The Risks of Demonizing Silicon Valley

For years, the ascent of tech has broadly been viewed as positive, heralding an era of increased productivity and greater communication. But recently, the litany of corporate missteps and a general sense of power accreting to a few extraordinarily rich and powerful companies and the men–yes, largely men–who lead them has triggered a wave of criticisms of the once-Teflon culture of the Valley.

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The Real Problem With Productivity is Measuring It

When it comes to productivity, only two things are undebatable: that the official rate of U.S. productivity growth has stalled since at least 2007, having started to slow before then, and that there is no consensus about why or what to do about it. There is, additionally, some broad consensus that without stronger productivity growth going forward

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Diversification is the Winning Ticket in 2016

Recent volatility notwithstanding, what has been striking about 2016 as an investing year is how relatively good it has been. In fact, the return on a diversified portfolio this year is competitive with many major asset classes, and has restored (for now) some confidence in the age-old mantra of diversification being among the most prudent of investing strategies.

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Column: Tweeting our way forward

Twitter's initial public offering last week was everything that Facebook's botched offering a year and a half ago was not: the stock was reasonably priced; management wooed investors; and the company neither promised the moon nor the stars, and was rewarded with a substantial amount of cash raised, a stock that went up more than 75 percent, and a valuation of $25 billion.

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Yahoo Aims to Achieve Turnaround Dream With Hire of Marissa Mayer

In the past year, several tech companies that once seem inviolable have fractured badly—Research in Motion and Nokia most notably. Yahoo, which yesterday announced a surprising and energetic choice of Marissa Mayer as its new CEO, is not in such dire straits, but only just. Its revenues have been on a multiyear secular decline, occasionally flowing, mostly ebbing; it lost the battle with Google as a search engine; and its content, while stellar, may be unable to support its current structure and identity. Mayer is a bold hire, and visions of another turnaround, that of Apple in the late 1990s, must surely be a dream. The question will be whether that dream has any chance of becoming real.

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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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Google 2011 Results Show Growth, But Can Tech Giant Thrive in Long Run?

‘Tis the season for large technology companies to announce their results for the end of 2011, and last night it was Google’s turn, along with other behemoths Microsoft, Intel and IBM. With expectations lofty, Google’s performance was found lacking by investors, who sent the stock down nearly 10 percent after the company reported that while revenues grew, the prices it was able to charge for advertising had declined about 8 percent.

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Has China's Business Climate Cooled To U.S. Firms?

Google recently anounced it is moving part of its operations to Hong Kong; and harsh corruption sentences have been handed down to China-based executives of the British-Australian firm Rio Tinto. Zachary Karabell, author of Superfusion tells Renee Montagne that the recent events don't mean the business environment is souring for foreign firms in China.

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COMPANIES ARE GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

Environmental concern is suddenly all the rage, all around the world. Unless you've been buried in a coal mine for the past year, you've been inundated with articles about this hot new trend. In early July, China lifted gasoline subsidies, in part to force consumers and businesses to confront the costs of using more of that ever-more costly resource.

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