Business

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Business

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
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...
On the Ground of Biden’s Antitrust Agenda
Business

On the Ground of Biden’s Antitrust Agenda

Big deals are waiting on the tarmac as Wall Street and the business world anticipate how the presidential election will change antitrust enforcement.President Biden has taken an aggressive approach to policing deals that some have called overreaching and others have lauded as a necessary return to scrutiny on the power wielded by big business. Dealmakers say they are holding some deals back in hope of a more lenient approach in the next administration.Doha Mekki is on the ground executing the strategy. She’s worked at the Justice Department under three administrations: as a trial attorney during the Obama presidency, in the front office during the Trump presidency and now as the principal deputy assistant attorney general under Jonathan Kanter.In a recent interview at the Penn Carey Law An...
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...
Bob Moore, Who Founded Bob’s Red Mill, Is Dead at 94
Business

Bob Moore, Who Founded Bob’s Red Mill, Is Dead at 94

Bob Moore, the grandfatherly entrepreneur who, with his wife, Charlee, leveraged an image of organic heartiness and wholesome Americana to turn the artisanal grain company Bob’s Red Mill into a $100 million-a-year business, died on Saturday at his home in Milwaukie, Ore. He was 94.His death was announced by the company, which did not cite a cause.Founded in Milwaukie in 1978, Bob’s Red Mill grew from serving the Portland area to become a global natural-foods behemoth, marketing more than 200 products in more than 70 countries. The company’s product line runs a whole-grain gamut, including stone-ground sorghum flour, paleo-style muesli and whole wheat-pearl couscous, along with energy bars and cake and soup mixes.Over the years, the company profited handsomely from the nutrition-minded shif...
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...
With NFL Deal, Kristin Juszczyk Is the Super Bowl’s Clear Winner
Business

With NFL Deal, Kristin Juszczyk Is the Super Bowl’s Clear Winner

Still, Ms. Juszczyk, whose website says she is self-taught and started her business after making Halloween costumes for herself and her husband, has more than just the endorsements of Ms. Swift and other celebrities going for her.The fact that Nike was first credited with making Ms. Swift’s jacket reflects the fact that Ms. Juszczyk has, consciously or not, positioned herself at the red hot center of a number of macro fashion trends. To wit: the buzz around upcycling; the desire for customization; the transformation of streetwear into luxury; and the increasing convergence of sports and fashion. As one of her followers posted under a photo of her work, “Finally great clothes that’s not a crew or v neck shirt.”The N.F.L., for one, has apparently recognized the opportunity. Rather than going...
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 supported Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide ch...
Plunge in New York Community Bank’s Stock Stirs Fears of Wider Crisis
Business

Plunge in New York Community Bank’s Stock Stirs Fears of Wider Crisis

As the one-year anniversary approaches of a crisis that brought down several midsize banks, trouble at another lender is putting unwelcome attention on the industry again.Concerns now center on New York Community Bancorp, which operates 420 branches nationwide under brands such as Flagstar Bank and Ohio Savings Bank. The bank ballooned in size over the past year, to more than $100 billion in assets, after taking over the fallen Signature Bank last spring in an auction organized by federal regulators.New York Community Bancorp’s stock has nose-dived since it released an ugly earnings report that included unexpected losses on real estate loans tied to both office and apartment buildings. Its shares have lost about two-thirds of their value over the past week, after a series of relentless dec...
Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.
Business

Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.

Toni Irizarry recognizes that the economy has improved. Compared with the first wave of the pandemic, when Las Vegas went dark, and joblessness soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression, these are days of relative normalcy.Ms. Irizarry, 64, oversees a cafe at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, a property just off the Las Vegas Strip that caters mostly to locals. Guests have returned, filling the blackjack and roulette tables amid the cacophony of jingling slot machines — the sound of money.She started in the hospitality industry busing tables when she was only 16. Her paychecks have allowed her to purchase a home, raise three children and buy each of them their first car. But as she contemplates the future, she cannot shake a sense of foreboding.The outlook of people like Ms. Irizarr...