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New England

Globalisation: the rise and fall of an idea that swept the world

The annual January gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos is usually a placid affair: a place for well-heeled participants to exchange notes on global business opportunities, or powder conditions on the local ski slopes, while cradling champagne and canapes. This January, the ultra-rich and …

Globalization

FTC says Qualcomm is a monopoly, case should proceed

The US trade group says a court shouldn't dismiss its suit against the chipmaker. Samsung agrees with the FTC.<p>And so continues the battle over Qualcomm's licensing practices.<p>The US Federal Trade Commission on Friday defended its antitrust lawsuit from January, saying in a legal filing with the US …

Qualcomm

The 'Pernicious Nonsense' Of Maximizing Shareholder Value

<i>The Economist</i> recently declared maximizing shareholder value to be “the biggest idea in business.” It may well be the biggest idea, but it’s also “the error at the heart of corporate leadership,” according to the current issue of <i>Harvard Business Review</i> in an article by two distinguished Harvard …

Hedge Funds

Toppling the Idol of 'Shareholder Value'

Once it was a good idea to link CEO pay to the stock price. But the practice has gone too far.<p>"Maximizing shareholder value" is one of those concepts that falls under the adage, "Be careful what you wish for." I know this because, a long time ago, I was one of those wishing for it.<p>It seemed like …

American Airlines

Who Pays Corporate Taxes? Possibly You

Who pays corporate income taxes? Just one thing’s for sure: it’s not corporations.<p>This is because, as Mitt Romney famously put it, “corporations are people, my friend.” They also sell to people, buy from people, and are owned by people. Yes, sometimes you have to dig through layers of other …

How Pharma Companies Game the System to Keep Drugs Expensive

I help the University of Utah hospital system manage its drug budgets and medication use policies, and in 2015 I got sticker shock. Our annual inpatient pharmacy cost for a single drug skyrocketed from $300,000 to $1.9 million. That’s because the drug maker Valeant suddenly increased the price of …

Pharma

What President Trump's Proposed EPA Budget Cuts Mean for Your Health

President Trump’s administration is planning big cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the aim of moving the organization away from …

Scott Pruitt

A Super Bowl Ad Is the Equivalent of Lighting Money on Fire (Which Can Be More Strategic Than It Sounds)

Everyone knows that whispering “I love you” to someone you just met over some bangin’ beats in the club at 3 AM stands no chance of success. Similarly, suspect claims of honesty or authenticity in business will likely be heavily discounted as cheap talk by a skeptical counterpart. So why make these …

Nobel Prize

Beached whale had 30 plastic bags in its stomach

Zoologists in Norway say a beached whale found off the country’s western coast earlier this week had more than 30 plastic bags inside its stomach.<p>The whale was put down after it became stranded of the island of Sotra. It’s said to have been in a poor physical condition and showing signs of distress.<p>…

Where the Candidates Stand on Obamacare and Your Health Care Costs

Will you be able to get and pay for good health coverage?<p>More Americans than ever have coverage, but with insurers pulling out of the government …

Health Care
Health Care

A government campaign urged Italians to have more babies immediately. It didn’t go well.

Like many other European Union countries, Italy is facing a dramatic demographic change, with increasingly fewer children being born. So the Health Ministry recently launched an ad campaign to remind people of Sept. 22 being "fertility day."<p>"Beauty has no age limit. Fertility does," read one of the …

Europe

Rio 2016: cheers, boos and a carnival atmosphere as Olympic flame goes out

The curtain fell and finally there was a sense the Games had managed to capture the imagination, despite several reminders of the problems encountered in Rio<p>Perhaps appropriately at the end of a by turns stormy and thrilling fortnight, the 2016 Olympics closed amid driving rain and fireworks with a …

Brazil

Did you solve it? Are you smarter than Andy Murray?

Did you ace today’s tennis puzzles?<p>Earlier today I set you the following three puzzles:<p>The men’s singles event at Wimbledon is a knockout tournament with 128 players. Without doing any arithmetic - i.e adding up the number of matches in every round - can you work out how many matches are there in …

Mathematics

FTC Sues To Block The Merger Of Office Depot And Staples

The Federal Trade Commission has taken the first step toward blocking the proposed $6.3 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot, saying the deal would hurt competition in the market for office supplies sold to large corporations.<p>The commission filed an administrative complaint charging that the …

Office Depot

With the ''Robin Hood Tax,'' a Grassroots Movement Seeks to Bring Wall Street to Heel

Forty-one people were arrested Monday after they blocked the entrances to the Chicago Board of Trade building, chanting, "What is America going to …

Middle-class

Robot revolution: rise of 'thinking' machines could exacerbate inequality

Global economy will be transformed over next 20 years at risk of growing inequality, say analysts<p>A “robot revolution” will transform the global economy over the next 20 years, cutting the costs of doing business but exacerbating social inequality, as machines take over everything from caring for …

The Future

Optimal income taxes | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

<b>1</b> In addition, Mirrlees emphasized that since tax authorities can never accurately know a person’s actual productivity level, an optimal plan should …

It’s Time to Rein in Exorbitant Pharmaceutical Prices

As the ire over high prescription drug prices in the United States escalates, it’s easy to blame pharmaceutical companies. But pharmaceutical companies aren’t to blame. They’ve executed well on the rules set by the U.S. government as well as the “make the most money” dictum set by their …

Health Care

Government Debt to Reach 107% of U.S. Economy in 2040, CBO Says

U.S. government debt held by the public is expected to rise to 107 percent of the economy in 2040 from 74 percent this year, the Congressional Budget …

Economics

Prevent prescription drug monopolies

My 12-year-old daughter suffers from asthma, so when she left her inhaler at home during a family trip to Nebraska this fall, we had to replace it. I …

Why the feds should block Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable

A merger may not raise prices in the short term but could hamper future competition.<p>FORTUNE — As the Supreme Court this week looks into the legality …

Why do economists describe climate change as a market failure? - Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment

21 March, 2014<p>When free markets do not maximise society’s welfare, they are said to ‘fail’ and policy intervention may be needed to correct them. …

What It Takes To Lift Families Out Of Poverty

Eighteen years ago, Dean Karlan was a fresh, bright-eyed graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wanted to answer what seemed like a simple question:<p>"Does global aid work?" Karlan says.<p>He was reading a bunch of studies on the topic. But none of them actually …

Income Inequality

The Business Investments That Freak People Out

Over the last couple of years, major corporations such as the Gap, McDonald’s, and Walmart joined the growing ranks of companies voluntarily raising wages. But recently, a smaller tech company, Gravity Payments in Seattle, took a more unusual step by raising the minimum wage for professionals in …

Profit

The Case Against Competing

Back in the Middle Ages when I was still with <i>Fortune</i> magazine, we had Warren Buffet in for an editorial lunch. With characteristic charming Midwestern self-effacement, the Great Investor waxed happy about a recent acquisition, the <i>Buffalo Evening News</i>. He loved the fact that it was the only player …

Middle Ages