Family-Owned Businesses Get Through Hard Times

The post-crisis numbers are in, and it paid off to be a patriarch. Think back to the height of the panic that was toppling global banks in late 2008, and a story from São Paulo sticks out. With its share price down more than 30 percent, Brazil’s Banco Itaú struck a deal to merge with União de Bancos, its foremost rival. Both banks needed to expand their reach and share costs, but a more fundamental fact made the deal possible. “This only happened because they were controlled by two families,” says Eduardo Gentil, managing partner at the São Paulo office of Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise. The families were able to strike the deal quickly and smoothly. And because it was the owners’ own wealth at stake, they could afford to take a longer view, making sure they got the merger right instead of rushing into decisions to please analysts and stock-market investors fixated on the quarterly numbers. And the result? A $260 billion financial institution that has become the largest...

Fewer Nukes, but More Money

New START builds on decades of the U.S. slashing its way toward a nuke-free world. So why is Washington now poised to spend tens of billions more on nuclear weapons in the next decade?

Five Questions Sparked by the WikiLeaks Documents

There’s simply too much information in the latest deluge of secret State Department documents made public by WikiLeaks to get a real handle on exactly how the 250,000 classified cables will change the diplomatic landscape in the long term. There are, however, five key questions that we should be asking now.

How to Search the WikiLeaks Documents

The sheer volume of the release of the 251,287 diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks plans to make public is unquestionably overwhelming. Against the will of the State Department, WikiLeaks plans to eventually release cables from 274 embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions around the world from, mostly, the last three years.

'We Just Don't Know'

The Army's vice chief of staff--who has taken on the task of addressing mental-health issues in the military and gone before Congress to explain the Army's work on the invisible wounds of war--discusses the science of battlefield concussions.

Fines for Foreign Bribes Spike, Drawing Scrutiny

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1977 law targeting businesses that bribe foreign officials, spent the early part of this decade in a slumber. In 2000, there wasn’t a single prosecution, and in 2006, the Justice Department won just $18 million in penalties. Now the law has come roaring back to life, with more than $1 billion in fines this year alone. Recent high-profile cases include guilty pleas from fuel-concern Innospec, for paying kickbacks in Iraq to German automaker Daimler AG; and Jack Stanley, the head of energy consultancy KBR, for bribing Nigerian officials to secure billions in natural-gas contracts. With prosecutions likely to continue—the FBI has doubled the number of agents tasked to FCPA cases—business is responding in kind. Law firms are competing for top FCPA talent, banks financing international deals are insisting on anti-bribery stipulations in contracts, and a new cottage industry of experts has emerged, offering country-by-country advice on gifts and local...

Q&A With Bangladesh P.M. Sheikh Hasina Wajed

Just five years ago, Bangladesh held the unenviable title of being the world’s most corrupt country. Today, it’s a darling of Wall Street. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who headed the country in the late 1990s and came back to power in January 2009, sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Andrew Bast to discuss economic growth, radicalism, and the power of women. Excerpts:

China Butts Heads With Japan

East Asia may be reveling in its unprecedented economic growth, but old-fashioned territorial feuds continue to fester. The latest reminder came last week at the United Nations, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warning darkly of the unnamed “consequences” Japan would incur unless it released the captain of a Chinese fishing boat “immediately and unconditionally.” The skipper and his crew were arrested on Sept. 7 after his vessel collided with two Japanese Coast Guard ships off a disputed and uninhabited island chain.

Headline Writers: Bacevich's 'Washington Rules'

America’s militaristic, idealistic approach to the world is costing the country dearly. That’s the theme of foreign-policy guru Andrew Bacevich’s new book, "Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War." A Boston University professor and West Point grad who spent 23 years in the Army, Bacevich thinks everyone would get along just fine without the U.S. playing global policeman—and what’s more, things would improve at home if we stopped squandering resources abroad.

'Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War'

Groupthink is alive and thriving in Washington, D.C., argues Andrew Bacevich, who's convinced that America's mightily militaristic and endlessly idealistic approach to the rest of the world is costing the country dearly.

The Pentagon Papers, Redux

The WikiLeaks scoop on Afghanistan, a modern-day version of the Pentagon Papers, is going to ignite a very loud debate about the efficacy and morality of the war.

Afghanistan Wants to See the Money

One of the more surprising decisions to come out of the international conference held in Kabul last week was to start funneling half of foreign aid directly through the Afghan government, compared with only 20 percent now. Those billions will be an inviting target: Transparency International ranks Afghanistan second worst on its Corruption Perceptions Index.

The Afghan Story We Missed While Obsessing Over McChrystal

Gen. Stanley McChrystal's disrespectful comments to a Rolling Stone reporter have dominated the news cycle. But there was another important story about Afghanistan yesterday: a new report about American reliance on a very dangerous liability—Afghan warlords.

How Rolling Stone Got Into McChrystal's Inner Circle

Rolling Stone author—and NEWSWEEK alumnus—Michael Hastings explains how he got such good access from General McChrystal's camp, whether he expected such nuclear fallout, and how the grunts grouse about McChrystal's mission.

We Read a Book Intended for Counterinsurgents

No cable-television talking heads here. The armchair chicken hawks have been scattered. This is one of the sharpest and most incisive minds on modern warfare getting deep in the weeds on what it takes to win today’s wars. And how to do it.

Beinart's 'Icarus Syndrome': We Are Too Ambitious

The United States has undertaken absurdly ambitious goals for the battle it is about to fight in Afghanistan. Is Obama replaying a tragic American script? Peter Beinart's 'The Icarus Syndrome' suggests he might be.

Q&A: Gareth Evans on Nuclear Arms

World leaders have descended on the United Nations in New York to spend the month reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The agenda is long: Iran, disarmament, and new nuclear plants. NEWSWEEK’s Andrew Bast talked to Gareth Evans, former Australian foreign minister and current co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, about what is becoming a “watershed year” in global nuclear politics.

Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History

Thomas Barfield delivers a one-stop, full accounting of Afghanistan’s geography, people, and history. If it weren’t so painstakingly researched and intensely assembled, it could be called “Afghanistan for Dummies.” He starts in the premodern era and sweeps up through the present day.

What Would It Take To Rid The World Of Nukes?

The recent renewal of the start treaty between Russia and America was a big victory for Barack Obama's arms-control agenda. The former enemies agreed to slash their warhead arsenals to 1,550 each and also reduce missile launchers and bombers. Seeing as the two nations possess some 95 percent of the world's nukes, the agreement should relax fears about nuclear winter, right? Not quite. Problem is, the real threat these days isn't war between great powers; it's that a terrorist group might get its hands on loose nuclear material and produce a dirty bomb. It's hardly farfetched fearmongering: since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency has logged more than 1,500 incidents of trafficked nuclear and radiological materials.That fact hasn't been lost on the White House. A year ago in Prague, Obama vowed to secure all "vulnerable nuclear material within four years." Most proliferation experts say four years is a pipe dream. But timelines aside, what would the U.S. have to do in order...