tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg June 4, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT
>> welcome to bloomberg businessweek. in this week issue, by the irs is demanding two billion dollars and businessweek's interview with john williams. finally, we will tell you the song of the summer and justin bieber. all that had, on bloomberg businessweek. ♪ >> we're here with "bloomberg businessweek" editor in chief. let's talk in the politics section. we heard promises along the campaign trail. that donald trump was not going to touch social security. he said he's got a big heart. turns out that there's going to
be a great deal of cuts. roughly about $70 billion. and this is going to hit some of the people that supported him the most. >> yeah. this is a perfect issue to look at what he actually said on the campaign trail and what he promised and what's actually happening in practice. we should be clear that the proposed cuts to social security and in this case disability benefits are part of a budget which is unlikely to proceed in the shape it is now. why it's so interesting is you hear a lot of rhetoric about disability insurance and benefits being something that's a subject of a tremendous amount of fraud. that's being manipulated. actually when you play it out, going and looking at this of how the used, a lot of these counties and areas of the country that have the highest proportion of recipients of disability benefits are counties that trump carried about by sizable margins. that is because so many people who claim disability in this country and other western democracies are workers who were forced out of very manual labor type jobs. coal, tobacco. textiles.
the kind of industry that's left the u.s. and moved to cheaper places elsewhere. those are very taxing jobs and people have used benefits to get affordable health care. oliver: out of the 20 u.s. counties with highest share of working age adults receiving disability, 17 voted for trump. a margin of 56 points. what is the narrative that the administration is going to try and communicate to those people when they find out their disability is getting cut? >> i think the bigger plan will be among representatives in those districts and in those areas of the country to really make the front foot case so that in fact these cuts don't happen. i think when you look at the compelling logic of this, it doesn't stand up in terms of that the fraud is so prevalent that it accounts for this level of what's called disability insurance manipulation. i think it's really important also to point out that as we do in the story, in many cases it's a bridge to medicare. it is important to point out in
many cases it is used as a bridge to medicare. if you qualify for it for two years, you can go on medicare. really at the root and cause of the high numbers is frankly the access to affordable medical care. people cannot get access to affordable medical care if they are not employed, have injuries, or are sick for long times. the concern ways on them so many of them have used this route to get into medicare. which, as we know, is federally supported and is affordable. oliver: i wonder how the representatives from those districts, are they trying to get ahead of the budget plan? are they saying, pump the brakes? megan: there is one thing to say about older people. they vote. look at the statistics from the 2016 election. they turn out in numbers that are higher than millennial's, higher than even that age cohort of 30-49.
they know this population is the most disproportionately affected by it. that is why social security has always been a lightning rod. among conservatives, republicans who believe in less government, less establishment, social security and cutting back the benefits is core to what they want to get done. it is one of those entitlement programs, if you scratch it, even if you nick it, wait until you see the people who care about it rear their heads. oliver: a feature story about caterpillar. what did you find to be the most compelling angle? megan: i am from illinois. how long they ran an elaborate tax scheme out of switzerland, and i love a good whistleblower story and this is one of them. oliver: for those details, we talked to a reporter in chicago. megan: bryan, you talk about one individual, and accounted at caterpillar. he is the center of the story. tell us who he is.
>> dan was a tax accountant, cpa. he has a law degree. joined the company in 1992. he opened caterpillar's first overseas tax office in brussels in the mid-1990's. then he went to geneva and worked there, and then came back to peoria. by around 2007, he started telling his bosses that an offshore tax structure in geneva might run afoul of the law. that began five years back-and-forth which ended in him filing a whistleblower report. a complaint with osha that became a federal lawsuit, which he later settled with the
company and they parted ways. megan: there were two sets of books for the company. one for the public. but, there was another one internally in which bonuses were based on numbers. those two ideas were in conflict with one another. >> yes, in a way. this all came out in a hearing at the senate, permanent subcommittee on investigations. essentially, when cat shifted profit allocations to switzerland, they did not switch any parts making or parts handling. the inventory was mostly handled in the united states, either near peoria or other warehouses. there was a reason for not shifting that and that's that there are business divisions
where managers are incentivized within that division. if you start moving their work to another country, they could stand to lose those bonuses. that wouldn't be very good for the managers. cat continued to pay those people based on what they called accountable profits. this came out in the report by the subcommittee. while at the same time, the public books allocated 85% or roughly that of parts profits to the operation in geneva. oliver: is this is the discrepancy he dug up? what was it about his memoranda, the many pages, that brought something distinct and worrisome enough to the irs to where they revisited their own sort of approval after several audits? what made them go back and say, you know what, something here is a mess? >> we don't really know, because
the irs does not talk. we don't know exactly what he gave them. we do know he kept years worth of the emails. his main problem with the swiss tax structure was that the tax law requires -- when you do a restructuring of this sort, it cannot just be for the purposes of lowering taxes. it has to have some business purpose. some economic substance is the term. he reviewed a bunch of circuit court decisions and came to the conclusion the tax structure did not have economic structure. now, price waterhouse and mcdermott hill and caterpillar did. he did not think so. oliver: with the united states has to lose by not being a leader in climate change. here's the creative director. tell us how you navigated the
new surrounding the paris climate accord. >> we knew it was worth writing about. the consequences of pulling out have a lot of implications when it comes to business so we immediately decided to make it the cover story. oliver: how did you approache the situation? it is very striking, but also very straightforward. >> we did not know exactly with the decision was going to be, but we knew it wasn't looking good. what the piece was about is the consequences of leaving the accord. oliver: i like the fact you have very little text. it is small, the image is of this american flag, somewhat submerged. you wanted to look like, we are standing alone. >> it is sort of embracing the classic iconography of worst-case scenario climate change. smog and rising sea levels. doing it in a quiet, dark way. we didn't want to be too specific but wanted to get straight to the point of why this is a bad thing.
♪ oliver: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." oliver renick. how a former staffer and lawyer, margaret peterman. gained the trust of rex tillerson. as well as president trump's. nick, this is a story you have about a little-known figure in the administration. that is margaret peterlin who works with secretary tillerson. tell us about her role and how important she has become. >> she has become one of the most influential figures in the department and certainly one of the most powerful.
she's not very well-known, though she served on the hill for a long time as a staffer and has really become rex tillerson's most trusted aide. where we have seen her influence lately is on some big hiring decisions. the head of policy planning, she brought in the guy who is leading that. a man named brian hook. she introduced rex tillerson to the man would become the deputy secretary of state. john sullivan, whose nomination was confirmed last week. oliver: you probably know more about secretary tillerson than me. he seems like an old-fashioned guy who gives his trust out, not exactly hand over fist. how did she earn the trust of this man? >> peterlin was identified to help shepherd rex tillerson through the nomination process and confirmation with the senate. so she quickly gained his trust there. this was a time when she was helping him navigate his financial disclosure form. if you remember at the time, there were a lot of ethics
concerns about how he would divest himself from his financial stake in exxon. she also managed how his response would turn out to senators would go. helping arrange what's called the murder boards, the grilling he would undergo with the senate. oliver: let's talk about the crux of the story. it derives from the privacy is prized by both of these individuals. it is causing some ripples throughout the defense department. tell us what is happening internally. >> there are so much happening at the state department, so much turmoil. i tried to answer is this rex tillerson or margaret peterlin as sort of the gatekeeper, cutting him off? he has brought his management style from exxon where he keeps a tight circle of advisers and relies on them for advice.
that creates the impression he is isolated and cloistered. oliver: there are a lot of unhappy people there. based on your sourcing from the story. what do they want tillerson and peterlin to do differently? >> one of the big questions they need to resolve is people say, when you go into a meeting, it feels like you are siri. you are asked a question and expected to give a definitive response. there is no back-and-forth where they are looking for policy advice. people say, if they are going to win the hearts and minds of the state department, they have to have more of a free flow of conversation. and more of a back-and-forth. oliver: also in politics, isis. while world powers are getting closer to defeating the group, the future of syria remains unclear. here is editor matt phillips. matt phillips, your team and the politics section looks at what is happening in syria and the ongoing turmoil and what it could mean in the long run.
how did you choose to look at the situation right now? matt: we have been talking about the fight to rollback isis for a couple years. now that they are basically surrounded, their capital, the capital of their self proclaimed caliphate is surrounded. it is being pushed increasingly out of territory. they are surrounded by some of the strongest military forces in the world. the americans are there, the russians are there. the turks are close by and of course the iranians. it is not a question of if isis will be defeated but when. and then the bigger question is, who controls what is left of syria? and how much of a vested interest does president trump feel he has to stick with the post isis plan? or is he just going to pull back in stick to campaign promises not to engage in a wider war?
oliver: let's start with those baseline comments. the first thing is crushing isis. president trump has phrased it different ways. we are going to crush, eliminate. as you point out, where president trump has not quite vocalized much on is what happens after. you say he doesn't want to get it into a prolonged war, but how can we interpret that as to any kind of move? >> the interesting pivot that seems to be happening here and the question and tension right now that is being proposed, if he is going to adhere to the campaign promises he made about not engaging in a wider war to smash isis, to work with russia, and to vacate -- he used the example of the war with iraq as an example of a policy gone bad. when he was in saudi last week, he pledged to gulf allies to
help rollback iran. iranian influence across the middle east, across the persian gulf. in syria, rolling back iran means rolling back assad who is backed by iran and russia. that begs the question, how do you reconcile with what he said on the campaign which is not to engage in a further struggle? he has been increasingly clear that iran is the bigger issue, especially if he is trying to make deals with his sunni allies in the middle east. oliver: up next, the new way to control inflation. and the french ex-pat who quit his job to hand out political leaflets in montreal. this is bloomberg. ♪
♪ oliver: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm oliver renick. you can also catch us on the radio. sirius xm general 119. a.m. 960 in the bay area. and in london on the bloomberg radio plus app. in the global economic section, the san francisco fed president thinks he can help the central bank improve its aim. we're talking about its target on inflation. >> you write about inflation. what was the approach you took? >> i talked to the president of the federal reserve bank in san francisco, john williams. he is a really interesting person. last week he put out a paper speech on the idea of price level targeting.
you know the federal reserve has an inflation target of 2%. we have been below that the vast majority the time since that target was set. and, the question is, should we be allowed to go above that, above 2%? his theory is, yes, what you should target -- instead of being the rate of change, the level of prices. there is a consumer price index, the absolute level of prices. imagine if you had inflation running at 1%, but you would be getting further and further behind the expected trajectory of prices so, if you followed his strategy, you could do a little catch up. inflation could go above 2% until you got back onto your intended trajectory. oliver: now how does aiming for a price level, which would then provide some degree of flexibility if you go over it, really differ from another
function? is it just a function of where you move the goalposts to some extent? >> is a tricky thing. there is a risk here if you run below for a long time and then you said, we are really going to catch up now, you could have really high inflation which would scare the pants off of people. it would frighten the markets. interest rates would soar. businesses would be disrupted. he did not want that, obviously. he is a sober central banker. and what he says is we have a problem. when you are near the lower bound and interest rate are close to zero, they cannot go any lower, what we have seen the fed do is unconventional monetary policy. such as buying long-term bonds. this is a way, an additional tool for the fed.
if you convey to markets that you are setting a level price level target, instead of inflation rate, then everybody will understand you are just trying to get there. this is where we are trying to get. believe us, folks. this is not just talk. we are going to let inflation run a little high. the market has gotten so used to inflation being low, they don't even believe it when the fed says they want 2% percent. oliver: we have more on the strategy used to leeward french expatriate voters. >> he made a very strong showing on the presidential elections. one with a very strong majority. now, five weeks later, there is going to be an election in france for the legislative
states. essentially, their version of our congress. it is very important for him to win a majority, which is by no means assured. because he has really exploded the political system there. there are two long established parties. the republicans, and the socialists. there is also of course the front nationale. of marine le pen. he has created the brand-new party. while he was able to win, he now has to get all his people in office. oliver: this boils down to being able actually get policy done. the way it works in france is slightly different. he can encourage people to go out and apply for these positions. 19,000 people applied online.
>> out of that, 526 were selected. his selection committee made a big effort to come up with new people, so 50% of the people selected have never had any political office. 50% are women. it is a very diverse group. oliver: is that because he wants to sort of solidify this party he is leading? is it because he wants to appeal across the aisle? what exactly does he accomplished by bringing in that diversity? >> he certainly wants his own people. and i think, he sincerely believes in citizen engagement. he wants new people in the government who can bring new ideas and refresh the system, which many people feel has become sort of stale in france. this brings us to an interesting fellow. he is the son of extremely leftist parents.
his father was a journalist for a communist newspaper. his mother was an organizer for the french transit system, which is constantly on strike. he decided at the age of 50 to quit his job to campaign for the macron movement. the other interesting thing is he is an example of these extraterritorial congressman. he lives in canada. he has got canadian citizenship as well as french. if he wins, he would be one of 11 people around the globe who represent the 1.3 million ex-pats, french ex-pats who live outside of france. oliver: up next, london shouldn't measure is success by the european union. and how to even cats can make
oliver: welcome back. still ahead, why london in -- is banking on a boom, not a bust after brexit. and the bill is coming to for noble. and how justin bieber helped propel a song to the top of the charts. all that is coming up on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ oliver: we are back with "bloomberg businessweek" editor-in-chief megan murphy. let's talk about companies. interesting purchases by chinese companies moving into the health care space outside of china. i feel like it in with the
broader themes. chinese companies looking for ways to diversify. megan: this is a sector that has been really hit hard by over demand, over indebtedness. what several groups are looking at now is moving into the sort of health care market, beauty market. there are two big reasons for this. one, there are significant incentives for them to invest in land and used for health care services. the second thing is they can also put up residential towers which can attract a higher premium because there is close access to health care. this is a company i have covered a long time. just the rise and fall of noble has been interesting to watch.
once asia's largest commodities trader, the boom and bust has affected them. this has been particularly interesting in that they have had negative research come out, what somewhat described them as a short seller play. it affected them with how they did things. really, it is a tale of did they move away from the markets? were there things they did differently than other companies? this was named after the famous book, "noble house." to see their fortunes trail off through the years has been interesting to watch. oliver: the basically had the same issues facing them, macro wise. it is sort of the way they are kind of storing things. there were certain things happening very unique. there is no mistaking that.
megan: i am not sure we have heard the end of noble group and what happened with their accounting and finances. the company said it would not be able to secure further indebtedness without tapping into some of the physical commodities. that market has seen such a huge trailing off as china -- even though china is still growing robustly by comparison, it is going a little slower. that sector has been so hard hit. that super cycle stopping, the end of the gravy train for some many companies including noble. oliver: changing regimes. in a future story, a good piece on london. this is an important story. megan: it is a counter intuitive story. i am a u.k. citizen. this is the side of the debate you did not hear enough of every there was so much talk -- i want to be clear, so much talk about immigration and fear. european bureaucracy. there wasn't as much focus on sort of the cadre of people, innovators, entrepreneurs and executives who made the case actually brexit would make england much more attractive to investment by some companies. it would allow technology helps
to be created. it could make it a much more competitive center tax wise. by doubling down on some of the things that made it such a globalist place to begin with, it is so attractive that they could exacerbate in some ways post-brexit. oliver: a great take on the situation. >> you write about the city of london and whether it is going to survive. talk about the tack you took on this. >> we are now a year past the brexit referendum. there are still a couple of years to go before an actual
brexit occurs. one of the things that has emerged is london's economy, international investment in london, and london's attractiveness as a global hub is certainly not completely undamaged but still very significant. if you walk around here, there are skyscrapers under construction. big tech companies like amazon and google expanding their presence. the article makes the argument london has some bumps ahead, but with the right mix of policies and ideas, it can survive and thrive. >> you write economic apocalypse is nowhere in sight. we've seen london fall before. just think after world war ii and how it had to rebuild itself. the rise of canary wharf. some people laughed at it, but it has become a big part of
london and successful. >> i think that is important historical parallel to look at. 30 years ago, 40 years ago, london was nothing like the hub particularly of finance it is today. that had to be built. all of which is to say, if it can be billed once, it can be built again. while there are huge challenges, there are ways to go forward from the brexit result. >> talk about the policies. which people are thinking might take london, keep it successful, keep it viable, keep it is a place where people want to do business. what kind of policies are people talking about mighty necessary? .>> a big one is taxes. the corporate tax rate in britain currently stands at 19% and is headed down further.
that compares to 30 plus percent in a lot of countries including the u.s.. another big one, and something governments are eager to talk about, is infrastructure. if you compare london to new york, london is a city with a very modern airport in heathrow. a very modern underground system that is being dramatically extended. there is more of that to come. those are also big things. the other one, the big one, is going to be toughest for politicians deliver. that is immigration, making sure businesses can hire the right people they say they need. that remains a thorny issue. >> is such a part of london's culture. how people like to do business from london, not necessarily a great place to do business in, but it has become a place where people are all different countries like to funnel their investments through.
>> yes, that is right. i have joked if you go to a party in new york, there might be 19 americans and one canadian. where is in london, you could easily have 15-20 passports in that room. this is the most global city in the world. the question is, what happens to that. currently, the immigration system is extremely open if you are european. if you are from elsewhere, the u.s., japan, china, it is more stringent. what a couple more liberal brexit supporters have suggested, the system should be legalized. so there is an equal basis on which people can be evaluated. oliver: up next, how norway became an electric car mecca. and then, tidying up the final frontier. ♪
oliver: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm oliver renick. in norway, the economy runs on oil and gas, but not the cars. what is happening in norway and why are they pushing to the electric vehicle? >> it is a combination of incentives that have been around since the 1990's and cars like the tesla becoming viable second cars for people in the last five years or so. norway, with a population of i million, has more electric cars 5 million, has more electric cars on the road than anyone besides the u.s., china, and japan. oliver: they have a higher number of cars per population. what made it amenable for them to get ahead of the curve and push for incentives? >> a number of things that make
it hard to replicate. norway has a lot of cheap hydropower renumber two, vast oil wealth that the government uses to subsidize electric vehicle purchases for people. electric vehicles have been exempt from sales tax, the special car levees that can cause as much as 100% on the price of cars. oliver: if you are buying a regular car, it is sort of a double tax. you buy one car for the price of two. >> among other perks, electric cars don't pay tolls on most toll roads. there is a town further out from oslo, where one in every five cars is electric because the toll to get in or out is $18
u.s. oliver: is it just about the fact that it is a smaller country, fewer people, easier to get around on a battery? what is there that we can take away from this and applied to countries that need to sort of get moving on the electric and nonfossil fuel emission cars? is there anything here we can lift other countries? >> the biggest piece aside from tax breaks is the infrastructure. in addition to make it easier for you to pay for, they are making them easier to use with the total exemptions, they can use carpool lanes or bus lanes whenever they feel like it. perhaps most importantly, the vast majority of municipal charging stations are free to fill up. oliver: you have an example how convenient they have made it, transforming into a giant
charging station. >> a 14th century fortress, most of which is sort of permafrosted underground, which used to be a place for soldiers to hideout, is now an electric car station. oliver: also ahead, cleaning up the space trash. we give you the details on a few companies looking to clean up the junk orbiting our planet. you do pretty cool profiles in things going on in terms of cleaning up space. >> one of the things about space is it is getting to be a crowded environment in terms of pollution. there is a lot of debris that is circling the globe at high speeds. that can cause a problem if you are a satellite operator and your satellite happens to intersect with one of these objects. megan: it has been around for decades. are there a lot of companies that are looking at the issue of clearing out that space junk? >> there are some come out but
it is not an active effort at this point. we are talking about an issue, it has gotten worse in the past decade but the same time this is not something anybody sees as a real acute problem for 10, 20, 30 years. it is a long-term issue that companies are starting to think about, but it is not getting a full research push. oliver: there were so many different sort of problem solving options here, which means if there is an incentive to do it, there must be at the end some money behind it as well. tell us what seems like the most promising solution. >> there are a number of different approaches.
this problem has gotten creative thinking. grad students at texas a&m among them. you can't launch a satellite to solve this problem. it is too expensive. there is going to be a permanent craft where you can maneuver it. one company's thinking about a plasma engine. you can do multiple missions in space where you can drive the craft toward larger objects. this is where this comes from. it will be kind of a space-based activity, not one where you see a lot of different satellite launches. megan: kind of like a roomba in space to rate is about getting it to burn up in the atmosphere, that is the end game. >> want to get it so it degrades in the atmosphere. the real issue is, how do you maneuver around different orbital paths and rendezvous with this junk? the larger the object, the more incentive there will be. probably be more money there will be. the bigger the object, the higher the risk of a collision. i think the initial focus is going to be on the large, old satellites that are really large.
a satellite historically for the last 60 years we have been doing .last 60 years we have been doing it, you put it up and there are no rules about what happens when it is no longer viable. i think we are going to see a change where if you are launching, you are going to have to have a plan so it does not become more junk in space. as far as cleanup, that's probably for private companies. oliver: up next, lessons in back testing. how a fund based on cats can make the fortune. and to lend centers have a lot to thank justin bieber four. this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ ♪
oliver: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." i'm oliver renick. you can also catch us on the radio. am 1200 in boston. am 960 in the bay area. in london on dab emulex three at asia on the bloomberg radio plus app. in the markets and finance section, if you want to beat the street, you might want to consider your pet cat. or not. you had some fun with a cool story that expands on your coverage. tell us about the feline factor. >> it is the new hot thing. it's going to make me a millionaire or a billionaire. i'm going to be so rich because of this. the premise is a little bit silly. basically when someone builds and investing strategy that is very quantitative driven, you build an algorithm, you have some rationale. you build trading strategy around that. my economic intuition was people love cats. they are on the internet. they're playing keyboards. people love cats.
i built a trading model that buys companies with cat in that order. i ran a five-year back test on it and it returned 800,000%. you are looking at a newly minted billionaire. >> how do you explain that? it sounds random. >> i talked to quants, and they said, it really doesn't work. i knew that it was a little ludicrous. to explain the crazy returns, what happened was, i picked up a bunch of micro caps. there was one company that went from trading less than a penny to two cents. they were micro caps, but it is nothing you can actually invest in. i basically picked up on random noise that just so happened
companies with cat in them was nothing you could actually invest in. oliver: it is putting it under the microscope, which can be illuminating on the flaws involved in methodology. what are those sort of cracks within the methodology you guys went to exploit and bring to light? >> the first one is the idea of economic intuition. there is supposed to be a reason why it works. there is no economic reason why a company with "cat" in its name. as much as i wanted to work, no real reason. everything is called up you hacking -- p hacking. this is where you go in and manipulate the data to make it look better. when you run it in the wild, it doesn't actually work. for an example of that, i am admittedly a dog person. it hurt my soul a bit to do this. when you run it with dog, one of the companies it picked up was
called junkie dog. i'm not sure what it does, i did want to look into it too much, but the returns look awful. all the dog companies did not do well. i did it with cat, which worked great. after the fact, i assigned an economic rationale, which is what you are not posted do. oliver: the economic rationale is where people get into trouble. you might say something like a value stock or coveting with a certain type of alex sheet is an economic intuition. what you are -- of balance sheet is economic intuition. what you are saying is these are not always well adhered to. that's where breaks down little bit. >> i am glad you chose value as an example. it illustrates another thing. it's called over fitting would you go back in time and tweak a bunch of things to make you look really good. value, no matter what metric you choose, anything that is valuey will make the value factor work. i change it to a different market, if i change the capitalization, the market factor of the companies, it does not work. which means it is not robust. i picked up on something random.
oliver: bilingual remixes and collaborations with justin bieber. those are the ingredients of the song of the summer. >> tell me the most popular song in the world. >> it is by two puerto rican pop stars. they have been around for some time but they have never had anything like this. the song has just taken off. it was already a pretty big hit on its own and then justin bieber discovered it and did a remix that has some crooning. it is number one anywhere that
has a music chart. it is already clearly the front runner for song of the summer. oliver: this was a popular song before. it is about taking it to the world stage where the artists are getting a much bigger profile. >> we are seeing the music industry, you have an international pop song that gets adopted to a local audience. i think we are going to see it more and more. labels have these artists signed throw the world. there may be a rapper in france who does well locally. all of a sudden drake drops a verse on his album and then he is big everywhere. there is synergy record labels are interested in. or drake get some exposure in france that maybe doesn't have. one direction is another big pop group. they have a colombian singer-songwriter who has done a remix. >> this is the first status -- spanish language song to hit number one in the u.s. for a long time.
since the macarena. it's been a long, long time. it is interesting considering we talked about it from a consumer perspective, the importance of the latin american listener or customer. >> it is kind of amazing when you think about it. we were talking about it in the newsroom in l.a. i was surprised macarena was the most recent. apparently the one before that was labonte the -- was la bamba. a lot of the big hit makers have been in english. the ricky martins. it is very rare for a foreign language song to hit number one. oliver: "bloomberg
♪ alix: coming up on "bloomberg best" the stories that shaped the week in business around the world. political tensions that the world on edge. implications for trade, currency and global stability. >> transatlantic relations are as poor as they have been in a long time. >> president trump needs to understand who is talking to here. alix: amid the noise, economic data sins ambiguous signals. >> don't obsess on anyone number. alix: leaders add insight to a complex picture. >> north korea's conduct is reckless, dangerous, and becoming more so.