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Act like a spy agency

There is an organization where children of employees have to sign nondisclosure agreements before attending company parties and where a parent had to explain to her 8-year-old that she couldn’t trade Pokémon. with friends because the boss forbids him to connect his Nintendo Switch to the Internet. When he goes to work, that same dad has to leave his bespoke suit, luxe French watch, and sleek leather shoes in the closet, pulling on a $ 9 Uniqlo t-shirt and jeans to blend in with the close crowd. from the office . This organization is not an underground criminal group or intelligence agency – it is Payward Inc., the San Francisco-based company established in 2011 to operate the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange, which investors now rate at 10 billions of dollars. Its security manager claims that ransomware attacks often start with cybercriminals collecting personal information from employees online and using it to personalize phishing emails containing malware. Payward’s guiding principle is that a lax mindset about security in privacy spills over into the workplace.

(Adapted from “One Crypto Exchange Is Going to Extreme Lengths on Cybersecurity”, by Takashi Mochizuki and Yuki Furukawa, published June 8, 2021 by Bloomberg Businessweek)

Delay motherhood

All over the United States, women are delaying motherhood. For decades, delaying parenthood was the domain of upper-middle-class Americans, especially in large coastal cities. Highly educated women delay the birth of a baby until their careers are on track, often until their early 30s. But over the past decade, as more women from all walks of life have prioritized education and careers, postponing motherhood has become a general pattern among American women almost everywhere. . The result was the slowest growth of the American population since the 1930s, and a profound change in American motherhood. Women under 30 have become much less likely to have children. Since 2007, the birth rate for women in their twenties has fallen by 28%, and the most recent declines have been among single women. The only age groups in which birth rates rose during this period were women in their 30s and 40s, but even these have started to decline in the past three years. According to a geographic analysis of Myers data, the birth rate is falling fastest in places with the strongest job growth – where women have more of an incentive to wait.

(Adapted from “Why American Women Everywhere Are Delaying Motherhood,” by Sabrina Tavernise, Claire Cain Miller, Quoctrung Bui and Robert Gebeloff, published June 16, 2021 by The New York Times)

Bet big on electric vehicles

General Motors is betting big on electric vehicles, with 30 cars coming out in the next five years. A battery powered Hummer pickup truck. Mary Barra, CEO of GM, loved the idea as soon as she heard it. What better way to assure skeptical buyers that the company’s next line of electric vehicles won’t be all geek science projects. At a meeting in March 2019, Barra quickly asked Chief Engineer Josh Tavel how long it would take to bring out the electric Hummer. The usual four years, he replied. It was the age-old gestation period for major automakers to take a new model from a designer’s sketchbook to dealership showrooms. But that wouldn’t be the case for Barra, who decided to make battery power the core of the company’s strategy. “I’m thinking about 2021,” she said. So began what could mark the genesis of GM’s most transformative metamorphosis since legendary president Alfred P. Sloan concocted the idea of ​​different priced car brands to suit different types of buyers.

(Adapted from “GM’s $ 27 Billion Electric Bet Starts With Bad-Boy Hummer Truck,” by David Welsh, published December 17, 2020 by Bloomberg Businessweek)

Come out richer from the pandemic

U.S. household net worth rose $ 25.6 billion in the 12 months ended March 31, bringing the total to $ 136.9 billion. To put the increase in perspective, consider that the average annual increase over the 10 years up to 2019 was a paltry 5.35 tr. This is a testament to the swift actions of the government and the Federal Reserve to support the economy by pumping billions of dollars into the pockets of consumers and into the financial system. There is a very important problem with all of this, and that is that income inequality has increased over time, resulting in what is known as the “K-shaped” recovery. There is strong evidence that the increase in household net worth has been concentrated at the top.

(Adapted from “Biggest Number This Week Is $ 25.6 Trillion,” by Robert Burgess, published June 12, 2021 by Bloomberg Opinion)

Posted in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, July 19, 2021


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