Giving young shoppers easy credit to spend online doesn’t sound sensible. Yet a new craze called “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) is growing in popularity. The risk is a regulatory backlash like that which befell U.S. vaping heavyweight Juul.
Tokyo will top the sporting podium in 2020. Host cities for the summer Olympics are often saddled with large debts, and cases of mismanagement have stretched from Montreal to Rio de Janeiro. Yet Japan is setting new standards in sponsorship and sustainability. Add on a boost from short-term stimulus, and the Land of the Rising Sun is set to bring home host gold.
Steve Schwarzman has one big regret. In 1994 the Blackstone boss sold a stake in some funds that later became BlackRock, the $7 trillion asset manager run by Larry Fink. Schwarzman describes the sale as “a heroic mistake.” It’s not too late to fix it.
福利网站Don’t subscribe now! At least not to the idea of the subscription economy. It’s not just streaming TV services chasing steadily paying customers. Wine sellers, food delivery outfits and even Swedish furniture giant Ikea want them, too. Buyers can only spend and consume so much, though.
福利网站China may debut the breakout fintech innovation of 2020. Beijing is primed to launch the world's first digital sovereign currency. The initial roll out looks cautious, focusing on consumer spending. Deploying the new technology more widely in the country's banking system could be the disruptive next step.
The telephone’s caller ID made clear the boss was on the line. “It’s Mike,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder of the firm that carried his name and paid my salary. “You say stocks are mixed, but I have the Dow Jones down 40 points. That’s not mixed.”
福利网站Jack Dorsey will add another line to his resume in 2020. The Twitter boss banned political ads and did more than Mark Zuckerberg to prevent the silencing of Hong Kong protesters. Dorsey, who also runs payments firm Square, fared surprisingly well in Washington hearings, too. His style will turn him into the anti-Facebook hero.
福利网站European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will in 2020 swap her sledgehammer for a scalpel. A new, more surgical approach to antitrust regulation could finally make it easier for Alphabet-owned Google and Facebook’s rivals to compete with these behemoths.
福利网站China’s Communist Party will hit its self-imposed economic targets in 2020. The government led by Xi Jinping will be able to boast of doubling incomes and real gross domestic product in the decade from 2010, while eliminating extreme poverty. That’s a laudable achievement.
福利网站Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger rarely puts a foot wrong. In his 14 years in charge he has bought properties like Star Wars and the Avengers, and while he paid a high price in the auction of assets from Twenty-First Century Fox, at least he won. Expectations are therefore high for his next magic trick: creating a video-streaming product to rival Netflix. This feat may be beyond him.
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John Foley explains why Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman may try to reunite his private-equity firm with passive-investing giant BlackRock after 25 years apart – and why Goldman Sachs’s David Solomon may also be interested. BlackRock boss Larry Fink has a busy year ahead.