The Week: Most Recent Business Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 28 Jul 2014 12:26:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Business Posts from THE WEEKMon, 28 Jul 2014 12:26:00 -0400Don't hate the 'poor door'<img src="" /></P><p>New Yorkers living in 55 new affordable apartments built as part of a luxury development in Manhattan will have to enter their homes through the so-called "poor door," a different entrance from the one richer tenants will use. The homes are being erected under inclusive zoning laws which let developers construct affordable units in exchange for tax breaks and an exemption that allows them to build 33 percent more square feet than otherwise permitted.</p><p>Understandably, the "poor door" has raised a fair bit of fury. Lucy Westcott of <em>Newsweek</em> </span>calls<span> it "</span>Dickensian<span>." Stephen L. Carter of </span><em>Bloomberg View...</em></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:26:00 -0400Personal finance tips: The risks of medical credit cards, and more<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1"> Saving on back-to-school purchases<br /></span></strong>Back-to-school shopping isn't the "frenzied one-day spending spree" it used to be, said Kaitlyn Krasselt at <em>USA Today</em>. Families are expected to spend an average of $670 on school supplies, clothes, and electronics this year, but more parents "are shopping strategically online and picking up additional in-store items when necessary," spreading out their purchases over time. For the essentials, experts say the best way to save is to avoid brick-and-mortar stores altogether and wait for Labor Day sales. In the meantime, late July and early August can be a great time...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:51:00 -0400Are tax inversions unpatriotic?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Treasury Secretary Jack Lew thinks U.S. corporations moving overseas should be ashamed, said Jim Puzzanghera at the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. In a letter to lawmakers, Lew called for "a new sense of economic patriotism" and urged Congress to enact laws that would stop U.S. companies from reorganizing as foreign firms to avoid paying taxes &mdash; a practice known as tax inversion. It's an increasingly popular loophole that spells disaster for corporate tax revenue, said Edward D. Kleinbard at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. In an inversion, a U.S. firm acquires a much smaller company based in a tax-friendly...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:45:00 -0400Can we use skyscrapers to predict financial crashes?<img src="" /></P><p>When will the next financial crash happen?</p><p>If you know the answer to that question, you could get very rich by selling assets and shorting markets when it happens. And if you correctly make a public prediction of a crash, investors will pay princely sums for your advice afterward.</p><p>The problem is that predicting the financial future is really hard. In a system as massively complex as the global economy, causality can be hard to discern, and trends in the past don't necessarily hold in the present.</p><p>One pattern that has held up relatively well, though, is the construction of the world's tallest...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:52:00 -0400How the euro can still unseat the dollar as the world's dominant currency<img src="" /></P><p>A huge penalty recently imposed on the French bank BNP Paribas for sanctions-breaking has intensified talk of the end of the U.S. dollar's international reign. Remember, the currency most favored around the world does change: the U.S. dollar replaced the U.K. pound, which itself replaced the Spanish real. Many have suggested the Chinese yuan is the next logical usurper (though the Chinese themselves have promoted the IMF's bundle of currencies instead). But what about the euro?</p><p>Currently, the euro is the second most widely held currency in the world after the U.S. dollar, making up about 25 percent...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Frances CoppolaThu, 24 Jul 2014 06:10:00 -0400Britain has basically decriminalized internet piracy. The U.S. should, too.<img src="" /></P><p>Britain has made a bold move: starting in 2015, internet pirates will no longer be prosecuted for their file-sharing. Persistent file-sharers will receive warning letters, but according to <em>The Independent</em> "no further action will be taken." (While the government isn't calling it decriminalization, that is effectively what it is.) In the long run, this is the only sensible option.</p><p>A full 46 percent of Americans are copyright pirates, according to a 2012 study by The American Assembly at Columbia University, which means they copy content from CDs and DVDs or illicitly download media, including movies...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:00 -0400Is inflation really picking up?<img src="" /></P><p>With the U.S. recovery strengthening &mdash; unemployment is now down to just 6.1 percent from its peak of 9.9 percent in 2009 &mdash; some are saying that the Fed should change course and raise interest rates. Unless the Fed ends not only its program of quantitative easing, they argue, but also its regime of ultra-low interest rates that has been in place since the financial crisis, the economy is in serious danger of overheating.</p><p>What signal is the Fed waiting for? While traders have their eye on the rising stock market &mdash; many argue that stocks are in a bubble &mdash; the Fed is watching...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:01:00 -040010 burning questions you've always wanted to ask about investing<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a dumb question &mdash; and that's especially true when it comes to investing.</p><p>After all, putting your hard-earned dollars into an investment account isn't the same as simply stashing it away in a checking or savings account.</p><p>You've got decisions to think about: What will I invest in? How do I manage my investments? What do I do if the financial news gives me the jitters?</p><p>Well, we're glad you asked because a good way to learn about your finances is to fearlessly ask all of the things that make you scratch your head when you're just learning to build...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Allison KadeTue, 22 Jul 2014 10:14:00 -0400The rise of the global middle class is our best hope to stop climate change<img src="" /></P><p>A month ago, Ezra Klein explained why he's a pessimist about climate change. His explanation is compelling &mdash; our ineffectual national and international institutions really do handicap our ability to deal with this problem. But Klein is too quick to dismiss our technical ingenuity and its capacity for unexpected greatness.</p><p><em>The Week</em>'s John Aziz has already written about the accelerating progress of solar energy. Advances in the efficiency and versatility of solar may slow down carbon emissions more than we realize. And if we're lucky, it may buy us enough time to develop the ultimate source...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/nicholas-warino" ><span class="byline">Nicholas Warino</span></a>Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:16:00 -0400What the Fed haters don't get about interest rates<img src="" /></P><p>Ever since the financial crisis, the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world have kept rates far below their historical averages. U.K. interest rates remain at 0.5 percent, American interest rates are less than that, and even Spain, Ireland, and Italy can borrow for under 3 percent. Central banks lowered rates to spur economic activity, jobs, and growth &mdash; and with American unemployment down to 6.1 percent, there are signs that, at least in the U.S., it's working.</p><p>Yet, there is a growing backlash against low interest rates in influential circles.</p><p>Bankers and policymakers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/tom-streithorst" ><span class="byline">Tom Streithorst</span></a>Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:40:00 -0400