Forget the day after Thanksgiving—Walmart is starting its sales this Friday, a full week early. And in the race against e-commerce for holiday shoppers, it’s only going to get worse.
Ah, the smells of late November. Wood fires. Decaying leaves. The unforgivable java sin of a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. And the stench of desperation from retailers, fearful that the vital Christmas holiday season will be a stinker.Historically, the several weeks between the onset of daylight saving time and the end of the year were a great time for retailers of all stripes. Lured by big discounts and fueled by cheap credit, shoppers hit the malls with abandon and stuffed their SUVs with bags of Hanukkah and Christmas merchandise.
Wendi Deng reportedly will keep apartment.
Next! The 14-year marriage of media baron Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng officially ended on Wednesday. The divorce was cordial, and they released a statement to the press saying they “are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce. We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters. We will not comment on this any further." While the terms of the divorce settlement are sealed, Deng will reportedly keep their $44 million Fifth Avenue apartment as to not displace their daughters, Chloe, 10, and Grace, 11.
The popular storage service is the latest young tech firm to coin a sky-high valuation.
Another day, another sky-high valuation of a tech company.On Tuesday, technology investors turned their eyes to Dropbox, a cloud storage service that a lot of people (myself included) use for storing or sharing photos, videos and documents. Dropbox has a “freemium” model. The popular service is free until you use up a certain amount of storage, at which point users can sign up for monthly or yearly plans. The five-year-old startup, based in San Francisco, is embarking on a round of fundraising seeking $250 million—which would value the whole thing at $8 billion.
In settlement with government.
Now that’s a pretty penny. JPMorgan Chase has finalized a record settlement with the Justice Department for $13 billion over allegations that the bank knowingly sold bad mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crisis. The settlement was announced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday, who is a member of the president’s mortgage task force that negotiated the deal.In the aftermath of the financial crisis, JPMorgan had been seen as one of the few banks to come out with its good reputation intact. The settlement came after months of negotiations, and ends a series of state and federal probes into the bank, but the bank and its employees can still be criminally prosecuted for fraud.
Despite pushback from the city council, Walmart will open its first two stores in D.C. next month. But getting a job there will prove difficult since the chain received 38 applications for each job opening.
Walmart is constantly in the news as a metaphor for what’s ailing America. On Monday, it was the news that employees had set up bins to collect food for needy employees at a store in Ohio. On Tuesday morning, we were presented with a Walmart-related news item that explains why the company can get away with paying so many so poorly.Seeking growth in the low-end of the retail market that it has largely saturated, Walmart has been trying to push into cities.
Maria Bartiromo, who took a sexist nickname and made it her own, is departing CNBC for its rival, Fox Business—where she’ll join mentor Roger Ailes. But will her audience follow?
Financial television luminary Maria Bartiromo, who in her two decades at CNBC established herself as “The Money Honey,” a sexist nickname she shrewdly trademarked, is jumping to the rival Fox Business Network as well as the Fox News Channel.The Drudge Report first posted the news on Monday as the 46-year-old Bartiromo was anchoring Closing Bell, CNBC’s late-afternoon stock market program. CNBC officially acknowledged the loss in a statement, noting that Bartiromo “has been at the center of every major financial and business news story…since her earliest days” at the network, but Fox held its fire until an expected announcement later in the week.
Ahead of congressional hearings.
The digital currency is on a roll. On Monday, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $700 on the Mt. Gox exchange, up 25 percent in one week. The gains came after multiple government agencies outlined their stances on Bitcoin ahead of a congressional hearing, “Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies.” Most important, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central banks has no plans to regulate Bitcoin.
Walmart continues to blame outside factors—the food stamps cut, the ACA, and the government shutdown—for dwindling sales. But the real reason for its troubles? Its own business model.
Wal-Mart touches more consumers than virtually any other company—140 million customers each week. The registers at its 4,135 U.S. stores ring up millions of transactions every day. Its sophisticated IT systems collect a wealth of information about the supply chain, the behavior of consumers, and real-time action in the consumer economy. And yet at some level, America’s largest retailer remains remarkably clueless about what is happening in the economy.
From the man behind American suburban mindmeld to the famed Moon family, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism from the week of November 16, 2013.
Simone Levitt’s Memories of Her Marriage to Bill Levitt, the Mastermind of the Suburb Rich Cohen – New YorkAfter promising the Navy during World War II to build quickly a number of houses that usually took four years, famed developer Bill Levitt turned an occupation (construction) that had once been done by artisans into another American assembly line. After the war, he predicted that millions of Americans would be pursuing the American dream of a house, but without affordable options.
When Snapchat shot down Mark Zuckerberg’s billions this week, the markets got a clear picture of the perverse logic that now rules social media—and the problems that lie ahead.
The buzz of this week was that Snapchat, the pre-revenue/no-revenue instant-messaging craze, turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook.Much of the commentary centered around the folly, or heroism, of Snapchat’s young founders Evan Spiegel, who is 23, and Bobby Murphy, now 25. Why should they take a lowball offer and go to work for someone else when an independent Snapchat might be worth $6 billion, or $12 billion, or $20 billion, in a few years? On the other hand, should the energy surrounding social media dissipate, should investors start demanding that companies have actual revenue and profits again, or should Snapchat be surpassed by the next new thing, the founders will look like chumps.
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.
How LBJ passed the ’64 Civil Rights Act—by lying, schmoozing, charming, and threatening—is dramatized in the new Broadway play, starring Bryan Cranston.