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tv   Bloomberg Business Week  Bloomberg  April 23, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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he wants to modernize saudi arabia. he is the 30-year-old youngest son of the king of saudi arabia. in a very short amount of time, he has consolidated power. he is officially the deputy crown prince, which puts him
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second in line to the throne. over the past year, he has been given a portfolio, by his father over the economy, the oil industry, the defense ministry, and he is unveiling what is the biggest redo of the saudi economy for decades. he grew up wanting to be the next steve jobs. in the interviews he has given us, he talked a lot about technical revolution, what it means for people his age, 30-year-olds who constituted more than half the population and saudi. -- in saudi. the biggest scoop to come out of this interview is -- we always knew they were under pressure over the past year or so, they are running out of finances. they had several hundred billion dollars of foreign reserves.
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what they told us is that a year ago, they realized their burn rate was giving them to a place that they would be bankrupt by early 2017. the imf was telling the world they would be out of it by 2021. -- they would be out of money by 2021. they thought they had five years. the world thought they had five years. what was true is that they had less than two. over the past 10 months, prince mohammed has significantly reduced spending and putting a lot of efficiencies in place. we sat down with his financial adviser, who was going through some of the details on how inefficiently the kingdom was spending money, basically through the boom years of 2010 to 2014, when oil was hovering in the $100 range. it was not being accounted for very well. he has done a lot in that regard
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to slow the burn rate from, i think it was, $30 billion a month to around $8 billion. he bought them sometime. that does not mean they are out of the woods. david: what is his plan? span of five or six years, with the country to a position where the only pillar of the economy is oil. it is a big one, but no longer the majority. he wants to try to compel foreign investment and create job opportunities by expanding the private economy, which is not very existence right now. carol: he is also thinking about the rights of women, social reforms. women driving, that is something that has not happened in that society. not even being considered. >> he is smart enough to realize there are third rail issues that will take time. that is certainly one of them. one of the quotes he gave us --
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women enjoy rights in islam that they have not gotten in our society. that is really interesting and cuts right to the core of the saudi society. on the one hand, very wealthy well-off, and yet super religiously conservative. you have a society that sees themselves in prince mohammed and increasingly finds embarrassment as they go around the world, especially with the role of women in society. david: he is pushing for so much innovation. do we have a sense of how one with a saudi arabia and people are responding to that? >> it depends on who you talk to. the royal family is not a group of a few people. there are thousands of people in the royal family and are paid out of a kitty that sits between the treasury and aramco. a lot of these people will be
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getting a lot less money down the road. but i think, a country with a population of 30 million, where half of them are educated -- remember, all the efforts over the past 20 years or so, this kingdom has made to educate their people. they are educated and there is not enough to do. for the first time, someone in -- someone is in power is talking about these things. >> behind every cover story, there is a story itself. >> the photo director hired a very seasoned photographer to sort of just photograph and document how the prince goes about running his country. so he came back with various , options of the prince looking very relaxed, on an ipad, sitting in his living room, without his traditional
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headdress and clothing you would associate with a figure of such power. narrator: he went for the closer shot that we don't normally see, right? >> right. not only is this a much more graphic image of the young prince, you can also see that his facial features are just relaxed and something unexpected from such a powerful person. and, we are also used to seeing powerful figures faces in opulence. we went for this more unusual shot. david: what do you want to convey for someone who sees this cover? >> we opted for a smaller typographic treatment. the first thing you see, you see the prince is very young. as you read the language, he is in charge of such a big task. narrator: >> up next, if you
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want to know how you can't order a trump and vodka, we will tell you. david: how amazon decides what zip codes -- every codes get same-day delivery. all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ [applause]
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♪ carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm carol massar. david: and i'm david gura. this week features section shows donald trump with donald trump trump'son it -- donald name on it not sanctioned by trump. one is donald trump champagne. trump coins as well, a guy who makes no bones about all the money he has. he is not sanctioning that either. we hear so much about the wall he proposes to build at the u.s. and mexico border. a few people having a little fun with that. they have not build fencing it. three examples of a lot of people using the trump name without donald trump's permission. carol: he has patented a trademark office for people wanting to use the trump brand. a lot of people wanting to
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capitalize off of his popularity right now. if david: the whole process of doing that takes about a year or so passed the election. carol: in the features section there is a story about failed , trump vodka. we spoke to a reporter. >> i wrote about how donald trump had this magnificent rise thanks to the use of his dead of -- thanks to the use of some debt of his real estate empire. very amazing rise. what a fall in the 1990's. he was almost real and. but when he rebounded, he came -- he was almost ruined. but when he rebounded, he came back as a different version of himself. he often was merely loaning his name out, meaning he was not building buildings called trump. it also meant he was licensing trump pinstripe suits and donald trump, the fragrance. then, at the end of 2005, trump
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vodka. david: what was the market supposed to be for this fica? -- for this vodka? >> very high end. the best. they got a little ahead of themselves. they did not even have a bottle to put it in. carol: they did not have a distillery. >> they found one in the netherlands. it was like this small, struggling distillery. david: what happened here? it was a hit to begin with, but had a rather short life. >> it sold 40,000 bottles in the first few months. which was a good start. people were excited. it was a spectacle. there were parties and hollywood and miami beach, trump tower. it started off well. if those good times did not last. by the end of 2007, there was a line that says we are going to move our bottle production to china. just to cut costs.
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maybe that is not the end of the world, but a sign that things were not good. as a financial crisis started, you can see, look, the bigger bottle will be less profitable. there are less direct sales. you could see the trickle of bad news as the crisis got worse. david: is this a real relic, or a thing of the past? >> i heard there was trump vodka for sale. at a liquor store in brooklyn. there was. theourse, because distillery i told you about ended up going bankrupt in 2010. , trump ended up suing saying he was not getting the money he was promised. carol: so donald trump even sued. >> donald trump did not own the vodka, he was only supposed to be paid money.
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$2 billion by 2008 or half of the profits. he said that the company was not paying him, so he sued and trump vodka disappeared in the u.s., except for this brilliant liquor salesman who just saved a bunch. david: how much did he sell it for? >> around $30. isid: how soccer revitalizing herbalife. carol: restaurants find inspiration from the grocery store. all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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david: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm david gura. carol: and i'm carol massar. a look at how herbalife has helped well-known athletes. david: here is reporter matt
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townsend. >> like any company trying to re-create a brand and sell products, they have associated themselves with high-profile people. that has basically got an -- got them associated with people like david beckham and liked the public figures former secretary of state madeleine albright. david: why soccer? matt herbalife has a big : presence into latin america and further into asia. what is the most popular sport in all these places? david: soccer. matt by far. :especially in south america. those are places where herbalife has seen a lot of growth. the herbalifeve logo on the jerseys, so they are front and center.
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the biggest things that they got a big deal with la galaxy. then they got david beckham, who was really, really popular. he was the most popular person in soccer wearing an herbalife shirt when he was on the galaxy. david: who is driving this branding strategy? ceo, michael johnson. he came in the middle of the last decade from disney and said, let's turned this company, known for weight loss shakes into a sports performance brand. he has done that by associating them with athletes, mainly soccer. they are contacting other sports all over the world, too. and to branch out into other products. they do things like sports nutrition, protein powders, energy drinks. so, they really see herbalife as a sports performance brand.
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someday, they said they want to , have their logo, which is an herbal leaf, unlike nike. . like the nike swoosh carol: part of the argument, by having people liked david beckham another well-known people, it does give the brand some legitimacy. matt: right. one of the things he talks about is the big lie is easier to believe than the little lie. he has even compared herbalife to madoff. herbalife has all its credibility. it is a publicly traded company. it has people liked madeleine -- people like madeleine albright speaking on its behalf. it helps perpetuate -- he says it is a pyramid scheme. herbalife has denied these allegations saying the are legitimate company. it he is out to make good on his
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investment. carol: in this week's etc. section, a profile of restaurants at the forefront of a pretty interesting trend. >> chefs want suppliers to be able to not only give them food to serve in the restaurant, but to sell for people to take home because they don't have the capacity to do it. across the country, we are seeing this from everything from italian restaurants to seafood restaurants. david: is this stuff that you take home and heat up? >> it is both actually. there is a place in chicago that is liked a market attached to another italian restaurant. they sell a sunday gravy you can take home and heat up. [laughter] if you are really hungry, you can scoop it out. then, at a restaurant in virginia called rap session, you oll, and getyster rp;
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oysters to go. carol: it is happening around the country. >> and it makes sense. if you really liking what you have and want to try it at home, the restaurants give you the option to do it. david: the renewed assault on dodge financial reform. carol: the debate on how to classify uber drivers. all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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david: i'm david gura. carol: and i'm carol massar. we are inside headquarters. we are at amazon. carol: how to resuscitate the cap? it is all ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ david: we are here with ellen pollock. the editor of bloomberg businessweek. many more must reads, starting with a feature on amazon. the graphic accompanying it are so amazing showing the delivery , areas for amazon. >> this was a project some of the graphics team at bloomberg and the editors and reporters at bloomberg businessweek, what we did was look at where amazon's one-day delivery service is, their prime one-day delivery service.
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david: which they are really pushing right now. >> something they are really pushing. we looked at where the services were available and matched it to u.s. zip codes. what we found was, in many cities, several cities, there were areas that were largely populated by black consumers who are not eligible to get the service because they only deliver to other parts of the city, and they didn't serve these areas. david: especially atlanta and washington d c. boston. hole in thehole -- middle that is a largely black community where you cannot get the service. there was no evidence at all that amazon was out to discriminate in any way. they were looking at data.
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the story said something about how if you are only looking at data and not looking at the people, you can end up under serving black communities. it raises a lot of questions. leaders will have to take away whatever they wish. but there are some stark examples. of course amazon says they had , no intention of disseminating. -- discriminating. carol: interesting. this week, you take a look at the gap and breathing new life into the gap. this has been something we have been talking about for some time. ellen: the problem that they are facing is that they are known for basics. they are about to introduce new clothing. but many other retailers have gotten into the basic business. that is their big problem.
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carol: there are many times i walk in, and then walk back out. ellen: they were doing well and colored denim came in. they went into the gap and spend money on colored denim. the plain t-shirts, you can get a lot of different places. david: paul barrett looks at dodd frank. they are trying to erode it through the court system. ellen: first republicans tried to erode it in the legislature. that really did not work. there are all kinds of litigation to try to water it down or change it. david: we talked to the reporter on dodd-frank. >> the people who are trying to make a substantive point instead of merely symbolic gestures are looking consistently to the courts where they have had some success.
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carol: what have they had success on? >> most recently and quite significantly, a federal district court in washington reversed a very important decision by the financial stability oversight council. david: explain what that is first. >> that is a council of 10 treasury secretaries. the most powerful financial regulators in washington and they had designated -- metlife, the oversight council had designated metlife as a financial institution. this is a system that is so big, their failure could bring down the system. aig is one of these. prudential is one of these, and
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so forth. the federal judge said that the council had been arbitrarily capricious and exercising its authority and imposing this on metlife. and the potential significance of that is it could undermine the council's authority in future cases because the judge said they had to wait more -- weigh more carefully the potential financial affect on the institution in question and , that is a difficult thing for the council to do. david: part of what is gotten a lot of attention is the consumer financial protection. richard cortright has been the head of it for many years. and that has been a target, as well. >> it has been. there is a case pending before the d.c. circuit of federal appeals court in washington dc in which a mortgage lender is challenging them
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that it had arranged for , kickbacks and mortgage reinsurance. the agency imposed a ofgorgement of penalties $109 million. phh went well beyond trying to get the judgment against it reversed and challenged the very constitutionality of the cfpb. carol: what is fascinating is the cfpb was set up to be a consumer watchdog. the whole idea was to protect consumers and now they are getting pushed back. it was independent in terms of financing. backey are getting pushed and the argument against them is that they are two independent --
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too independent. by being unaccountable, the director of the agency, as you say, is able to draw his funds from the federal reserve. the appropriations process. secondly, can only be removed for cause by the president. in other words he does not serve , at the pleasure of the president. he cannot be removed. not the way that cabinet secretaries can be removed at any time. this is being toggled together into a constitutional argument. the panel of the d.c. circuit that heard the argument recently said it was quite sympathetic to , the constitutional argument. what they will do about that is not 100% clear. certainly, in theory, there is a and x essential -- existential threat. carol: a focus on uber and the fight on how to classify its workers. >> uber and companies like it contends that employees are independent contractors. uber is a technology
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platform, but not in a legal sense, the boss of the workers. david: what would it mean to uber if a court said, they are not independent contractors, they are your employees. how does that change the financial picture for uber? >> since the 1940's, u.s. law has provided a host of paper,ions, at least on to people who are employees ranging from benefits like minimum wage and overtime to the right to band together and force a company to bargain collectively with you. so, it would be a real change in the business model. carol: do the workers see themselves as partners? what do the workers want here? >> there is a range. one driver was quoted, they feel-like they are the boss. on the other hand, you have drivers who say, look i'm a this business i am
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running by being an uber driver. i have no control of how much i charge or can give my business card the next time you need a ride, or any control of any kind s of things a small businessman would have over the business they were running. so we are at the early stages of , this. and you have had industries come down in different areas and slip on appeal of one side or the other. in questions like do these , people get unemployment benefits? losto, each side has fights on each side. the teamsters have been one of the key forces in putting forward this bill that passed citywide in seattle that would create a union-like structure for these drivers. it would not change their status under the law to employees, but it would create a whole new set up where people, even if they are treated as independent contractors, could come together
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if they show they wanted, force a company liked uber to negotiate with them. that is a model now being considered in the legislature at the statewide level in california. david: next up on "bloomberg businessweek," how turntables are becoming mainstream. carol: and using virtual guns in competition. all of that ahead. ♪
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♪ carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." david: this week focused on section is about small businesses. carol: there is a story about a vegan cheese maker.
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david: vegan cheese? [laughter] carol: right, there are a lot of vegans who would like to have cheese, but they can't. david: milk product. carol: anything connected with an animal. this is a company based in silicon valley. it is interesting they are kind , of disrupting the cheese market if you will. instead of using animal enzymes, or stomach enzymes, they are using plant enzymes and getting equipment from france to do it. it is really interesting. they have caught the attention of folks from whole foods. they got into whole foods last year. they did a personal tasting with john mackey, one of the ceos of the company. and there is popularity with it. david: they plan to grow if the vegan cheese catches on. carol: it is a huge market. right now, begin cheese -- vegan cheese is less than 1% of the cheese market. they are hoping to grow and be popular among various consumers. david: ok, i will give it a try.
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also, a company profiting on the popularity of old-school turntables. >> crossley is the largest turntable manufacturer in the world. last year, they sold 1 million turntables. which is probably about, on estimate, a fifth of the market. david: they have gotten a lot of people interested in vinyl. what do they sell? what is their bread-and-butter? turntables in be 50 range.100 these are the turntables you see at urban outfitters, target, walmart. they are the inexpensive, retro turntables that are plug and play with speakers attached and don't require any setup. you buy it, take it home, and put on your copy of "dark side of the moon." ♪ david: a point of punctuation was when they got a call from
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restoration hardware. what did that mean for the business? >> it changed it more for the dynamic of the customer, the demographic. prior to that, modern marketing concept was using the brand to sell turntables to the group that was still using them. this was older baby boomers who were nostalgic and wanted to use records piling up in their basements and garages. so they sold old wooden jukebox-style turntables that appealed to dad. they were selling it at the skymall and jcpenney. sexy side of the business. when restoration hardware came calling in 2000 and one as a client, what it did, it started promoting and marketing the crossley turntables as a fashion accessory for largely female buyers. that was one of the factors that
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pushed the vinyl revival into the mainstream. david: this new turntable, you mentioned, vinyl has become a fashion accessory for a lot of people. they have gotten into it. is there evidence that with a higher end turntable, that they will be successful and people will want to spend more money on a crossley turntable? >> it certainly remains an open-ended question. because of their mass success selling inexpensive turntables, has a reputation of a company that sells fun, but cheap stuff. in the audio file community, those who really know their stereos and are serious record collectors, they are kind of despised because they can do damage to records. what crosley is doing is trying to get those users, those familiar with their branding already, to trade up and stay with the brand. they had a huge installed user base, something around 5 million crosley users over the past decade bought their turntables.
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but will that take -- will those people make the leap when they decide to trade up and gain a greater appreciation for fidelity sound, or have the disposable income to do this? that is the big question. -- thenext, the rent market for virtual weapons. david: how gps may be rewiring our brains. all that, straight ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
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david: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm david gura. carol: i'm carol massar. buying and selling in game stuff has become commonplace. david: take a trip to a virtual bazaar. here is a reporter. >> the pro-videogame circuit has been dominated by a couple of big games. one game is "counterstrike," which will be the subject of turner's new sports league, that will be the first entry into mainstream television. david: what is it? [laughter] >> it is actually, by the
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standards, it is easy to understand. there are two teams, a terrorist team and a counter insurgent team. you try to get rid of the other team's players. david: how popular has it become? >> it is very popular. it is one of the main games that is used in these tournaments. it is a big deal. carol: they have virtual weapons that have created a secondary market. and there is a lot of gambling going on as well, right? >> the type of gambling that goes on is interesting. they use virtual weapons you can buyin the game, but also through websites. those are used as poker chips. so come to these websites, you can say, i think team "a" is going to win. it all seems very nice and abstract, but there is also a
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liquid market, a secondary market where those guns and knives are at cash value. you are essentially betting money even though it feels abstract. david: is this raising eyebrows with regulators? is it a regulated industry? >> as far as i can tell, it is not raising eyebrows among regulators, in part, it is really down there in the subculture. fantasy sports, they really put it in everybody's face. it was on tv, it involved football, people understood that. in this, you have to understand what this professional videogame circuit is. what this game is, and the elaborate process through which you are taking guns and turning them into money and out of money and betting on things. it is a little bit mind blowing. carol: the gambling is illegal? >> the gambling is unregulated. sports betting is illegal in the united states. it ctainly seems illegal. it has not been tested in united
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states courts. valve doesn't say much. they have set up a system that has allowed this to happen. in the past, you have seen other game companies really make it impossible for you to take items within the game and get cash for them. ♪ made technical barriers, made it against terms of services. valve is on the opposite way. they actually encourage the cash trade with their weapons. carol: they promote it? >> they encourage it. they say it encourages engagement. they have set up a system where it is possible. carol: speaking of new world order, a new report on how gps may be changing the composition of our brain. >> according to some very suggestive research, fundamentally altering the structure of our brains. if you think about it, we have been basically shutting them off and allowing gps to tell them where to go, which is often why we end up driving our cars into lakes. [laughter]
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david: do you even have a map in your car anymore? carol: no. and i have to say i put in , addresses and kind of follow it. even though i find myself saying, i usually go this way. the history of gps is pretty interesting. >> it was invented by the air force. the air force brass decided not to fund it because the already had a navigation tool. they said, it is pretty good. and then the military tried to keep the best version for itself and give civilians a degraded version of it. and actually wound up not being that big of a deal. companies you know like magellan, if you aren't launching a missile, you can use a degraded version to get where you need to go. carol: we will see you back your next week. ♪
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