tv Studio 1.0 Bloomberg February 6, 2016 12:00pm-12:31pm EST
♪ "businessweek". i'm carol massar. david: the female solidarity movement, and how tina brown and others are getting into the business of empowerment. carroll: titanium dioxide -- now it is at the center of a plot to steal the color white. cloak and dagger details coming up. david: millions will gather around the tv this weekend for the super bowl ads. will the commercials be better or worse than the big game? all that and more as we go behind the scenes with the latest issue of "bloomberg businessweek," right here on bloomberg television. ♪
david carol: we mentioned the super bowl talking about the coin for the toss. it is an interesting story going , into the company behind it. like any coin, it has two sides to this story. it talks about "the wolf of wall street" and mark cuban. great read. david: absolutely. there is a very timely piece about mosquitoes obviously with the zika virus which is a concern to a lot of people. looking at the economics of mosquitoes. how you look at the malaria virus. the push to eradicate mosquitoes. brazil will spend a quarter billion dollars when it is in recession to try to get rid of mosquitoes. carol: a real estate story. i am czechoslovakian. they talk about all the castles in czechoslovakia -- you can get them for about $13,000, but you have to do a lot of renovation. david: you have to go there as well.
a ticket to go. a lot of great stuff. let's get started. carol: empowering women has turned into a multibillion dollar business. david: but who is making the money, and who is getting empowered? carol: sheila has been doing some digging and talks about feminism as a brand. it is a powerful story. if you talk about all of these women's empowerment conferences. there's a lot of them. sheila: i lost track. you can spend almost every day last fall at some kind of women's panel or meeting. david: topically, how different are they? they are about women's empowerment, but when you go to the panels, whether it is women in the world or fortunes? sheila: there is a range, like with everything. they have a different personalities. the one at the high-end of the corporate ladder is the fortune most powerful women conference. that is the most expensive one, it is $10,000 to go to that and one a group of related events. david: people are paying out-of-pocket? sheila: that one is invitation only, and very only senior woman from corporate america.
either they can afford this, or the companies are paying for them to go. then you have tina brown' as women in the world summit. i think there is a student tickets available for under $100, but it goes up to $300. it is less about networking and more about a really intense, visceral experience of searing -- of hearing women's stories. different women come on stage from all over the world, involved in a range of things. they are activists from iraq trying to free the yazidis kidnapped by isis, and celebrities like meryl streep. i mean, it was a huge range of people. then there are more networky self-help conferences. carol: you have been to them, i have been to them. i don't know if david has been to them, but you are inspired about what is said. when you think about what is really moving the needle when it comes to getting more women in the boardroom, or more presence
of women throughout corporate america, does it make -- does it make a difference? sheila: that was the question i had. if you make a chart of the number of women's events, the line would be going up, like google's stock price. but if you made a chart of the gender pay gap or family leave policies in the u.s., or the number of women in congress, the number of women ceo's of large companies, the improvement is very gradual. it is tiny. i thought, what is the relationship between these two things? is the fact these events exploded a reflection of the lack of progress and frustration in women? is there some connection? is it helping? and i am certainly not arguing they are bad. i loved going to them. they are fun, but they are definitely not the types of things that are going to lead to real changes in terms of policy. this is something i noticed when i interviewed women who had been involved in making real changes, like passing title ix or the fair pay act or whatever. it requires collective action.
women need to group together and agree, ok, we are going to do x, we're going to pressure, going to vote in a particular member of congress. there is no follow through on these. you go back to your own workplace, and you have been told -- carol: you just think, ok. sheila: you have been told to ask for a raise and be more assertive, don't let the guys take credit for your ideas in the meetings, ask what you need. but, the fact is, it is very individual. you are getting prescriptive, individual advice that may help you in your personal situation. but in terms of the global women's situation, there needs to be more follow-through. david: you quote anne-marie slaughter, who rose to prominence writing about women having it all or not having it all. she has an ironic awareness, for the preponderance of these
conferences -- there has not been the advance that you would expect there to be. sheila: she made a good point in the article. let's be realistic. these are great networking opportunities, and men have always had those. in fact men have those at , different workplaces every day. they go golfing, or go to bars, whatever they do. women go to these conferences & plants, or go to board seats. and that is not all of the -- and that is valuable. but she pointed out, and i tend to agree, if you are looking for these increase the number of women in general, it does not have any real connection. carol: you talked with sally krawczyk, who is very well known. she had to fight her way up as well. you also talked to tina brown. what were the perspectives they brought? sheila: they were very interesting. sally had a very great line, i thought. she said, we have tons of men's conferences -- they are just called conferences. [laughter] that really got to what i thought is a bit of cynicism behind some of this, not all of it, some of it. people figured out, we can have a conference right now that is
mostly men currently, let's just double our revenue and stick all the women in their own little conference. we will keep having our regular conference, and you can kind of double the fun that way. that is some of what happened. women have been hived off into their own thing and the main conference continues to be predominantly male. i don't know if that is the ideal situation. david: you look at women in the world, the stories told are very experiential. it is not prescriptive. seems like tina brown did that deliberately. has that worked out? does that make a distinctive from these other conferences? sheila: it does. i compared it to an issue of "vanity fair" magazine. she edited that magazine, and she was known for her ability to pick up the next big thing and get a lot of attention and fireworks around something. she has done that with this. she used a similar formula. she's got a very high-level kind of intellectual stuff, very difficult international global activists and refugees and
orphans and rape victims, really unsettling stories that she wants to bring attention to. but then she also has the glamour and nicole kidman and meryl streep, celebrities galore. i think that has created a kind of unique vibe at her event that you don't necessarily find at these other ones. carol: i want to go back to anne-marie slaughter. i love what you put in your story. what she suggests needs to be done. you have get prominent women talking about real things like domestic arrangement who is , raising kids at home while i am running the company? sheila: that's what i noticed. a lot of these women are representatives of the companies, and the whole thing is very carefully stage-managed. so they don't want to be too , negative. that is true. they are under pressure from their employers and themselves. so there is a lot of glossing , over and, you can do it if you just lean in harder, try harder.
i think the anne-marie slaughter point was making that i certainly observed, there was not a lot of acknowledging of the dirty reality behind the scenes. as soon as the lights go off and everyone goes back to the dinner table, all of that stuff was on us. david: we did not talk about how big of a business this has become. tina brown is under "the new york times," but really doing this around the world. are these all making money? our companies making money off these conferences? sheila: it is hard to do it well. is a handful that have folded. but the ones that have figured it out are making a lot of money, and a lot of the revenue comes from sponsors, sponsor contracts. blue-chip corporations in america are apparently very eager to have their branding on these women's events. i think it's because there is this real trend towards corporate do-gooderism.
one of my complaints about that, it does not always translate into actual action. are they doing more for female employees, female workers around the world? i don't know. but they are stamping the name on these women's events. the fact the nfl had won today i thought was an example of how everyone recognizing the branding power of women's empowerment and promoting women. carol: bottom line, there's lots of conferences and lots of talk but the action is where it , is missing a little bit. sheila: i wanted people to think about what they could do, or why that is missing. going to a conference is a great experience, but what is the followthrough? that is the part that is sort of missing. david: sheila, thank you so much. coming up, the story of secret documents and the plot against a billion-dollar pigments. carol: a look behind the scenes of dupont's color war when "bloomberg businessweek" returns. ♪
♪ carol: you probably don't give much thought about the color white. david: but 17% of the world's white comes from a formula developed by dupont. carol: a fascinating cloak and dagger story for this week. he joins us from washington. good to have you with us. i feel like i think about the , color white. i tried to pick it for painting my home. there's tons of different whites. dupont knows that white is a tricky area. >> you know, white is a very profitable color. i learned this in reporting the story. so to make the color white, , especially this perfect white, the absolute white that you find inside your refrigerators, on
the hood of your beautiful new ford mustang, on an assortment of products, it is actually a very time-consuming process that dupont spent six decades perfecting. it took them six decades. they start with something called titanium dioxide which they mine , out and turn into a mixture close to lava. then it comes out in this consistency of face powder, and that is sold to manufacturing. it gets mixed up in your plastics. the white aluminum siding on your house is this. it is in everything from cars to even pages in the bible on your bookshelf. david: you mentioned this is a multibillion dollar business. there is interest around the world in getting this stuff. you focus on how it found its way to china outside the purview of dupont. >> yes.
this is a very valuable process, and dupont is a world leader in this, producing the best titanium white by chlorination, which is what they call it. they own almost 20% of the market, and china wants it. china is a big manufacturer, as we know, and they would like to produce their own high quality titanium dioxide to put in their products. rather than approaching dupont to make a business deal, they sought to steal it. and they enlisted a man named , a former engineer who runs a consultancy business to get it for them. he did it in a very ingenious but also kind of cloak and dagger way. carol: talk about that. it involves some former employees of dupont. del: so he decides that he had done some other businesses with
firms in china, and decides i , know china really wants dupont's process for making the color white. how do i get it? i go after the former dupont guy. so, he recruited former dupont engineers. walter liew is very smart, very savvy. he knew exactly what the weaknesses of these guys were. whether it was money or whether it was flattery. he enlisted them to provide him keep blueprints, key documents, key photographs, key pieces of information that helped him win more than $30 million in contracts with chinese firms to produce the color white and design plants that would produce this color. one plant did get built. the other i don't believe has been built yet, before they caught him in 2011. we learned a lot about his case from a 2014 trial in san francisco. david: we hear an awful lot about the chinese stealing national security secrets.
we don't think about it happening on the commercial side of things but that's what this , exemplifies. it seems guys like this guy do not get caught. do not get reported, even. del: a lot of companies find out they have been hacked or that someone stole something from them, and they don't report it. they deal with it internally. why? it is embarrassing. it hurts the bottom line. they don't want to be labeled as having for information security. they don't want to report to the fbi and suddenly have agents roaming around the building. who knows what they will find, right? this is a case where dupont learns that their stuff had been stolen. they are upset. they file a lawsuit, then they enlist the fbi to help them. the fbi investigates and finds out that one of the companies buying the secrets from him is a state run enterprise. that makes it economic espionage, and that is a big deal. so, they went after liu, his
wife, and others. he was convicted. his wife pled guilty. one of the retired dupont engineers who helped liew was convicted. it was a big win for the government in trying to send a message that you can't steal this stuff. you made another interesting point. why the color white? why would you go after the color white? one thing about china and espionage and stealing trade secrets -- we have read the litany of chinese hackers targeting u.s. companies, even trade unions to steal secrets. it sounds like it is a deluge, right? but what are they going after? they are not going after the microprocessor that goes in the iphone. by the time they produce that, a new one is on the market that is even better. right? they want to go after stuff that is really hard to make and is profitable, short-circuiting the r&d process. dupont spent $150 million a year working to refine this process
even if it just improved efficiency by 1%. they spent six decades designing this chlorination process to make the color white, which is far superior to the way china makes the color white, which is a messier and less environmentally friendly method. they short-circuited this process. now, if they steal the secrets and can somehow put it in a plant and make it without it exploding and killing everyone, because frankly you are dealing with chlorine gas and a lot of dangerous chemicals. it gets up to 1800 degrees in temperature. they are on their way to saving a ton of r&d cost. david: fascinating stuff. joining us from washington. up next, we go to the back the book for this week's etc. segment. carol: the only thing people love more than the super bowl? the multimillion dollar super bowl ads. will this year's crop be edgy enough to keep you from heading to the fridge at commercial time? more on that when "bloomberg businessweek," continues. ♪
♪ carol: it is time to take a look at the etc. part of the magazine, the back of the book section. david: let's start with the cover story. looking at wealth therapy. something i have not heard about before. what is it exactly? >> it is there to treat the affluent, who suffer from a lot of issues that you can understand they don't want to talk to their friends about. they have a lot of money, and have trouble dealing with that. you can't go to your friends and say, i have these issues with all this money i have.
don't you want to hear my problems? there is a whole cottage industry that has sprung up to help people deal with these issues. david: my impulse is to roll my eyes. [laughter] carol: you begin the story with a college student who walks into a therapist's office. it is not a joke. lay it out for us. bret: the student says he has terrible news, which turns out to be that his father on his 21st birthday told him that he is the heir to a fortune, which for most people -- david: could be worse. [laughter] bret: but for this student, he had not been prepared for this at all. you can imagine it is shocking news to learn that all the thoughts you have about what kind of job you might want to have, you don't necessarily have to worry about that anymore. so, the student had a freak out basically and goes and buys a really fancy sports car, but he is keeping it in a garage because he really doesn't want
any of his friends to know how wealthy he is. david: how much of this is a product of our times? i think about what bernie sanders is saying on the campaign trail. is this something new? bret: it is relatively new. thanks actually have gotten into this five or six years ago. they started having divisions at wells fargo, for instance, called abbot downing. try not to confuse that with "downton abbey." [laughter] carol: that is really close. it has picked up so much in the last couple years. with the occupy movement, with minimum wage movements, bernie sanders, and also just the 1% being targeted is that people. carol: it's interesting. you talk about how they also teach families to communicate with one another, understanding where the wealth came from. there's some real things they tackle. bret: we found that by the third generation of wealth, most of those kids sort of grew up with it and don't really have an appreciation for it the way the
grandparents did. immigrant mentalities, hard work, perseverance, and by the third generation that can get lost. that's the critical juncture. if the kids in the third generation don't get it, that's when wealth can disappear. david: you are looking ahead to the super bowl. a big part of the super bowl. carol: if i need therapy depending on who wins or loses. [laughter] david: but you post the question, we are seeing a change in the kinds of ads during the super bowl. bret: in the last couple years, the ads have gotten less funny, oriented around sex a lot less, and they are much more inspiring than they used to be. basically because this has become, advertisers see this as a family event. they no longer want to objectify women in the ads. that is a good thing. they also want to inspire. they want to pull on your heartstrings. we saw this starting last year with ads getting longer and longer.
that trend we expect to continue this year. carol: it is like mini-movies. i feel like there are many stories and vignettes being told and a lot of super bowl ads. it is not like doing mean joe greene's. bret: they are trying to tell a story. they are trying to capture you in a way that you may not have been captured in years before. these ads are super expensive. it is $5 million for a 32nd ad. 32nd ad. david: a lot of these are closely held. you will not see the mental game day. but the second life online is such a huge part of this. you can have a commercial that is a minute and a half that people watch during the game and also afterwards. bret: sometimes it works against you. nationwide did and at last year that had a dead kid in it. david: that was awful. carol: humorous ads, inspirational ads are on the
rise. do we expect that to continue? bret: advertisers look at what worked last year. last year, one of the most popular ones was a mcdonald's ad where people paid for things with hugs. they are looking at that. carol: i have not done that. [laughter] a big mac with a hug. thank you so much for joining us. that does it for this week's edition of "bloomberg businessweek." i'm carol massar. david: and i'm david gura. the latest issue is available online and on newsstands. carol: we will see you next week, right here on bloomberg television. ♪
emily: he worked alongside steve jobs to revolutionize the way we listen to music, and became known as the godfather of the ipod. he spent nearly a decade at apple, then hatched a company of his own. in 2010, he cofounded nest labs, where he promised to re-invent every unloved product in the home. a promise so thrilling, google, soon to become alphabet, snapped up nest and its star ceo for $3.2 billion. joining me today on "studio 1.0," nest ceo and cofounder, tony fadell. tony, so great to have you here. tony: it's so great to be here. i love it. emily: you were born in