The Week: Most Recent Business Posts recent posts.en-usTue, 25 Nov 2014 09:11:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Business Posts from THE WEEKTue, 25 Nov 2014 09:11:00 -0500Man and uber man: Do startup CEOs have to be jerks?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Want to be a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur? You may want to practice being a jerk.</p><p>I know; I know. There's that old mantra that correlation isn't causation. But over time, an awful lot of correlation adds up to a pretty convincing pattern. And right now, the overlap between "jerk" and "Silicon Valley success story" is looking fairly large.</p><p>This week, it's Uber grabbing the headlines, for rather dramatic reasons. The high-flying ride-sharing company &mdash; estimated value $18 billion and, until this week, climbing by the day &mdash; has stirred plenty of controversy in the past. Now...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Suzanne McGeeTue, 25 Nov 2014 09:11:00 -0500Could economics benefit from computer science thinking?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Economists are sometimes content asking whether or not a banking system could be stable or a market could continue to grow. But they and other scientists could benefit from a computational view that asks not just whether the right conditions exist but also how hard it is to find them, according to a commentary published in <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>.</p><p>The "how hard?" question is about computational complexity, says Christos Papadimitriou, a University of California-Berkeley computer scientist and the commentary's author. "Nature, [people] &mdash; they are doing some kind...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Nathan CollinsMon, 24 Nov 2014 10:04:00 -0500Personal finance tips: Beware of 'zombie' bills, and more<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> How to research a financial </strong></span><span class="s1"><strong>broker<br /></strong></span>If you're hiring a broker, do your homework, said Liz Moyer at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. Troubled brokers often "cluster in communities with lots of elderly investors," but "bad apples can be found anywhere." To check the background of a potential broker, investors can use the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)'s BrokerCheck tool, which provides a broker's license status, history, and any black marks against him or her &mdash; including "regulatory proceedings, customer disputes, and settlements." Individual states also have their own regulatory bodies...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:09:00 -0500Dissecting Amazon and Hachette's new chapter<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Amazon and Hachette are "burying the hatchet," said Shannon Bond at the <em>Financial Times</em>. The Internet retailer and the book publisher ended their "protracted, costly, and very public fight" last week, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Since May, the two have been locked in a war over e-book pricing and profit sharing. Hachette, the fourth-biggest U.S. publisher with authors including J.K. Rowling, Donna Tartt, and Malcolm Gladwell, wanted to retain the ability to set its own e-book prices; Amazon, which sells two-thirds of all digital books, wanted e-books priced at $9.99 or less. When...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Sat, 22 Nov 2014 08:00:00 -0500Why you should be getting ready to ask for a raise<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The October jobs report released Nov. 7 was met with a lukewarm response. Payroll gains totaled 214,000 jobs, down from the 240,000 average of the last five months. The average workweek was slightly longer. Wage pressure remains tepid, running at a 2 percent annual rate.</p><p>But the big news was that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent &mdash; returning to a level not seen since July 2008. Much this decline has been driven by folks dropping out of the workforce, pushing the employment-to-population ratio to levels not seen since the early 1980s (although it's been improving slightly lately...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Anthony MirhaydariWed, 19 Nov 2014 16:48:00 -0500How to rescue the American family and fix the broken school system in one fell swoop<img src="" /></P><p>Nowadays, Elizabeth Warren mostly gets talked about as a potential progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton's inevitable Democratic coronation. But it's often ill-remembered that for most her life, she was an academic. One of her most fascinating works is her book <em>The Two Income Trap.</em><br /><br />A lot of people have probably heard of the phenomenon of the two-income trap, but it's not discussed enough. This is the basic idea: financially, having both parents in a family seems like a no-brainer &mdash; it brings in more money. But it can actually become a trap if the costs involved in having both parents...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:15:00 -0500The Federal Reserve's independence is dangerous, undemocratic, and a boon to Wall Street<img src="" /></P><p>A few months ago, a former employee at the secretive Federal Reserve Bank of New York named Carmen Segarra came forward and blew a big fat whistle. She alleged that she had witnessed regulators, and specifically her boss Mike Silva, act unethically and deferentially towards an entity they were supposed to regulate, Goldman Sachs.</p><p>The specifics of the allegation were as follows. Silva had allowed Goldman to do a deal with the Spanish banking giant Santander, a deal which amounted to being paid to help Santander manipulate accounting standards. Goldman had received $40 million to hold some Santander...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Matt StollerWed, 19 Nov 2014 06:06:00 -0500U.S. public health advocates are worried about a historic trade deal with Asia<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>In the expensive briar patch that is American health care, generic drugs have been key to keeping costs down. But intellectual property provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership, set to be the largest free trade deal ever and the subject of intense speculation since 2005, have public health advocates concerned about the fate of this key component of affordable health care, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.</p><p>The White House believes that the TPP will be beneficial for America's economic and political presence in Asia. Others are worried that the twelve negotiating Pacific nations, from the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Ariel BogleMon, 17 Nov 2014 07:50:00 -0500Personal finance tips: Beware of power-sucking appliances, and more<img src="" /></P><p><strong> A very early 529 gift</strong><br />Why wait until a child is born to start a 529 college savings plan? asked Peter S. Green at <em>The Wall Street Journal.</em> Anyone hoping to become a grandparent one day can open a 529 to "get the savings ball rolling early." A future grandparent who designates the beneficiary as the future parent can contribute as much as $70,000 in a single year tax free (equal to five years' worth of contributions at $14,000). When the infant arrives, the account can be transferred into his or her name. Starting early has major benefits: A 529 plan opened with an initial gift of $14,000, five...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:09:00 -0500The great wage slowdown<img src="" /></P><p>The labor market may finally be hitting its stride, said Eric Morath at <em>The Wall Street Journal.</em> October marked the 49th straight month of U.S. job growth, the "longest stretch of job creation since at least World War II." Employers added 214,000 new jobs to their payrolls, and August and September's jobs numbers were revised up, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent, "closer to a level many economists consider healthy." The size of the labor force grew as well, said Matt O'Brien at <em>The Washington Post,</em> "which means that unemployment fell for the good reason that people were finding...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Sun, 16 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500