Business This Week | The Economist
The approval granted by the United States Food and Drug Administration for a new drug to fight Alzheimer’s disease was hailed as a breakthrough, even though the FDA conceded that the drug, aducanumab (which will be marketed as Aduhelm), has not been proven to work. He was successful in reducing the buildup in the brain of a protein known as beta-amyloid, one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen is now set to conduct a large-scale clinical trial to determine if it also slows memory loss and cognitive decline.
A consortium of private equity funds, which includes black stone, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Medline, a private supplier of medical equipment. At $ 34 billion, the deal is one of the biggest private equity buyouts ever.
The US Senate has passed a massive bill that aims to counter China’s growing expertise in technology. The legislation would fund, among other things, research in artificial intelligence and quantum computing and support the US chip industry. The House of Representatives will soon be debating its version of the bill. Separately, Joe Biden ordered a security review of all applications based in countries like China.
Mr Biden earlier signed an order barring Americans from investing in 59 Chinese companies who do business in defense and surveillance. Many are tied to Huawei or the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a state-owned aerospace company. Legal experts say Mr Biden’s order is broader than a similar order signed by Donald Trump and may be more difficult to challenge in court.
from China producer price index, which measures the cost of goods leaving factories, jumped 9% in May, year-on-year. This is the fastest pace since September 2008, caused by rising prices for oil, iron ore and non-ferrous metals. Higher costs to producers could be passed on to consumers in China and elsewhere, thus increasing inflationary pressures.
How (not) to win friends
The UK Competition and Markets Authority said it was investigating British Airways and Ryanair to see if the Airlines companies broke consumer law by offering vouchers or booking changes instead of refunds to passengers who were unable to fly during closures. The practice is unpopular. In the United States, complaints about airlines’ refusal to reimburse increased by 5,500% in 2020.
Facebook extended his suspension of Donald trump for at least two years. As he is also permanently banned from Twitter, the former president will not have access to social media for the midterm elections in the United States. From now on, Facebook will keep any politician’s material in the world to the same standards it applies to regular user content, but will give “media value compensation” to certain political posts that violate those standards. His policy change did little to appease his detractors.
El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoins as legal tender, which means that companies will be forced to accept it as a means of payment with the US dollar, the official currency. The government hopes that the cryptocurrency will appeal to the 70% of the population without access to a bank account.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice has recovered most of the ransom paid in bitcoins to russian hackers which had closed a major pipeline. the FBI was able to enter the payment by following the bitcoin address used by the gang. It also appeared that JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, paid out $ 11 million in bitcoin to cybercriminals after disrupting its factories.
the Keystone XL pipeline was officially abandoned following Joe Biden’s decision not to grant him a permit to cross the United States. The project, fought for years by Greens and Native American groups, is said to have transported oil from the tar sands of Alberta.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, focuses on his long-standing passion for spaceflight. He and his brother will be among the first to fly with Blue Origin, a rocket company he founded in 2000, when it performs its first crewed flight 100 km above the Earth’s surface on July 20. . Mr. Bezos will step down as CEO of Amazon on July 5.
Progressive, tax free
Mr Bezos may well want to flee the Blue Planet for a while, after revelations from ProPublica, a collection of investigative journalists, that he and the other 24 Richest Americans pay little or no federal income tax. Between 2014 and 2018, this ultra-wealthy group, which also includes Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, paid $ 13.6 billion in federal tax, an average tax rate of just 3.4%, according to ProPublica. For Mr. Bezos, it was 0.98%. The Internal Revenue Service is investigating how ProPublica obtained data on thousands of America’s richest people.
This article appeared in the The World This Week section of the print edition under the headline “Business This Week”