Business

This Arctic Circle Town Expected a Green Energy Boom. Then Came Bidenomics.
Business

This Arctic Circle Town Expected a Green Energy Boom. Then Came Bidenomics.

In Mo i Rana, a small Norwegian industrial town on the cusp of the Arctic Circle, a cavernous gray factory sits empty and unfinished in the snowy twilight — a monument to unfulfilled economic hope.The electric battery company Freyr was partway through constructing this hulking facility when the Biden administration’s sweeping climate bill passed in 2022. Perhaps the most significant climate legislation in history, the Inflation Reduction Act promised an estimated $369 billion in tax breaks and grants for clean energy technology over the next decade. Its incentives for battery production within the United States were so generous that they eventually helped prod Freyr to pause its Norway facility and focus on setting up shop in Georgia.The start-up is still raising funds to build the factory...
Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.
Business

Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.

Lilly Calman is not in the mood this Valentine’s Day for the flowers, chocolates or a romantic dinner for two, especially after a recent breakup.“I’m very angry,” said Ms. Calman, 26, adding that it had been painful to see all the holiday paraphernalia in store aisles.She found a more fitting outlet for her mood this year: a fund-raiser for the San Antonio zoo that will symbolically name a roach or rodent after an ex and feed it to one of the zoo’s animals.“The visual image of him getting eaten by a Komodo dragon is pretty satisfying,” said Ms. Calman, who donated $25 for the rat option. She is hoping the zoo sends her a video so she can host a screening with a friend. “I love reptiles. I think it’s cool.”The annual campaign has raised over $235,000 since the zoo first ran it in 2020, unde...
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’s Putin Interview Puts Him Back on Center Stage, for Now
Business

Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Puts Him Back on Center Stage, for Now

Last spring, it seemed Tucker Carlson might have reached the end of his fiery path through American media and politics.Fox News canceled his top-rated show, depriving Mr. Carlson of his nightly platform in prime time. But it kept him under a contract, worth more than $15 million a year, that prohibited him from taking a job with a rival.Under the old rules of the legacy media, Mr. Carlson would have been off the air and out of sight through the end of the 2024 election, when his contract runs out. But Mr. Carlson is no typical television star. And what was once normal in his industry is increasingly archaic, shattered by the new rules — or lack thereof — of the fractured online media world.In landing an exclusive interview with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — released on Thursday o...
For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China
Business

For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China

In the depths of the pandemic, as global supply chains buckled and the cost of shipping a container to China soared nearly twentyfold, Marco Villarreal spied an opportunity.In 2021, Mr. Villarreal resigned as Caterpillar’s director general in Mexico and began nurturing ties with companies looking to shift manufacturing from China to Mexico. He found a client in Hisun, a Chinese producer of all-terrain vehicles, which hired Mr. Villarreal to establish a $152 million manufacturing site in Saltillo, an industrial hub in northern Mexico.Mr. Villarreal said foreign companies, particularly those seeking to sell within North America, saw Mexico as a viable alternative to China for several reasons, including the simmering trade tensions between the United States and China.“The stars are aligning f...
Banks Sue Regulators Over Anti-Redlining Rule
Business

Banks Sue Regulators Over Anti-Redlining Rule

Some of the banking industry’s most powerful trade groups sued the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Monday, claiming that the regulators overstepped their authority in updating a law meant to reverse the effects of redlining.In October, the regulators imposed new frameworks for assessing whether banks are abiding by the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to do business in neighborhoods made up largely of racial minorities or low-income households that they typically shunned.The lawsuit said the rule was “a complicated and burdensome regime” and might “ultimately result in reduced lending to the very populations that the C.R.A. was designed to benefit.”The suit was filed by the American Bankers...
A City Built on Steel Tries to Reverse Its Decline
Business

A City Built on Steel Tries to Reverse Its Decline

Gary, Ind., was once a symbol of American innovation. The home of U.S. Steel’s largest mill, Gary churned out the product that built America’s bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers. The city reaped the rewards, with a prosperous downtown and vibrant neighborhoods.Gary’s smokestacks are still prominent along Lake Michigan’s sandy shore, starkly juxtaposed between the eroding dunes and Chicago’s towering silhouette to the northwest. But now they represent a city looking for a fresh start.More than 10,000 buildings sit abandoned, and the population of 180,000 in the 1960s has dropped by more than half. Poverty, crime and an ignoble moniker — “Scary Gary” — deter private investors and prospective homeowners.As U.S. Steel stands at a crossroads — a planned acquisition would put it under foreign cont...
January Jobs Report Live Updates: U.S. Economy Adds 353,000 Jobs
Business

January Jobs Report Live Updates: U.S. Economy Adds 353,000 Jobs

The United States delivered a much-bigger-than-expected batch of jobs last month, adding further evidence that the economy still has plenty of steam.Employers added 353,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent.After the loss of 14 percent of the nation’s jobs early in the Covid-19 pandemic, the labor market’s endurance for more than three years has surprised economists, who expected factors including the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases to slow hiring more sharply. The strong data on Friday is likely to reinforce the Fed’s patience in beginning to cut rates.“There’s layoffs happening, but workers are able to find new positions,” said Sara Rutledge, an independent economics consultant. “It’s almost like a ‘pinch...
Walmart to Add 150 U.S. Stores in Five-Year Expansion Drive
Business

Walmart to Add 150 U.S. Stores in Five-Year Expansion Drive

Walmart will add 150 stores in the United States over the next five years, a major expansion drive for the retail giant.The company said the move, which it announced in a statement on Wednesday, would involve millions of dollars in investment. Walmart employs roughly 1.6 million people in the United States, and said it hires hundreds of people each time it opens a new store.Walmart had just over 4,600 stores nationwide at the end of October, down from more than 4,700 a year earlier. The company has not opened a new U.S. store since late 2021.Most of the stores that Walmart plans to open will be newly built, while others will be conversions of existing locations to new formats. The first two new stores will open in the spring, in Florida and Georgia, and the company is completing constructi...
After China Evergrande, Real Estate Crisis ‘Has Not Touched Bottom’
Business

After China Evergrande, Real Estate Crisis ‘Has Not Touched Bottom’

The unwavering belief of Chinese home buyers that real estate was a can’t-lose investment propelled the country’s property sector to become the backbone of its economy.But over the last two years, as firms crumbled under the weight of massive debts and sales of new homes plunged, Chinese consumers have demonstrated an equally unshakable belief: Real estate has become a losing investment.This sharp loss of faith in property, the main store of wealth for many Chinese families, is a growing problem for Chinese policymakers who are pulling out all the stops to revive the ailing industry — to very little effect. The troubles of the country’s real estate sector were laid bare on Monday when a Hong Kong court ordered China Evergrande to wind up operations and liquidate the company, which is saddl...