Photographer: Waseem Obaidi/Bloomberg
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Money laundering, bribery and extortion. Those are the charges lodged against billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as the sweeping Saudi Arabian crackdown widens and more bank accounts are frozen. The anti-corruption purge has already snared $33 billion in wealth belonging to some of the kingdom’s richest people. Alwaleed alone has seen his net worth plunge by $1.2 billion as stocks across the Arab region sank the most in the world. President Trump complicated the diplomatic response to the crisis by tweeting his support for King Salman and the Crown Prince. — Andy Reinhardt
The (very) long view. Forget secular stagnation. One historian says the world is actually in its ninth “real rate depression,” and 700 years of data show that the turnaround—when it comes—could be sudden and non-linear. Harvard’s Paul Schmelzing tracked the risk-free rate since 1311 by identifying the dominant asset of each period, starting with sovereign rates in 14th and 15th century Italian city states. Within 24 months after hitting their troughs in the cycle, rates gained on average 315 basis points.
Premature information. In the fiercely competitive electric car business, maintaining secrecy is vital. Yet court documents reveal that Tesla became aware of British inventor James Dyson’s plans to develop an electric car two years before Dyson announced the $1.3 billion project. A Dyson engineer heading for a job at Tesla shared a confidential document with the carmaker to help its counsel evaluate potential legal exposure.
Big box. Half an hour south of Paris, a very American import is open for business. Costco, the world’s largest warehouse-club chain, is looking to France following its success in the North America, Asia and the U.K. But infiltrating the global heart of refined taste is a different matter altogether, and American-style big box shopping might might be a challenge for French shoppers without “American fridges” and bigger cars. The chain is charging an annual fee of €36 ($42) just to walk in the door.
Comeback. He’s 81 and dogged by scandal, but Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is aiming for yet another comeback. The four-time premier is vying to lead the center-right into next year’s general election. But he has two obstacles to clear: He needs to overturn a court ban on his running for office and must overcome rival Matteo Salvini of the euro-skeptic Northern League. With just four months left until the vote, it remains to be seen whether the “Great Communicator” still has the chops to pull it off.
Art world. A decade after it was announced, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is about to open its doors. The oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates reportedly paid the Louvre in Paris $1 billion in fees. Museum representatives were free to buy virtually anything that caught their eye, now housed in a 260,000-square-foot compound designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Here’s a look at some of the works, from the ancient to the modern, that will be on display beginning in mid-November.
Eating out. Not many years ago, London wasn’t exactly known as a dining destination. Now, hot restaurants are opening at a furious pace. Few people understand the extent of the dining revolution better than hotel concierges: They have to build relationships with restaurants across the city, and high-fliers can fall to earth quickly as newcomers elbow them aside. Here are the most in-demand restaurant reservations right now, according to concierges at four top London hotels.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha