Business

U.S. and Europe Eye Russian Assets to Aid Ukraine as Funding Dries Up
Business

U.S. and Europe Eye Russian Assets to Aid Ukraine as Funding Dries Up

The Biden administration is quietly signaling new support for seizing more than $300 billion in Russian central bank assets stashed in Western nations, and has begun urgent discussions with allies about using the funds to aid Ukraine’s war effort at a moment when financial support is waning, according to senior American and European officials.Until recently, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen had argued that without action by Congress, seizing the funds was “not something that is legally permissible in the United States.” There has also been concern among some top American officials that nations around the world would hesitate to keep their funds at the New York Federal Reserve, or in dollars, if the United States established a precedent for seizing the money.But the administration, in coo...
Cubicles Reappear in Offices as Employees Return
Business

Cubicles Reappear in Offices as Employees Return

Among office designers and architects, cubicles are rarely mentioned. The once-ubiquitous fixture, so popular in the 1980s and ’90s, has become vilified as a sign of the dehumanization of the work force. Design experts today say cubicles are a “hard no.”And yet cubicles, like scrunchies, are back, spurred by demand from employers and employees alike.“I frankly thought the cube market was dying,” said Brian Silverberg, who sells refurbished and used office furniture with his brother, Mark, in their store, the Furniture X-Change in North Brunswick, N.J. “We have sold more cubes in the last three years than in the five years before,” he said, adding that 2024 would be “bigger than this year.”Covid-19 was an amplifier of a trend that preceded the pandemic. But as workers returned to the office...
Prices for Some Goods Are Actually Falling This Holiday Season
Business

Prices for Some Goods Are Actually Falling This Holiday Season

American shoppers, burned by more than two years of rapid inflation, are getting some welcome relief this holiday season: Prices on many products are falling.Toys are almost 3 percent cheaper this Christmas than last, government data shows. Sports equipment is down nearly 2 percent. Bigger-ticket items are also showing price declines: Washing machines cost 12 percent less than a year ago, for example. And eggs, whose meteoric rise in prices last winter became a prime example of the country’s inflation problem, are down 22 percent over the past year.Consumer prices, in the aggregate, are still rising, though not nearly as quickly as a year ago. Most groceries still cost more than they did a year ago. So do most services, such as restaurant meals, haircuts and trips to the dentist. And housi...
Did the Grinch Come for the Office Holiday Party?
Business

Did the Grinch Come for the Office Holiday Party?

Of course, some companies, even before the pandemic, were trying to avoid celebrations that were raucous or boozy. Roy Bahat, a venture capital investor with Bloomberg Beta, has held a holiday party for start-ups since 2014, called Startup Festivus, on the first Friday of December from 3 to 6 p.m., so people can get home to their families.“We want to throw holiday parties where the next Monday everyone shows up proud of who they were,” Mr. Bahat said. “We all know the story where someone goes to the holiday party and ends up doing something that causes a big rift.”At Conductor, a New York-based software company, the chief executive, Seth Besmertnik, decided that what his employees would like most this year would be to take one week off at the same time in late December, and then have a par...
New Mexico’s Spaceport America Is an Economic Dream Deferred
Business

New Mexico’s Spaceport America Is an Economic Dream Deferred

From his tiny gem store in southern New Mexico, Robert Hanseck spends his days untangling chakra beads and answering questions about the healing properties of amethyst crystals. After four decades behind the register, he has met thousands of wellness-minded tourists eager to explore the hot springs that span the region.But he almost never sees the type of traveler he was promised would transform his small town of Truth or Consequences: space enthusiasts.“It’s been a flop,” he said of Spaceport America, a project that was conceived as the vanguard of commercial space travel — and that has been promoted by state officials for more than two decades as a launchpad for the local economy.Less than a mile up the road, Arthur Burger, who owns an art gallery, recounted the moment in 2021, not long ...
Nelson Peltz Nominates Two to Disney Board, Including Himself
Business

Nelson Peltz Nominates Two to Disney Board, Including Himself

The activist investor Nelson Peltz nominated himself and a former Walt Disney executive to the board of the Walt Disney Company on Thursday, continuing his battle with the entertainment giant over what he sees as a languishing stock price and the mishandling of its leadership succession plan.This is Mr. Peltz’s second proxy battle with Disney in two years. Last year, he fought to get on the board, saying he would cut costs, revamp Disney’s streaming business and clean up the succession planning. Mr. Peltz withdrew his demands in February when Disney put in place a restructuring plan and made billions of dollars’ worth of cost cuts.Mr. Peltz’s investment firm, Trian Partners, has been working on the fight with Ike Perlmutter, the former chairman of Marvel and one of Disney’s largest indepen...
Inflation Holds Roughly Steady Ahead of Fed Meeting
Business

Inflation Holds Roughly Steady Ahead of Fed Meeting

Inflation data released on Tuesday showed that price increases remained moderate in November, the latest sign that inflation has cooled substantially from its June 2022 peak. That’s likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track to leave interest rates unchanged at its final meeting of the year, which takes place this week.The Consumer Price Index came out just hours before the Fed began its two-day gathering, which will conclude with the release of an interest rate decision and a fresh set of quarterly economic projections at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, is then scheduled to hold a news conference.Central bankers have embraced a recent slowdown in price increases, and Tuesday’s data largely suggested that inflation remains lower than earlier this year. Overall inflat...
Ateez Is the Fourth K-Pop Group With a No. 1 Album in 2023
Business

Ateez Is the Fourth K-Pop Group With a No. 1 Album in 2023

This week on the music charts, Ateez becomes the latest K-pop act to score the top album with a menu of collectible packages, while Brenda Lee’s 65-year-old chestnut “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” holds as the No. 1 single on her 79th birthday.Ateez, an eight-member boy band from South Korea, notches its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart with “The World EP.Fin: Will,” which had the equivalent of 152,000 sales in the United States, according to the tracking service Luminate. The vast majority were for physical copies of the 12-track release, which was available in 33 collectible variations, including 26 on CD and seven on vinyl.Ateez’s album is the fifth one by a K-pop group to top the LP chart this year, after releases by Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans and Stray Kids, which ...