How Big Business is Lining Up With Hillary

Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to win over just the middle class. She wants to win over business elites as well. And in this tightening labor market, with business worried about losing workers to the growing demand for higher wages, there’s ample evidence that what she has started to advocate is increasingly aligned with what many businesses are beginning to do.  

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Are Companies Thinking for the Long Term Again?

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently penned a letter urging a fundamental shift in corporate thinking. Dispatched to the CEOs of the world’s largest companies, Fink’s letter criticized the relentless pressure of “activist” shareholders who push for immediate returns. He wrote, “More and more corporate leaders have responded with actions that can deliver immediate returns to shareholders, such as buybacks or dividend increases, while underinvesting in innovation, skilled workforces or essential capital expenditures necessary to sustain long-term growth.”

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Stop Obsessing Over Exorbitant CEO Pay

Last weekend the New York Times published its annual list of executive compensation, with Oracle’s Larry Ellison topping the charts at $78.4 million (and Disney’s Bob Iger in a distant second, at $34.3 million). Pay packages have increased by an average of 9 percent since 2012, continuing a steady and spectacular rise even as average wages in the United States and throughout much of the developed world have stagnated.

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The Bipolar Economy: If Consumers Are Happy, Why Is Business So Miserable?

A strange inversion has happened in the past few months: Consumers have gone from being deeply pessimistic about the future to slightly optimistic at the same time that companies have moved from being slightly positive to increasingly negative. That discrepancy is intriguing, and raises the question: Which view will determine the course of the near future? Will the buoyed spirits of people carry the day, or will corporate glumness pull us down?

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Huge Corporations Win Global Economic Spoils as 99 Percent Get Squeezed

The 1 percent versus the 99 percent—the haves and the have-nots; the government or the people; China versus the United States. Our conversations today are framed by these splits, yet as compelling as these are, they are each secondary to the yawning gulf that has emerged between large, multinational companies and everything else.

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Google’s Results Reflect Giants’ Surge, as Everyone Else Struggles

Late yesterday afternoon, Google announced its financial results for the first three months of 2012. Its results were typically extraordinary, and demonstrate—if more demonstration is needed—a truism of our time: this is a golden age for capital. It is a golden age for corporations with a global reach. It is a marvelous time to have access to capital, and to deploy capital. And it is a challenging time to be a wage earner. In short, it is great to be capital; it is not a good time to be labor.

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Sustainable Excellence

Today's business landscape is changing in fundamental ways: Natural resources are growing ever more scarce and expensive. Technology and changing consumer expectations are making transparency a fact of life. The rise of emerging economies creates vast market opportunities for companies--and better living standards for hundreds of millions. In Sustainable Excellence, Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell tell the stories of the companies who are transforming themselves by responding to these paradigm shifts and in the process shaping the future.

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Corporate Earnings Are No Sign of Recovery

Despite grim predictions, most major U.S. companies have reported positive earnings for the second quarter of 2009. Given how wrong past predictions have been, the fact that earnings have blown away expectations shouldn’t be so surprising. Still, the numbers are genuinely impressive: More than 73% of the companies that have reported so far have beaten earnings estimates—and stocks have rightly rallied.

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