tv Bloomberg Best Bloomberg March 2, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
>> time now for bloomberg best, the stories that shaped the week in business around the world. trade tensions on pause as the u.s. delayed tariffs on china. >> the tension of the deadline was huge. >> i don't believe it will solve all the problems. >> theresa may opens the door for sending the brexit deadline. >> we have seen major policy reversals. >> the trump-kim summit collapses with no deal. >> the north koreans are saying the u.s. could have missed an opportunity. >> questions on capitol hill.
>> the key factors that are driving growth in germany are [indiscernible] >> capital investment has moved the system. >> my best judgment is it is probably not done yet. >> warren buffett sends out his annual letter. earnings season continues, with beats missing and reaction. >> the environment is a little lower in 2019. >> it is all straight ahead on bloomberg best. ♪ >> hello and welcome. i'm taylor riggs. this is bloomberg best, your view of the most important news and interviews from bloomberg television around the world.
let's start -- let's start with a look at the top headlines. monday, investors found themselves under less stress after an encouraging development in u.s. trade negotiations with china. >> print trump is extending the trade truce with china. however, there's a less optimistic tone from beijing. certainties cannot be ruled out. the president has said they are making headway on key issues like ip and tech. >> we are waiting for exact details on the two sides. there is an agreement on purchasing more goods and u.s. companies getting better access to china's market, but the big takeaway is right now, the trade war truce is being extended. as we approach the march 1 deadline, all indications, the u.s. and china are on track to
put the trade war on the back burner for now. >> is this a win for china? >> it is most heavily a win. the economy has been slowing because xi jinping and the government have been on this deleveraging push. >> they've had to step in and became obvious that the stimulus was coming back, so a big win for china. >> the federal reserve chair jerome powell says the u.s.
economy remains strong, but dangers are brewing. powell noted that the fed is watching the state of affairs closely and prepared to adapt policy if our tip. >> watch and wait to see how it evolves. >> was the fed on message or did you hear anything off-track? >> jay powell was very much on message. it is peers -- it appears he succeeded in not moving the markets. we will watch the data as it comes in. the economy slowing, but at a pretty good. he says if inflation is no -- low, there is no reason to raise it and will keep an eye on it going forward. >> theresa may gave a report to parliament and it is either, but another plan or take another route.
>> we have seen major policy reversals. both must be said are tactical. jeremy corbyn is trying to prevent those from leaving his party and theresa may says it will not just be a vote on a deal, but a vote on whether no deal should happen or whether the government should request a delay to the march 29 exit date. the key she said would be a short extension. does this take no deal off the table? no, it doesn't. >> military tensions between india and pakistan have not helped markets this morning and they have escalated the most serious level in decades.
the pakistani military says it has downed to indian aircrafts, a day after the indian air force bombed a training camp earlier. >> pakistan has said they have shot down to indian aircrafts. indian tv channels have been showing some wreckage of a helicopter possibly down. no one is one is your percent sure what is happening at the moment. they are announcing that there are now flight restrictions in indian airspace. >> the prime minister sounded close solitary -- sounded come solitary -- the sox are already the worst performer of the year and ahead of the elections due in the next two months.
>> the nation's top trade negotiators said they are looking for a trade deal with beijing. >> i don't believe this is going to solve all the problems between the united states and china. we have very different systems. >> they are not wanting to basis on just soybean purchases by the chinese, but they want some sort of deal that will set in place, changes that what the u.s. will be paying for. >> president trump's second summit with kim jong-un has fallen apart without an agreement. south korean stocks and the currency plummeted after future talks of north korea's nuclear program were thrown into question.
>> you always have to be prepared to walk. i would much rather do it do it fast. >> we have known from the get-go that north korea has wanted sanctions lifted. this is a country that has struggled economically. trump said he was willing to lift sanctions, but the u.s. will need to get more in return. >> north korea said the u.s. missed an opportunity in the talks. what is the latest? >> president trump says the north koreans said they wanted to remove all sanctions, but the deputy foreign minister and foreign minister provide a different account. they say they were really -- willing to get rid of some of
the u.n. sanctions, a very different account from what president trump has said. they are saying their proposal is the better one and that is very different from what president gave us earlier. >> they were out -- chinese pmi's were out thursday. where is china's economy? >> there are people talking about this private sector gauge. today is one of them. probably in the back of extra infrastructure spending. it is still in contractionary territory and the pmi is pretty negative. it remains that china's economy is under some pressure and that is why there is potentially a sense of relief coming with the u.s.. >> u.s. officials are preparing a final tracheal and xi jinping could sign within a few weeks.
steven mnuchin saying over one is a 50 pages of this deal. we don't yet have a date for signing a summit. we are here -- we are hearing mid-march, but some other folks have also said there's still some work to be done. >> still ahead as we review the week on bloomberg best, much more on monetary policy and the longtime fed chair and bills deadly. up next, another busy week for earnings reports with executives coming forward to swing the results. this is bloomberg. ♪
>> this is bloomberg best. earnings season is beginning to wind down, but there were still plenty of companies reporting this week. let's start a roundup with standard chartered. they announced a three-year strategic plan. standard chartered has unveiled a turnaround plan. they are aiming for $700 million in cost cuts by 2021. >> the next phase is not about cost-cutting, it is about reshaping the operation for real growth and that has to do with leveraging our demonstrated core strengths with our global international network and it is impossible for someone to replicate. both of these areas are growing today. the objective is to continue to grow the good stuff and at the same time, continue to reshape the rest of the organization.
>> bank of ireland has reported underlying profit. they are boosting from 11 and a half cents per share to $.16 per share. a tempting promise to investors. when do you think you'll hit that 50% pay? >> what we have said and it continues to be policy is we will get to the itching percent payout in the more immediate turn. >> the mixed bag of retail after macy's cut costs, while home depot gains start to cool off. let's start with macy's. >> this is a company that implemented a $550 million
cost-cutting program and i think most of us who watch it closely, we don't think the companies -- home depot is a healthy business. most retailers would be that in the and home depot has than putting mongers like that for a long time. >> best buy topping analyst expectations before the day today, sending shares surging. it is a bright spot for what has been a gloomy earnings season. >> investors going into the quarter, we knew the top one would be good. the margins looked pretty good
and i think that shows that they are executing and services which carry higher margins. they are handing over parts of the sorts of microsoft and others and the vendors help pay for that. that helps as well. a lot to like for best buy. >> they saw lots of their coal mines earlier this year and it looks like it is paying off to a record of $13.5 billion. they announced dividends with expected by back of the program. how much is coming from the asset sale? is that like shareholder returns hours that something they will get used to? >> today is a very good day. it is the highest in the company.
it is abide accurately see is ongoing. we are well-positioned in terms of growth and weibel continue to deliver promises. >> they beat their first half guidance on a weekend aussie dollar. up 42% from the same time the year ago. they cautioned it could be the peak and things are softer going forward. >> the first half has been a benefit in the run-up of pricing in north america and we have seen prices moderate for the backend of the half.
>> covestro is warning that profits this year will drop more than estimated. the company cited increasing cost and decreased prices. why are profits coming down? what is the main reason here? is this the global action slowdown or is it problems with trade? >> i think it will continue and i think they are very well prepared to have long-term growth. what we see short-term is we have increased competition on the supply side, so some is coming to the market and that is why despite strong growth, we see some pressure and that is the main reason for 2019. >> fourth-quarter results have increased demand for catalysts used to reduce pollution from
cars. the ceo predicts profit in 2019. what is it really down to? is this a rebound in automotive sales as you predicted last quarter? >> we have seen a significant slowdown in the automotive industry which put it not in a very good shape. the predictions for 2019 is however. it is a slightly higher number. unable to say the yield started to slow, so we expect as part of our forecast that we see a revitalization. however, the whole environment is a little lower in 2019. we are far from a recession. >> weight watchers plunging
about 30% after the company basically saying that member recruitment was going to be a lot lower than last year. what accounts for the warning that the company is giving? >> it does not look great, especially if they are telling that to us in february which is diet season. if they did not have a good start to the are, it does not look good for the west -- rest of the year. people don't like the idea of dieting anymore and the company has rebranded itself and trying to be's not so much calorie counting, but wellness and health. >> we have got coming out and they will be processing into two publicly traded companies. they say old navy is to become a standalone company. many clear this could be far more valuable.
this week, federal reserve chairman jay powell guided a slowdown as one of the signals making the fed has it sent to raise rates. those sentiments were echoed did -- echoed in germany. while the data has had a soft patch, fundamentals remain strong. >> for us, one of the key factors that are driving growth are still in tech and cheap financing conditions, but also a buoyant labor market. >> when you talk about the trade issues with respect to germany, how much of that is external and how much is internal?
it is not just trade with china or the united states, but internally, the traders down. is that correct? >> i think they are currently surrounded by a high degree of uncertainty and part of that is related to the looming trade conflicts. what we are seeing is factors that are related to the eu and such and debates within the area, but then we have this looming trade conflict which is potentially affecting the german economy more than ours. on contrast, we don't see there's a operable affect of this higher uncertainty. west would be helpful to give clear guidance about when you can expect rates to go up for the ecb? >> i believe the guidance is
working as it should because markets have already reacted to the economic data by postponing their expectations, so in a sense this is a [indiscernible] we told them through the summer we would not raise rates and that fully understood. >> coming up, more of the week's top business headlines. president trump is not too busy to tweet about oil prices and we also have more compelling conversations, including thoughts from howard marks on the fed and an exclusive interview with bill gross.
>> welcome back to "bloomberg best." i'm taylor riggs. the meeting in hanoi this week between donald trump and north korean leader kim jong-un ended abruptly without any agreement. you are u.s. sanctions remain in force, and north korea retains its nuclear program. guests on bloomberg television discussed what this may mean going forward. ♪ >> i think the north korean bloc can make a choice. they will either return to criticizing the united states and ramping up anti-u.s. rhetoric, or they will say this is a process and we have to keep working on it. kim jong-un is very committed to the process, and he wants to have a positive, new
relationship with the u.s. going forward. a lot of this depends on how the north koreans decide to spin the outcome of the summit, and how they see the message to their own people. it will be interesting to see how the leader talks to his own people about it. >> is the korean peninsula safer or less safe? >> even if there had been a joint statement today, it is not clear the peninsula with have been any safer in the short-term, because they possess all their nuclear weapons. ♪ >> i think actually for the u.s. this was the best case scenario. those watching this were a little nervous of sanctions relief and what they could bring to the situation. this was a challenging meeting because the carrot and stick approach in terms of what would the u.s. stand to gain, what to the north koreans really want, they wanted full sanctions relief. the next step here is likely a pretty long delay in the further talks, because this isn't a huge
priority relative to the market, relative to a lot of what people in congress are interested in. >> how difficult will it be to get a fully verifiable denuclearization deal with a country like north korea? >> i think it's going to be nearly impossible. unlike iran that was at one point part of the global economy, north korea's entire existence has been entirely isolationist. there are expectation management issues here. kim jong-un is willing to have this discussion, which shows a willingness to attempt to enter the global economy, but the survival of his family and regime is at stake, in balancing what you have to give up and what you will receive -- the make north korea great again -- i think he's buying it. ♪ >> are we better off than we were at the start of this week? >> we are probably not worse off. i don't know that we are better off. we are better off in the sense that the north koreans now
understand that we have a clear, bright line as to what we will not do, which is to say we will not give them a substantial or complete elimination of sanctions without their making a much more substantial commitment on denuclearization. if there is a negative sign, it's not what happened in this meeting, it's the fact that the diplomatic discussions between the united states and the north koreans may have given a signal to some other countries that don't have as strong commitment to the sanctions, but they can do a little more trading, or can explore other options with the north. i think we are not worse off because of what happened, i think we are in a stronger position, but it may be that the sanctions are not going to be as strongly implemented by some of the countries because of the more visible diplomatic initiatives that the north has
had. ♪ >> now let's get more expert perspective on monetary policy and the global economy. bloomberg's michael mckee traveled to the nab conference in washington, d.c., where he spoke with alan greenspan as well as former u.s. fed president bill dudley. ♪ >> you told the members of the organization here today that the longer run outlook is not so great. the short run outlook may be better for the economy than people think? -- it couldy saying be better than other people are for testing. i think most economists will agree that capital investment
after the tax cuts has actually moved the system, productivity growth had been a little over 1% for a goodly number of years. coming out of that, we are not too bad on productivity. somewhat better than i would have assumed. it is essentially essentially the result of the tax cut -- how long it will last. i do not know. >> the outlook for inflation, you suggest that there is maybe something to be concerned about out there. one of the big debates at the school of monetary policy conference last week was whether or not the phillips curve is nonlinear. we will suddenly see a breakout of inflation. do you think that's the case? >> i think the phillips curve is not specified. it shouldn't be unemployment, it should be a unit of labor cost -- you can't really measure what
the concept will be unless you know what productivity is. i argued very strongly in 1990 that we need to be concerned -- we need not be concerned about our employment rate declining, because we had a very significant rise in productivity, and as we came down from 6% unemployment down to 4% and lower, nothing happened. why? because unit labor costs didn't rise that much. ♪ >> i think generally what the fed is saying in the language of being patient is that they will take a pause and wait for more data. there are a number of things that pushed them off moving to more tightening. number one, a tightening of financial conditions, stock down. went that was one concern. second, foreign growth looks
weaker, especially in china and europe. three, there wasn't any inflation. inflation was the story of the dog that didn't bark. even though the unemployment rate was low, you weren't seeing any acceleration of wages, and that wasn't feeding into prices. my own personal view is that as long as inflation stays, the fed will be on hold. if the economy keeps growing above pace, more pressure on resources, and inflation will drip back up. my best judgment is the fed is probably not done yet. >> how far do they go? at what point do you risk an accident? >> that's why i think they are being patient. they don't want to inadvertently cause a recession. if inflation were to accelerate, then at least they have a motivation for why they are moving to tighter monetary policy. >> what you did that for was to prevent a downturn in the economy, which this group suggests may come in 2020 or 2021. but the fed doesn't have a lot of ammunition at this point.
>> that's one concern that the fed is wrestling with, the peak federal funds rate in the cycle is 2.5%, 3%, is not that much room between that and zero. there has been a lot of discussion among fed officials and other market observers of does the president have enough firepower to get us out of the next economic downturn? my own view is that i think there's more firepower than people realize, because they invented a whole bunch of new tools to use if they are ever at the guidance, asset purchases, open-ended purchases, we will just keep buying until we achieve our objectives. ♪ >> this week marked the end of an era in investing, as bill gross's retirement became official. erik schatzker sat down for an exclusive conversation. the bond king shared his views on market and politics, as well as some very personal stories about his life and career.
♪ >> my personality -- i have asperger's, which i keep compartmentalized. they can operate in different universes without the other universes affecting them as much. i had a nasty divorce and i still had feelings -- i think i did pretty well in compartmentalizing. not that i didn't with up in the middle of the night and start damning one side or the other. but when i came to work it was , all business. i don't think it affected me that much, but it's hard to know. you are not your best witness when it comes to trying to figure out whether something is
affecting you or not. still, it's a possibility. >> i did know you had asperger's. is that what you meant in february of 2016, in one of your outlooks he wrote about mike movie "theand the big short." you said you shared an attribute or reflection with one of the heroes. it was in his glass eye. >> if you have a minute and a half, it's a story. -- a fascinating story. he was a great writer, and there was a chapter -- the things that asperger's have, that michael had as well. some of them were not being able to look somebody in the eye, which i'm not doing very well at
the moment, singular hobbies like stamp collecting etc. i thought, that's me. i took the book out, i said, i said, to my ex-wife and i i think i have asperger's. she said, you do. not you do? she said you do. ♪ >> you can find more of erik schatzker's exclusive interview with bill gross on bloomberg.com, and in a special program airing this weekend on bloomberg television. ♪
>> this is "bloomberg best." i'm taylor riggs. let's resume our global tour of the top business stories. oil entered the week on something of a rally, with prices up about 20% since the start of the year. that momentum shifted suddenly on monday following words from the white house. ♪ >> president trump has continued his war of words with opec, tweeting that oil prices are getting too high, opec please relax, the world cannot take a price hike. the market is listening. should they be? >> yes. from these levels? this is part of our initiative -- expect more of this. every time the market goes low, imply they will cut more. every time it goes up, see signs that prices are too high. but the market is stuck in a range, and the big thing is way over supplied. opec and russia have to keep cutting back to make up for all
this production. trump knows he has the upper hand. ♪ >> ge surging after announcing the sale of its biofarma. it is part of a larger turnaround by the ge ceo. you would have to imagine that $20 billion plus -- is that enough for the longer term? >> $21 billion is a lot of cash, and it does go a long way in terms of resolving their balance sheet issues, but remember, they laid out $50 billion that they will need to bring in to resolve their overall debt issues. they are also getting cash from the resolution of the merger with the transportation unit, but as you remember, the original plan was to ipo the health care business and move some of that debt and pension liability on to that. that plan has now been shelved, and you are still keeping that pension and debt liability in the fold, and you are also getting the cash flow from the health care business. you might think this is a significant step forward, but they are obviously a lot of
issues that ge has to work through, and the fact that they are looking to keep cash flow in the fold tells me that the challenges of power are probably running fairly deep. ♪ >> making a hostile bid for newmont mining, that could unlock $7 billion worth of real synergies. the deal would be in $18 billion all stock merger. >> they are making takeover place for newmont mining. the ceo of newmont has called this desperate and bizarre. how much of this is really that about requiring newmont and how much is it about the gold? >> this is a very carefully considered process. we have been working on it for a long time. we don't believe that the gold and knew my deal -- and newmont deal creates any value for anyone. we do believe that, as we demonstrated, our proposal has the ability to unlock $7 billion of value for both newmont and
barrick shareholders. >> from our standpoint we are continuing with the acquisition. we will take on board whenever we receive from barrick, but we are very excited about the prospect of joining up. we are going through the process of getting approval, shareholder approvals, regulatory approvals in the first part of april, and we have been diving into the details in terms of the value proposition that offers to our shareholders. ♪ >> warren buffett isn't giving up after a write-down last week, but don't expect them to buy any more shares. what did you take from the annual letter? >> it was kind of interesting. he doesn't expect a huge deal anytime soon, which is important given that he has $112 billion in cash, so he could be doing a large deal, but the prices are reasonable. that is kind of talking about -- how else could he spend his money? he spent a lot of the letter talking about his changed repurchase policy, which is
interesting for him. he's normally favored eyeing -- eyeing businesses of other companies over purchasing his own stock, but he change that last year, buying back $1.3 billion in shares, and he explained that in his letter. i think that will help his successor. they can point to the fact that buffett himself did stock buybacks if they need to. ♪ >> elon musk punting the sec on twitter, after he's held in contempt of court. they can hit back at the sec pointing out that the investor calls -- he is poking the bear. musk is not backing down. is it wise? >> i don't think the investors would say so. this is reopening a case that started last fall over a tweet from musk saying he will take the company private and the sec alleged that actually he didn't have the funding. what the most recent tweet does is reopen that issue.
the sec goes to the judge to say we had a settlement, we had some rules in place, people will check his tweets before going out and now they are asking -- did he violate this agreement? >> elon musk is delivering his promise of a cheaper model 3, but is also warning that tesla may not be profitable this quarter. what does this mean for tesla? this is an announcement we've been waiting for for the past three years. >> that's right. if you are a car buyer, if you had $1000 down waiting for the $35,000 tesla, this is great news. if you are shareholders, it must not be good. after trading shares were down 3.4%, getting past the early adopters of people -- they were obsessed with tesla, getting into the mainstream car market. that is where you have to fight harder to get sales and reduce prices, the same time as the u.s.
federal tax credit. -- credits have been cut in half. the pressure is really going to be on them to reduce costs so they can make a profit. ♪ >> president trump's longtime former personal attorney and fix er michael cohen testifying before congress. for prosecutors there's nothing revelatory here, but for the rest of the public, it is astounding to see a sitting president attacked in treated treated like this in congress. in terms of the legal issues, obviously michael cohen cannot speak for prosecutors, but he can give us a glimpse of the threads of opening queries. -- open inquiries. we can see potential, and that is all it is, but quite interesting. ♪ >> lyft is running ahead in the race for ipo. the rideshare company disclosed a trove of statistics as part of a filing this morning, including the average cost of a ride last month, the number of drivers it had in 2018, and how much money
the company has lost. i want to start with how much you think the turmoil at the end of last year is driving this, and whether we will see others deciding to get in when the market gets us any indication it has an appetite. >> absolutely. we are expecting a lot of ipos this year. everybody's racing to get out. no surprise that all. came out --ay -- lyft came out today they are trying to rush in ahead of uber. one of the most notable things was the revenue growth we saw in this company, we saw $2.2 billion, almost doubling from the year before, but like any high-growth company, we also saw huge losses. million ined $911 up 77% from the year before. ♪
>> i have been tracking the pound, currently trading at its highest level against the dollar june, 1.33. what's perhaps more astonishing, given all the brexit generation, is that the british pound is the best-performing major currency this year. compare that with last year when it was one of the worst performers. investors are obviously enthusiastic about the prospect of the delay. the question now is whether british politicians have taken a no deal exit off the table, or whether they have kicked the can down the road. >> there are over 3000 functions -- 30,000 functions on the bloomberg, and we always enjoyed showing you are favorites on bloomberg tv. this week, podcasts include conversations with howard marks, who shared insight on markets
and fed policy on stage at bloomberg's new york headquarters. ♪ >> the fed, some people have been complaining, they tighten too much. other people are saying they are behind the curve. you have been a student of the credit markets for decades. what do you think of where the fed is and what the future behavior might be? >> i talk about the said in a little bit in the book, there is a chapter on the role of government and central banks with regard to the economic cycle. the fed has a tough job. actually, it has three tough jobs. number one, it is supposed to manage inflation, keep it under control, which means that the economy shouldn't get too hot. number two, it is supposed to support economic growth in -- and employment, for which they would rather the market did get hot. number three, there are a lot of people who think the fed is a to -- of theis
declining stock market. i don't think jay powell feels the latter. i think interest rates -- low interest rates have been the outstanding characteristic for the last 10 years, dominated behavior over that period. they have been unnaturally low, made unnaturally low in order to bring the economy back from the global financial crisis. there are reasons why rates should be higher. number one, rates should be at their naturally occurring levels, the free market will allocate resources prudently. to date, it has been subsidizing borrowers and penalizing savers and lenders. number two, the fed wants rates to the high enough so that if the economy slows down they can drop rates and stimulate the economy and so forth.
there is a belief that there is an inverse correlation between unemployment and inflation, when unemployment gets really low, that triggers inflation. that's called the phillips curve. everybody, since we are now at a 50-year low in unemployment, everyone has been waiting for inflation to get going, which is what the fed's main concern is. that is why they have been talking about raising rates. but it hasn't happened. everyone is mystified by why we don't have inflation. there's no easy answer. ♪ >> that was just one of the many broadcasts you can find on the bloomberg. you can also find them at bloomberg.com, along with all the latest business news and analysis 24 hours a day. that will be all for "bloomberg best" this week. thanks for watching. i'm taylor riggs. this is bloomberg. ♪
erik: they called him the bond market king. bill gross had one of the most successful records of all time and he played an important role in pimco's rise. but the last chapter of his career was a letdown, now, almost 50 years after starting, he is retiring. it is for anyone who knew him, worked with him, or try to beat him, the end of an era. i am erik schatzker and fisted bill gross in california for years ago, just as he was starting his second act at janice henderson. i did not know what to expect this time. gross, always provocative, never dull, was full of surpris