Business

2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers
Business

2024 M&A Outlook After a Rough Year for Deal Makers

For deal makers, 2024 is a year to look forward to, if only because 2023 wasn’t necessarily one to celebrate.Despite some notable transactions, the year presented challenges to the bankers and lawyers who advise corporate clients on big takeovers and initial public offerings.Global M.&A. fell to a 10-year low. About 53,529 deals worth a combined $2.9 trillion were announced, down 17 percent annually by volume, according to data from L.S.E.G.The busiest sectors included energy — led by Exxon Mobil’s takeover of Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s acquisition of Hess — and health care, which was topped by Pfizer’s purchase of the cancer drug maker Seagen.The story was worse for I.P.O.s, which tumbled 25 percent year-on-year to a combined $109.8 billion in proceeds, a 14-year low. Tha...
Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy
Business

Red Sea Shipping Halt Is Latest Risk to Global Economy

The attacks on crucial shipping traffic in the Red Sea straits by a determined band of militants in Yemen — a spillover from the Israeli-Hamas war in Gaza — are injecting a new dose of instability into a world economy already struggling with mounting geopolitical tensions.The risk of escalating conflict in the Middle East is the latest in a string of unpredictable crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, that have landed like swipes of a bear claw on the global economy, smacking it off course and leaving scars.As if that weren’t enough, more volatility lies ahead in the form of a wave of national elections whose repercussions could be deep and long. More than two billion people in roughly 50 countries, including India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, the United Stat...
Boeing Urges Airlines to Inspect 737 Max Planes for Possible Loose Bolts
Business

Boeing Urges Airlines to Inspect 737 Max Planes for Possible Loose Bolts

Boeing has urged airlines to inspect all 737 Max airplanes for a possible loose bolt in the rudder-control system after an international airline discovered a bolt with a missing nut while performing routine maintenance, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday.After the international airline, which the agency did not name, found the missing nut, Boeing discovered that an undelivered 737 Max also had a nut that was not properly tightened, the F.A.A. said.Boeing said it has delivered more than 1,370 of the aircraft worldwide since 2017 and has urged that all of them be inspected for the possible loose hardware. The company said it was also inspecting its undelivered 737 Max airplanes.“The issue identified on the particular airplane has been remedied,” Boeing said in a statement. ...
Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline
Business

Holiday Spending Increased, Defying Fears of a Decline

Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.Retail sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 increased 3.1 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. The numbers, released Tuesday, are not adjusted for inflation.Spending increased across many categories, with restaurants experiencing one of the largest jumps, 7.8 percent. Apparel increased 2.4 percent, and groceries also had gains.The holiday sales figures, driven by a healthy labor market and wage gains, suggest that the economy remains stron...
On QVC, Shawn Killinger Can Help You Sell Yourself
Business

On QVC, Shawn Killinger Can Help You Sell Yourself

Killinger is from Grosse Pointe, Mich., a Detroit suburb, but spent a chunk of her childhood in Mexico City, where her father, who worked for Ford Motors, moved the family when she was 11. She was bullied there for looking different and bullied again back in America when she pulled up to Grosse Pointe South High School — preppy Izod city — looking “like a combo platter of Debbie Gibson, big bangs, shellacking hair spray, blow dryer to keep them up, white frost lip gloss.”In 1995, she graduated from Penn State with a marketing degree and later worked in television, including on air in local news in Albany, N.Y., and Orlando, Fla. In 2006, Martha Stewart fired her from “The Apprentice.”A self-proclaimed homebody, she likes to spend her free time with her husband, Joe Carretta, and adopted da...
Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled
Business

Under Argentina’s New President, Fuel Is Up 60%, and Diaper Prices Have Doubled

Over the past two weeks, the owner of a hip wine bar in Buenos Aires saw the price of beef soar 73 percent, while the zucchini he puts in salads rose 140 percent. An Uber driver paid 60 percent more to fill her tank. And a father said he spent twice as much on diapers for his toddler than he did last month.In Argentina, a country synonymous with galloping inflation, people are used to paying more for just about everything. But under the country’s new president, life is quickly becoming even more painful.When Javier Milei was elected president on Nov. 19, the country was already suffering under the world’s third-highest rate of inflation, with prices up 160 percent from a year before.But since Mr. Milei took office on Dec. 10 and quickly devalued the Argentine currency, prices have soared a...
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...
Wall Street’s Bond ‘Vigilantes’ Are Back
Business

Wall Street’s Bond ‘Vigilantes’ Are Back

Typically, the esoteric inner workings of finance and the very public stakes of government spending are viewed as separate spheres.And bond trading is ordinarily a tidy arena driven by mechanical bets about where the economy and interest rates will be months or years from now.But those separations and that sense of order changed this year as a gargantuan, chaotic battle was waged by traders in the nearly $27 trillion Treasury bond market — the place where the U.S. government goes to borrow.In the summer and fall, many investors worried that federal deficits were rising so rapidly that the government would flood the market with Treasury debt that would be met with meager demand. They believed that deficits were a key source of inflation that would erode future returns on any U.S. bonds they...
State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack
Business

State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack

A Republican-led campaign against researchers who study disinformation online has zeroed in on the most prominent American government agency dedicated to countering propaganda and other information operations from terrorists and hostile nations.The agency, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, is facing a torrent of accusations in court and in Congress that it has helped the social media giants — including Facebook, YouTube and X — to censor Americans in violation of the First Amendment.The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, and two conservative digital news outlets last week became the latest plaintiffs to sue the department and its top officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. The lawsuit said the center’s work was “one of the most egregious government ope...