Human progress, to a large degree, has depended on the continual expansion of social networks, which enable faster sharing and shaping of ideas. And humanity’s greatest social innovation remains the city. As our cities grow larger, the synapses that connect them—people with exceptional social skills—are becoming ever more essential to economic growth.
Why the White House—and Washington—should miss departing economic adviser Austan Goolsbee
The Great Recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most of America and the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us.
How Netflix became America’s biggest video service—much to the astonishment of media executives and investors
Why the man who runs the world's largest mutual fund sold all his Treasury bonds
Does great wealth bring fulfillment? An ambitious study by Boston College suggests not. For the first time, researchers prompted the very rich—people with fortunes in excess of $25 million—to speak candidly about their lives. The result is a surprising litany of anxieties: their sense of isolation, their worries about work and love, and most of all, their fears for their children.
Two of Wall Street's savviest
value investors, Bruce Berkowitz and David Einhorn, pride themselves on their rigorous analysis. Now they're locked in a scorched-earth dispute over the value of some Florida real estate. How could they look at the same facts and reach such wildly different conclusions, and what does that say about the “value” of value investing?
Since 1980, income inequality has fractured the nation.
How the U.S. invasion made Iraq’s economy worse, not better
Deep in debt, most governors will have to either raise taxes or cut spending— exactly what not to do when recovering from a recession.
How barcodes and touch screens are resuscitating a casket factory
Information technology is on the brink of revolutionizing health care— if physicians will only let it.
In lean times, why is $300 billion worth of government treasure simply sitting in vaults?
Buyers remain wary, and Washington is unlikely to recover all its bailout cash. But the colossus has slashed costs and spiffed up its cars—and is rejoining the global race.
Self-absorbed, self-indulged, and self-loathing, the Baby Boom generation at last has the chance to step out of the so-called Greatest Generation’s historical shadow. Boomers may not have the opportunity to save the world, as their predecessors did, but they can still redeem themselves by saving the American economy from the fiscal mess that they, and their fathers and mothers, are leaving behind.
Some small businesses are struggling to get credit, but that’s the least of their problems. Those that survive the recession will be stronger for it and lead the economy’s recovery.
Why the market’s rate of return—and your nest egg—may never recover
In today’s exchanges, strong programs prey on weak ones, humans are hard to find, and the SEC struggles to keep up.
In 2009, only 25 new drugs were approved—less than half the number in the mid-’90s. Why are new pharmaceuticals so hard to bring to market? Overcautious regulators and profit-hungry conglomerates make easy scapegoats, but they’re only partly to blame. While we’re waiting for both sides to reinvent themselves, even little things like better monitoring of side effects can lead to big new discoveries.
How the shopping network became one of the most effective retailing machines ever invented
Plummeting newspaper circulation, disappearing classified ads, “unbundling” of content—the list of what’s killing journalism is long. But high on that list, many would say, is Google, the biggest unbundler of them all. Now, having helped break the news business, the company wants to fix it—for commercial as well as civic reasons: if news organizations stop producing great journalism, says one Google executive, the search engine will no longer have interesting content to link to. So some of the smartest minds at the company are thinking about this, and working with publishers, and peering ahead to see what the future of journalism looks like. Guess what? It’s bright.
The UAW’s stock holdings in the Big Three carmakers have caused some members to wonder whose side it’s on.
How the pros shut down a failing bank
How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment
No matter who wins the battle between the Kindle and the iPad, it marks the return of machines as market-makers.