Business

What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.
Business

What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.”I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of America’s suburbs) taped to a wall behind my desk. It summarizes why I love covering housing for The New York Times and seem never to run out of things to write about. Housing is everything. It’s where we live and raise our families. It is most people’s largest store of wealth. Whether you own, you rent, or you sleep outside, where you hang your head defines much of your existence.Over the past few decades, and especially since the pandemic, housing has gone from a symbol of American strength to an everyday crisis. Aspiring homeowners are becoming forever renters. People live in increasingly crowded households, the supply of illegal housing has ...
Spring Training at Coachella: Can the M.L.S. Cash In on Its Preseason?
Business

Spring Training at Coachella: Can the M.L.S. Cash In on Its Preseason?

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Dan Perkin and Scott Bissmeyer, work buddies on vacation, sat on metal bleachers watching the Portland Timbers play the San Jose Earthquakes in the first of four preseason Major League Soccer games that day.They had spent $125 each on V.I.P. day passes, which included food, drink and access to tents to keep cool. Self-described “M.L.S. road trippers,” they have visited numerous M.L.S. stadiums, and have watched teams in Tucson, Ariz., where as many as 11 clubs came together for preseason training in the past.But this year, with 12 M.L.S. teams — along with two from the United Soccer League and four from the National Women’s Soccer League — gathered at a 1,000-acre property outside Palm Springs, Calif., for preseason training, Mr. Perkin and Mr. Bissmeyer de...
U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?
Business

U.S. Economy: Has an Era of Increased Productivity Returned?

The last time the American economy was posting surprising economic growth numbers amid rapid wage gains and moderating inflation, Ace of Base and All-4-One topped the Billboard charts and denim overalls were in vogue.Thirty years ago, officials at the Federal Reserve were hotly debating whether the economy could continue to chug along so vigorously without spurring a pickup in inflation. And back in 1994, it turned out that it could, thanks to one key ingredient: productivity.Now, official productivity data are showing a big pickup for the first time in years. The data have been volatile since the start of the pandemic, but with the dawn of new technologies like artificial intelligence and the embrace of hybrid work setups, some economists are asking whether the recent gains might be real ...
Capital One to Acquire Discover, Creating a Consumer Lending Colossus
Business

Capital One to Acquire Discover, Creating a Consumer Lending Colossus

Capital One announced on Monday that it would acquire Discover Financial Services in an all-stock transaction valued at $35.3 billion, a deal that would merge two of the largest credit card companies in the United States.“A space that is already dominated by a relatively small number of megaplayers is about to get a little smaller,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.Capital One, with $479 billion in assets, is one of the nation’s largest banks, and it issues credit cards on networks run by Visa and Mastercard. Acquiring Discover will give it access to a credit card network of 305 million cardholders, adding to its base of more than 100 million customers. The country’s four major networks are American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover, which has far fewer cardholder...
Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?
Business

Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?

Picture this: You own a few hundred acres near a growing town that your family has been farming for generations. Turning a profit has gotten harder, and none of your children want to take it over. You don’t want to sell the land; you love the open space, the flora and fauna it hosts. But offers from developers who would turn it into subdivisions or strip malls seem increasingly tempting.One day, a land broker mentions an idea. How about granting a long-term lease to a company that values your property for the same reasons you do: long walks through tall grass, the calls of migrating birds, the way it keeps the air and water clean.It sounds like a scam. Or charity. In fact, it’s an approach backed by hardheaded investors who think nature has an intrinsic value that can provide them with a r...
The $50K Scam: F.T.C., C.I.A. and Amazon Weigh In on NY Magazine’s Charlotte Cowles
Business

The $50K Scam: F.T.C., C.I.A. and Amazon Weigh In on NY Magazine’s Charlotte Cowles

When New York magazine’s finance advice columnist dropped an article that went viral on Thursday about falling victim to a $50,000 scam, my heart skipped a beat.My own financial planner had gone to jail years ago, which I’d chronicled in a few columns. Nearly all of us are vulnerable to scams, at least sometimes. What would I have done if someone called and insisted that my children, in particular, were in grave danger?The writer, Charlotte Cowles, who once had a weekly business column with The New York Times, described crooks spinning a fantastical tale: First, they impersonated Amazon and told her she’d been a victim of identity theft. Then, one thief passed her on to someone who impersonated a Federal Trade Commission investigator, who told her that nine vehicles, four properties and 22...
Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market
Business

Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market

The pandemic created an economic crisis unlike any recession on record. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the aftermath, too, has played out in a way that almost no economists expected.When unemployment soared in the first weeks of the pandemic, many feared a repeat of the long, slow rebound from the Great Recession: years of joblessness that left many workers permanently scarred. Instead, the recovery in the labor market has been, by many measures, the strongest on record.In early 2021, some economists foresaw a surge in inflation. Others were skeptical: Similar predictions in recent years — in some cases from the same forecasters — had failed to come true. This time, however, they were right.And when the Federal Reserve began trying to tamp down inflation, there were warnings th...
Bob Edwards, Longtime Host of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition,’ Dies at 76
Business

Bob Edwards, Longtime Host of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition,’ Dies at 76

Bob Edwards, the host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” for nearly a quarter-century, whose rich baritone and cool demeanor imbued his radio broadcasts with authority in reaching millions of listeners, died on Saturday in Arlington, Va. He was 76.His death, at a rehabilitation facility, was from heart failure and complications of bladder cancer, his wife, Windsor Johnston, said.Mr. Edwards, a Kentucky native who knew from an early age that he wanted to be in radio, joined NPR in 1974, during the Watergate hearings. That year, he became a co-host of “All Things Considered,’’ the public broadcaster’s signature evening newsmagazine of interviews, analysis and features. Its success led to the spinoff “Morning Edition” in 1979.Mr. Edwards began as a 30-day temporary host of that program before going o...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
Tucker Carlson Urges Putin to Release American Journalist
Business

Tucker Carlson Urges Putin to Release American Journalist

In an interview released on Thursday, Tucker Carlson urged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to release an American reporter for The Wall Street Journal who has been held in a notorious Moscow prison for nearly a year.Mr. Carlson’s appeal on behalf of the reporter, Evan Gershkovich, was only the second time that Mr. Putin directly addressed a case that has galvanized press freedom groups and strained diplomatic relations with the United States.Large portions of the two-hour interview were taken up by Mr. Putin’s recounting hundreds of years of Russian history. But in the final minutes, Mr. Carlson asked, “as a sign of your decency,” if he “would be willing to release him to us and we’ll bring him back to the United States.” Mr. Carlson added: “This guy’s obviously not a spy. He’s a kid...