Business

U.S. Hits Back at Iran With Sanctions, Criminal Charges and Airstrikes
Business

U.S. Hits Back at Iran With Sanctions, Criminal Charges and Airstrikes

In the hours before the United States carried out strikes against Iran-backed militants on Friday, Washington hit Tehran with more familiar weapons: sanctions and criminal charges.The Biden administration imposed sanctions on officers and officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iran’s premier military force, for threatening the integrity of water utilities and for helping manufacture Iranian drones. And it unsealed charges against nine people for selling oil to finance the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.The timing seemed designed to pressure the Revolutionary Guards and its most elite unit, the Quds Force, at a moment of extraordinary tension in the Middle East. Although the sanctions have been brewing for some time and the charges were filed earlier under seal, the regio...
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...
Truck Makers Team Up to Push for Electric Vehicle Chargers
Business

Truck Makers Team Up to Push for Electric Vehicle Chargers

There are more than four million electric vehicles on American roads, but fewer than 1,000 of them are heavy-duty trucks. On Tuesday, the three largest truck makers announced a push to remedy that deficit by calling on governments and utilities to help them build many more places to charge big rigs.Daimler Truck, which owns Freightliner; Navistar, which is controlled by Volkswagen; and Volvo Group North America have formed an association to push for chargers, improvements to the electricity grid and other measures they say are needed to promote battery- or hydrogen-powered trucks.The new organization, Powering America’s Commercial Transportation, will be based in Washington and also be open to suppliers, nonprofit organizations and other groups.The companies’ decision to work together unde...
Private Equity Is Starting to Share With Workers, Without Taking a Financial Hit
Business

Private Equity Is Starting to Share With Workers, Without Taking a Financial Hit

In 2018, Anna-Lisa Miller was working with agricultural cooperatives in Hawaii, helping them reinvest in their communities through shared ownership.Ms. Miller, who had gone to law school and had planned to do civil rights litigation, loved the principle of workers partaking in the financial success of their employers, and the next year joined Project Equity, a nonprofit that helps small businesses transition to worker ownership. But it was slow going, with each transaction requiring customized assistance.Then she came across an investor presentation from a different universe: KKR, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. In it, a KKR executive, Pete Stavros, discussed a model he had been developing to provide employees with an equity stake in companies it purchased, so the workers ...
China Says It Has Imprisoned Ian Stones, a British Businessman, on Spy Charges
Business

China Says It Has Imprisoned Ian Stones, a British Businessman, on Spy Charges

A British businessman who disappeared from public view in China in 2018 was sentenced to five years in prison in 2022, China’s foreign ministry said on Friday, in its first public acknowledgment of the case.The businessman, Ian J. Stones, had lived in China since the 1970s, working for companies such as General Motors and Pfizer. For years after he vanished, there was no public information about his whereabouts, though some in the business community privately discussed his secret detention.A spokesman for the foreign ministry said that Mr. Stones had been convicted in 2022 of “buying and unlawfully supplying intelligence for an organization or individual outside China.” Mr. Stones’s appeal of the verdict was rejected in September 2023, the spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said.Mr. Wang was respondi...
Yellen Hits Trump Over Handling Of Economy
Business

Yellen Hits Trump Over Handling Of Economy

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen defended the Biden administration’s economic agenda on Thursday, drawing sharp contrasts with the policies of the Trump administration as President Biden begins to make the general election argument that he has been a stronger steward of the economy than his predecessor.The comments from Ms. Yellen came after new data released on Thursday bolstered that message: The United States economy grew at a healthy clip over the past year, surpassing 3 percent and defying expectations of a recession. The strong numbers coincided with an effort by the White House to amplify the president’s economic record and dispatch his top economic advisers around the country to make the case that his strategy is working.Biden administration officials are trying to convince a ske...
China’s Travel Economy Is Slowly Coming Back. Here’s Where It Stands.
Business

China’s Travel Economy Is Slowly Coming Back. Here’s Where It Stands.

Since China reopened its borders in 2023 after three years of Covid isolation, domestic travel has thrived and high-speed rail has grown increasingly popular. But international trips in and out of the country are lagging, and flight capacity is still just two-thirds of prepandemic levels.The economic stakes are high. Before the pandemic, Chinese travelers were the world’s biggest spenders, accounting for 20 percent of global tourism spending, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.In the past year, the Chinese authorities have tried to spur more inbound travel. Among the changes: China has waived travel visas or agreed to extend the length of visa-free travel for visitors from eight countries, including Germany and France.The main factor holding back international trave...
War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors
Business

War Has Already Hurt the Economies of Israel’s Nearest Neighbors

In the Red Sea, attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on commercial ships continue to disrupt a crucial trade route and raise shipping costs. The threat of escalation there and around flash points in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and now Iran and Pakistan ratchets up every day.Despite the staggering death toll and wrenching misery of the violence in the Middle East, the broader economic impact so far has been mostly contained. Oil production and prices, a critical driver of worldwide economic activity and inflation, have returned to pre-crisis levels. International tourists are still flying into other countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.Yet for Israel’s next-door neighbors — Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan — the economic damage is already severe....
The Baltimore Sun’s New Owner Has the Newsroom on Edge
Business

The Baltimore Sun’s New Owner Has the Newsroom on Edge

A few years ago, desperate to avoid being acquired by a hedge fund, staff members of The Baltimore Sun made public pleas for a local entrepreneur to buy their publication.That request was recently realized: A Maryland businessman, David D. Smith, bought the storied newspaper, returning the 186-year-old newspaper to local hands for the first time in nearly 40 years.But Mr. Smith may not be quite what The Sun’s journalists were hoping for. According to interviews with current and former employees at the newspaper, Mr. Smith’s purchase has already raised alarm among many inside and outside the newsroom, who fear he will impose his political interests on the organization as a final coda to a once proud newspaper that has been facing a long decline.Mr. Smith is the executive chairman of the con...
A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming
Business

A Fed Governor Reiterates That Rate Cuts Are Coming

A prominent Federal Reserve official on Tuesday laid out a case for lowering interest rates methodically at some point this year as the economy comes into balance and inflation cools — although he acknowledged that the timing of those cuts remained uncertain.Christopher Waller, one of the Fed’s seven Washington-based officials and one of the 12 policymakers who get to vote at its meetings, said during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday that he saw a case for cutting interest rates in 2024.“The data we have received the last few months is allowing the committee to consider cutting the policy rate in 2024,” Mr. Waller said. While noting that risks of higher inflation remain, he said, “I am feeling more confident that the economy can continue along its current trajectory.”Mr. Wa...