Business Longreads for the Week of August 17, 2013

From the multiple challenges facing Martha Stewart to the history of the company behind American money, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism from the week of August 17, 2013.

08.18.13 8:45 AM ET

Suzanna Andrews – Vanity Fair

Martha Stewart, the iconic head of her eponymous lifestyle empire, is 72. She may be out with a new book about adapting to life in one’s golden years, but her company, which was already struggling after losing $56.4 million last year, is back in the headlines because of a $200 million contract dispute with Macy’s.

The Economist

After a domestic uproar in January over worsening fog in Beijing, China may be poised to take a great leap forward in environmental policy. And as the world’s largest polluter as well as its biggest investor in green energy, it may bring the world with it.

ESPN calls itself “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.” While that moniker might bring snark, ESPN’s dominance (and money-making) in the sports media world is unquestioned. With Fox’s new sports channel launching, and NBC Sports continuing its quest to unseat the king, it’s worth taking a look at how ESPN got where it is.

Chris Jones – Esquire

American money may be found all over the globe, but since 1879 the same company, Crane & Co., has been making American money in little Dalton, Massachusetts. With a new hundred-dollar bill coming out, Esquire takes a look at how the money is made, and the company behind it.

The Economist

For quite a while, media conglomerates have faced tough headwinds as technological innovation decimated cash cows. Now, thanks to increase in smartphones and tablets, digital media may begin to make up for some of the damage it caused.