tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg January 1, 2017 8:00am-9:01am EST
♪ carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek". i'm carol massar. oliver: i'm oliver renick. we're coming to you from the magazines headquarters in new york. carol: another disappointing sign in a disputed south china sea. oliver: all that is ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ carol: we are with editor-in-chief megan murphy of bloomberg businessweek. you are looking at china, they look like they are taking moves that could shore up the steel industry.
>> this is one of the concerns, this massive oversupply in the steel market, and even though there has been a concerted national domestic policy to address that collect, it hasn't manifested. on the supply side, they are trying to trim that down. they need that to go down to have the steel price go up to make this supply and demand work for an industry that has been hit hard by massive oversupply. what this shows is that actually on the supply side they are starting to jeanette down mostly by closing down at and limiting what goes on in the factories. how they do that. but they need that to go down to have the steel price actually go up. to make the supply and demand work for an industry that has really been hit hard by massive over glut. by limitinghat production that is having positive impact than it does shows signs that maybe will see progress in terms of making that price go up and making it more sustainable as an industry. oliver: let's talk about transparency as it applies to our president-elect. megan: good luck. oliver: very excited about this
hotel in washington, d c you look at the conflict. megan: that hotel, it is in a famous building, one of the most prime pieces of real estate in washington dc, steps from the white house and pennsylvania avenue. the room rates were incredible, $500 and up, and it has been recently ruled that he will have to divest his personal interest in this property. the conflicts for that is large. to get the price he needs, and opulent hotel, not the norm of that city, so whether he will be able to get out at a price that makes sense remains to be seen. this will be a question he faces across a lot of his business interests as we look across the conflict of the trump organization. carol: you also take a look at the trump team in terms of the cabinet members and the charity foundations they are involved in.
megan: yeah, i mean when we look at trumps cabinet, we have a lot of very wealthy people in there. one figure has an estimated net worth in excess of $500 million. and sort of where they have gone to charities. personal charities. the education secretary also incredibly wealthy. also, when from the world rustling world. so these people do have a of money. so we take a look at where their charitable giving has gone. quite a range. typical things you would see on the charity circuit and something that will be scrutinized by people coming in, although some will not have confirmation hearings and some well but it will give a glimpse into the own personal way they have spent their money will stop oliver: it gives insight into the different viewpoints of the trump.
we spoke to max who has covered the story extensively. max: there were two things in our head as we started looking at this, just how rich this group of people is. this is a that is not fall, and already the net worth is about $500 billion. the second thing we thought was that right after the election, trump's had a filing online that said we made a big mistake. there are rules guiding nonprofits that are basically meant to prevent nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves. and that is exactly what the trump foundation said they did. so we thought, let us take a look at the other members of the trump team and where they are giving their money. carol: let's start with steven mnuchin. >> he is an interesting guy close to my heart because i have written a profile of him. what we wrote about in the profile was that he went from being a classic new york banker to moving to california, not only to run a bank but make hollywood investments, so you
can see even though dom and -- even though donald trump complains about the global elite, steven mnuchin, given this clastic coastal elite way where they donate not only to east coast institutions like yale university, new york police, rather new york hospital, and they give to an l.a. fund associated with the motion picture industry. it is like sort of classic coastal elite. oliver: let's move to the inland u.s., where the incoming second lady, the wife of mike pence. tell us about the charities she is involved with. max: so, when she was the first lady of the indiana, she had a charitable foundation, and there is no overlap i found between steven mnuchin and mrs. pence when it comes to their giving, because she gives, these are $500 to $1000, and one much
bigger donation per year. so for example, she gave $500 to called "women in to womenhich she gave who drive their own dodge chargers. there is a chapter of the daughters of the american revolution, something called the christ child society of fort wayne, so these are smaller groups in smaller towns. oliver: how many for education secretary? max: what is so interesting about betsy devos that i am found is that in addition to just saying here is some money, here is a donation for you, she and her husband, they give loans to nonprofits and they say here is $1 million, two million dollars, or $3 million, and you have to pay us back. an heirr husband -- is multilevely
marketing company. >> they are interest-free, or we found one at 1%. the other interesting layer is that these are nonprofits they are connected to. they gave a 5 million loan, some forgiven, some paid back. they loaned $3.5 million to another organization, not interest-free, 1%. we found the west michigan aviation academy, which if you know about betsy, you won't be surprised that that is a charter school. carol: one prediction about, trump's first 100 days as president as president is that it will feature a lot of fighting. >> it seems as though one of the big contests will be between the budget hawks, the one who put high priority and shrinking the budget deficit and balancing the
budget, paying down the national debt. we have heard that from trump and his followers, but we have heard people who say we have to make america great again, requiring spending and tax cuts. some independent budget analysts have said that trump's plan, if you take them at their word, would create some of the biggest budget deficits in history, so i see a big clash coming in donald trump's first 100 days over this issue. oliver: who will be on the other side?
paul ryan, we know about, where they have sort of butted heads before, but who are some of the new players? >> a new caucus was formed, the freedom caucus, and that is an organization that is on the right hand of the spectrum within the house, and it's singular purpose is to crack down on deficit spending. carol: extreme deficit hawks. >> these were people willing to go to the mat and shut down the government if necessary to prevent overspending, but what is so ironic now, in the last few days, mick mulvaney, the founder of that caucus, has just become nominated as president-elect trump's office of management and budget chief. carol: he is the guy who, ok, you want to do this policy, this is what it means. right? and maybe you should not do this. >> the person who started the congressional budget office decades ago sees the job as mechanicalust the but aer of the budget
policy person too, so what is going to happen? will he stick to his freedom caucus agenda? if so, it would put him in conflict with the people in the pentagon and other parts of the administration, or the tax cutters, or is he going to go along with that agenda in which case he has abandoned the freedom caucus that he helped create? oliver: it seems like trump's liaison maybe somebody that potentially if he came from the other side were trump currently stands, maybe there is a bridge to be built there? >> we don't know. you can imagine a positive outcome, but stepping back, trump seems to have a high tolerance for conflict, and not just conflict with outsiders. oliver: that is a delicate way to put it. [laughter] >> he is welcoming conflict into the white house. carol: russia's deadly game in the middle east. oliver: can trump convince congress to go pro nuclear? carol: this is bloomberg. ♪
♪ carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek". i am carol massar. oliver: i am oliver renick. we talked to carol matlock. carol: russia is on a mission in the middle east. what are they doing to broaden what they are doing beyond syria? >> they have interests that are diplomatic, geopolitical, and commercial, very specifically, they are starting to do a lot more deals in countries across the region, and that would include doing a deal just in the last few weeks with qatar to take a stake in russia's biggest oil company.
that would include some very major dealmaking in iran, where the sanctions are being lifted and there is a lot of opportunity for oil and gas development in that country. at the same time, there is an effort by russia to rekindle, rebuild relationships with countries such as egypt and libya, where they had more influence in soviet times than they have in recent years. oliver: how much of this is motivated by oil, getting access to regions that do obviously have a lot of oil? russia has not only been involved in these countries, but opec as well. >> obviously russia has a tremendous interest in oil, and so do most of the countries in this region, and that is why russia was key, and vladimir putin played a direct role, speaking by phone, during the the recent negotiations that led
to the agreement between opec and the non-opec countries to curb oil productions to shore up prices. carol: that was pretty significant, that december 10 final agreement to cut production. it really shows opec and non-opec nations are paying attention to what vladimir putin has to say. >> well, yes, absolutely. he is clearly a major player in this, and you know, he think have some ability to bring people together. oliver: speaking of bringing people together, you mentioned that part of vladimir putin strategy is to engender support for his administration and himself by winning little battles. tell us what you mean by that. >> it has been observed by a number of people, including one of the analysts we spoke to come of conducting small, winnable wars, and that tends to help him at home, and we have seen that in chechnya, the separatist rebellion there.
we saw that with the former soviet republic of georgia, and quite frankly, with the annexation of crimea. we saw that gained him tremendous political support at home. carol: the energy sector, oil and gas, lng, but it is also about arms because the middle east is an important market when it comes to russian arms sales. >> that's right, and it is growing. it's sort of slacked off after the end of the soviet union, but we look at arms sales in the last few years to the region, they have been significantly more than in previous decades. it tends to go towards countries like algeria, where the wealthy gulf states tend to have arms relationships with united states, but i think there will be an effort to sell more arms
all across the region. oliver: in the politics and policy section, donald trump signaled he is pro-nuclear power. carol: is it enough to sustain the industry? >> it is a fairly big deal in the u.s., but not profitable. oliver: when you think about nuclear, it's the last type of energy resource we talk about. we are talking about the polluting stuff for clean stuff. how has it been forgotten over the years? >> three mile island says it all. you had the big nuclear meltdown in japan after the earthquake, and that has been a big deal there. these plans have been operating fairly quietly for decades now.
carol: fairly quietly, but not profitable, which is tough for the companies that run them. there are subsidies that have kind of helped many of the players out. talk us through that. >> one of the date players are really dependent on subsidies, looking particularly at three mile island, a plant the company says it is trying to find a path to profitability for it, but it is this old plant that has this very famous accident associated with it. the question is how much does the government want to do to keep these nuclear plants, which do produce clean power, which is the thing everybody says they want, so how much will the government due to keep them alive? you run into the split of what do we mean when we say government. do we mean washington or do we mean the states?
oliver: what exactly does government intervention look like? is there any precedent, any history we can look at, to see what other power plants have done? has the u.s. demonstrated they are willing to go in and find some funding to keep these places of float? >> the problem is that where all the action is today is not with nuclear, but solar and wind. environmental activists would just assume solar and wind, clean power sources that don't come with the risk of nuclear power. it is hard to convince people in this country to invest in nuclear power. carol: the energy market has changed dramatically in the last couple of years, particularly because of fracking and the ability and abundance if you will and the low cost of natural gas.
that has been an impact on the desire or lack thereof of more nuclear power? >> this creates a catch-22 for environmental activists. there is a group that says, hey, we would love to shut down nuclear power. the problem is that when you shut down nuclear power, what fills in behind it is natural gas because it is cheap, plentiful, domestically produced. it is sort of your perfect power source. carol: signs of trouble in apples mac team. oliver: ranchers and environmentalists find common ground when it comes to wolves. this is bloomberg. ♪
carol: i am carol massar. you can also listen to us on radio. oliver: in london, and in asia on the bloomberg radio plus app. carol: apple's mac division is bleeding staffers, missing contact launches. to the we talked reporter. >> so the mac brought apple back. they were close to bankruptcy in the 1990's, and the first imac introduced by steve jobs brought apple back on the scene. over the next decade and a half or so, they came out with the ipod, the iphone, and the ipad, and that has led them to forget the mac a little bit. the upgrade cycles have become lengthier. for example, the macbook pro was the first update in over 500 days. the mac pro, their fastest desktop for professionals, has not been updated in over 1000 days. , hasac mini, another mac
not been updated since 2008. the macbook air design is the same design that was introduced in 2010. to be fair, they came out with the retina display they want to replace the air with, but that goes without saying the design has not changed in a very long time. carol: why isn't it getting any love at apple? or seemingly not getting love at apple. >> right, the first and most important thing to know is that apple has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees, and everyone really to come out with new products that feed their profits and revenues, and the iphone and ipad are two of apple's highest margin, revenue driving products. combined, 75% of apple revenues in 2016 were from the iphone and ipad, so the mac is around 10% of apple's overall revenues, but still an important product to apple's bottom line. the problem is that if apple stops giving the mac less attention, they all sing. if you don't use a mac, maybe you will look at other products from competitors like microsoft or google. oliver: i'm not an apple guy, but everybody else in new york uses macs and loves them.
>> from a design perspective, there's something to be said if did is not broke, don't fix it, but the question is does apple need to continue to change design and innovate to spur sales into the future? these are higher-priced products. the average prices are higher, so it is important from a revenue and earnings perspective, but the biggest question are the processors, the chips, the speed. the pace of technology becomes faster and faster every year, and we are talking about computers for professionals that have not been updated in years,
which means their processors, technologies, ports, some are years behind from competitors. carol: where is the lack of push in terms of maybe creating a macbook that has more battery life, faster, a lot more bells and whistles? it is a collaboration, right, they work with the chip companies, or is it internally with an apple that they are not interested in pushing it? >> i would say a lot of engineers on the team and project care about it. it is about getting that push in approval and vision from the company senior executives, who are obviously focused on the ipad, iphone, the apple watch, all the products around this ecosystem. the iphone cash cow.
in terms of intel, it is more difficult to make faster processors these days. a couple of my colleagues had a story in businessweek about how intel makes a chip, so it is a combination of factors. to your battery life question, apple tried to make a macbook pro have a better battery, but in development, the battery technology failed to some key tests and they were not able to get that new tech out the door in time for the holidays. they ended up shipping a macbook lifeith the same battery as the model from 2015. oliver: up next, the app that matches chinese students with american teachers. carol: how one fashion designer is using her unique connection to fight for global equality for women and girls. ♪
♪ >> oliver: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek". i am oliver renick. carol: i am carol massar. chinese kids get a connection to a teacher. oliver: plus, scarves to the rescue. all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ oliver: we are back with megan murphy to talk about the must read stories in this issue. one is about a company that will be doing some teaching abroad for kids in china. tell us about it. megan: it is a great story that shows how entrepreneurs are targeting markets in china. one is that chinese parents want
their children to learn english and are dissatisfied with the current system and how that is being taught. and in some cases they are going to this company, which was set up by a chinese woman who had business school experience in america, and she did not like the learning system with her own teacher. and she has nightmares about one of her teachers who ripped up a comic book she was reading in class. what she has done is set up this online system where chinese parents can have their kids taught by an american teachers $1500 for 21out classes, it is pretty cost-effective, and does it in an online module of learning. what i found fascinating about this story as well is, we profile a teacher who is doing these classes online. she works from 3:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and makes the equivalent of $4000 a month, the same she would make as an adjunct at a university. that is to be a really lucrative
thing. and the company is getting 10,000 to 20,000 applications a month. to be able to get into this program to teach. it is a fascinating story. carol: the growth is phenomenal, unbelievable, and kobe bryant invested in it. they have $120 million in financing which is nothing to sneeze at. oliver: big investors. megan -- carol: you guys take a look at an interesting woman involved in the fashion industry. she has founded a nonprofit and is doing some good things. megan: she looked at a way to take this nonprofit and add her fashion skills, making this thing, looking at women and their role and going to suppliers and companies along the chain that really address the issue of women's equality through clothing. which is not easy to do. a lot of companies, nike, have looked at dealing with impoverished migrant workers, but in terms of bringing a women's equality issue to the forefront, from the production of clothing to the perception of clothing, that has been vacant in fashion.
this talks about two women driving that forward. oliver: it is an adjusting marriage between charity and high in clothing. the material they are making is pretty nice stuff. megan: the reason she got into it was because she wanted to do that, that's where the marriage came in. it shows that in the corners of the business world that don't come to mind as areas of sustainability, not in your head as the guiding ethos, that many people are putting themselves on the line and using their networks to drive sustainability. and attractive business. and with the issues. oliver: we have more details on this story from our reporter. reporter: it all came about
because of a woman named henrietta ernst. she is a german designer who has spent decades working for a number of big brands, luxury lines, and she just by chance, she ran into this woman who is the head of a global calvin klein, fashion brands as well. organization called equality now, which is worth girls and that -- supports women's rights, and was so inspired that she actually just said, can i come in and just may copy for you or volunteer. i am really good at making lunches. laughter] she wanted to do so much more than just the a fashion designer. >> how did she run into this woman? >> she read an open letter to hillary clinton by a journalist, and was so inspired that she wrote to this journalist and said when you come to new york, contact me. i want to have a lunch in your honor.
i will have it at my house. i will make all the food and you can invite whoever you like. and the journalist took her up on this and invited this amazing human rights lawyer who is the global head of a quality now. -- equality now. oliver: tell us about the organization equality now. what exactly does it do it and what are the causes they are championing? >> they are working with local women around the world and talking to them about what they need, but they are working on causes like education for girls, and stuff that is hard to talk about like genital mutilation, abuse, child marriage, so they are really out there trying to help. carol: listen, a lot of people have great intentions and this idea of wanting to do more, she did a lot for the organization. she did create this fashion line and fashion brand. how did she do it? >> human rights organizations, ngo's are not known for their good design necessarily. carol: it is always that starts -- scarf you get, what am i going to do with it? >> right.
right. the money went to a good cause but i am not going to wear it, right? she is very upfront about it. usually people will buy these things out of the goodness of their heart and maybe where it is a night shirt or thrown away which is of course terrible, right? especially with fashion being one of the biggest polluters in the world already. designs at a the quality now and they really made her uncomfortable and she thought, this is a great idea. i will make something beautiful and use my context to make top-quality luxury items and do it for this good cause and give 30% of the profits to equality now. oliver: the profits would be solid because these are high-end items. we are talking hundreds of dollars for scarves, $50 or $60 for shirts. >> they are. it is all relative of course. i mean, they are really made
with attention to -- carol: it is silk, too. >> they are made with silk, organic cotton, cashmere, all hand-drawn patterns. they spend weeks. i mean, she really did the same process she would for this brand, and selling it at a somewhat better price by selling it exclusively online. carol: staying in the good business section, the compromise that was forged in washington state. oliver: clinton, this is a fantastic story. it is a great one to read and look at because the photos are incredible. carol: he loves wolves. oliver: very true. tell us at this stage where exactly does the story take place? >> this takes place in northeastern washington, where there is an economy where there is primarily rural cattle ranching and a lot of forest, so the wolves being reintroduced to this part of the state has lots of great environmental impact, but also a particular pain point for the ranching community, so much of the story is about
francine madden, who brought you know, these two sides together to mediate a solution to stop killing wolves, but also find ways to appease the ranching communities so that they are not losing their livestock. carol: it is interesting, because the wolf population had gone down, then that built it back up again, and it became problematic. there is acrimony between the hunters, ranchers, and conservationists. tell us more about francine. because i think she was in the peace corps. she has an interesting background. >> she specializes in human-animal conflict resolution, that is the like nonprofit she works with, so this is, she has done work in other countries, but this is the first time this kind of approach is being tested. she has brought together stakeholders from the conservationist point of view as well as from the ranchers, and the wag group, this commission
kind of came up with a set of ground rules for what can be done to avoid killing wolves, but also when it is basically justified to kill the wolves. carroll: and the wagon -- group is kind wag of the advisory group trying to figure things out, but were having a hard time doing it on their own. >> right. and so we sent a photographer who has done a lot of work for national geographic primarily to spend time with the ranchers. one rancher in northeastern washington in particular, but she also went to the wolf sanctuary near seattle, and that is where our big star wolf was shot. carol: francine is interesting, and you detail it in the story. where, she kind of got all sides together, where they would talk about policy, and they would get together for drinks and dinner and they could not talk policy and they all got to kind of know each other as people and i guess that kind of helped to break the ice if you well and understand
the other side's position. >> i guess that is part, but -- part of her approach to mediation in general, but what is interesting is that some of the measures they made as a group to sort of help, wolves won't go in places where they see something like a red flag, so there are these simple steps that ranchers can take to make the environment feel uncomfortable enough for the wolves that they will stay away. carol: up next, the devastating consequences of china building bases on reefs in the south china sea. oliver: a board game to help you improve your ethical decision-making. this is bloomberg. ♪
♪ oliver: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i am oliver renick. carol: and i am carol massar. an american scientist is trying to stop the destruction of reefs in the south china sea. oliver: we spoke with one reporter. how did you come across what was happening here? reporter: i used to be based in china, so i tend to follow developments in asia, but the south china sea is one of those conflicts i had not been following. i just sort of saw it and not, what are they fighting over? and then in july, they had a tribunal ruling, which is very unusual. the philippines had made a complaint under international law, very unusual, it went on for years. and then i read the tribunal ruling about who had what rights in the south china sea and what was going on. what struck me is there was so much about the environment, and i had not focused on that element. this man's name kept coming up, this guy named john mcmanus. and i thought how unusual to be
this scientist thrown into the midst of geopolitics. here is your name type thing. and his name came up because he had been the one to go and sort of quantify all this environmental damage that had happened to these reefs and the south china sea. i thought, ok, i want to talk to this guy and see how he ended up in the middle of this geopolitical debate. carol: he is a professor of marine biology and ecology at the university of miami. talk to us about the research he did and what he saw, and why it is so important. reporter: well, so it goes back a long way. he had actually been based in the philippines for years, and he had done this very early study of exactly what was happening in the spratly islands. why, they are hardly islands, they are mostly just underwater reefs and -- carol: you look at a global map, and they are like nothing.
reporter: they are tiny, right? and that is what everyone is fighting over. this was back in the 1980's and early 1990's, back in the philippines, and he was trying to figure out where fish were coming from, how these fisheries were getting repopulated. and he did this study based on totally archaic methodology, looking at paper maps with arrows on them, and he figured out the spratly islands were the sort of source for the fisheries on the coast, and providing these replenishing pulses of fish, if you will. carol: did he call it a genetic reserve? >> yes. because at the time, the spratly islands were contested already, but they were not overfished. there weren't fishermen going out there and taking all these fish. so they were this important resource. and you know, he is a scientist but he decided to make this
policy proposal. and the policy proposal was, we should create a marine park. everyone should just freeze and manage this shared resource together. and, it was dismissed in general. i mean, not dismissed but it seemed impractical. so he went on and did another large study with other scientists looking at how the spratly islands were genetic reserves, then he could not get a lot of funding, and he has done a lot of other work, work on just generally tracking reefs, what they do worldwide, and what is happening to them. carroll: did professor mcmanus, impact ofabout the the chinese and others have had in that other and you write your story, this number blew my mind, he figured about 62 square miles of damage to that area in terms of the reefs, as large as to
deb. a lot of it from the chese clam fishers. the giant clams have been overfished and are not easy to get from the ocean beds. >> there are live giant clams, but not enough to satisfy the demand in china for giant carvings from giant clams, so what also interested me about the story is that it was a market story. in a way, it is about market forces sort of gone wild. oliver: up next, the new cosmetics trend. it might cause trouble with some consumers. carol: trouble making good choices? we have a board game for you. this is bloomberg. ♪
♪ carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i am carol massar. oliver: i am oliver renick. you can also catch us on the radio. on xm channel 119, 1200 in boston, and am 960 in the bay area. carol: and in london, and in asia on the bloomberg radio plus app. section,n the cosmetic cosmetic makers are ramping up production and a fast-growing industry worth $27 billion. carol: we are talking about makeup. >> it is called quality control and the scholar is a man named abdullah, and he is based in
germany and goes into different companies and certifies their halal- compliant. what you have to do is look at the entire assembly line, make sure there is no alcohol use, animal products, and he looks at the entire production from the purchase of raw materials until they are in a warehouse ready to be shipped. oliver: i hear halal, and i think food. but there are tons of other industries and products that are involved. what kind of places need this control he brings? >> there are many types of halal products and most of us just think in terms of food, but what he is looking at our factories that are producing raw materials for cosmetics. care products,
household products, and makeup. especially makeup. oliver: why is the market for these products in an upswing right now? is it just because of the growth of the population or a cultural shift? >> it is a number of things. one is the population is growing rapidly. two, there are some laws passed recently, particularly indonesia, the largest muslim nation with 250 million people. by 2019, any product imported, any consumer product that goes into that country, will have to be certified as halal. the other thing is that products are not just sold to muslims. they are sold -- they are like organic products. they offer a certain level of security to consumers in terms of cleanliness, in terms of the ingredients being natural, and that is important to people who are even not religiously observant. many people are looking for
that, as well. carol: in the good business section, a board game to help you make better choices. oliver: in light of the good business issue, there has been progress made, setbacks taken. you guys have an interesting way of characterizing this in a centerfold in the magazine. >> yes, we decided to do a board game to appeal to the inner child and all of us. it is called good choices, the game, and basically it allows you to make your way through 2016 as an ethical consumer, which we all try to be. we all do our best, but are often met with challenges as we do that. carol: ok, let's play the game of good choices. >> you have to provide your own pieces. because -- carol: because you have cage free eggs, teslas. you have my favorite, avocado toast. >> you might be part of the problem.
[laughter] >> you are part of the problem. carol: free range eggs, sounds like a good thing. >> yeah, a lot of the fast food companies, walmart, they are all moving in that direction. carol: i pay more for my eggs. to know that they have been running around having fun. >> exactly. there has been a lot of pressure on these companies to do this, so then it turns out though that you tried to buy these cage free eggs and there are reports that basically say when you have hens running around in an aviary, so -- they kick up a lot of particulate matter, so if you are a worker at one of these places, you are perhaps more likely to inhale some of this if you are a worker. there are reports that it is less safe for workers who work in these places, so that knocks you back a few places in the board game. this happens all over the place, with almost everything you try to eat. oliver: that is kind of the crux of it. the back-and-forth in the game. it is funny but it does make
sense because there are a lot of side effects of these things. i mean, that is one of them, right? carol: don't say it. i will not listen. [laughter] >> yeah, you look at hashtag avocado toast on instagram, there are tens of thousands of hits. but our obsession with several things, one of them avocado has led to some deforestation in mexico. i'm not saying that you have to keep this in mind every time you eat breakfast. the other product is quinoa. i mean, as we all know, you now see it everywhere, right. in the quinoa boom in 2012, it was actually so expensive that the people who farm quinoa, the indian farmers, the bolivians, could no longer afford to eat it because it was fetching six dollars or seven dollars a kilogram, so it was basically worth too much to eat. and then everybody started producing quinoa. carol, you might farm quinoa on
the weekends for all i know, but everybody. [laughter] carol: my kale farm. >> exactly. the peruvians started doing this and the price of quinoa has actually kind of plummeted. carol: supply and demand. >> so there are now worries that the indian farmers can't make enough to earn a living wage. carol: tesla, sounds like a good thing, electric vehicle. >> electric cars, right? carol: two steps forward on that one? >> there is a headline in wired recently that says electric cars might not be as green as you think they are. so, you encounter this at everything you try to do, we have another company here. jessica alba's honesty company, which has come under fire for selling products that may not be as toxic-free as they
claim, although they dispute that. you wind up buying the same old industrial products you can buy at the drugstore or major chains. carol: "bloomberg businessweek" is available on newsstands now. oliver: and also online. your favorite story? carol: the south china sea, fascinating, we know it is a disputed area. there has been a lot of attention on it. china building up its presence, building islands on the reef, really laying claim to that area. at the same time, chinese fisherman decimating those reefs. and then you have a professor in miami who has been studying what is going on, worried about the kind of ecological implications. i think it is a must-read. what about you? oliver: i also liked the environmental story. i have a soft spot for wolves. even though it does not seem to apply out of the region, at the end of the day, it is a compromise, the ranchers and environmentalists finding a sort of middle ground. working together after a divided
caroline: i am caroline hyde. this is the "best of bloomberg technology," where we bring you all of our top interviews from this week in tech. coming up, the u.s. hits russian officials with sanctions over what washington says was an unprecedented attempt to interfere with the presidential election. plus, the rise of the robots with u.s. jobs in the crosshairs. we'll discuss whether humans and a.i. can peacefully coexist and we'll take a look at the biggest tax break news from 2016, from