Thursday, February 22

Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

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...
Can the Olympics Rejuvenate One of France’s Poorest Corners?
Business

Can the Olympics Rejuvenate One of France’s Poorest Corners?

Parisians are already grumbling about the crowds for this summer’s Olympics. They envision sweaty tourists jamming the subway cars, making the hell of commuting even more, well, hellish. They are planning their summer escapes; at worst a “télétravail” schedule to work from home.But not Ivan Buyukocakm. Glancing out at a corner known for drug dealing near his family’s kebab shop in the low-income district just north of Paris, he sees the upcoming Olympics as heralding something totally different: opportunity.“They are redoing the streets and refurbishing buildings,” said Mr. Buyukocakm, as a woman in a thin coat dragged a grocery trolley toward a dilapidated housing project. “This area is going to be improved. Life could get better.”That is the hope anyway. French officials have made a loft...
Nature Has Value. Could We Literally Invest in It?
Business

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...
Biden Faces More Pressure From Environmentalists to Block Steel Merger
Business

Biden Faces More Pressure From Environmentalists to Block Steel Merger

In interviews, environmental activists working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions say the merger would bring together two steel giants that are laggards on transitioning away from fossil fuels.Researchers at Industrious Labs, a nonprofit pushing to decarbonize steel and other heavy industries, drew on both companies’ public disclosures to calculate that Nippon and U.S. Steel are relatively high emitters of heat-trapping gases from steel production. Both companies rely heavily on coal-powered blast furnaces and are on a slower path to transition to cleaner fuels than some international competitors. Three U.S. Steel facilities — in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois — combine to emit more greenhouse gases in a year than a comparable number of coal-fired power plants, the researchers estimate...
Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market
Business

Three Lessons From a Surprisingly Resilient Job Market

The pandemic created an economic crisis unlike any recession on record. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the aftermath, too, has played out in a way that almost no economists expected.When unemployment soared in the first weeks of the pandemic, many feared a repeat of the long, slow rebound from the Great Recession: years of joblessness that left many workers permanently scarred. Instead, the recovery in the labor market has been, by many measures, the strongest on record.In early 2021, some economists foresaw a surge in inflation. Others were skeptical: Similar predictions in recent years — in some cases from the same forecasters — had failed to come true. This time, however, they were right.And when the Federal Reserve began trying to tamp down inflation, there were warnings th...
January CPI Report Live Updates: Prices Cool Less Than Expected
Business

January CPI Report Live Updates: Prices Cool Less Than Expected

Inflation cooled less than expected in January and showed worrying staying power after stripping out volatile food and fuel costs — a reminder that bringing price increases under control remains a bumpy process.The overall Consumer Price Index was up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, which was down from 3.4 percent in December but more than the 2.9 percent that economists had forecast. That figure is down from the latest peak of 9.1 percent in the summer of 2022.But after stripping out food and fuel, which bounce around in price from month to month, “core” prices held roughly steady on an annual basis, climbing 3.9 percent from a year earlier. The measure climbed by the most in eight months on a monthly basis.Federal Reserve officials had welcomed a recent moderation in inflation, and will ...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
Tucker Carlson Urges Putin to Release American Journalist
Business

Tucker Carlson Urges Putin to Release American Journalist

In an interview released on Thursday, Tucker Carlson urged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to release an American reporter for The Wall Street Journal who has been held in a notorious Moscow prison for nearly a year.Mr. Carlson’s appeal on behalf of the reporter, Evan Gershkovich, was only the second time that Mr. Putin directly addressed a case that has galvanized press freedom groups and strained diplomatic relations with the United States.Large portions of the two-hour interview were taken up by Mr. Putin’s recounting hundreds of years of Russian history. But in the final minutes, Mr. Carlson asked, “as a sign of your decency,” if he “would be willing to release him to us and we’ll bring him back to the United States.” Mr. Carlson added: “This guy’s obviously not a spy. He’s a kid...
Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.
Business

Why Are Americans Wary While the Economy Is Healthy? Look at Nevada.

Toni Irizarry recognizes that the economy has improved. Compared with the first wave of the pandemic, when Las Vegas went dark, and joblessness soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression, these are days of relative normalcy.Ms. Irizarry, 64, oversees a cafe at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, a property just off the Las Vegas Strip that caters mostly to locals. Guests have returned, filling the blackjack and roulette tables amid the cacophony of jingling slot machines — the sound of money.She started in the hospitality industry busing tables when she was only 16. Her paychecks have allowed her to purchase a home, raise three children and buy each of them their first car. But as she contemplates the future, she cannot shake a sense of foreboding.The outlook of people like Ms. Irizarr...
BP’s Shares Rise After It Says It Will Increase Oil Output
Business

BP’s Shares Rise After It Says It Will Increase Oil Output

BP’s new chief executive, Murray Auchincloss, promised a flexible approach to the shift away from fossil fuels as the oil giant reported a $3 billion profit in its latest quarter on Tuesday.Mr. Auchincloss said in an interview after BP reported earnings that the company was pursuing what he called a “demand strategy.” BP’s shares rose nearly 5 percent in trading in London, where the company is based.BP has a plan to become what Mr. Auchincloss called an integrated energy company. But in the meantime, “we see growing demand for energy right now across the globe,” he said. “It is not slowing down.”BP is “going to invest in today’s energy system, to help make sure that prices don’t get out of control,” Mr. Auchincloss said. “So that’s investing into oil and gas,” he added, while also putting ...