Suitcases of Cash, Failing Schools and Corruption: Weekend Reads
In this edition of Weekend Reads, you’ll find reports on the rampant violence and corruption turning Brazilians off voting, Nigeria’s failing education system, and the nearly $5 million smuggled across the Afghan-Iran border every day.
And do take our weekly political news quiz!
The Campaign Against Europe Just Got a Boost From Swedish Voters
Ian Wishart looks at the forces that threaten the fundamental achievements of the 61-year European experiment. The next upheaval is possibly coming in May, when the European Union holds elections to its parliament in all member states — and as Zoltan Simon writes, the populist Godfather of Europe is preparing for a fight.
Chinese Money Is Driving One of Asia’s Fastest Property Booms
Phnom Penh, once known for its French colonial villas and modernist “New Khmer Architecture,” is becoming unrecognizable. Philip Heijmans explains why.
Rampant Corruption and Violence Turn Brazilians Off From Voting
Bruce Douglas, Samy Adghirni and Simone Preissler Iglesias analyze anger that’s hardened into political apathy and means more than 20 percent of Brazilians are likely to abstain from voting in next month’s elections – even though casting a ballot is compulsory. See this profile of former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, the Workers’ Party presidential candidate, who may not be the bogeyman investors fear.
No Books, No Desks, No Pay - Nigeria's Education Is Failing
Tope Alake visits schools in Africa’s most populous nation, where teachers are struggling to train the next generation in a ramshackle education system gutted by corruption, a lack of investment and the flight of qualified instructors abroad and to private sector jobs.
Malta Courts Scandal in Making Itself Global Financial Player
Monte Reel explores how Malta managed to carve out a small but lucrative niche in the global economy, and the twist: allegations of money laundering, political skulduggery, smuggling, organized crime, and even a murder.
Brexit Opens Old Wounds Where Britain Foretold Lehman’s Collapse
Rodney Jefferson and Jess Shankleman visit the hardy suburbs of Newcastle, home of the bank where Britain’s financial crisis began, where residents have become used to living on the brink.
Playing With Fire in Europe’s Powder Keg as Balkan Tensions Rise
Andrea Dudik and Jasmina Kuzmanovic talk to residents of Sarajevo and find many fearing that Europe is sleepwalking toward another rupture in the Balkans.
Trump’s Iran Sanctions Trigger a Booming Cash Smuggling Business
For traders in Kabul’s main currency exchange, U.S. sanctions against Tehran have created the ultimate arbitrage play — one that involves frequent trips to neighboring Iran with smuggled cash. Eltaf Najafizada reports on the some $4 billion in annual illicit outflows deepening the strain on Afghanistan’s war-ravaged economy and undermining Iran’s attempts to halt the decline of its rial.
Did you know. Men get the first, last and every other word on earnings calls. That’s according to a study done at Bloomberg’s request by Prattle, a company that provides automated research by parsing central bank and corporate communications. Looking at more than 155,000 corporate conference calls over past 19 years, Prattle found that men spoke 92 percent of the time.
And finally … Herbie is going on hiatus. As Gabrielle Coppola, Christoph Rauwald and Keith Naughton write, Volkswagen is ending worldwide production of its iconic Beetle, the model once so popular in North America that it prompted the German automaker to build its first factory on the continent in the 1960s. The last one will roll off the line from the factory in Puebla, Mexico, next July.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.