Economy

U.S. Debates How Much to Sever Electric Car Industry’s Ties to China
Economy

U.S. Debates How Much to Sever Electric Car Industry’s Ties to China

The Biden administration has been trying to jump-start the domestic supply chain for electric vehicles so cleaner cars can be made in the United States. But the experience of one Texas company, whose plans to help make an all-American electric vehicle were upended by China, highlights the stakes involved as the administration finalizes rules governing the industry.Huntsman Corporation started construction two years ago on a $50 million plant in Texas to make ethylene carbonate, a chemical that is used in electric vehicle batteries. It would have been the only site in North America making the product, with the goal of feeding battery factories that would crop up to serve the electric vehicle market.But as new facilities in China came online and flooded the market, the price of the chemical ...
Charles T. Munger, Much More Than Warren Buffett’s No. 2, Dies at 99
Economy

Charles T. Munger, Much More Than Warren Buffett’s No. 2, Dies at 99

Charles T. Munger, who quit a well-established law career to be Warren E. Buffett’s partner and maxim-spouting alter-ego as they transformed a foundering New England textile company into the spectacularly successful investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, died on Tuesday in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 99.His death, at a hospital, was announced by Berkshire Hathaway. He had a home in Los Angeles.Although overshadowed by Mr. Buffett, who relished the spotlight, Mr. Munger, a billionaire in his own right — Forbes listed his fortune as $2.6 billion this year — had far more influence at Berkshire than his title of vice chairman suggested.Mr. Buffett has described him as the originator of Berkshire Hathaway’s investing approach. “The blueprint he gave me was simple: Forget what you know about buyin...
Fed Officials Hint That Rate Increases Are Over, and Investors Celebrate
Economy

Fed Officials Hint That Rate Increases Are Over, and Investors Celebrate

Federal Reserve officials appear to be dialing back the chances of future interest rate increases, after months in which they have carefully kept the possibility of further policy changes alive for fear that inflation would prove stubborn.Several Fed officials — including two who often push for higher interest rates — hinted on Tuesday that the central bank is making progress on inflation and may be done or close to done raising borrowing costs. Economic growth is cooling, reducing the urgency for additional moves.Christopher Waller, a Fed governor and one of the central bank’s more inflation-focused members, gave a speech on Tuesday titled “Something Appears to Be Giving,” an update on a previous speech that he had titled “Something’s Got to Give.”“I am encouraged by what we have learned ...
Bidder Aims to Save Bankrupt Trucking Firm Yellow
Economy

Bidder Aims to Save Bankrupt Trucking Firm Yellow

When Yellow abruptly shuttered its operations in the summer and filed for bankruptcy protection, few thought that a buyer would emerge and try to revive the long-troubled trucking giant.Now a prominent trucking executive has assembled a last-minute plan to acquire Yellow out of bankruptcy — a proposal that seeks not only to rehire many of the company’s employees but also to work with their union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to create a healthy business.The plan rests on getting the Treasury Department to allow Yellow to postpone repayment of a $700 million rescue loan that it made to the company in 2020. The Treasury may not accept the plan because there are legal obstacles to extending the loan. And it stands to be repaid sooner under the plan that Yellow has already filed...
Even Most Biden Voters Don’t See a Thriving Economy
Economy

Even Most Biden Voters Don’t See a Thriving Economy

It’s difficult for presidents to directly control inflation in the short term. But the White House has addressed a few specific costs that matter for families, by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to contain surging oil prices in late 2022, for example. The Inflation Reduction Act reduced prescription drug prices under Medicare and capped the cost of insulin for people with diabetes. The administration is also going after what it calls “junk fees,” which inflate the prices of things like concert tickets, airline tickets and even birthday parties.The more the administration talks about its concrete efforts to lower prices, the more Mr. Biden will benefit, Mr. Doss said. At the same time, Mr. Biden can lessen the blowback from persistent inflation by deflecting blame — an ou...
Shein, the Fast-Fashion Giant, Is Said to Have Filed for an I.P.O.
Economy

Shein, the Fast-Fashion Giant, Is Said to Have Filed for an I.P.O.

Shein, the ultrafast-fashion retailer founded in China more than a decade ago, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering in the United States, according to a person familiar with the plans for the deal, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.Some companies keep their paperwork for an initial public offering temporarily under seal so they can prepare for the offering out of the public spotlight.Investors had largely expected Shein to make the move this year, after the historically tight-lipped company began to address a range of criticisms from consumers and politicians in an apparent attempt to change perceptions about its business and practices. Any public offering in the United States is likely to invite significant regulatory scrutiny, particularly amid strained...
Warnings Emerge Over Emirati A.I. Firm G42’s Ties to China
Economy

Warnings Emerge Over Emirati A.I. Firm G42’s Ties to China

When the secretive national security adviser of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, visited the White House in June, his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, raised a delicate issue: G42, an artificial intelligence firm controlled by the sheikh that American officials believe is hiding the extent of its work with China.In public, the company has announced its staggering growth with a steady cadence of news releases. They have included agreements with European pharmaceutical giants like AstraZeneca and a $100 million deal with a Silicon Valley firm to build what the companies boast will be the “world’s largest supercomputer.” Last month, G42 announced a partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.But in classified American intelligence channels, there have been more conc...
There’s a Lot Riding on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Economy

There’s a Lot Riding on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The consumer is back — but for how long? Black Friday and today’s Cyber Monday shopping bonanzas hold outsize political significance this year with the retailing events emerging as key recession and inflation indicators.So far, so good. Bargain hunters turned out in force for Black Friday sales, and Cyber Monday is forecast to be even bigger. But with consumers showing signs of pulling back on spending, will this splurge be enough to save retailers’ Christmas and keep the U.S. economy from contracting or even plunging into recession?The White House is paying attention. Consumers have grown pessimistic about the economy, data shows. At the same time, President Biden’s polling numbers have fallen, with the economy seen as a glaring weaknesses.Biden’s advisers are pushing back. This past week...
Nissan Will Build 3 Electric Car Models at Its Plant in England
Economy

Nissan Will Build 3 Electric Car Models at Its Plant in England

Nissan said Friday that it would invest an additional 1.1 billion pounds (about $1.4 billion) to make three new electric models at its plant in Sunderland in northeast England.The announcement, which included plans for an additional battery plant, appears to go a long way to ensure that a substantial auto manufacturing industry will continue in Britain in the coming decade or longer.Until recently that wasn’t assured. Brexit, which has made trade with the European Union more cumbersome, and the global shift to electric cars had raised fears that the British vehicle manufacturing industry faced an existential crisis. Britain’s output of cars has fallen by around 50 percent over the last six years.“I think it is a very significant investment,” said Peter Wells, an automotive specialist at Ca...
Can Instagrammable Office Design Lure Young Workers Back?
Economy

Can Instagrammable Office Design Lure Young Workers Back?

Inside the “blueberry muffin” conference room, the walls are, naturally, painted blue. Not just any blue — it’s the calming color you might find a baby’s bedroom, what the paint can refers to as “sea to shining sea.” Anchoring the room is a table, red and oblong, adorned with fake succulents in purple pots.Nearby is the “fruity” conference room, with “razzle dazzle” red walls and vintage chairs upholstered in yellow pineapple printed cloth. Down the hallway is “maple waffle,” the room where the company holds its more serious meetings with investors. There, the walls are a subdued shade of brown.This is the office of the cereal brand Magic Spoon, which was introduced in 2019 and, starting last year, called its roughly 50 employees back to in-person work, at least two days a week. At Magic S...