Business

No Refills

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.

The Genius of QVC

How the shopping network became one of the most effective retailing machines ever invented

How to Save the News

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.

Who’s the Boss?

The UAW’s stock holdings in the Big Three carmakers have caused some members to wonder whose side it’s on.

The Closers

How the pros shut down a failing bank

The Freeloaders

How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment

E-Donnybrook

No matter who wins the battle between the Kindle and the iPad, it marks the return of machines as market-makers.

Inside Man

Congress members accuse Timothy Geithner of coddling Wall Street. Wall Street accuses him of abetting socialism. Yet when the history books are written, Geithner will be recognized as Barack Obama’s key lieutenant in the struggle to right the economy and fix the finance system. Economically, Geithner’s plan has worked better and more cheaply than anyone could have imagined a year ago. Politically, it threatens to undermine Obama’s presidency. Is Geithner a courageous public servant doing the right thing? Or have his years as a player in global finance made him loath to change an industry that needs fundamental reform?

My Inflation Nightmare

Am I crazy, or is the commentariat ignoring our biggest economic threat?

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.

Cut This Story!

Newspaper articles are too long.

Capitalist Fools

Commercial real estate is dominated by financial professionals, not hustlers looking for a quick flip. So why is the market about to melt down?

WalMart and the Civil War

Saving hallowed ground from a Big Box invader

Lead Us Not Into Debt

Finance guru Dave Ramsey wins followers with a simple message: find God and lose your credit cards.

Misleading Indicator

Will the Great Recession finally end our misguided obsession with gross domestic product?

Why Goldman Always Wins

What do investment bankers, wedding planners, funeral directors, and movie-trailer voice-over artists have in common? High fees for high-stakes, once-in-a-lifetime deals.

The Moguls’ New Clothes

Media executives lament what the Web has done to their business. But that complaint conveniently ignores the dismal financial performance of most media conglomerates in the pre-digital era. Until media companies are willing to get back to basics and jettison the flawed thinking that has guided them over the past two decades, they will continue to disappoint their shareholders.

What’s Good for GM

What Would Warren Do?

The Sage of Omaha has redefined the idea of value investing. But will its principles survive his inevitable passing?

The Final Days of Merrill Lynch

Last September, as Wall Street turned to rubble and panic threatened to come unleashed, Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, agreed to swallow one of the country’s most toxic investment houses. The deal was not altogether voluntary; as details have slowly emerged, the coercive role of the Fed and Treasury has loomed larger. What exactly happened in the weeks leading up to the merger? Did the deal save us all from economic apocalypse? And what does the government’s unprecedented role in it portend for the future of our economy?

The Newsweekly’s Last Stand

Why The Economist is thriving while Time and Newsweek fade

Home Economics

Even in a depression, it seems, Americans won’t stop feathering their nests.

The Elusive Green Economy

It feels like 1977 all over again: economy in the doldrums, crisis in the Middle East, and a charismatic new Democrat in the White House preaching the gospel of clean energy. Can Obama succeed where Carter did not? Yes—but only if we’ve learned the lessons of three decades of failure.

Twilight of the Newsweeklies

Michael Hirschorn talks to Bob Cohn about why the current age spells doom for Time and Newsweek, but not for The Economist

Currency Exchange

Michael Bierut analyzes the world’s best and worst banknote designs

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

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