Feature

Welcome back to the office maze

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

Welcome back to the office maze

Once reviled, cubicles are making a comeback, said Callum Borchers in The Wall Street Journal. "'Seated privacy' is the latest buzzy term in office design," as walled-in work-stations and private offices are increasingly returning to the post-pandemic workplace. It may be a welcome sight to the many workers who loathed the "open office layouts designed to foster collaboration." Even less popular have been the "hot" desk systems that numerous companies adopted for hybrid workers. Employees are the ones pushing for layout changes, indicating their desire "to put their heads down and focus sometimes — and a few walls can help." Even WeWork, known for its freewheeling environments, is creating "quiet zones" for workers that are intended to be like "quiet cars on the train."

A potential long freeze for stocks

Legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller expects the market to be "flat" for the next decade, said Will Daniel in Fortune. In an interview with Palantir CEO Alex Karp last week, Druckenmiller said that rampant inflation has forced central banks to shift their policies. "They're like reformed smokers," said the legendary investor, who became famous as George Soros' lead portfolio manager. The deflationary trend that we've seen thanks to globalization since 1982 has not only stopped but actually "reversed" amid the war in Ukraine and U.S.-China tensions. And now central banks have "gone from printing a bunch of money, like driving a Porsche at 200 miles an hour," to "slamming the brakes."

CEOs stay on longer

More companies are rethinking the mandatory retirement age for corporate executives, said Taylor Telford in The Washington Post. This month, Target's board voted to "ax its policy of mandatory retirement at age 65" and keep chief executive Brian Cornell, 63, "at the helm for another three years." Merck, 3M, and Boeing have all done something similar in recent months. Top executives are among a handful of workers — including pilots and air traffic controllers — who can be "required to retire at age 65 under the Age Discrimination Employment Act." But the "vast majority" of companies today have stopped implementing mandatory retirement ages. "The average age of an outgoing chief executive was 64 in 2021, up from 61 in 2020, according to research from SpencerStuart, which tracks data on CEO transitions."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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