tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg January 2, 2017 7:00am-8:01am EST
♪ carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek". i am carol massar. oliver: i am oliver renick. we are coming to you from inside the magazine's headquarters in new york. russia reasserts its military power in the middle east. carol: and another disappointing sign in a disputed south china sea. oliver: all that is ahead on "bloomberg businessweek". ♪ carol: we are here with the editor in chief megan murphy of business week. in the global economy section, you look at china. they look like they are taking moves that could shore up the steel industry. megan: this is one of the
, this massive oversupply they have in the steel market, and even though there has been a concerted national domestic policy to address the glut in the steel market 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 actually go up, to make this supply and demand work for an industry that has been hit hard by massive oversupply. this piece does show that by mothballing factories and by limiting production, that is having a positive impact and shows signs of progress in terms of bringing that price up and making it more sustainable as an industry. oliver: let's talk about transparency as it applies to our president-elect, donald trump. megan: good luck. oliver: donald trump will be in washington, d.c., and you look at some of the conflict emerging there.
megan: as a d.c. resident myself, growing up, 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. what was always fascinating about this was it was charging, 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 are large. to get the price he needs, and opulent hotel, not the norm of that city, very different from a paris or new york, 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 people take the ruler to what can and be can't kept 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: when we look across trump's cabinet, we have a lot of very wealthy people in there. gary cohen, the future head of the -- goldman sachs, a senior figure there with an estimated net worth in excess of $500 million. but to d-- the education secretary, also incredibly wealthy. so these people have a lot of money. what we do take a look at is what they have done and where that charitable giving has gone. there are a lot of the things you would see on the charity circuit, and it is something that will be scrutinized by people coming in, although some won't have confirmation hearings, some will, but it gives a glimpse into the way they spent their own personal money. oliver: it gives insight into the different viewpoints of the trump.
we spoke to max abelson about the story. >> there were two things that were in our head as we started looking at this. we talked about just how rich this group of people is. this is a that is not fall, and -- not even full and 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 what the trump foundation said they did. so we thought let's 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. donald trump's pick for treasury secretary. >> steven mnuchin is an interesting guy close to my heart because i have written a profile of him. he went from being a classic new new york banker goldman sachs type to moving to california, not only to run a bank but make
hollywood investments, so you can see that even though trump has complained about the global elite, steven mnuchin, given this classic 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 a classic coastal elite. oliver: let's move to the inland u.s., where you chronicle the incoming second lady, the wife of mike pence. tell us about the charities she is involved with. >> when she was the first lady of indiana, she had the indiana first lady's 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 between $500 to $1000 to ladies in charge, who are women 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 and small towns in indiana. oliver: how many for education secretary? >> what is so interesting about betsy devos, 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. oliver: what kind of rate are we talking? how many bps over treasury?
>> they are interest-free, or we found one at 1%. the other interesting layer is that these are nonprofits they are connected to. their son has an archives competition in grand rapids. they gave a $5 million loan for that. some forgiven, some paid back. there is a nonprofit called grand action in grand rapids that the husband found it, they -- the husband founded. they loan to that, $3.5 million. that was not interest-free, 1%. we found the west michigan aviation academy, which if you know about betsy, you won't be surprised to hear that that is a charter school. carol: in the politics and policy section, one prediction about donald trump's first 100 days 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 also heard people who say we have to make america great again, and that might require spending, some big tax cuts. it is a very different message. some of the independent budget analysts who have looked at this have said that trump's plan, if you take them at their word, would create some of the biggest budget deficits as a share of gdp 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? is it paul ryan? we know about where they have but heads before, but who are some of the new players who might rear their heads in this argument? >> early in 2015 a new caucus was formed in the house, that is the 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. >> right, so these are people who were 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, the founder of that caucus, has just become nominated as president-elect trump's office of management and budget chief. carol: so he is the guy who, ok, you want to do this policy, this is what it means. and maybe you shouldn't do this? >> the person who started the congressional budget office decades ago sees the office as not just the mechanical balancing of the budget, but a policy person too, so what is going to happen? will helen maine --
stick to his freedom caucus agenda? which if so, would put him in conflict with the people in the pentagon and other parts of the administration, or the tax cutters, whose moves would raise budget deficits? or is he going to go along with that agenda in which he has abandoned the freedom caucus? oliver: it seems like trumps 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 to some extent? >> that is what we don't know. you can imagine a positive outcome for this. 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. >> he is welcoming conflict into the white house almost. carol: up next, russia's deadly game in the middle east. oliver: plus, will trump be able to convince congress to go pro nuclear?
♪ carol: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek". i am carol massar. oliver: i am oliver renick. we talked to reporter 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 both 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 also 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, to rebuild, relationships with countries such as egypt and libya, where they had more influence in soviet times than they have in recent years. oliver: so 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 recent negotiations that led to
the agreement between opec and the non-opec countries to curb oil productions to shore up prices. carol: i mean that was pretty significant, that december 10 final agreement to cut production. it really shows that the 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, i think, has 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 analyst we spoke to, that putin has a history 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 that gained him tremendous political support at home in russia. carol: so there are definitely business motives, political motives, and it has to do with the energy sector, whether 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. >> well, that's right. it has been, and it has been growing. it has 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. so far it tends to go towards countries like algeria, whereas 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, president-elect donald trump signaled he is pro-nuclear power. carol: is it enough to sustain the industry? here is editor allison hoffman. about two thirds of the clean energy in the united states comes from nuclear power. it's actually a fairly big deal in the u.s.. the problem is it is 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. in this country, there was never the move from nuclear you had in other countries, particular japan, and then you had the big nuclear meltdown in japan after the earthquake, and that has been a big deal there. these plants 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. >> yeah, so, one of the big players is exelon, they 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 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 everybody says they want, so how much will the government due to keep them alive? you run into the split of what we mean by government. 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 a float? >> there is this long history of subsidizing nuclear power. the problem is that where all the action is today is not with nuclear, but solar and wind. environmental activists would just as soon move to 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 availability and abundance if you will and the low cost of natural gas. that has had an impact too, right? 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 more often than not what fills in behind it is natural gas because it is cheap, plentiful, domestically produced. aside from carbon emissions, 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. ♪
oliver: in london, and in asia on the bloomberg radio plus app. carol: apples and activision is billing product launches and disappointing fans. oliver: we talked to reporter mark gurman. >> 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 longer. 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. the mac and mini have not been
updated in the macbook air 2013. 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 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, its 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, most revenue-driving products. 75% of apple revenues in 2016 were from the iphone and ipad, so the mac is under or 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, people can make the ecosystem less sticky. the iphone, the mac, they all sink. 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 i see in new york uses macs and loves them. >> there is something to be said from a design perspective, if it 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 selling prices are much higher. it is important from a revenue and earnings perspective, but the bigger question is the processors, the chips, the speed. the pace of technology becomes faster and faster every year, and we are talking about
computers that are supposed to be powerful for professionals that have not been updated in years, which means their processors, technologies, ports, some are years behind from competitors from dell and hp. carol: where is the lack of push in terms of maybe creating a macbook that has more battery life, that is faster, that has a lot more bells and whistles? it is a collaboration, right, they work with the chip companies, whether it is intel or somebody else, 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, basically all the products around this cash cow ecosystem. in terms of intel, it is more
difficult to make faster processors these days. a couple of my colleagues had a really intricate story i believe in businessweek about how intel makes a chip, which is an interesting process, 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. so they ended up shipping a macbook pro with the same battery life as the previous model from 2015. oliver: up next, the app that matches chinese students with american teachers. carol: and how one fashion designer is using her unique connection to fight for global equality for women and girls. ♪
"bloomberg businessweek". i am oliver renick. carol: i am carol massar. still ahead in this week's issue, chinese kids get a connection to a teacher. oliver: one fashion designers quest -- all of that is ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ oliver: we are back with bloomberg businessweek editor 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
really targeting markets that they see in china. one is obviously 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 what actually her own experience was with her own teacher, she did not like the learning system with her own teacher. one of her teachers ripped up a comic book that she was reading in class. she has nightmares about it, so what she has done is set up this online system where chinese parents can have their kids taught by an american teachers for $1500 for 21 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. vip kid is getting 10,000 to 20,000 applications a month. carol: the growth is phenomenal, unbelievable, and kobe bryant invested in it. that is nothing to sneeze at. oliver: big investors. megan -- carol: in the business section, 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 and and come up with this thing, where it is more sustainable, and 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. this is not easy to do. a lot of the big companies we know, nike, have looked at dealing with impoverished migrant workers, but in terms of bringing a women's equality issue to the forefront, from the
the conception to the production of the 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, so 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, that it is not rammed into your head as the guiding ethos, that many people are putting themselves on the line and using their networks to drive sustainability and good business. and attractive business. and with the issues. oliver: we have more details on this story from our reporter. >> it happened 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, calvin klein, jill sander, and she just by chance, she ran into this woman who is the head of equality now, which is a global organization that supports women's rights, and was so inspired that she said, can i come in and make coffee for you and volunteer? i am really good at making lunches. in any way possible, because she wanted to do something more than be a fashion designer. carol: how did she just run into this woman? >> well, it is an interesting story. she read an open letter to hillary clinton by a journalist, and was so inspired that she wrote to this journalist and said whenever you come to new york, please 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 equality now. oliver: tell us about the organization equality now. what exactly is it that they do 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 female genital mutilation, abuse, child marriage, so they are out there trying to help. carol: listen, a lot of people have great intentions and this whole idea of like wanting to do more, she really did a lot for this 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 scarves you
get, like what am i going to do with it? >> right. she is upfront about that. she says people will usually buy these things out of the goodness of their heart and maybe throw it away, which is terrible, especially with fashion being one of the biggest polluters in the world already. henrietta saw the designs and they made her uncomfortable and she said this is a great idea. i will make something beautiful and use my contacts and making top-quality luxury items, but 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. maybe i don't spend enough on clothing, but we are talking hundreds of dollars for scarves, $50 or $60 for shirts. >> they are. it is all relative of course. they are really made with attention --
carol: it is silk, too. >> it is silk, organic cotton, cashmere, all hand-drawn patterns. she really did the same process she would for this brand, and she is selling it at a somewhat better price by selling it exclusively online. carol: staying in the good business section, the compromise that was forged to save wolves in washington state. oliver: clinton, this is a fantastic story. it is a great one to read, but a great one to 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, which is an economy 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 these two sides together to try 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: an interesting tale, right? 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. i think she was in the peace corps. she has some interesting background. >> she specializes in human-animal conflict resolution, that is the nonprofit she works with, so this is, she has done work in other countries, but this is the first time that this kind of approach is being tested. so she has brought together stakeholders from the conservationist point of view as well as from the ranchers, and this commission kind of came up with a set of ground rules for what can be done to avoid killing the wolves, but also when it is basically justified
to kill the wolves. carol: and the wag group is 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 kind of interesting, and you detail it in the story. where, she kind of got all sides together, where they had to, they would talk about policy, right, but then they would get together for drinks and dinner and they could not talk policy and they got to know each other as people, and i guess that helps to break the ice and understand the other side's position on things.
>> i guess that is a huge 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 address these killings of livestock is, you know, wolves won't go in places where they see something like a red flag, so there are just these really 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 top of reefs in the south china sea. oliver: plus, 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. in the good business section, an american scientist is trying to stop the destruction of reefs in the disputed south china sea. oliver: we spoke with one reporter. how did you come across what was happening here? >> so 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 that i had not been following. i thought, what are they fighting over? and then in july, there was this big tribunal ruling, which is very unusual. the philippines had made a complaint against china under international law, very unusual, it have gone on for years, so i read the tribunal ruling about who had what rights in the south china sea and what was going on. what struck me was was there was so much about the environment, and i had not focused on that element. this man's name kept coming up, this guy john mcmanus.
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 quantify all this environmental damage that had happened to these reefs in 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 big geopolitical debate. carol: john mcmanus, 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. >> 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 the spratly islands, they are hardly islands, they are reefs and -- carol: you look at a global map, and they are like nothing. >> they are tiny, and that is what everyone is fighting over. this was back in the 1980's and early 1990's, he was in the
philippines, and he was trying to figure out where fish were coming from, because they were overfished, and he was looking at how these fisheries were getting repopulated. and he did this study based on totally archaic methodology, looking at paper maps with arrows on them where ships had drifted off in the south china sea, and he figured out the spratly islands were the 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. yes. so because at the time, the spratly islands were contested already, but they were not overfished. there weren't fishermen from all these different countries going out there and taking all these fish. so they were this important resource. and 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 their claims and manage this shared resource together. it was dismissed in general. 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 also done a lot of other work, work on tracking reefs, what they do worldwide, and what is happening to them. carol: did professor mcmanus also expressed concern about the ecological impact of that the chinese and others have had on that area, and you write in your story, this number blew my mind, he figured about, what, 62 square miles of damage to that area in terms of the reefs, as large as two manhattans.
and much of it from the chinese clam fishers. the giant clams have been overfished and are not easy to get from the ocean beds. >> so 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 gone wild. oliver: up next, a new cosmetics trend. carol: have 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: and i am oliver renick. you can also catch us on the radio. on sirius 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. oliver: in the companies and industries section, cosmetics makers are ramping up production and a fast-growing industry worth $27 billion. carol: we are talking about makeup. >> the company is called halal quality control. the owner is a man named abdullah, and he is based in
germany and goes into different companies and certifies their plants as 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: so in new york, we all live in a bubble here, i hear halal, and i think food. but there are tons of other industries and products that are involved here, so what kind of places need this control he brings? >> there are many types of halal products these days, and yes, most of us it just think in terms of food, but what he is looking at are factors that are producing raw materials for
cosmetics, personal care products, soap, household products, makeup, especially makeup. oliver: why is the market for these products, specifically cosmetics and some of the personal care products, why is that in this upswing right now? is it just because of the growth of the population or a cultural shift where people are using these products more? >> it is a number of things. one is the population is growing rapidly. two, there are some laws passed recently, particularly indonesia, which is 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, 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 people who are 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. >> yeah, so we decided to do a board game to appeal to the inner child in 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 we are often met with challenges as we do that. carol: ok, let's play the game of good choices. you have the pieces, the monopoly money. >> you have to provide your own pieces. carol: because you have cage free eggs, teslas. >> you might be part of the problem. [laughter]
carol: free range eggs, sounds like a good thing. >> yeah, who doesn't love a free range egg? yeah, a lot of the fast food companies, walmart, they are all moving in that direction. carol: i pay more for my eggs. >> 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 come out that basically say when you have hens running around in an aviary, 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. so there are some 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. and 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 of the game, where it is funny, but it does
make sense because there are a lot of side effects of these things. avocado is one of them. carol: don't say it. i will not listen. [laughter] >> yeah, you look at hashtag avocado toast on instagram, and i'm sure there are tens of thousands of hits, but it has led to deforestation in mexico. i'm not saying that you have to keep this in mind every time you eat breakfast. the other product we talk about in here is quinoa. 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, mostly 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] everybody started -- carol: my kale farm. >> exactly. the peruvians started doing this and what happened was the price of quinoa has plummeted. carol: supply and demand. >> right, so now there are some worries that the indian farmers can't make enough to earn a living wage. carol: tesla, sounds like a good thing, electric vehicle. >> yeah. electric cars, right? carol: two steps forward on that one? >> there is a headline in wired recently that says basically electric cars might not be as green as you think they are. so, you encounter this at everything you try to do good we have another company in here, jessica alba's honesty company, which has come under fire for electric cars might not be as selling products that may not be as toxic free as they claim, although they dispute that. and then you one that basically
buying the same old industrial products you can buy at the drugstore or at major chains. carol: "bloomberg businessweek" is available on newsstands now. oliver: and also online at bloomberg.com. carol, 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, you have chinese fisherman really decimating those reefs. and then you have a professor in miami who has been studying what is going on, worried about the ecological implications. i think it is a must-read. what about you? oliver: i also liked the environmental related 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 about compromise, the ranchers and environmentalists finding a common ground. i think after a divided year, it does have a poignant theme to it. carol: especially in this current environment. oliver: more bloomberg television starts right now. ♪ 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 from personal a.i. assistats to reusable rocketsec