Business review from the Economist
OECD envisions corporate tax makeover
The OECD advanced proposals to ditch the current rules covering international corporate tax, "which date back to the 1920s and are no longer sufficient" in a globalized world. The proposal would create a system that acknowledges the "digitalization" of the world economy. The plan would end decades of practice by allowing a country to tax a company that does "significant business" within its borders, even if it has no base there. The OECD wants to create a multilateral framework to override the patchwork of unilateral laws. The new system would apply not only to tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, which have been criticized for avoiding tax in countries like Britain and France, but also luxury-goods firms, carmakers and other highly globalized industries.
Hong Kong's stock exchange dropped its £32 billion ($39 billion) unsolicited bid for the London Stock Exchange. The LSE had rejected the offer, repeating its commitment to buy Refinitiv, a financial-data provider. The British bourse has said it sees Shanghai as the gateway to Chinese markets, and has forged closer links with investors there.
Trying to put the era of Carlos Ghosn behind it, Nissan appointed Makoto Uchida as its new chief executive, replacing the ousted Hiroto Saikawa, who was Ghosn's protégé. Uchida will head a new three-man leadership team at the Japanese carmaker, which is slashing production in the face of falling sales.
BP announced that Bob Dudley is to retire as chief executive early next year and be replaced by Bernard Looney, who heads its upstream business. Dudley took the helm at BP in 2010, soon after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, steering the company through a flood of legal claims that ate into its profits.
A jury in Philadelphia ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who claims his childhood use of Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, caused him to grow breasts. The company, which faces more than 13,000 lawsuits over Risperdal, said it would appeal against the verdict, which it described as "excessive and unfounded."
Millions of people in northern California had their electricity cut off by Pacific Gas & Electric, as the utility endeavored to prevent wildfires ignited by its power lines. PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January amid claims that its equipment had sparked deadly infernos.
The United States lost its top spot to Singapore in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness index. Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland made up the rest of the top five. Britain was ninth in the 141-country survey.
The U.S. and Japan sealed their new trade deal. The Trump administration sought the accord after pulling out of a transpacific agreement, which covers 11 countries. This bilateral pact is more limited in scope, mostly covering agricultural goods and avoiding thorny issues, such as car exports. Still, the deal does lower tariffs, a change from the tit-for-tat penalties levied in the U.S. trade dispute with China.
Global Politics from the Economist
Turkey attacks Kurds after U.S. pulls out
Turkey invaded northern Syria to crush Kurdish militias, after President Donald Trump said he would pull U.S. troops out of the region, giving Turkey a green light. Trump was widely condemned for abandoning the Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and still guard captured prisoners in camps. He justified the betrayal by claiming that the Kurds "didn't help us in the Second World War." Actually, they did. Kurds of the Assyrian Parachute Company fought for the Allies in Greece and Albania, among other places.
Protests against the government continued in Iraq. The authorities responded with force, killing more than 100 people and wounding 4,000. The government also shut down the internet and imposed curfews, but it has been unable to fix the economy or curb graft.
An election observer in Mozambique was shot dead, allegedly by police, ahead of a presidential poll already marred by violence and irregularities.
Hong Kong's government invoked a colonial-era emergency law to ban the wearing of masks during protests. Thousands of people, many of them masked, protested. Others clashed with police, started fires and vandalized property, resulting in the first closure of the city's mass-transit rail network in 40 years.
Nationalists and supporters of the Communist Party in China claimed to be outraged by the general manager of the Houston Rockets, who had tweeted the words "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." China's state broadcaster, CCTV, suspended broadcasts of games involving the National Basketball Association. Other Chinese firms severed ties with it. Basketball stars are still free to criticize the U.S.