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tv   Bloomberg Business Week  Bloomberg  September 22, 2019 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm carol massar. jason: and i'm jason kelly. we are in bloomberg headquarters in new york. carol: the attack on the plant in saudi arabia rattling markets in the exporting region. jason: plus, a look at how trumpcare brought a new era of health insurance that doesn't cover the bills. carol: and we sit down with steve schwarzman, who weighs in on the u.s. china trade war.
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steve: they're doing it as they recognize that the short-term in china kind of remains with policy adjustments, but they're borrowing from their future. jason: more on that conversation later on. let's begin with the cover story. it's all about general motors. the ceo is eyeing a tech future, but her most pressing issue right now, she has a lot of workers on strike. carol: she does and that's one of the deep dives into well-known global companies in this week's issue. here's joel weber. joel: maybe you've heard of them, going through a bit of a labor strike right now, with a strike for strike in 12 years. but there's a bigger story. that's what our cover story is about. jason: why now? better to be lucky than smart, maybe, but you're very smart to deep dive, but nobody saw this coming. joel: we did a couple weeks ago.
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but is not about the strike. it provides a convenient news hook. we talk about strategies a lot and this is a strategy, a ceo trying to pivot her business and her business model and staff up with engineers and software people. and pivot away from the sort of traditional auto model into an electrified version of the feature that might also be automated. carol: when she was making those changes, cutting back on brands and saying this is not an easy thing for a ceo to do, she was thinking about what is the gm of tomorrow? joel: that's right. but at the same time you have to deal with today. that's where labor comes in. they are going to be watching the strike unfold further. jason: talk about trumpcare. that is a story hard to read because it's a very human story in a lot of ways. the cost of health care, literally and figuratively. joel: that's right. one of the things we coined is trumpcare, a coin of obamacare,
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obviously. what trump has done is gut the aca initiative, that was a flagship of president obama's. one of the things that's happened is a lot of shady insurance brokers have stepped into that void and basically brought to market a lot of policies that look like they do wonders, but the fine print reveals that they actually ensure nothing. and that's left consumers holding the bag, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they find themselves in circumstances they were insured for. carol: i feel like anybody who's got an insurance policy, they've got to be checking it out. joel: read the fine print. that's an incredible story because it digs into a place of reporting that nobody is looking, and consumers are being hurt right here. carol: i want to talk about another big corporate dive, asking the question, why did bayer buy bayer-monsanto?
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joel: fascinating story. incredibly well known for creating aspirin long ago, and then monsanto, known for roundup among other things, not beloved in the u.s. and bayer basically acquire them a year ago. and what we've seen since then is they basically acquired a company that they didn't really know what the legal implications of these ongoing lawsuits were going to be. and we've seen the number of lawsuits skyrocket, and it's left bayer looking at this massive acquisition they didn't do their due diligence on, even though they say they have. the market cap, with the exact price they paid was worth more than monsanto than they acquired it. it shows how much it's hurt that company.
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within the company, which is revered as a german industrial might, there's been a lot of soul-searching about this and what it might mean for the future. jason: much more on those stories coming up. first, we turn to a global story, the attack on saudi arabia's oil processing plant, the largest in the world. carol: rattling markets and raising tensions and a key in a -- in a key exporting region, and questioning president trump's strategy to weaken iran. here's our managing editor ben harvey in tel aviv with this week's remarks. ben: as we see in the most recent attack on saudi arabia, what they've done is they've struck at the heart of the global energy structure. this is the world's biggest refiner. when it attacks the aramco site, they managed to knock out half of saudi arabia's production and 5% of global production. >> that was noticed on the global stage. what i think is interesting, though, is how you talk about the pressure, specifically by
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the united states put on iran, it has certainly created havoc in their economy. but it's put them in a powerful iran, tehran and a powerful position. explain that. ben: yeah, iran's economy is in tremendous stress. but they have invested in nonstate armies around the region. whereas this is a cost-effective investment for them, they invest in nonstate actors, basically forces of disruption. when it feels pressure, it can activate them. as we saw, create massive damage. carol: you make reference to the art of war, asymmetrical warfare. this is what iran has been doing. ben: that's exactly right. iran's main rival is saudi arabia. they cannot compete on conventional grounds. saudi arabia is the third biggest purchaser of military
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equipment, after united states. iran can compete with that. what they are doing is investing in asymmetrical warfare. they have small forces that can create havoc, whether it's on global shipping lanes, whether it's in iraq, whether it's on the border of israel, and also now in yemen, where they have gained a foothold in the arabian peninsula, which is saudi arabia's backyard. jason: coming up, one of the best-known names in the world of investing, having cofounded blackstone. carol: and he's got a new book out. our conversation with steve schwarzman coming up next. jason: this is bloomberg businessweek. ♪ jason: welcome back to
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bloomberg businessweek. i'm jason kelly. carol: and carol massar. as every week. you can also catch up on our daily show by listening to our podcast on apple podcast, soundcloud, and jason: and you can find us online at and on the mobile app. if you think about the important world of private equity, you're probably thinking of steve schwarzman. he was the cofounder of blackstone back in the mid-1980's, after he had done a very successful stint on wall street already. carol: he writes about what he calls a collection of inflection points that led him to who he is and where he is today. it's in his new book, what it takes in the pursuit of excellence. jason: we caught up with him with the latest edition of businessweek talks. steve: it's a different wall street, more efficient wall
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street, a wall street that can mobilize much more capital. it's a world that has printed so much money. not just in the united states, but the deficits that have run, it's easy to aggregate a lot of money to do a lot of things. jason: it feels like so much of what you've become and what you've created really does go back to those early days. first the dlj briefly, and obviously business school, but lehman brothers, that's where you were really forged in a lot of ways. talk to us about that time, the lessons you took from that experience. steve: lehman was, at that point, fascinating place in the investment banking world. jason: but a difficult place. steve: i would say, my first day of work, somebody walked out of the elevator and walking to me and said you're very lucky to work here because nobody here will ever stab you in the back.
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actually, just walk right up to you and stab you in the front. carol: there's a line in your book, you write how your exit from lehman had show you wall street at its worst. steve: lehman got into financial trouble and, you know, my own view and everybody at the firm would have a different view, is that grown-ups did not protect the institution. they were too worried that the ceo would got the firm in trouble would fire them if he took them on. as a result, the firm was sort of frozen. we had mark market loss in terms of net worth. we were forced to sell the business because it was discovered that the net worth at sort of gotten close to disappearing.
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your ratings would go down and then the firm would collapse. so, you know, i looked at that, and it's a firm that, i guess, 150 years old, something like that, and say how could this ever happen? i never wanted anything like that to happen to anybody i was associated with. on the other hand, fascinating place with fascinating people. it was before i joined, before there were any mba classes. so the people who worked there were ex-cia agents, somebody from the entertainment business, somebody from the oil patch. everybody had a lot of different points of view, and it was fascinating place. that's why i went to work there. jason: and forged incredibly important relationships, not the least of which may be among the most important, if not the important, was peter peterson.
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it has come out of that scarred in different ways to a large extent. you start having breakfast every morning, trying to figure out what's going to happen next. describe to us, if you will, what was at the crux of your relationship with pete? steve: pete was 21 years older than me. he's known all over the united states, and i was the young guy. pete was a very structured, suma cum laude type of process thinker, which was great. i was sort of intuitive type thinker, and so when we did things together, he would let me do all the execution because, for a while, he sort of tried to rehearsal what we do and i said don't worry about it. i'll walk in the room.
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carol: i got this, right? steve: i got this. it'll happen. and it does. so, we were a very good team for a very long time, over 30 years. and sort of incredibly productive, easy to deal with because we each approached the world somewhat differently. carol: except when you guys went out on your own and you were looking for money. steve: what you find is that the world is not always waiting for you. in fact, sometimes the world doesn't even respond to you. so when we started, we sent out about 500 letters, expecting people to call us and give us an order, and the phone never rang. carol: in your book, you write you can't learn to be a manager. but you can learn to be an entrepreneur. i'm sorry. steve: you can learn to be a manager. carol: but not to be an entrepreneur. steve: because being an entrepreneur involves seeing a
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lot of things simultaneously, and have the desire and the ability to just say ok, this is going to work. i'm just going out there to make it happen. there is no fallback. there is no net. you know, when you're up on the high wire. and the only reason you do that is that you are sure. now, the fact that nine out of 10 new businesses fails means that it is a delusional exercise, right? carol: right. steve: so to be that delusional and go out when the percentages are against you takes a certain kind of person who believes they've figured it out. carol: to do it anyway. steve: they don't think they're at risk. people who do these books or whatever, or interview entrepreneurs and talk about, you really like risk. nobody likes risk. nobody tries to fail. so i've always found that whenever i do anything, whether it's a new charitable thing or
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its expanding different parts of the firm, i like to be completely convinced that whatever we're doing is going to work, and i usually can explain to anybody why i think what i think, and is rational. but interestingly, hardly anyone ever responds and competes with us when we start because people are comfortable doing what they do. so, you can tell we're doing something else and they go that's interesting. they just go back to what they're doing. it's part of the human condition. jason: coming up, more from steve schwarzman. he hung out for a while. carol: we covered a lot of topics, including populism and the u.s.-china trade war. this is bloomberg businessweek. ♪ jason: welcome back.
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i'm jason kelly. carol: i'm carol massar. you can listen to us on the radio and in new york and in boston and in washington, d.c. jason: and 960 in the bay area and in london on dab digital radio and on the bloomberg business app. let us continue our conversation with steve schwarzman. carol: the private equity tighten, while one of the has one of thehe closest relationships to beijing out of any executive, is rooted both to business and the founding of schwarzman scholars. jason: he's also a prominent trump advisor. he has known the president a long time and served as an intermediary between the chinese government during this ongoing trade conflict. steve: it's more interesting than two people because china has been the most rapidly growing country, probably in world history over a 40 year period. and they did that with enormous
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energy, central planning, and also adopting a lot of things that emerging market countries do, which is hiding behind high tariff walls, closing its markets. and not making them if not closed, not making them as accessible as the developed world does. and doing different things with intellectual property. in the u.s., in the 19th century, sort of did the same thing. we were a poor little country and we found a way to use tariffs to protect ourselves. at a certain point, that creates imbalances around the world. so, now that china has got $3 trillion of reserves, it's the biggest producer of filler of jobs in the world, so jobs have moved from the developed world to china. wealth has moved. and the global financial crisis, basically, created problems for the developed world.
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so now we have roughly half of the people, for example, in the united states, who have income insufficiency. they're in a bad way, and that creates populism. and when domestic candidates, for being attacked, don't result in change for the people who are in trouble, they find a foreign devil. and i was pretty sure it was going to be china, for those reasons. so, in effect, china recognizes that the circumstances of the world have changed. but, like all people who have a really good deal, why would you change it? and you only change it because there's pressure, and the change ends up being in their interest.
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there are people who don't believe that. remember, people don't like to change. here we have the developed world represented by the united states who wants them to change. so, it's a very interesting thing, for china knows it has to change. the u.s. wants them to change. it should be easy, except it's not easy because people don't like giving up advantage. and on the u.s. side, they would want to accomplish this rebalancing as quickly and as thoroughly as they can. so what's happening over the last two and a half years, roughly, is these two giant countries, which together have somewhere between 35-40% of the world's economy.
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so this is like the two parents fighting and the children are, like, hiding. and they're upset. that's rest of world, at the slowing trade. but long-term, at the decoupling of these giant countries actually result in lower growth for everyone. jason: right. and how much do you worry about that? how much do you worry about that decoupling because that seems to be the biggest worry in the world right now is that mom and dad will come together? carol: splitting of the world, essentially. steve: right. partly, that's happening because there hasn't been the over left. and i think, because ultimately, you know, people are rational on a certain level, that as these two countries see that that's not working for them. that they'll come to a table, which is what's happening now for, i guess the third time, and
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they're doing that not just to be helpful. they're doing that because they recognize the short term china can remain fine with policy adjustments. but they borrowing're from their future. and if you decouple and have a slower growing world, what's the win in that? that's not a win. jason: and what can you, steve schwarzman, do to help this along? steve: i think there are a lot of countries, and i think it's important that people understand where this is ultimately going, which is not in their interest. and ultimately, i believe, people will act in their self-interest, and there will be an adjustment. no one can predict the way the media wants, what's going to happen in october. it's sort of, i can guess, but no one knows because is really about, primarily it's about china. they have their hardliners.
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they have the reformers. what are they actually want to put on the table? carol: and president xi has to balance that right now. steve: somebody has to balance it. and in may, when the trade talks were basically -- i was going to say suspended, but at that point they were ended -- that balance of reform versus the harder line position, the harder line people were influenced now as it's all becoming more complicated. not just because of trade, other decisions china has made the last two or three years are creating more complexity there. they've got other things going on, as well, that put pressure on them. that they're coming and saying let's do something is sensible. you can't get caught up in two people or any administration, because if we don't solve this
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problem, the attitude of the democrats towards china is, if not identical to the current administration, it's pretty close. so, i think china recognizes that this is a structural issue. it's not a one u.s. president, and so getting something to lower the temperature and helping growth, globally, is in everybody's interest. carol: and be sure to catch our entire conversation because we talked about a lot of things, including the family business growing up. jason: a bit of a disagreement he had with his father about the linden business and how much it should expand. carol: coming up, general motors ceo is electrifying the carmaker. but first, she's got to settle a strike. jason: what were bayers thinking
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as losses from the weedkiller roundup pile up? we looked at the $63 billion purchase of monsanto. carol: this is bloomberg businessweek. ♪ - custom ink helps us celebrate and drive
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so we can focus on the kids. - [narrator] custom ink has hundreds of products to make you look and feel like a team. upload your logo, or start your design today, ♪ carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." jason: still ahead, trumpcare. under the current administration, health insurance that doesn't cover the bills has flooded the market. carol: and how trump's fda gave vaping room to breathe and grow. jason: we begin with the new stories this week. general motors. union workers walked off the general motors production line and shut down the automaker for the first time in a dozen years. carol: workers who had made
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concessions to get the company through bankruptcy now want a quid quo pro. the detroit bureau chief with a look at the company and the ceo. >> what they've been doing is they've been downsizing things in the core business they sold the european operations. they fled russia and southeast asian markets. they have downsized by getting rid of certain models and plants that make small cars. that's where the union gets angry. what gm is doing here is getting out of low-margin or money-losing businesses that other carmakers have participated in four decades in for decades out of corporate inertia. with the money she saves, she is putting it into electric cars and autonomous vehicles.
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because she sees that is the real future of the company. it really is strategic in terms of actual capital spending financially and transformative she can pull this off. the endgame is to sell cars to individual owners. to build a service, robo taxis. so you are selling transportation by the ride with a self driving taxi at some point. two other people it will become part manufacture, part service if all of this happens. if she succeeds that's what's going on. carol: she is throwing a lot of money into gm which she expects to be the gm of the future. you have a company making money and workers are saying they should get some as well. >> what i really loved about working on this story is that it touches on a big point within
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the american zeitgeist which is questioning whether capitalism has gone too far. andwhen mary cuts plants models because they make money but don't make great money, getting out of low-margin businesses, or she moves a model like the chevy blazer to mexico. you don't need to make it with mexican labor to make that profitable. the union reacts by saying you have have made record operating profits for the last three years the company is guided to beat , that this year so the money is coming in why do you have to keep cutting and sending vehicles to mexico? you need to take care of us. that is what that fight is about. jason: another big business story is all about bayer. two months after clinching its purchase of monsanto, the german conglomerate faced a protracted legal battle over the roundup weed killer. carol: that has opened the door to countless lawsuits which begs
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the question why did bayer buy monsanto? in the 2014-2015 timeframe, bayer was looking to make some sort of a deal. the question was, are we going to continue this evolution into health care and pharmaceuticals or were they going to do something that was more conglomerate? the company had been quite conglomerate-heavy and most investors thought they would go health care, go pharma. and then the ceo of bayer came up with this plan to go after monsanto. he steered it through. it was bold, big, and pretty contentious here in germany. carol: let's fast forward a little bit. they make this purchase.
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how much of the potential legal problem because of monsanto's roundup weed killer was known at the time? >> well, it depends who you ask. if you talk to the plaintiff attorneys in the u.s., it was all there. the key thing that happened, this was a year prior to bayer's attempt to buy monsanto. in 2015, this organization is -- this organization, which is part of the world health organization, they had identified the key chemical inside roundup as probably carcinogenic, meaning it could cause cancer. global regulatory bodies from the epa in the u.s., europe, japan and all over have for
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years allowed it to be used. bayer continue to argue that that was the winning argument. therefore, it was a fine decision. they claim they did all sorts of due diligence and concluded the legal risk was low. well, it was not low. it has been massive. there are now more than 18,000 lawsuits against the company in the u.s. and they have lost three of three trials. to the tune, one jerry awarded $2 billion to plaintiff's. it came down a little bit but it is big. carol: still ahead, collateral damage in trumps trade war. are farmers still on his side? jason: we look at the world of vaping. however regulatory delay allowed that to take off. this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." carol: join us every day on the radio starting at 2:00 wall p.m. street time. you can also catch up on our daily show by listening to our podcast. jason: and you can find us online at and through our mobile app. carol: in the economic section the u.s.-china trade war has cut , off american farmers from one of the most important export market. so trump's solution has been $28 billion in aid. jason: but is that enough to keep rural voters loyal? here is this week's businessweek explainer. they are collateral damage in president trump's trade war with china. farmers have been slammed by the decision to slash imports, but the president reminds farmers he is making it up to them. they are getting $28 billion in aid over a two-year period, more
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than twice what taxpayers paid for the bailout of the auto industry. that does not include an additional in subsidized crop $10.5 billion insurance. income is down 29% and farm debt -- projected to be down 29% and farm debt is projected to reach a record $416 billion in 2019. still, the aid payments may cover half of the farmer's trade war losses and 58% of those surveyed expect another round of trade aid next year. one poll shows 67% of farmers backing the president up from 60% a year ago. jason: from one hot button issue to another, we turn to health care. the trump administration's moves to weaken the affordable care act has companies cashing in. carol: and many americans are learning the new health insurance does not cover the bill. our investigative reporter found out how it is impacting one family in particular. >> her husband woke up one
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morning and could not get out of bed. he asked her to pray with him. instead, their son called 911. the ambulance came and it turned out he had had a heart attack. he was discharged from the hospital. he is doing well now. at first, they thought the bills were covered. she started to get things in the mail saying pay this and that. carol: it's like the insurance company has not caught up yet. >> eventually, she figured out she owes $250,000. she called the insurance and they said that's right. we are not going to pay. carol: how can that be right? she had hospital benefits and coverage, a deductible of $7,500. >> she thought that was all she owed, but it turned out she had what is called a short-term medical plan.
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this is the kind of policy that is exempt from the requirements of the affordable care act. her policy had all sorts of limitations that she was not aware of. such as a covered a maximum of $5,000 for surgeries. so anyone who is ever seen a hospital bill knows it's going to be way more than that. carol: any surgery had it would be $5,000 max. >> that's what it said. the limitations are so weird but when she called, they said that we have paid a few thousand dollars and won't be paying anymore. carol: so many people are listening and saying, did you read the fine print? tell us about the process in terms of maybe things in the fine print or something the broker was supposed to tell them and maybe did not. >> she says the broker told her this was comprehensive insurance
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and comparable to what she had before. the broker was not willing to speak with me, so i don't know what her side of the story is . i assumed she said she would inform her of the limitations. but, the interesting thing is that since the affordable care act passed, people have come to believe there are a bunch of rules about health insurance. that any policy will meet certain minimums. but it turns out there is this kind of insurance called short-term medical that does not have to follow these rules. they can exclude people with pre-existing conditions, they can put a cap on how much they pay. the trump administration is actually promoting these kinds of policies as a way of giving people more choices. carol: from health care to health concerns, this week, the u.s. center for disease control and prevention launched its emergency operating center to look into lung injuries. then you had new york state
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imposing a emergency ban on e-cigarettes. -- flavored e-cigarettes. jason: here is our reporter on the controversy and why the industry grew so fast. >> it goes back a couple of years when the fda commissioner then was scott gottlieb and wanted to implement this strategy that would not only look at e-cigarettes but also cigarettes and try to get people off tobacco altogether. he was looking at this idea where you would reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, and at the same time, give room for e-cigarettes to grow as an alternative while you are getting adults off of smoking. you are giving them something to use instead. but it hasn't worked out that way. what we have seen is that nothing yet has happened officially on the nicotine front.
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at the same time, the vaping industry has taken off and you have more kids hooked than ever before. jason: what happens next? who has the next move. industry has quite a stake in this. the president is weighing in, seemingly making it personal. and as carol alluded to let you have multiple regulators in departments of the government trying to figure out how to deal with this. >> i think the next move is looking like it will come from the fda again. but it will be directed by the president and hhs secretary azar who last week both said they were going to look into taking e-cigarettes off of the market, flavored ones. so anything except tobacco flavor off of the market. they would have to reapply to
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the fda to get approval to resume sales. we are looking to that to be the next policy that comes out that could have a huge effect on the industry. if it happens the way the trump azar said it could happen , quickly. that is something we will have to see what exactly the details are. we have not seen those yet. carol: your point is there has been a delay after delay. we have an acting fda commissioner and it will take time to nominate some of the and -- somebody and get them confirmed. then you have the elections which will keep lawmakers and everyone busy. .e could see more delays >> it is tough to get major policy proposals through when you have an acting commissioner. it helps a lot to have someone
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who has senate confirmation and we are not sure who trump will nominate for the permanent position whether it will be the acting commissioner or someone else he has been talking to as well. so there are a lot of pieces at play here that don't indicate a whole lot of backing. jason: and michael bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of bloomberg lp recently announced a $160 million initiative pushing to ban flavored e-cigarettes. carol: nothing is immune from the sharing economy and that includes legal advice. jason: plus, virtual reality dining. this blew my mind. is it art or delicious nonsense? this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." jason: you can also listen to us on the radio on sirius xm channel 119, and on a.m. 1130 in
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new york, 106.1 in boston, 99.1 f.m. in washington, d.c. carol: a.m. 960 in the bay area, over in london on dab digital, and on the bloomberg business app. jason: on the radio, we cover topics from the magazine and beyond, like this story, bloomberg's participation in the covering climate now initiative, a global collaboration highlighting climate change and the efforts to combat it led by columbia journalism school. carol: here is our reporter in our radio studio with what is behind the world's climate victory. capitalism. >> the cost of solar panels and wind turbines came down. part of it was subsidies and there are still subsidies but we are now seeing it in places like spain and italy, and china where these plants are no longer subsidized. and when governments and utilities look for new power sources, they look for wind and
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solar. jason: what could trip this up? this has ultimately turned into something of a political issue. the whole idea of coal jobs and coal powered jobs was a key part of the constituency for president trump. do politics enter into this? >> it might. the administration has tried to find ways to prop up coal plants and some states have done things to subsidize nuclear. carol: you think about the impact on our utility infrastructure where coal has been such a big part. these are changing dynamics for this industry and companies. >> absolutely. in places like the midwest are sitting on some of the strongest shale reserves in the country. a lot of the coal plants coming off the grid are being replaced by gas. the question is, are we going to
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see renewables replace a gas soon or in 30 or 40 years. jason: renewables disrupting how we get power. carol: and the sharing economy is turning every industry on its head, including law. jason: max chafkin visited a startup that will rent you a lawyer. >> twitch founder, you may remember is the reality tv star of, an early web 2.0 thing. he put a camera on his head and walked around san francisco doing 20-year-old coder stuff. it was not a huge hit, but he's back with a new company, which is trying to bring the sharing economy to legal services to replace your corporate lawyer with a $500 a month's subscription. carol: the reason we care is that crazy thing eventually morphed into twitch.
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>> twitch also sounded kind of crazy. because who wants to watch other people play video games. it turns out a lot of people. twitch helped create the whole notion of e-sports and sold itself to amazon for $1 billion. it is now part of amazon part of , this vibrant, growing industry. and justin was an investor for a while, and as he explained, basically started wondering why he was spending so much money on legal services. realized he spent something like $2 million over the previous decade and did not feel like he was getting enough for it. carol: so enter atrium. so tell me how this works. it is a bit of a tiered service. >> it is similar to we work honestly. $500 and you get access to one hour a month of general legal advice. you have a corporate lawyer from a big law firm who gets paid
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high hourly wage, etc., and then you get the software platform which supposedly is going to automate a lot of these functions. so they walked me through an offer letter. you type in the name, checkboxes, and outcomes a legal document. or they can do it for an nda. the idea is that will expand to include lots of stuff. in the long run, a lot of the legal services will be handled by software. your corporate lawyer will be spending fewer hours doing general lawyer stuff. carol: i feel like some of it makes a lot of sense. we have been talking about legal work and so much of it is formulaic. there's no reason you can't involve technology to walk us through it. >> and we have seen this on the personal end of legal services. there are websites that will help you prepare a will.
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it is happening in all sorts of areas. it is interesting as it is going after sort of the core of the legal industry. these big corporate law firms that generate enormous amounts of revenue and pay very well educated lawyers millions a year. jason: in pursuits it is all , about food. carol: our editor writes about a new trend, vr dining, and yes it is exactly what it sounds like. eating while wearing a virtual reality headset. >> vr dining is something we looked at really skeptically. an author pitched it to us and it has been something slow to take hold. like dining in the dark. i don't know if you've ever been subjected to it but it is not , fun. carol: where is my food? >> exactly. but vr dining is something that is starting to catch on. it was a big deal at this food conference in south korea
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earlier this year and now it is coming to new york. there is a company that is bringing a situation to the james beard house. which is right here in new york city and for $125 you put on a headset and have five courses and it will be like fast and furious. you might be looking at a bar n and tasting cheese. jason: that is something i was trying to get my head around. you are not looking at what you are eating, you are looking at something else. your senses are essentially informed by what you are hearing and seeing three or eyes. not necessarily what you would be experiencing if you are looking at the food. >> exactly. you aren't looking at the platonic idea of the cow, you look at something that will expand your senses somehow. and whether you buy into it or not remains to be seen. >> did you do it? >> i have done a version of it
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and i have to say i'm not a fan. i think of eating as a social experience, a good way to have a conversation. and if you have this arresting image in front of you, i think it's a lot. carol: sometimes, simple is nice. jason: it would feel weird if we all went out to dinner and then put on masks. carol: but it is interesting the james beard foundation is involved. >> its smart because you always have to find a way. they are sitting on pricey real estate in greenwich village and have his unoccupied floor, now they can rent it out and move forward so i think it is a smart idea. it is worth seeing what's behind it. a top chef judge is narrating the experience. i think people should try it. jason: bloomberg businessweek is available on newsstands now. carol: an online and through the mobile app. jason: and check out our podcast
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wherever you get your podcasts. carol: and our extra podcast. more bloomberg television starts now. ♪ devices are like doorways
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scarlet: i'm scarlet fu. this is "etf iq" where we focus on the risks and rewards offered by exchange traded funds. ♪ rotating to value -- investors rediscovered out of favor sectors, leading to abid -- a bid for energy names and small caps. banking on the middle. actress elizabeth banks on what -- why she and state street believe you are overlooking mid-cap stocks. and silver in the spotlight. rising demand is driving holdings in silver etf's to an all-time high.


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