tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg May 7, 2016 7:00am-8:01am EDT
carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i am carol massar. david: i am david gura. carol: right now, breaking the addiction to sugar. david: a cautionary tale to other unicorns. carol: and the powerful powerbroker behind donald trump. david: all of that and more, ahead on "bloomberg businessweek ." carol: we are here with 's"oomberg businessweek editor. you talk about the bank of england and the personal experience with the former ink
of england governor. >> that is right. michael lewis, the author of liar's poker, the big short does a book review of mervyn king's new book. in the process, he talks about what a great professor he was because he was his teacher, but he also talks about this one plan that mervyn king comes up with that would really help the banking system in his view by simplifying what gets bailed out, what doesn't and protects banks and in a much simpler way, kind of seemst of so simple, hard to believe that people are not already talking about it. arol: it is not like he wrote book about pay, this is what it is like to be the head of the bank of england but he wrote something useful to avoid another financial crisis. mervyn king says anybody
can write a book about how they save the world and what he wanted to do was talk about what he had learned and possible solutions, so one of the things he talks about is separating the boring parts of the bank, as he puts it, from the more exciting in oneso deposits, etc. part of the bank. he doesn't say they have to be separate institutions but they have to be split up from the sexier investor banking parts with assets are much riskier. carol: some great advice. in the markets and finance section, you guys really take a look at what has been going well at hedge funds because it has not been a good year for these guys. , there aree funds many more as time goes on, yet, they are not doing so well. in some cases, they are not keeping up with the s&p 500 has done. it varies a lot, but just when you go into a hedge fund, you are paying usually 2% of assets,
plus, a portion of the profits. it is just harder to make money as a hedge fund these days. usually, hedge funds have exploited a certain trading philosophy or algorithm and it is just there are so many in the market and they are steering away from some of the riskier asset classes and they are also did looking at equities and no one has come up with a special sauce or not enough that come up with a special sauce for them to look like an attractive alternative. carol: you kind of ask the question, is the hedge fund model broken and you go into that. and politicsy section, a take a look at princeton university and neighbors who have gotten perks from the university but the neighbors are saying, enough, i want you to pay more taxes back to the city. ellen: universities are nonprofits and they do not have property,l taxes on
etc., and people in princeton are saying, we want to do pay more taxes. you have so much money and you are making money and you need to chip in more. we are paying incredible property taxes, $17,000 a year, whatever it is, and they think princeton should chip in more. carol: we are talking millions of dollars more. ellen: we are talking a lot of money more and princeton does not think it should have to, but you even have somebody who is a former princeton professor in the story saying, i think they should pay more and this has come up in other places. similar battles are coming up in new haven with yale. it comes up every two years. carol: let's talk about the cover story. they are looking to break their addiction to sugar. it is kind of the backbone for somebody -- for some many of their products. ellen: nestle does lots of things. carol: haagen-dazs bars, right? oh henry's, lots of
good stuff, and they have other businesses, too, it is pretty diversified. a make instant formula, but one of the things they invest in now are products that would basically cure you once you have problems because of your sugar addiction. these things are all in the works. you will not find them on the shelves now, although, they have some products that are meant to help you on the shelves now, but a research lab set up in switzerland and they have a lab to test these possible products. they see it as the future. carol: there are lots of details and i spoke to matt campbell about it. matt: as we say in this story, this is built on a foundation of sugar. stle is built on sugar but there is a war on sugar if you look at what governments are doing. they are looking at companies that make sugar-based products. what is going on specifically? matt: it is not news to anyone
that there is an obesity epidemic in the world, europe, developing countries, latin america and asia. governments are seeing health care costs spiral out of control and they are starting to think about sugar over the bit like to think of tobacco. there are significant differences, but i think there is significant fear in the food industry that big food is the next they tobacco, if you like. carol: what is the impact on nestle? 's candyles and nestle business, chocolate, cookies, candy bars, has shrunken for the last three years and there is a shift going on in consumer behavior and that is driving nestle to look for new ways to grow and new ways to keep the .ata they have built it has become europe's most viable corporation, which is an amazing accomplishment. they do not want to let that go. carol: so what are they doing?
they're looking to invent and sell medicine, tell me what they are doing. is spending a lot of money to turn itself into something that looks a lot more like a pharmaceutical company benefited company. research extensive operation in switzerland that machine,ome sequencing brain labs with laser powered microscopes, very sophisticated research being done by people far, far more intelligent than i am. they are looking into the gastrointestinal system, metabolic health, and the idea is to develop medicines and therapies that are derived from food and delivered by food, so it is a revolutionary way of looking at medicine and food. may potentially come with a prescription required from a doctor, some over-the-counter and some on sale already. matt: that is right. there is a slate of these
products available from nestle already. they have invested in the company in colorado which makes ona, aing called exc powdered milk shake, that they say can benefit people with alzheimer's disease. the fda had some things to say about that a couple appears ago and they were not thrilled about some of those claims. there are lots of questions about the efficacy of other products nestle might introduce in the future, but there is an existing stable of these products. carol: could we ultimately have a company, nestle, that is selling kind of a problem on one hand and then kind of a solution on the other? matt: i think that is exactly what we may have, carol. lastly, while it is certainly trying to do things like reduce sugar, salt and fat in existing core businesses, it will never get rid of those businesses. in largel always be
part the candy company, but it also wants to sell medicine so you can spend part of him are consuming nestle candy and then later consuming nestle medicine, while i will leave others to speculate about the ethical implications, it sounds like an interesting business opportunity. carol: have you tried medicines available? matt: i have not. the ones that are available so far are very specific for things like major surgery, people with very obscure metabolic diseases and not for me yet. i have had plenty of kict -kat's in my day, though. toid: respect to -- we spoke the photographer. >> nestle has just been pumping is full of sugar or as long as andof us can remember contrasting that with the fact that they now want to get into
health food. carol: it is such a contrast. i think of that and look at my candy bag, going out stuff under my bed for many months and this is what they are known for. the whole part of photographer as a direction, imagine this is halloween and you're going through your bag, eating things, dropping them on the floor and moving on to the next thing. david: what were the concepts before this one in particular? have three total. the other ones were less straightforward. we wanted to get across that these products they want to get into the medicine cabinet, certain things to get in the drugstore. so we had this medicine cabinet with the stuff in there are band-aids, toothbrushes and things like that but spilling out around the candy bars. the other one we played with was as if you were in the vitamin aisle and you see the little bottles with pills but all the
labels are replaced with kind of nestle candy bars. we loved both the images and ended up using them in the inside, poet. for the cover, you wanted a bit of that immediacy and just loads of sugar in your face. carol: up next, alaska's future without oil. david: also, exxons fall. carol: and the new generation of psycho fanatics. david: all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
the state in bad shape and they are running out of oil. carol: it is amazing to think about alaska that has had so much money coming into the state and now it has a $4 billion deficit, so they are thinking of measures they have never thought about. things like income tax, and they are trying to get it to legislature. david: the governor of the state has rand plans on what to do it this date and unable to do any of that because of how dire the situation is there right now. they're talking about putting taxes on oil companies that have paid small taxes for a long time. 2rol: we talked about the billion barrels of oil coming out at a day, but that has come to the end of the lifecycle. david: it will be interesting to see what happens under the leadership of the walker. look at exxon mobil, which lost its aaa credit rating since the great depression -- that has been held since the great depression. carol: what they are doing to keep that cold standard credit rating. >> there are only two companies
left that have aaa ratings. carol: we are talking about credit ratings. andrites, johnson & johnson microsoft. until recently, exxon mobil, but and theyowngraded them were not happy about it, but they did not do everything in their power to clink to it either. carol: which is surprising because you talk to the ceo and they would hold that up for the triple-a credit rating company and that meant something. it also meant that when they borrowed, they could do it at cheap rates. peter: if you are going from aaa to aa, it does not mean you are at risk of default. it is a matter of the prestige value of having a aaa. right now, it isn't only 13 basis point difference, which means point 13 percentage points -- .13 percentage points makes the difference. carol: not much of a difference.
peter: not much reason to do it because you want to have a little more that sometimes. also look at leverage ratios for companies and you are looking at that typically go -- that to equity ratios and what have we seen the past two years? peter: we have seen more debt. sincepretty noticeable 2006, this top up and how much debt companies feel company -- feel comfortable carrying on their debt sheets. carol: what made you want to look at this? peter: the news was exxon mobil getting downgraded and i went the ceo looked at what said back in march and he was still saying, i hope they do not downgrade us and sure enough they did. himl: it is important to and reputation.
peter: it matter to him, but what mattered more was maintaining the spending projects he had and continuing the shareholder program of buying back shares and raising dividends. carol: i think you and i have talked about a lot of bloomberg and this cool idea that it borrowed a lot of money and the issued buybacks. investors have left it in terms of what it does to reducing shares. it makes the company look so much better, but at some point, it has to play catch-up, all the debt on the balance sheet. peter: i do not worry about a company that has fallen all the way down to aa. plus, that is not where the problem is. the problem is more like, we see a big increase in the s&p 500 and triple c's and that is the problem. the benefits of trying to start a comeback after a host of legal and ethical challenges.
program that automates everything from health insurance, payroll, vacation requests and it is a one-stop shop for businesses to manage the company. carol: it cut the attention of venture capitalists and became a pretty good size and it has worked its way to about $4.5 billion. that is not kind of where it is today. tell the tale a little bit of zenefits. >> zenefits makes most money to commission that insurance companies pay when they sell an insurance plan. insurance brokers are the name of the people who did this and this is the software version and it piggybacks on the old-style industries so silicon valley loves that. the problem is it is highly regulated. carol: with good reason. >> yes, you want someone deciding insurance that knows about insurance, so every state has an insurance exam, requirements and as you are
licensed in one state, you can get the reciprocal license in another state but you have to be licensed in whenever state you are selling insurance and. carol: and that is where they ran into trouble. >> they ran into trouble on that and and they have run into trouble in california, which is where they are located, san francisco. says whatder and ceo they created, called the macro, which would allow people to bypass this one online training course, an aspect of it, and that you had to be on it for 52 hours and it allowed people not to be on it for 52 hours. carol: so they should not have? done it that's so they should not have done it? >> rights. carol: it is interesting. the company that was not doing anything wrong now seems to be doing not very many things right. carol: they got -- >> they got in trouble in
and theya, washington, say other states have followed suit but they will not say which ones and they are facing millions of dollars in fines. carol: this involves well-known players. you think of the venture capitalists to hind, airbnb and david sachs came in to help run the company. he is another well-known investor that has been involved in paypal and so forth. what was his role? on the richly as chief operating officer and he was going to work with conrad and help zenefits grow into a better company. all of this came to light and conrad had to resign and david sachs was ceo and he is past with the turnaround. carol: what is the future of zenefits? what is conrad? is he sitting on the couch somewhere?
>> he probably is, but he is already planning his next company, although, we do not know what that is. we have heard some people say they want to get in touch with them. he grew this company to $60 million in three years and that is nothing small to laugh at in silicon valley. carol: he is revered to some extent. does zenefits have a future? >> i talked to a number of customers that are frustrated, but i think so. david: a look at the new generation of american psycho fans. >> there is a musical on "american psycho," based on the book about a serial killer. when of the reporters goes to a show with yale is this school students. what do they make of the show? >> they kind of come out being conflicted. they go in, they like it, and we whoally quote one person said something to the effect that it changed his mind set and they spent the next day shopping for duty products. david: why is this show out now?
piece from thed 1990's, created controversy, why is it out now? of a broader trend. there have been a lot of broadway musicals that were recognizable movies and tv shows, so it taps into that. i think it is also coming out now because we are in the opposite error that something like this will stand out more than it would have 10 years or 20 years ago. david: up next, the growing influence of donald trump's son in law. carol: and how that tourism industry depends on criss angel. ♪
david: donald trump's powerful son-in-law. carol: and the plan to out netflix netflix. david: and which virtual device is right for you? carol: it is all ahead on " bloomberg's business week." carol: we are here with ellen pollock. there are many more must reads in the magazine and that includes the in focus on section with a deep dive into energy. we took a look at louisiana congressman. is the majority whip and mr. oil and gas and he is fighting against obama's proposed rules against oil drilling on offshore drilling, and he is doing things like taking democrats and republicans on helicopter trips so they can see the offshore drilling and oil platforms and he is sort of a big ally oil and gas.
david: he takes folks on trips and taking in a lot of money. ellen: he is. the industry is the biggest under for his campaign. david: you look at artificial intelligence. there are all these startups with bots and there is a dirty secret about this. a lot are powered by human beings. not by robots. ellen: that's right. we're talking about the bots that are personal assistance. you can ask them to do things for you, set up your schedule, and it turns out some of these companies, and they are all younger, there are human beings behind the scenes taking sure they understood the instructions and carry them out correctly. the bot is trying to act human, but behind the bot is a human pretending to be bot. david: you have to think about that for a minute. carol: so the artificial intelligence is artificial? ellen: artificial and kind of intelligent. david: a number of the companies
are starting out and people were crazy hours because these schools field requests at any hour of the day and human beings are doing it. ellen: it is supposed to between 47 so they have hired this army of usually kind of young workers -- it is supposed to be 24/7, so they have hired this army of usually kind of young workers because it has to be around the clock and you have people quitting saying, i cannot do this anymore, and you have the company sort of planning to be much more bot oriented as they go on. carol: not as high-tech as everyone thinks. exclusivene has an public unveiling of a new poster by someone who was well known to the graphic design world, milton glaser. ellen: milton glaser is a legendary graphic artist to read the cofounder of new york magazine, he did a famous dylan cover, i love new york with a heart was his and he asked this
is under the american graphic artist institute and he urged people to get out to vote. david: what is he going for? ellen: it says, to vote is to exist. career, to us about his why he thinks voting is important and the is excellent of a legendary person in the graphic arts yield for you have seen in all aspects. carol: how old is he? ellen: 86 years old. david: it is interesting to think about the role of political posters. i see them around the neighborhood, windows, but the campaign moves online and posters are not what they used to be. ellen: they are not. what is interesting about this one is that it is not for one candidate but it is trying to get people to go to the polls. story there is a featured about jared kushner, mary to donald trump's son-in-law, but also a very successful this is person. we have seen him on stage with donald trump. is very young.
he comes from a big real estate family that made their fortunes in new jersey and other states. when his father went to jail for a bit, he came to new york and really moved the empire partly to new york. david: david leonard reports about two and kushner. a mogul, is wealthy, he owns a newspaper in new york and i think he is interested in having power and influence and you'll get a lot more if his father-in-law's elected president. david: he is right out of harvard, he has been hoisted on a big stage, his father faces and in charge of a big real estate company. david leonard: he bought a big skyscraper on fifth avenue, and he hung on to it when the market tank and it bounced back and they bought $7 billion worth of real estate, all the way out to cleveland, so he is a big deal. also influential in the
newspaper and sort of like a an aspiring press lord. david: what do we know about what he once in hopes to do? david leonard: i don't think it is clear, but he is that a lot of rallies supporting his father-in-law and he is behind the scenes and working on his father-in-law's behalf. he has endorsed his father-in-law, so i don't think it is a stretch to say that he would be a powerful person in washington of his father-in-law was elected. he would be at the white house a lot. david: what is he like as a person? loty ambitious, as sent a in a short amount of time since he graduated. very leonard: he is polite, he opens car doors for people, very composed. times, you almost feel when you do hear him speak, he did not speak to me for the story, but he is almost carefully
blend, and he does not let people get too interested in what he is doing, but it is fascinating. what will become of him is fascinating. david: how did the marriage come about? i do not know how they met. i did read that she became aware of him when he bought the "observer" in 2006 and that was important for him to raise his profile for people to take him seriously, butt is the merging of two real estate dynasties. they had a big wedding with all sorts of stars there and she is very effervescent and i think charismatic herself, so they make quite the power couple. david: the john kennedy comparison is in your piece. you do not make it. david leonard: no, a friend of his does. he has a politically ambitious father, politically ambitious son and the have resources to do something with that and the family connections with the in-laws.
david: mexican drug cartels have come up with an innovative way of getting profits back over the border. carol: we talk with the reporter. >> authorities have cracked down on thanks for sending money that drug cartels have tied up, so banks have become more careful about the amount of money they a lot to get wired, especially big amounts, like drug cartels need. david: how much money are we talking about? general, they move billions and billions of dollars each year. a lot of it is in bulk cash smuggling, which is when they stick it in suitcases or cars and moving across the border. some and wire transfers and some of it is what they call trade based money laundering and that is what the article is about. the way that they turn it into other kinds of things. in this case, gold, to get around the controls and move the money back. carol: it sounds up they have come up with the schemes for years in terms of laundering the money and covering it.
how did it come to light to authorities? alan: these came to life because there were two separate cases. this has been going on with gold , actually, gold is one of the original ways to transfer value, but what happened here was that there was a guy, reebok, he used to work for the u.s. customs agency, -- , he used to work for the u.s. customs agency and he noticed a lot of this coming out wasiami and he realized it the drug business in miami. he ended up retiring as time went on, and he had an interest in this and he convinced one of his successor agents that this wasn't something looking into, so the department of homeland security started an investigation in south florida into gold imports and exports and they can across this gold trading company called natalie jewelry, husband and wife owned it -- carol: it sounds so innocent.
alan: doesn't it? jed was an antiques dealer and then he got into the gold is this, but the case in miami was it appeared. what they ended up busting napoli jewelry for was a gold undervaluation skin, basically undervaluing gold being imported from automall and then sending more money back and that was a tax evasion scheme. when they busted the company, they discovered millions of dollars in cash and the company. and what they discovered in the records were all of these shipments, hundreds and hundreds gold or labeled chicago shopping silver coming from chicago and they said, what are these? it turns out the shipments would be hundreds millions dollars worth of gold that the cartel had sent to natalie jewelry, specifically jed, over the years the scheme ran. carol: up next, a new fuel
carol: welcome back. i am carol massar. david: i am david gura. this week's focus section is about energy. there is a story about the town outside of rio that tells the story about how it has been up affected by the declining pricing oil and this carwash scandal in brazil. carol: you have a small town and a huge oil company that was building a huge complex and expecting it to change the economic future of the town or
city that was really contingent to reliance on kind of been that the economy and make it into something different. because of all the scandals, it has come undone. david: the previous president comes to town, ounces 100,000 jobs and it was supposed to be completed but it has ballooned many times, about $14 billion now. that is compared to other refineries, usually more expensive. refineryis that one may open up at present will not be able to do that unless they get $2 billion worth of funding from someplace they have not found yet. carol: it is a reminder that if you have a huge company and think of it as a slow entity, but it trickles down to other places and has an impact. also, adidas and clean energy. david: we spoke with chris martin. chris: adidas was looking for to get cfos more interested in investing in energy efficiency. one of the ways they did that was trained college students,
mba students, to go out and talk to the cfos about ways to invest in energy efficiency sustainably. david: one of them is elizabeth turnbull, she goes to adidas, and this is a shining star when you look at all the companies who have done this. what has a deed is done to make it so successful? chris: they set aside funds and allow the energy efficiency experts to take over. thatinvest in projects they hope will get a 20% return. initially, they had seven projects, 750,000 dollars to spend, but they have since spent over $5 million in supporting the projects by reinvesting the funds through the savings. david: is adidas and outlier? have other companies done this successfully? chris: they added a new trick to
it, which is setting up a portfolio of projects. some do better than 20%, some worse, and that gives them more options about where to spend the money. david: can the cultural change take place within the company? you sent ambassadors to meet with the cfo, but when does this trickle down to the company? chris: you really need the executive in and you need them to understand -- the executive buy-in and you need them to understand investing in this long-term rather than this will save me a few dollars on my electricity bill. carol: magician criss angel attracts more than crowds. david: he brings a lot of money, not just for himself, but to the las vegas economy. brett: magic is huge and no one is future than chris angel. -- knowing is huger been criss angel. starting andis
this is a huge revenue generator. was aboutgo, gambling down to 35% and the casinos of have to figure out how to make a gap. david: this is big business. the are spending a lot of money to create sets, illusions, the works. bret: these are massive shows. canaverage price -- tickets run to about $140, so you feel like you need to give the audience a money worth. ine of the tricks involved these shows are pretty common, things you heard of like sawing your system in half, it does not ing your sign youaw assistant in half, it does not cut it, so there is dj, live music, it is amped up. david: is this chris angel's career or part of it? bret: he has gone pretty much been on this. he is known for a tv show enemy has a touring show. he has sold -- tv show and has
been touring show. he hasn't sold something like $35 million worth of magic sets, but for the main part, this is his act. the other step leads people to vegas. carol:, live nation once in on television and the partnership in hollywood. david: how to pick the best virtual reality device for you. all of that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
be a: they are trying to tv company, so they are trying to take all of the experiences that some fans can experience live and bring it to you in your living room, your television set or your phone. david: what is prompting people to do this? visit an aim that expanding? lucas: it helps promote their product, so let's say you are sitting at home and see beyonce perform live, she looks amazing and you want to go the next time she goes on tour. the next is they can sell ads selling the shows two other people. it is huge in terms of revenue standpoint for live nation, that advertising is one that really is a high-margin solution. david: how much does the company have to change to do this? are they looking at acquiring other companies? amount,ot a tremendous so some of it is hiring. a higher some from mtv to oversee in-house studios and they have acquired small
acquisitions, branded content studios, another company with a lot of experience with youtube, but the main part of the business is still there with a huge ad sales force to help sell ads for shows and they will partner with people who have competency in the area. david: the timetable -- lucas: immediate. david: they are already doing some. lucas: they have concert series with yahoo!, partnerships with snapchat, and this past wednesday, they will have announced the deal with hulu and they have a show that will be on devices cable channel in the fall. -- on devices cable channel in the fall. david: it has become the cable company. lucas: it is the premier concert company and that is how musicians make money. billboard ranks the most powerful people in the industry and it is bigger than any ad at spotify or youtube. david: why would an artist go along with this? why wouldn't i do this add value stuff on my own and why would i
want to see that at five nation? lucas: some people will. if you are a star of a certain magnitude, you may do it on your own but perhaps live nation adds to that in some way. live nation is important for most musicians in the world, so if they want to make a few videos and as long as you don't have an adversarial relationship, why not try it? carol: handy guide to how to pick out your own headset. one ofre seeing version a lot of these headsets and they range anywhere from $15 up to $800. when you are getting is the first best attempt and we have a guide in the magazine that really sort of explains which headset is right for you. david: how big a difference is there between the $15 google cardboard option and date hundred high-end one? bret: pretty massive. the higher up the chain, the
more -- david: more immersive. bret: more immersive, but if you buy the higher model, it requires a serious pc game and that could burn up -- and i could run up, so you are spending another $1000 to have it work in the right way. david: is this just for gaming? what does the future hold for these devices and how they will be used? et: the sky is the limit. google uses their cardboard in a pretty interesting way to view everything from political rallies to refugee camps, so there is news value as well. david: great stories. what was your favorite? carol: i liked the cover story a lot on nestle. the company is known for sugar products and they're going in a different direction. we talk about so many things being disrupted and this company disrupting what you are doing. what did you like? david: i like that profile on jared kushner.
♪ on "bloomberg best ," the stories that shaped the weekend business around the world. big deals come together while others fall apart. the race for the u.s. presidency takes a decisive term. a surprising rate cut. the latest job cuts from washington and earnings, earnings earnings. >> valuations are down a lot since this past summer. it's hard to get a consistent even the europeans. yvonne: we have a heavy hitters in politics. >> when we are ke