Business

Private Equity Is Starting to Share With Workers, Without Taking a Financial Hit
Business

Private Equity Is Starting to Share With Workers, Without Taking a Financial Hit

In 2018, Anna-Lisa Miller was working with agricultural cooperatives in Hawaii, helping them reinvest in their communities through shared ownership.Ms. Miller, who had gone to law school and had planned to do civil rights litigation, loved the principle of workers partaking in the financial success of their employers, and the next year joined Project Equity, a nonprofit that helps small businesses transition to worker ownership. But it was slow going, with each transaction requiring customized assistance.Then she came across an investor presentation from a different universe: KKR, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. In it, a KKR executive, Pete Stavros, discussed a model he had been developing to provide employees with an equity stake in companies it purchased, so the workers ...
Edward E. Crutchfield, 82, Dies; Banker’s Deals Reshaped the Industry
Business

Edward E. Crutchfield, 82, Dies; Banker’s Deals Reshaped the Industry

Edward E. Crutchfield, a banker who grew a small North Carolina bank into one of the nation’s largest through a deal-making spree that earned him the nickname “Fast Eddie” and helped establish Charlotte, N.C., as a national financial hub, died on Jan. 2 at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 82.His death was confirmed by his son, Elliott, who said his father had dementia.When Mr. Crutchfield graduated from business school in 1965, he took a job as a credit analyst at First Union bank in Charlotte. It was the lowest-paying job he was offered, but he thought he could move up faster at a smaller bank. He sensed opportunity at the bank and in the region, he told his family and colleagues.Both hunches paid off. At age 32, just seven years after he joined First Union, he became its president and...
Climate Change Takes Center Stage in Economics
Business

Climate Change Takes Center Stage in Economics

In early January in San Antonio, dozens of Ph.D. economists packed into a small windowless room in the recesses of a Grand Hyatt to hear brand-new research on the hottest topic of their annual conference: how climate change is affecting everything.The papers in this session focused on the impact of natural disasters on mortgage risk, railway safety and even payday loans. Some attendees had to stand in the back, as the seats had already been filled. It wasn’t an anomaly.Nearly every block of time at the Allied Social Science Associations conference — a gathering of dozens of economics-adjacent academic organizations recognized by the American Economic Association — had multiple climate-related presentations to choose from, and most appeared similarly popular.For those who have long focused ...
New Hampshire Officials to Investigate A.I. Robocalls Mimicking Biden
Business

New Hampshire Officials to Investigate A.I. Robocalls Mimicking Biden

Voters in New Hampshire received robocall messages over the weekend in a voice that was most likely artificially generated to impersonate President Biden’s, urging them not to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, according to the state attorney general’s office.The fake recordings, which told listeners that “your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” were manipulated to seem as if they had been sent by an officer of a Democratic committee, the office said.The attorney general’s office stressed that voting in the primary would not rule out voters from also casting ballots in the general election in November.“These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire presidential primary election and to suppress New Hampshire voters,” the office said in a s...
War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors
Business

War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors

In the Red Sea, attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on commercial ships continue to disrupt a crucial trade route and raise shipping costs. The threat of escalation there and around flash points in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and now Iran and Pakistan ratchets up every day.Despite the staggering death toll and wrenching misery of the violence in the Middle East, the broader economic impact so far has been mostly contained. Oil production and prices, a critical driver of worldwide economic activity and inflation, have returned to pre-crisis levels. International tourists are still flying into other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.Yet for Israel’s next-door neighbors — Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan — the economic damage is already severe....
Stocks Are in a Bull Market. What Does That Mean?
Business

Stocks Are in a Bull Market. What Does That Mean?

The S&P 500 index closed at a record on Friday, crossing above its old high-water mark, set in early 2022. The gains show that investors have overcome fears of rising interest rates and panic about a recession that had governed stock trading for much of the past two years.Instead, they’re now betting that a drop in rates will help expand corporate profits, while the economy stays on a relatively solid footing.Even though the S&P 500 had struggled to push into the record — having bumped up against it for weeks before finally crossing above with jump on Friday — the record high should also put an end to a debate on Wall Street about whether the recent run-up in shares reflected a lasting shift in sentiment, or if it was just a rebound that would fade as fear over the outlook for the ...
New U.S. Solar and Electric Car Factories Face Familiar Challenge: China
Business

New U.S. Solar and Electric Car Factories Face Familiar Challenge: China

The Biden administration has begun pumping more than $2 trillion into U.S. factories and infrastructure, investing huge sums to try to strengthen American industry and fight climate change.But the effort is facing a familiar threat: a surge of low-priced products from China. That is drawing the attention of President Biden and his aides, who are considering new protectionist measures to make sure American industry can compete against Beijing.As U.S. factories spin up to produce electric vehicles, semiconductors and solar panels, China is flooding the market with similar goods, often at significantly lower prices than American competitors. A similar influx is also hitting the European market.American executives and officials argue that China’s actions violate global trade rules. The concern...
A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming
Business

A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming

A prominent Federal Reserve official on Tuesday laid out a case for lowering interest rates methodically at some point this year as the economy comes into balance and inflation cools — although he acknowledged that the timing of those cuts remained uncertain.Christopher Waller, one of the Fed’s seven Washington-based officials and one of the 12 policymakers who gets to vote at its meetings, said during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday that he saw a case for cutting interest rates in 2024.“The data we have received the last few months is allowing the committee to consider cutting the policy rate in 2024,” Mr. Waller said. While noting that risks of higher inflation remain, he said “I am feeling more confident that the economy can continue along its current trajectory.”Mr. Wa...
Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling
Business

Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a case brought by Starbucks challenging a federal judge’s order to reinstate seven employees who were fired at a store in Memphis amid a union campaign there.Starbucks argued that the criteria for such intervention by judges in labor cases, which can also include measures like reopening shuttered stores, vary across regions of the country because federal appeals courts may adhere to different standards.A regional director for the National Labor Relations Board, the company’s opponent in the case, argued that the apparent differences in criteria among appeals courts were semantic rather than substantive, and that a single effective standard was already in place nationwide.The labor board had urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the case, whose ou...
Netflix Film’s Removal Shows Power of India’s Hindu Right Wing
Business

Netflix Film’s Removal Shows Power of India’s Hindu Right Wing

The trailer for “Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food” promised a sunny if melodramatic story of uplift in a south Indian temple town. A priest’s daughter enters a cooking tournament, but social obstacles complicate her inevitable rise to the top. Annapoorani’s father, a Brahmin sitting at the top of Hindu society’s caste ladder, doesn’t want her to cook meat, a taboo in their lineage. There is even the hint of a Hindu-Muslim romantic subplot.On Thursday, two weeks after the movie premiered, Netflix abruptly pulled it from its platform. An activist, Ramesh Solanki, a self-described “very proud Hindu Indian nationalist,” had filed a police complaint arguing that the film was “intentionally released to hurt Hindu sentiments.” He said it mocked Hinduism by “depicting our gods consuming nonvegetar...