Business

How 33-Year-Olds, the Peak Millennials, Are Shaping the U.S. Economy
Business

How 33-Year-Olds, the Peak Millennials, Are Shaping the U.S. Economy

I have covered economics for 11 years now, and in that time, I have come to the realization that I am a statistic. Every time I make a major life choice, I promptly watch it become the thing that everyone is doing that year.I started college in 2009, in the era of all-time-high matriculation rates. When I moved to a big coastal city after graduation, so did a huge crowd of people: It was the age of millennial urbanization. When I lived in a walk-in closet so that I could pay off my student loans (“The yellow paint makes it cheerful!”, Craigslist promised), student debt had recently overtaken auto loans and credit cards as the biggest source of borrowing outside of housing in America.My partner and I bought a house in 2021, along with (seemingly and actually) a huge chunk of the rest of the...
C.D.C. Shortens Isolation Period for People With Covid
Business

C.D.C. Shortens Isolation Period for People With Covid

Americans with Covid or other respiratory infections need not isolate for five days before returning to work or school, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday, a striking sign of changing attitudes toward the coronavirus.People with respiratory illnesses may resume daily activities if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medications and if their symptoms are improving, agency officials said. Acknowledging that people can be contagious even without symptoms, the C.D.C. urged those who end isolation to limit close contact with others, wear well-fitted masks, improve indoor air quality and practice good hygiene, like washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes, for five days.The guidelines apply to Covid, influenza and respiratory syncyti...
Auto Insurance Spike Hampers the Inflation Fight
Business

Auto Insurance Spike Hampers the Inflation Fight

Job growth, wage growth and business growth are all lively, and inflation has steeply fallen from its 2022 highs. But consumer sentiment, while improving, is still sour.One reason may be sticker shock from some highly visible prices — even as overall inflation has calmed. The cost of car insurance is a key example.Motor vehicle insurance rose 1.4 percent on a monthly basis in January alone and has risen 20.6 percent over the past year, the largest jump since 1976. It has been a huge hit for those driving the roughly 272 million private and commercial vehicles registered in the country. And it has played a part in dampening the “mission accomplished” mood on inflation that was bubbling up in markets at the beginning of the year.According to a recent private-sector estimate, the average annu...
UnitedHealth Cyberattack Disrupts Prescription Drug Coverage
Business

UnitedHealth Cyberattack Disrupts Prescription Drug Coverage

Updated on Feb. 27 to include new company statements.A cyberattack on a unit affiliated with UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, has disrupted drug prescription orders at thousands of pharmacies for about a week.The assault on the unit, Change Healthcare, a division of United’s Optum, was discovered last Wednesday. The attack appeared to be by a foreign country, according to two senior federal law enforcement officials, who expressed alarm at the extent of the disruption on Monday.UnitedHealth Group, the conglomerate, said in a federal filing that it had been forced to disconnect some of Change Healthcare’s vast digital network from its clients, and as of Tuesday, had not been able to restore all of those services. The company has not provided any timetable for when it may be a...
Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?
Business

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?

The December day in 2021 that set off a revolution across the videogame industry appeared to start innocuously enough. Managers at a Wisconsin studio called Raven began meeting one by one with quality assurance testers, who vet video games for bugs, to announce that the company was overhauling their department. Going forward, managers said, the lucky testers would be permanent employees, not temps. They would earn an extra $1.50 an hour.It was only later in the morning, a Friday, that the catch became apparent: One-third of the studio’s roughly 35 testers were being let go as part of the overhaul. The workers were stunned. Raven was owned by Activision Blizzard, one of the industry’s largest companies, and there appeared to be plenty of work to go around. Several testers had just worked la...
The Cost of Nuclear War in Space
Business

The Cost of Nuclear War in Space

Just before the Russian-Ukrainian war reached its two-year milestone today, U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Russia might aim a nuclear weapon at an unusual target: not any place on Earth, but satellites orbiting in space.Putting a weapon into orbit is not just a military threat. It’s also a risk to the space economy — and the one on the ground. There is a little-known but fast-growing industry that insures satellites, but it doesn’t provide insurance against nuclear arms.What’s at stake: hundreds of billions (and probably trillions) of dollars when including the services that rely on satellites, according to David Wade, an underwriter at the Atrium Space Insurance Consortium, which insures satellites for Lloyd’s.Of more than 8,000 satellites in orbit, thousands belong to private com...
U.S. Campaign to Isolate Russia Shows Limits After 2 Years of War
Business

U.S. Campaign to Isolate Russia Shows Limits After 2 Years of War

The Biden administration and European allies call President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a tyrant and a war criminal. But he enjoys a standing invitation to the halls of power in Brazil.The president of Brazil says that Ukraine and Russia are both to blame for the war that began with the Russian military’s invasion. And his nation’s purchases of Russian energy and fertilizer have soared, pumping billions of dollars into the Russian economy.The views of the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, encapsulate the global bind in which the United States and Ukraine find themselves as the war enters its third year.When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the Biden administration activated a diplomatic offensive that was as important as its scramble to ship weapons ...
How Bob Moore, of Bob’s Red Mill, Got Grocery-Store Famous
Business

How Bob Moore, of Bob’s Red Mill, Got Grocery-Store Famous

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods was founded in 1978, but it wasn’t until several years later that the company hit upon the thing that made its oats, groats and other natural food products so immediately recognizable on supermarket shelves. That was when the likeness of Bob Moore, the company’s eponymous founder, began appearing on the packaging.With his white beard, wire-rim eyeglasses, newsie cap and bolo tie, Mr. Moore, who died last week at age 94, was an unlikely style icon whose folksiness seemed to personify the wholesome artisanal grains produced by his company at an old mill in Milwaukie, Ore.Mr. Moore may not have been a movie star like Paul Newman, whose face similarly adorns Newman’s Own foods, but he became just as recognizable to anyone who has pushed a shopping cart down a grain...
U.S. Awards $1.5 Billion to Chipmaker GlobalFoundries
Business

U.S. Awards $1.5 Billion to Chipmaker GlobalFoundries

The Biden administration on Monday announced a $1.5 billion award to the New York-based chipmaker GlobalFoundries, one of the first sizable grants from a government program aimed at revitalizing semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.As part of the plan to bolster GlobalFoundries, the administration will also make available another $1.6 billion in federal loans. The grants are expected to triple the company’s production capacity in the state of New York over ten years.The funding represents an effort by the Biden administration and lawmakers of both parties to try to revitalize American semiconductor manufacturing. Currently, just 12 percent of chips are made in the United States, with the bulk manufactured in Asia. America’s reliance on foreign sources of chips became an issue i...
On the Ground of Biden’s Antitrust Agenda
Business

On the Ground of Biden’s Antitrust Agenda

Big deals are waiting on the tarmac as Wall Street and the business world anticipate how the presidential election will change antitrust enforcement.President Biden has taken an aggressive approach to policing deals that some have called overreaching and others have lauded as a necessary return to scrutiny on the power wielded by big business. Dealmakers say they are holding some deals back in hope of a more lenient approach in the next administration.Doha Mekki is on the ground executing the strategy. She’s worked at the Justice Department under three administrations: as a trial attorney during the Obama presidency, in the front office during the Trump presidency and now as the principal deputy assistant attorney general under Jonathan Kanter.In a recent interview at the Penn Carey Law An...