Business

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...
President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down
Business

President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down

Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s largest and most politically powerful labor unions, announced Tuesday that she would step down after 14 years in her position.Ms. Henry was the first woman elected to lead the union, which represents nearly two million workers like janitors and home health aides in both the public and private sectors.Under her leadership, it launched a major initiative known as the Fight for $15, which sought to organize fast-food workers and push for a $15 minimum wage. Winning over skeptics in the ranks, Ms. Henry argued that the union could make gains through a broad-based campaign that targeted the industry as a whole rather than individual employers.Labor experts and industry officials cite the campaign as ...
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...
Sean Wang Lives His ‘Fairy Tale’ at Sundance
Business

Sean Wang Lives His ‘Fairy Tale’ at Sundance

“I feel like I’m in a fairy tale,” Sean Wang said to the sold-out crowd gathered at the Ray Theater in Park City, Utah, last month for his Sundance Film Festival debut.Mr. Wang, a 29-year-old filmmaker, was dressed in a black suit and white Vans (a nod to his skateboarding roots). He grabbed his chest in a show of how fast his heart was beating as he introduced his film, “Dìdi.” It is a coming-of-age story about an angsty, insecure 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy trying to find his place in the world.“I’m just going to take a few seconds to take this all in,” he said before snapping a photograph of the audience. The warm crowd included Mr. Wang’s family and friends, the film’s cast and crew, and a handful of potential buyers who have the power to transform his station in life from aspir...
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...
Minute-Long Soap Operas Are Here. Is America Ready?
Business

Minute-Long Soap Operas Are Here. Is America Ready?

When Albee Zhang received an offer to produce cheesy short-form features made for phones last spring, she was skeptical, and so, she declined.But the offers kept coming. Finally, Ms. Zhang, who has been a producer for 12 years, realized it could be a profitable new way of storytelling and said yes.Since last summer, she has produced two short-form features and is working on four more for several apps that are creating cookie-cutter content aimed at women.Think: Lifetime movie cut up into TikTok videos. Think: soap opera, but for the short attention span of the internet age.The biggest player in this new genre is ReelShort, an app that offers melodramatic content in minute-long, vertically shot episodes and is hoping to bring a successful formula established abroad to the United States by h...
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 ...
Edward E. Crutchfield, 82, Dies; Banker’s Deals Reshaped the Industry
Business

Edward E. Crutchfield, 82, Dies; Banker’s Deals Reshaped the Industry

Edward E. Crutchfield, a banker who grew a small North Carolina bank into one of the nation’s largest through a deal-making spree that earned him the nickname Fast Eddie and helped establish Charlotte, N.C., as a national financial hub, died on Jan. 2 at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 82.His death was confirmed by his son, Elliott, who said his father had dementia.When Mr. Crutchfield graduated from business school in 1965, he took a job as a credit analyst at the First Union bank in Charlotte. It was the lowest-paying job he was offered, but he thought he could move up faster at a smaller bank. He sensed opportunity there and in the region, he told his family and colleagues.Both hunches paid off. At age 32, just seven years after he joined First Union, he became its president. He was...
Taking on Trump, Biden Promotes ‘Infrastructure Decade’ in Wisconsin
Business

Taking on Trump, Biden Promotes ‘Infrastructure Decade’ in Wisconsin

Consumer confidence is up. Fears of a recession are abating. The economy is growing. And a corroded bridge in Wisconsin is receiving more funding.It is a wintry mix of positive news for President Biden, who traveled to the shores of a bay near Lake Superior on Thursday to stand at the foot of the Blatnik Bridge, a structure that his administration said would have failed by 2030 without a $1 billion infusion provided by the bipartisan infrastructure law that Mr. Biden championed.The president was there to talk infrastructure and the economy, and to contrast his performance with that of his predecessor and likely general election challenger, former President Donald J. Trump.“The economic growth is stronger than we had during the Trump administration,” Mr. Biden, dressed in a casual pullover ...
Netflix is Said to License ‘Sex and the City’ From HBO
Business

Netflix is Said to License ‘Sex and the City’ From HBO

HBO is renting out one of its most valuable series to Netflix.Every season of “Sex and the City,” the HBO comedy that aired from 1998 to 2004, will begin streaming on Netflix for the first time in early April, according to three people familiar with the deal.HBO had a longstanding policy of not licensing its shows to Netflix until last year, when it sent over titles including “Six Feet Under,” “Insecure,” “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific” and “Ballers.” Several of these older series quickly leaped into Top 10 most-watched streaming lists after they began appearing on Netflix.Now “Sex and the City,” which had been licensed to cable networks, will be offered on Netflix as well. It was not clear how much Netflix will pay to license the series, one of the most illustrious titles in HBO’s libra...