Business

Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling
Business

Supreme Court to Hear Starbucks Bid to Overturn Labor Ruling

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a case brought by Starbucks challenging a federal judge’s order to reinstate seven employees who were fired at a store in Memphis amid a union campaign there.Starbucks argued that the criteria for such intervention by judges in labor cases, which can also include measures like reopening shuttered stores, vary across regions of the country because federal appeals courts may adhere to different standards.A regional director for the National Labor Relations Board, the company’s opponent in the case, argued that the apparent differences in criteria among appeals courts were semantic rather than substantive, and that a single effective standard was already in place nationwide.The labor board had urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the case, whose ou...
Elections and Disinformation Are Colliding Like Never Before in 2024
Business

Elections and Disinformation Are Colliding Like Never Before in 2024

Billions of people will vote in major elections this year — around half of the global population, by some estimates — in one of the largest and most consequential democratic exercises in living memory. The results will affect how the world is run for decades to come.At the same time, false narratives and conspiracy theories have evolved into an increasingly global menace.Baseless claims of election fraud have battered trust in democracy. Foreign influence campaigns regularly target polarizing domestic challenges. Artificial intelligence has supercharged disinformation efforts and distorted perceptions of reality. All while major social media companies have scaled back their safeguards and downsized election teams.“Almost every democracy is under stress, independent of technology,” said Dar...
World Bank Warns of Energy Price Surge if Mideast War Spreads
Business

World Bank Warns of Energy Price Surge if Mideast War Spreads

The global economy is at risk of a “wasted” decade and the weakest stretch of growth in 30 years, the World Bank warned on Tuesday, saying a sluggish recovery from the pandemic and crippling wars in Ukraine and the Middle East are expected to weigh heavily on output.In its semiannual Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank projected that the growth in world output will slow further in 2024, declining to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent. Although the global economy has been surprisingly resilient, the report warned that its forecasts were subject to heightened uncertainty because of the two wars, a diminished Chinese economy and the increasing risks of natural disasters caused by global warming.The converging crises in recent years have put the world economy on track for the weakest ha...
Boeing Again Under Scrutiny After Latest 737 Max Problem
Business

Boeing Again Under Scrutiny After Latest 737 Max Problem

A harrowing flight over the weekend is again forcing Boeing to confront concerns over its planes, particularly the 737 Max, already one of the most scrutinized jets in history.No one was seriously injured in the episode on an Alaska Airlines flight Friday night in which a portion of a 737 Max 9 fuselage blew out in midair, exposing passengers to howling wind. The plane landed safely, but the event, on a flight from Portland, Ore., to Ontario, Calif., has spooked travelers and prompted immediate safety inspections on similar planes.Federal authorities focused attention on a mid-cabin door plug, which is used to fill the space where an emergency exit would be placed if the plane were configured with more seats.The Federal Aviation Administration said on Saturday that it had ordered the inspe...
U.S. Added 216,000 Jobs in December, Outpacing Forecasts
Business

U.S. Added 216,000 Jobs in December, Outpacing Forecasts

The U.S. labor market ended 2023 with a bang, gaining more jobs than experts had expected and buoying hopes that the economy can settle into a solid, sustainable level of growth rather than fall into a recession.Employers added 216,000 jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent.Although hiring has slowed in recent months, layoffs remain near record lows. The durability of both hiring and wage gains is all the more remarkable in light of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive series of interest rate increases in the past couple of years. But a range of analysts warns that the coast is not yet clear and says the effects of those higher rates will take time to filter through business activity.“The real...
Claudine Gay and the Fight Over D.E.I. in the C-suite
Business

Claudine Gay and the Fight Over D.E.I. in the C-suite

And on X, Elon Musk argued that the basis of D.E.I. was “literally the definition of racism.”Others are pushing back. The billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban challenged Musk in a series of posts on X, defending the three principles of D.E.I. as good for business:On diversity, “Good businesses look where others don’t, to find the employees that will put your business in the best possible position to succeed.”On equity, “Put your employees in a position to succeed. Recognize their differences and play to their strengths where ever possible.”And on inclusion, “Great companies create environments that reduce unnecessary stress of their employees.”Meanwhile, Gay defended herself and attacked her critics. In a Times Opinion guest essay, the former Harvard president writes that her ouster was abo...
Price Increases Cooled in November as Inflation Falls Toward Fed Target
Business

Price Increases Cooled in November as Inflation Falls Toward Fed Target

A closely watched measure of inflation cooled notably in November, good news for the Federal Reserve as officials move toward the next phase in their fight against rapid price increases and a positive for the White House as voters see relief from rising costs.The Personal Consumption Expenditures inflation measure, which the Fed cites when it says it aims for 2 percent inflation on average over time, climbed 2.6 percent in the year through November. That was down from 2.9 percent the previous month, and was less than what economists had forecast. Compared with the previous month, prices overall even fell slightly for the first time in years.That decline — a 0.1 percent drop, and the first negative reading since April 2020 — came as gas prices dropped. After volatile food and fuel prices we...
2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers
Business

2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers

For deal makers, 2024 is a year to look forward to, if only because 2023 wasn’t necessarily one to celebrate.Despite some notable transactions, the year presented challenges to the bankers and lawyers who advise corporate clients on big takeovers and initial public offerings.Global M.&A. fell to a 10-year low. About 53,529 deals worth a combined $2.9 trillion were announced, down 17 percent annually by volume, according to data from L.S.E.G.The busiest sectors included energy — led by Exxon Mobil’s takeover of Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s acquisition of Hess — and health care, which was topped by Pfizer’s purchase of the cancer drug maker Seagen.The story was worse for I.P.O.s, which tumbled 25 percent year-on-year to a combined $109.8 billion in proceeds, a 14-year low. Tha...
Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy
Business

Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy

The attacks on crucial shipping traffic in the Red Sea straits by a determined band of militants in Yemen — a spillover from the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza — are injecting a new dose of instability into a world economy already struggling with mounting geopolitical tensions.The risk of escalating conflict in the Middle East is the latest in a string of unpredictable crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, that have landed like swipes of a bear claw on the global economy, smacking it off course and leaving scars.As if that weren’t enough, more volatility lies ahead in the form of a wave of national elections whose repercussions could be deep and long. More than two billion people in roughly 50 countries, including India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, the United Stat...
Apple Watch Sales to Resume, for Now
Business

Apple Watch Sales to Resume, for Now

Apple was resuming sales of its newest smartwatches on Thursday, a day after a federal appeals court temporarily reversed an earlier ban on their import and sale in the United States.But the watches’ fate will ultimately depend on how a continuing legal fight plays out in federal court over the next few weeks.The company paused sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in its flagship stores on Dec. 21 and at retail locations on Christmas Eve. The pause was the result of a patent case that Apple lost in October.The ruling in that case became final on Tuesday, when President Biden’s administration declined to step in and reverse it. But on Wednesday, a federal appeals court ordered the government not to enforce it “until further notice” while the court considers Apple’s appeal.So ...