From America’s manufacturing prince to adulterated generic drugs, the Daily Beast brings you the best in business and finance journalism from the week of May 18, 2013.
Manufacturing’s Mouthpiece Mina Kimes, Bloomberg BusinessweekAmerican manufacturers produce more, employ fewer, and one of them – Caterpillar – is going gangbusters.How the Case For Austerity Has Crumbled Paul Krugman, New York Review of BooksAmerica’s most influential economist argues that the intellectual foundations for the global move toward austerity were built on sand well before the most infamous excel error in history.Aiming for the Top, Again Randall Smith, The New York TimesFred Eckert had it all: a New Jersey mansion, 18 vintage cars, 1,500 bottle wine collection, and a partnership at Goldman Sachs.
Landfills are generally useless, smelly eyesores. But many towns are finding new, profitable uses for the piles of junk that dot America’s landscape -- as solar power plants.
Many states and cities have long been turning trash into treasure by burning garbage to create heat and electricity, or by harvesting the methane gas that is released as junk decomposes. But in a new twist on this theme, several cities and municipalities are transforming capped landfills – the ultimate waste of space – into solar power plants.“When you get done with a landfill that property’s primary function can no longer be used anymore, it’s a great pyramid of waste,” said Mark Roberts, vice president of HDR, an engineering company that constructs solar voltaic landfills.
We like to think that the United States is unique among nations in the way it attracts and integrates immigrant. But in our increasingly globalized and prosperous world, the data suggests America is just average.
American exceptionalism has become a theme of our immigration debate. From both sides, we hear that America is a uniquely desirable place that, for good or ill, draws an outsized share of the world’s immigrants.That may have been true a century ago, when Ellis Island welcomed the world’s huddled masses. But it’s not true today. Large-scale immigration is a worldwide phenomenon tied to contemporary globalization. Porous borders and rising education levels have allowed tens of millions of people in developing societies to become more mobile, and new communications and transportation technologies give everyone access to information about other countries and ways to get there.
Renting an apartment in New York often resembles an obstacle course. A new company is aiming to simplify the search by putting the process online.
New Yorkers take a strange pride in the difficulties of living in their city. But one hardship most would gladly ditch is the hunt for a rental apartment.“It’s a nightmare,” says Ori Allon, an engineer and technology entrepreneur. “I found my apartment through a broker. I paid 16 percent and it took weeks.” That’s why Allon and former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Reffkin created Urban Compass, which plans to be “a 100 percent online solution” to renting and living in the city, says Reffkin.
New plug-in hybrid diesel bus could slash fuel consumption up to 80 percent.
When it comes to the electrification of motorized transport, cars like the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Volt have received the most attention. But the same technologies are also being put to use in much larger vehicles.Volvo is testing a new plug-in electric hybrid diesel bus in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company says the vehicles can cut fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions by 75 to 80 percent compared with conventional buses.
Adult entertainment is a huge, profitable business. But porn stars and others in the industry often have a difficult time opening business bank accounts.
By Chris Morris Chanel Preston knows not everyone approves of her chosen profession. That's one of the risks that go with being one of the biggest stars in porn. But she never thought it would affect her ability to open a bank account.Preston recently opened a business account with City National Bank in Los Angeles. When she went to deposit checks into the account days later, however, she was told it had been shut down, due to "compliance issues".
North Carolina wants to ban Tesla. It's not going to work.
North Carolina’s legislature is being mocked for a proposed ban on Tesla's electric sportscars. Technically, it’s a ban on automakers selling cars directly to consumers without going through a licensed dealer, but because Tesla is the only automaker that does this, it’s pretty blatantly a Tesla ban. It should also come as no surprise who’s backing it: the North Carolina Car Dealers Association, which, Slate points out, gave $8,000 to state Sen.
Maybe if Walmart paid its workers more, its workers—along with millions of other low-paid U.S. consumers—would buy more stuff at Walmart. Daniel Gross on the company’s profit problem.
One of these days, Walmart will figure out the reason that its U.S. sales suffer, quarter after quarter, year after year. On Thursday, the nation’s biggest retailer posted its quarterly results. They were less than overwhelming. Overall sales for Walmart’s U.S. stores came in at $66.56 billion, up a meager .3 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Same-store sales actually fell 1.4 percent from the year before.In a period of economic growth, that shouldn’t be happening.
by Robert Frank Wealthy Chinese car consumers have a strange way of filing consumer complaints.According to Chinese press reports, a wealthy Chinese businessman hired a crew to smash his Maserati Quattroporte with sledgehammers to protest poor customer service. The highly public supercar execution took place at the Qingdao Auto Show.One of the four men who smashed the car said the owner was protesting "poor sales service" at the Maserati dealership in Qingdao where the car was purchased.
Millions of little gremlins are emerging from the dirt after 17 years of hiding. So fire up the grill! We talked to entomologist Louis Sorkin about the best ways to prepare the little protein nuggets.
A feast is coming.Any day now, millions of cicadas are going to emerge from the dirt and head up into the trees, where they will swarm, sing, mate, and then die. While they are here, predators up and down the Northeastern United States will feast. Wasps, birds, rodents, small mammals, and snakes will all dine on the Magicicadas of Brood II. But what about me? Can humans eat the bugs?Turns out yes, we totally can. And many do! But the prospect of picking a cicada up off the ground and biting into its thorax is rather unappealing.
International Business Times
Huffington Post Tech
International Business Times
Huffington Post Politics
International Business Times
After a University of Massachusetts student found significant errors in a study beloved by budget cutters world over by Harvard economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, Stephen Colbert does what he does best -- leaves them in the dust.
Paying a living wage comes at a cost, but it can help the bottom line, says Charney, who... More
Years of abuses at Ranbaxy raise worries about the FDA's oversight of the generics market