Ukraine—is Russia winning?The answer has important geopolitical implications. If there’s one thing hawks in Washington and Moscow can agree on, it’s that without an economic and security zone that to some degree matches the territories…

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from sweden with torque

Over the next three years, Ferrari NV aims to double profits by dramatically boosting sales of fast and fabulous cars such as the $1.8 million Monza, the $2.1 million LaFerrari Aperta, and the Purosangue, a sport utility vehicle that promises to be one of the fastest rides on or off the road. To get there, the Italian manufacturer will have to contend with Christian von Koenigsegg.Since 2002 his company, Koenigsegg Automotive AB, has sold about a dozen hand-built cars annually for roughly $2 million apiece. He expects to increase his yearly production to hundreds of vehicles by 2022, almost all of them a new model priced around $1 million. And a few years after that, he hopes to boost output to thousands of autos a year—which would make his…

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how murdoch 2.0 will be different

For several decades, the media industry watched slack-jawed as Rupert Murdoch acquired newspapers, magazines, TV channels, book imprints, movie rights, satellite assets, websites, and social networks. He bought from old-money, aristocratic families on the decline and from startup hipsters on the rise. Whether the media market was hot or frigid, Murdoch kept right on buying in spite of howling opposition from his progressive detractors.Then, finally, he sold. In June 2018, Walt Disney Co. agreed to pay $71 billion to acquire much of the sweeping territory Murdoch spent a lifetime assembling. Among other assets, Disney is poised to take control of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s TV and movie studios, its slate of cable-TV networks, including FX and National Geographic, and its stakes in satellite-TV networks Sky in Europe and Star…