That glowing new bestseller, that Friday stock bump, that rosy Christmas outlook—they can’t hide that after 20 years, the company still hasn’t managed to turn a profit. Daniel Gross on whether it ever will.
Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos, its founder and chief executive officer, are having a moment. They are the subject of a new, admiring bestselling book, The Everything Store, by Brad Stone. Bezos just plunked down $250 million to buy The Washington Post. The buoyant stock, up 64 percent in the past year, got a nice jolt on Friday as investors were enthused about its third-quarter results: revenues were up 24 percent from a year ago, and Amazon issued a positive forecast for the Christmas season.
Jeffrey Zients was just appointed to fix Healthcare.gov. Daniel Gross on why the hire is an uncharacteristically brilliant move by Obama.
By any stretch of the imagination, the rollout of Healthcare.gov, the federal health insurance exchange, is going poorly. Three weeks into its existence, it doesn’t seem to work. Slow to anger and cast blame, the Obama administration is now taking action. It is bringing in a SWAT team, staging a technology surge, calling on “the best and the brightest,” as the Department of Health and Human Services noted in a blog post.Health Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lacks the technology and management chops to bring this project home.
With the launch of its new line of tablets, Apple is fighting to reverse its declining market share in a booming market. But lower-priced competitors are closing in.
It’s hard being the envy of nearly every brand.Yet, as today’s rollout of a new set of iPads demonstrates, that may just be Apple’s core problem. It’s the HBO of tech companies. It’s a highly profitable, premium brand that got started in the 1970s, and that industry peers envy and love. But while highly profitable, it always has to cope with cheaper, aggressive competitors. (Netflix announced Monday that it had surpassed the premium cable network in subscribers).
For first time ever.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Over the past year, support for legalizing marijuana has jumped 10 percentage points, and now a clear majority, 58 percent, of Americans say yes to making pot legal for recreational use. When the question was first asked in 1969, only 12 percent favored such a change. Also significant – 38 percent of Americans now say they have tried the drug at least once, which may have affected the change in approval.
Today’s delayed employment report wasn’t very good, but it had some glimmers of hope. Daniel Gross on the signs that the forces holding down job growth are beginning to lift.
In the old days, the personal was the political. These days, the personal finance is the political as government policies, Washington dysfunction, and brinkmanship wreak havoc on the markets and the economy.The government’s heavy hand has been visible in the monthly jobs report for the last several years. On the left, analysts have generally pointed to the Bureau of Labor Statistics release and noted that austerity—reduced government spending at the state, federal, and local level—is tamping down employment.
All the market gyrations, the spikes and plunges in short-term bonds—what a waste. There was never a chance the debt ceiling wasn’t going to be raised. Daniel Gross on why Wall Street doesn’t get it.
If there’s one takeaway from the events of the past few weeks, it’s this: Wall Street doesn’t understand government very well.Time and again, over the last several weeks—and the last several years—we’ve seen investors, analysts, and market pundits hugely underestimate the ability and willingness of American governments, of all stripes, to make interest payments on their bonds. And it’s still happening.In September, Chris Krueger, an analyst for Guggenheim Partners, said there was a 40 percent chance of a “technical default scenarios” and a 60 percent “probability that the U.
You know, people who pay for content.
Francis Underwood is taking over the world. Streaming service Netflix Inc. is about to pass premium cable-TV network HBO in number of paid subscribers. After introducing popular and critically acclaimed original content like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix reached 30 million subscribers at the end of September. HBO, which has long dominated premium cable, has 28.7 million. Netflix isn’t slowing down either, it is reportedly in talks with cable providers to bring its popular services to TV.
From the decline of America’s most famous tabloids to the uproar over the giant Pacific octopus, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism from the week of October 19, 2013.
Post Mortem: A (Somewhat Premature) Newspaper AutopsySteve Fishman – New YorkWith its eye-catching front pages, racy coverage, and general attitude, theNew York Post has come to symbolize New York City and the tabloid world it engenders. Now with the News Corp. decision to spin off papers on their own, some see the end nearing for the money-losing daily.The Octopus That Almost Ate SeattleMarnie Hanel – New York Times MagazineSometimes our conscience and stomach don’t see eye to eye.
Is a $13 billion fine to settle mortgage misconduct by two of the bank’s 2008 acquisitions really persecution? JPMorgan was happy to make the deal at the time—and now must face the consequences, says Daniel Gross.
Over the weekend, it was reported that JPMorgan Chase had agreed to a $13 billion settlement over the sale of mortgage-backed securities during the credit boom. The tentative deal would settle charges that the bank, along with institutions it ultimately acquired in 2008—Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual—misrepresented the quality of loans that had been packaged into mortgage-backed securities.This deal would be the biggest in a long series of settlements in recent years that have spurred the bank to push more and more cash into legal reserves.
Everybody expects their colleagues to be constantly connected. Beth Comstock, who runs marketing for one of the world’s biggest corporations—General Electric—says unplugging is vital to managing effectively.
By now, it’s common for executives to feel overconnected. If the sun never sets on your business empire, it’s unlikely that your smartphone ever goes dark. Being constantly available projects an image of productivity to colleagues—who doesn’t feel gratified when a late night email is returned within minutes? But, over time, it reduces our communications to their most basic and transactional. As most of us already know intuitively, it also kills our creativity.
With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.
Cellphones and smartphones have made voyeuristic upskirt photos ubiquitous. Sadly, the laws protecting women from such invasions still vary from state to state.