The Week: Most Recent Business Posts recent posts.en-usTue, 15 Apr 2014 12:13:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Business Posts from THE WEEKTue, 15 Apr 2014 12:13:00 -0400Should drug deals and prostitution be included in GDP?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Britain will see a boost in measured economic activity later this year when activities previously never measured &mdash; specifically, drug dealing and prostitution &mdash; are incorporated into the measure.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Britain is making the change to fall into line with its European neighbors. In the Netherlands, for example, some drugs like marijuana are decriminalized and prostitution is legal and regulated. The European Union wants all countries to include the same activities in the measure, so that GDP numbers for different countries are fairer comparisons.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">At first the changes will only include U.K...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:13:00 -0400Don't fret the falling tech stocks<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">After climbing 244 percent from its 2009 low, the NASDAQ has dropped over 8 percent. It even fell 3.1 percent last Thursday alone, its largest single day drop since November 2011:</span></p><p ><br />(<em>Bloomberg</em>)</p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">And while the dip since March looks pretty small in the broader context of the last five years, certain slices of the tech market have fallen more heavily.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s2">Notable tech stocks</span><span class="s1"> like Facebook and Twitter have sunk 18 percent and 26 percent, respectively, since March. King &mdash; the maker of <em>Candy Crush Saga &mdash; </em>is trading for $16.96, far below the $22.50 investors paid for it during its IPO in March...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:48:00 -0400I'm retiring in my early '30s<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Later this year, at the age of 32, I plan to quit my full-time job as a software developer and don't intend to look for another one.</p><p>By then, I expect my portfolio will be large enough to fund my essential expenses for at least the next 30 years, if not indefinitely, so that getting another 9-to-5 job becomes an option rather than a necessity.</p><p>You may wonder if I have some magic ability for picking Powerball numbers, or if I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Neither is the case. I've built my nest egg simply by watching my spending and investing as much of my paycheck as I can. I am...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brandon Sutherland*Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:00:00 -0400Yes, the economy is endangering Family Dollar -- just not in the way you think<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">In the wake of the 2008 recession, dollar stores such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar &mdash; which sell a wide selection of different goods, from food and household goods to clothing &mdash; exploded throughout America, drawing in new customers hit by the weak recovery, or just looking for a bargain. Over the past five years, the big three dollar chains added 5,700 new stores:</span><span > </span></p><p><br /></p><p class="p2" ><span class="s1">[<em><span class="s2">Businessweek</span></em>]</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">But discount retailers got a shock last week when Family Dollar issued a <span class="s2">dismal earnings report</span> and announced <span class="s2">plans to close 370 stores</span>, roughly 5 percent of its locations.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">The company...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:35:00 -0400Personal finance tips: When to skimp on insurance, and more<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> Insurance you don't need<br /></strong></span>Sometimes it makes sense to skimp on insurance, said Aaron Crowe at<em> Daily Finance</em>. "You could almost insure every step you take in life," but that doesn't mean you should. Getting life or health insurance is a no-brainer. But in other cases, it might make more sense to start an emergency fund instead. Buying rental car insurance from the rental agency is often redundant &mdash; and expensive &mdash; since your credit card or auto insurance may cover you anyway. And speaking of cars, if you're all paid up on an old car, skip the collision insurance. "If a car is totaled...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sergio-hernandez" ><span class="byline">Sergio Hernandez</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:15:00 -04007 ways to quickly become a master at anything<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p><strong>There's a right way to learn</strong></p><p>Want to be more successful? Actually, that's not ambitious enough &mdash; want to be the best?</p><p>I do. So I called my friend Daniel Coyle, author of the best books on getting better at anything: <em>The Talent Code</em> and <em>The Little Book of Talent</em>.</p><p>Dan knows that the "10,000 hour rule" is nice, but you need to align your effort with the way your brain was designed to learn.</p><p>Hours are vital but you can get to mastery faster &mdash; <em>much</em> faster &mdash; by practicing the right way.</p><p>So how can you and I do that? Here are seven steps experts use:</p><p> </p><p><strong>1) Be uncomfortable</strong></p>... <a href="">More</a>By Eric BarkerMon, 14 Apr 2014 09:12:00 -0400Is there a savings glut?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Over at <em>Project Syndicate</em>, Barry Eichengreen <span class="s2">asks</span> why interest rates have been falling around the Western world for the last 30 years:</span></p><p ><span class="s1">Adjusted for inflation, interest rates have been falling for three decades, and their current low level encourages investors, searching for yield, to take on additional risk. Low rates also leave central banks little room for loosening monetary policy in a slowdown, because nominal interest cannot fall below zero. [<em>Project Syndicate</em>]</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">However, Eichengreen immediately dismisses the obvious culprit &mdash; the idea that there is a savings glut. Interest rates are...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Mon, 14 Apr 2014 06:10:00 -0400The ugly economics of chicken<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">KANITA YANDELL HAD </span></strong>called the Tyson plant again and again, for months, begging them to come, demanding help. She and her husband, Jerry, had been raising chickens for two decades, and they'd never been through anything like the last six months. It was a strange disease, or an industrial accident, or both. It was something gone wrong on a grand scale. The birds were simply dying. It seemed like they had started rotting even while they were still alive. She and Jerry worked 10-hour days, seven days a week. Their labor seemed to do nothing but dig them deeper and deeper into debt. But the Yandells...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Christopher LeonardSun, 13 Apr 2014 09:00:00 -0400Sorry, Dove: I'm not buying your brand of female empowerment<img src="" /></P><p>On Wednesday Dove posted its newest campaign, "Patches," to YouTube. The new video is familiar terrain for the company that, for the last 10 years, has continuously built its brand on peddling a nebulous thing to women called "real beauty."</p><p>Dove has been incredibly successful branding itself as a beauty company that doesn't believe in beauty. Or, at least, one that doesn't believe in physical beauty. In 2004, Dove launched its much-lauded Campaign for Real Beauty, a media blitz that featured "real" women of different shapes and sizes all proclaiming that they love themselves just as they are....</p> <a href="">More</a>By Stassa EdwardsFri, 11 Apr 2014 06:13:00 -0400How solar energy could be the key to reducing economic inequality<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">It is widely known that economic inequality &mdash; in terms of both <span class="s2">income</span> and <span class="s2">wealth</span> &mdash; has been getting more severe for most of the last 30 years.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">At the start of his presidency, President Obama set out his intention to <span class="s2">"spread the wealth around."</span> But it hasn't really worked out the way Obama wanted. Inequality has continued to grow.</span></p><p class="p3"><span class="s2">U.S. median household income in June 2013</span><span class="s1"> was 4.4 percent below where it was in June 2009, when the recovery from the Great Recession began.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s2">Meanwhile</span><span class="s1">, the top 1 percent of Americans &mdash; those earning above $366,623 a year &mdash; has taken 81 percent...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:10:00 -0400