Business

New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions
Business

New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions

After the Houthi militia started attacking container ships in the Red Sea last year, the cost of shipping goods from Asia soared by over 300 percent, prompting fears that supply chain disruptions might once again roil the global economy.The Houthis, who are backed by Iran and control northern Yemen, continue to threaten ships, forcing many to take a much longer route around Africa’s southern tip. But there are signs that the world will probably avoid a drawn-out shipping crisis.One reason for the optimism is that a huge number of container ships, ordered two to three years ago, are entering service. Those extra vessels are expected to help shipping companies maintain regular service as their ships travel longer distances. The companies ordered the ships when the extraordinary surge in worl...
Will Food Prices Stop Rising Quickly? Many Companies Say Yes.
Business

Will Food Prices Stop Rising Quickly? Many Companies Say Yes.

Few prices are as visible to Americans as the ones they encounter at the grocery store or drive-through window, which is why two years of rapid food inflation have been a major drag for U.S. households and the Biden administration.Shoppers have only slowly regained confidence in the state of the economy as they pay more to fill up their carts, and President Biden has made a habit of shaming food companies — even filming a Super Bowl Sunday video criticizing snack producers for their “rip off” prices.But now, the trend in grocery and restaurant inflation appears to be on the cusp of changing.After months of rapid increase, the cost of food at home climbed at a notably slower clip in January. And from packaged food providers to restaurant chains, companies across the food business are report...
Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?
Business

Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?

Picture this: You own a few hundred acres near a growing town that your family has been farming for generations. Turning a profit has gotten harder, and none of your children want to take it over. You don’t want to sell the land; you love the open space, the flora and fauna it hosts. But offers from developers who would turn it into subdivisions or strip malls seem increasingly tempting.One day, a land broker mentions an idea. How about granting a long-term lease to a company that values your property for the same reasons you do: long walks through tall grass, the calls of migrating birds, the way it keeps the air and water clean.It sounds like a scam. Or charity. In fact, it’s an approach backed by hardheaded investors who think nature has an intrinsic value that can provide them with a r...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Business

The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market
Business

Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market

The pandemic created an economic crisis unlike any recession on record. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the aftermath, too, has played out in a way that almost no economists expected.When unemployment soared in the first weeks of the pandemic, many feared a repeat of the long, slow rebound from the Great Recession: years of joblessness that left many workers permanently scarred. Instead, the recovery in the labor market has been, by many measures, the strongest on record.In early 2021, some economists foresaw a surge in inflation. Others were skeptical: Similar predictions in recent years — in some cases from the same forecasters — had failed to come true. This time, however, they were right.And when the Federal Reserve began trying to tamp down inflation, there were warnings th...
Inflation Was Higher Than Expected in January, a Worrying Sign for the Fed
Business

Inflation Was Higher Than Expected in January, a Worrying Sign for the Fed

Inflation cooled less than expected in January and showed worrying staying power after volatile food and fuel costs were stripped out — a reminder that bringing price increases under control remains a fraught, bumpy process.The overall Consumer Price Index was up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, which was down from 3.4 percent in December but more than the 2.9 percent that economists had forecast. That figure is down from the latest peak of 9.1 percent in the summer of 2022.But after stripping out food and fuel, which bounce around in price from month to month, “core” prices held roughly steady on an annual basis, climbing 3.9 percent from a year earlier. The measure jumped by the most in eight months on a monthly basis.American consumers, the White House and Federal Reserve officials had ...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
For Gen Z, an Age-Old Question: Who Pays for Dates?
Business

For Gen Z, an Age-Old Question: Who Pays for Dates?

During a recent dinner at a cozy bar in Upper Manhattan, I was confronted with an age-old question about gender norms. Over bowls of ramen and sips of gin cocktails, my date and I got into a debate: Who should pay for dates?My date, a 27-year-old woman I matched with on Hinge, said gender equality didn’t mean men and women should pay the same when they went out. Women, she said, earn less than men in the workplace, spend more time getting ready for outings and pay more for reproductive care.When the date ended, we split the bill. But our discussion was emblematic of a tension in modern dating. At work and on social media, where young people spend much of their personal time, they like to emphasize equity and equality. When it comes to romance and courtship, young people — specifically wome...
American Firms Invested $1 Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find
Business

American Firms Invested $1 Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find

A congressional investigation has determined that five American venture capital firms invested more than $1 billion in China’s semiconductor industry since 2001, fueling the growth of a sector that the United States government now regards as a national security threat.Funds supplied by the five firms — GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Walden International — went to more than 150 Chinese companies, according to the report, which was released Thursday by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.The investments included roughly $180 million that went to Chinese firms that the committee said directly or indirectly support Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide chip...
Snap Shares Plummet After Q4 Earnings Report
Business

Snap Shares Plummet After Q4 Earnings Report

Snap’s stock fell more than 30 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday after its guidance fell short of analyst expectations even as the company reported a 5 percent increase in revenue, its second straight quarter of growth.The Snapchat parent company released guidance for the first quarter estimating larger-than-expected losses compared with Wall Street’s expectations — prompting some analysts to suspect the company was spending more aggressively than anticipated. Last quarter, Snap declined to provide guidance because of the uncertainty surrounding the war between Israel and Hamas.Amplifying concerns, Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, last week reported that its profit more than tripled.“This is particularly problematic for the company after Meta posted such great numbers in th...