tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg April 7, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
♪ carol: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek," i'm carol massar. jason: i jason kelly. carol: in this weeks program, why economists have had such a hard time forecasting recessions. plus, japan schools the world on how about the world on how a wealthy nation can maintain its superpower status. carol: and -- the international cover story, the greatest
delivery empire on earth. jason: we're talking about a company in china. to orderit's cheaper in that order out, and reshape life in china in the process. founder first-old started trying to build social networks in china. iendster or facebook look-alike, and something that looks like twitter. with a handful of cofounders. after first blowing through the early stakes for friends and family, and then suffering crackdown from the chinese government, decided to try to do something less potentially controversial. they have spent heavily thanks to the early investment by ma, to's founder, jack take the lead in what was known for some time in the hundred coupon more in china. carol: so he starts this
company, gets investment from jack ma, but he also start spreading out his businesses and where he wants to do business extensions. that cost more money and that is when alibaba says, we're not interested in doing another round. jeff: right. the terms that alibaba set were at a certain point where meituan was the biggest player in the was, along with tencent, look, we'll give you more money to stretch out for 2015, but you have to agree to merge with alibaba, including a lot of the customer data. jason: this was coming out a point where the groupon model was not going to be sustainable. there were going to run into the same thing they had run into in their previous startups, which was it is not going to grow. they got into this delivery business and that is when it accelerates. delivers 20meituan
million or so delivery orders a day through about 600,000 delivery agents across 3000 cities in china. carol: 20 million a day. jason: put it in context for us versus grubhub or something. is therubhub, which biggest player in a comparable market in the u.s. is delivering about 500,000 orders. jason: 500,000 versus 20 million. amazing. serves about 400 million people in a given year. carol: they decided not to roll their business into alibaba. alibaba goes one way and meituan goes another. rivalabsorbing its then with help and funny from tencent. -- funding from tencent. after that, alibaba said they will try to spend you to oblivion and by the market for ourselves. head: these to our head to
and competition, so there is a price were going on, which is wonderful for consumers, which is wonderful for what jason said at the beginning, which is that it's cheaper to get some and deliver then go to the checkout counter and pay for. jeff: it's often up to 50% cheaper depending on what you want for dinner. jason: is that sustainable? will these guys drive themselves into oblivion by this price war? jeff: it's a real gamble. alibaba has plenty of cash to burn. it's also a company entering its third decade with public market investors, so that is the gamble here. he is betting that the -- that alibaba has a year or so to keep doing this. carol: anybody who is going up against alibaba has to have a lot of nerve. tell us about the character, the founder. he has a role model that is
written about in the story and it is jeff bezos. jeff: that's right. -- has doubled down on the bezos reinvestment model. this idea that succeeding in some degree and particular business means you have money to play with to expand into an adjacent business. as they have gotten better at food delivery, they took over chinese movie ticket market and credit the market for online movie tickets. jason: one thing i want to make sure that people understand, because i didn't fully comprehend it, is the market opportunity here, because of chinese populations. the uss tent cities with one million or more people. china has 156. i was stopped cold by -- while i was reading it. can they get to a sizable chunk of this market? jeff: it seems reasonable to believe. that's the other reason that alibaba has to try to spend them into the ground.
depending on the u.s., a relatively conservative estimate is there is a $35 billion market for delivery services of all kinds. it will be about $800 billion a year by 2023. a lot of that growth will come at the expense of traditional e-commerce businesses like the -- alibaba. carol: this company isn't profitable. as not surprising if they're having profit -- pricing wars. jeff: part of the problem is they are in this billions of a dollar a year war of subsidies. this bezos model of trying to jump into a new very expensive business whenever they see an opening. carol: whenever i read a story about this, i think about what is going on in china and how much is being done on your phone. we do a lot of delivering, but only when you are in large cities. jason: i thought maybe you're talking about a side hustle i didn't know about. carol: it's fascinating how much further ahead they are then the united states.
jeff: this has been a huge leap frog for people in the cities there. as you might imagine, it's because of some relatively unique advantages of has but also disadvantages. it's more appealing to order in all the time when the traffic is horrible. jason: up next, one of india's best-known doctors is creating a model for ultralow cost health care that can be applied to everyone. carol: plus why a breakthrough in a postpartum depression drug still faces a high hurdle. this is bloomberg businessweek. ♪
did it at itunes, soundcloud and bloomberg.com. carol: you can find us online at businessweek.com and our mobile app. jason: india is going after the biggest public health effort in history. the prime minister aims to get basic coverage for the percent to 500 million of india's poorest. carol: an ambitious program. to make it possible, the founder of the world's biggest top -- cheapest hospital chain will have to cut costs further and then keep cutting. i talked to reporter re: allstate or. >> he's a pretty remarkable individual. he was born in india and trained as a cardiac surgeon in london. he noticed that they could do a lot more hard's -- heart surgeries in a day in london that anyone can do anywhere in india. he decided to go back to india and see if he could replicate that. once he did that at a hospital in calcutta, he started pushing himself a little more. various cardiac departments, he was hired at all around india.
eventually he came up with this idea of what if we treated cardiac surgery like an assembly line. try to break it down into constituent tasks and then have only the most complicated tasks done by the most experienced and highly paid surgeons. everyone else, from junior surgeons to highly trained nurses can handle all of the less complicated tasks. he found that once he did this, the cost of surgery went out a lot. own hospital in bangalore and replicating that model across the different specialties ever since, to produce what we call the cheapest hospital in the world. carol: let me throw out some numbers for our viewers and listeners. surgeries he does cost a lot less money. a $14.ar become surgery for and the cancer start at $700. talk about a heart transplant, a love and thousand dollars.
if you are doing and that in the u.s., were talking $100,000 or more. a huge difference. ari: a heart transplant could be $1 million at the u.s. hospital. carol: he makes a profit. the way he does this, and you taskabout upskilling, or shifting, talk to us about how this process works and give us an example. i'm assuming you want to some of the hospitals. ari: i got to watch a few surgeries done. what they do is they break up the tasks into more and less complex. formost complex tasks, instance, heart transplants, that might be moving the patient's heart out and putting the new one in. that's only done by the person who can only do that. that's the most experienced senior surgeon. the experienced senior surgeon comes in solely for that part of the operation. every other part of the
operation is done by other less skilled and less expensive people. whether that's a junior surgeon, one of the surgeries i went to the doctor son. it could also be highly trained nurses who have a lot more training and experience than a usual nurse. they can handle more complex tasks. they still cost less than a surgeon. carol: what has been his mortality rate? ari: the numbers that have been released and looked at by the that have comecs over to india to do case studies showed that his mortality rates are at least the same, if not thanr for select surgeries the u.s. counterparts or international benchmarks. particularly in these surgeries that--they have developed proficiency in. the ones where the assembly line model has been perfected as much as it can be and where surgeons
had developed high-level proficiency by doing hundreds of surgeries in the course of a year. the survival rates can be better. carol: now under pressure to even reduce his cost even more. this has to do with modicare, the people's health plan in india that is being put in place. can he do it? ari: he thinks he can. he is trying his best to apply the same principles that got his scale,is far, once of increasing surgeon proficiency, breaking down tasks in order to lower labor costs and increased utilization rates. he is tried to push that to its limit.at the same time , he is looking at more high tech solutions, namely data and
get all of that data and analyze out, well, hang on, why is this procedure costing more than that one? why are couple occasions more likely to come up in this board then that word? why is this doctor more likely to use a pacemaker then this other doctor? and then investigate those and see where they can improve care. i get more efficient. carol: in the business section, the world's first ever postpartum depression drug was just approved by the fda. has beenen of the drug hailed as a breakthrough and may be able to help at least one in nine new mothers, the question remains, will it sell? carol: here is reporter cynthia kunz. >> this is a very exciting development for the perspective that there hasn't been a drug specifically developed to treat these women and this, in the scientific community, excellent collect a huge breakthrough. it's a phenomenal job in the sense that it works quickly. those of the positives.
they are extraordinary positives. is the challenge here drug has to circumvent the u.s. medical system, which is not currently set up to get it. that's primarily because it's a 2.5 day long infusion. a woman who needs this drug needs to be about to enter a hospital or certified medical facility and step aside from her newborn for 2.5 days. to get the treatment. that's one of the primary obstacles in terms of the medical system being available and there being beds in the right wards in hospitals for matilda get it. carol: what is the current treatment for someone who is dealing with postpartum depression? to present you are with symptoms like now, you get standard antidepressant therapy. that takes six weeks to work. for many people, they don't work at all. they have towork, try another drug from us this process can take a well to get the right drug. that's currently what happens.
perspective,omic it's not very expensive. these drugs are old, off patent, cheap. this drug is expensive. $34,000. that's another hurdle in terms of getting insurers to approve it as a first-line therapy. it has to be, because the women who need this need this right away. countryhe aspect of the is playing up -- company is playing off of. therefore despair. these women can try several therapies if they are in severe depressi0o the medical system has to rise to the occasion. n. the insurers have to pay for it right off the bat. carol: insurance companies are holding off right now. cynthia: they're working on getting coverage. typically, your joy is approved, you negotiate with insurers, and monthst really see until into a drug's launch how well the uptake is going. we can tell as time goes on. i don't know if insurance will
be the big hurdle. the infrastructure is a bigger problem. units within hospitals to treat patients with this condition, i have been disappearing. whether or not a woman goes to a delivery ward, i get the tie up for 2.5 days, that is a necessarily ideal from a hospital perspective. what they need to do is roll out new centers and places where women think of it this drug. they talk about things like rehabilitation centers. that might be outfitted to treat a patient and keep them in for two or three days. they need to consult with psychiatrist. -- psychiatrist. there are things that the fundamental change for this to be feasible. carol: up next, how brexit is frustrated potential homebuyers in amsterdam. jason: plus how wall street is masking the cost of climate change as long as there is an oceanfront view. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
"bloomberg businessweek jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek," i'm jason kelly. carol: and i'm carol massar. you can listen to us in the radio on sirius xm channel 119 and on and 11 30 in new york, one in boston, 91 -- 99.1 fm in washington dc jason: in london on dab digital and through the bloomberg is at. but go to economics. amsterdam homebuyers are combining about brexit. jobs: there's an influx of from london, but also wealthy newcomers who are driving up home prices. we got more from editor christina lindblad. of the quote unquote lucky countries that is getting an influx of jobs because of companies leaving the u.k. because of brexit. the thing is that amsterdam, like many european cities is not very big. 860,000 people. it already has a housing deficit of about 40,000 units. well-heeled new
residents coming in and it is bidding of a housing market that has been up 80% over the last four years. carol: that's what's great about this story. you talk about some different individuals who go looking for some homes and-- christina: it's a horror story. some realtors are giving people timeslots of 10 minutes and saying you have to show up, if you want to look at his apartment, yet the shop at this time, and if you don't make the timeslots, you moose out -- lose out. we have one story and one person said she had 90 people ahead of her report to bed. carol: get the raise the amount you want to spend and the -- reduce the amount you have to -- you are going to have. christina: she was told to expect you was going to pay 20% more than the asking price. carol: what is answered in doing to increase supply?
you can't put a switch and suddenly there's a ton of the housing. what are they doing to encourage builders, developers, control it all? christina: the city is committed 7500 new permits every year. 2425.s the that doesn't catch up -- 2025. that doesn't catch up to the deficit right now. plus, one third of those units are low income housing, they call it social housing in the netherlands, so some of these newcomers wouldn't even qualify. then they are thinking of other measures to try to -- what they really want to do is tamp down speculation. carol: prices have got automatically. christina: 80% -- dramatically. christina: 80% in four years. you would not be able to buy a newly built unit and turnaround and rent it. you would have to have somebody moved in as an owner. another thing they're talking
about is instituting a so-called panic button. we don't know how this would work. if rents were rising really fast, you could cap them at a certain point in time. carol: the developers and landlords alike, yeah, we love it. christina: the developers and pension funds that fund a lot of new construction in the netherlands are saying, no, land prices are going up. construction costs are going up. you're going to basically start shrinking our margin, which is already getting smaller. that's been brought up. carol: offline at businessweek.com, more and more potential homes are being vulnerable to extreme weather events that come along with climate change. jason: the cost of living in these mostly luxury homes, have stayed relatively stable. reporter james tarmy has the story. >> extreme climate events are increasing in their frequency and severity. across the u.s. and the world. unit --e is that in the
united states, insurance premiums are staying stable. that doesn't seem correlated to the increased level of risk. jason: why? what accounts for this? james: on a federal level, it is really about politics. no one wants to be the person that says we are raising premiums on both coasts. there's zero political well. as a consequence, you have farmers in nebraska subsidizing people with because it's in new jersey. jason: this is an appealing investment. the insurance side of this. james: there's very little correlation between financial markets and extreme weather events. funds, hedgelarge funds, and others, have used the reinsurance industry for disaster risk as a hedge against financial markets globally. a flood ofsulted in capital into the reinsurance market, which has made capital extreme litchi and has also
disincentivize a lot of -- disincentivize did a lot of-- di sincentivized a lot of actors. jason: a lot of people think of this as a luxury item. james: absolutely right. item, buys a luxury except for maybe a new car that they are driving up a lot, digging it will depreciate by 30 or 40%. -- thinking it will depreciate by 30 or 40%. larger umbrella implications are that it could have a tremendous andct on home ownership home values if insurance companies are gradually raising the price of their premiums to accurately reflect that risk. all of a sudden, there will be a ceiling where the cost of home ownership on the coasts will become prohibitive. and what becomes prohibitive, that will ding and then often
times, we seeing and smaller instances, cause real estate markets to collapse. jason: before we get to the collapse, we should also talk about this idea that it is a difference maker when you think about places like louisiana and other less affluent places. james: excellent point. this is really where becomes a federal issue. if an investment banker loses his beach house, that is not good for anyone. but that's not devastating for him. if it's someone in a lower sehold,households, -- hou they can't go somewhere else. they often times don't have job prospects to go somewhere else. you're looking at a potential becomese insurance risk more accurate, you're looking at a federallyl for funded mass migration, where someone has to pick up the pieces and it is not going to be the private sector. why artists and
xfinity watchathon week. starting april 8th, enjoy free access to the best shows and movies from hbo, showtime, epix and more. what! whether it's more jaw droppers, standing o's upon standing o's or tv's biggest show stoppers. get more into what you're into. get ready to watch with xfinity x1 or the xfinity stream app. xfinity watchathon week. free starting april 8th. boop! jason: welcome back to
"bloomberg businessweek." i'm jason kelly. carol: i'm carol massar. still ahead in this week's issue, how willing are you to take risks? jason: and the challenge of predicting the next downturn. carol: not easy. we start in the features section. pipeline billionaire kelsey warren may be missing the days of anonymous profit-making.
jason: he is the ceo of a company called energy transfer, best known for its controversial dakota access pipeline. carol: recently, he has been on the defensive, taken to court by unhappy investors. reporter devin leonard has the story. >> kelsey warren, ceo and chairman of energy transfer. basically, energy transfer is part of this whole corporate empire. he had a pipeline empire. there is energy transfer partners, equity, a subsidiary. they combined a bunch of stuff and now they are just energy transfer as of october. basically, a lot of generically named companies, pipelines -- people don't see pipelines, they are underground. carol: what do they do exactly? he was happy that nobody necessarily -- right? devin: well, carol, yes, you can make a lot of money, and basically he became one of the world's richest men. at the height of the oil boom two or three years ago, he was worth more than $7 billion. carol: he built a lot of pipelines, right?
devin: the thing is that a lot of the business was in texas, oklahoma, places like that. hey, come on -- that's our industry, part of our local fabric. but then as the shale revolution took off, and they were finding gas and oil in places like pennsylvania, ohio, and north dakota, he started building up there. of course, it makes sense, there are not enough pipelines. ton of oil, i got to get it out of there. carol: northeasterners are cranky. [laughter] devin: i guess you could say he ran into some cranky people in north dakota, and all of a sudden, the business was not so much fun. carol: why are you writing about this guy now? this company now? devin: one of his arguments has been that we are doing nothing wrong. our problems are being caused by environmentalists who don't like us because they want
to keep oil and gas in the ground, you know, for climate-change reasons. you know, they're just making up all the stuff, spreading misinformation. literally, energy transfer filed a federal racketeering suit in late 2017 against greenpeace and a bunch of environmentalists, saying just that. the problem is that as they move into other states, the people who are pushing back are not environmentalists. carol: landowners, homeowners, right? devin: yeah, and environmental officials in states like ohio, which is controlled by republicans, and in pennsylvania, where they have been very supportive. you know, the whole shale and as you say, homeowners, and also right now, they're facing multiple criminal investigations from republican da's.
so to say this is all being cooked up by a bunch of greenies, that's just not true. jason: and now to the economics section. carol: editor peter coy looking at why professional economists have such a dismal record forecasting recession. peter: it is not easy, that is the first thing to say. it is easy to laugh at economists for missing recessions or forecasting ones that never occur, but if you think about weather forecasts, which have improved so much, much better data. you have a big advantage when you are forecasting the weather, which is that the molecules of air do not watch television to see what the meteorologist is saying about them, whereas investors and consumers do. carol: a lot of content being pushed out. peter: you get this feedback
where there is an interaction between what people think is going to happen, what others think will happen, it is vastly complicates the job. it is not just like little atoms. carol: there is an interesting stat. you said, battle consulting, -- -- fathom consulting, tell us what they found. peter: this consulting firm found this, and out of 468 recessions since 1988, they look at how the international monetary fund did in predicting them. the spring in the year before the recession hit, they found only four were predicted. carol: calling for the recession? peter: yeah. when you get to the spring of the year and the recession actually hits, it's impending at that point, they got 111, so still less than one quarter of them. not a great track record. carol: and it is not just imf. those imf forecasts will often come out and it's like yeah, ok.
peter: the imf is a fine forecasting organization, just like anyone else. -- as good as anyone else. they looked at private forecasters and they found the private forecasters did not do any better. carol: let's not forget the great recession. how many people missed it? peter: that's a black mark, right? there were people who saw a recession coming, but i would venture to say that even amongst those who saw it coming, if you had any idea how bad it would be, it was the worst since the great depression of 1930's. that was just really not in the cards for most forecasters. carol: you talk about info about the economy. there is a lag to it. peter: you can't tell what's happening, and when data comes in, it comes in with a lag. and then you have a phenomenon that a recession can be caused by something happening in the financial markets. if there is a panic and stocks
suddenly fall, that can affect the real economy and reducing -- by reducing confidence or making them feel less wealthy. i think we would all agree that panics are hard to forecast. if the panic is causing recession, the recession is hard to forecast. jason: forecasting recessions is the favorite parlor game of economists. our favorite, taylor riggs, is here with her own look on forecasting. taylor: is a difficult job, and if you come over here, i made a pie chart. we haven't done one of these in a while. the key number is that of the 194 countries that sovereign recessions, only 108 were not predicted in the imf world economic outlook. that is a really big number. people are saying that economists, unlike portfolio managers, don't have the money where their mouth is, so it is easier to go along with groupthink and there is not a lot of backlash if you get it wrong.
"bloomberg businessweek." i'm jason kelly. carol: i am carol massar. join us for bloomberg businessweek every day on the radio from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. wall street time. you can also catch up on our podcast. find it on itunes and of course, bloomberg.com. jason: and find us at businessweek.com and our mobile app. carol: japan is at a crossroads as the country gets ready for a royal succession. jason: while no longer a rising superpower, it is pioneering the way a wealthy nation ages. carol: i love this story. here is our executive editor. >> japan is this rare island of stability right now.
they have some income inequality, but nothing on the scale of the u.s. they don't have these deep class resentments we have seen in recent years in the u.s. and this cultural divide between coastal america and the internal parts of the country. they don't have a brexit drama that goes to the very heart of what kind of country they are going to be. they don't have the yellow vest worker protests we're seeing in france. it is a pretty stable place. i think a big part of that, there are maybe two broad reasons. one is that a middle-class japanese family can do ok, even with all of the challenges that the country has -- carol: health care, education, they have access to this. brian: the other thing is that on a relative basis, japan has not opened up. it is a largely homogenous society. that is changing, and that is
one of the things we get into, how they have been quietly overhauling their visa program, and that the foreign worker population has gone up dramatically the last five years. carol: especially with the aging population. they have also embraced robotics and artificial intelligence. here and elsewhere around the globe, people are fearful that robots are taking over the world and my job. brian: japan is a highly robots-integrated economy. it started back in the 1970's with industrial robots and the automation of manufacturing. but it has gone way beyond that. you are starting to see service robots in health-care settings. you can go into a high-end department store in tokyo and be met, greeted by a robot. if you go to narita, you will
-- look at the baggage handlers and see exoskeleton contraptions that are allowing older workers to lift heavy loads and things like that. their embrace of automation and robotics is different than what we're seeing elsewhere in the industrialized world. carol: is there a lesson to be learned? they have dealt with problems the rest of the world is now facing. brian: i think their embrace of automation, ai, robotics, is going to be a very interesting thing to watch. can japan figure out a way to keep productivity levels from collapsing, to keep their economy growing in the face of such a demographic collapse? if you really look at the numbers last year, nearly 500,000 people -- the population decreased by that magnitude. it is extraordinary. and there are projections that a
society of 127 million people could be roughly 100 million by the middle of the century. if japan can crack the code on that through a mixture of high-speed automation, more enlightened immigration, that is going to be something the rest of the world is going to watch. jason: speaking of japan, let's get to pursuits. the section has a guide to kyoto. carol: the city is a hotbed of innovation when it comes to restaurants and art and hotels. we got the details. chris: everybody right now is thinking about cherry blossoms in japan, and kyoto is the place you go to see that, it can be quite a mob scene. we wanted to focus on when the cherry blossoms pass, what do you do in kyoto? for a lot of reasons, because there is a few new hotels opening up, a great creative community, a lot of universities, and because it has a great history, there's
actually ton going on. it may be the most exciting city in japan. carol: everybody is focusing on the upcoming olympics in tokyo, but where should i go, what should i do? chris: you should stay in a fancy hotel. the park hyatt, very famous in tokyo, for "lost in translation," is opening there. there is an ace hotel there. carol: $2000 a night in aman, right? hrisye all of them are superexpensive. and there these crazy restaurants -- like a meal and a set order of dishes, very traditional. but there are these great restaurants that are experimenting with it. there is this one restaurant, which is hard to say, where it takes the whole meal and puts it on one bento platter. you're getting the whole thing on one plate. we got a great picture of it in the magazine. carol: it is gorgeous.
chris: there is one called monk where it messes with tradition and puts like pizza in it. there is food. and then you should definitely check out some of the cultural stuff. there is a photo festival called kyotography. carol: say that five times fast. chris: there are distilleries, all sorts of exciting stuff. carol: talk about the distillery. i guess i didn't think about that, but yeah, there is beer. chris: it is spirits. whiskey, japanese whiskey is a huge thing, and there is sake. and then there is this premium gin. gin is kind of becoming a hot drink there, it is in a lot of new cocktail bars. carol: talk to us -- it's easy to get in and out. it's funny, because we take the cities for granted, but they do get a reboot, right? chris: yeah, and i think because kyoto has such an amazing history and is so picturesque
with the temples and historic districts, people really don't think about what is fresh. and that is in addition to the amazing history, really the reason to go right now. carol: up next, how to win over directors and shareholders from your first day at the office. jason: and the queen of food journalism is out with a new memoir and we give it a taste test. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek." ♪
course, on the bloomberg business app. in the strategies section, helpful articles about how to take the kind of risks that grow your company. jason: and why it is important to prove yourself from your first day on the job. >> companies are complex these days. they are different, running them is different, how you hire people, groom people, they have a very short timeline to prove themselves. social media puts pressure, all kinds of media attention puts pressure. and then how we consume technology, like think about the tools people use. they can make your life efficient but they can make your life kind of crazy, right? we were taking a deeper dive into it on occasion in this section and trying to offer people really meaningful advice
and information about how to go forward in their leadership roles, whether you are a ceo, senior-level manager, that is what we're trying to do. carol: toolbook, that's great. i thought there was a fascinating stat. more than 1400 ceos who left their positions last year, 25 percent more left than in 2017, just shy of the highest since the financial crisis. dimitra: yep. it's a big number. there is a lot of rotation, that door is revolving. that is the story that looks at: you have a short timeline to prove yourself. what do you do? how do you go in there, establish priorities, establish your mode of communication, be open, manage expectations so people understand your goals, attach a timeline to it. shareholders really get the idea of three-month increments. that is one piece of advice. carol: don't overcommit. dimitra: don't overcommit. be aspirational but be
realistic, because the pressure is on. you have so many different populations of people looking to you to prove yourself. carol: there is another story talking that something between lunatic risk-taking and paralyzing risk aversion exists a sweet spot of prudent risk-taking. dimitra: yeah, risk. people think that the thing is being too much of a risk taker, but risk aversion can be a problem as well. we headlined it "don't play it too safe." what you need in this world, this complicated world of leading a company, is the ability to really balance things and measure. how much to push the envelope, how much you have to pull back. so many things factor into that. your personality, which ceos tend to have personality types where they are very certain of themselves, very sure, but not across the board is everybody quite that assertive. so how do you both assert
yourself in the risks you will take, but measure it in a way that you are balanced? it is a tricky line to toe. we do tend to think that ceos will do what they will do, but that is not always the case. carol: and admire it, but it is not always a good thing. dimitra: that was a fun one. there is a lot of research from many different realms in science and health looking at that. our writer really dug deep into the various studies to put together a very interesting and useful look at, basically, how to be a better risk taker. carol: speaking of leaders, in "pursuits," a review of a new memoir from a leader in the food business. we're talking about famous magazine editor ruth reichl. >> she really ruled the roost, she was the queen of food for such a long time. she was the restaurant critic at
"the new york times," and people worship her, she wore disguises, she blew things up. carol: did she really? there are probably generations of folks out there who do not know who she is or how she changed looking at food. give us that history. kate: ruth really was -- it was so fun to read her book. she really was julia child mixed with a little bit of chrissy teigen. carol: score. kate: she knew how to make food accessible and how to communicate in a real-life way. she came to "gourmet" in the late 90's when it really was a magazine that you had to have two houses and horses, at least two houses. it was very dull, very conservative. the recipes would have like six parts, you would make a cake and feed it to your horses. carol: who is going to do that? kate: and even then, there was sort of an audience for it. she saw an opening to make it a
dynamic, of-the-moment magazine, and she did. carol: tells about this book. kate: it is called "save me the plums," a memoir about the going -- about her time going into the best food job in the country and then watching it going down the drain because of the financial crisis and things out of her control. carol: you read the book, tell me about it. kate: i loved it. it was like walking around with my best friend. but it was an amazing insight into what is happening in journalism from especially at conde nast. that was a time when conde nast ruled the world. you think back of the september issue, bigger than the bible. "vogue" magazine was bigger than the bible. all of the brands, all of the magazines they had were phenomenal. carol: "vanity fair." kate: exactly, "vogue" magazine, all the fashion, but "gourmet" was primarily the food magazine.
-- was the premier food magazine. it was a time when everyone had a closing allowance and everyone took a black car to lunch. even if they were going to the same place. they would take a separate black car, so there would be a traffic jam -- carol: conspicuous consumption. anything you didn't like about the book? kate: personally, i wish there was more about the magazine. ruth talked about the struggle of being a working mom, going on book tour, a demanding job. really timely and good, but i wanted even more about what is -- was going on in the magazine. she changed the "gourmet" font, and that was a huge deal. in the publishing world, that was a huge deal. a little bit more of that, i wanted it to be longer. she is always right. [laughter] carol: ruth is always right. kate: and sometimes you're like, really? did you really decide to do that? but i have to say, it is like
having an insider view into, if you were in the food world, the equivalent of the financial crisis. watching a great magazine go down. carol: "bloomberg businessweek" is available on newsstands now. jason: and also on businessweek.com. what is your must-read? carol: the hospital chain in india, dramatically reduced costs. they are now under pressure to do even more. this doctor rethinking an assembly line way of doing surgeries, and that is why he has been able to bring costs down. everybody around the globe will be watching what he is doing. jason: and big challenges ahead with modicare, but you look at the numbers and think, why couldn't that happen everywhere? carol: yours? jason: i love the international cover story about meituan because it reminds us that china especially, they are so much further ahead than the rest of the world in how they are using technology in their everyday lives. carol: you can find more stories on businessweek.com over the weekend.
emily: i'm emily chang, and this is the "best of bloomberg technology," where we bring you all of our top interviews from this week in tech. coming up, lyft in reverse. shares under pressure post i.p.o. as wall street analysts raise concerns about how fast the ridesharing company can start making money. plus, lifting the curtain at youtube. the video platform faces more controversies. staffers say managers are not listening, and that proposals to change recommendations and curb conspiracies are being sacrificed for engagement.