FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL, rulers have built new cities to satisfy everything from security to vanity. Some of those cities crumbled into obsolescence; others blossomed into capitals of legend. The recipe for success remains elusive, but that hasn’t stopped successive generations from trying. And if recent moves are any gauge
It’s no secret that the People’s Republic of China is nearing completion of a decades-long project to reassert itself as a global force. Whether it’s via the “One Belt, One Road” initiative to spend billions on infrastructure spanning Africa and Asia, its formation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
The “gig economy” is hardly new, but there’s still a yawning gap between the attention it receives and our understanding of how it is—or isn’t—altering the nature of work in America. It may be a Bay Area joke that everyone is either working in the valley or for Task Rabbit, and Uber may be the world’s most valuable startup,
Growth versus value. For many years, that was one of the central debates for investors, analysts, managers, and financial advisors. Growth and value stocks seemed to be the yin and yang of stock investing, with radically different characteristics that attracted investors with different temperaments.
It’s fashionable these days to compare our present to the Gilded Age: rising inequality, labor struggling while capital thrives, an astonishingly wealthy and concentrated elite appearing to amass an inordinate amount of power. But a stark difference between our era and the last decades of the 19th century is the nature of the American presidency.
In the endless swirl of noise and controversy emanating from Washington these days, it is easy to overlook a more mundane but significant challenge facing the US government: its institutions are getting old. With the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, most substantial agencies are at least decades old and many date back much longer.
THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY today looks stable and boring, with a few megabanks ever-more entrenched and markets that may not offer the same risks and rewards as before the 2008-2009 financial crisis but which remain highly profitable for incumbents. That stasis, however, masks looming challenges to the sclerotic incumbents. Two such challenges were much in evidence this past week: Bitcoin and China.
During her speech to the National Association of Business Economics on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made a rather startling admission: The Fed may have “misspecified” its models for inflation and “misjudged” the strength of wages and the job market.
Risk. Mention the word, and many investment professionals pause. Traders, hedge funds, and a few quantitative firms and their algorithms may love risk. But these days, the preponderance of investors, advisors, strategists, and their clients—not to mention the individual investor
In 1973, the late, great historian Arthur Schlesinger published The Imperial Presidency, charting the post-World War II expansion of presidential power and warning that the office had dangerously diverged from the parameters established by the Constitution and subsequent precedent.
FOR YEARS, THE ascent of tech has broadly been viewed as positive, heralding an era of increased productivity and greater communication. But recently, the litany of corporate missteps and a general sense of power accreting to a few extraordinarily rich and powerful companies and the men–yes, largely men–who lead them has triggered a wave of criticisms of the once-Teflon culture of the Valley.
Bitcoin has a total market capitalization of barely $45 billion, which is a pittance compared to hundreds of trillions in stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments worldwide. And yet advisors report that Bitcoin is among investors' most prevalent curiosities today.
BITCOIN: Far or the future? The question has dogged the digital currency since its inception nearly a decade ago, and recent developments raise it anew. Last week, a new variant of bitcoin emerged via a “fork” in its underlying code, threatening to confuse and divide the still-small world of bitcoin adherents.
As the United States commemorates 241 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Americans are not in a celebratory mood. According to most polls, 60% of the country believes that America is on the wrong track; that number is slightly higher among Republicans.
As the wheels of Trumplandia continue to spin, it’s been easy to overlook one glaring reality: Democrats in Congress are doing almost nothing other than finding new and creative ways to resist the Republicans. As a political tactic, that may be smart, but it leaves the public and voters with no clear or viable alternative as attention slowly begins to turn to mid-term elections in 2018.
With the S&P 500 up nearly 10% for the year through mid-June, many investors are nervous about what lies ahead. Even more nerve-wracking is that an outsized portion of the total returns have been generated by just a few stocks.
News that Amazon intends to buy Whole Foods Market for more than $13 billion was greeted jubilantly by financial markets, with Amazon’s stock rising 2.5 percent, almost enough to cover the entire purchase. At the same time, the shares of other grocery retailers, ranging from Kroger’s to Walmart,
Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords is widely attributed to the now-waxing influence of the America First nationalists in the White House, but several days before that announcement, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn
AFTER THIS WEEKEND’S attacks in London, President Trump became embroiled in a spat with the city’s mayor, where the president criticized British authorities for not taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough. In its crude way, that confrontation underscored a deeper divide between the United States and much of the rest of the world over what taking terrorism seriously means.
There’s an emerging consensus that the presidency of Donald Trump has radically altered the warp and woof of American life. His supporters – which make up at least a third of all Americans – believe that he has accomplished great things in the past four months. His detractors, who are legion, see more harm than good in his record thus far.
We are now four months into the Trump administration, and the Washington soap opera is in no immediate danger of cancellation. Aside from a few brief selloffs, markets have been chugging along on a different track, largely shrugging off political drama.
When it comes to productivity, only two things are undebatable: that the official rate of U.S. productivity growth has stalled since at least 2007, having started to slow before then, and that there is no consensus about why or what to do about it. There is, additionally, some broad consensus that without stronger productivity growth going forward
APPLE JUST BECAME the first US company to surpass $800 billion in market capitalization. Speculation quickly followed that Apple would soon become the first $1 trillion company, with a rumored $1,000 iPhone 8 coming at year’s end. The company’s share price has been on a tear since the beginning of the year, and sales of the iPhone 7
The recent dustup over whether the Trump administration should withdraw the United States from the NAFTA accord cast the ongoing power struggle inside the White House in sharp relief. The conflict, often characterized as a duel between Steve Bannon and his ilk (nationalists) and Jared Kushner and his crew (“globalists,” according to Bannon), isn’t necessarily the choice we would want: who would pit wealthy elites against “burn baby burn”
After a dramatic start to the year, with equities rallying worldwide and bond yields rising in anticipation of stronger economic growth, markets have entered one of those eerie calm periods whose very placidity tends to spook investors. It’s springtime, and while the weather becomes progressively milder, investors seem less certain than ever.
The Circle, a film adaptation of the best-selling novel by David Eggers about a mega-Silicon Valley company that has sinister plans to control the world, opened recently to tepid reviews and unimpressive box office. That shouldn’t obscure the fact that the issues it attempts to address—and which the novel brilliantly took on—are ones that need to be dealt with, urgently.
THE WORLD FINDS itself in an age saturated with anxiety—at least, that’s the sense created by the daily deluge of news portraying a grim present of economic hardship, global tensions, terrorism, and political upheaval. The five-year-old site Upworthy doesn’t want you to see the world that way.
On Tuesday, Tesla Motors—the eclectic, aggressive electric-car company that is promising to upend the automotive industry—was in the news for two seemingly distinct but in fact related issues.
Not a day goes by without hearing what appears to be the predominant question for investors, namely, When will stocks come back down to earth? Variants of that query include, Isn’t this bull market getting long in the tooth? And, stocks go up and up, so we must be on the verge of a selloff, right?
Every few years, Washington rouses itself from its partisan noise and rounds its attention on the Congressional Budget Office, a sleepy, nonpartisan place that quietly wields immense influence over most legislation of any consequence.
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