Monday, February 26

Business

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?
Business, Economy

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...
France Will Cut Spending as It Sees a Weaker Economy Ahead
Business, Economy

France Will Cut Spending as It Sees a Weaker Economy Ahead

France is entering an era of belt-tightening, as the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, economic slowdowns in Germany and China and record-high interest rates take a bigger-than-expected toll on growth.The French will find themselves faced with cuts of 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) in government spending, on items including environmental subsidies and education, the government announced Thursday, on top of €16 billion in cuts announced a few months ago. The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, on Monday revised the forecast for economic growth this year to 1 percent, down from 1.4 percent at the end of last year.“Lower growth means lower tax receipts, so the government must spend less,” Mr. Le Maire said at a news briefing.After spending lavishly during the pandemic to support the economy and shiel...
New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions
Business, Economy

New Freighters Could Ease Red Sea Cargo Disruptions

After the Houthi militia started attacking container ships in the Red Sea last year, the cost of shipping goods from Asia soared by over 300 percent, prompting fears that supply chain disruptions might once again roil the global economy.The Houthis, who are backed by Iran and control northern Yemen, continue to threaten ships, forcing many to take a much longer route around Africa’s southern tip. But there are signs that the world will probably avoid a drawn-out shipping crisis.One reason for the optimism is that a huge number of container ships, ordered two to three years ago, are entering service. Those extra vessels are expected to help shipping companies maintain regular service as their ships travel longer distances. The companies ordered the ships when the extraordinary surge in worl...
How Bob Moore, of Bob’s Red Mill, Got Grocery-Store Famous
Business, Economy

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...
Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?
Business, Economy

Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?

Picture this: You own a few hundred acres near a growing town that your family has been farming for generations. Turning a profit has gotten harder, and none of your children want to take it over. You don’t want to sell the land; you love the open space, the flora and fauna it hosts. But offers from developers who would turn it into subdivisions or strip malls seem increasingly tempting.One day, a land broker mentions an idea. How about granting a long-term lease to a company that values your property for the same reasons you do: long walks through tall grass, the calls of migrating birds, the way it keeps the air and water clean.It sounds like a scam. Or charity. In fact, it’s an approach backed by hardheaded investors who think nature has an intrinsic value that can provide them with a r...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business, Economy

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...