Readings: Critical Thinking / Decision Making
The locally oriented economic structure of Puerto Rico followed a model that many in the United States find appealing. A hurricane has blown some of that theory upside down and the problems of being self-sufficient are particularly telling to entities that have yet to reopen nor see reason to do so thus far.
Some initially described the acquisition of Aetna by CVS as a reaction to Amazon’s possible entry into the pharmacy business. But CVS seems more focused on gaining access to Aetna’s 22 million health insurance customers for its new line of in-store MinuteClinics.
The top 100 bitcoin addresses control 17.3 percent of all issued bitcoin currency, and 1,000 people own 40 percent it. With the lack of regulation in this new market, they can potentially band together to tank or prop up the market. That puts small buyers at a big disadvantage.
Christine Rohrbeck, a Baupost Group investment professional, received a $3.8 million bonus for 2014 and advice to “lean in.” Within a year, she was fired. Rohrbeck’s discrimination complaint gives a glimpse into the culture and practices of a firm in the secretive and lucrative world of hedge funds.
Silicon Valley modeling agencies are seeing record numbers of requests for beautiful “guests” at tech holiday parties. “Ambiance and atmosphere models” contractually obligated to pretend they’re party guests are in record demand from local agencies.
CVS operates 9,700 drugstores. By buying Aetna, it wants to funnel more of the insurer’s customers into health centers at its retail locations.
For American HIV patients, the annual wholesale price of a common drug combination is around $37,000. In developing countries, a similar drug combination could sell for around $100 annually. Patents for some of the compounds found in these drugs are about to expire, and India-based Laurus Labs is preparing to offer generic versions at a fraction of the current cost. It will be competing with Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's largest maker of generic drugs.
While many households reduced their equity investments from 2007 to 2016, those headed by people 75 and over loaded up. Almost 49 percent of those households own stocks, up from 40 percent in 2007 and about 35 percent in 2013. It's the highest number since the Fed began tracking it in 1989.
The "Angry Birds" app came out in 2009 and became a staggering hit across a variety of demographic sectors. Its popularity even moved over to the big screen, where it arguably had its most sound financial success. Rovio, the parent firm, has struggled to come up with new titles to supplement its mainstay "Angry Birds" success. Investors in the IPO have become frustrated.
Wal-Mart's net sales in China rose 4 percent in the third quarter of 2017 from a year earlier as one-hour grocery delivery grew. Online sales of fresh foods kept in mini-warehouses helped. Rivals want a piece of that growth.
Many households reduced their equity investments from 2007 to 2016. The first wave of Americans who saved via 401(k)s is moving deeper into retirement. They don't find bonds' paltry income very enticing. Those headed by people 75 and over loaded up.
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), faces any number of challenges in tackling the issue of nuclear disarmament. Interestingly, she is a young female leader in the male-dominated realm of arms control. While abolishment of nuclear weapons is a lofty ambition, a new vision from a 2017 Nobel Peace Prize laureate about how to approach the issue may help as a new generation comes of age.
The typical eye exam in which we go to the optometrist and are examined by a series of machines as the physician writes down the results has become so technically oriented that one company has designed a unit that drastically minimizes the time needed for evaluation by a trained optometrist. The company, PlenOptika, has designed a $2,500 handheld model for use in developing economies and higher priced versions for use in developed markets.
Not too long ago, people in the suvivalist prepper community were warning against cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Now they’re all investing in it to the point that it's starting to impinge on gold's appeal.
Teachers looking for extra work have found online jobs with Chinese startup VIPKid to be an economic opportunity with flexible hours. The company’s U.S. teachers may also face some strict expectations and risk being fired if they miss classes for any reason. VIPKid‘s plans for an IPO may be adversely affected by questions about the treatment of workers and the legality of the classification of teachers as independent contractors rather than employees.
Chinese consumers' preferences for foreign brands over domestic brands has dropped from 85 percent to 40 percent in the past six years. In terms of actual product sales, multinational firms have seen their market share slip in all sorts of products: coffee in Indonesia, laundry detergent in Vietnam, and toothpaste in India. Local brands have been coming on strong, many times offering lower prices and products that better meet local market expectations.
U.S.-style sports merchandise could be a tougher sell abroad. Two billionaires bet they can sell sports swag to the world. Fanatics Inc. plans global push after $1 billion investment.
The latest web manipulators are causing greater havoc by targeting Google’s real-time news and video results. The company is overhauling its video search, limiting results around news events on YouTube to verified outlets and placing more algorithmic emphasis on these sources more broadly.
Historically, it was thought that defensive sectors perform best when the yield curve inverts. New research is challenging that theory.
Even though such vertical mergers are usually of less concern to antitrust regulators, the Justice Department may sue to block the proposed $85 billion merger of AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. AT&T is looking to show that the opposition is politically motivated based on Trump’s tweets against the deal and against Time Warner’s CNN.
With a burgeoning focus on mental health in the healthcare arena, 39-year-old Alison Darcy decided to design an app (Woebot) that discerns the changes in the mental health of its users and offers helpful videos and programs to treat the patient/user. At this point in time, she is experimenting with payment models to make the program profitable and sustainable.
After six women publicly accused Justin Caldbeck of unwanted sexual advances, the Binary Capital LLC co-founder stepped down from his position leading the firm. Although he initially denied the allegations, Caldbeck soon began expressing remorse and pursuing a post-scandal path to redemption. Whether his actions are sincere, self-interested, or effective in changing "bro culture" remains a question.
In order to try and eliminate the informal (or underground) economy that many Indian small businesses have operated in for years, the Indian government removed large bills from circulation and switched to a sales tax system to collect revenues. The moves have also forced many small businesses to set up bank accounts, hire accountants, and participate in electronic funds transfer networks. These regulatory changes may have also contributed to a slowing in economic growth and production but should allow the government to have better measures of economic activity and collect tax revenues.
OPSkins, a marketplace for rare Counter-Strike guns, has built an exchange that runs on cryptocurrency. OPSkins has raised about $41 million to simplify the item-buying process for superfans of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and other games.
Endgame has the Pentagon’s ear in the hottest security software market. Endgame says it’s expanding beyond its military roots and more than doubling its annual recurring revenue as the broader endpoint detection and response market rises by 60 percent.
Snapchat parent Snap Inc. says it uses both staffers and automated systems to protect children—and all 178 million users—from unwanted messages, but it would not provide details. Snapchat has been singled out by investigators as a danger due to pedophiles who used it to exploit teens for sexual gratification. It's a popular app among young people, and its disappearing messages make evidence tougher to find.
Amazon’s AWS dominates cloud services with more than five times the revenue of number two Microsoft. But there is lots of growth ahead, and the competition is getting some traction, especially with customers like Wal-Mart who view Amazon as a competitor.
Jerome Powell, President Trump’s nominee to be chair of the Federal Reserve Board, is not an economist. While there have been other Fed chairs who, like Powell, were not economists, it has been years. Many are now looking for clues and speculating about what kind of leader Powell will be.
Bike sharing has become quite popular in many parts of the world, but a rash of startups have disrupted how such bikes are stored or parked. Now cities worldwide are contending with the repercussions of a business model that raises street cleaning and safety issues.
Several prominent value fund managers are holding large amounts of cash now because stocks are so expensive. They say that eventually the market will slump, and they'll be able to scoop up bargains. Not all of their clients are so patient.
George Yancopoulos, co-president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., takes on questions relative to health care and the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.
Ericsson has bet its future on the fifth generation of mobile. However, nobody knows what applications and services will get customers to pay the billions of dollars 5G will cost.
The next big cyberattack could turn America's lights off. Security experts say there's evidence Russian hackers have breached U.S. utilities and nuclear power plants.
Over the past couple of years, the profitability of shale producers has come under increasing pressure. Sharply falling crude prices have decreased profitability, and stock prices of oil and gas explorers and producers have fallen. Executive pay incentives may also be contributing to a focus on production over profitability, and these compensation practices are now receiving scrutiny from investors.
Contracts between suppliers of natural gas and utilities typically run for up to 20 years, stabilizing prices and supplies. Twenty percent of contracts will expire from 2018 to 2020, with 80 percent expiring over the next decade, providing an opening for new suppliers to step in.
Hacking is reaching new levels. Russia, for example, is taking out lights.
Apple will spend $1 billion next year on programming for television. By sticking with mainstream shows, it could miss out on viewers who increasingly favor edgier fare.
This year's Nobel prize in economics went to a behavioral economist, Richard Thaler, for exploring the biases and cognitive shortcuts that affect how people absorb and process information and sometimes may make markets overreact or underreact to news. Two mutual funds he runs that try to capitalize on behavioral biases have earned an annual average return of more than 15 percent over the past five years and bested more than 90 percent of their competitors.
Apple wants to stick with family-friendly fare as it produces $1 billion of original streaming TV content next year. But its first two shows fell flat, and some in Hollywood are questioning Apple’s direction or even whether it has a strategy.
Seeking ways to more efficiently obtain precious metals is an age-old practice. Today, with monitoring mechanisms and tools, the practice is going a bit more high tech. Barrick Gold Corporation, in conjunction with Cisco, has been operating a mine using sensors to better direct remote automated tools as well as monitoring the efficiency of human operations. By incorporating this change in their mine they have reduced their digging costs by 25 percent. They hope to extend these capabilities into their larger mines in the future.
As Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson has had a single-minded focus on restructuring the State Department and improving its operational efficiency. This effort is not gaining much support within the State Department. There is little evidence that Tillerson has adapted his leadership style, developed in corporate settings, to better align with the State Department’s organizational culture.
Negotiations between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement have begun but without much progress. While the Trump administration has indicated that it wants to discourage firms from moving operations to Mexico in order to lower costs, relocation firms report business remains strong. With labor savings of around $20,000 per person per year, even if U.S. taxes increase on goods from Mexico, it still makes sense for some manufacturers to shift production to Mexico.
When campaigning through steel country, Donald Trump promised to bring back jobs to the American steel industry. He also indicated that "we're going to be make pipeline in the United States" with American steel. However, tariffs or trade restrictions on "cheap" foreign steel have not been forthcoming, and a big winner in some recent pipeline contracts is a Russian steel company with close family ties to the Trump family.
Can extremists be deprogrammed? Gen Next is counting on it.
Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, has responsibility for the search and advertising business of one of the world's most valuable companies. Pichai's leadership style differs markedly from that of his predecessor, and his ability to navigate the company's multifaceted challenges will be a critical determinant of Google's success.
Whether it's the threat of nuclear war, hurricanes, or Russian meddling, it seems nothing can unnerve investors bent on pushing the U.S. stock market higher and higher. Traders fear missing out on the bull market more than they fear losing. In the language of Wall Street, every day it's "risk-on."
Fanuc is the worldwide leader in producing the robots used in manufacturing all sorts of products, including mobile phones, automobiles, and more robots. These robots help improve precision in performing repetitive tasks, while reducing labor costs. While earlier models were primarily used in high-wage countries, Fanuc is seeing some of its largest growth occur in China, where Japanese robots are replacing Chinese workers.
Hackers have a head start in exploiting system flaws. The Equifax hack is an object lesson in the need for U.S. security watchdogs to receive more money and pick up the pace.
YouTube is the most influential social media platform for 72 percent of young Generation Z consumers. That has helped it become a big venue for toy reviews sponsored by brands. Kids have captivated their peers on social media with videos of toy unboxings and reviews.
Does every company want to be seen as an AI company? The term "artificial intelligence" came up during 363 earnings calls and investor presentations in the third quarter, more than triple the number from the same period last year.
Japanese manufacturers have been the models of continuous quality improvement. Facing increasing competition from China, incidents of Japanese companies reporting fake quality and safety data are on the rise. Individual companies are bearing the consequences of their actions, but Japan's reputation for excellence may be at risk.
For years, Japanese companies have held on to a reputation for high-quality goods. This has been critical in order for them to effectively compete against Chinese and other foreign competitors. But in order to be more price competitive, some Japanese companies appear to have been skimping on quality or taking unethical steps in order to reduce costs.
The UK’s impending divorce from Europe could clog ports across the country. Acknowledging the chaos that such a scenario could create in ports like Dover, the government proposed that shipments could be “pre-notified to customs.”
The Swiss financial sector is still rebounding from a crackdown on bank secrecy, but the Swiss city of Zug sees a big opportunity in cryptocurrency. Zug has embraced digital currency. Some worry that the money might be a little too secret.
Digital money like bitcoin could help the Swiss rebound from a decade-long assault on bank secrecy, but it also brings back questions about whether the country is luring illicit cash.
Sports teams search for early signs of exceptional talent so that they can sign the best athletes before competitors do. This is nowhere more evident than in soccer. Major teams begin intensive recruiting and sign players in their teens, but it's very expensive to take a potential athlete through an entire program, only to have them not pan out. Ilja Sligte, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam, of devised a cognitive test to predict which athletes have the greatest likelihood of success and at what position. Thus far, his company, BrainFirst, has several clients despite no empirical evidence that the product works. BrainFirst predicts it will be profitable this year.
Why would a Kansas town reject a new facility offering 1.600 jobs? There may be many answers, but reputation may be one factor that explains the reaction of Tonganoxie, Kansas, residents to a new Tyson Foods facility. Other companies acknowledge challenges in successfully locating new poultry processing plants. In this case, however, Tyson seems to have made a few avoidable missteps leading up to the announcement of the new facility.
Back in the 1930s, Mexico nationalized its oil industry, designating government-owned Pemex as the only company allowed to drill for oil. But recognizing that other companies had made important technological advances and looking for foreign investment, in recent years Mexico has allowed foreign companies to bid on exploration leases. Now that Texas-based Talos Energy LLC has discovered oil in a field that extends beyond its lease, the government needs to develop the necessary rules for revenue- and profit-sharing.
Sports recruiting may be changing. It may not just be based on skills and physical ability anymore.
Innovation is at the heart of Apple’s business, and innovation depends on talent. The locations of Apple’s research facilities may reflect its strategy to hire the best and brightest. Apple’s practice of opening research facilities and then hiring employees from nearby companies might be viewed as poaching, and in some cases it has led to the dissolution of a relationship with a supplier.
By 2020, 45 million Americans will be caring for 117 million seniors. Best Buy bets on adults remotely monitoring their aging parents. The retailer offers a $29 monthly monitoring service using internet-connected gear.
Investigations into the massive breach aren't complete, but the intruders used techniques that have been linked to nation-state hackers in the past. There are significant ramifications of the stolen financial data—Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and more—of at least 143 million Americans.
Adidas is opening two new highly automated manufacturing facilities that can produce customized shoes quickly and closer to markets. A new factory in Germany can produce about half a million pairs of shoes annually while employing 160 people. A similar factory will open soon near Atlanta. The goal with these factories is to be able to respond quickly to new trends and help maintain stocks of highly-sought, full-price items.
The market for monitoring our senior citizens has grown dramatically since the days of "I've fallen and I can't get up" advertisements. Today, we have tools that can monitor everything from eating habits to sleep patterns and automated access systems. Many firms have offered products to enable concerned people to feel safer about the status of their elderly loved ones, but successfully establishing a market foothold has been elusive. The electronics retailer Best Buy has now entered the fray offering products, installation, and monitoring services.
The relation between risk and return creates a certain tension in all investment decisions. In the context of pension funds, however, security is given higher priority than in other investment contexts. Berkshire Hathaway's pension fund is managed by two of the company's investment managers with an approach that is similar to Warren Buffett's general investment philosophy. Too risky for most corporate pension funds, this may work just because it is the "Sage of Omaha's" company.
While self-driven cars have garnered the headlines, they are not the only profitable niche for this type of piloting. Ships are also capable of being driven technologically. Companies such as Sea Machines Robotics are perfecting their products to autopilot large vessels from dock to dock. Rolls-Royce and BHP Billiton are working on designing ships that would not require human navigation.
Higher interest rates won't help many older Americans have a secure retirement income because they don't have much interest-bearing investment, and they carry more credit card debt than their richer fellow seniors.
Hedge-fund money chases soaring ticket prices in a new era. Alleged frauds have ensnared Michael Dell and Paul Tudor Jones. Ticketing is still a rigged system, according to the New York attorney general.
Facebook has secured more than $300 million worth of tax incentives for the kind of advanced data centers that rarely deliver much in the way of jobs. Huge government tax giveaways aren't yielding many jobs.
Canada's Bombardier received a couple pieces of bad news this week. In the rail business, Germany's Siemens decided to pursue a merger with France's Alstom, which at least for now leaves Bombardier as a much smaller player in the worldwide rail market. Its aircraft unit also learned that the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a preliminary ruling in favor of Boeing that Bombardier received significant subsidies from the Canadian government and, as a result, imported Bombardier aircraft will be subject to duties.
Struggling retailer Toys "R" Us Inc. filed for bankruptcy after 40 percent of its suppliers asked for cash on delivery. But many key suppliers, like Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc., are helping the company recover to keep them in the marketplace.
Among well-known technology companies doing cutting edge work, at 106 years old, IBM may well be the oldest. Its current CEO, Ginni Rometty, appreciates this history and is focused on reinventing the company for the next generation. Gender equity and diversity issues plague many technologies firms, and Romney sees herself as a role model even as she recognizes a longstanding inclusive culture within IBM.
Software and hardware are moving at great speed to use artificial intelligence in rapid iteration environments. One area that is particularly shows potential gain is that of design. New software from Autodesk Research has shown particular promise by modifying older designs to seek efficient solutions far more quickly than could be accomplished by drafting new plans. Despite these gains, experts believe it is still necessary to have trained humans coupled with excellent software to reach the best conclusion.
U.S. corporations have a record amount of cash but they're more deeply indebted than ever. A disproportionate amount of the cash is in overseas accounts, so the companies are borrowing to raise needed cash at home and avoid the high repatriation taxes. That cash is not doing much to create new jobs and higher salaries but is mostly funding share repurchases.
Facebook has 2 billion users, record profits, vast influence, and big problems in Washington. While on paternity leave, Facebook’s CEO has been unable to avoid what’s become a second full-time job: managing an escalating series of political crises.
Toys "R" Us Inc. will live because manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro can’t let it die. They are offering pledges of support to counter Amazon and Wal-Mart and are propping up this single-category store.
Worldwide cocoa prices have fallen about 40 percent over the past three years, as good harvests have led to a growth in supply without much to change demand. As part of a measure to help support cocoa farmers, the Ghana Cocoa Board guarantees that farmers receive a set price per pound. But with falling worldwide cocoa prices and with costs incurred by the Ghana Cocoa Board, the board loses money on every transaction. Complicating matters is the fact that growers from neighboring Ivory Coast smuggle their beans into Ghana in order to obtain the higher prices, which further strains the government of Ghana's ability to maintain its high prices.
There is a lot of money to be made at gaming tournaments. However, laws in Japan prevent gaming competition.
When we watch coverage of natural disasters, we're repeatedly told of the enormous losses in dollars, like estimates of $58 billion from Irma in Florida. Cavalry Construction is one of the legion of firms in the reconstruction business that has been growing with the increasing size and frequency of natural disasters.
Michael Milken is right to point out that private equity is getting rich in no small part because of the lax practices of bond investors. But if these buyout firms go too far, they risk jeopardizing their own success.
The smartphone makers and carriers are going to greater lengths to disguise the rising costs of their phones, which are about to cross a big psychological threshold. Apple’s next iPhone and the latest Samsung Note approach four figures.
Fraudsters are finding it harder to get away with using fake plastic. Scammers are constructing fake people to get real credit cards.
Gierad Laput, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon's Future Interfaces Group, has developed a sensor that resides in a room and relays information on potentially important changes in the room's environment relating to several appliances or units there. This is an improvement because customer won't have to have separate sensors for each unit. Funding to further explore the possibilities of monetizing this innovation has already reached $2.2 million.
Silicon Valley companies are a tale of two workers. Tech company employees enjoy good wages and benefits. Many service workers on the tech company campuses, however, are employed by contractors and receive much lower wages and fewer benefits. By focusing attention on the well-known tech companies, labor unions are successfully organizing contract workers.
Globalism is alive and well in Germany, where 46 percent of GDP comes from exports. While large, well-known manufacturing firms are responsible for some of these exports, so are the much smaller, privately owned German manufacturing firms that export goods worldwide. Delo Industrie Klebstoffe GmbH, for example, makes the glue used in 80 percent of smart cards worldwide.
Your new smartphone could cost you more than $1,000. Will you line up to get one?
Bond investors are playing a tricky game with lower-rated U.S. retailers, and they appear to be losing. Toys "R" Us and Bon-Ton announced this week that they have hired advisors to help restructure their debt, which sent their bond prices plummeting. While some bond investors might get paid enough money in coupon payments to offset their losses during any restructuring, the chances of ending up on the winning side of this strategy are getting slimmer.
L’Oréal has a gender gap; it ranks high on lists of the most attractive places for women to work, but struggles to attract men. The company has made it a goal to recruit an equal number of men and women by 2020. To achieve true gender balance, L’Oréal will need to do more than attract more men, it also needs to fully integrate women into its highest ranks and encourage women to take science, technical, and engineering positions.
A U.S. deficit of doctors may worsen as a growing minority of medical school graduates are choosing other professions. More are starting biotech companies or joining consulting or financial firms instead of practicing—all while the U.S. suffers a shortage of doctors.
Snapchat’s lack of public user data has made it less hospitable for buzz-building types. The disappearing-message service kept it tough for users to measure their audience. Its parent company doesn’t seem to mind. Facebook’s service swooped in.
Colombia's constitution allows local regions to hold referendums on topics important to the citizens. Several recent votes have prevented foreign multinational companies that had purchased rights for oil or mineral production from commencing operations. Locals are concerned about how the operations would affect water supplies, local farm land, and the way of life in rural Columbia.
Nissan's Leaf is the world's best-selling electric vehicle in large part because of its early introduction. The carmaker is revamping it to counter rivals' advances.
A pricing technique usually reserved for seafood has extended to steaks, ribs, and even vegetables. The phenomenon of market price (MP) mission creep is visible across the U.S.
T-shirt manufacturing is returning to the U.S. as Chinese apparel maker Tianyuan Garments builds a $20 million factory in Little Rock, Arkansas, with incentives like tax breaks and infrastructure assistance. T-shirt bots from Softwear Automation of Atlanta will sew all the shirts, making them at the lowest cost in the world.
Delta Air Lines Inc. is using fast-track promotions to incentivize pilots to accept unappealing assignments. This is a novel approach in the airline industry, but many pilots may still prefer a better lifestyle rather than the title of captain.
Index funds' long-term focus has pushed activist investors who were typically thought of as being more interested in short-term gains to consider issues of corporate social responsibility to attract their support. For example, Nelson Peltz is cozying up to institutional investors by committing himself to good corporate governance in order to win a seat on Procter & Gamble's board.
Paul Polman's tenure as CEO of Unilever has already outstretched the average for CEOs at similarly sized companies. This is especially notable, as Polman has adopted a long-term focus that prioritizes environmental, social, and ethical objectives. The company has had financial success. Time will tell whether Polman's vision for making Unilever profitable, ethical, and long-term-focused can be sustained.
New French President Emmanuel Macron was elected in part because of his vision for fostering innovation in the country. Just like in organizations, the need to replace and/or retrain its workforce is a key element, but unlike within companies, the pain of an underdeveloped workforce cannot simply be removed.
Unilever manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide, with brand names that are well-known to consumers everywhere. Under CEO Paul Polman, it has also taken steps to emphasize corporate social responsibility and concern for the environment. Recognizing that underdeveloped areas of the world are an important growth opportunity, Unilever works to educate consumers on proper hygiene while building brand recognition.
China-based Tianyuan Garments is building a new factory in Arkansas that will be highly automated, making T-shirts for about 33 cents each. Tianyuan is one of China's largest apparel makers, with this plant allowing the company to be more responsive to shifts in the North American market. The sewbots have been developed by a U.S. company, Softwear Automation, and will be able to make about 23 million T-shirts a year.
Costco thrived operating brick-and-mortar warehouse clubs using a treasure-hunt assortment of its jumbo-size items. The company’s laissez-faire approach to online retailing has not hurt it — yet. However, half of its members also subscribe to Amazon Prime, leaving the company vulnerable to online poaching.
Costco is the clear leader in warehouse club retailing but has been slow to pursue online sales. Analysts worry that the market shift to online retailing will go to its rivals like Amazon and Box.com.
Investors are growing more skeptical about the business of subscription-based prepackaged boxes. High costs and thin profit margins are the norm, and customers are costly to acquire and hard to keep. Blue Apron is an object lesson in how the subscription-box business model can break down.
In 2003, fourteen-year-old Nick Gilson decided that he would design a new snowboard for himself. Using a concept he had observed while building a catamaran with his father, he saw the possibility of improving upon the design of snowboards to create an even better experience for enthusiasts. Ten years later, Gilson Boards was born, and Nick and his cofounder Austin Royer have built the company to 1,000 units of sales and earned more than $1 million in revenues. They have also garnered financial support totaling $1 million from investors. They are also extending some of their design advantages into the manufacturing of skis.
Teva Pharmaceutical has been a symbol of Israeli entrepreneurship, and in Israel it has been called the “people’s stock.” After the 2011 death of Eli Hurvitz, Teva’s legendary former CEO and chairman, the company has floundered, going through a series of CEOs. Factors related to the company’s culture have exacerbated the challenge of finding a leader to succeed Hurvitz and positioning Teva for a changing economic environment.
After a series of food safety concerns, China strengthened laws in 2015 against retailers who sell mislabeled products. One provision of the law allows customers who buy counterfeit or damaged goods compensation of up to ten times the purchase price. This has led to a new profession of "fraudbusters" or individuals who purchase goods they believe fail standards in some respect and then sue for damages.
For Tesla's true-believer shareholders, all that stands between CEO Elon Musk realizing his vision and validating their risky bet is adequate liquidity. The bond market, from that perspective, looks like an infinity pool of capital. Even so, it's $1.8 billion debut in the high-yield bond market is surprising for several reasons.
Affluent Americans such as President Trump pay a 3.8 percent tax on their investment income — unless they know how to use an S corporation. In 2017, the S corporation loophole will allow about $16.7 billion in tax avoidance, according to 2016 estimates from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Dropbox is making more money and turning a profit. However, the company may not go public at its last private valuation as it invests further in battling Microsoft and Google.
Bosch, the German auto parts manufacturer, is investing billions of dollars in R&D as it works to transform itself into a global technology company. In the midst of this endeavor, the company is facing increasing scrutiny for the role it may have played in the diesel emissions scandal that first came to light in VW cars. While Bosch’s role remains unclear, potential damages could be in the billions and the reputation costs could affect the company’s future.
Cloning is a term met with a good deal of skepticism and fear. This is somewhat justified, but can there be uses that would make its techniques valuable and ethical? The performance horse industry believes it can. It has already achieved success and acceptance in several divisions using techniques mastered by Crestview Genetics of Texas. The company hasn't let its success whither. It's now considering limited forays into human cloning to aid areas such as diabetes research. Crestview claims to be worth $75 million.
Several U.S. refineries have been specifically calibrated to work with Venezuela's sludgy high-density, high-sulphur crude oil. Last year, $10 billion of Venezuelan crude oil was imported and refined, helping keep gas prices low. But with the political and economic turmoil in Venezuela, as well as the possibility of sanctions against Venezuela's government, U.S. consumers and refiners could face adverse consequences.
You can speculate on stocks going up or stocks going down, but you can also wager on how extreme the ups and downs will be. Investors who bet on calm have done stupendously well lately, but the persistence of extreme calm may have pushed investors toward strategies that could blow up if volatility returns.
Tesla Model 3, which starts at $35,000, has racked up almost half a million reservations and is drawing more deposits by the day. However, price creep for better-equipped models could reduce that number. CEO Elon Musk described plans to quickly ramp up output of the Model 3 as “production hell” for workers at Tesla’s lone car assembly plant in Fremont, California.
“Disclosure-only” settlements can generate legal fees for lawyers but no money for the shareholders they represent. Ted Frank is trying to kill them off. Meet Ted Frank, professional objector and lawyer, who is making it less profitable to sue when companies merge.
Brazil's 3G Capital has grown by buying well-known consumer product companies and cutting costs. It typically makes deep cuts to expenses, including closing factories, laying off workers, and getting rid of expensive perks. To grow, it also looks to grow market share in countries where the brands are less well known.
"I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner." But would you want to own the company and be responsible for this product line? 3G Capital, along with Warren Buffett, decided they did, though not only that brand but all of Kraft's brands. The wiener does represent a sound microcosm of the problems facing large brands that were stalwarts over the past century. 3G is known for cost cutting to gain returns on their investments. They are taking a new approach with Oscar Mayer.
Gary Cohn, President Trump's chief economic adviser and longtime president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is under consideration to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve. His leadership style, however, may not be a great fit with the organizational culture of the Federal Reserve. In a setting where markets hang on the nuances of even slight changes in wording, Cohn's bulldog approach and penchant for off-the-cuff remarks could be unsettling to markets and Fed employees.
Infosci’s septua- and octogenarian founders are looking to flip their security company as soon as the technology is ready. Its exit strategy is to move fast and get just far enough to attract a buyer such as Dell Technologies Inc. or Alphabet Inc. or perhaps a private equity company.
Sophisticated Chinese apparel manufacturers are behind most leading global apparel brands, and some would like to move forward with their own global brands. Down coat maker Bosideng’s retreat after five years in London is a cautionary tale.
When we think of entrepreneurs in the Internet and computing world, we typically envision young mavericks with concepts derived from their state-of-the-art classes at top colleges. Here we see three guys well over seventy who have come up with a competitive product in the arena of IT security. Their perspective differs from those following the more traditional approach but may still be as effective.
Some of the big banks’ new algorithmic programs may favor funds from companies that pay the banks millions of dollars for access to their wealthy clients. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo take payments from fund companies whose products their advisers (and robo-advisers) might sell.
The Brillante Virtuoso was allegedly hijacked and destroyed by Somali pirates, but circumstances surrounding the 2011 explosion and fire on the ship remain a mystery. Details of the case are intriguing, but the story also highlights the challenges insurers have in distinguishing between legitimate casualty losses and fraud. This uncertainty may contribute to insurers’ tendency to settle shipping claims, but the practice may encourage insurance fraud and pass the cost on to consumers.
Despite promising to increase diversity, over the last five years the percentage of black employees at most large Wall Street banks has been stagnant and even inching downward. The trend is similar for percentages of black senior executives. The explanation is not obvious, but the banks recognize that their success may depend on attracting a diverse employee base.
In 2013, Mexico passed legislation that eliminated state-owned monopolies in the electricity and oil industries. This change meant to attract foreign investment into these industries to increase efficiency and stimulate new discoveries. For the oil industry, however, theft and violence create a huge potential cost for would-be investors.
Gao Dekang grew Bosideng from a small factory with eleven workers to a global apparel powerhouse and the largest maker of down coats in China. As a manufacturer, Bosideng makes coats for many well known brands, including Adidas, North Face, and Columbia Sportswear. Domestically in China, Bosideng has a strong brand, but it has had difficulty taking its brand global.
China's disproportionately small sports industry and amateur community reflect decades of limited government support and insufficient disposable incomes. Alibaba's tiny sports arm is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to nurture China's interest in sports and related merchandise.
Disposal of needles used in the medical field are a concern for both society and risk-control managers involved in the waste-management field. Sterilis, a small startup firm located in Massachusetts, has created a unit that is said to save $1,000 per month in disposal costs.
It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud. This time, it's the auto industry and not mortgages. Investors love the high-yield asset-backed securities composed from these loans, but some are starting to question whether the yield premium is worth the substantial and increasing risk.
As it increases wages, cuts prices, and moves to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart is looking for efficiencies wherever it can find them. By stepping up the pressure on suppliers to make nearly perfect deliveries, Wal-Mart expects to both increase revenue and lower costs.
Carlos Ghosn has assembled an alliance of auto manufacturers that has a global reach. He successfully turned around the struggling French auto company Renault, and later was successful with Nissan. The alliance now includes Mitsubishi, AvtoVaz, and Dongfeng.
As chairman and CEO of a global alliance of auto companies, Carlos Ghosn has had success with helping struggling companies become more profitable. He believes in cutting marginal operations so that he can invest in the more profitable ones and help them thrive. He is an advocate of globalization.
Many employers have encouraged and supported the development of workplace affinity groups. Now Deloitte has decided to eliminate workplace affinity groups and try to focus more on inclusion and working together on diversity issues.
Forster Rohner AG produces fine textiles and lace in factories in Switzerland, Romania, and China. The factory in Switzerland is highly automated, while also employing highly skilled workers who prepare very detailed work by hand. In addition to its 250 Swiss employees, the company employs another 640 at factories in Romania and China, where lower priced goods are produced.
Common Courtesy helped design Uber Central and has inspired dozens of copycats. Retired couple Anne and Bob Carr and like-minded small businesses have made Uber and Lyft more senior-friendly.
Advances in big data at Zillow Group Inc. and elsewhere are helping automation creep into knowledge-based professions. Freddie Mac, a big force in the U.S. mortgage market, is allowing some loans to go through without an appraisal by a human being.
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs' second longest serving CEO, survived the financial crisis and then cancer. His recent decision to stay on as CEO has led to questions from investors and analysts about whether he can rejuvenate a business that has struggled to show revenue growth for the past five years and where trading market share has stayed flat as rivals gained ground.
It would appear that simply the inclusion of the word "Russia" sparks fears of espionage and fears of collusion to destroy the United States. To ramp that up even more, include cybersecurity in the discussion.
Lloyd Blankfein has been chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs for more than eleven years and seen the company through the financial crisis of the last decade. He also just went through a medical crisis of his own, completing 600 hours of chemotherapy to treat lymphoma. He recently opened a Twitter account and used his first tweet to criticize President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. He is positioning Goldman Sachs to profit from an improving worldwide economy.
The past decade has seen a significant buildup of mobile phone networks across Africa, with countries auctioning spectrum to multinational bidders that hoped to cash in on the projected growth of subscribers on the continent. The costs involved, along with new regulatory hurdles, have caused some multinational telecom firms to scale back on their investments. One new wrinkle is requiring mobile phone operators to at least partially list their shares on local exchanges and make stock ownership available to local investors.
Insulin prices have soared 270 percent in the past 10 years. Intermediaries that negotiate to lower prices may cause them to increase, too. Courts are being asked to rule on the role of pharmacy benefit managers in that inflation.
The Indian government invalidated some denominations of the rupee almost overnight, to curtail the shadow economy, giving a sharp boost to digital payments. However Indians have used cash for about 98 percent of consumer payments. There is a huge trust deficit toward mobile phone apps and cards for digital transactions.
Fortresses of calm three months ago, low-vol's newly minted members are behaving badly. Several large factor ETFs that are billed for their low volatility have recently been cauldrons of turbulence after a three-week span in which computer and Internet stocks went from being the market’s best to its worst performers.
Large factories require large volume to run efficiently. As the American market has shifted from sedans to SUVs and trucks, Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to spend $1.3 billion to transform its huge Camry plant in Kentucky to one that can produce 11 different vehicles and shift quickly among them.
Vocational education is no longer a focus of the U.S. educational system, and most U.S. high school students start college. With rising college debt and many blue-collar jobs going unfilled, other paths are now getting more attention. 84 Lumber is one of the companies bringing attention to high-paying blue-collar job opportunities through high profile ads and training programs.
"There is an app for that" has become a favorite phrase in our society. In many ways, it has addressed the way we seek to address our health care needs. While not an app, this evaluative mechanism uses technology to skip a step typically performed by dermatologists. The software is designed to evaluate the users skin for signs of skin cancer, allowing the person the advantages of early and accurate detection so that the doctor can focus on treatment.
The U.S. government has been blocking the sale of several semiconductor firms to companies that are affiliated with the Chinese government. The concern is that the U.S. government does not want the Chinese government to have access to and future control over technology being developed at these companies. It is unclear, however, whether blocking these particular deals will have much impact on the future growth and success of the Chinese semiconductor industry.
Nokia has a long history, dating from before the establishment of Finland as a country, and has run a variety of different businesses over its existence. It became known internationally as a pioneer in mobile phones, and for several years was the world's leading producer of mobile phones. While Nokia sold the phone handset business to Microsoft after it experienced a significant drop in marketshare, it is still a major global competitor in providing networking equipment and telecommunications infrastructure to mobile phone service providers (e.g., Verizon, Orange, AT&T, Vodaphone) across the globe.
There is an indisputable gender pay gap in the United States, but the source of this pay gap and what could or should be done about it remain open questions. Personal decisions may explain some of the observed pay differences, but companies that have examined their compensation have found inequities that can’t be explained this way. Some companies have been working to address this issue for decades, while other companies are resisting calls to simply provide data.
As politicians and countries maneuver to keep steel mills and other factories at home, the companies are maneuvering to maintain their competitiveness through automation. Voestalpine AG’s fully automated steel wire plant has only 14 jobs, but they are “really attractive.”
As Myanmar's government is transitioning, it clearly sees the opportunity for tourism development, and it has strongly encouraged it by creating some of the necessary infrastructural components. Unfortunately, the tourism sector has yet to kick in, and this is causing some consternation.
Media companies are getting sick of Facebook. News outlets are complaining about Facebook's terms for TV-quality videos meant to compete with YouTube.
The No. 2 U.S. discounter, Target, faces a revitalized Whole Foods, backed by a deep-pocketed parent-to-be. Retailers are adding groceries to their mix because they keep customers coming back. But Target gets only 20 percent of sales from food, while Wal-Mart gets 56 percent.
For the past several decades, labor-intensive manufacturing of textiles and clothing has shifted from higher wage countries to lower wage countries, and in the process helped bring jobs and economic growth to increasingly poorer countries. With advances in technology and automation, however, that regular shift to the next country with lower pay levels may be coming to an end.
A ten-person shoemaking startup in Maine is trying to keep the craft of hand-sewn footwear profitable in the era of globalization.
Apple is making old iPhones new again to win India. Old-gen models like the 5S make up more than half of Apple’s shipments to the subcontinent.
A Russian software billionaire takes on SAP and Oracle. Boris Nuraliev has built a fortune with enterprise software tailored to Russian needs. He uses a franchise model in which partners are licensed to install its software and adapt it to the needs of each particular business.
Twenty-five years ago, U.S. chipmakers vowed to stop using chemicals that caused miscarriages and birth defects. And they did—by outsourcing the danger to women in Asia.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a series of studies in the United States showed that workers at semiconductor manufacturing facilities had abnormally high rates of miscarriages. The US industry responded by trying to eliminate many of the most noxious chemicals, improve working conditions, and shifting semiconductor manufacturing to other countries. More recently, the handling of highly toxic chemicals in semiconductor plants has also been associated with a number of other health problems, including cancer, infertility, and birth defects in the children of male workers.
An attorney is bound to zealously represent you; a doctor pledges to do no harm. So why aren’t financial advisers subject to the same duty? The new Fiduciary Rule would have required financial advisers to put clients first when handling retirement accounts, but the Trump administration may be getting ready to gut it.
The aligning of corporate culture with the vision and mission of the organization has always been assumed to be a strong antecedent to higher levels of performance. With companies such as Badoo, a dating site popular in Russia and Latin America, the human resource practices used to attract and retain personnel have flown in the face of current acceptable practices. Parties that include risqué activities have become legendary in its corporate offices in London. This troubles some, but obviously attracts the talent that Andrey Andreev, its founder, perceives to create the environment conducive to growing his profitable business.
Corruption and bribery may be more common than not in the Brazilian construction industry, but for Odebrecht SA it grew over decades to a scale that ultimately proved unsustainable. In exchange for shorter sentences, Odebrecht principals are providing details of their transactions and the systems they devised to support bribery activities. This in turn, is revealing the roles banks and others played, both inside of Brazil and in other countries.
There is a secret way Silicon Valley uses the H-1B program. Indian companies are applying for a lot of visas for workers to fill jobs at the headquarters of American tech companies.
Real estate companies are using cloud computing to save time and money when buying and selling homes. Agents are spending less time scheduling and more time selling. Innovative ideas and processes using cloud computing are enhancing real estate sales and marketing.
An obsession with building factories that make "things" that could be more efficiently produced in other countries could be counter-productive to improving the economic health of working-class Americans. The highest paying jobs, and the most valued added, come from the early stages or product design and development, and the latter stages of customer service and support. Policies that would encourage companies to invest in low-margin manufacturing operations, rather than other activities, could hurt their overall competitiveness and lead to prices increases for U.S. consumers.
There are changes and challenges in the $110-billion outsourcing business at the heart of India's economy. This is said to be primarily due to automation and changes in the U.S. immigration policy.
An Indian blockbuster, "Baahubali 2," had box-office revenues of more than $230 million in three weeks. This could spark more films outside the Bollywood mold. India produces 1,500 to 2,000 films a year and generated about $2.2 billion in 2016. It has about six screens per million viewers, versus 23 per million in China and 126 per million in the U.S.
ETFs that focus on trending themes or factors, such as being "biblically responsible," are exploding in popularity and creating a gold rush for their creators. The author of this article created a smart beta ETF with stocks of companies with names that have "CAT" in them, which rang up an 849,751 percent return based on past prices. She then found out why that wouldn't make her rich.
What goes up must come down. We are all aware of the old adage, and it has sparked concern for people as we launch more and more items into space that remain in close orbit. Now, the desirable orbits have become more cluttered, and the risk to very expensive new technology launched into orbit is becoming an issue. Technology is now addressing this as innovators have begun to invent cleanup satellites to remove space junk.
Norway has high taxes on most cars, easily doubling the price of a new car. And even though the country is rich with oil, the price at the pump is around $7 a gallon. Electricity, however, is relatively inexpensive, and electric vehicles are exempt from most tolls. With these sorts of governmental policies, it is not surprising that Norway has the highest per-capita adoption of electric vehicles.
Like many high-profile companies, Caterpillar structured international transactions to reduce its U.S. taxable income. One of the company's tax accountants reported this under whistleblower statutes. Now, Caterpillar faces a $2 billion IRS bill in back taxes, and the accountant may collect hundreds of millions of dollars in the biggest whistleblower award ever. The series of events leading up to the ongoing investigation highlight issues related to the connections among business ethics, organizational culture, leadership, and human resource management.
Caterpillar has been a symbol of U.S. manufacturing worldwide, with its equipment in use in probably every country. The company is also known for its ability to deliver parts to repair the equipment, wherever it is being used. Where the profits on those parts should be booked, and taxes paid, however, is now under scrutiny.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has prioritized information in amnesty deals, and this is empowering IRS efforts to shut down tax evasion achieved by hiding money in offshore accounts. Both U.S. taxpayers and Swiss banks have avoided prosecution by providing records and other information related to tax evasion. Using this data, the IRS is now tracking down taxpayers who use foreign bank accounts to evade taxes as well as the companies and advisors who facilitate these efforts.
Short interest has risen to a record level even though stocks continue to post record gains. Bears are concerned that any mishap from President Donald Trump could wreak havoc in a market where valuations are at levels not seen since the dot-com era.
The basic concept of Uber is now spreading into other transportation arenas as well. A new California-based startup, Blackbird Air Inc., is providing a ride-sharing app for short-distance air travel. The app matches travelers that are time constrained with flights originating from general aviation airfields. These passengers would otherwise tie up valuable time using commercial air travel or driving to their destination. The price is significantly lower than chartering a flight.
A startup in San Francisco, Blackbird Air Inc., is trying to connect more planes with passengers through its Uber-style on-demand app, at much lower prices than the $5,000 a traditional charter might cost. Blackbird’s online marketplace offers seats on small planes for much less than typical charter prices.
Virtual reality is not a hit at home, so Imax tries arcades. Imax is piloting VR centers, since the cost of equipment has been a drag on consumers’ embrace of virtual reality. Tech and entertainment companies are racing for a slice of the virtual reality business, which Goldman estimates could generate $80 billion in revenue by 2025.
Concerns over food safety and contamination have led many Chinese consumers to prefer Western brands. In order to help bolster their reputation and move up-market into premium brands, large Chinese food conglomerates have purchased Western food companies. One of the largest deals was the almost $7 billion WH Group paid for U.S.-based Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork processor.
General Motors is posting record profits even as its major rivals are moving to lower investors' expectations. CEO Mary Barra's heavy focus on profitability, and operating margins in particular, has led her to scale back or entirely abandon investments in emerging markets like India and Russia, although those markets represent many millions of annual vehicle sales. She says that GM won't win by being all things to all people everywhere.
Mary Barra may be leading GM away from its past as she focuses on a profitable future. GM is leaving some markets to focus on high profit margins and investments that will position it for a period of rapid change in the auto industry. In addition to changing the company's strategy, this focus is also changing elements of GM's culture.
Flexe Inc., a four-year-old startup, has attained a competitive position against the powerful Amazon.com juggernaut based upon an expanded network of warehousing space created by strategic alliances that take advantage of seasonal supply-and-demand mismatches. It's a solid strategy because Flexe has already attained 25 percent of Amazon's warehouse capacity and has plans to add 10 million square feet within the year. The company's business model is not to become the face of its clients but to become a conduit for efficiently delivering vendors' products to their end customers relative to Amazon's model.
Chinese manufacturing and industrial companies, looking for growth opportunities but facing slower growth in China, are looking at foreign opportunities. One example is the recent purchase of Slovenian app maker Outfit7 by Zhejiang Jinke Peroxide Co. for $1 billion. With clearly no operational synergies, this is simply an example of foreign direct investment for financial reasons.
Google's Waze is doing more than just traffic maps. Now it's trying its hand at carpooling.
Etihad Airway's strategy of building a global network by purchasing interests in financially struggling regional carriers helped the company quickly build a presence in the global airline industry. Some of the airlines in which it invested, however, including Alitalia and Air Berlin, continue to lose money and have weak competitive positions. The architect of this strategy, CEO James Hogan, is now on his way out as Etihad reviews its strategy.
There is now more to Snapchat: advertising.
An Iranian immigrant in Silicon Valley is challenging the $500 million behemoths and touting night shots that pierce cloud cover. Spy-quality satellite imaging for cheap.
Strong demand from students has many business schools, including a number of top ones, offering entrepreneurship-focused MBA programs. But few MBA graduates start businesses, and recruiters may be less interested in such students.
Russians have loaded up on Cyprus’s citizenship program that attracted $4.4 billion in foreign investment last year. Cypriot citizenship helps them avoid the prying eyes of their government and pay lower taxes, and may make it easier to move money, because banks see them as benign locals, rather than potentially suspicious foreigners. One Russian got citizenship after buying two Limassol villas.
Current technologies allow people to remotely access cameras in their home, or at work, to see if anyone enters and ascertain what they are doing. This is useful, but many times, the alert is triggered by people who are supposed to be there, and it is more bothersome than useful. Using 3D sensors and facial recognition software, Lighthouse, a startup, is improving the efficiency of these cameras by only bringing the exceptions to the user's mobile device.
The automotive industry faces potentially disruptive change, including the introduction of self-driving cars. In response, U.S. automakers are making acquisitions and trying to reinvent their work cultures to attract talent. Nevertheless, Detroit may remain a tough sell for young computer and software engineers.
A whistleblower who helped bring Rothenberg Ventures under SEC investigation still faces costs.
Comac, or Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., is planning to compete with Boeing and Airbus in the aircraft industry. Comac's model C919 took its first flight last week from Shanghai. The Chinese domestic market for aircraft of this size, a single-aisle model that can carry 158-174 passengers, is expected to be more than 5,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
While Google co-founder Larry Page garners the headlines with flying cars, Sergey Brin, his partner at Google is quietly pursuing a flight oriented business as well. Though using an older technology, it may end up being more readily profitable for him. Airships, sometimes referred to as blimps, have been developed and used for over a century, but Brin sees the opportunity to transport freight more efficiently now that the technologies have become more defined.
Rather than sharing in a windfall when Juno was acquired, drivers who held unvested shares in the new ride-hailing company were informed that the stock plan was void. Some of these drivers had left Uber because of the chance to own an equity interest as well as Juno's promise to treat drivers with respect and fairness. Less than a year later, the company that promised to treat drivers better than Uber seems to have broken that promise.
The role of unions in Mexican factories is a bit different from the standard procedure in the United States. Before a factory even opens, a contract is signed between a local labor union that will represent workers and the factory's owner. Dues are paid by the factory, and many workers are not even aware they are members of the union.
Purdue University has teamed up with the for-profit Kaplan higher-education chain to sell online degrees. It is a way for for-profit colleges to shed a tarnished label and still stay in business. It helps public universities expand their reach with online degrees targeting older Americans—many of them minorities—who are unable to attend traditional schools.
The hacking tools released by Shadow Brokers may have infected more than 400,000 computers and could be tough to erase. The group’s NSA-quality malware release isn’t just another hack.
Secondary stock offerings since the 2016 U.S. presidential election are up 79 percent from a year earlier. Small-cap stocks have dominated that market. Higher post-election valuations based on hopes for deregulation and tax reform are also fueling M&A activity for smaller companies.
3-D printing has been a topic of conversation and application for over a decade now, but making prototypes of products and even finished products for consumer use has been the focus. Now materials are being developed that allow for healthcare applications including bone and cartilage materials tailor-made for the patient and even the very real possibility of creating organic tissues for such problems as chronic liver failure.
China is fast becoming one of the larger markets for workplace automation. This has led to the development of a large number of Chinese companies in the robotics and automation industries, though many currently just assemble components designed and manufactured by leading German, American, and Japanese robotics companies. But in the process, these companies and Chinese central planners are working to create a competitive robotics industry in China.
Diversity and promotion of minorities at Rockwell Automation's has improved as a result of actions designed to change the attitudes of its largely white, male staff. Employees take training programs that encourage them to better see the world, and the company, through the eyes of minority employees. Employees are sensitized to recognize attitudes and behaviors that cause minorities to feel unwelcome.
Market leader BlackRock Inc. sells cheap and expensive funds at the same time. Catering to both advisers and big traders spurs record inflows.
Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey’s new book, The Whole Foods Diet, furthers his mission to improve people’s health through diet. But investors are concerned about a lack of action to reverse a sales slump and falling stock price.
Whole Foods Market was long the darling of the ecologically sensitive investors in that they tapped into a solid market that had a loyal and growing client base and high profit margins. As many mass retailers began to move into the grocery sector and also the organic/ecologically advantaged products market, they began to first thwart the growth of Whole Foods Market, but now there are also concerns of reducing sales and profits.
Six straight quarters of declining same-store sales have forced Whole Foods Market, which has about 440 U.S. stores, to close stores and rein in costs. It has been pushing digital coupons and promotions while working to lower costs.
The narrow victory on April 16, 2017’s referendum vote for expanding the powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey will not likely fix the ailing economy or reduce terrorism. Erdogan might take the victory as a mandate to reject European values and become increasingly inward-looking.
Manufacturing of dentures and dental implants has become more automated and is increasingly done in low-wage locations. A combination of the use of digital technology, consolidation among dentists, and lower costs overseas has contributed to a shift in production of dental fixtures. U.S. manufacturers that have remained competitive have shed jobs by investing in automation.
In eight months, cyber-security startup Tanium Inc. has lost at least nine senior executives. This executive exodus is occurring despite the company’s ongoing success and growth. The CEO’s behavior may be the explanation.
China is the world's largest auto market, and most cars are sold under a foreign brand name. This is a result of China's policy of requiring foreign car makers to work with a joint venture partner, and in the process transfer some technology and manufacturing expertise. As the Chinese government considers dropping this restriction, it could hurt local manufacturers who have come to depend on the profit streams from foreign-branded vehicles.
In order to price its new cure for a rare form of child blindness, Spark Therapeutics Inc. is trying to determine how much people are willing to pay for sight. Insurers are trying to figure out how to pay for such "miracle" cures.
A clot-retrieving stent can dramatically reduce long-term healthcare costs and enhance the quality of life for people who have had strokes, yet it is only extensively used in roughly 150 stroke centers in the United States. While initial cost for installation of the stent is about $17,000 more than that of traditional treatment methods, its outcome is better, and the long-term savings could be about $23,000.
New technologies are making the possibility of "miracle" drug treatments a reality. One-time drug treatments can now cure conditions that previously required ongoing lifetime drug treatment regimens. Wonderful for patients, these treatments create pricing and payment challenges that will require different financial approaches and a balance between corporate interests and social responsibility.
Encrypted messaging apps are raising risk of widespread abuse. Employees at big banks share gossip, client data, and more. Investment banks regularly monitor only certain trading-floor lines, and at least until 2018, financial firms generally aren't required to record employees' calls.
Spark Therapeutics Inc. has spent about $400 million developing a blindness cure. What's unclear is how to price the breakthrough.
Encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal are raising concerns about widespread abuse by traders at big banks. The apps are an easy and virtually untraceable way to circumvent compliance, get around the HR police and keep bosses in the dark. A deeper concern is that the apps could enable reckless and illegal behavior that's all but impossible to police.
Munchery Inc., a food delivery startup, has blown through $120 million over the past 7 years and needs further investment of around $15 million to shore up its position. In order to accomplish this recapitalization, they are having to reduce the stake of early investors and create convertible debt to entice reinvestments or new investments.
Amazon’s goal is to become a Top 5 grocery retailer by 2025. This would require more than $30 billion in annual food and beverage spending through its sites, up from $8.7 billion—including Amazon Fresh and all other food and drink sales—in 2016.
Artificial intelligence researchers are training their systems to master steadily more complex fantasy worlds. The holy grail is solving not one game but any game with multiple players and imperfect information, as in the real world.
Losing a key employee can create challenges for any business. For small businesses, it can be devastating. While this risk cannot be eliminated, it can be managed.
In early 2016, Carrier announced it would be closing a furnace factory in Indiana and shifting production to Mexico. In a mature manufacturing industry that requires minimal skilled labor, the two primary ways to reduce operating costs are to increase automation and/or lower wage costs. One approach to lowering wage costs is to shift production to lower wage locations. In Carrier's case and in the words of its CEO, the timing happened to coincide with the "silly political season" that was short on "adult supervision." The Indiana plant, however, will for now remain open.
Artificial intelligence is being used for gaming. Can the results help solve real world problems?
A major hiccup occurred for Uber last week. A photo of the damage from an incident in Arizona involving their self-driving vehicle was posted to Twitter. The company verified the photo, but no further discussion was offered.
Beginning in the 1990s, Alabama used tax breaks and other incentives to attract foreign auto manufacturers to the state. As multiple auto companies built factories in Alabama, auto-parts makers followed. Questions about safety violations and working conditions at these auto parts factories raise questions about potential costs associated with Alabama's manufacturing renaissance.
Brazil's JBS SA is the world's largest meat producer and is preparing to raise additional funds via bond sales and a partial stock listing. JBS has grown through a series of acquisitions, spending $20 billion in the past decade. Recent investigations into the bribing of Brazilian meat inspectors to overlook food safety violations are now spooking foreign customers and threatening to derail JBS's stock offering.
Uber is not winning any public relations awards these days nor is its CEO, Travis Kalanick, known for people skills. The legal battle between Uber and Google over driverless technology reveals a lot about both companies, including leadership issues, corporate culture, and business ethics.
KentuckianaWorks trains young adults and displaced blue-collar workers with sought-after advanced manufacturing skills. Its success illustrates the relationship between human resource management, education, and training. It also illustrates the shared needs of workers, employers, and society.
Google and Uber, both seen as exemplary entrepreneurial success stories, are now embroiled in a battle to become the dominant design in the driverless car technology field. The stakes are high in this market, projected by both companies to be in the hundreds of billions, or even the trillion, dollar range. The two are dealing with failures and limited success, but they have too much invested to quit now.
Small firms are using EBay to reach markets across borders. In Europe, sellers can now sign up to have items listed in multiple countries and have the descriptions translated into local languages. For EBay, more than half the company's revenue now comes from international markets.
The online grocery delivery startup, Instacart Inc., is looking to pinch pennies, starting with bottle deposit fees. It's working to increase ad revenue as it tries to prove it’s the exception in a field of delivery-app failures.
Users of a new type of glucose meter scanned themselves as many as forty-five times a day. Diabetics using a new meter took readings more frequently — about sixteen times a day — and did better at lowering glucose levels.
Retailers in several areas of India have decided to pull Coke and Pepsi products from their shelves. Behind this boycott is a combination of nationalism, support for small farmers who need water for irrigation, and concern over water quality and shortages. Coke and Pepsi are perceived as "foreign" firms that are making money off from a valuable national natural resource: water.
After pulling Chevrolet out of Europe in 2013, prospects for General Motors there have not improved. Now GM has agreed to pay French automaker PSA Group to take Opel and Vauxhall Motors as it exits Europe.
With an initial list of around 50,000, market researcher Quid used an algorithm including prior leadership team experience, time between rounds of financing, education of founding team members, and more subjective issues such as attractiveness of industry.
Google brought its high-speed internet to Kansas City, but it did not turn the city into a tech paradise. Google overestimated Fiber's impact, and its expansion plans deflated.
Purple drank, a concoction of soda and promethazine codeine cough syrup that is used as a recreational drug, was popularized by hip-hop artists. The pharmaceutical companies that make the cough syrup may be profiting from the recreational use of their products. Could these companies take more deliberate steps to curtail the illegal use of their products?
Foreign dairy companies have found it difficult to enter the Chinese consumer market with milk, butter, cheese, and other dairy products. The food-service industry, however, which supplies restaurants and cafeterias, appears to be easier to enter while having lower margins. In order to encourage Chinese chefs to use more dairy products in their cooking, foreign dairy companies are holding workshops and investing in training kitchens to help introduce dairy products to Chinese chefs.
Uber was a pioneer in the development of the modern sharing economy. In recent months, however, it seems to be facing both legal and public relations challenges. This spate of incidents is putting Uber's leadership, corporate culture, and business practices under a spotlight.
Snap Inc. has been acquiring the limited supply of commercial and residential real estate and parking for its headquarters in Venice, CA. A disappearing bee colony becomes a symbol for the IPO-fueled growth locals fear will swamp the quirky Los Angeles neighborhood the startup calls home.
In building a travel advertising and marketing business, the traditional hotel photo shoot is a thing of the past. Beautiful Destinations has been averaging 5 million views per Story since Instagram rolled out the Snapchat-like feature in August.
Large family-dominated conglomerates, called chaebol, have significant influence in Korean business. The nine largest companies in South Korea are responsible for 75 percent of the country's gross domestic product and have significant influence over government policies. A bribery investigation that implicates both the country's president and the leader of Samsung has led to renewed calls for reform of these highly successful conglomerates.
5G will be great for streaming video but will also enable a new world of connected cars, drones, and robots. The future cellular networks will generate $3.5 trillion in economic output.
Nuclear power looked like a promising business when Toshiba acquired Westinghouse Electric in 2006. Now cost overruns and delays at the only nuclear plants under construction in the United States since 1979 will cripple, if not bankrupt, the once formidable industrial conglomerate.
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) depends on Congress for funding; as a result, the regulator is chronically short of resources it needs to enforce regulations related to derivatives and other complex financial instruments. While the CFTC collects mountains of data, the agency can't afford the technology resources needed to analyze it. Nevertheless, the CFTC has taken some notable enforcement actions and is working with private analytics companies to spot illegal trading maneuvers and enhance enforcement.
The U.S. agriculture industry depends heavily on exports, with more than half of U.S. wheat, rice, cotton, and soybean production traded overseas. Uncertainty over Trump’s farm policy, along with his administration’s clear signals to scuttle multilateral trade agreements, could be good news for farmers in Russia, Brazil, and Ukraine. With Trump pulling out of the Trans Pacific Partnership on trade, which was backed by farmers, countries that remain in the partnership may have preferential access to important markets.
Using a tiny camera at the end of an elongated needle, the Mi-eye2, the only product of Trice Medical, can enter into an injured joint and provide superior visual information about the type and extent of the injury. This allows the proper type of treatment to be determined without the degree of risk of orthoscopic units as well as the superior imaging than MRIs can provide.
Warren Buffett convinced many investors that the market can be beaten, but he’s a big fan of index funds. Awkward. He picks a bone with stockpickers.
Data mining by traditional brick-and-mortar fashion retailers is not a new thing, but third party data tracking in the internet era is creating advantageous data that can lead to better targeting. Le Tote, a fashion rental service that uses products from such traditional retailers as the French Connection, collects data on the level of satisfaction of their customers (who pay a fee for their service) and now partners with the retailers to help meet the needs of consumers in a tailor-made way.
Slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants are not the most enjoyable places to work, and while the pay typically exceeds minimum wage, employers have a hard time attracting and keeping employees. In order to keep operations running and meat prices at levels customers have come to expect, plants have increasingly turned to immigrant and/or refugee labor. With the recently announced travel and refugee ban, many workers that had hoped to build a life in America and bring their families to join them, now wonder if they can ever achieve the American Dream, and meat processing plants wonder if they will be able to find enough workers to fill the jobs.
The U.S. and Chinese film industries have become increasingly interdependent, with big U.S. studios counting on Chinese financing and ticket sales. Last year the Chinese market generated 19 percent of global box office sales and had higher revenues than U.S. theaters for some films. In addition, Chinese firms have made major investments in U.S. movie theaters and film studios.
Consumers have been frustrated with slow Wi-Fi issues, particularly in the home. With gaming, appliances, and information-oriented products vying for access, it has been a frustrating constraint for service providers such as Comcast. Innovative new firms have begun to incrementally improve this environment and seem to be establishing a great deal of value by doing so.
Kevin Turner spent 11 years as Microsoft's chief operating officer, but he only lasted seven months as chief executive officer at Citadel Securities. Although Turner had a track record of success in both retail and technology companies, his experience at Citadel illustrates that there is not a one-size-fits-all leadership style that guarantees success in any context.
This year, tax reform could give U.S. companies access to hundreds of billions of dollars they have stashed overseas. But uncertainty about if or when any tax reform will take effect, and what the reforms will be, means that borrowing is still the best bet for many companies.
President Donald Trump's executive order draft discusses overhauling work-visa programs. The Trump administration has drafted an executive order that would limit tech hiring of foreign workers. These reforms could impact how tech companies recruit employees.
Ex-employees of JPMorgan describe the push to sell the bank's own products to rich clients. A review of company filings and transcripts of investor calls indicates that JPMorgan has been the only big bank to break out revenue figures tied to cross-selling. JPMorgan says that its in-house options serve both bank and client.
The political relationships between countries in the Middle East are complicated, with history, religion, and territorial disputes causing many impediments to cooperation. While Israeli diplomats may have difficulty working with counterparts from Arab countries, that doesn't keep Israeli businesses from doing business with Arab governments. The logistics of keeping these business relationships obscured, however, can be challenging.
The manufacturing of sneakers has been a labor-intensive process, and thus, much of the manufacturing has taken place in low-wage nations. With changes in design and new manufacturing techniques, it may be economic to move some production closer to markets. This will reduce shipping costs, while shortening the time to market and making it easier for manufacturers to quickly respond to shifting demand.
Snap’s culture of secrecy may be consistent with the ethos of its original Snapchat app and its CEO’s leadership style, but it may not be helping the company's IPO plans. Snap’s upcoming IPO is testing this culture. If Snap remains unwilling to provide information about its vision and strategy, it runs the risk that investors may shy away from the IPO.
Navient's student loan advice may have left borrowers confused — and poorer. Recently filed government lawsuits allege that, in an attempt to minimize its costs, Navient put some distressed borrowers in more debt by steering them into plans that put off payments and ballooned their balances and interest costs instead of recommending income-based repayment programs that are more expensive to administer. Regulators estimate that households’ debt burden may have been inflated by billions of dollars.
Seemingly motivated by Donald Trump’s public vows to punish companies that send jobs overseas, IBM’s CEO has pledged to hire 25,000 U.S. workers in coming years. IBM’s actions, including multiple rounds of U.S. firings in 2016, raise questions about just how genuine the company’s pledge is. Despite becoming more savvy in the way it conducts its U.S. workforce reductions, IBM continues to fire U.S. employees and replace many with overseas workers.
Airbnb and Uber are two relatively young companies that have had to overcome strong institutional barriers to entry but have managed to do so by garnering support from their customers and their partners to establish a strong position in their respective markets. What crucial battles were necessary for their founders to win and realize their dreams?
While IBM talks about Trump-pleasing hiring plans, it's firing thousands. IBM pledged to hire 25,000 workers over four years, but it's continuing to fire American workers and move their jobs abroad. It wasn't long before employees were accusing the company's CEO of hypocrisy.
The supply chain in the automotive industry is incredibly complex, with parts coming together into subassemblies and then joined with other subassemblies before being assembled into final vehicles. Under NAFTA, regardless of the North American country where final assembly takes place, most vehicles are made from parts manufactured or assembled in the other two countries and other countries worldwide. Simple-minded ideas such as imposing a tax on imports from Mexico sounds like a way of shifting manufacturing to the United States but may result in fewer U.S. manufacturing jobs if auto manufacturers shift production outside NAFTA to lower prices for consumers.
Celebration of Trump’s victory by pharmaceutical executives turned to fear when he suggested they should bid for the government’s business as well as bring manufacturing back to the U.S. But Trump will have to overcome the powerful pharmaceutical lobby to get such measures through the Republican Congress.
In recent years, there has been no shortage of scandals in the banking industry. Deutsche Bank has been implicated in a number of the scandals involving tax evasion, mortgage securities, and even manipulation of LIBOR. Perhaps the biggest scandal, though, was Deutsche Bank’s involvement in investment banking, the evolution of its culture, and the details of another scandalous transaction designed to obfuscate a client’s losses.
There has remained an industry of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras whose sole purpose is high resolution photography. While mobile devices such as phones have improved their resolution, there were barriers in place that kept them from attaining parity with the DSLR format. Rajiv Laroia, a cofounder of Light, has developed a method by which the barrier has been drastically altered and the quality of photos taken with a phone sized unit can closer approximate the performance of stand alone cameras.
Challenged to publicly disclose the percentage of female software engineers, many technology companies disclosed their decidedly lopsided diversity statistics and established public diversity goals. While some have made progress, meeting these goals is proving challenging. Nevertheless, disclosure and pressure to meet public goals may be making a difference in motivating change
Analytics startups help manage companies’ server needs. About 1 in 5 businesses that rent computing capacity through the cloud now use specialized software to keep better tabs on costs. Companies such as Cloudability, CloudHealth, Cloudyn and Cloud Cruiser do face two serious risks.
Mark Zuckerberg’s image in the digital domain needs to be controlled. There are more than a dozen Facebook employees writing Mark Zuckerberg’s posts or scouring the comments for spammers and trolls.
Brazil is an important market in the worldwide beer industry, and this is the season for summertime beer ads. Compared to other years, however, the ads are a little more tame and less sexy. While this may be partly related to changing advertising norms, it also reflects the increasing importance of women as customers.
A falling unemployment rate is contributing to rising wages for workers at fast-food restaurants and discount stores. Many fast-food restaurants are finding that they need to work harder to keep employees, including paying higher wages and providing better benefits. Some managers are also finding that it is more important to pay attention to employees, including knowing their names and making them feel valued and important.
The on-demand economy is changing consumer behaviors and business models. It is also creating challenges for classifying workers as employees versus independent contractors. Uber and other well-known enterprises continue to grapple with this issue, but Handy, a less well-known startup, is proposing legislation that could create a compromise offering workers limited benefits without full employee rights.
It is difficult for ex-convicts to get solid jobs after they have served their time. Defy Ventures, a nonprofit started by Catherine Hoke, believes that one way for them to find jobs is to start their own company. Using money and expertise from some of the largest tech-industry experts, Defy Ventures provides training while the inmates are finishing up their sentences. Their ideas are then considered for funding, and thus far, more than 150 have received support for their startups. Most importantly, their recidivism rate is 3 percent. This is dramatically lower than the normal rates.
Fintech upstart Paytm is leveraging an anti-corruption campaign to establish itself as India's dominant digital payments player. It wants to be India's first $100 billion company by value.
Interestingly, a strong long-term mutual fund performance record is not enough to hold on to investors. A long-term shift from active to passive funds affects even managers with outstanding records.
Netflix has been gradually building a subscriber base in Central and South America. A key step in attracting customers to its subscription video service was to help develop the infrastructure that facilitated high-speed streaming. Netflix has also developed original content specifically for South American consumers.
A drone to stifle other drones by capturing them in a net. How much of a market is there, and how long will it last?
Emirates has grown from a two-plane operation to being the world's largest long-haul airline. Using the natural location advantage of Dubai as a hub, the airline can efficiently serve many routes between South Asia, Africa, and Europe. Its continued growth, however, may be limited by both demand conditions and concerns over unfair advantages it receives as a result of government ownership.
Emirates Airline has a corporate culture and human resource management policies that reflect the government that owns it. With the support of Dubai's government, Emirates carefully controls employees and many dimensions of the enterprise. Aggressive expansion has made Emirates Airline the world's largest long-haul carrier, but some question the sustainability of the company, its business strategy, and the multilateral world without borders philosophy that underpins the company.
The Chinese auto industry has been growing steadily for 26 years, with foreign luxury brands such as Audi doing very well. The market is shifting, however, as other luxury brands such as Mercedes are experiencing faster growth. Meanwhile, there is also pressure for more fuel-efficient, electric, and hybrid vehicles. Thus, Audi dealers are finding it hard to make a profit, while Audi seeks out additional sales channels to spur growth.
Private equity firms snapped up homes after the real estate bust. Wall Street, America's new landlord, kicks tenants to the curb.
Emirates flies the fanciest product on the biggest planes on the longest routes. There might not be much more room to soar. The proliferation of lighter, fuel-efficient jets such as the Boeing 787 are making long-haul routes between smaller cities economical, reducing the role for megahubs and the superconnector model such as Dubai World Central.
Generate Capital, a startup venture fund specializing in green infrastructure projects, has obtained $500 million in investor funds to foster new green technologies and facilitate their adoption into mainstream use. Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison, started Generate Capital with a couple of McKinsey consultants under the notion that the $1 Trillion market would not be a few huge players, but many smaller players that gain market access and proof of design and value.
From her own experience as a high school student, Cindy Mi realized that teachers can have a huge influence, good and bad, on a student's attitude and success. She worked for a time at her uncle's school doing tutoring before starting her own company. Recognizing the desire of Chinese parents to have the best education possible for the child, including English language instruction, and the relatively low pay of teachers in North America, she started a company for online tutoring that pairs Chinese youth with North American teachers.
China has been encouraging companies to “Go Abroad” in recent years and make acquisitions to obtain access to markets, technology, and brand names. In the first 10 months of 2016, Chinese companies spent almost $150 billion on foreign investments. There are now indications that China is starting to tighten capital controls, and scrutinize outward investment more carefully.
China is the world's leading steel exporter, and in the process has driven down worldwide steel prices. The Chinese government is now trying to restructure its domestic steel industry, closing smaller producers. This should help the country reduce air pollution while giving some financial relief to other steel makers.
Storing data on "the cloud" cheaply is an enticing proposition for those with huge storage needs, but security of that data is becoming a focus of attention for IT professionals. A company started in 2007 named Guardtime has begun to sell security software that can detect breaches of data security. They started in Estonia, one of the first countries to place an emphasis on e-government and systems.
With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, more businesses are using phased retirements to bridge a talent gap. Although most arrangements involve individual negotiation, the phased retirement approach is turning out to be a win-win for employers and workers. Businesses are keeping workers with valuable skills who can help train younger workers, and retirees can enjoy a less abrupt transition into retirement.
The global supply chain that brings shrimp and fish to your neighborhood restaurant or grocery store can be very opaque. For centuries, aquaculture has been a part of the Chinese food supply, and the Chinese seafood industry has grown to become one of the largest producers and exporters in the world. Concerns over the use of antibiotics and the safety of the food has raised concerns among Western regulators, causing Chinese firms to use transshipment techniques to avoid certain tariffs and import inspections.
China's state-owned airlines are adding international routes and gaining marketshare from international competitors. Part of the reason behind their success is price-based competition that allows customers to save hundreds of dollars compared to other large international competitors. But the growth is also attributable to an increasing number of Chinese customers who may favor domestic over foreign carriers.
Two tech entrepreneurs have launched a property insurance startup called Lemonade, seeing insurance as a huge industry that's been "unspoiled by innovation." Behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely helped them reimagine what home insurance could be and come up with a business model that changes the incentives on both sides.
Despite a more than $27 billion bid, Actelion Ltd.'s founders want to stay put. "It's not a question of money," says CEO Jean-Paul Clozel. "We have enough money."
Regulatory changes and technological advances have led to major reductions in the number of trading and investment banking jobs; the biggest global firms have shed almost 10,000 of these jobs in the past five years. Experienced brokers and traders have lost their jobs, and many have struggled to find job opportunities in finance. TJM Institutional Services, however, has taken advantage of the flood of talent on the job market and is growing its business by finding a way to monetize the experience of these industry veterans.
Apple Inc. has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to use drones for data collection to improve its Maps service. Apple acquired startup Indoor.io last year to help bring its indoor mapping project to market.
Planeloads of cash seek to turn India's black money white. Winning support for demonetization and implementing it effectively is crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi before key state elections next year and a national poll in 2019.
The European airline industry has been undergoing consolidation, much like that in the United States. And just like in the Unites States, European airlines face stiff competition from low-cost, no-frills carriers. But what remains different is that the large airline groups still operate multiple brands, and with state ownership interests, it is difficult for these airlines to achieve the cost savings of their North American counterparts.
For owners Comcast, Fox, Disney, and Time Warner, the Internet streaming service Hulu has been their beachhead in the increasingly popular world of video streaming. Now Hulu plans to offer live TV to strengthen its position against leaders Netflix and Amazon but may simultaneously continue to erode their owners’ cable TV businesses.
By combining the logic of Peter Thiel's foundation, which eschews formal higher education, with the idea that there are some college students who are potential entrepreneurs and who have an entrepreneurial spirit, Danielle Strachman and Mike Gibson have ventured out with their own venture called the 1517 Fund. With funding from Peter Thiel and other highly successful entrepreneurs, the fund now offers gifts, loans, and access to a network of successful entrepreneurs who hope to regain their investments through connections with entrepreneurs heading up early stage ventures.
A growing list of advertisers have decided to pull advertising from Breitbart's website, arguing that its publication of anti-immigrant, anti-women, and anti-muslim articles is inconsistent with their company values. In response to Kellogg's decision to pull its ads, Breitbart responded by asking its readers to boycott Kellogg's products. But since many companies use advertising agencies and third-party Internet placement firms to distribute their ads, it can be hard for advertisers to control where their ads show up.
Facebook, the Internet’s No. 2 ad business, has a growth problem. The social media company is working with A&E and a streaming startup to tailor more conventional commercials for viewers.
Global personal care product companies such as Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive have started to see their market share in India decline, as local firms offering natural ayurvedic products grab market share. Focusing on all-natural ingredients, and using marketing based on yoga-gurus and an emphasis on balance in life, firms such as Patanjali have continued to gain market share. Patanjali has grown to hold more than 1 percent of India's market, with its principal owner now worth about $2.5 billion. More local competition is entering the market, and the large conglomerates are starting their own lines of ayurvedic products.
Video ads on Facebook are here. The company is testing you.
A unique management formula may be why Inditex’s revenue growth—up 11 percent in the first half of 2016—far outpaces its rivals. The biggest fashion retailer is thriving as rivals falter. It has virtually no ad budget apart from social media marketing.
Chewy, a pet supply store that specializes in creating a superior customer service experience online by sparing no expense, has developed into an $880 million revenue company. Unfortunately, its expenses have exceeded its revenue, but the company has solid financial backing and dreams of becoming even larger.
As competitors struggle, Zara continues to thrive. It's known as a fast-fashion company supported with a supply chain that allows quick turnarounds. Some facets of Zara’s business model may be imitable, but its approach to management, unique decision-making process, and organizational culture may be able to sustain the company's success.
For decades, U.S. companies have addressed sexual harassment in the workplace with corporate policies, awareness programs, and compliance training. Nevertheless, data from the EEOC and other sources indicate that sexual harassment remains prevalent, raising questions about the efficacy of corporate policies and HR training in addressing more than corporate liability. Related content describing the personal experiences of nine women, research about why so many women wait to come forward, and podcasts on the Bloomberg Businessweek website help illustrate the impact and complexities that surround this pervasive workplace issue.
Inditex's business model for fast fashion allows it to frequently update its inventory and adapt its offerings to different tastes in different countries. Rather than rely on lead designers to try and predict or create fashion trends, the company uses data and a team of designers to continually shift production at its factories. Since a large portion is produced near the Inditex's headquarters in Spain, new designs can move quickly into production and onto store shelves in Europe.
To figure out the true price of a business degree, you have to factor in the opportunity cost. Unfortunately the formula is not perfect (e.g., it does not factor in financial aid or scholarships).
The North American automotive industry is highly integrated across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, with parts and vehicles flowing back and forth across borders. All that could change if Donald Trump follows through on his threats to levy import taxes and cut trade with Canada and Mexico. The implications for automakers from Ford to Toyota to Volkswagen are significant, as are the resultant rise in prices of that U.S. consumers would face.
Investments in clean power by major U.S. corporations are expected to increase in pace despite the election of climate change denier Donald Trump. The business case for renewables is positive despite threats to reverse Obama’s commitments to the Paris climate accord and the Clean Power Plan.
The semi-unanticipated results of the past Presidential election have sent shock waves through the political/economic sectors that did not have a favorable outcome. One such area is that of technology sectors focused in Silicon Valley. The availability of talent from Asian countries is perceived to be in jeopardy. Will this create a international competitive disadvantage for the United States?
U.S. tech companies are facing new challenges in recruiting talent due to uncertainty about future U.S. immigration policies following the election of Donald Trump. Xenophobia may make the U.S. less attractive to new immigrants. Some foreign-born tech workers who are already working in the U.S. are putting plans on hold; others are planning to leave the U.S.
Regardless of policy changes that may take place under a Trump presidency, investment in sustainability and renewable energy may continue. Less commitment to renewable energy at the federal level could even spur corporations to play a stronger role. Corporate long-term energy purchase agreements are emerging as a way to finance clean-power projects. One example is Microsoft's recent agreement to purchase electricity produced by wind power to run data centers in Wyoming.
As a matter of national security, Russia is trying to develop more home-grown software and applications. It is also requiring that Russian consumers' data be stored on servers in Russia. For U.S. technology-based firms such as Google and Microsoft, not only can this mean lost revenue, it also contributes to the development of new competitors.
Porsche plans to have a high powered all-electric coupe out by 2019, just in time for the EU’s tough new carbon emission standards for 2020. Porsche’s Mission E will also growl like a Porsche.
Instagram is testing whether letting brands tag photos with links will succeed where other social media marketing has failed. It is part of its broader strategy for helping people pick out and buy things.
Fast-food chains are shelling out millions to purge preservatives, artificial ingredients, and other unmentionables. Skeptics question health claims.
Pension fund portfolios are not as boring as they once were. Near zero yields on government bonds are increasing the funding gap for European pension funds and driving investment in alternative assets. These unusual investments include British bingo halls and real estate in Amsterdam’s red-light district. Yields are higher with alternative assets, but it may be disconcerting for pensioners to realize that their retirement funds are invested in enterprises that many might consider unseemly.
With so many smart devices being routed wirelessly in our homes and businesses, they have become a prime target for cyberattacks. John Wu, a veteran in the W-Fi arena at the age of forty-two, has come up with a router that can stop attacks at the entry level, thereby protecting the devices.
Although many communities, electronics manufacturers, and retailers have programs to recycle old electronic gear, a great deal of e-waste ends up in places such as the neighborhood of Renovacion in Mexico City. There devices are manually and mechanically taken apart to get at bits of precious metals that can be harvested, melted down, and resold. The work pays well, but there are potentially significant health risks to workers and residents.
Over the past two years, Walmart has repositioned the 14 Sam's Club stores in China to offer more expensive products. The focus is on "aspirational customers," or those who want to show off their wealth. Flat-screen TVs, BMWs and fine wines are on display.
Villains or heroes? High-speed traders have been accused of profiting at the expense of individual investors and society, with "Flash Boys" not helping their reputation. Like many complex issues, however, this may not be as one-sided as once thought, and recent academic research suggests that high-speed trading may have benefits. The issue of conflicts of interest is still a concern.
University of British Columbia students wasted a lot of plastic while making prototypes for robotics classes but addressed this problem by developing the ProtoCycler, a desktop machine that converts plastic waste into 3D-printer filament. While this is good for the environment, the recycled filament may also have a cost advantage over premade filament.
The ability to store huge troves of data in the public cloud has created a burgeoning industry, but now, some companies are starting to want some degree of separation from the risks of public cloud storage. To that end, a sector called private cloud storage has found root as a sub-industry.
NTT Docomo is trying to exercise a clause in its joint venture agreement with Tata Group that would allow NTT Docomo to exit the joint venture with at least half of its original investment. It has even received a court ruling in support of this, and Tata has agreed to make the payment. India’s central bank, however, has blocked the payment, leaving the joint venture and both parties in legal limbo.
Twitter's "Firehose" of a half billion tweets a day is incredibly valuable — and just as dangerous. Find out how despots use Twitter to hunt dissidents.
Uber has unveiled the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) to address driver concerns and pressure for unionization. Uber's partner behind the IDG has agreed not to seek unionization, at least until 2021.
Uber is funding an Independent Drivers Guild for drivers. While this quasi union is providing benefits to Uber drivers, it has also promised not to strike.
The Bloomberg Businessweek article "Innovation Fighting Hearing Loss" (October 31−November 6, 2016) assesses several potential solutions seeking to resolve hearing loss in patients.
Two of the top names in entrepreneurship have squared off in the suborbital space race. Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are competing to become both the first and the best in suborbital tourism, which will carry a hefty price tag for early travelers. Recent successes have given Bezos a slight lead.
In Mexico's Guerrero state, signs of a gold rush are emerging.
Following the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, multinational companies and the government are trying to improve factory working conditions.
After five years of rapid growth, solar rooftop installations are expected to be flat overall this year, while declining in some markets. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that growth will resume and says a year or two of stagnation is “an overwhelmingly positive outcome.”
Cotton is a natural fiber, but its production has involved so much pesticide and water use that it is considered one of the world's dirtiest crops. Retailers, garment makers, and farmers have formed the Better Cotton Initiative to develop more sustainable produced cotton. "Better Cotton" may not meet the environmental standards of organic cotton, however it balances sustainability with a cost and is gaining a growing market share.
China's domestic smartphone makers are gaining worldwide market share. While the growth of Apple and Samsung in worldwide markets has slowed, Vivo, Oppo, TCL and Xiaomi are all growing. These companies are not just counting on growing sales in China, however, but also have their sites set on India and other growing markets.
A growing number of retailers look to strengthen ties with customers by combining convenient payment and rewards. Mobile wallets are the new loyalty program.
A program under development by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may offer a reprieve for foreign-born startup founders and their employees. It’s not a startup visa, but it’s close.
The European Union has put the brakes on a number of U.S.-based technology companies this year. Apple has been informed that it owes over $14 billion to the Irish government due to a sweetheart tax deal, and other governments are also looking into whether this tax deal meant that the company did not pay appropriate taxes in their countries. Google has also faced a number of inquiries into its business model, with different countries having slightly different regulations that limit the services it can offer.
While the U.S. investment market appears to have found a little stability in level, the uncertainty about the quality of the entrepreneurial endeavors has brought a new level of risk expectations into the market and this makes the probability of a downturn amp up. It is noteworthy that there are huge caches of cash that have been raised to fund new ventures, however, the risk profile of these investments appear to contain potential for loss context.
Anne French, president of Dear North, a collaborative effort between Huna Totem (a Native Alaskan-owned company focused on tourism) and Ammunition (a company known for designing Beats, the popular headphones), dreamed of exporting consumer products that captured the Alaskan allure. The company has begun producing first product: salmon jerky. It aims to sell to the Lower 48 states, be in 700 outlets by the end of the year, and earn $1 million in its first year.
Workaholic Americans accumulate hundreds of hours of unused leave. Recognizing this issue, a startup company hopes to redefine the vacation-leave benefit. PTO Exchange is building a business that provides innovative options for unlocking the value of employees’ unused vacation time.
A good climate and great soil has contributed to the success of Ukrainian farmers in the global food market. Current projections suggest that Ukraine will rise to third place in world agricultural production, following United States and Brazil. But outdated technology and uncertain land use regulations are holding back some of the capital investment required to expand agricultural production in Ukraine.
JetBlue attracted 1,480 applicants for 24 positions in its innovative pilot training program that requires no flight experience. Participants pay $125,000 for the training but have a job with JetBlue waiting upon completion of the program. The program offers advantages, but there may be human resource risks, since JetBlue's pilot union does not support the program.
Google's new high-end Pixel smartphones will compete directly with Apple's iPhone, but also with Samsung and HTC and the rest of Google's Android partners. Google says it will treat its new hardware division just like the other Android partners and is confident it can keep it all together.
Some wireless carriers are wary of Google's retail ability. Google sees software as its edge, rather than retail distribution and customer service.
At the time Cheng Wei and colleagues were starting the Didi ride-hailing service in China, they faced a number of domestic competitors. Their model, unlike Uber, was based on the U.K.'s Hailo. After beating out their Chinese competitors, they recently reached an agreement with Uber.
The purchase of Autonomy by Hewlett-Packard (HP) was a boon for co-founder Mike Lynch, but a boondoggle for HP. It has bred animosity and lawsuits between the participants. Lynch is not awaiting the results of these matters; he has used his wealth to create a new venture capital fund that both supplies money and borrows talent from his Autonomy management cohort to bring the incubated firms up to speed rapidly.
Initiated by lower costs due to lower grain and oil prices, food prices have been falling for nine straight months. But food retailers seem to be engaged in a price war of cutthroat competition and irrational pricing.
It was bound to happen, and it was likely that Apple would be one of the pioneers. Attaching collection and connectivity to health data as a repository for tracking patient conditions is now becoming a real possibility, with the company leading the charge.
Professional sports leagues and individual teams are taking steps to create a more inclusive environment for fans and athletes. These include hosting pride nights and LGBT events. The outreach is at least partially motivated by the purchasing power of LGBT fans, but it also involves a potentially challenging cultural and image change for professional sports. Thus far, there is evidence of increased ticket sales as well as push-back and hostility.
Adidas's stock price is seeing a nice rise as the company picks up market share and sponsorship agreements. Part of the rise is fueled by a greater emphasis on fashion, including limited edition shoes. Adidas is also working with music entertainers to have them "design" shoes for the company.
Food, on average, makes up only about 15 percent of a consumer’s budget. Walmart effect combines with deflation to eat away at margins. Grocery stores are trying to compete on price through digital coupons and promotions.
With the upscale Australian department store chain Myer, EBay created a Virtual Reality Department Store, giving away 20,000 "shopticals" that let shoppers browse merchandise via augmented reality. Differentiating EBay from Amazon is the centerpiece of CEO Devin Wenig’s strategy.
The banking scandal related to the creation of 2 million unauthorized Wells Fargo accounts is raising questions about how to prevent executives from profiting from fraudulent activity. Clawback policies can allow compensation that has already been paid to be recovered after misconduct is discovered, but effective implementation is often too difficult and expensive to be practical. Deferred compensation structures offer some promise, but full financial accountability for executives remains elusive.
Although Tencent Holdings is now one of China’s largest public companies, it maintains a start-up mentality and uses internal competition to spur innovation. Employees at all levels compete against each other to win funding for projects. In this competitive culture, ideas often come from the bottom up, and the company’s executives actively engage with rank and file employees.
Any company considering entry into the auto industry will likely be in contact with Magna International. Magna makes a variety of components that go into most autos, and operates assembly lines that produce cars for certain auto companies. It is currently exploring how it might create a platform that companies considering entering the auto industry could use as the basis for their vehicles.
While difficult to fully ascertain once in the product, Egyptian cotton commands a premium price in the fabric markets. Media stories of fake goods sold claiming this expensive fabric but really using less expensive and inferior cotton have given consumer confidence a negative hit. Using DNA testing technology, it is now possible to validate samples to alleviate the concerns. A small company operating from a business incubator in New York is specializing in this process.
Egyptian cotton is known for its long fibers that help make fabric particularly smooth and comfortable. Many retailers and brand name designers proudly label their bedding as being made with Egyptian cotton. Unfortunately, given the small scale of the Egyptian cotton production, it is simply mathematically impossible for all the bedding labeled as Egyptian cotton to actually have come from Egyptian cotton. As cotton goes through the various stages of production, it is common for cheaper varieties to be used. Now steps are being taken by retailers and designers to have the cotton they purchase be marked, and then subsequently tested, to make sure they are ending up with fabric that uses the cotton they paid for.
House flippers turn to the crowd for quick cash. What could go wrong? Wall Street is not as interested in financing single-family developments in smaller and medium-sized deals, making crowdfunding a better way to fund such projects.
Intel's chief diversity and inclusion officer describes a variety of challenges in diversifying the company's workforce. She explains that challenges in hiring are different than those of retention. Intel is introducing programs that address individual needs and also yield data that can help the company design systemic solutions.
Singapore's shipping and logistics companies face a record $1.8 billion in bond maturities. Container throughput shrank 8.7 percent in 2015 as global trade slowed. The going could get even tougher in 2017 with record debt falling due.
Hundreds of wealthy homeowners are taking the riskier route by auctioning their home in lieu of listing it. The client base has shifted from people who are selling their third, fourth, or even fifth homes, to older people who are downsizing.
Those attending church regularly have declined dramatically in recent years, while those who never attend have increased. It would appear that the target of those who attend occasionally may provide an opportunity for survival, but will it look the same?
While there have been shifts in manufacturing over the past few decades, there are still opportunities for manufacturing to thrive in developed countries such as the United States. Globalfoundries' facility in New York makes semiconductor wafers and employs 3,000 people with an average salary of $92,000. 9to5 Seating, a Calilfornia-based chair manufacturer, exports quality components from its U.S. factory to China, where assembled chairs are then sold in markets such as Saudi Arabia and China.
Prison populations are rapidly shrinking, and Corrections Corporation of America’s stock is down. So private prison companies are diversifying into community corrections and rehabilitation, but critics of for-profit prisons remain concerned.
At the age of twenty-two, Mark Zuckerberg famously asserted, “Younger people are just smarter.” The demographic profile of employees at Silicon Valley’s technology companies is consistent with this ethos. Job seekers over forty are responding in various ways, including lawsuits, cosmetic surgery, education, and just giving up.
Is oil the new tobacco? Although Exxon’s scientists had evidence connecting burning fossil fuels to climate change, the company may have engaged in a disinformation campaign. Some see parallels between Exxon’s behavior and that of the tobacco industry and hope to hold the company liable for covering up scientific knowledge and misleading the public.
Some of the world's largest digital effects companies are based in Britain, and the recent drop in the value of the British pound is making these firms even more competitive on a global scale. While skilled talent and competitive prices are important for movie studios that are looking for visual effects expertise, tax breaks or incentives also play a role in attracting portions of the movie business to Britain. Great tax deals in Canada, however, are now causing the British firms to shift some of their work to offices in Vancouver and Montreal.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been trying to create a massive repository that would track stock and options trading from exchanges and broker-dealers on a daily basis. This repository of securities transactions could be world’s largest and help the SEC to look back at unusual market events. Tech firms such as Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon are bidding to help SEC with data storage in clouds.
Hospitals are using virtual reality (VR) to take patients' minds off their pain or relieve their boredom. VR has been shown to swamp the brains sensory capacity, affecting its ability to create as many pain signals. As the cost of hardware and software come down, it is becoming a consideration for longer term treatment.
Family owned and managed for over 100 years, New England Paper Tube was driven into receivership after 3 decades of losses in the face of foreign competition. Under new ownership and lead by the former production manager, the company has returned to profitability by focusing on the products where it has competitive advantage, like mortar shells for fireworks and the military.
After a number of failed ventures, Raj Bhakta’s “boutique” rye whiskey endeavor is a hit. But success is leading to conflict, as his partners and investors want to cash out, but he wants to build a family business. Bhakta’s personality and vision may have been key factors in WhistlePig’s success, but also may explain foibles that his partners cite in pending litigation.
Ad Magic has become the go-to maker for Kickstarter games. Ad Magic’s revenue has quadrupled since the company was hired to produce the popular Cards Against Humanity.
Foreign sales are becoming increasingly important to U.S.-based defense contractors. Many Asian countries are ramping up their defense spending, while U.S. defense spending on new systems remains relatively flat. As part of a proposal to win sales in India, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing have both indicated that they will manufacture fighter jets in India rather than simply exporting them from the U.S.
Venture capitalists and/or investors sometimes lose their confidence in their startups and are reluctant to put more money into the venture. This leaves the entity in a spot where they are unable to attain the necessary growth to succeed. Tracxn Technologies, an Indian firm, posts a list of struggling startups that still show potential for investors to try and facilitate a match.
After burning billions of investor dollars to attract users and grow market share, mergers and acquisitions among China’s on-demand service providers promise to create dominant players and bring profits. The question is will Chinese users continue to call without the steep discounts.
Although executive compensation at public companies is increasingly reliant on stock-based compensation and long-term incentives, these approaches may not be optimal. Behavioral economists argue that increased reliance on carefully crafted short-term incentive pay could incentivize executives more cheaply and effectively. Mandated compensation disclosures that increase transparency, however, may actually be impeding change and experimentation that behavioral economists believe could improve the effectiveness of executive compensation.
Business incubators, accelerators, innovation labs, and a smorgasbord of other entities exist to create or jumpstart entrepreneurial endeavors, but a recent trend of note is to help existing small businesses take their goods and services to the next level.
An Olympics TV ratings slip among viewers age 18-34 is raising questions about NBC’s ability to profit from the games long term. One reason: Sports fans are getting older.
An unexpected occurrence offered the founders of Yasso, a five-year-old company with an already established market in the northeastern United States, an opportunity along with a decision to expand. The business now earns $50 million in sales.
Like many global technology companies, Amazon has actively pursued tax strategies that minimize the taxes it has to pay. In 2005, for example, it shifted certain intellectual property from the United States to a limited liability partnership in Luxembourg, valuing the assets at just over $200 million. Since then, those assets have generated revenue (e.g., licensing fees) of almost $6 billion. Now both the IRS and EU tax authorities are exploring whether Amazon has been underpaying taxes in their jurisdictions.
Crimes at Walmart stores keep local police departments busy. Walmart is aware of the problem and has taken steps to address it. Some, however, think the stores are doing too little too slowly, placing profits over people. This is a complex problem involving the intersection of business, government, and society, but other retailers seem to have fewer crimes committed on their premises.
Uber is putting driverless cars in its fleet in downtown Pittsburgh this August and wants to replace its one million drivers as soon as possible. While most companies and analysts are still working on the science, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says, “We are going commercial.”
As big investors take a hard look at fees, hedge fund manager Steve Eisman offers a cheaper way to invest. Facing the likelihood of only modest gains, one easy way for investors to preserve profit is to cut what they pay money managers.
A 2014 Supreme Court ruling has slashed business-method filings. It has led courts to toss hundreds of software patents and has halved applications for one type of patent. The number of business-method patent applications has fallen in half since 2014.
Low oil prices are leading to a reduction in construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Thus, Saudi construction companies are cutting back on employment, as their cash flow suffers. Caught in the fray are foreign construction workers who aren't getting paid, can't send remittances back to family, and can't get exit visas to leave Saudi Arabia.
A lock that can be opened using smart device codes that are single use opportunities can lower the risk of general codes for building managers and their tenants. The device also allows for coordination with video devices that can assure security with multiple deliveries or pickups.
A new IT platform will catch the carrier up to its rivals and could boost profits by $500 million. It will be critical for Southwest to strike the right balance between its brand and its finances.
CEO Ed Bastian attributes Delta’s bankruptcy to “a lot of dumb decisions.” A shift in strategy and better employee relations have helped Delta return to profitability. But industry consolidation and lower oil prices haven’t hurt.
Precision Castparts had strong stock performance under CEO Mark Donegan, until a rough time in the oilfield services business led to a big drop in the company's valuation. Seeing a buying opportunity, Berkshire Hathaway purchased Precision Castparts. The culture at Precision Castparts was one of strong pay-for-performance, but where failing to make the numbers would lead to a verbal thrashing or being fired.
Research, particularly such things as bio-medical research, is extremely expensive and involves many technologies to accomplish an adequate study. One simple facet, such as running out of a supply required to maintain the integrity of the study, can lose valuable time and money for the project. With all of the equipment involved being manufactured by a variety of companies running on proprietary software, it can become quite difficult and time-consuming for the scientist to keep track of the needs. Now they are working on an "App for that!"
EY, the accounting and consulting firm formerly known as Ernst & Young, hires around 60,000 people a year. Many of those are young millennials, who have different expectations than previous generations. A key requirement is more flexibility in time, which leads to different ways of organizing the work of individuals and teams.
Amazon gains on Flipkart in India. Hobbled by self-inflicted wounds and a price war, the Indian e-commerce company is girding for battle with a deep-pocketed rival.
Local TV news viewership is falling, but broadcasters are adding hours anyway to chase campaign ad revenue. Not all campaign consultants are sold on the idea that more local news is better.
In the shadow of an environment that represents repression and stagnation spanning centuries, entrepreneurs in Germany are trying to develop the next Silicon Valley. How is Berlin working to establish a profitable haven for innovators and investors?
Flipkart's new CEO, Binny Bansal, is facing a tough challenge from retailer Amazon in the Indian e-commerce market. Bansal's leadership, focusing on reducing costs and improving efficiencies, is what the company needs as it tries to simultaneously cut costs and increase marketshare. While Amazon has been aggressive in signing up third-party retailers to its network, Flipkart has emphasized customer service and building customer loyalty.
Vietnam is attracting a number of foreign retailers as its economy expands, and the middle class develops. About 60 percent of the population is under thirty-five years old, suggesting even stronger future growth. Japanese retailers are staking out major positions in the Vietnamese market, while the domestic Japanese market remains mature.
Some in the UK argue for slashing taxes after Brexit, but the move might not be worth the cost to the public purse. If Britain’s cuts are viewed as unfair to other countries, the EU could exact a high price by restricting access to its markets.
In Silicon Valley, Kaiser Permanente is testing new hardware and software. Kaiser says its San Leandro test facility is helping it design the hospital systems of the next decade.
Shell Oil Co. has put its forecasting prowess and money behind the need to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change as it transforms into a natural gas company. Now there's a glut of natural gas.
$15 billion can fix a lot of problems, but Volkswagen’s settlement with U.S. regulators won’t be the end of the company’s emissions scandal problems. VW will offer to buy back affected vehicles, and vehicles that remain in use will be recalled and repaired. Repaired cars, however, won't fully comply with current emission standards, and this has led to criticism. Some states are separately seeking compensation for public health and environmental damage in suits that cite VW’s culture of arrogance.
In 2013, Wal-Mart announced a plan to encourage more manufacturing in the United States. Pledging to spend $250 billion over ten years on "Made in America" products, the goal was to entice companies to shift about 250,000 jobs to U.S.-based factories. While the results suggest that products can be efficiently manufactured domestically, with the program leading to an increase in U.S. manufacturing, the number of workers hired has not likely met the projections.
With technology stocks, IPO valuation is not necessarily related to current or past profitability. This is evident in the estimated IPO value of Spotify, the online music streaming service with 30 million users and $2.2 billion in revenues.
As Verizon’s president of product innovation and new businesses, Marni Walden has a high-risk, high-reward position: Walden is charged with leading Verizon’s transformation into a digital information company. Transformational change can be a test of leadership. Verizon’s future may be on the line as Walden auditions for the role of Verizon’s next CEO.
Connectivity in your automobile will be convenience, or an intrusive nightmare. Today's sensor-laden cars collect huge amounts of data for which marketers may pay dearly. Automakers want to control such sales.
For many years, foreign multinationals have been attracted to China's coastal region, setting up factories to take advantage of low labor costs. Within China, this has led to a migration of young people from rural interior areas to the coastal regions, as they seek income while sending some money home to support their family. This migration has slowed significantly in recent years, as economic development in rural China has created opportunities for some migrants to return home and others to never leave.
While live streaming capabilities have attracted even greater use from their core, Facebook is now struggling with what that means for them in terms of infrastructure investment and their responsibility to the public. Also of importance: does it lead to greater profits?
Single-family landlords have been losing renters to homebuying. Blackstone Group LP’s Invitation Homes is selling in Arizona and California. Financial landlords look to profit from renters with dreams to buy.
A U.S. district judge’s recently issued injunction highlights challenges in determining the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with mandated disclosures. The injunction blocked implementation of a new Department of Labor regulation that would require companies to disclose payments for more types of anti-unionization consulting services. While unions argued that the regulation would increase transparency and “level the playing field,” the judge decided that the expanded scope of disclosures could adversely affect the availability of legal advice regarding responses to union-organizing campaigns.
A technology that doesn't use radioactive means to provide superior imaging for dental offices? Sounds like a winner!
Despite its glamorous first-class accommodations and superjumbo capacity, the Airbus A380 has been a financial disaster. Little interest from airlines other than Emirates could force Airbus to kill the program.
India's oil consumption is growing at a 10 percent rate, with gasoline consumption growing even faster. The country, however, imports 75 percent of its oil due to limited domestic supplies. It is working with governments and oil companies in a diverse set of countries, including Iran, Mozambique, Russia, and Afghanistan, to help make sure it has a secure supply of oil to fuel its growing economy.
Worldwide salmon production is down, and prices are up. As salmon farming has become big business, regulations have increased, and obtaining permits has become more difficult. In response, producers are working on new technologies and techniques to lessen the environmental impact of salmon farming and reduce the incidence of natural parasites.
While typical exit strategies for tech startups involve large payouts when the company is taken public, investors seem to be intrigued by Kickstarter's payment of a dividend over the spring. They do not seem to be totally against it, but it does seem to be pushing their risk limitations.
Kevin Plank, Under Armour’s founder and CEO, has many ambitions for his company. These include intertwined business and social objectives of becoming world’s biggest sportswear company and revitalizing the city of Baltimore. A passionate and visionary leader, Plank consciously seeks to use the company’s momentum to shape Baltimore’s future.
With Britain set to leave the European Union, many companies are trying to work through the implications of this for their employees in London. While London is likely to continue to be a major world financial center, some banking jobs may move to other European financial centers. Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, and Paris are the leading contenders, and all have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Loophole for fund managers slams shut at the end of 2017. Experts searched but "no one has come up with magic bullet." Money managers soon have to recognize a total of at least $100 billion in offshore income. This is good news for charities and tax lawyers.
By 2018, Tesla will need to double the annual global production of lithium ion batteries. In moves reminiscent of Ford’s River Rouge, Tesla has integrated battery production and is making moves to control supply of the minerals needed.
Historically, Comcast has not been one of America’s most loved companies, and it had a reputation for providing clunky cable boxes and poor customer service. But Comcast is changing and wants to be loved. Instead of simply providing cable boxes and access to ever-changing lists of television channels, Comcast wants to make the TV the home’s command center. In doing so, Comcast needs to change its corporate culture to be more like a cool technology company and less like a regulated utility monopoly.
The hedge fund, H Partners Management, is introducing an uncommon executive pay practice at Six Flags Entertainment and Tempur Sealy International. Executives receive incentive stock grants with performance thresholds so improbable that the companies deem them worthless at the date of grant. Nevertheless, some of the targets are being met, and executives already have received tens of millions in compensation. This compensation practice raises questions about incentives and potentially inadequate disclosure of compensation, dilution and risk.
While PC manufacturers tend to compete in almost a perfect competitive environment, those that focus on giving gamers a small advantage and the ability to adapt are reaping strong profits relative to the enhanced price.
Around a third of foreign students studying in U.S. universities are Chinese, and after graduation many take a job working in the U.S., but after a few years, some return home to help create technologies and companies in China. In Chinese, these professionals are referred to as hai gui, or "sea turtles" that come come home after a long journey.
Six people that tinker in their garage searching for solutions to technological problems and opportunities.
A number of companies provide stock, or stock options, to senior managers as a part of their compensation package. Typically at the time of offering the stock is valued at its current price, and it can not be sold for some period of time. A goal is to align managers' incentives with those of shareholders.
While Cuba has significant agricultural potential, one of the things holding back agricultural production is a lack of modern farm equipment. Now two U.S. entrepreneurs are hoping to change that by operating the first U.S.-owned manufacturing facility in Cuba. The tractors will be of a simple and adaptable design and targeted for operations on the relatively small farms of Cuba and other developing nations.
Sears seemed to falter with the rise of discount retailing. Then Kmart was outdone by Wal-Mart and Target. Merging the two hasn’t improved things. Now Sears wants to sell its top brands. Does that make sense as a turnaround strategy?
Using cheap sensors and monitoring devices, coupled with in-depth software, Vium, a company with $30 million in venture capital investment, is hoping to speed up the animal tests sector of the FDA process to provide its users with better inputs into the viability of human testing.
Takata’s travails continue as the recalls of its airbags expand. Takata was the only airbag manufacturer to use ammonium nitrate, a chemical with well-known stability issues, as a propellant. Takata’s corporate culture and leadership help explain the decisions that led to the continued production of potentially lethal products and the largest auto recall in history.
Yandex can lay claim to running Russia's most successful search engine, as well as Moscow's largest ride-sharing service. In doing so, it has beat out, or at least garnered a strong head start, on Google and Uber. Now it is attempting to do the same with online retailing, offering an Amazon-like marketplace while Amazon has yet to offer its service in Russia.
Human resource management issues can challenge companies undergoing international expansion; Disney's experiences in China are one example. The company's theme parks depend on character-based entertainment, and in opening its Shanghai resort, talent development has been one of the biggest challenges the Disney has faced. Because there is a limited pool of talent trained in Western performing arts, Disney has needed to be innovative and make substantial investments to recruit and train performers. As competitors plan to open theme parks in China, Disney’s next challenge will be to retain the performers it has trained.
Kelly Slater Wave Company has figured out how to build the longest, most perfect, surfing wave on the planet. Can he can build a business around it?
In preparation for its Shanghai Disneyland theme park, Disney began working with arts institutes in China to build awareness and interest in performing at the park. Part of the challenge was to develop talented performers who could sing in the style of Disney show tunes, such as those in The Lion King. Another part of the challenge was to better understand how Disney productions could be modified to be more interesting to Chinese audiences. In a separate program, Disney launched English language training programs aimed at children two through twelve, with a curriculum that uses Disney characters.
Importing pigs that are considered delicacies in Spain but relatively unknown in the United States can be a bit of a risky proposition. Two men in Texas believe that it is worth investing $3 million of their money to build a specialty market for these cured hams.
Congress created the U.S. Postal Service in 1970 to run the post office like a business. But it retained a political process for setting prices that has not been responsive to business needs.
Starship Technologies has built a robot capable of making deliveries to your house or business. Is this a viable market for robotics?
The book "Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and Fall of American Business" adds up the ill effects of Wall Street’s zero-sum game. It's a timely read for current business students.
Southwest Airlines and its pilots have been in talks about a new labor contract since 2012. Since then, talks have become increasingly quarrelsome as the airline’s profitability has reached record levels.
Brick-and-mortar clothing retailers have traditionally been reluctant to make plus-size clothing a prominent part of their product offerings. However, over the past several years the demand for plus-size clothing has outpaced smaller-size offerings.
Apple, along with the smartphone industry, and its suppliers, are facing a maturing market with recent declines sales and stock values. They are trying to diversify through innovation but there doesn’t yet appear to be a next big thing.
Space in space is a precious commodity. Bigelow Aerospace has created an expansion kit that compresses down to 127 cubic feet for launch, but is inflatable to almost 5x that size for functional space on the international space station.
Residents' monthly costs at Midtown assisted living building top $20,000. An owner of assisted living facilities is looking to get in on New York's luxury housing boom.
Should graduate students, who are paid to teach classes and assist with research, be classified as employees who can choose to be represented by a union? Part of the answer to this question depends on who controls the executive branch, as policy has changed somewhat between the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. Another aspect of the answer relates to whether graduate students are doing the work as part of their educational development, or whether they are assigned work and receive pay similar to typical employees.
Purchasers of Tesla's electric vehicles are often looking to spend $40,000 or more on a car. In surveys of Tesla shoppers, the other brands they were most likely considering were BMW, Toyota, Audi, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz. U.S.-based brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Dodge appeared far less often on the shopping lists of Tesla customers.
Investments in energy efficiency can take years to pay back from cost savings so are often rejected by CFOs. But framing them as a portfolio with returns of over 20 percent convinced Adidas to invest millions per year.
An Environmental Defense Fund program recruits and trains MBA students to use traditional financing metrics and techniques to motivate companies to increase fuel efficiency. One of these students was ultimately able to use traditional financial measurements and objects to support capital investment in fuel efficiency projects at Adidas. Applying techniques from finance to sustainability matters can be important in attracting interest in energy efficiency projects.
The potential effects of industry concentration on customers is widely analyzed and a subject of regulatory interest. A recent study explores another potential implication of increasing industry concentration: the effect on labor's share of profits. While there are multiple potential explanations, the study identifies an inverse relation between increasing industry concentration and labor's share of profits. This finding is related to pressing social and political Issues, including livable minimum wages, opportunities for the middle class, and wealth inequality.
Germany's Borgward auto company was founded in 1924 and at one point was responsible for 60 percent of the country's auto exports. By 1961, however, it had gone out of business. Now the brand is being revived in China, with a Borgward SUV being manufactured by Chinese truck-maker, Beiqi Foton.
Keeping up to date on your kids' day is only an app away now. Apps that digitize updates from preschools and day cares are becoming popular perks for parents.
Increased competition leads to more—and nastier—ads. Competition for clients is pushing up lawyer ad spending, which jumped to $823 million in 2015.
Mobility services, think Uber with self-driving cars, have the potential to disrupt the auto industry model of individual car ownership. So Detroit is seeking alliances with the tech companies and car sharing services behind that threat to strengthen their position.
Last year, watch exports from Germany rose 14 percent, while Swiss watch exports fell 3 percent. Part of the difference in magnitude is driven by the significantly smaller size of the German watchmaking industry, but underlying economics help explain the trends. As the euro has fallen in value relative to the Swiss franc, German watches are relatively more affordable.
As the technological world shifts to phone and portable methods of operation, the PC market has been dwindling. Mass manufacturers need to use their capacity for new products, and 3D printers seem to provide a new growth oriented market.
An effort by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to unionize T-Mobile has so far resulted in two union contracts that cover 30 workers. T-Mobile claims that its internal T-Voice system of engagement with employees helps management understand issues that are important to employees. The CWA, however, contends this is a union-busting tactic that was outlawed in the 1930s.
For many workers, it is straightforward that they be classified as employees, and for others it is equally clear that they are independent contractors. With the former, all sorts of state and federal regulations then influence pay and benefits, as well as rights to organize and become members of unions. With independent contractors, employers have fewer obligations, and workers have more flexibility. But it is not clear how some workers, such as Uber drivers, should be classified.
Making a non-dairy cheese has proven to be a difficult task to do well enough to please the discriminating palate. Lyrical Foods and its investors think they may have it and at just the right time.
Founding a business and developing its brand is a lifetime task for many entrepreneurs. Letting go and passing it on to family is sometimes a far more difficult task.
Whereas the U.S. used to be the world's largest exporter of wheat, it has lost that position Russia, with Canada poised to push the U.S. to third place. The reasons behind this shift are complex, including improved supply from, and growing conditions in, Russia and Canada. The quality of U.S. wheat still commands a price premium in the market, but the rise in the U.S. dollar makes it less competitive in global markets.
Gap returns to t-shirts in yet another bid for growth. Can the slumping company Gap figure out what shoppers want to wear?
The Impossible Project aims to revive the business of making instant film and cameras that once put Polaroid at the top of the tech world.
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Asia's air travel business is growing rapidly, as an emerging middle class seeks more opportunities to travel. This has been good news for Asia's airlines but is causing a strain on airlines' ability to service the demand. A possible solution is to increase the number of women pilots, who worldwide only comprise 5 percent of commercial pilots. Traditional expectations and work requirements make it hard for many women to rise through the ranks and become commercial pilots.
Avinger has created a laser that can guide cardiologists as they navigate the complex system of arteries when operating to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The technology replaces external X-rays, which are more cumbersome and not as clear.
China is the world's largest car market, and the luxury segment is growing quickly. While Mercedes, BMW, and Audi have done well in capturing market share, other competitors are trying to pick up a portion of this lucrative market. In January, General Motors opened a Cadillac plant in Shanghai, which will help it avoid import taxes of about 25 percent. Ford is also opening specialized showrooms for its Lincoln brand, offering the same level of customer service as a five-star hotel.
Google helped invent the cloud, but it’s still playing catch-up. It is building data centers and recognizing mistakes. Its cloud chief Diane Greene is quadrupling data centers and adding features to better compete with Amazon and Microsoft.
The scent of Baby Powder may be more recognizable then that of chocolate, but Johnson & Johnson's iconic century-old product may be associated with more than wholesomeness. Some scientific studies have found an association between Baby Powder use and ovarian cancer. More than 1,000 women and their families are now suing Johnson & Johnson and its supplier of talc, Imerys, claiming the companies failed to warn customers about this risk. Regardless of the conclusiveness of the scientific studies, Johnson & Johnson's violation of customers’ trust puts the entire company’s brand at risk.
Tesla has busily developed a defensible position in high-end, electric-powered automobiles. With an inelastic demand curve as it relates to oil price fluctuations, their resilience is sound in that sector, but now they have to deal in a sector that is more affected by oil prices. Chevy is also interested in the sector, adding to the complexity in behavioral competitive issues.
Samsung and LG have been successful selling NCM batteries (nickel, cobalt, and manganese) for electric vehicles in China, with much of that success related to generous subsidies the Chinese government has provided to electric buses. A goal in stimulating the use of electric buses is to decrease pollution in China's cities. The government will continue providing subsidies, but only to the less expensive LFP batteries (lithium-iron-phosphate), which are available from a number of Chinese suppliers.
Africa's population is projected to more than double in the next 35 years, putting a strain on the continent's food supply. Africa already has a problem growing and distributing sufficient food. Years of farming practices that depleted nutrients in the soil has contributed to the problem. To help address the continent's food needs, major agricultural companies and NGOs are working on a variety of solutions.
With the average amount of student loan debt growing, some employers are seeing a silver lining of opportunity in what is often characterized as a social problem. By offering to match employee student loan payments, employers can provide an attractive benefit that helps recruit young highly educated workers. These benefits may help alleviate the burden of student debt help address a potential crisis regarding retirement savings.
Despite inconsistent state laws regarding employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, a record number of companies has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Economic incentives may be motivating companies like Hormel to outpace anti-discrimination laws with diversity and inclusiveness initiatives. By working to support a diverse workforce, these companies are creating value by creating workspaces that are attractive to younger workers.
Twitter is one of the most recognized brands in the social media market even though it is yet to turn a profit. Co-founder and past (and again) CEO Jack Dorsey is not necessarily reflecting on the past of Twitter except to the extent it can guide the future into profitable domains to leverage the brand.
While some states are eager to put Google’s autonomous cars on their roads, others, like California, are proposing stiffer regulations. Google is lobbying Congress for uniform national rules it hopes will be more favorable.
Scandinavian-style co-housing is gaining traction among boomers. The U.S. is home to more than 150 co-housing communities, with 14 more planned exclusively for seniors.
Sri Lanka is working with Google to provide Wi-Fi service country-wide. As part of the system, Google is launching Wi-Fi equipment that is attached to balloons that can provide service to remote locations. Providing Wi-Fi will help more residents get online, but the next challenge is providing sufficient capacity of high-speed internet connections to and from the island nation.
Arizona cities that raise wages or mandate sick pay would lose state funding under legislation being considered by state lawmakers.
A decade after taking over General Electric, Jeff Immelt’s long bet on the Internet of Really Big Things seems to be paying off. But competitive challenges still exist.
Honda’s new CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, is working to eliminate quality control problems and rebuild the company’s reputation. He's already reshuffled Honda’s executive ranks and plans to raise domestic output by 30 percent, to 950,000 vehicles, by 2020.
Under previous CEO Jack Welch, General Electric was highly successful as a diversified conglomerate. Jeff Immelt, who took over in 2001, has shifted the company's focus from financial services and home appliances to industrial products and associated software. He also has implemented cultural changes.
Customers hate delivery fees, so Instacart went to retail partners to help. The grocery delivery startup says ads from General Mills, PepsiCo, and other consumer companies account for 15 percent of revenue.
Robots may be able to help the elderly, and Europe is testing the idea. By one estimate, 32,500 robots designed to help care for the elderly and disabled will be sold from 2015 through 2018.
Appealing to the tastes of conservative Muslim women in Turkey and around the Middle East is giving fast fashion retailer LC Waikiki an edge over global competitors like Zara and H&M.
Despite the signs of economic recovery (or at least stabilization), the money market for startups has actually tightened over the past several years. This tightening has been both in terms of number of deals and the amounts of funding.
At a Brooks Brothers sewing factory in Long Island, New York, more than half the employees are over fifty-five years old, and the average tenure is thirty years. These older, highly skilled workers have the ability to make ties by hand or perform custom tailoring that can quickly supply stores in New York City. In order to help retain these older workers, Brooks Brothers has established a set of human resource management policies that appeal to veteran employees.
The Kucuk brothers have helped turn a French fashion retailer into a multinational company focused on conservative fashions for observant Muslims. Their chain, LC Waikiki, now has over 600 locations, with about a third outside Turkey. LC Waikiki tries to have a great range of stylish apparel for "covered women."
Retailers are beginning to use facial recognition software to collect data and engage with customers. While customers could benefit from personalized shopping experiences, using this technology involves customer surveillance and raises privacy concerns. The use of facial recognition technology in retail settings also has human resource, legal, and ethical implications.
Seeking to assist his clients in rapid response communication media strategies, antiwar activist and former Lycos programmer Jim Gilliam has developed programs for Republican and some Democratic prospects to assist them in effectively delivering their messages via social media.
Chinese companies have recently been on a buying spree. In January and February of 2016, Chinese companies announced over $77 billion in investments, mergers, or acquisitions of foreign companies. All deals involving potential risks to U.S. national security, however, can fall under review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS. CFIUS has blocked some potential deals, and just a decision to review some deals has caused potential foreign investors to back off. Many deals are approved after review, although CFIUS has blocked other deals that it felt could threaten U.S. security interests.
Sprint is facing $34 billion in debt. They plan to borrow from a subsidiary that they will create.
For decades, Intel has had a dominant position in microprocessors while Samsung has had a strong position in memory chips. Now the two firms are positioning themselves to take bites out of each other’s primary chip markets.
Deepening concern over the global economy has made sub-zero interest rates the norm in most European Union countries as well as Japan. The willingness of debt investors to effectively pay governments to borrow reflects increasing skepticism of central bank policies and concern that those policies may ultimately do more harm than good to the global economy.
When Oceanografia went under, investors blamed Citigroup for keeping it afloat with cash advances. Now the investors are suing Citigroup, maintaining that it colluded in the fraud that surfaced at Oceanografia.
Intel and Samsung, the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 chipmaker, respectively, have successfully dominated different segments of the market for years. Competitive forces are now causing them to increasingly go head-to-head for the same customers.
Apple is poised to fight a federal court order requiring the company to create software allowing federal instigators to bypass standard iPhone security features to access data on a cell phone that was owned by one of the San Bernadino shooters. Complying with the order would required Apple to compromise longstanding corporate priorities and would be at odds with the company’s ethos.
There is nothing like the threat of hypothermia to get an entrepreneur to cut to the chase when pitching their product or service. Using frigid water as a timer, a European elevator-pitch competition offers an $11,000 reward to the winner.
Apple is resisting a court order to help the U.S. government gain access to the iPhone that belonged to the shooter in the San Bernardino attack. The government claims that it is asking for a one-time request for one device.
Apple is well known for its differentiation on design and software. Less well known is that Apple spends billions to design its own chips for the iPhone and iPad.
Until January 2014, Walmart rejected applications for spousal health benefits from employees who were legally married to same-sex spouses. By arguing that denying coverage to her same-sex spouse is a form of sex discrimination, an employee’s suit to recover costs incurred after Walmart denied her application for spousal health benefits has the potential to expand the scope of sex discrimination.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a crash test dummy that measures 7 times as many variables as the current standard. Not only that, there is an implication that it can also provide more accurate measurements as well. They sent out for bids to produce this test dummy, and the winner was Humanetics Innovative Solutions. The contract could be quite lucrative, at $400,000 per unit.
A number of multinational corporations have come under scrutiny in Europe and the US over tax strategies that minimize taxes paid. While there are a variety of mechanisms for tax avoidance, the basic idea involves shifting costs to locations with high corporate tax rates, and revenue to locations with low corporate tax rates. While the European Union and national governments are changing laws to make tax avoidance harder, firms such as Google are still able to shift profits to countries with the lowest tax rates.
Amazon says it is building global delivery capabilities to supplement existing carriers during peak times, but internal documents suggest it is quietly building a major competitor in the global shipping and delivery business.
When some industry lifecycles begin to accelerate toward decline, the pace of change has altered the macroeconomic environment. As sectors such as energy production move into more volatile cycles, workers are displaced, but some of them are capable of making a profitable transition.
The National Hockey League (NHL) keeps its books in U.S. dollars, with all revenues expenses earned in other currencies converted to U.S. dollars (not unlike many U.S.-based multinational firms). The recent fall in the Canadian dollar, however, means that the league will be reporting lower overall revenue when the Canadian funds are converted to U.S. dollars. With about a third of the NHL's revenues coming from Canada, an 18% drop in the exchange rate means that revenues would fall around 6%. All player salaries, however, are negotiated in U.S. dollars.
Approximately one third of National Hockey League (NHL) revenue is generated in Canada. Since the league’s compensation arrangement is based on revenue sharing and salaries measured and paid in U.S. dollars, the weak Canadian dollar is affecting team owners and players. The revenue sharing arrangement, a variation on profit-sharing, means that players and owners share in the currency risk.
With the integration of Eastern European countries into the European Union, large disparities in wages across the EU became evident. As a result, many Western manufacturing firms started shifting labor intensive manufacturing jobs to Eastern regions. Meanwhile, many Eastern workers started looking westward for higher wages. The result of those two trends has now led to low unemployment in Eastern Europe, and companies are struggling to find enough workers for factory jobs.
Sometimes all the infrastructural elements are in place for leading industry transformation, allowing entrepreneurs to enter a market. It's also possible that some sociocultural (as well as economic) structural impediments keep the obvious from taking place, at least in the short run.
Entrepreneurs and venture capital see an opportunity in storage. The $33 billion industry is still growing, and new on-demand business models look promising.
Women's empowerment conferences are booming. While this trend may reflect a growing interest in the empowerment of women, it remains uncertain if the conferences are helping women advance their careers or if the demand may actually reflect the need for more change.
Walter Liew spent decades collecting information about DuPont's proprietary process for producing titanium oxide, a compound used to make things white. Much of the information that he obtained came from disgruntled former DuPont employees. While DuPont has elaborate security processes designed to protect its titanium oxide process, Liew's success shows that former employees are a potential point of vulnerability for trade secrets. Corporations may find it valuable to maintain the loyalty of former employees, especially those with sensitive knowledge.
The storage businesses will generate $33 billion in 2016, estimates research firm IBISWorld, up from $24 billion in 2010. More than 50,000 self-storage facilities are in the United States. Startups are trying to carve out a slice of the expanding storage industry by offering on-demand pickup and delivery.
While Samsung holds around 20 percent worldwide market share in smartphones, it has just 6 percent of the smartphone market in Japan. As it expanded worldwide, Samsung chose to focus on other emerging markets and largely left the Japanese market to local competitors. In fact, other than Apple, foreign phone makers have had difficulty entering the Japanese market.
Bombardier's goal of competing with Boeing and Airbus in the market for 100-plus seat aircraft has fallen short of expectations. While Bombardier has received orders and is getting ready to deliver its first aircraft, its order book is much weaker than it anticipated. With its stock trading below a dollar and the company operating at a loss, the Quebec and Canadian governments may need to step in to provide financial backing (and save jobs).
Warren Buffett’s utility NV Energy is winning the battle with Elon Musk’s SolarCity by getting the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules making rooftop solar panels unattractive. NV Energy prefers deals with concentrated solar farms to meet renewable energy targets.
Wal-Mart has long been criticized for driving mom-and-pop stores out of business in small towns and rural communities. Still, Wal-Mart stores served consumers and provided employment. As the company begins closing hundreds of stores, including all of its small Wal-Mart Express stores, small towns and rural areas are experiencing a whipsaw effect: When Wal-Mart stores close, communities are left without grocery stores or pharmacies. The company's decision to shutter stores and increase efficiency is partially explained by recent increases in wages. These wage increases may be seen as socially responsible, but the store closings in small towns and rural communities has an adverse effect.
Scammers are turning to small batch attacks to beat today’s more sophisticated e-mail filters. As artisanal spam becomes a bigger problem, the cybersecurity industry is pushing for adoption of new protections that could save our in-boxes.
The Swiss watch industry is lowering prices and looking to new markets. High-end Swiss luxury watches saw sales drop 3.3 percent in 2015, the first annual decline since 2009.
As gaming leagues show rapid growth and indications that they're growing profits too, the competitive arena for leagues and teams has ramped up. As profits become more certain, interest from major investors seeking to leverage their economies of scope and scale are beginning to enter the fray. In question are the distribution of overall industry profits (appropriation) throughout the key stakeholder groups involved and how the cooperation can create even more value.
The multinational agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program has opened the door for many foreign firms to pursue business deals in Iran. Not only are many foreign business leaders visiting Iran, but on a recent trip to Europe, the country's president, Hassan Rouhani, closed deals with several European firms. Most American firms, however, still have significant restrictions on what they can do in Iran.
Chinese appliance-maker Haier has become a major global competitor but, after fifteen years of trying, has yet to establish a strong position in the United States. Now it has acquired one by agreeing to pay $5.6 billion for GE’s appliance unit.
Although African Americans comprise about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for only about 1 percent of the technical employees at most Silicon Valley companies. There are multiple explanations behind this statistic, with many companies taking steps to try and boost employment of African Americans.
As more baby boomers inch towards retirement, companies are taking steps to facilitate knowledge transfer to the millennial generation. While millennials may have analytical skills and knowledge of data, boomers have expertise that can help fill the gaps. Programs that pair younger workers with more senior coaches and mentors are one way companies are trying to capture more knowledge from boomers before they retire.
AmEx is dismantling its enterprise growth division, initially created to develop additional sources of revenue, lure new customers, and help fend off Silicon Valley startups. AmEx’s CEO and chair, Ken Chenault, is also creating a new consumer-lending business.
The olive oil industry is based around the Mediterranean Sea. Tunisia, Spain, and Italy are the world's largest producers. While the United States is far behind in terms of production volume, California producers are taking a much more scientific approach to growing, harvesting, and processing olives.
Rarely do you think of going to pick up coffee with pricey brews made from the digestive results of a cat-like animal, but that's what Afineur is hoping people will do.
Haier, a China-based manufacturing firm, is buying General Electric's appliance business for $5.4 billion. While General Electric appliances are well known in United States, the company has done little to expand its appliance business internationally. Haier has made some inroads in the U.S. market and expanded in other markets both through growth and acquisitions. This acquisition will help Haier move from a small to significant player in the U.S. appliance market.
The second amendment to the constitution and protection of the public interest square off. Creating safety devices to limit misuse of constitutional rights seems like it might be a profitable realm of technology development, but beware of consumer demands.
Facebook sees India as a market with great potential, but many potential customers have limited internet access. In India, Facebook has teamed up with mobile service provider Reliance to offer free access to a focused and simple version of Internet access at reduced download speeds. The goal is to get new consumers interested in Internet access, and then be able to sell them full service options (around 40% upgrade within 1 month). The service has critics, however, who don't like how this contradicts net neutrality.
Since the subprime crisis, the Fed has taken a preemptive approach to prevent any potential economic problems. By using a variety of regulatory moves, Fed officials are hoping that this aggressive approach to monetary management will deflate any asset bubbles before they burst.
Banks and regulators are discussing options for creating a registry that hiring managers could access to identify individuals who have previously violated bank rules or codes of conduct. Such a registry might create a disincentive for questionable conduct and reduce the ability of offenders to move easily between banks.
After experimenting with a variety of business models for its meal delivery business, Munchery has settled on one that gives it greater control of operations and customer experience, but with high fixed costs. This could give it a more sustainable competitive advantage.
A lawsuit could result in Spotify having big liabilities from unpaid royalties. How much are these potential liabilities? And how is Spotify dealing with them?
As prices and mortgage rates rise, builders are trimming home sizes and cutting prices -- including offering homes starting in the $200,000 range -- to lure young buyers.
Asian shipbuilders have experienced canceled orders and a significant slowdown in new orders due to falling oil prices and slower growth in commodity demand from China.
A tiny patch designed by Pierre-Henri Benhamou of DBV Technologies, a French firm, has shown promise in helping its users overcome one of the most widespread and dangerous food allergies: peanuts.
High copays, copay coupons, and anti-coupons, it’s a battle between pharmaceutical companies and health insurers to influence consumer choice about purchasing high-priced drugs.
Apps have made it relatively common to have remotely controlled systems in the home. Unfortunately, these systems can be hacked, creating massive losses both financially and even physically. Dojo, a cybersecurity system domiciled in Israel and designed to pick up on hacking attempts on home systems, has garnered over $1 million in seed money for their solution to this problem.
At what price has Chipotle focused on providing “food with integrity?” After three different pathogens have caused five outbreaks and sickened hundreds of Chipotle customers across the United States, Chipotle is shifting its focus to food safety. This shift, however, means a departure from many established organizational routines and practices.
Canada's investment in neural network technology has helped its universities develop significant expertise in artificial intelligence. Technology firms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have hired Canadian artificial intelligence experts, and/or purchased companies and the technology they helped develop. While there is some concern regarding a brain drain with these high skilled employees moving to the U.S., it is helping the government and universities realize that they need to do more to help retain and attract this human capital in Canada.
A company's board of directors are responsible for determining the pay of senior executives and providing oversight for major financial decisions. But, interestingly enough, they are also responsible for setting their own pay, which varies widely across companies. While Berkshire Hathaway's outside directors received average compensation of under $4,000 last year, those at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals received on average just under $1.9 million.
High CEO pay at public companies has received a great deal of attention and much criticism. Meanwhile, high compensation of board members who set CEO pay, as well as their own, has gone under the radar.
A comprehensive virus test that can eliminate the need for iterative process of elimination tests can save time and money, both of which are critical in health care. This experimental test, developed by a professor at Columbia, could bring this to fruition in the near future.
Chipotle prides itself on serving fresh, healthy fast food, using local vegetable suppliers wherever possible and meat from animals raised without added hormones and antibiotics. These goals for freshness and healthy ingredients complicate supply chain management, however, and have led to shortages of certain ingredients. More troubling is the recent rash of food-borne illnesses that have been traced to Chipotle restaurants across the country.
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has diligently cultivated the medical diagnostic company over the past 12 years and is just now hitting the mainstream of her target market. However, both she and the company face stiff challenges.
By merging then breaking up into three companies, Dow and DuPont can achieve focus and scale at the same time. That should finally make their activist investors happy.
Amazon’s boom year means a swell in temporary workers, which cuts into profit -- though not as much as putting them on staff would. The weekly price of Amazon’s holiday help is $70.4 millon.
Taiwanese bike maker Giant Manufacturing's U.S. sales grew 13.8 percent in the first half of 2015, as it pushed higher-end products. The firm is looking to aggressively expand its market presence in the U.S.
The U.K.'s National Crime Agency is trying to scare young hackers straight with door-knocks and ad campaigns. The police now visit the parents of the teens before a crime is committed.
Both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are building companies in the business of launching people and goods into space. Will they compete head to head or carve out separate niches in space travel?
IT services company Cognizant is trying to take on IBM. Cognizant’s profit is up an estimated 20 percent this year as the outsourcer shifts more resources to consulting services.
Kansas and other states are taking advantage of a funding mechanism that allows for an increase in state health provider taxes and state Medicaid spending, all essentially paid for by the federal government.
Banking and lending seem to be divided across several dimensions of strategic groupings. Social Finance (SoFi) has managed to take specific needs of millennials, such as targeting student loans for those exiting college, and turn them into an open door to offer additional services typically provided by large banks.
Everlane’s approach to business has been characterized as more "missionary" than "mercenary." The online retailer sells fashionable shoes, clothing, and accessories, but also discloses details about the factory where each item is made and the costs of production.
M-Kopa, a Kenyan company in the solar power business, plans to be a $1 billion firm by selling solar panels to rural residents -- and providing them with credit. M-Kopa's typical customer lives on less than $2 per day, but is willing to purchase a $200 power system in order to save money on kerosene and electricity.
Plaintiffs in ideologically driven cases before the Supreme Court often have little at stake personally in the outcome. In one current case, Abigail Fisher, a recent college graduate, is challenging the University of Texas over its admissions process even though she's no longer in school and is seeking only $100.
Pfizer will make its $160 billion deal with Allergan look like the much smaller Allergan has acquired Pfizer. This will allow the merged company to claim its tax location in Dublin and cut its taxes in half. The Pfizer CEO and the U.S. president disagree on whether this is responsible corporate behavior.
Walmart has a long and consistent history of opposing unionization of its workforce. The company carefully monitors activities of workers that may be trying to convince coworkers to join a union and provides extensive training to help managers understand legal limitations regarding federal employment regulations. In the past several years there have been a number of protests and partial strikes on Black Friday at some Walmart stores, but the company has used public relations and labor relations teams to effectively minimize disruptions.
British singer Adele and Sony Music Entertainment are betting fans will show up at record stores and on iTunes to buy a copy rather than stream it on Apple Music and Spotify. The initial sales data suggests they are right. There are questions if this phenomenon will slow the growth of streaming services.
Masayoshi Son, Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank, hired Nikesh Arora from Google to help the company invest $3 billion per year in promising startups with high end potential. Unlike most pools like this, they are not using a shotgun approach with the money, rather they are going to focus huge amounts of cash on around 10 startups. This Bloomberg Businessweek article gives personal insight into Arora and his frame of mind as well as his philosophies on risk.
To understand the logic behind the merger of Allergan and Pfizer, the relative corporate tax rates of the U.S. and Ireland make it simple--35 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. As a U.S.-based company, Pfizer's worldwide profits were taxed at 35 percent. In what is referred to as a tax inversion, Ireland-based Allergan technically purchased the much bigger Pfizer.
Nineteen million Takata air bags have been recalled, and despite the seriousness of the safety issue, it may take four years to replace them all. The problem may be compounded by both additional recalls and the financial challenges facing Takata as carmakers stop ordering the company's air bags. While Takata and car manufacturers face challenges related to this recall, car owners are the real losers of this protracted process.
Small numbers of manufacturers now control the market for many common hospital drugs. Limited production and shortages have resulted in sustained price increases of 100 percent and more.
The attorney general of the State of New York is threatening the fantasy football industry. The top three competitors are responding very differently, but the primary concern is that other states will follow suit and substantially change the laws that govern fantasy football.
A new trade agreement between Australia and China has paved the way for additional trade. One development is the shipping of live cattle from Australia to China, where the cows are then slaughtered. Specialized containers have been developed to facilitate the shipping of cattle on Boeing 747 aircraft, which allows shipping to cities far from China's coast.
The pet foodie movement is surging. Premium pet food now accounts for more than half of the $23.7 billion market, and new entrants with innovative products are taking a big chunk.
Carnival’s CEO, Arnold Donald, has replaced seven of the company’s nine cruise line heads, and given them a charge to think outside the box to reach new customers. Donald believes that a diverse group of people working together can outperform a more homogenous group 90 percent of the time. His new cruise line heads reflect this philosophy. In an industry that is male-dominated and white, four of Donald’s new cruise line heads are women, one is black, one is gay, and some have no experience in the industry.
Entrepreneurial businesses are sometimes like trying to climb a rock wall, but in this case the business IS creating and manufacturing the rock walls.
The “eat-like-your-owner” strategy appears to be paying off for entrepreneurial high-end pet food manufacturers. Sales of premium dog food have surged 45 percent to $10.5 billion in the U.S. since 2009 and now account for more than half of the market. But is this a sustainable marketing strategy?
Indoor rock climbing gyms are being opened worldwide, and the world's largest builder (Walltopia) comes from an unlikely location - Bulgaria. Two and a half hours outside Sofia, in the small town of Letnitsa, is a factory that has supplied walls to gyms in more than 50 countries. Through a combination of cheap labor, innovative designs, and willingness to develop custom walls for clients, Walltopia has gained a loyal worldwide customer base for their climbing walls.
In the current U.S. Supreme Court case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), the plaintiff is challenging a prior Court ruling allowing public-sector unions to charge fees to nonmembers. About half of union labor is with public-sector employees.
Brands are using a variety of labels to appeal to customers’ interests in wholesome foods. By labeling food products as "natural" or "authentic," companies may be responding to customer demands, but it is unclear what these claims mean. Loose regulations allow companies to label many food products in ways that are potentially misleading.
Original content has become a key success factor for video streaming services that want to compete with Netflix and Amazon. The revenue generated by subscription and rental fees is fueling higher-quality productions than the ad model.
By giving much of his estate away before death, John Walton avoided billions in estate taxes and left more for his heirs to inherit. How did he manage to do it?
As companies reformulate products and label them to evoke a sense of natural authenticity, terms such as “local,” “humanely raised,” and “authentic” are largely left to the interpretation of food marketers. The conclusion is that consumers are left to figure it out for themselves. But do we know what we are eating?
Renewable energy innovators throughout Europe and the U.S. used to be able to count on significant public investments from their governments. But now the U.S. is following some European countries by cutting back on tax credits for wind and solar.
China has been Apple's manufacturing base and sales growth engine for the past several years. Although growth in Chinese sales of all smartphones is slowing, Apple has seen its third-quarter sales double from 2014 to 2015. While such a high growth rate may not be sustainable, Apple will continue to view the Chinese market as an increasingly important source of revenue.
Ten nonprofit co-ops created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have failed recently in part due to a lack of Congressional funding. The co-ops were created to promote competition in state health insurance marketplaces.
Wavestorm of Taiwan has become the surfboard industry leader by selling soft surfboards for $99.99 exclusively through Costco. Some say WaveStorm is killing the industry with low margins. Others hope it will expand the market and lead to eventual growth in sales of higher-end boards.
A Taiwanese manufacturer and a Canadian toy executive joined forces to make a low-price surfboard that’s a best-seller in the U.S.
In the world of artificial intelligence innovation, does secrecy hurt? Many talented researchers in this field are turned off by the limitations that Apple places on participation in AI-related professional and academic conferences.
Apple is ramping up its artificial intelligence efforts, but the company’s reticence to publish its research is limiting its effectiveness and applicant pool.
Weather Modification Inc., a North Dakota-based company, has built a global business in cloud seeding. While its pilots and planes fly all over the world doing cloud seeding, it also offers consulting services to help governments and local contractors develop their own ability to stimulate precipitation.
According to drug manufacturer Elanco, the world’s growing demand for meat, milk, and eggs is a more urgent priority than American consumers’ desire for food that is organic, antibiotic free, or pasture-raised. Elanco's answer is the use of antibiotics and growth hormones to increase food production. But is it safe?
Glencore, a global mining company based in Switzerland, recently announced it will lay off more than 4,000 workers at mines in Zambia. During the shutdown, the company will spend money on improving the mining operations to try and cut operating costs. But for most workers, as well as the communities that supply goods and services to the mine workers, what had been a bright spot in a bleak economy will be dimmed.
California has decided to support electric vehicles in a big way. Soon petroleum companies will be in direct competition with California’s big electric utilities with their thousands of new charging stations.
Microsoft tries to salvage respect in an environment that doesn't tremble at the company's name and might. While unarguably a key player in the gaming industry, it has most certainly not taken the dominant position in the game console market that it has in the computer software realm. Microsoft is banking on its new Halo release to at least maintain its stake and maybe further it in the near future.
Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” technology turns out not to be so clean after all. Some Volkswagen cars only met emission standards because the company used software to fool emissions tests by turning on special emission controls only during testing conditions. While it remains unknown who at Volkswagen was responsible, hubris may be one of the explanations for why Volkswagen cheated, and it may also explain why the company so readily admitted to the fraud.
Legislation in the United States has encouraged automakers to explore new technologies to reduce vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy. While some automakers have turned to hybrid and electric vehicles, Volkswagen chose to invest in what it termed clean diesel technology. In many ways, this was simply building on Volkswagon's strengths and investments in diesel engines, but when the technology couldn't quite get the company to the point it desired, a few lines of code were used to trick the emissions tests.
Apple, Amazon, and Google all think there is an opportunity to stream games over their new streaming devices. Roku is listening to game makers and gamers who disagree.
Fiat Chrysler’s tentative agreement with the UAW will increase its employee wages across the board. Nevertheless, by avoiding a cap on the number of newly hired workers that it can employ, Fiat Chrysler will continue to enjoy a labor cost advantage over the other Big Three automakers. Unionized workforces make automakers’ compensation and other human resource management issues subject to labor union negotiations. Thus, the ability to successfully negotiate labor agreements with an eye toward developing strategic advantages is an important dimension of human resource management for Fiat Chrysler and other automakers.
Keeping production cost low is important for any firm, but inbound and outbound logistics within the linked value chain have powerful impacts as well. Infrastructural components can create advantages and disadvantages in the global market.
Stanford's Graduate School of Business (GSB) is among the world’s top business programs, yet it is currently grappling with a scandal that includes both human resource management and organizational behavior issues.
Apple claims 90 percent of the smartphone industry’s profits. Although other firms offer very competitive phones, so far they seem to be eroding one another's positions -- not Apple's.
Financial literacy for all generations is important. The CEO of TIAA-CREF says that even if Americans increase their savings, when they stop working they'll still need a guaranteed income, like traditional pensions used to provide.
Cloud services, an industry developed by IT giants for IT giants, is finally seeing a few startups enter its realm. The startups have managed to underbid the giants in certain markets by keeping expenses relatively low.
Atos, a global IT-services firm, is trying to sell companies on its e-mail-minimizing social network -- which it says is a major timesaver.
Strong demand from China drove high prices and robust investment in commodity materials for over a decade. Now China’s slowing economy has the increased supply meeting lower demand, and many industries are awash in materials.
In some countries, economic development is negatively impacted by a corrupt educational system that does not allow the brightest poor students to reach their potential. Instead, wealthier students (or their parents) pay to get into prestigious schools, receive inflated test scores, and/or receive bogus degrees. As a result of this corruption, deserving students are denied educations, and some who receive degrees may not have skills that are consistent with their educational credentials. Multinational corporations must adapt hiring and training practices in these environments and thus bear some of the costs of educational corruption. The costs borne by society and individuals, however, may be much more substantial.
Burger King is relying more heavily on data to make sure its marketing is cost-effective as it reaches customers through digital and social media. Franchisees say the resulting buzz has translated into higher restaurant sales, and the company is doing it for about one fourth of what McDonald’s spends on advertising.
A new spinal insert can enhance the outcomes of spinal damage victims.
In some countries, the education system has been undermined by corruption. Wealthy families can bribe teachers and school officials to fudge test scores, provide documentation for unearned degrees, or admit unqualified students. Concern over the training of doctors has led the European Union and United States to not recognize the medical degrees of graduates from Ukrainian schools, for example.
Texas Roadhouse is fighting an EEOC suit that alleges the company discriminates based on age when hiring waiters, waitresses, and other front-of-house restaurant workers. The company notes that its servers must wear jeans, work nights and weekends, and line dance during their shifts. Any observed adverse impact on older workers is related to these job requirements, it argues, so its hiring practices are lawful. The case will test a common defense that businesses need younger employees to attract customers and project their brands’ images, as well as address the underlying question of whether prohibitions against age discrimination apply to all companies, regardless of the youthfulness of their brands.
Strong marketing turned EpiPen from a commodity into a blockbuster brand for drugmaker Mylan. It also enabled them to raise the price by about 400 percent.
The European Union has made a point of separating governments from ownership in companies, and many previously state-owned companies are now public companies. There's a regulation in Germany, however, referred to as the Volkswagen law, that has allowed the government to maintain a direct ownership stake in the company—a so-called "golden share"—that gives it significant say in the operation of the company. Now that Volkswagen has admitted to rigging the software in many of its cars so that they appear to be more efficient and cleaner than they actually are, there are questions as to whether the unique ownership structure of Volkswagen helped allow this situation to come to pass.
Mutant flowers sounds like a great start to a horror flick, but in this case it may well turn into a business bonanza for the founder of Farmacy.
In a UK court, the former UBS trader, Tom Hayes, was found guilty and sentenced to fourteen years in jail for his role in manipulating Libor. Throughout the court case, there was no disputing what Hayes had done. It remains unclear, however, whether Hayes was truly a mastermind behind the Libor manipulations or simply one of a number of participants in an industry-wide practice.
With all its interest in tech gadgets and automation, it's easy to think Japan would be on the forefront of mobile phone and Internet-based banking—but it isn't. In fact, Japan has one of the lower rates of mobile banking adoption in the world behind India and Nigeria. Japanese customers have a preference for cash, and visiting luxurious bank branches to access their cash.
Tatitlek Support Services workers are claiming back pay for overtime and break time that they should have been given under California labor laws. These workers spent up to two weeks at a time living on a Marine Corps base while participating in training exercises teaching U.S. troops how to interact with Afghan and Iraqi populations. Tatitlek is arguing that federal laws, rather than California’s stricter labor laws, apply since the exercises took place on federal military bases.
While it is common to think of Africa as a continent poised for growth, the situation differs across many of its fifty-five countries. The falling price of oil has meant that oil-exporting countries (e.g., Nigeria, Ghana, Angola) are seeing much lower revenues. Meanwhile, countries that depended on minerals and other commodity sales to China have also seen growth slow. But both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia are expected to have more than 8 percent GDP growth this year. As a result, there are still good investment opportunities in Africa, depending on the country and the sector of the economy.
New Israeli ride-hailing service La’Zooz is a cooperative that relies on volunteers for coding. Riders pay with bitcoin-like tokens that can be earned by giving rides or working on the app. A bitcoin developer says La’Zooz has the potential to “eat Uber and Lyft.”
Activist investors say that spinning off or selling properties can boost a company’s stock price and reward investors who would otherwise miss a chance to benefit from record real estate values.
Apple’s design team focuses on how it can make products more intuitive and easy to use. The company does not believe in using focus groups to tell the designers what customers want, but believes the skills and instincts of designers will be able to provide software and hardware that customers will want to use.
Chobani's founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, helped the company bring Greek yogurt to the U.S. market. The company has weathered struggles with meeting production demands and quality control during a period of rapid growth. While some expected Ulukaya to be ousted, he remains CEO. Ulukaya has learned, however, that the company needs an executive with managerial skills that differ from his own.
The once-famous Stetson hat company is struggling. To keep the company relevant, CEO Izumi Kajimoto is no longer relying on cowboy culture. Instead, Stetson is pursuing the hipster market by offering an eclectic, trendy mix of hats.
Bollywood film studio Eros hopes to build a strong enough position in video streaming to fend off Netflix and Amazon when they enter India. With a large library of its own films, original programs, music videos, and a head start, Eros wants to be the dominant streaming service in India.
Eros is one of Bollywood's largest studios, releasing around 70 movies a year. Hoping to attain a first-mover advantage in advance of foreign rivals such as Amazon and Netflix, Eros is launching a video streaming service.
High prices for milk last year caused farmers in many countries to invest in increased production.This year, with markets slowing in China and trade tensions with Russia, global trade in dairy products is down. Hence, dairy farmers worldwide are in a tough financial bind.
Understanding and maximizing the touch response of an iPhone screen can cost millions (or billions) of dollars, as Apple found out in building 3D Touch.
Daily fantasy sports sites are exempt from restrictions on sports betting. Instead, they are considered games of skill and not gambling. FanDuel and DraftKings, the two main services, will bring in a combined $60 million in entry fees in the first week of the NFL season. Sports books in Las Vegas, by contrast, are expected to handle about $30 million.
The Affordable Care Act created an opening for new health insurance companies to enter the market by lowering some of the barriers. But well-funded startup Oscar is losing a lot of money while it tries to reach scale and a competitive cost position.
Hampton Creek’s Josh Tetrick is taking a stand against the FDA. The FDA issued a warning letter listing a number of rule violations related to the company’s Just Mayo product. Among these violations is the company’s use of the term “mayo” in the product’s name and the image of an egg on its label. The FDA asserts this is a violation if its standard-of-identity rules and can be misleading, since the product is eggless. Tetrick ‘s defiant stance stems from more than financial incentives; it is rooted in the company’s commitment to make the global food system more sustainable by developing plant-based substitutes for animal proteins. Thus, the regulatory dispute has issues of principle and may have implications for the evolution of the food industry.
Shoemaking companies in Portugal are performing well financially as they move up-market. While they can not compete on price with Asian manufacturers, they can compete on quality and have found a profitable market position between high-end Italian shoes and lower-priced Asian models. Some have also added their own brands while continuing to operate as contract manufacturers for more famous labels.
Forget about streaming video or downloading or uploading large files if you live in Cuba. With fewer than 4 percent of homes having access to the Internet, Cuba has some of the worst Internet access in the world. How does Castro’s government respond to the market demand for better Internet access and control access to information?
Oscar, a startup healthcare insurance provider designed for individual customers, is losing money rapidly. Instead of folding, though, the company is expanding.
Qatar Airways expects to hire about 6,000 more flight attendants over the next two years, many of whom will come from other countries. When hiring flight attendants, the company tries to make clear that its employees are required to adhere to certain cultural norms of the conservative Middle Eastern country and that the job may not be right for everyone. The company recently relaxed rules related to marriage and pregnancy, but Western workers might find some remaining rules to be odd or discriminatory.
Netflix is on track to become the first worldwide, online subscription television network. But it may have difficulty selling the same service the same way everywhere, especially in Japan.
Netflix continues to see a growth in revenues, with strong sales in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and Brazil. Now the company has its sights set on Asian markets as it rolls out its service in Japan. This, however, will bring new challenges, as Japanese consumers are not used to paying for programming.
While policies on marriage and pregnancy have recently been relaxed, Qatar Airways' flight attendants still must abide by some rules that are consistent with local middle eastern culture but different from the rules of many international airlines. Qatar Airways pays well by industry standards and provides free housing to its employees. With the company planning to hire another 6,000 flight attendants over the next two years, it's making some changes to its policies while also trying to make sure applicants know what is expected in a conservative middle-eastern culture.
Regardless of where innovation is generated, it will seek its highest potential returns wherever they may exist across the globe. Due to revenue constraints, British healthcare innovators are beginning to seek and find funding (as well as markets) in the United States before looking at home.
3G Capital and Warren Buffett are focused on cost-cutting and operational efficiency to boost profits at moribund Kraft. But analysts are concerned about the long-term value of the firm's brands in the evolving packaged-foods industry.
Is Cuba now a capitalist or socialist society? Although 201 categories of work are now open to entrepreneurs in the country, the state still dominates the economy.
Insider trading, or making stock transactions on soon-to-happen information, is both illegal and lucrative. Hacking has changed the way insider traders operate. U.S. authorities say hackers illegally accessed 150,000 news releases, an example of a new form of insider trading.
Greece trails Spain and Italy in olive oil production, but is poised for a good year in 2015. A drought in Spain has led to a large drop in production, and bad weather, fruit flies, and a disease have all contributed to a decrease in Italian output.
As an expatriate, being assigned to lead sales in the largest and fastest-growing international market would seem like a good thing. For Citroen's Sabine Scheunert, the dream job has turned into a real challenge as China's auto market has cooled. The downturn has led to dealerships needing to offer significant discounts to move inventory, and Scheunert's challenge is amplified due to evolving consumer preferences.
Shell has resumed drilling in the arctic sea after years of legal battles and weather-related disasters. Despite the risks and the current glut of oil, Shell believes it is fulfilling its responsibility to provide oil the world will need.
Google's search engine is very popular in Europe, as is the Android operating system. European opinion leaders have heaped praise on the company for its stance on free speech and human rights. But Google also has its critics and detractors who believe the company has used its dominant position in the search market to push its own services at the expense of other websites. The search engine giant is now facing increasing criticism in Europe and potential fines for its business practices.
Do you think you can fool your teacher when you’re not paying attention? Think again. Plans are in place for as many as 1,000 schools in North America to use a technology that monitors student’s emotions. This market could reach $10 billion worldwide by 2020 and raises questions about privacy.
When Diebold CEO Andy Mattes assembled his management team at Diebold, he decided it didn't really matter where people lived and didn't expect them to move to Canton, Ohio, where Diebold is headquartered. Thus, various senior managers live in cities across the country and have regular conference calls. Since many executives spend much of their time traveling anyway, Mattes decided it was more important to hire the best people rather than the best people willing to move to Canton.
Unregulated supply chains and poor record keeping make it easy for counterfeit drugs to find their way into stores in many developing countries. MPedigree, a Ghana-based company, works with manufacturers to place scratch-off security codes on drug boxes to help consumers find out if the product is legitimate.
Claiming the largest share of Amazon’s business and looking to grow, the United States Postal Service has become a formidable competitor to FedEx and UPS. But that all depends on continued government support.
Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Nevertheless, the government has been slow to develop safety regulations in line with the Coast Guard Authorization Act.
Counterfeit drugs are a critical issue in many developing countries, as unregulated supply chains and poor record keeping make it easy for bootleggers to slip fake products into supply chains. The results can be life-threatening for customers who rely on the efficacy of drugs.
With operating system revenue falling from $19 billion to $15 billion over the last two years, Microsoft is trying to turn around this slide with the introduction of Windows 10. On July 21, the company announced a record $3.2 billion quarterly loss on $22.2 billion in revenue. Infamous for disastrous OS introductions, will Windows 10 be the success Microsoft needs?
Microsoft tries to win fans and improve its bottom line with a Windows operating system redo and ventures into non-OS products and services.
The development of new drugs is a long process, requiring years of research and testing before products can be released. New companies require significant capital to carry them through years of expenses before they generate revenue. In Europe, more firms are now turning to initial public offerings, and investors are more willing to provide capital with the hope that a new drug will pay off big.
Growth in China’s market of 400 million smartphone users has almost flattened, leaving manufacturers scrambling.The decline is particularly bad news for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which has been dependent upon the rapidly growing domestic market.
Gold prices have tumbled to a five-year low and analysts are predicting they will fall even lower by December. The drop is due in part to the high likelihood that the Fed will increase interest rates this year, which will draw investors away from gold and into bonds.
Google is known for innovation and a freewheeling culture that has contributed to its consistent record of growth. And as long as ad revenues have continued to grow, so has spending. Ruth Porat, who became CFO in May, is now trying to bring financial discipline and efficiency to Google without stifling its creative culture.
Google has brought in Ruth Porat, an almost 30-year veteran of Wall Street, as its CFO. Under her stewardship, expenses are leveling off and Google's stock price is on the rise.
Millions of people search online for information about symptoms and prescription drugs. Patterns in their searches might reveal previously unknown side effects of medications.
E-Nable designs 3D-printed prostheses for children older than 3 and shares its blueprints so they can be made for as little as $30. This way, the prostheses can be easily replaced as the kids outgrow them.
The large smartphone companies have done well in recent years, with rising sales and profits. Part of the reason for their success is the growing market for smartphones in China. However, the smartphone market in China may be reaching saturation, with most consumers who want and can afford a smartphone already owning one.
Shigenobu Nagamori started Nidec in 1973, and turned his small motor-making business into one of Japan’s most profitable multinational corporations. Nagamori, who has been recognized as one of Japan’s top business leaders, has an uncommon leadership style: He emphasizes motivation, dedication, and hard work over talent and intelligence.
As a young man in Belarus, Dmitry Naskovets wasn't a computer whiz, but his English language skills made him valuable for answering credit-card and banking security questions triggered by fraudulent transactions. While identity theft is clearly illegal, in the eyes of this young man it was different from more violent crimes.
Mergers have reduced the U.S. airline industry to just four major carriers. Profits are way up. And there is open talk of capacity discipline among airline executives. Now the Justice Department is investigating for possible collusion.
South Carolina's Grand Strand is dotted with golf courses, condos, and resorts. After some recent acquisitions, China-based Yiqian Funding now owns 22 of the golf courses and is adding to its real estate holdings. Yiqian's goals include increasing the number of Chinese tourists, and potential condo owners, to the area.
Ferrari, Fiat’s top luxury brand, is being spun off. Fiat is planning to fill the vacuum of the iconic Ferrari brand with Maserati. One of the challenges for Maserati is finding a way to broaden its appeal without chipping away at exclusivity.
Disney is applying what it learned from the problems it had establishing a park France as it develops the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland. The goal is to build something that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese. The demographics are quite different, and adult visitors may outnumber kids four to one. Will Disney’s largest foreign investment to date pay off?
Twitter is looking for a new CEO, but the search is complicated three former CEOs who once ran the company are on its board. It may prove difficult to attract a new leader, as it will be difficult to run a company while reporting to former CEOs, two of whom also founded the company. The complex and fiery relationships between the three does little to ease the challenges that a new CEO will face.
To avoid criminal charges for banking rule violations related to money laundering, HSBC signed a deferred prosecution agreement promising to improve controls and compliance systems designed to reduce the risk of financial crimes. A report by the HSBC’s court-appointed monitor, however, raises questions about the bank’s compliance with this agreement as well as its attitude toward reform.
Saying it has learned from experience in Paris and Hong Kong, Disney has gone to much greater lengths to tailor its new park in Shanghai to Chinese culture and society. Yet retaining an authentic Disney experience may be key to succeeding in China’s increasingly competitive amusement-park industry.
As legislators in various markets come to grips with the lost revenue within the taxi service sector due to Uber and Lyfts, the business model is now shifting to avoid these issues and it is not being accomplished by the incumbent firms, but by other startups. One major player is Bla-Bla Car, which uses a ride-sharing model versus a ride-for-hire model.
The farm lobby in Washington proved successful in getting legislation passed in 2000 that allowed agricultural exports to Cuba. Under the guise of humanitarian goals, agricultural companies could ship goods (primarily grain) to Cuba as long as no government financing was used. With the potential for more open trade between the United States and Cuba, the lobbying efforts have increased, although not everyone is pushing for open trade in agriculture between the countries.
Disney is preparing to open a new theme park outside Shanghai that blends standard Disney features with Chinese themes. It also has to adapt to the Chinese demographic, where, as a result of the one-child policy, it is expected that there will be four adults for every one child at the park.
The armed forces are recruiting hackers for cyberwar. The recruits use open source software such as Metasploit.
A pioneering startup accelerator is building businesses in one of the world’s toughest places. The drive and focus of the citizens in the Gaza Strip is helping create a tech hub there.
Rare-earth prices jumped as much as sixfold in 2011. However, they crashed soon after, leading to the bankruptcy of U.S. miner Molycorp. The rare-earths commodity bubble burst when their scarcity was short-lived.
DuPont has completed the spin-off of its major chemical operations. The new company, Chemours, inherited thirty-seven active chemical plants with products that generated 19 percent of DuPont's revenues. Chemours also inherited 62 percent of DuPont's environmental liabilities. The spin-off raises questions about DuPont's responsibility to meet obligations arising from decades of pollution.
Is AB InBev acquiring craft brewers to strengthen the segment or put them out of business?
You have to be crazy to begin a startup. Can I be your therapist?
A gene-editing technique could provide inexpensive cures to diseases, but ethical and regulatory concerns may discourage investment and slow the development of treatments.
It's all about the base. Or is it?
The company selling a costly breakthrough to millions of hepatitis C sufferers thinks price is the wrong thing to talk about.
With securitized loans, sloppy record keeping, and allegations of abusive debt-collection tactics, some question whether the student loan market will be another mortgage crisis.
Seeking romance and love in modern day China. There has to be an app for that. Or two or three.
Bolt Threads expects products made with its yeast cell-based silk to be available in 2016.
Nintendo was once ahead of the pack on the competitive gaming, and now the struggling company is playing catch-up. Game over?
More countries are starting or purchasing trading companies to help serve national interests for the export or import of commodities.
Two Los Angeles suburbs have approved big-ticket stadium projects in the hope of luring an NFL team.
After a raid and seven arrests, questions of bribery and corruption surround the organization that runs global soccer.
Both sides aim to reduce the sticker shock of new specialized drugs.
Coke offers small restaurants in Germany access to an app that will facilitate online ordering of food and beverages.
The students who attended Corinthian Colleges are seeking debt relief in bankruptcy.
Snapchat SEO Evan Spiegel says he has a better way for advertisers to reach millennials and teens than TV or social networks.
Takata expanded its recall of defective air bags to 34 million vehicles. Analysts say that could cost it $2.5 billion.
New startup OnePlus' business relies on word of mouth abroad.
Is WeWork a real estate company with a tech-bubble valuation, or a brilliant new office space?
The SEC is paralyzed by politics and poor leadership, according to staffers.
Gridlock at the SEC? Mary Jo White's two-year tenure heading the commission has been marked largely by political discord and paralysis rather than accomplishments.
The Dubai International Airport seeks new ways to handle more superjumbo jets to cope with increased passenger traffic
Zenefits has raised almost $600 million for its centralized small business HR software.
To cut back on imports and boost domestic agricultural productivity, China is opening up to more GMOs.
Nestle takes steps to reduce water usage at its factories while facing criticism for selling bottled water.
Should utilities disclose contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups, including groups that oppose the development of alternative energy?
A century-old retail business lays the groundwork for succession.
Sales growth at established Whole Foods stores has slowed to 3.6 percent, far below the pace of organics overall. Who is eating their organic lunch?
Can data that is stored in another country be kept safe and private?
Daimler's self-driving trucks are now being tested in Nevada.
The cost of legal sales of marijuana—does it sometimes leave opportunity for illegal entrepreneurs?
Although billions of dollars in fines have been levied, traders who allegedly rigged Libor are just coming to trial.
Chinese online retailers take steps to curb the sales of counterfeit goods on their websites.
Oil companies can use geothermal energy from drilling wastewater as a source of power.
Do Silicon Valley tech companies use a permanent tier of second-class workers?
Two competitors, two different strategies in Russia.
Pick a pic made easier and better.
Developers on Oahu try to balance opportunities to offer tourists high-priced condos with the need for affordable housing for locals.
China may be the new California as its policies drive automakers to produce EVs.
While Toyota bets on hydrogen over electric power for autos, in China it is selling electric cars to win favor with the government.
Let's just borrow money from 20,000 small lenders rather than a bank.
Is creating opportunities for a few individual small businesses at the same time we create huge benefits to large businesses overseas a solid strategy for entrepreneurial proponents?
BP has paid billions of dollars for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but environmental damage has been far less than many feared.
As labor costs rise in China, Indonesia tries to attract manufacturers.
Will major reductions in Procter & Gamble's product line make it more competitive?
Learning guitar is easy when you can see the music.
France's attempt to make money selling nuclear power plants has fallen flat.
Japan’s dominant e-commerce company, Rakuten, is trying to become a global competitor through acquisitions.
How Buffalo Wild Wings turned the sports bar into a $1.5 billion juggernaut.
Pharmaceutical companies' patent tactics face legal scrutiny.
Can JPMorgan's predictive monitoring identify a rogue employee before a violation occurs?
Having gained a strong position in Japan, Rakuten is making acquisitions internationally to spur growth.
Commercial drones are still mostly illegal in the U.S., but the industry and NASA are working to keep them from colliding.
Exxon's big bets in Russia can't pay off until sanctions are lifted.
NASA-backed software could orchestrate urban skies.
Did oil company executives pressure scientists about potential links between tracking and earthquakes?
Airbnb works to overcome hurdles to open the Cuban rental market.
Sometimes conventional wisdom can take an unconventional turn.
Startup VarageSale competes with Craigslist by focusing on mobile and has raised $34 million in venture funding.
Negative interest rates offer an advantage for individual investors.
There used to be a simple rule for retirement savers: The percentage of bonds in your portfolio should match your age. That no longer applies.
The U.S. State Department and multinational retailers are taking steps to address human trafficking and poor working conditions in Thai factories.
Two inventors found it easier to build $7,900 bike wheels than to sell them.
Coke and Pepsi may be allies in the latest battle to win back consumers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes aim at contract clauses that bar class-action suits.
Many cybersecurity firms work with governments, but close ties between Kaspersky and the Russian government are causing concern.
Human trafficking and migrant laborers have cast a shadow on Thailand's tuna industry.
U.S. cola consumption is falling by about 4 percent a year. Soda makers are seeking new sweeteners to reverse the trend.
There’s no reason for all the hand-wringing about the strong greenback.
China may prove to the big market for Apple's most expensive watches.
You can resume your game after the advertisement is complete.
The $37 billion pizza industry wants Congress to roll back regulations designed to get Americans to eat fewer slices.
Should new autoworkers be second-class citizens?
The U.S. Trade Representative's "notorious markets" list uses a name-and-shame approach to address intellectual property theft.
A new specially designed drone can safely bounce off obstacles and people without damage or injury.
A U.S. government report names names in the business of fakes.
Celebrating a melancholy mood helps Stutterheim sell high-priced Swedish raincoats.
Big Pharma companies are competing to produce breakthrough drugs that no one can afford.
Alabama's Baptists get behind a lobbying push for rate caps.
Only 20 percent of nonindex mutual funds investing in U.S. stocks beat their benchmarks in 2014.
User-ranked listings site Product Hunt attracts venture capitalists.
The American breakfast experience has changed, and Kellogg is in trouble.
The little-understood measure is crucial to managing the economy.
The company is spending billions on factories and state-owned rivals.
New CAFE standards no longer constrain the number of big trucks a company can sell, and the trucks are getting bigger.
It's a dog-eat-dog world in publishing, but that's not a bad thing for this company.
Can the Container Store maintain its commitment to conscious capitalism and keep shareholders happy, too?
In Africa, Pizza Hut can't be the cheapest or the first pizza chain, so it wants to be the best.
Do consumers really want to know the price they're paying?
Pressure from stockholders may change the character of craft website Etsy after its upcoming IPO.
The Obama administration cut off support for a clean-coal plant, making it harder to meet ambitious emissions goals.
Flexible bond funds lagged their more traditional peers last year.
Rather than shifting demolition work to safer and cleaner shipbreakers, recent EU regulations may be fueling the growth of India’s dangerous and dirty shipbreaking industry.
The booming market for autos in China has caused automakers to expand capacity faster than the demand warrants.
Old European ships find their way to scrapyards in India, working around EU regulations.
Two academics have created a security system that is practically impossible to evade.
Expedia has taken an aggressive position on local hotel taxes and may face a tax bill of $847 million.
Kansas City's Sub Tropolis, a subterranean industrial park, takes advantage of natural energy and climate advantages to attract tenants.
All is not lost. That engagement ring is still worth something.
Rising wages in Cambodia cause multinationals to look elsewhere for cheap labor.
Startup Sprayable seeks to take customers from wide awake to deep sleep.
Whole Foods, unaffectionately known as "Whole Paycheck," had a lousy 2014. The elite grocer says it is ready to compete like a big-box chain.
How is Whole Foods planning to maintain its profitability in the face of increasing competition?
Whole Foods is responding to competition with moves that mirror the competition's tactics, such as cutting prices.
As Uber and Lyft are introducing true ride-sharing services, social and environmental benefits may follow.
An engineer has created a temporary tattoo that can monitor your blood sugar without needles.
Western brands vie for product placement on China's hit shows, and often don't even have to pay for the publicity.
A family's social media campaign for access to an experimental drug highlights the conflicting moral obligations of patients' families and drug companies.
How much does genealogy matter in entrepreneurial endeavors?
Target has admitted failure and is pulling back from its first international expansion into Canada.
Target is cutting its losses and exiting the Canadian market.
There are only two countries in the world that don’t have some form of legally protected, partially paid time off for working women who’ve just had a baby: Papua New Guinea and the U.S.
Unless you work for a company that voluntarily offers it, or in one of three states, paid maternity leave doesn't exist in the U.S.
An outspoken advocate of ethics and fighting corruption is now facing trial for bribery. Is Joe Sigelman guilty or a scapegoat?
Chinese car dealerships battle with car makers over growth and margins.
Despite a significant drop in worldwide PC shipments over the last year, Apple is gaining in the category.
Labor force participation by lower-income families has risen sharply.
Members-only online discount retailer, Jet.com, will launch this January and compete on price with industry giants Amazon and eBay.
The wage gap is just the start. A combination of the demise of traditional pensions for rank-and-file employees and lucrative deferred compensation plans for executives is making an even larger retirement savings gap.
India's airlines have lost $10 billion over the past seven years, but that doesn't keep more airlines from entering the market.
If you can't have everything between your ears, you can at least have it all in your ear.
New facilities are supposed to prevent delivery disappointments.
Nairobi is a vibrant environment for young expat entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
Marc Benioff is pushing his fellow tech billionaires into giving back to San Francisco.
Major obstacles remain despite President Obama reducing travel, trade, and banking restrictions with Cuba.
Fraudbusters are cracking down on fake goods in China.
Amazon has almost doubled the number of its sorting centers to avoid hiccups in holiday deliveries.
Creating value and getting wealthy are not necessarily connected.
Will electric vehicles become a thing of the past? Toyota has a vision that its hydrogen vehicle will become the first mass-market hydrogen car.
Are tax-motivated corporate inversions unethical or smart?
As Dunkin' Donuts expands internationally, it localizes its product offerings.
Increasing cybersecurity is one way for U.S. corporations to respond to hackers who can cripple operations and steal valuable data. Should corporations also be able to retaliate?
Websites, warehouses, and shipping companies in India can't keep up with e-commerce demand.
Travel expenses made easy and hopefully cheaper.
Medical data analytics will surpass $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020. A new technique allows advertising to know exactly which drugs you're taking and to share it on the Internet. With everyone.
We are all entrepreneurs at varying levels.
Shareholder value can't be maximized by focusing on profits alone.
Some fans thought it meant the end of baseball. But free agency proved to make baseball fairer . . . and maybe even a little more interesting.
Outsourcing has been taking place for longer than most U.S. college students have been alive.
Chevron continues to spend large sums on R&D and the marketing of its fuel additive Techron although the competition has similar additives and consumers are more focused on price.
Is there a prejudicial element in gender-based assistance programs for agricultural improvement?
Although a media critic is harassed for challenging sexism in video games, the industry's lack of inclusiveness may hurt its future.
The declining value of the Russian ruble is making imports more expensive, thus impacting consumer spending and importers' business.
Holiday return rates are three times the usual, costing sellers billions of dollars.
After suffering outflows of $250 billion from 2008 through 2013, Capital Group is still trying to convince investors that traditional stockpicking, if practiced by the right people, can beat the market averages over the long haul.
Can SeaWorld overcome the backlash over its treatment of marine animals?
An engineer has developed a 3D-printing plastic he claims can be used to print electronics.
Entering the makeup market from the blogosphere.
Overstaffing at some ports is leading to a work slowdown, affecting imports and exports.
Amazon and local e-commerce firms in India try to work around rules designed to protect small shopkeepers from foreign-backed retailers.
Bangladesh exports leather, but the environmental and health costs remain local.
Bangladesh's $1 billion leather export industry is hazardous for workers.
Entrepreneurs prefer to list their companies' shares in the U.S.
Bargain-hungry shoppers can't stop clipping.
As Ericsson's network equipment sales slow, it looks to develop new revenue streams in the cloud.
Office rents have doubled since 2009 as startups crowd in.
The most influential artist in the music industry is young, successful, and confronting the streaming music format.
Wal-Mart and Wild Oats plan to lower the price of organic food and bring it to the masses.
A great innovative company doesn't rely on its early success for extension; it leans on its brand reputation.
India is becoming increasingly attractive to manufacturers, although it is still in need of infrastructure improvements.
Coal producers and utility companies are trying to slow implementation of the EPA's plan to limit power plant emissions.
Takata has a reputation for innovative technology and improvements to auto safety. Nevertheless, the company, auto manufacturers, and regulators all face increasing pressure regarding air bag safety and recalls.
Tim Cook lays a brick in the "sunlight path toward justice."
Worldwide demand for salmon is growing faster than it can be produced in Chile, Norway, Canada, and the United States.
Six startups are competing to sell women a better bra.
U.S. laundry detergent sales fell 6.4 percent from 2009 to 2013 and are expected to keep falling through 2018.
Pay rates for home-care aides highlight competing social priorities.
Demand for mortgage refinancing is soaring after 30-year mortgage rates drop below 4 percent, but they won't stay there very long.
Once the market leader in both China and India, Samsung phones are losing marketshare to cheaper models.
Android Lollipop and new Nexus devices will have trouble drawing buzz away from Apple.
Defined-contribution retirement plans offer U.S. corporations cost savings today, but are the long-term social costs untenable?
You don’t need $100 billion in assets to invest like someone who does.
Resurrected in emerging markets, Datsun's cars are viewed as too cheap.
Husband-and-wife startup Interana is applying lessons from Facebook to join the $38 billion data-analysis market.
Banks hope to prevent misdeeds by using sophisticated software to monitor employee communications.
Watching pornography at work is common, but it is also time theft.
An Israeli startup is courting Wall Street clients with a service that aggregates patient conversations about drugs.
In a review of drillers’ data, the resources touted to investors average 6.6 times higher than those reported to the SEC.
Fiat tries to reconfigure its product lineup to find the right niches in markets worldwide.
Thync will soon launch a device to relax or energize you via small jolts of electricity to your brain.
Sub-Saharan countries are recalculating their GDP.
Intel wants to make sure it's part of the “Next Big Thing,” which may be the “Internet of Things.”
Adidas's sales in the United States are down 14 percent this year due to weak sales in basketball and golf.
A lack of transparency creates opportunities for fraud in the subprime auto-loan market.
Low cost auto factories in Eastern Europe create a jobs and export engine for the region.
Too European? Adidas leads the industry in soccer globally, but it hasn't been able to bring in enough U.S. fans as sales fell 14 percent in the first half of 2014.
We have an algorithm that will solve your problem.
Jeff Bezos helped give Pro.com its start, and he may be positioning Amazon to compete with it.
Does Amazon win everything in the Internet marketing wars?
David Weil is working to make sure that workers get paid all the wages they are owed.
Vani Hari's Foodbabe.com has helped motivate Subway and other companies to change their ingredients, but there may not be much science behind the Web activist's campaigns.
China's exports of military equipment are growing, as it provides easy-to-use, inexpensive arms to developing countries.
The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a Texas case involving the use of the disparate impact standard in Fair Housing Act litigation.
Australian exports of coal and minerals to China are falling, while exports of beef are rising.
Drizly has an interesting business model to offer alcohol sales and delivery online.
Sanctions against Russia over its Ukraine policy won't impact a key source of Russian revenue—oil—because the West doesn't want to see higher oil prices.
Bring me another bottle of vodka. I live at ______________.
OSHA hopes that publicly disclosing workplace injuries will motivate employers to improve safety.
Direct investment in China is down, as foreign companies face increased scrutiny from the Chinese government.
Are you buying your craft beer from a local source? You may be surprised. Brew Hub plans a five-brewery network that craft brands can use to grow the business far, far away from home.
Southwest has all but lost its position as the cost leader among airlines but has shown no signs of a change in strategy.
All you have to do is wave my business card next to your tablet or laptop to find out all about my business.
Is zero a fair wage for NFL cheerleaders?
After success in Scandinavia and Britain, Netflix sets its sights on Germany and France.
Rescator sells stolen credit cards, but it gets rave reviews for its customer service.
As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, exports of many agricultural products from the EU to Russia have stopped, which is good news for EU consumers, bad news for EU farmers.
U.S. industries have a shot at creating their own “iPhone” by advancing their hardware and software in tandem.
CVS Caremark has kicked its tobacco habit, and hopes its customers can too.
Interface's sales are growing as it makes progress toward eliminating waste and meeting other sustainability goals.
Rising transportation costs and wage rates in China are causing firms to relocate manufacturing to the Southeast U.S.
When Apple unveils its new iPhone, its early field failure analysis team will be ready to quickly diagnose any problems.
Remind, an educational-messaging tool, is among the hottest apps in Apple’s App Store.
Can Whole Foods help save an endangered Amazonian fish by getting U.S. consumers to eat more of it?
Older Americans, who hold 5 percent of all U.S. student debt, owe nearly five times as much as they did in 2005.
Erik Buell Racing, maker of powerful trophy motorcycles for the rich, will add low-priced bikes made by Hero MotoCorp of India to its line next year.
New tracking software and services are reshaping the market for search and display advertising online.
Did a Wall Street titan's money bail out Robert Mugabe in his hour of need?
Does having Google in your city stifle entrepreneurism?
India’s largest maker of two-wheeled vehicles is investing $25 million in Erik Buell’s latest bike venture.
Google, Facebook, and other startups are finding new ways to collect data for advertisers.
GE’s new FastWorks program could enable it to do business faster, cheaper, and better and make lean startup the next big management innovation.
Is Silicon Valley arrogance good, evil, or a bit of both?
Huawei is finding growth opportunities in Canada that it wasn't finding in the United States.
Maybe it's sometimes "all in the family."
Ben & Jerry's advocacy for GMO labeling puts it at odds with its parent corporation.
Can an entrepreneur find adequate impetus to start a new endeavor after "failing" another startup but ending up with a net worth of $400 million-plus?
Hisense is moving up in worldwide market share of television sets and is challenging Sony for the #3 position.
Companies’ average age when going public has hit 11, up from 5 at the height of the dot-com boom.
A trend has developed in which young companies are waiting longer before they go public.
Some companies offer employees much more generous 401(k) plans than others.
Purina claims that Blue Buffalo's image and its business are "built on lies."
Labor costs in Ethiopia are approximately 10 percent of those in China, causing some Chinese companies to shift production to Africa.
Investors have cheered as Jeff Bewkes systematically dismembered Time Warner and raised the value of its stock. But at what cost?
Microchips for cars are a large market poised for strong growth, but big chipmakers like Intel and Qualcomm are just getting started.
Let’s Gowex won numerous awards and its stock price soared until a short-seller revealed that the company was grossly misstating revenues.
How does a first-generation American move into the role of becoming a highly sought after spokesperson and a business-empire builder? Rapper Pitbull does it one partnership at a time.
Just as some big brewers have found that microbrews have bigger than microprofits, now a multinational spirits company is trying to capitalize on some consumers' preference for locally made vodka.
Despite trade restrictions that bar foreign retailers, Amazon and EBay have entered the Indian market and are about to overtake Flipkart, the Indian market leader.
The ouster of American Apparel's CEO shines a light on the company's uneasy balance of idealistic social responsibility with a variety of transgressions.
Are U.S. companies that avoid U.S. taxes by changing their domiciles to foreign countries good corporate citizens?
Companies that move offshore to avoid U.S. taxes still get contracts with the government.
The next car an American purchases—even if it has a German or Japanese brand name—might just be made in Mexico.
Delivering in a city with no street address system. Can it be done?
Despite mounting losses, Sony is increasing spending on R&D and releasing new products like the SmartBand, which it hopes will be the next big thing.
Monsanto is one of the world's most hated corporations. Is this reputation deserved?
Vietnam is enacting regulations designed to standardize catfish production processes, which will help it gain more export opportunities.
Researchers are using cloud networks to help robots teach each other skills faster than humans can.
Although most Americans think it is illegal, in most states someone can be fired for being gay.
Intel has staffed up its plant in Vietnam by sending local students to Oregon for college-level training.
Cheap smartphones running Firefox's mobile OS are beginning to spread into emerging markets.
Starbucks offers employees tuition support on a grand scale.
Prior to its ongoing ignition switch recall, GM silenced a whistle-blower and his concerns about the company's response to safety issues in its cars and trucks.
Will Firefox be the new OS for our smartphones?
Growing middle-class populations have exploded global demand for dairy products and given U.S. dairy farmers their best performance in decades.
Although some companies opposed the Dodd-Frank conflict mineral provisions, Intel worked for years to make its global supply chain conflict-free.
Some companies pushed to avoid helping fund Congolese warlords, while industry groups challenge the Dodd-Frank rules.
Strong international demand is pushing up global milk prices, creating an opportunity for U.S. dairy farmers.
Coca-Cola has invested $4 billion this year on marketing as Brazil’s 2014 World Cup, the biggest soccer party on the planet, is now plagued with protests. What will Coke do if things go as badly, as some predict?
A new customs commissioner is bringing data analysis and an intolerance for corruption to the Philippines.
Despite financial success with large clean-energy projects, Chevron chooses to curtail funding for its renewable power group.
A new Philippine customs commissioner is cracking down on bribery and corruption.
Governmental instability in Thailand is dampening foreign investment and economic growth.
Taco Bell’s new-product team considers up to 4,500 ideas each year. Fewer than a dozen of those products actually make it onto the national menu. Will the Waffle Taco be the next hit?
Since income and assets aren't considered when approving Parent PLUS loans, it's no surprise that default rates are rising.
An EU court ruling weighs the right to free speech against individuals’ right to be forgotten.
Streaming music services are having a difficult time capturing any value for themselves or their music suppliers.
China's officials know English is essential to further develop their economy on a global level, but they greatly fear the Western values that come with it.
Was Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven a copy?
Longtime font designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler have separated and are in litigation over the nature of their business relationship.
In 2011, Americans took about $57 billion from retirement accounts before they were supposed to.
Does the penalty for early withdrawal from 401(k) plans keep taxpayers from withdrawing their savings?
Hazardous garment factories provide one of the only ways out of poverty for many Bangladeshi women.
Working in poor conditions in the garment industry has helped raise the living standards of many women in Bangladesh.
Early April’s 7.5 percent decline in the Nasdaq 100 should have been good news for short sellers, but many of them missed out.
Where do your clothes come from? Startup clothing retailers are answering this question and urging customers to pay more and buy less.
Last year, more than 1,100 workers died in the collapse of a Bangladeshi clothing factory. A handful of startup online retailers are taking action by selling direct and offering ethically manufactured, higher-quality products.
There is a lack of synchronization among retailers, credit card providers, and banks to upgrade their credit and debit card technology to reduce fraud.
Are high-frequeny traders doing more harm than good? The SEC's go-slow approach to reining them in is causing some to question the SEC chair's lack of urgency.
Troubling allegations raise questions about Samsung's responsibility for its employees' illnesses and deaths.
Do activist hedge funds benefit at the expense of other shareholders? Not according to Carl Icahn and some recent studies.
Former government officials are skirting registration and disclosure rules for lobbyists.
Merger and acquisition activity is on the rise, including cross-border deals.
Master limited partnerships (MLPs) are fee machines for Wall Street banks, but they may be more risky than many investors think. Are they the next great investment debacle?
The U.S. abdication of control over Icann in 2015 may threaten Internet freedom in the longer term.
Publishers profit when they work with First Book to make deeply discounted books available to children from low-income homes.
Western companies police the safety of China's food supply.
Is China's digital wall coming down?
U.S.-based companies use legal tax loopholes to minimize their U.S. tax bills but must keep their cash invested overseas to do so.
Facebook stock, up 28 percent this year, is trading above the targets of many analysts who rate it a buy.
Target's information security systems worked well and identified malware before customer data was transferred. Nevertheless, Target failed to respond to warnings, violated its customers' trust, and let millions become victims of cyber crime.
While bankers and venture capitalists are confident about today’s IPO market, the shadow of the 2000 dot.com crash has some investors starting to worry about another asset bubble.
How do 401(k) plans vary from company to company, and how close do they come to providing what employees will need for retirement?
Google faces a potential class action suit over Gmail privacy concerns.
I've got a Secret. I'll Whisper it to you.
How are tax-prep firms helping customers sign up for Obamacare?
With home prices up, investors saw a path to own cheap properties in the $34.7 billion of bad mortgages sold last year.
The academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina reveals ways that the university has failed its athletes.
Investors are putting money into telehealth services used to treat common ailments.
According to hundreds of government filings analyzed by Bloomberg, 18 percent of companies have reduced the amount or delayed payment of 401(k) matching funds and dragged out vesting schedules. For many, that could mean the difference between financial security and scarcity in old age.
Changes in corporate 401(k) contribution policies may have long-term consequences for employees' retirements.
The investment industry has said for the past thirty years that 401(k)s are a big improvement over pensions, giving employees more investment choice, more control over retirement planning, and more portability amid the frequent job changes of the modern workforce. How's that working out?
The 2008 financial crisis in the United States triggered a wave of cuts in company matches to 401(k) contributions that are making it harder for employees to prepare for retirement.
Is there still a need for exchanges where the stock of private companies can be traded? Nasdaq thinks so, and it wants some of that business.
Climate change and other factors are endangering the Arabica coffee bean. Starbucks’ response is to buy a Costa Rican coffee farm and share research on coffee plants and sustainable farming methods.
U.S. authorities are bringing money-laundering charges to try to shut down Bitcoin companies.
Preparing for Asia’s budget airline war.
Companies may be assuming some risk as they change policies to facilitate hiring individuals with criminal records.
Denmark's sale of 18 percent of state-controlled Dong Energy to Goldman Sachs is raising a furor.
After more than four months of offers, counteroffers, poison pills, and pac-man defenses, Jos. A. Bank has now announced that it is considering acquiring Eddie Bauer to make itself less acquirable by Men’s Wearhouse.
SodaStream and other companies operating in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are facing boycotts. Do these Israeli companies provide a path to peace or further poverty and the denial of rights?
The responses of university officials seem almost as irresponsible as the failures underlying the academic scandals involving the University of North Carolina's athletic programs. To some extent, attitudes seem to be changing.
Should the mortgage-interest deduction for yachts be repealed, and how much in tax revenue will it save if it is?
As Facebook turns ten years old, it is one of the most profitable companies in the world and will soon become one of only twenty-six companies to have reached a market capitalization of $150 billion. Can Mark Zuckerberg keep Facebook growing?
Cheap abundant electricity and cold air make Scandinavia an attractive location for huge new data centers. They are also helping companies build the greenest data centers in the world.
Compared with their U.S. and European counterparts, Japanese CEOs are less focused on shareholder returns. The country's prime minister Shinzō Abe's new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 is an attempt to boost growth by spotlighting companies that focus more on financial performance.
As glaciers melt, ski resorts are using new snowmaking technologies to keep operating. But solving one of the problems created by global warming may contribute to the problem of global warming itself.
Regulations prevent foriegn-backed firms from operating retail facilities in India, but Amazon and EBay have managed to gain a small foothold by providing the "marketplace" for local firms to sell using the American companies' websites and warehouses.
Student borrowing has reached a point where officials are comparing it to the mortgage crisis.
The share of 25-year-old Americans with student debt increased to 43 percent in 2012 from 25 percent in 2003, and outstanding student debt has topped $1 trillion. Is a student loan crisis looming?
With at least 20 lawsuits already filed, there is plenty of blame to share for a West Virginia chemical leak that left 300,000 without tap water for days.
By tightening restrictions on the export of ore, Indonesia is hoping to incentivize multinational mining companies to do more domestic smelting and value-added processing of ore.
Fed economists are increasingly concerned about the surge in student loans.
Why are investors so crazy for an alternative currency?
Is Bitcoin the future of currency that transcends governments?
In Cambodia, striking garment workers are risking their lives to seek a higher minimum wage and a "better life."
Samsung has captured worldwide market share in appliances, with the goal of being No. 1.
Currency traders at the big banks may have used online chat rooms to rig benchmark rates in the unregulated $5.3 trillion foreign exchange market.
Baby boomers are not as likely as their parents to have the safety net of pensions and other benefits, and many will have a lower standard of living in retirement than their parents.
The FDA's new rules regulating antibiotic use in farm animals look a lot like the voluntary program at McDonald's. Why are many corporate forces opposed to stronger regulation?
Former employees say Urban Lending stymied homeowners who sought mortgage modifications to avoid foreclosure.
False accusations of fraud, even if made by individuals with checkered pasts, can damage corporate reputations.
Should boardroom gender diversity be legislated?
Will the Volcker Rule protect depositors and taxpayers from bankers' greed?
Slower economic growth, protectionism, nationalism, and state-owned industries may lead to a slowdown in trade growth.
Why has GE’s stock dropped a third during Jeffrey Immelt’s tenure as CEO?
Amazon is changing the physics of distribution.
Can corporate meat processors be trusted to oversee worker and food safety?
Including dividends, investors have had a total return of zero under Jeff Immelt’s twelve-year reign at GE although the S&P 500 returned 110 percent. Could this be a problem?
Since the 1993 introduction of the Airbus A340, soaring oil prices have dried up demand for the large capacity plane with four Rolls-Royce engines. Airbus took a big risk by guaranteeing the plane's resale value, a move that is coming back to haunt the company now.
About 25 percent of skin care sales in India are from creams that promise to lighten skin color.
Camelcamelcamel's data and graphs help steer price-conscious Amazon shoppers to discounts that can top 30 percent.
Dismal fixed-income returns and the potential for worse are leading people to overcome their fear and put more money into equities.
Merrill Lynch's companywide policies may not have been overtly discriminatory, but they became the basis for certifying black brokers as a class in a racial discrimination suit. The cash settlement that resulted set a new record, and it may lead to transformational change in Merrill's work environment in the future.
Kill as many people as you can with your infectious disease.
In six recent IPOs, investors were willing to pay twice as much for the companies as the bankers handling the offerings thought they would. Why are bankers leaving all that money on the table?
Cisco is struggling to sell its pricey telepresence systems next to upstarts’ $10 monthly software subscriptions. Will its lower priced systems and new subscription-based model compete effectively against its new rivals?
Are chemical and seed companies prioritizing public health as they develop new crop varieties?
Scented vapors with my nicotine, please.
Online retailing and delivery has to adapt to Nigerian's skepticism and roadway realities.
The spread between what banks pay for funds and earn on loans has plunged since 2010.
While the stock market rebounds and the economy pulls out of recession, banks face a potpourri of legal challenges related to past actions.
Fast food companies are working together to find ways to make their food healthier.
ZARA's fast-moving supply chain quickly allows it to get new designs to stores worldwide.
With more than 40 million subscribers, Netflix has passed rival HBO and is looking overseas for growth.
Despite Apple's code of conduct and supply-chain audits, workers in the company's supply chain fall victim to excessive recruitment fees and other mistreatment.
Even alternative banking activists are using Citi Bikes. Is Citibank's sponsorship of New York City's bike share program changing the company's image?
The lowering of corporate tax rates is attracting more companies to move their headquarters to London.
Five years after the start of the financial crisis, banks are finally paying billions of dollars in fines. Is this enough punishment? Will it deter fraud in the future?
To move up market, Electrolux is changing how it develops new products.
Drones are helping keep Kenyan elephants away from poachers. They can’t help with Kenya’s booming population.
The southern leg of the line will soon be sending oil to the gulf.
Mary Jo White, the new SEC chairman, is demanding admissions of guilt in settlement agreements.
The buyout firms that carried out the biggest LBO in history may receive less than 3 percent of their original stake in the impending bankruptcy of Energy Future.
Online questionnaires and games allow hiring managers to compare applicants with their star employees.
Raj Date’s startup hopes to profit from non-conforming mortgages and other types of consumer loans. But Does Date’s former role at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make his involvement in this market sector improper?
Investors in target-date funds may be in for a shock when interest rates rise, but avoiding anxiety was the whole reason for picking a target-date fund in the first place.
A new way to scam people out of their mobile phone access could cost carriers billions this year.
Social capital and "soft" information can give small banks a big competitive advantage.
In a Bloomberg survey, market participants say that commodities benchmark prices may be wrong 27 percent of the time.
The newest wells are not as productive as those drilled in the first year of the boom.
Europe has been skeptical of ADHD diagnoses and the use of medications to address children's behavioral issues. But pharmaceutical companies have much to gain by pushing the diagnosis and treatment.
Although two thirds of all ADHD drugs are sold in the United States, drug makers are trying to get the attention of doctors and regulators in Europe.
The U.S. Army's "green" campaign may do more than protect the environment; it may save soldiers' lives.
By freely sharing innovations implemented in its Swedish data center, Facebook is conserving resources and helping to revolutionize the data center industry.
Do investors have "calamity fatigue?" Wall Street’s fear index and other measures of anxiety show traders are giving the risk of a U.S. default a big yawn.
Linking federal policy to specific jobless numbers confuses investors.
About 65 percent of retailers in a recent survey reported they were victims of “wardrobing” (the practice of wearing and subsequently returning clothing items) in 2012. Many retailers are taking a stronger stand against the industry’s $8.8 billion-a-year return-fraud problem.
As home prices rise, FirstREX will give home buyers as much as half the down payment in exchange for a piece of their equity and a share of any future appreciation.
Retailers are risking customer loyalty to fight back against return fraud.
Chinese regulations mandating animal testing for cosmetic products are forcing cosmetic companies to make difficult choices between economic and social responsibility interests.
With nursing home costs much lower to the east, many Germans are spending their final years outside their homeland.
The median balance in retirement accounts of Americans aged 55 to 64 says it will be next to impossible for many boomers to finance their current standard of living through retirement.
In China, regulations require certain products to undergo testing on animals before being approved for human use, while in the EU some of these same products would be banned if animal testing was used.
Between 2001 and 2011, about 27,000 companies left Italy, where high costs and regulatory rigidity have decreased competitiveness.
IRII is using celebrity backing to bring change to Haiti's apparel industry and the lives of its workers.
The Chinese government is going after more foreign multinationals for violations of Chinese laws.
Get the ultimate insider's account, in Henry Paulson's own words, of the events and actions that triggered the 2008 crisis and how he helped stave off a total collapse of the financial system.
Could you lose your home to a robosigner?
The proposed settlement of the concussion class action suit against the NFL involves compromise on both sides and may have broad social implications.
For Chinese factory managers, reducing energy costs is an economic imperative, but it may also create environmental and health benefits.
Kazakhstan's Eurasian Bank addresses corruption by asking employees to take polygraph tests.
Impending new rules aimed at curbing shadow banking are causing a shortage of Treasury bonds.
Why are fewer corporations making use of stock splits?
Only 10 companies in the S&P 500 have carried out stock splits this year, compared with an annual average of 48 since 1980.
With Medium, short-form online writing pioneer and Twitter co-creator Ev Williams is trying to rebuild waning Web attention spans.
Is boasting about a product's health benefits worth it?
In Northern California’s federal courts, dozens of pending cases against food companies are seeking class-action status. Are these suits helping consumers or just the lawyers?
In order to extract hard-to-get oil reserves, Mexico needs the expertise of foreign oil companies.
The municipal bond market is defying predictions that Detroit's financial collapse would put it in a deep freeze. It might have even made it safer.
Are the wages paid to fast-food restaurant workers an ethical issue?
What would it mean to pay an extra dollar for a Big Mac?
Households have drastically cut costs and can handle debt.
You had surgery last year and now everyone knows about it.
With a goal of promoting meaningful stories, Upworthy reconsiders the nature of viral content.
Applications for adjustable rate mortgages, which were a key ingredient in the housing bust, were at a new five-year high at the end of June. Should we be worried?
Should deposit-taking banks be allowed to invest billions in physical commodities? The Fed has said yes in the past, but mounting pressure from Congress might change that.
How will criminal charges affect SAC Capital Advisors?
The market for palm oil is expanding, but human rights abuses are rampant in this industry.
Can loans to nonqualified borrowers be the next big thing for mortgage lenders? Raj Date thinks the answer is yes, and he wants to take advantage of this growing but risky market.
Chances are pretty good that you'll consume some palm oil today and that you wouldn't want to work under the conditions in which it was produced.
“When you walk into the stadium, I’ll know everything about you.”
Reality check: No matter how many $100 million Picasso paintings they purchase, hedge fund moguls are not magicians. The sooner investors realize that, the better off they will be.
The wreckage of Asiana Flight 214 on the San Francisco Airport runway may look bad, but the low number of casualties is a testament to improvements in airplane safety, a culture of learning from accidents, and the effectiveness of shared responsibility for safety.
Can a buy-and-hold strategy with high-dividend stocks beat the market? SunAmerica has a fund that appears to be doing just that.
Paula Deen's business depended on her life story, personal image, and reputation. Could the rapid collapse of her business empire have been avoided?
Can anything save the Nintendo Wii U?
After a once-in-a-lifetime deal with the FDIC, John Kanas has resurrected BankUnited as a healthy, growing commercial lender.
BP is paying billions of dollars for economic damages related to its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but many of these claims may be inflated and/or fictitious.
H&M is offering customers discounts to encourage recycling of old clothes.
Do you really think your e-mail is private?
Are rising interest rates going to be good for bank profits? Bankers are telling investors yes.
In the wake of Edward Snowden's leaked information about NSA programs, U.S. technology companies are struggling to protect their reputations with users.
At J.C. Penney, allowing staff to wear street clothes makes shoppers think there are few salesclerks in its store.
How much privacy do we actually have? We still don't know.
Online payment companies and credit bureaus are trying to use information social media users voluntarily share to verify identities, detect true financial positions, and help reduce online fraud.
In South Africa, banks and mobile phone service providers compete to offer banking and mobile payments.
Why is it getting harder to make money in high-frequency trading? Those robots are just too good.
In Australia, at least 3 percent of every worker’s paycheck goes into a compulsory retirement savings program. Should Americans be required to save more for retirement?
With natural gas prices three times higher in Japan than stateside, pressure to export more gas from the U.S. is mounting.
U.S. energy companies want to export natural gas, but U.S. chemical companies that favor cheap domestic prices want to block exports.
Are Apple's tax avoidance tactics rational or rotten?
Can investors be convinced that Facebook can continue to generate earnings as its mobile ad market share shrinks and users shift from personal computers to smartphones and tablets?
Caterpillar is reporting record profits. Its CEO has been rewarded by steep increases in compensation. Should the company's employees benefit, too?
Systems based on anonymous employee phone calls may be able to help Western companies monitor and improve working conditions in factories across the globe.
Some $5.86 trillion in unsupervised lending hangs over the Chinese economy.
How should multinational companies respond to deplorable working conditions in Bangladeshi factories?
Implementation vagaries may be causing a consumer backlash to Wal-Mart’s national price-matching promotions.
Will clear communications from Bernanke help avoid market disruptions when the Fed finally allows interest rates to rise?
RentRange can estimate the rent a property is likely to generate almost anywhere in the country.
The SEC has yet to develop regulations for implementing the CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.
Concerns about local baby formula in China drive demand for illegally imported baby formula.
Is it "creepy" for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to collect consumer finance data?
To catch up with e-tail, retail managers use tools to track shoppers and buying behavior in the store.
Average citizens expressed outrage on Facebook and pressured Israel's second largest bank into withdrawing a sweetheart deal.
Yen depreciation helps big exporters but won’t do much for the little guy.
We're now being tracked offline as well.
The LIBOR rate-rigging scandal is prompting investigation of other economically important benchmark indices that may be subject to manipulation.
After fining banks billions of dollars for distorting Libor, regulators are now investigating possible manipulation of an obscure rate that influences prices in the $379 trillion interest rate swaps market.
How did Rupert Murdoch and his company's stock price survive a potentially career-limiting phone-hacking scandal?
Shale-gas reserves in China far surpass America’s. Getting it out is the problem.
To effectively compete for commercial and defense aircraft orders, Airbus decides it needs to have a factory in the United States.
In an effort to win support from farmers, the Thai government raised the price of rice and effectively killed exports.
Lack of information creates opportunity for Green Depot’s environmentally friendly building products.
The economic incentives for developing orphan drugs may be changing as governments face budget pressures.
Can bringing back former CEO Myron Ullman save J.C. Penney? Only if he can win back customers while conserving cash.
Larger companies have hired faster than small businesses.
Can a public database of consumer complaints improve banks' customer service?
Private equity funds want a slice of the $3.57 trillion that Americans have in 401(k) retirement plans. Target-date funds might be the way to do it.
An antispam group gets spammed.
Foreign ownership of debt in euro-area countries is dropping.
Is it a good operations management practice to cut costs by reducing the number of employees, which may result in longer checkout lines, less help throughout the store, and disorganization?
The value of global takeover and merger announcements in March was the lowest since July 2009. Why do some think a sharp rebound is coming soon?
By one metric, the money supply shrank in 2010 instead of expanding.
Will see-through yoga pants damage Lululemon's relationship with its customers?
You make the call. Are China's Internet companies imitators or innovators?
When David Einhorn talks, the markets listen — except when he talks about Apple.
To the IRS' delight, a Swiss financial advisor inadvertently incriminated U.S. tax evaders.
A Senate investigation provides evidence that the SEC and other regulators can use to prosecute JPMorgan and its executives.
To help local government around Cleveland clean up its business dealings, area companies are signing anti-corruption pledges.
Planted roofs, hidden parking garages and other environmentally conscious features are central to new headquarters designs for Apple, Google, and Facebook.
A year after a programming error almost killed it, BATS is now the third-largest electronic stock exchange in the U.S. handling about 12 percent of the stock traded on public markets in the U.S.
Online grocers FreshDirect and Peapod are battling it out in New York City.
Paychecks are slimmer. Time to spend more and save less.
Europe's carmakers want to close five factories and cut 30,000 jobs. With a long history of worker protection and labor laws that support workers, those tasks won't be easy or quick. Even if they pull it off, it may not be enough to restore profitability. Some experts think it will take closing ten factories.
Should the identities of Hong Kong companies' directors remain public?
Why are Canadian oil companies encouraging the government to impose pollution taxes on oil extracted from the tar sands?
While automakers in Europe want to close at least five factories in order to cut costs and reduce capacity, regulations and union resistance make it difficult.
Pssst...How does 90% off sound for cloud computing operations that allows clients to rent processors for as little as 10 percent of the company’s standard cloud services fees? Could this provide the competitive edge from an operations perspective?
John Thomas Financial projects a polished Wall Street image, but regulators are hearing reports of a sweatshop-like work environment, aggressive culture, and high-pressure sales tactics.
Female managers are a rarity in Japanese car companies, but successes at Nissan might change things.
Will forcing banks to have much thicker capital cushions make them safer without producing higher interest rates, less lending, or lower economic growth? A popular new book says it's a real free lunch.
Voters in Switzerland will vote in March on a law that would place limits on the type, timing, and allocation of executive pay packages.
After a series of mishaps and related public relations disasters, will Carnival's reputation and stock price be able to rebound after the Triumph debacle?
The combination of underperformance and the need to raise money has set the stage for carnage in the private equity industry.
Providing free services with social benefits is part of IBM's strategy in Africa.
A new kind of university?
Corporations like Dell employ malware experts to protect corporate economic interests, but society also benefits.
What potential risks are suggested by Ireland's discovery of horse meat in hamburger?
Ignoring the lessons of the recession, Americans still have too much of their net worth tied up in their homes.
After announcing plans in 2007 for 2,000 in-store medical clinics by mid-2012, Walmart is now closing clinic locations faster than it is opening them.
Could the Obama administration's $5 billion lawsuit against S&P be a death sentence for its parent company, McGraw-Hill?
Could your business be the target of a hacker attack?
Snapchat allows users to share photos while keeping better control of their own cyber personas.
Severe storms cost insurers a record $25.9 billion in 2011, so they are studying risks in greater detail.
Could your firm be the target of a high-end cyber-espionage operation?
Economists haven’t figured out why so many Americans have been jobless for more than six months.
Japanese auto companies are finding Thailand more friendly than China.
Why is there so much lying at the office?
The case of the only bank to be criminally indicted for mortgage fraud raises the question of whether the ends can justify the means.
Quicken’s $25 billion in home loans during the fourth quarter made it the No. 3 lender, but can it hold on as refinancings dry up?
How have government efforts to regulate the swaps market backfired and led some traders to shift to futures exchanges to sidestep the regulations?
So what makes for a good bus product in London? Operators, weigh in.
Venture capitalists are investing in companies that create sustainable versions of eggs, meat, and other foods.
Japan wants to create inflation, which will weaken the yen. The whole world may benefit.
Across the U.S., hourly wage increases for a majority of U.S. workers are starting to accelerate after four years of steady decline. What could this mean for operations managers?
Investigators work to untangle a web of relationships and shared information underlying illegal insider trading at hedge funds.
Steven Cohen, SAC Capital's billionaire founder, may soon be charged with insider trading. Is insider trading standard procedure in Wall Street hedge funds?
Pharmaceutical companies that compete in the marketplace cooperate to fight counterfeit drugs.
After losing more than 70 percent of its market value in two years, can Meg Whitman's new five-year plan reverse Hewlett-Packard's free fall?
How will the fiscal cliff deal and the Affordable Care Act affect individuals’ taxes this year?
The disappearance of $18 million of Canadian maple syrup is one of the largest agricultural thefts ever. While $18 million is a substantial sum, the motivation for the theft may have been philosophical.
How can the worst company to work for in America be so successful?
With Apple's shares down 24 percent since September 19, the challenge of predicting where the stock goes next has produced wildly varying forecasts.
Companies are increasingly hiring employees who fit in with existing company culture, even if their job skills are lower than those of other applicants.
By emphasizing market share and having brands across many price points, Unilever is expanding in emerging markets.
The Bank of Japan may lose its independence if it doesn’t crank up the money supply.
What do people who make a living assessing the performance of others think you should do with your money in 2013?
Will the globalization of financial markets be undone by new rules?
The pundits said that as many as 1.8 million properties would be taken back by banks in 2012, driving prices into the ground. Instead, the number of properties for sale has shrunk to the lowest level in a decade, while prices have appreciated at the fastest pace since 2005. How did this happen?
Outgoing SEC chairman Mary Schapiro restored confidence in the SEC, but she failed to go after top Wall Street executives or achieve money-market fund reform. Can her successor do better?
Shadow banking helped cause the 2008 financial meltdown, but the $67 trillion industry is now bigger than ever. Can regulators find ways to control it without limiting its usefulness?
While many economic indicators in China are improving, one figure is going the wrong direction: corporate debt.
Record-low interest rates should encourage spending on big-ticket items like houses and cars, but retirees are not behaving like the Fed would hope.
In terms of dealing with huge entitlement programs, we have so far simply postponed our date with reality. Spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid amounts to more than 40 percent of our U.S. budget.
As China tries to balance open markets with government control, some of its citizens look to inspiration from the writings of Confucius.
As Americans customers ask their software subcontractors to hire more U.S.-based employees, Indian firms struggle to find enough qualified Americans.
AB InBev, while cutting costs and making investors happy, is disappointing some loyal customers.
A slow growth and aging market in Japan leads SoftBank to look internationally for investment opportunities.
For products and services linked to positive American attributes (e.g., technology, Hollywood, fast food, etc), American-sounding names help products sell in developing countries.
Australia now requires cigarette packaging to include graphic anti-smoking images, with no logos and the brand name in a standard font on a drab, dark brown background.
Saying that a yogurt product helps create intestinal flora or has health benefits helps drive growth in Asia.
Al Jazeera has spent about $450 million purchasing soccer broadcast rights as it moves away from its emphasis on news.
As Norway's oil industry thrives, other businesses suffer as a result of high wages and a strong currency.
Expatriates in China begin to wonder whether it is time to leave.
Japan's automakers are now shipping cars made outside of Japan, back to Japan for sale.
An ex-ambassador uses online retailing to help small companies enter the Chinese consumer market.
As the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Alex Rovt made a fortune using connections, barter, countertrade, and complex deals to establish a significant position in the fertilizer business.
Joint ventures with foreign firms have helped spur sales by Chinese automakers, but domestic brands have not fared well.
Unilever hopes to disrupt the U.S. ice cream business with its Magnum bars.
Russia's state-owned Rusnano invests in foreign firms, with a goal of transferring technology back to Russia.
France's Sanofi is closing R&D facilities in France and shifting research to America amid worker protests.
Slowing economic growth is causing retailers to drop prices in order to generate revenue growth.
While rural farmers contribute a minuscule amount to Japan's GDP, their political power to block free trade is significant.
China's biggest brands look to Western markets for higher profits.
U.S. companies hope to make inroads into the school bus market in China, where it is predicted that 50,000 new school buses will be purchased a year through 2015.
Huawei has moved up from number seven worldwide in the smartphone market to perhaps number three.
Durex rules most of the world in the condom business and is now looking to penetrate Trojan's dominant position in the U.S. market.
Deere used to have trouble selling tractors overseas. Then it introduced a line of highly customizable machines that are feeding the world.
P&G is looking to developing countries like Vietnam to spur growth in sales and profits.
With 23 percent of Japan's population over the age of 65, phone makers are developing handsets and software that are senior friendly.
Many smaller U.S.-based companies are finding that it may be less costly to produce in the U.S. versus China.
London-based Diageo is betting that ready-to-drink cocktails, priced similarly to beer, will find a niche among African women.
With the economic downturn causing financial difficulties for German firms, some Chinese firms have found this to be a great time for making acquisitions.
While French and Italian automakers are feeling the pain of Europe's economic slowdown (and want financial assistance), German automakers that have long emphasized export markets in North America and Asia don't believe they should be asked to help in a bailout.
After spending $60 billion to build and buy franchises in China, global banks have earned about $10 billion there over the past decade.
With India's governmental deficits running at 8 percent of GDP, foreign investors are finding that they may be targeted for new sources of revenue.
Google's decision to exit mainland China in 2010 has given China Mobile the opportunity to dominate the market for Android-based apps.
The more nations involved in trade-liberalizing negotiations, the harder it is to get things accomplished.
If you'rr interested in buying a hybrid, why not go for a $850,000 Ferrari with a 900 horsepower engine? (Sorry, Ford or GM don't sell a similar car.)
Chinese companies are looking to build their reputation, and their quality, by capturing market share in Japan.
Chevron and its managers in Brazil face criminal charges over an oil spill.
China's growing affluence is sparking SUV sales.
New Balance says it may be forced to give up manufacturing in the U.S. if a proposed trade deal ends most tariffs on footwear.
Due to power and gas shortages, textile shipments from Faisalabad, Pakistan are down 50 percent.
Did Wal-Mart's managers in Mexico pay bribes in order to facilitate a rapid expansion?
Nokia has dominated Finland's economy for years. Now other companies and industries are gaining in importance as the mobile-phone giant cuts back.
Foreign brewers operating in China are working to lure drinkers to pricier brands.
Supply chains are being reinvented in order to certify that electronics do not contain minerals whose extraction contribute to the financing of conflict in central Africa.
Last year Lufthansa's facility in Frankfurt handled more critters than it did humans in a highly lucrative niche of the air cargo business.
China shifts its export focus from shoes and t-shirts to heavy industry.
Despite overcapacity in the European auto industry, Daimler has invested $1 billion in a Hungarian plant with wages a fifth of those in Germany.
KFC is growing quickly in emerging markets, but in the United States, franchisees are not happy with the attention they receive.
protectionism, tariffs, monetary policy, currency, Brazil, BRIC nations
As more high-skilled jobs are outsourced, corporations seek locations closer to home.
SABMiller is expanding distribution of its cloudy Chibuku beer in Africa.
India's economic miracle seems to be stalling, but just as the hype over success may have been overstated, the frequent references to demise may be also overstated.
By cloning U.S. internet companies in other countries, three German brothers have made millions executing business ideas born elsewhere.
China exports to India twice as much as India exports to China, stirring concerns that Indian industries face trade barriers in China.
Saddled with high costs, Qantas has a difficult time competing in the growing Asian market.
Lab operator Kindstar provides laboratory services for China's growing medical market with U.S. financial backers, including the Mayo Clinic and Kleiner Perkins.
Why hasn't Starbucks tried to enter the market that inspired its development?
BMW's Mini, slightly larger than Daimler's Smart, outsells its older rival.
The financial crisis and government debt in Europe is causing countries to question their continued subsidization of flag carriers.
A 138-year-old drink made from buffalo milk and barley outsells the colas in India.
Having thrived in America, Hyundai is using its high-quality, low-price strategy to compete with Volkswagen in Europe.
Automakers, after first developing specific design features for the Chinese market, are now exporting these vehicles from China to other markets.
China's share of the developed world's textile imports is dropping as lower-wage competitors in Southeast Asia increase production.
Poor infrastructure, including congested roads and insufficient electricity, drive up costs for manufacturers in India.
To lure trendy diners in Japan, Wendy's has introduced a $16 burger topped with truffles and foie gras.
Kraft Foods has revived its Philadelphia cream cheese brand, boosting international sales and adding flavors.
After being denied claims of over $100 million against the Georgian government and being jailed, Rony Fuchs has been pardoned and received $37 million.
As China's toy market grows, manufacturers that used to emphasize exports now see opportunities at home.
The economic slowdown in the West has left ArcelorMittal with high debt and over capacity.
Different groups debate over what are the requirements for a fair trade label.
An influx of Chinese immigrants is transforming Italy's economy and sparking cultural backlash.
Reforms spelled out in a joint plan signed by Obama and Harper could give a boost to trade slowed by post-Sept. 11 border tightening.
Huawei makes inexpensive switches and telecom equipment worldwide, but has had a hard time overcoming mistrust by the United States' government.
Hollywood studios are teaming up with Chinese film companies and creating roles for Chinese stars in order to help get films into Chinese theaters and work around rules that would otherwise limit studio revenue from Chinese audiences.
To make inroads in India's mobile phone market, Qualcomm is assisting domestic handset makers and operators, and buying 4G spectrum.
Ethiopia's attempts to make a robust commodity market coffee growers may weaken specialty growers and boutique roasters.
Exxon's new agreement with Russia's Rosneft was preceded by years collaboration.
Spain-based Inditex is counting on online sales rather than new store openings to power sales growth in the U.S.
Spain's 100 Montaditos intends to open 4,000 stores in the USA at a pace far faster than Starbucks' early growth. Analysts are skeptical.
An increase in foreign acquisitions by U.S.-based multinationals may partially fuel a desire to utilize tax-sheltered cash held overseas.
Efforts to boost the productivity of, and payments to, small farmers in Africa could help alleviate poverty but hurt rich U.S. producers who rely on government farm subsidies.
A change in rules means that the Korean government will no longer require that all games be reviewed for content. This should lead to significant new sales for game makers and distributors such as Apple and Google.
After losing a huge case in Ecuador, Chevron asks a United States judge to rule that it does not have to pay.
Apache's $8 billion investment in Egypt has boosted output (and profits), though its success may be impacted by the country's political transition.
With the Indonesian government providing generous subsidies, international companies are flocking to develop geothermal power from the country's volcanoes.
While overall investment is down, longtime investors are shrugging off the political turmoil in Thailand because the country has traditionally treated foreign companies well.
Before the economic crisis, many Eastern European countries were excited about joining the monetary union in Europe. Now, some aren't so sure.
Inflation is causing more Vietnamese workers to strike, decreasing the attractiveness for foreign investors.
Hurt by the strong yen, Japanese boatbuilders employ a marketing pitch that stresses fuel efficiency.
Focusing on internal growth rather than acquisitions, Proctor and Gamble wants to persuade more people in more places to use its brands.
Disney's English language schools thrive in the English-hungry mainland.
Higher commodity prices and rising Chinese wage rates are being passed on to retailers in the U.S.
The debt crisis in the euro zone has caused investors to move funds into Swiss francs, driving up the currency and hurting domestic manufacturers.
The British retailer's U.S. food chain, Fresh & Easy, is having trouble getting its formula right on the West Coast.
As China's market for luxury goods grows, Diageo is hoping Johnnie Walker whisky can take some of the market share currently held by cognac.
When President Medvedev barred senior government officials from serving on the boards of companies they regulate, they simply resigned and had their sons appointed.
VW is spending $1 billion on a new factory in Tennessee under the theory that you can't be the number one auto company in the world if you are not successful in the United States.
As the Brazilian economy booms, shantytown residents buy on installment and pile on the debt. The government is worried about the prospect of defaults.
Although the rates they can charge are regulated, the price of coal is not, putting Chinese power companies in a tough spot.
Tupperware's growing army of culinary advisors have boosted sales in France by 17 percent.
It's getting harder to find U.S.-made products in many categories.
A proposed new law would increase the domestic content for a watch to be designated as Swiss made.
The hip frozen yogurt chain, still tiny domestically, is expanding internationally.
As piracy has become an identifiable risk in the Indian Ocean, shippers, insurers, defense forces and pirates are all availing themselves of new technology and tactics.
By focusing more on local culture, Disney has high hopes for its new theme park near Shanghai.
A trade pact could boost U.S. exports by $1.1 billion, with companies such as GE, Wal-Mart, Caterpillar, and Citigroup as big beneficiaries.
Is Argentina pursuing a new policy of nationalization, but without state ownership?
By not allowing government officials to serve on corporate boards of companies they regulate, Russia is taking a step towards better governance.
While Thailand is the world's top rice exporter, falling prices and rising competition may lead to a strategic decision to abandon that role.
After conquering the mobile-phone market in Latin America, Am
Youku faces tough competition and scrutiny from Beijing as it moves toward showing more original content on its site.
Electrolux is closing some plants in high-cost locales like Canada - and opening new ones in Asia - as it prepares to challenge Whirlpool for global market position.
Nearly three dozen U.S. corporations derive at least 15 percent of their sales from the Japanese market.
Having recovered from the financial crisis, Citigroup now earns more than half its profits in emerging markets.
In the battle for inexpensive and trendy clothing, Italy's Benetton is losing global market share to Spain's Inditex and Sweden's H&M.
Why do trade officials view China's blocking of Internet sites differently from the blocking of goods? Should WTO rules apply to both?
GM, Honda, and others are reaching out to less affluent shoppers in China's interior with basic entry-level models.
Rising wages in China will contribute to inflationary pressure on goods worldwide.
To generate revenues from virtual goods, social media gaming companies look to localize their products abroad.
Bucking the offshoring trend, SeaMicro manufactures its power-sipping servers locally, betting on superior speed and flexibility.
After reaching a negotiated settlement to an earlier business deal gone bad, an Israeli businessman finds himself in a Georgian prison.
With his company's shares in the dumps and the government on his tail, Anil Ambani will have to work to regain the faith of investors.
Can a rainy spring in Saskatchewan contribute to the overthrow of a government in Tunisia?
With abundant sunshine and power-hungry mines, Chile is attracting solar power companies from around the world that want to develop power plants there.
Water from underground aquifers in Australia is being fought over by exporters of agricultural products and iron ore processors.
As Chinese firms ramp up solar cell production, European governments are cutting back on subsidies.
As U.S. electricity producers shift away from coal, coal producers are seeking export markets where there is less concern over carbon dioxide emissions.
Booming demand for steel in developing countries is opening up Canada's Arctic region to iron ore mining.
Due to a drought in Russia and floods in Canada and Australia, wheat prices have doubled in the past year. Now the French are seeing increases in the price of baguettes.
A turnaround at SMIC could help China finally become a player in the global semiconductor industry.
Reform of export-control procedures in the U.S. could allow firms to increase their exports of previously restricted products.
India's labor laws deter businesses from hiring more than 100 workers, except in some exempt industries. This limits Indian firms from competing in some industries with high economies of scale.
Some small-cap Chinese firms listed on U.S. exchanges file financial reports that have little relationship to reality.
While food may be consumed locally, it is grown worldwide. The price of groceries in the U.S. is directly impacted by the weather in Argentina, Russia, Australia and everywhere else in the world.
Japan's Fast Retailing stumbled in a move into fashion at its Uniqlo chain, and faces tough competition from Sweden's H&M and Spain's Zara.
Companies from China are increasingly setting up shop in the U.S. to avoid trade barriers and to learn new ways to compete.
How has the value of the dollar changed relative to other currencies over the past year?
Brazil's industrial policy places a high tax on imports in order to encourage domestic production and foreign investment.
Mainland Chinese companies are gaining ground in terms of mobile phone sales, selling at home and abroad.
While the spice trade may have spurred world exploration, growing affluence in India is driving up prices.
In the call center business, the Philippines studied India's success and has now overtaken it in revenue.
China is starting to build larger commercial aircraft to compete with Boeing and Airbus, with the help of Western suppliers.
India is trying to catch up to China by building special economic zones that promote manufacturing and exports.
Chinese apparel producers are being squeezed by cotton shortages, which will lead to higher clothing prices in U.S. stores.
Detractors say that Russia is not keeping up with others in the BRIC, while Indonesia deserves to be considered a fast-rising economic power.
Robin Li beat Google and made his search engine No. 1 in China. Now he wants to go global, but it will take some work to get the world to trust Baidu.
Indian companies, faced with increasing competition and bureaucratic obstacles at home, are looking to Africa for growth.
After being out of the U.S. market for 27 years, Fiat is using its Chrysler connections to stage a comeback with a very small car.
HTC, once unknown in the U.S., has become the top handset maker in the Android market, a segment that's growing faster than Apple's iPhone.
Sales are flat in developed countries. For Coke to keep growing, Africa is it.
Google's complicated international structure shifts most of its revenue from Ireland to The Netherlands to Bermuda. Is it evil to avoid taxes?
The Chinese tilapia is a bland-tasting fish that grows fast, sells cheap, and has environmentalists up in arms. U.S. fish farmers aren't happy either.
Due to a weak dollar and poor growing conditions in Europe, U.S. farm exports are strong this year.
Your next investment opportunity is in the last place you'd think to look.
While many publishers bemoan the loss of print ads, Norway's Schibsted has developed a more-profitable global business in online classifieds.
There is competition in India for water, required both by local farmers and by foreign developers of steel mills.
The iPad is still not approved for sale in Taiwan, but online auction sites are selling high-priced accessories that come with a free iPad.
Shaking off disgrace and a $1.6 billion fine, the German conglomerate aims to build the world's infrastructure, especially in emerging markets.
Some $15 billion in takeovers have been announced in July, with the latest being Wal-Mart's agreement to buy South African retailer Massmart.
Rural middle America costs less than the East and West Coast, and is easier to deal with than India or Russia
Although the relationship between BP and Russia has been tense at times, both now seem to see the benefits of working together
Freakish weather hurts rubber production across Asia, giving a Japanese condom maker a headache
In India, the word Pepsi has come to mean anything foreign, fizzy, and bottled, giving Pepsi cola the leading market share.
Nokia's decline in the market may be linked to its isolated geographic base.
Most Westerners are unfamiliar with Foxconn, but know the products it makes as a contractor for Apple, HP, Sony, Dell, and other electronics firms
European firms want to tap into North Africa's abundant sunshine to create electricity
The root of Japan's highly valued yen lies in policy choices by the government.
China's booming demand for iron ore is causing opportunities and problems in Australia.
Japan's top baseball brand is aiming for the U.S. market
Non-GE Chinese executives attend GE's U.S. training courses.
Brisk demand for minerals has led to a mining boom in Australia. It offers great pay, but you could get killed.
Coffee consumption and economic growth appear to be linked.
Southern China's significant dependence on hydroelectric power, coupled with drought, has led to energy shortages.
Private growth is picking up, consumer goods are available, and investment in oil fields is up. Yet security and limited financing make growth difficult for some businesses.
Drugmakers are beginning to choose sales volume over high margins to tap the massive Asian market
It came through the last few years without a bank failure, and is showing strong economic growth
Years of worrying about being squeezed by China and Japan helped Seoul stand up to its rivals. Now, it's obsessed with finding the Next Big Thing.
In the wake of two big defaults, lenders have tightened credit, which may threaten the kingdom's growth.
Some Japanese retirees, out of respect for former employers and current employees, have agreed to cuts in guaranteed pension benefits. Will this change the corporate culture?
Ford is making up for lost time, boosting investment, production, and marketing in fast-growing China and India
In Latin America's largest market, Wal-Mart is spending big to overtake Carrefour and a local rival.
Western companies are finding themselves shut out as Beijing promotes homegrown rivals.
Greek Prime Minister Papandreou has used his country's fragile state to his advantage in negotiations with the EU
Chicken chain Pollo Campero established a niche with immigrants in the U.S. Now it is hungry for more
Loopholes in EU rules, not Goldman Sachs, are to blame for Europe's debt troubles
GE, Siemens, and others are angling for a piece of the $125 billion Beijing plans to spend on health care
With the country's market soaring, Russian billionaires are seeing their fortunes revive
The lawlessness of the legal system can make business in Russia difficult.
A trendsetter in mobile phones is faltering in the era of software, smartphones, and apps.
The EU says new rules will boost stability, but funds fear for their profits.
Mainland same-store sales at KFC and Pizza Hut are down. Why that's a troubling sign for Western fast food.
American unions are taking the fight for U.S. workers to European employers' home turf.
Chinese automakers are hiring more Japanese engineers to boost efficiency and improve design.
Western multinationals are often attracted to China's size, but they're bypassing Asia's true shopping powerhouse.
Farmers are stalling the government's efforts at much-needed infrastructure projects.
Google's threatened pullout from China may be motivated by principles, or maybe just profits
While Sony bets on outsourcing TVs, Samsung is building an edge by making its own.
To boost employment, local governments are wooing Indian companies such as Tata, Wipro, and Infosys.
Mega-retailer Auchan has a powerful patriarch, a secretive culture, and an insatiable urge to expand.
The downside to Beijing's huge stimulus is a glut of factories and output that may spur trade friction.
South Korea's giant family-based conglomerates are thriving, but they may be crushing small companies.
Sands investments in family-oriented and convention-based casinos falter in Asia. What works in Vegas may not work as well outside Vegas.
Agribusiness and global investors are scooping up farmland. Are corporate farmers the new colonialists?
Capital controls may be making a comeback as countries try to control inflationary bubbles.
Despite decades of economic growth, average citizens are dissatisfied; they want better schools and more opportunities.
It's signing up plenty of new customers, but a price war is killing margins.
Strong domestic players and restrictions on foreign companies make it tough for insurers.
India's exports are pulling ahead, thanks to quality and engineering that China's carmakers don't match.
It's taken 15 years, but Disney has finally gotten the green light on a new theme park near Shanghai.
Flush with cash and facing hard times at home, Spanish companies are again looking abroad.
Cemex, with operations in 50 countries, is being hard hit by a downturn in worldwide demand for cement.
Michelin, among others, is using U.S. tactics and lawyers to sue supply cartels that overcharge.
Despite an impressive rebound, an innovation shortfall may hobble sustainable growth.
Singapore is loosening up a little, and trying to attract more tourists.
Korean products are still a bargain, although the currency has recently strengthened following a 40% drop against the dollar.
Business is battling farmers over land, putting $98 billion in investments
Applying for EU membership has sped up reforms, which has helped Turkey weather the current turmoil.
Low-cost expansion is helping McDonald's vie with Starbucks as the continent's No. 1 coffee chain.
It's still risky, but for global corporations, the country is simply too big - and too rich - to ignore.
Tit-for-tat trade troubles brew between China and the U.S.
Sharply dropping Pemex revenues are causing a budget deficit in Mexico.
Glock, an Austrian handgun manufacturer, has found the U.S. to be a very attractive market.
Multinationals, hedge funds, and private equity firms are finding lower tax rates in the Alps.
Big foreign investors are snapping up issues, but overpricing is spooking small investors.
Not only is it a tough market for high-priced cars, India-based Tata Motors is finding some new challenges in working with the British government and European regulations following its acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover.
The Sheraton brand is doing well in China, and is expected to grow as tourism increases
With sound banks, effective government policies and strong consumer spending, Brazil may finally be on the way to economic growth.
Many firms are hoping that Chinese consumers can help boost demand for their products.
Iraq's deal with BP signals a revival that could eventually put it on a par with the Saudis.
India's info tech leaders are seizing on the downturn to become global players, but they have a long way to go.
Chinese companies are looking at acquiring foreign firms as a way of investing their overseas earnings.
GM's debt-swamped Daewoo division is slumping badly, but it's too important to GM to sell.
In a hard-fought contest, Coke is opening plants, boosting non-soda brands, and jazzing up marketing.
Red tape has prompted the Swedish retailer to put further investment in the country on hold.
Despite appeals to the WTO, there's not much the U.S. can do about China's protectionist policies.
Ahmadinejad's contested re-election may cause problems for businesses big and small.
While many companies are scaling back their global ambitions amid the recession, others are looking to gain a bigger foothold abroad.
Stimulus packages and bailouts look a lot like industrial subsidies, something the U.S. and other governments have been fighting against for years.
Outsourcers are seeing the costs of manufacturing in China climb, making other countries more attractive.
Can Ford design a car that will be a hit in Asia, Europe, and the Americas?
Incentives for improved efficiency and low prices give domestic Chinese producers an edge when competing in one of the most attractive automotive markets.
Despite continuing concerns about corruption, red tape, and political instability, it's suffering far less than other parts of the world.
Kia Motors' designs are turning heads, and its prices are good for the budget. Can it get past uncertainty over quality?
The legendary connections of Roland Berger could help make the Fiat-Opel-Chrysler alliance happen.
China's growing demand for energy is causing it to invest in clean technology.
Lower oil prices are putting pressure on the Venezuelan oil industry, which is try