Business News at a Glance
Posted January 18, 2018 9:48 p.m. EST
Amazon Chooses 20 Finalists for Second Headquarters
Like a college applicant waiting for that special message in the mail, officials in Boston got what they wanted Thursday: a cryptic four-sentence note informing them that the city made the finals in its bid to host Amazon’s second headquarters. Boston was one of 20 places in the United States and Canada that made Amazon’s list, joining cities that had been widely expected to make the cut, like Denver and Dallas, and surprises like Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. The winner could get as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in investment, setting off an unprecedented competition.
IBM Ends 22-Quarter Streak of Falling Revenue
IBM reported revenue growth for the first time in 5 1/2 years on Thursday, ending a streak of 22 consecutive quarters of shrinking sales. The gain was modest — revenue rose by 4 percent — and one quarter does not make a trend. The quarterly result will also not erase the doubts of industry analysts who are skeptical that a genuine turnaround is underway at IBM. But the company’s fourth-quarter report is an encouraging sign that IBM’s financial performance is stabilizing, and perhaps the transformation effort led by Virginia M. Rometty, the chief executive, is gaining ground.
Two Federal Reserve Openings Provide One Chance to Counter Trump
The Federal Reserve is facing a significant change in leadership that goes beyond the installation of a new chairman. President Donald Trump, who has already nominated Jerome H. Powell as the Fed’s next chairman, also gets to pick a new vice chairman. But the other open position, the presidency of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is not Trump’s choice to make. The New York Fed chooses its own president, a position that is often described as the second-most powerful at the Fed. Some of Trump’s political opponents see an opportunity to fill that opening with a counterweight to the president’s economic agenda.
HuffPost, Breaking From Its Roots, Ends Unpaid Contributions
Since its founding nearly 13 years ago, The Huffington Post has relied heavily on unpaid contributors, whose ranks included aspiring writers, citizen journalists and celebrities from the Rolodex of the site’s co-founder Arianna Huffington. But the site’s days of encouraging everyday citizens to report on the news are over. On Thursday, it said it was immediately dissolving its self-publishing contributors platform — which has mushroomed to include 100,000 writers — in what is perhaps the most significant break from the past under its editor-in-chief, Lydia Polgreen, who joined the news site, which is now called HuffPost, a year ago.
Emirates Offers A380 a Lifeline, Signing $16 Billion Deal With Airbus
The Airbus A380 lives on, for now. The Dubai-based airline Emirates threw a lifeline Thursday to the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, putting in a $16 billion order for up to 36 of the planes to be delivered starting from 2020. The agreement, which includes a firm commitment to buy 20 aircraft and an option for 16 more, comes just days after Airbus said it would end production of the A380 if it did not receive more orders. When Airbus started delivering the A380 a decade ago, it pitched the plane as the future of aviation.
Under Tax Law, Affordable Rents May Take a Hit
The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some 3 million apartments for low-income residents. But the Republican tax plan approved last month amounts to a vast cutback, making it much less likely that such construction will continue apace. “It’s the greatest shock to the affordable-housing system since the Great Recession,” said Michael Novogradac, managing partner of Novogradac & Co., a national accounting firm based in San Francisco.