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Bloomberg Businessweek

March 18, 2019

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

United States
Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues


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in brief

Theresa May’s much-maligned Brexit plan suffered another crushing—and perhaps fatal—defeat. The U.K. Parliament then voted to reject, leaving the European Union without a deal. That raises the prospect that the divorce will be delayed or even reversed. Boeing faces an unprecedented crisis of confidence after all 157 people on board were killed in the crash of a 737 Max 8 airliner in Ethiopia. Carriers and regulators around the world grounded the company’s most important jet pending an investigation into the disaster. ▷ 15 Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, was charged by state prosecutors in New York for residential mortgage fraud and falsifying business records, just minutes after his sentence for federal crimes was raised to seven and a half years. Brookfield Asset Management agreed to…

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(ILLUSTRATION BY PETER GAMLEN) ▶ What to Do About Britain The European Council meets on March 21-22 in Brussels for a summit focused on jobs, growth, and climate change. But the real issue will be Brexit, with the dust from the chaotic votes in the U.K. Parliament still settling and the country not sure about what it will do next. ▶ OPEC and its allies meet on March 18 in Baku, Azerbaijan, to assess their oil-production agreement ahead of a Vienna policy meeting next month. ▶ Fed Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference on March 20, after the release of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s interest-rate decision. ▶ Data on German investor confidence will be published on March 19. The mood in Europe’s largest economy has picked up…

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his worst economic idea

Evidently, Donald Trump is still toying with the idea of imposing steep tariffs on cars and automotive parts. In a White House brimming with bad economic ideas, this would be the worst yet. In February, the U.S. Department of Commerce completed a confidential report on the national security implications of auto imports. If the probe uncovered a threat of some kind, real or imagined, the president would have wide latitude under the law to restrict or limit imports. Trump has mused about 25 percent duties to induce the European Union to make trade concessions. Europe has to “play ball,” he’s said, or “we’re going to tariff the hell out of you.”This would be as foolish as it sounds. A tariff that size would be a tax increase of perhaps…

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a losing equation for baseball

Imagine a business in which the worst performers are among the highest-paid employees. And imagine that top performers’ talents start to fade soon after their salaries soar.This is what it’s like for Major League Baseball owners who are trying to profit, or at least not bleed money, in a labor market that makes little sense in any other context. In the past 15 years, no group of players has seen a bigger increase in salary share than the league’s worst, while no group has seen its share decline faster than the best.Before shedding tears for team owners, consider the situation players face. The league’s labor agreement is built around a rigid seniority system: In their first six years, players can negotiate only with the team they’re on. After that,…

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baseball’s backward labor market

Stars such as Matt Holliday tend to earn more toward the end of their careers, when their performance is sliding. Bloomberg Businessweek analyzed MLB's labor market using the game's go-to stat for player value: wins above replacement. WAR is designed to measure the number of wins a player contributes relative to an easily hired replacement. *WHEN RANKING PLAYERS, THOSE WHOSE SALARY DATA IS UNAVAILABLE WERE EXCLUDED. MOST OF THEM PLAYED ONLY A SMALL NUMBER OF GAMES. DATA: BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM…

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the plight of the 737 max 8

The skies had been, in aviation parlance, “severe clear” for Dennis Muilenburg since he took the helm at Boeing Co. four years ago. With air traffic increasing 6 percent annually, orders were booming, and revenue in 2018 topped $100 billion for the first time in the company’s 102-year history. Competitor Airbus SE has been distracted with the humiliating commercial flop of its A380 flagship and a bribery scandal that’s led to a huge management turnover. With Boeing’s stock price tripling during his tenure, its market value soared above $200 billion, making it the largest U.S. industrial company. It’s used the newfound clout to pursue acquisitions and ambitious projects such as a flying car.The only cloud was the crash in October of a 737 Max 8 jet operated by Indonesia’s…