How soon will the economy recover, and are we headed for a double-dip recession? The answers to both questions became more nuanced -- and possibly worrisome Friday -- when the Commerce Department reported that the country’s economic growth had slowed this quarter, largely due to consumers’ reluctance to spend money.
What will our cities look like in 20 years? Already, roughly 36.4 million Americans work flexible schedules, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fixed 9-to-5 schedule no longer suits the round-the-clock demands of finance, business, and professional services.
Judging from corporate profits, we should be enjoying a powerful economic recovery. During the recession, profits dropped by about a third, apparently the worst decline since World War II. But every day brings reports of gains. In the second quarter, IBM’s profits rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier. Government statistics through the first quarter (the latest) show that profits have recovered 87 percent of what they lost in the recession.
One day after President Obama signed a financial-reform law aimed at curbing predatory lending and preventing another financial collapse, a new study shows that Americans are less economically secure now than at any other time over the last 25 years.
Let's pause and shed a tear for a class of American workers who are suffering unduly thanks to big, uncontrollable trends in the global economy. The slowdown and uncertainty in the markets is reducing demand for their services. They've become political punching bags. They're America's investment bankers.
Even if the Senate passes a bill to provide unemployment-insurance benefits this week, the country still needs to figure out a smart way to create jobs for millions of people whose industries and livelihoods have altogether disappeared. So, how should we put 15 million unemployed Americans back to work? Here’s a quick look at the big ideas for solving the jobs crisis.
After an eight-year slumber, the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing regulations again. Two years after an appalling financial debacle, Congress is finally moving to regulate Wall Street. But to hear our nation’s commercial chieftains tell it, it’s enough to plunge us back into recession.
In 2010, when Heidi Montag’s bloated lips plaster every magazine in town, when little girls lust after an airbrushed, unattainable body ideal, there’s a growing bundle of research to show that our bias against the unattractive is more pervasive than ever. And when it comes to the workplace, it’s looks, not merit, that all too often rule.
If you’ve ever set foot in a department store, you’ve probably had to navigate the beauty and fragrance gauntlet—bombarded by salespeople pressuring you to be “made over.” I used to be one of these people.
It was hard to believe BP when it announced oil had stopped gushing into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, July 15. It had taken 87 days. There was relief but little jubilation: it will take many years to clean the shores and the birds, and for the sea to begin to repair itself from the onslaught of poisonous oil. Surely we can no longer call it a “spill”—it seems too light and trite a word.
John Browne knows a thing or two about cost-cutting. As BP’s boss for 12 years starting in 1995, he oversaw an ambitious expansion program that transformed the company’s fortunes while trimming staff. In the words of his successor, Tony Hayward, Browne’s management style “made a virtue of doing more for less.”
Goldman Sachs has long been known for being a sharp trader. And the settlement announced with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday seems like a great trade. Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that it had misled investors about mortgage-related products. How is this a smart trade for Goldman, its top executives, and its shareholders? Let us count the ways.
Book authors from the business world talked to NEWSWEEK in an ongoing series of interviews highlighting the best business literature out there. Stop here before (or after) picking up the latest intelligent take.
On Tuesday, the Treasury reported the federal government's receipts and expenses for June. The upshot: through the first nine months of fiscal 2010 (which started last fall), the federal government has run a $1 trillion deficit.
Now that the sealing cap has been installed, all eyes turn to the well-integrity test, which BP is starting today. The test will involve completely "shutting in" the well so the full pressure of the oil gusher can be measured, giving the scientists and engineers a read on the structural stability of the piping that lines the 13,000-foot-long well.
Company insiders, past and present, say the Deepwater Horizon disaster was not a mystery. They describe a risk-taking culture spanning decades where profits come before safety, and whistle-blowers are intimidated, pressured out, or fired. And though Hayward had promised to make the company safer when he became CEO in 2007, the pressure to cut costs has only intensified under his leadership as the oil company struggled to please shareholders.
As job creation and an economic growth stall, the Obama administration is being criticized not just from all parts of the political spectrum in the U.S. but also from big business, which increasingly believes that the president harbors a thinly camouflaged antibusiness bias.
In the U.S. and the U.K. in particular, there’s a sense that overreliance on dodgy financial services is no way to create decent jobs for the masses or to build a more stable economy. In these and many other countries, like France and Germany, influential voices are calling for a return to the business of producing real goods.
When Tesla Motors went public June 29, it was hailed as the first IPO by an American automaker since Ford in 1956. Shares spiked 41 percent, raising $226 million for the electric-car company. But buyers quickly hit the brakes: within a week, Tesla’s stock was below its offering price.
As the economy recovers and workers begin contributing more cash to their retirement accounts, employees should be wary of investing too much in their company stock—be it out of loyalty, optimism, or some predesignated company plan.
Like second marriages, Time's new, extra-confusing pay wall is the triumph of hope over experience. For several reasons I think this is destined to, if not fail, to at least not provide, shall we say, the optimal outcome for Time Inc.
When the U.S. Postal Service loses money, it's effectively subsidizing inefficient business models and operations. And less mail would be better for the economy, better for businesses and consumers, and better for the environment.
The atrocious jobs numbers released Friday have added new fuel to the already heated debate over what the government should be doing to help unemployed Americans. But for the time being, it remains mostly an academic spat among wonks. The fact is that any real progress on solutions for unemployment has screeched to a halt on Capitol Hill and won’t get back on track until at least next week.
When historians write about the great recession of 2007–08, they may very well have a new name for it: the Mancession. It’s a term already being bandied about in the popular media as business writers chronicle the sad tales of the main victims of the recession: men.
Blaming foreign speculators for the continent’s troubles may be a popular sport in Paris and Berlin, but most of those problems are entirely homegrown. Europe’s dirty secret is that its banking sector is sicker than Wall Street.
Americans' taste in movies is--how to put this delicately?--not so demanding. But the list that Netflix publishes of its all-time most-rented movies is a delight, and a surprise. Of the top six films, three won the Oscar for Best Picture, and a fourth was nominated. See the full list here.
Stiff competition from Amazon and Apple is one reason for the gloomy income statement the company released this week: Barnes & Noble lost $32 million in the quarter ending May 1, compared with a $2 million loss during the same period last year.
In the hierarchy of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs has become the top dog: the cool, smart kid who finance geeks want to be. And, although Goldman’s top brass gets dragged down to Washington, D.C., the bank still reigns, at least financially.
As we plow through the legislation to figure out the winners and the losers of the new financial rules, it’s worth pondering what Wall Street got out of the crisis. Most of the reaction, in fact, nods to it being a boon to the banks. And some of those benefits will remain intact even after the legislation passages. Here’s a look at the handouts given to Wall Street.