PODCAST: How international companies operate in a violent Egypt

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gather at the Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square for midday prayer on August 16, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian Military has closed off the city's iconic Tahrir Square today to pedestrian traffic in response to calls for mass protests in downtown Cairo after midday prayer.

Nearly 640 people are estimated to have been killed in the violent crackdown on supporters of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. Cities across the country are bracing for more violence today, after the interim government declared a state of emergency and the Brotherhood called for a "Friday of rage" to begin after morning prayers.

Aside from the toll on human life, the recent uprisings have wreaked havoc on an already troubled Egyptian economy. Banks are closed until at least Monday. A General Motors plant in a Cario suburb that employs 1,400 people has closed, and other multinational corporations with operations in Egypt are laying low.

So are multinationals reconsidering future investment in Egypt? Not yet, says Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, an oil company based in the United Arab Emirates with extensive operations in Egypt. Jafar says his company has been dealing with instability since the fall of Hosni Mubarak's totalitarian government.

Jobs,” the first of the Steve Jobs movies, opens tonight. It’s not the one by Aaron Sorkin but the one starring Ashton Kutcher as tech legend Steve Jobs. As an actor, Ashton Kutcher’s made his mark by playing dreamy -- but ditzy -- characters on TV. So playing Steve Jobs could be a breakout role for him in Hollywood.

But the movie could also impact his side-job as an investor in tech start-ups. Kutcher’s invested in popular start-ups like Airbnb, Spotify, Uber, and dozens of others. “My decision to take the role was a tough one. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who knew Steve,” Kutcher told the tech blog The Verge. “If I play this, will the people who knew him who I’m friends with be upset about it? You know what I mean? I’m trying to balance two worlds.”  

So we know how Hollywood is going rate Kutcher in "Jobs." But what about Silicon Valley?

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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