Business | The Economist

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After a three-month trial, a jury found Silicon Valley Elizabeth Holmes guilty of deliberately deceiving investors in Theranos, a startup she founded that had promised to revolutionize medicine by detecting disease from just a few drops of blood. The jury was told that Ms. Holmes knew the company’s core technology was defective, and lied about its prospects. At Theranos’ zenith, in her black turtleneck giving one TED Talk, Ms. Holmes symbolized the confident culture of tech startups. She will be convicted later.

Erdogan’s folly

Turkey annual inflation rose in December to 36%, up from 21% the previous month. The country’s currency has fallen and fell by 44% against the dollar in 2021, mainly due to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policy of devaluing the central bank to lower interest rates. All this has only boosted inflation in Turkey, which is dependent on imported energy and goods. The cost of transportation increased by 54% in December year-on-year, and food and beverage by 44%.

Toyota sold more cars in the US than General Motors in 2021, the first time it GM has lost the annual crown of America’s largest car salesman since the early 1930s. The Detroit giant was hit particularly hard by the global shortage of computer chips, prompting it to cut production sharply. Its Japanese rival had stockpiled chips, leaving it ready to take advantage of the growing demand for new cars when pandemic restrictions eased. Toyota says it does not expect to become the king of the US roads by 2022.

Tesla was also able to overcome the crunch in chip supplies and almost doubled its car deliveries by 2021 in part by increasing China’s production of vehicles for the Asian and European markets. The electric car manufacturer’s good news was slightly overshadowed by the criticism it received for opening a showroom in Xinjiang. A civil rights group said Tesla “supported genocide” in the Chinese region, where the Uighur people are being persecuted by the government.

With investors adjusting to expectations of a faster pace of interest rate rises, stock markets had a lopsided week. Tech stocks were hit hard; Nasdaq had its worst start to a new year since 2008. Shares in airlines and the broader travel industry fared better as fears that Omicron would close its borders again. Last year also saw a few market shocks, but in general S&P 500 increased by 27% over the 12 months, the Nasdaq by 21% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 19%. In Europe, Stoxx 600 December ended 22% higher than when it opened in January.

Apple became the first company to reach $ 3 billion in market value. It was a brief moment when its value fell back amid the rake in technology stocks. The company’s share price has more than tripled since the depth of the pandemic in March 2020.

After being shut down by the New York Stock Exchange amid a US ban on investing in certain Chinese companies, China Mobile phone made its debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, a secondary listing to Hong Kong, where its shares are also traded. It is one of the largest stock offerings ever in China, which can travel close to 9 billion. USD when all options have been exercised.

In the meantime SenseTime’s stock roared forth after a successful IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Chinese company is developing face recognition software. Last month, it was blacklisted by the Biden administration because its technology allegedly allows for human rights violations in Xinjiang, a claim that SenseTime says is “unfounded.” The blacklist forced a short delay on his IPO, which was relaunched with the help of several state-sponsored institutions in China.

Huawei said it expects last year’s revenue to peak at $ 99 billion. USD, a decrease of 30% from 2020. The Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment did not provide details, but the decline undoubtedly reflects US and foreign bans that cut its access to chips using US technology.

The crisis worsened at Evergrande, as the debt-ridden Chinese real estate developer confirmed that it had been ordered to demolish 39 buildings on a man-made island, which it has compared to the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The local authority in Hainan province said Evergrande had not been given permission to build the properties. Trading in its shares was briefly suspended in Hong Kong prior to the announcement.

Dollar days

Warner Music snatched the rights to David Bowies catalog of songs, reportedly for $ 250 million. It’s the latest deal for the lucrative library of a rock star’s tunes; Last month, Bruce Springsteen sold the rights to his tunes to Sony Music for a reported $ 550 million. Buyers are getting a steady income from licensing the tracks for radio and increasingly streaming services.

This article appeared in The world this week section of the print edition under the heading “Business”

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