New York’s likely next mayor wants to equalize the city, but can a systemic problem be solved locally? David Freedlander talks to economic experts about Bloomberg’s record and how de Blasio can deliver.
Bill de Blasio’s rise from the middle of the pack to Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City was fueled by a single message: New York has become a city of haves and have-nots and it will be the charge of Mike Bloomberg’s successor to remedy this problem.Even as rivals accused the de Blasio campaign of dividing the city—an accusation likely to increase in volume as he gears up to take on Republican Joe Lhota in the general election—the public advocate stayed on point, decrying the “tale of two cities.
For funneling rent back to government.
Apparently a bunch of companies in midtown Manhattan had Iran for a landlord. The U.S. government seized a 36-story skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is calling the government’s largest terrorism-related forfeiture ever. The tower was built in the 1970s by a nonprofit organization operated by the shah, who was overthrown at the end of that decade. Prosecutors say that organization is secretly controlled by the company that owns a 40 percent stake in the building, which in turn is owned by the Iranian government. Bharara says the co-owners have been funneling rental income back to Iran, and that the U.S. government would pay proceeds from the seizure to victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
An obscure product made by a company with an obscure name has markets excited. Daniel Gross on the injectable compound that gets rid of your unwanted fat.
We’ve been down on American business recently and its ability—or lack thereof—to come up with great new ideas. Last year’s brilliant Doritos Locos Taco gave way to this year’s derivative Fiery Doritos Locos Taco and the dreaded Burger King French Fry Burger. Large technology companies, which used to put money at risk to create brilliant new products, services, and economic ecosystems, can’t really think of anything to do with their cash. On Tuesday morning Microsoft announced that it would spend $40 billion to buy back its own shares and increase its dividend—two clear signs that it is out of ideas.
Cost has been more than $3 per gallon for 1,000 days.
No wonder sales of hybrids and fuel-efficient cars are rising. On Tuesday AAA announced that for the 1,000th straight day, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. is more than $3 a gallon. In fact, it's worse than it sounds: the average is $3.52. And oddly, it comes at a time when domestic oil production is soaring and consumption is falling. The new state of normal for Americans has already had lasting consequences: greater use of public transportation, efforts by automakers to increase gas mileage, and a record number of disbelieving eye-rolls at the pump.
As long as they have a children's section.
Bestselling author James Patterson announced on CBS This Morning that he will donate $1 million to independent bookstores over the next 12 months. Patterson, who was promoting his latest children’s book Treasure Hunters, plans to donate money to any “viable” independent bookseller; his only stipulation being that they have a children’s section.
But encourages more HIV/AIDS testing.
Porn shooting will resume Friday after a two-week moratorium prompted by three new HIV cases in the community. The industry said it would revise its rules on testing for sexually transmitted diseases, requiring actors to be tested every 14 days rather than every 28, and all performers will have to be tested on or before Thursday to be cleared for work. Critics of the industry have called for performers to wear condoms during filming to prevent the spread of HIV, but a state bill that would have required it died last week. The industry has insisted that testing protocols have prevented infection.
Monday’s brief respite was a mistake.
Some Iranian night owls got a pretty big shock Monday when they could access Twitter and Facebook—but it was all apparently in error, and the sites were once again blocked Tuesday. Communications official Abdolsamad Khoramabadi said a “technical glitch” caused the block to be lifted, and it was quickly put back in place. For a few hours messages like “God liberated Facebook” appeared online, as many assumed that the ban had been lifted by newly elected President Hassan Rouhani, who has promised reforms. Khoramabadi, who is on the board that oversees Internet in Iran, said officials are still unsure what caused the block to be lifted, and they will “take action if there was a human flaw.”
Still think our dysfunctional financial system hasn’t changed a bit since the day of the cataclysm five years ago? On debt, consolidation, and consumers, Daniel Gross explains why you’re wrong.
Five years ago Monday, I sprinted through Midtown to Bank of America’s headquarters adjacent to Bryant Park to watch Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain announce their hastily arranged merger. Lewis was enormously pleased with himself, basking in the attention from the New York media. I chased a tight-lipped Thain as he scurried through the lobby to get back to his headquarters. I then spent the remainder of the week working on the slightly infamous King Henry cover story on Treasury Secretary Paulson for Newsweek.
Due to 'London Whale.'
Talk about sounding like a broken record. Just a few weeks after reports detailing the billions in potential legal troubles facing JPMorgan Chase, now news is breaking that regulators in the U.S. and U.K. are fining the bank more than $700 million because of its trading loss in London last year. Once heralded as one of the few unsullied megabanks, now JPMorgan barely goes a week without more legal woes. The bank's board meets Monday and Tuesday to vote on whether or not to approve the fine.
U.S. auto dealers had a huge August. They also may have saved a few polar bears.
Last month American car companies had their best August since 2007. That’s good news for their balance sheets. It’s also good news for the environment.According to data compiled by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the average sales-weighted fuel-economy rating (using the EPA fuel-economy guide) increased to 24.9 miles per gallon in August from 24.8 mpg in July. They calculate the rating by tallying the numbers of cars sold in the month by model and creating a blended average.
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.