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New York’s Petty War on Airbnb

Julien Faure/REA via Redux

The New York State Attorney General wants Airbnb to turn over user data. It could lead to the ruin of Gotham’s short-term rental market, writes Jim Epstein

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, newcomers to New York City found an abundance of spare bedrooms, living room couches, and kitchen cots available for rent. "Boarding out," as it was once called, also provided a vital income stream for poor families in possession of spare rooms, couches, and cots. By 1912, according to one survey, nearly half of Gotham's black households had boarders, many of them migrants from the South.

Grinch

The Shutdown that Stole Christmas?

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The holiday shopping season is around the corner. But if the government doesn’t reopen for business soon, it’s going to be a very un-merry Christmas, writes Daniel Gross.

Black Friday is only seven weeks away. And the government shutdown, now in its second week, is already casting a pall over the holiday shopping season.  You can ridicule, dump on, or boycott, the Christmas shopping season, but you can’t deny its importance. The fourth quarter is simply a huge one for the consumer economy. Advertising budgets are ramped up. Stores of all types stock up in anticipation of a massive rush of demand. The last several weeks can make or break the year for many large retailers.

Dopey

Stick to the Coffee, Schultz

Junko Kimura/Getty

No one likes a shutdown. But Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s petition for a bipartisan solution is just absurd. The GOP made this mess, and the GOP oughtta fix it, writes Daniel Gross.

For the record, I love Starbucks. I’ve got a Starbucks card in my wallet. I regularly wow bystanders by brandishing the Starbucks mobile payment app on my iPhone. At home, I start the day by scooping out a couple of heaping tablespoons of Starbucks espresso roast into my Breville machine.But I was a bit dismayed by this morning’s news that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is spearheading a  nonpartisan drive to jolt Washington into action. On the company’s home page there’s a plea to “our leaders in Washington, D.

Speed Read

You Don’t Know Bezos

Reed Saxon/AP

The Amazon founder and new Washington Post owner sends his employee ominous questions marks, rants about ‘stupid pills’ in office emails, and has a unicyclist father, according to a new book.

For his upcoming book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Bloomberg Businessweek writer Brad Stone was refused an interview with his subject, the Amazon founder and now Washington Post owner—but he still managed to cobble together an exhaustive history of the online marketplace by talking with "hundreds of current and former friends" of the enigmatic leader. From tracking down Bezos's birth father to spilling the businessman’s best insults, here are the most revealing bits from an excerpt released on Thursday.

Same Old

Yellen Won’t Change the Fed

Franck Robichon/Landov

She hails from Berkeley and, some supporters hope, will make the Fed less beholden to Wall Street. But Russ Roberts says we’re in for more of the same bank-friendly policies.

After President Obama announced her nomination Wednesday, Janet Yellen will likely become the first woman to head the Fed. The Maestro has morphed into the Mistress.Summers has exited stage right, chased not by a bear, but by the indignant howls of those who saw him as unfit—too hawkish, too connected to Wall Street, and insufficiently empathetic. There is a breathless debate over whether Yellen will be the most powerful woman in America so far, perhaps above a Secretary of State or a Supreme Court justice.

A New Age

The Woman in Charge

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg, via Getty

The guys on Wall Street will report to a woman as their boss—but that isn’t what’s truly remarkable. For the first time in a generation an actual Democrat will be in charge of monetary policy.

After months of indecision and the flotation—and puncturing—of a Larry Summers trial balloon, President Obama is set to nominate Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve.The fact that Yellen,the current vice chair of the nation’s central bank, is a woman isn’t the most remarkable historical fact about her impending appointment. Of course, that is remarkable. For the first time in their careers, the heads of Wall Street’s investment banks and hedge funds will, in effect, be reporting to a woman as their boss.

Shutdown Impact

It’s Worse This Time

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

If 1995 is any guide, the government shutdown won’t be too bad, right? Wrong, says Daniel Gross. Ours is a very different economy.

I’m generally an optimist about the resilience of the U.S. economy, its ability to bounce back from shocks and power through disasters, whether they’re imposed by nature, markets, or politics. But today, four years into an expansion that few people saw coming, I’m more pessimistic than many about the impact of the shutdown.The predictions have come fast and furious. The shutdown costs $300 million in lost gross domestic product per day, according to IHS Global Insight.

Debt Disaster

It’s Much Worse Than 2008

Pascal Preti/Getty

Don’t let the Excel-and-PowerPoint set fool you into thinking blowing through the debt limit is no big deal. The tsunami of value destruction would dwarf the Lehman Brothers implosion, says Daniel Gross.

Generals always fight the last war. And financial analysts always analyze the last crisis. So with the rapid approach of the October 17 debt-limit deadline, it’s no surprise the Excel-and-Powerpoint set are dusting off their histories of the Lehman Brothers debacle. Many Republicans may view blowing through the debt limit and potentially missing a few interest payments as no big deal. In a Pew Research Center poll released Monday, 54 percent of Republicans said the U.

Ca$h Money

Meet the New Benjamins

Mark Wilson/Getty

Don’t be fooled by the blue ribbon that’s he got, he’s still Benjamin Franklin from the Federal Reserve. Daniel Gross on the $100 bill’s 100th-birthday facelift.

The U.S. government remains shut, crippling a growing range of businesses and gumming up the gears of commerce at home and abroad. Amid all this chaos, however, America is about to launch a new version of one of the government’s most important and valuable products: the $100 bill.The Federal Reserve this week is rolling out new Benjamins as part of its continuing efforts to stay ahead of cheaters. “The U.S. government basically redesigns Federal Reserve notes to stay ahead of counterfeiting,” said Michael Lambert, associate director at the Federal Reserve.

Get Comfy

Business Longreads

David Brabyn/Corbis

From the richest man in Brazil losing nearly everything to the ambitions of The Guardian, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism from the week of October 5, 2013.

How Brazil’s Richest Man Lost $34.5 Billion Juan Pablo Spinetto, Peter Millard, and Ken Wells—BusinessWeek Going from one of the richest men in the world to the verge of bankruptcy in the span of 18 months seems impossible. And yet, through a combination of hubris, ignorance and excess, Eike Batista did just that. Once a symbol of Brazil’s high-powered growth, Batista is now also a symbol of its current struggles.A Virginia Businesswoman’s Mission to Save Somalia Keith Kloor—Washington Post Magazine 1.

Business

Daniel Gross

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