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- 12/07/18--17:06: _Federal prosecutors...
- 12/07/18--17:27: _Uber has confidenti...
- 12/07/18--18:09: _Cohen's sentencing ...
- 12/07/18--18:35: _Michael Cohen's law...
- 12/08/18--08:46: _The 25 richest fami...
- 12/08/18--09:01: _There's a simple re...
- 12/08/18--09:01: _A day in the life o...
- 12/08/18--09:01: _I went inside the N...
- 12/08/18--09:04: _Here's how the US p...
- 12/08/18--09:06: _How technology gian...
- 12/08/18--09:08: _America's farmers '...
- 12/08/18--09:09: _Mueller sent a clea...
- 12/08/18--09:09: _Chelsea Clinton sha...
- 12/08/18--09:09: _The top 26 states w...
- 12/08/18--09:11: _Facebook employees ...
- 12/08/18--09:11: _More than 2,600 com...
- 12/08/18--09:15: _US gun laws, Thai c...
- 12/08/18--09:19: _These are the most ...
- 12/08/18--09:20: _A tiny startup want...
- 12/08/18--09:21: _The CEO of Novartis...
- In a sentencing memo released on Friday, federal prosecutors said Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1"— Donald Trump.
- The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen face 3 1/2 years of prison time and a $100,000 fine.
- On the same day, the special counsel Robert Mueller's office released its sentencing memo, which recommended prison time concurrent with that recommended by federal prosecutors.
- Mueller's sentencing memo also detailed contact with a Russian national who wanted to arrange a meeting between Trump and the president of Russia, and offered the campaign "political synergy." Cohen did not follow up on this request, the memo stated.
- Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.
- 12/07/18--17:27: Uber has confidentially filed to go public
- Uber has confidentially filed paperwork to hold its long-awaited IPO next year, reports the Wall Street Journal.
- This comes a day after word got out that Lyft, the company's perennial rival in car-hailing services, made its own IPO filing.
- Uber was last privately valued at $76 billion, and the Journal reports that it could go public with a market cap of $120 billion.
- Michael Cohen's sentencing memo from the special counsel's office on Friday brings the spotlight back to Ivanka Trump's contacts with a Russian athlete who pitched a Trump-Putin meeting during the election
- Ivanka Trump pushed Michael Cohen to work with a Russian athlete to secure a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow, BuzzFeed reported. This was in 2015, during the height of her father's US presidential campaign.
- The former Olympic weightlifter, Dmitry Klokov, is said to have told Cohen, a longtime lawyer for President Donald Trump, that he could set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting would clear the way for the real-estate deal.
- Cohen reportedly declined the offer, frustrating Ivanka Trump.
- The report says congressional and FBI investigators have reviewed emails detailing the interactions of Cohen, Ivanka Trump, and Klokov and asked witnesses about them.
- Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney, likened the extent of his financial crimes to that of rapper Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMX.
- Cohen's attorneys argued that their client's sentencing should be similar to that of notable celebrities charged with tax evasion, including actors John Travolta and Chris Tucker, musician Willie Nelson, and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
- Attorneys for Cohen pushed for a sentencing of time served, which would drastically reduce his sentence to "a matter of hours," prosecutors said.
- If Cohen's attorneys are successful and manage to obtain a sentence of time served, the result would equate to a 99.5% lower sentence than the recommendation from the US Sentencing Commission.
- Prosecutors called the request "meritless" and advised the court to view it with "great skepticism."
- 12/08/18--08:46: The 25 richest families in the world, ranked
- The richest families in the world own billions, possessing $1.1 trillion in wealth collectively, according to Bloomberg.
- This wealth is derived from various industries, including retail, media, agribusiness, technology, and more.
- From the Ferrero family's Nutella fortune to the Walton family's Walmart fortune, here are the 25 richest families in the world.
- Apple shares fell 4% on Tuesday and were down more than 2% in premarket trading on Thursday amid growing concerns around a slowing iPhone cycle.
- At least four of the tech giant's suppliers have cut their own guidance due in part to weakness in the smartphone market.
- The slowdown in the smartphone market is due largely to rising prices and consumers holding onto their models for longer periods of time relative to previous cycles, one bullish analyst said.
- Watch Apple trade live here.
- Cheryl Eisen is the CEO of Interior Marketing Group, a New York City-based company that does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes.
- Her past clients include Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, Bethenny Frankel, and Swedish real estate broker Fredrik Eklund.
- She typically starts her day at 9:00 a.m. with a "caffeine cocktail," spends her mornings traveling to sites of design projects across the city, meets with members of her nearly 80-person staff in the afternoon, and goes to a SoulCycle class every evening.
- A wellness center in New York City that says its aim is "recharging the people who power the world" by giving them a space for an important activity: napping.
- Nap York is a 24-hour facility in midtown Manhattan that lets people drop in to sleep in pods, from a 30-minute power nap to a multiple-hour slumber session designed for travelers who have layovers at one of the nearby airports.
- Visitors can pay $15 for a 30-minute nap or up to $250 a month for a membership that includes five naps a week.
- Studies have found that naps improve immune system health, energy, cognitive function, and emotional control.
- The US campaign in the Pacific got off to a slow start after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- But by spring 1943, US forces were in a position to go after the architect of the attack.
- The daring, high-risk mission was successful, but how it played out was unclear for decades.
- GAFAM has been actively encroaching on the payments space. This includes offering mobile wallets for in-store and online payments, peer-to-peer money transfer services, and even loans for small- and medium-sized businesses.
- These firms' broad reach and hefty resources have put them in a strong position to take on legacy players. GAFAM has products that have been adopted by millions of users, and in some cases, billions. They also have access to a tremendous amount of capital — Apple, Microsoft, and Google had over $400 billion combined in cash at the end of 2016.
- However, these firms have to overcome major barriers to compete against legacy players, which includes regulation and trust. For example, 60% of respondents to a Business Insider Intelligence survey stated that they trust their bank most to provide them financial services.
- As a result of these barriers, it's more likely that GAFAM will make a dent in very specific segments of the financial services industry rather than completely disrupt it.
- Explains what GAFAM's done to place themselves in a position to be the next potential payments disruptors.
- Breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of each company as it relates to their ability to build out an extensive financial ecosystem.
- Looks at the potential barriers that could limit GAFAM's ability to capture a significant share of the payments industry from traditional players.
- Identifies what strategies legacy players will have to deploy to mitigate the threat by these tech giants.
- Washington and Beijing agreed to cease tariff escalations for at least 90 days to try to reach a trade deal.
- Some farmers may have a difficult time returning to pre-tariff conditions — even if a deal is reached.
- One economist estimates that even with tariff rates at zero, soybean farmers would make up about half of market share over the next year.
- The special counsel Robert Mueller sent a big message this week: cooperate with investigators and they'll show you leniency. Refuse, and they'll bite back.
- Mueller's office recommended little to no jail time for former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who they said provided "substantial assistance" to multiple ongoing investigations, including the Russia probe.
- Flynn's sentencing memo was heavily redacted, but one DOJ veteran said that "if you read around all that black ink, Mueller did say enough to let us know this: Flynn gave up the goods, and Mueller's work is far from over."
- President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, also pleaded guilty in the Russia probe last week and has shown a keen willingness to tell prosecutors everything he knows.
- Cohen's and Flynn's cases stand in stark contrast to that of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who prosecutors accused of breaching his plea deal and committing additional crimes after pleading guilty.
- Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton tweeted a photo on Monday of the first time she met George H.W. Bush.
- The photo appears to be taken when Chelsea, born in 1980, was a toddler.
- That would mean Bush was vice president at the time, and Chelsea's father, Bill, was Arkansas governor.
- "I'm very grateful for the friendship our families share," she wrote.
- 12/08/18--09:09: The top 26 states where rich people give away the most money
- Some US states are more charitable than others.
- We ranked the states by how much residents making over $500,000 donated to charity in 2016, based on IRS data.
- Vermont is on the less charitable end of the spectrum, while Wyoming is the most charitable state.
- Facebook employees have been using burner phones so they're able to "talk s--t" about the company with their colleagues, BuzzFeed News reports.
- BuzzFeed's story details an atmosphere of distrust and tension within Facebook, which has faced many scandals over the last two years.
- Also on Wednesday, the British Parliament released a trove of internal Facebook documents, detailing the company's thinking around partnerships and competition.
- After Jay Coen Gilbert sold AND1, the basketball-apparel company he cofounded, he created B Lab in 2006.
- B Lab certifies companies for "B Corporation" status, which publicly holds them accountable to stakeholders beyond shareholders, like employees and the environment. There are now more than 2,600 B Corps around the world.
- In 2010, B Lab began lobbying US states to pass "benefit corporation" legislation, a status that is the legal parallel to the B Corporation designation.
- Coen Gilbert thinks that in the future, the toxic short-termism he believes results from shareholder primacy will seem absurdly outdated.
- This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.
- 12/08/18--09:19: These are the most incredible photos of the US Marines in 2018
- As the year is almost over, Business Insider rounded up some of the best US Marine photos of 2018.
- The photos below show Marines fighting fires, drinking snake blood, firing artillery in Syria, and more.
- A startup called LunaDNA is taking a new approach to genetic research by paying individuals to share their information with scientists.
- Right now, some DNA testing companies already sell your genome for medical research, though you can usually opt out.
- You probably won't get rich off your DNA. LunaDNA estimates the value of your whole genome at $21, for now.
- Vas Narasimhan, the new CEO of Swiss pharma giant Novartis, has ambitious plans for his 120,000-person company.
- Narasimhan said in November that he wants to "un-boss" the company's culture and is letting employees wear jeans to work.
- "I think there's been a lot of acceptance of the culture change, but now the hard work has begun," Narasimhan told Business Insider.
Two sentencing memos related to Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, dropped on Friday.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations in a case brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. On November 29, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in relation to the Mueller investigation.
Each sentencing memo revealed something new about the charges against Cohen being investigated by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the special counsel Robert Mueller's office.
Among the revelations in the 40-page sentencing document from federal prosecutors was that Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1."
Individual-1 is widely believed to be President Donald Trump. This coordination relates to the payment of two women who said they had affairs with Trump.
"With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election," the memo states. "Cohen coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments."
"In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1," the document continues. "As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election."
In the sentencing memo submitted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to Judge William H. Pauley III, federal prosecutors rejected Cohen's attorney's call for no prison time, saying that "Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years."
"He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends," the memorandum continues.
It acknowledged that Cohen cooperated with the special counsel's office, but says that his "extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct" warrant 3 1/2 years of prison time.
The surprising revelation from Mueller's memo included the words 'synergy' in regard to contact with a Russian national.
"In or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a 'trusted person' in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign 'political synergy' and 'synergy on a government level,'" the Mueller memo claims. "The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the President of Russia."
Said person allegedly told Cohen that contact could have a 'phenomenal' impact 'not only in political but in a business dimension as well,' which was allegedly a reference to the "Moscow Project"— or Trump's attempts to build a luxury tower in Moscow. Cohen did not follow up on this offer, the memo says.
Due to Cohen's "substantial and significant efforts to remediate his misconduct accept responsibility for his actions, and assist the SCO's investigation,"Mueller's office recommended to let Cohen "serve any sentence imposed in this case concurrently with any sentence imposed in United States v. Cohen."
The White House responded to the Cohen memos.
"The government's filings in Mr. Cohen's case tell us nothing of value that wasn't already known," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero."
Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.
Uber has confidentially filed an S-1 document in preparation to hold its long-awaited IPO, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Uber has previously been valued privately at as much as $76 billion, and its advisers reportedly say it may go public with a market cap of as much as $120 billion. According to the Journal, Uber might go public "as soon as the first quarter." Internally, Uber is referring to the IPO planning process as "Project Liberty."
A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.
The report comes one day after Uber's arch-rival, Lyft, announced that it had filed its initial paperwork to go public, and the two are now racing to be the first to float on the public markets in 2019.
The Uber IPO has been long-awaited, as investors and employees await liquidity, after the company raised $24.2 billion in debt and equity funding since its founding in 2009. Uber investors include Toyota, Softbank, Microsoft, Jeff Bezos, Jay Z, Morgan Stanley, and Axel Springer (the parent company of Business Insider), though some may have already sold their stakes through various share sales along the way.
Uber lost nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of 2018, according to its self-reported financial results, while it saw quarterly revenue of $2.95 billion. Recently, Uber has expanded into new lines of business beyond its flagship car-hailing service, including bikes and scooters, even as it invests in its Uber Eats food delivery business.
In August, Uber hired former Merrill Lynch CFO Nelson Chai as its new CFO, as it geared up to go public. The move comes as Uber attempts to move on from successive scandals throughout 2017, which culminated in the ousting of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, who was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, formerly the chief executive of Expedia.
2019 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for tech IPOs. As well as Uber and Lyft, work messaging app Slack also plans to go public next year, among others.
Sign up for the latest Russia investigation updates here.
Michael Cohen's sentencing memo, released by special counsel Robert Muller's office on Friday, brings the spotlight back to Ivanka Trump's contacts with a Russian athlete who pitched a Trump-Putin meeting during the 2016 election campaign.
The memo, which recommends that he serve a prison sentence concurrent with one recommended by federal prosecutors related to different charges, also revealed further contact between Cohen and a "Russian national" around November 2015.
This person mentioned in Mueller's memo "claimed to be a 'trusted person' in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign 'political synergy' and 'synergy on a government level.'"
The memo also claims the person "repeatedly" proposed a meeting between "Individual 1" (thought to be Donald Trump) and "the President of Russia" (President Vladimir Putin). Cohen, the memo claims, did not follow through with the offer.
The special counsel's mention of this Russian national is leading to speculation that the dates line up with previous BuzzFeed news reporting about Ivanka Trump, Cohen, and a Russian athlete named Dmitry Klokov.
Ivanka Trump connected Michael Cohen with a Russian athlete, who offered to introduce Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, BuzzFeed News reported in June of 2018. The goal of the proposed meeting was to help pave the way for a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to emails and four sources BuzzFeed spoke with.
Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter, told Cohen in November 2015 to talk to the athlete, the former Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, and Cohen had at least one subsequent phone conversation with Klokov, the report says.
BuzzFeed reported that Cohen and Klokov also exchanged several emails, in one of which Klokov told Cohen he could set up a meeting between Putin and Donald Trump, a presidential candidate at the time, to clear the way for a Trump Tower in Moscow.
But Cohen reportedly emailed Klokov to decline his offer and say the Trump Organization already had a deal to pursue the project.
The Russian athlete copied Ivanka Trump in his reply and questioned Cohen's authority to make decisions for the Trump Organization, at which point Trump asked Cohen why he did not want to pursue the deal through Klokov, the report says.
BuzzFeed said Klokov told the outlet he did not "send any emails" to Cohen but stopped responding when the publication told him it had learned that he had sent at least two emails to Cohen and had at least one phone call with him at Trump's request.
Both congressional and FBI investigators are said to be looking into the events and working out the details of how the first daughter knows Klokov, including by reviewing emails and questioning witnesses.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Business Insider that the special counsel Robert Mueller's office had not contacted the White House with any document or interview requests related to Ivanka Trump.
Other efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow were already in the works
Cohen's rejection of Klokov's request may have to do, at least in part, with the fact that by that time, he and his longtime associate, the Russian-born businessman Felix Sater, had been collaborating for weeks to secure financing for the deal.
Sater first sent a letter of intent to Cohen outlining the terms of the "Trump World Tower Moscow" deal on October 13, 2015. Andrey Rozov, a Russian investor, had already signed it by the time Sater forwarded it to Cohen for Trump's signature.
"Lets make this happen and build a Trump Moscow," Sater wrote in a note attached to the letter and shared by The New York Times' Maggie Haberman. "And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. That should be Putins message as well, and we will help him agree on that message. Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say that's a great lifetime goal for us to go after."
In November — the same month Ivanka Trump told Cohen to contact Klokov — Cohen and Sater exchanged a series of emails gearing up to celebrate the Trump Tower Moscow deal. In the emails, obtained by The Times, Sater bragged about his relationship with Putin and told Cohen he would "get all of Putins team to buy in" on the deal.
He also wrote that he "arranged for Ivanka to sit in Putins private chair at his desk and office in the Kremlin."
Of Donald Trump, Sater wrote: "Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it."
Cohen was advocating the project as late as January 2016, when he contacted Dmitry Peskov, a top aide to Putin, about pushing the Trump Tower Moscow deal through.
"Over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City," Cohen wrote to Peskov, according to The Washington Post, which cited a person familiar with the email. "Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled."
Cohen continued: "As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance. I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals. I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon."
Cohen told Vanity Fair last year that the proposal from Sater was "business as usual and nothing more," describing it as "just another project, another licensing deal." He added that he had "really wanted to see this building go up, because the economics were fantastic."
Adding another layer to the story, Sater told the MSNBC host Chris Hayes in March that the Trump Organization was negotiating with a sanctioned Russian bank to secure financing for the building during the campaign.
The Trump Tower Moscow deal is among several events connected to Cohen that Mueller is known to be looking into as part of his investigation into Russia's election meddling.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former attorney, likened the extent of his financial crimes to that of rapper Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMX, to federal prosecutors amid his guilty plea.
Attorneys for Cohen, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of financial crimes and campaign violations, pushed for a sentencing of time served, which would drastically reduce his sentence to "a matter of hours," prosecutors said. The result would equate to a sentence 99.5% lower than the recommendation from the US Sentencing Commission.
Cohen's attorneys pointed to a "disparity in treatment" and claimed their client "may have been selected for criminal prosecution to set an example." The attorneys compared Cohen's circumstance to that of Simmons, who received a sentence of just one year, rather than the recommended guideline of four to five years.
In the 2018 tax evasion case US v. Earl Simmons, Judge Jed Rakoff stressed that imposing prison terms in tax evasion cases, "regardless of complexity," posed as a general deterrent for potential criminals.
"People who are considering tax evasion ... greatly exaggerate their chances of getting away with it ... That is why prison is important," Judge Jed Rakoff said at the time, according to the Southern District of New York prosecutors.
Simmons was sentenced to one year in prison, after he was charged with evading income taxes and attempting to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutors in Simmons' case argued he owed $1.7 million to the government between 2002 and 2005, and had failed to file taxes from 2010 to 2015.
Cohen's attorneys argued their client's sentencing should be similar to that of notable celebrities charged with tax evasion, including actors John Travolta and Chris Tucker, musician Willie Nelson, and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The attorneys defended their assertion by claiming Cohen was "a prominent American and attorney" and also "a well-known public figure."
SDNY prosecutors called the request "meritless" and advised the court to view it with "great skepticism." Prosecutors agreed that although Simmons' tax evasion scheme was "more complex" than Cohen's, both defendants had "made the calculated decision that they could get away with not paying taxes."
Prosecutors also noted that tax evasion was just one of Cohen's crimes, in addition to campaign finance violations and bank fraud.
Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, a crime that typically faces around six months in jail, as part of a plea deal with the special counsel. In a separate sentencing recommendation, Mueller suggested Cohen serve a concurrent sentence to that of the SDNY's recommendation of a 3.5 year sentence.
In fact, there are 2,208 billionaire individuals across 72 countries for a combined total of $9.1 trillion, according to Forbes. But what about the world's billionaire families?
Bloomberg ranked the top 25 families with the richest fortunes across the globe — together, they possess $1.1 trillion in wealth from retail industries, media conglomerates, agribusiness companies, tech giants, and more.
Bloomberg determined its ranking based on net worth figures from June 15, 2018. It didn't take into account first-generation fortunes, fortunes controlled by a single heir, or fortunes derived primarily from the state. For the purposes of this list, families who wealth stems from a joint company or enterprise are being considered as a single entry.
From the Ferrero family whose $22.9 billion fortune comes from Nutella to the Walton family whose $151.5 billion fortune comes from Walmart, see below for the 25 richest families in the world, ranked.
SEE ALSO: The 25 richest American families, ranked
DON'T MISS: The 10 richest royal families in Europe, ranked
25. The Ferrero family
Net worth: $22.9 billion
Source of wealth: Ferrero Group
The Ferrero family built its fortune on a chocolate confectionary empire. Ferrero Group's roots date back to 1940s Italy when it created what is now known as Nutella. In 2018, it acquired US Nestle's candy business.
24. The Lauder family
Net worth: $24.3 billion
Source of wealth: Estée Lauder
In 1947, the Estée Lauder brand was born. Today, the company, which includes 30 brands of makeup including MAC and Clinique, generates $12 billion in revenue from the sale of cosmetics and fragrances.
The Lauders are active philanthropists, and sons Leonard and Ronald are major art collectors. Leonard donated $1 billion worth of paintings and sculptures to the Met. The family also owns a lot of real estate.
23. The Hearst family
Net worth: $24.5 billion
Source of wealth: Hearst Corporation
About 67 family members share the fortune that William Randolph Hearst created when he took over the San Francisco Examiner in the late 1800s.
Soon after, Hearst acquired other newspapers and forayed into radio and TV, creating the foundation for today's media giant, Hearst Corporation, which owns several newspapers, nearly 300 magazines, TV and radio stations, and stakes in cable TV channels.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Apple shares have taken a beating of late, and a growing roster of Wall Street analysts say a slowdown in its iPhone cycle is to blame.
But the reason for the slowdown may be more straightforward than investors think, according to some analysts.
iPhone owners are holding onto models for longer periods as their quality improves and the average selling price rises, leading to a slowdown in the product's replacement cycle, said Angelo Zino, senior equity analyst at CFRA.
Apple "continues to try to push toward these higher-price devices, and we think that is continuing to cause a slowdown in the replacement cycle," Zino said on Tuesday, adding he doesn't see that as a broader warning for the state of the US consumer.
He told Business Insider that he expects the current iPhone cycle to trend down for the first time since fiscal year 2016 and the 6s cycle, when revenue fell 12% and units sold slid 8% due largely to high comparable numbers. That was the only down cycle since the iPhone debuted in 2007.
Apple said in its quarterly earnings report last month that it would no longer disclose the number of units sold for products including the iPhone, an announcement that weighed on the stock during the November earnings call.
Still, Zino remains a bull, even as some of his peers have turned bearish on Apple. He maintains a "buy" rating with a price target of $255, implying a 45% rise from current levels, and said he would change his tune on Apple if he saw a meaningful reduction in the company's active user base.
"The most ominous sign, and the most tell-tale sign that the Apple bull story could decline, is the decline of its installed base at some point," Zino said in a phone interview, adding he remains bullish on the company's free cash flow.
Others echo a similar sentiment. The iPhone "ownership period is lengthening: users are not upgrading as frequently as they used to, possibly a combination of high retail prices but also because a significant step-up in technology upgrades means that users are more likely to want to wait for the next wave of upgrades," HSBC analysts led by Erwan Rambourg wrote in a sweeping Apple report on Tuesday.
The firm downgraded the stock to a "hold" rating, from "buy," and lowered its price target to $200 from $205. HSBC followed other Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, which cut its price target on the stock three times in November.
Some of Apple's suppliers, too, have cut their guidance in recent months because of falling iPhone demand. On Tuesday, the Texas-based semiconductor manufacturer Cirrus Logic slashed its revenue guidance for its fiscal third quarter of 2019 due to a weakening smartphone market. Last month, the Austrian semiconductor manufacturer AMS cut its revenue forecast, suggesting slowing iPhone demand, days after chipmaker Lumentum slashed its own revenue and profit expectations.
Cheryl Eisen is unapologetically not a morning person.
In sharp contrast to the many executives who wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m, Eisen starts her day slowly, waking up at 9 a.m. and enjoying a "caffeine cocktail" of Poland Spring water, espresso, Truvia, and Lactaid milk.
"In all honesty, it takes until noon for my brain to fully wake up," she told Business Insider.
Eisen, 50, is the CEO of Interior Marketing Group, or IMG, a New York City-based company of nearly 80 employees that does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes that start at $5 million. Eisen has done the interior design for apartments in buildings belonging to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, an Airbnb rented by Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, and homes for Bethenny Frankel, Swedish real estate broker Fredrik Eklund, and Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. IMG also does projects in Miami, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and the Hamptons.
Eisen said IMG's designs tend to be neutral and classic. They layer with textures rather than color, sticking with neutral tones that let the focus stay on the selling pieces of the home, whether that's high ceilings or jaw-dropping views. One of her favorite parts of the job is the big reveal when the client finally gets to see the finished space.
"People cry," she said. "And I get it, because once you see something that you've been working on for months, you see it come to life and it can be overwhelming because a home is a very personal thing."
Here's a peek into a typical day in her life, from her morning "caffeine cocktail" to rearranging furniture and choosing drapes for multimillion-dollar New York City penthouses.
Cheryl Eisen is the CEO of Interior Marketing Group, which does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes primarily in New York City, but also in Miami, Los Angeles, Connecticut, and the Hamptons.
Eisen says she is "unapologetically" not a morning person. She starts her day at 9:00 a.m. with a "caffeine cocktail," which she describes as "a carefully crafted combination of espresso, Poland Spring and Truvia: 3 parts Poland Spring, 2 parts espresso, a ton of Truvia, and Lactaid milk."
By 10:00 a.m., she's out the door, drinking her coffee and answering emails in the car, which she calls her "mobile office." Eisen employs a full-time driver.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A few blocks from Times Square, in the middle of one of New York City's busiest neighborhoods, is an urban oasis where sleep-deprived New Yorkers can swap their shoes for slippers, drink a cup of tea, and take a nap.
That's the idea behind Nap York, which opened in February, offering 30-minute naps in sleep pods for $10. Seven months later, prices have risen slightly, to $15 for half an hour, and there are additional options for monthly memberships.
For $35 a month, you can pop into Nap York for one 30-minute nap a week. The priciest membership is the $250-a-month Gold Premium, which includes five naps — up to 90 minutes each — per week. You can also book a longer nap starting $50 for three hours with each additional hour costing $7.
The pods are strictly single-occupancy. Visitors can also take a shower, get a massage, or relax in one of the hammocks on the roof.
Reza Moreno, the community director for Nap York, told Business Insider that a large chunk of its visitors were travelers who need a place to sleep for a few hours during their layover at a nearby airport.
But she stressed that Nap York is not a hotel. Visitors can't book multiple long sleep sessions in a row.
"We just give the convenience for those who literally just need a place to bonk out for the night," Moreno said.
During the day, Nap York sees office workers who pop in for a half-hour power nap on their lunch break. In the summertime, some sweaty New Yorkers even dropped by to take a shower before a business meeting.
Here's what it's like inside Nap York.
Located in Manhattan's bustling Midtown neighborhood, Nap York calls itself "your 24/7 oasis in the middle of the Concrete Jungle." When I got there, I tried to peer in the windows, but they were obscured by dark curtains.
Source: Nap York
Nap York has had about 8,000 people come in for naps since it opened in February, according to Moreno.
When you step inside, you're greeted by screens that display the various nap and membership options available. There are also several large plants, which instantly hooked me, a stereotypically plant-loving millennial.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Japanese attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, propelled the US into a war that had been raging for years.
The US campaign had a mixed start. In April 1942, the success of the Doolittle Raid on Japan was leavened by the horrors of the Bataan Death March, during which thousands of US and Philippine soldiers died.
But mid-1942 saw the Battle of the Coral Sea, when the Allies beat the Japanese in the first naval battle in which the combatants were never within sight of each other, and the Battle of Midway, when outnumbered US forces fooled and cripple the Japanese navy.
By February 1943, the US had secured Guadalcanal after the first major Allied offensive in the theater. From there, US forces were able to plot retribution for the attack that started it all.
On April 13, 1943, US naval intelligence intercepted a coded signal sent to Japanese commanders in the area around Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands northwest of Guadalcanal.
The US had long since broke Japan's codes. The April 13 message was sent in a new variant, but US intelligence deciphered it in short order.
"On April 18 CINC Combined Fleet will visit RXZ, R–, and RXP in accordance with the following schedule..." the message began. Adm. Isokoru Yamamoto, commander in chief of Japan's Combined Fleet and planner of the Pearl Harbor attack, was visiting Japanese units in the Solomons.
The message revealed not only the trip but also the schedule, the planes — two Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" medium bombers escorted by six Zero fighters — that would be involved, the orders for commanders at Bougainville, and the recommended uniforms.
Yamamoto was one of the most charismatic and forward-thinking naval officers of his generation. He graduated from Japanese Naval Academy in 1904 and fought in the Russo-Japanese war, where he lost two fingers at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905.
He went to the US in the 1920s, learning English and studying at Harvard and at the US Naval War College, where he learned about a new style of naval warfare fought with carrier and island-based planes.
He reformed Japan's navy and was highly regarded by sailors and the Japanese royal family. While he was no pacifist, he was part of a moderate faction within the navy.
He criticized bellicosity from right-wing ultranationalists, scorned the army and its leaders who undercut civilian officials, and resisted an alliance with Nazi Germany. This earned him death threats.
As Japan's naval attache in Washington in the late 1920s, he traveled the US and witnessed its might.
"Anyone who has seen the auto factories in Detroit and the oil fields in Texas," he said later, "knows that Japan lacks the national power for a naval race with America."
He cautioned against a war with the US but took part in its planning and believed only a knockout blow could spare Japan a ruinous end. "We should do our best to decide the fate of the war on the very first day," he said.
His plan for a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was resisted, but he pushed it through, noting the irony of spearheading a mission he opposed. "Alas, is that fate?" he wrote to a friend.
Despite Yamamoto's reservations about the war, he became the face of the enemy after Pearl Harbor, appearing on the cover of Time magazine on December 22, 1941, under the headline "Japan's Aggressor."
If the name "Operation Vengeance" didn't illustrate US sentiment toward him, Pacific Fleet chief Adm. William "Bull" Halsey got the point across with the order, "TALLY HO X LET'S GET THE BASTARD."
President Franklin Roosevelt is reputed to have told the Navy, "Get Yamamoto." (It's not clear he actually said that.) Adm. Chester Nimitz, the US commander in the Pacific, gave the go-ahead to shoot down Yamamoto's plane — a task assigned to the 339th Fighter Squadron.
But all the motivation didn't make the operation easier.
Navy and Marine fighters didn't have the range to intercept Yamamoto and his escorts over Bougainville. The Army Air Force's twin-engine P-38G Lighting had the range to get there and the firepower to deal with the bombers and the fighters.
Eighteen P-38s — 16 for the attack and two extras — were selected and outfitted with extra tanks of fuel. Maj. John Mitchell, commander of the 339th, said he wasn't sure the P-38s could take off with the added weight.
Four fighters, called the Killer Division, were to attack the bombers, one of which would be carrying Yamamoto. The rest would attack the fighter escorts.
To avoid detection, planners wanted the P-38s to fly "at least 50 miles offshore of these islands, which meant dead-reckoning over 400 miles over water at fifty feet or less, a prodigious feat of navigation,"according to a history of the 13th Fighter Command, of which the 339th Fighter Squadron was part.
The approach was complicated by the lack of radar to guide the P-38s. They would have to navigate with charts, though estimates of Yamamoto's plane's speed and the weather conditions, as well as his reputation for punctuality, allowed US planners to calculate where he'd be.
They left Henderson Field early on April 18, 1943 — the first anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. The monotony of the long flight combined with the low altitude increased the risks. One pilot counted sharks to stay awake; he saw 48.
Despite lacking navigational aids, they got to Bougainville just as Yamamoto's convoy — the two bombers and six fighters 1,500 feet above them — flew into the area.
Twelve of the P-38s climbed to the Zeroes; the other four headed to the bombers, not sure which carried Yamamoto.
The US fighters split up and chased the bombers, shooting both down. One crashed into the jungle on Bougainville, killing all aboard — including Yamamoto. The other plunged into the ocean.
Japanese troops on Bougainville eventually found the wreckage of Yamamoto's plane. The bodies on board were cremated and put in boxes that returned to Japan.
"His cremation pit was filled, and two papaya trees, his favorite fruit, were planted on the mound,"according to the 13th Fighter Command history. "A shrine was erected, and Japanese naval personnel cared for the graves until the end of the war."
Yamamoto's death was kept secret for some time, but he was eventually given a state funeral.
The US planes, minus one downed during the operation, returned to Henderson Field around noon, with some running out of fuel as they touched down.
While Yamamoto met his end on April 18, 1943, how it arrived was less clear.
Capt. Thomas Lanphier, who led the four fighters targeting the Japanese bombers, and his wingman, 1st. Lt. Rex Barber, were both credited with a kill on the mission.
The Air Force reviewed records in the 1970s and reduced it to a half-kill each, but it remained unclear who had shot down the bomber carrying Yamamoto.
In 1998, a panel of the surviving US pilots and one Japanese Zero pilot considered eyewitness comments, reports from Barber and Lanphier, and an examination of the bomber that crashed on Bougainville.
Fifty-five years after Yamamoto was sent crashing into the jungle, they concluded Barber had put him there.
As headlines like "Amazon Is Secretly Becoming a Bank" and "Google Wants to Be a Bank Now" increasingly crop up in the news, tech giants are coming into the spotlight as the next potential payments disruptors.
And with these firms' broad reach and hefty resources, the possibility that they'll descend on financial services is a hard narrative to shy away from. To mitigate potential losses under this scenario, traditional players will have to grasp not only the level of the threat, but also which segments of the financial industry are most at risk of disruption.
Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, collectively known as GAFAM, are already active investors in the payments industry, and they're slowly encroaching on legacy providers' core offerings. Each of these five companies has introduced features and offerings that have the potential to disrupt specific parts of the banking system. And we expect a plethora of additional offerings to hit the market as these companies look to build out their ecosystems.
However, it remains unlikely that any of these firms will become full-blown banks or entirely upend incumbents, due to regulatory barriers and the entrenched positions of big banks. Moreover, consumers still trust traditional firms first and foremost with their financial data. That means these companies are far more likely to rattle the cages of incumbents than they are to cause their total demise. That said, these companies have a proven capacity to revolutionize industries, making their entry into payments critical to watch for legacy players, especially as their moves demonstrate an intent to be a disruptive force in the industry.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the current impact GAFAM is having on the financial services industry, and the strengths and weaknesses of each firm's position in payments. We also discuss the barriers these companies face as they push deeper into financial services, as well as which aspects of a bank’s core business provide the biggest opportunities for the new players. Lastly, we assess these companies' future potential in payments and the broader financial services industry, and examine ways incumbents can manage the threat.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
In full, the report:
A cease-fire between the US and China sparked hopes that the world’s largest economies can scrap protectionist policies that have cast uncertainty on the American agriculture sector. But for some farmers, damage from tariffs will outlast the trade war.
In a sideline meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday at the G20 summit in Argentina, President Donald Trump agreed to put off plans to more than double the rate on most tariffs against Beijing to 25% at the beginning of next year.
With China agreeing to buy more agricultural goods from the US — though the amount wasn't specified — Trump quickly hailed the agreement as a victory for American farmers. Beijing has sought to reduce dependence on American farms as it retaliates against his administration, which imposed a flurry of tariffs on China in attempt to force change to trade practices seen as unfair.
"Farmers will be a a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China," he wrote on Twitter on Monday. "They intend to start purchasing agricultural product immediately. We make the finest and cleanest product in the World, and that is what China wants."
While orders from China would all but sure pick back up if tariff levels were lowered to previous levels, it isn’t clear to what extent. Trade relationships have shifted. Futures contracts have been locked in. American crops have rotted.
Some farmers may not be able to get back customers they lost in wake of retaliatory duties. To avoid a 25% tax on shipments from American soybean growers, for example, the Chinese have turned to other major producers like Brazil. Soybean exports from the US to China fell 94% through mid-October compared with last year’s harvest, the New York Times reported last month.
Chad E. Hart, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University, estimates soybean farmers could recover around half of market share over the next year if tariffs were lifted immediately. In the long run, he said that could increase to about three quarters.
"We won't gain back everything we lost," Hart said. "We sort of lost our window of opportunity in the Chinese market, at least for this growing season. Once you've established trade flow and get that shipping all worked out, it's hard to want to move away from that."
While the window for the US to fill the Chinese soybean market before Brazilian crops come online dwindles, key details on the framework for an agreement remain hazy.
For instance, there could be a marked difference between what a "very substantial" amount of agricultural goods means for each side. For American farmers, Hart said that would mean increasing both government and private purchases. He expects Beijing would only guarantee government purchases, while the rest would depend on price conditions.
Trump has vowed to pursue further escalations if a deal isn’t reached by a 90-day deadline set by his administration, a case that could lead to prolonged trade tensions.
Net soybean exports from the US will fall by nearly a third over the medium term if no agreement is reached, estimates Wallace E. Tyner, a senior fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy who teaches economics at Purdue University. Up to nine million acres of soybean fields could be lost to Brazil, he said.
"The real danger is that in the medium term, Brazil could plant a lot more soybean acreage," he said. "They're lower cost producers than we are. Once it's established and they have the infrastructure in place, that's a market we'll lose forever."
Still, many are relieved by the possibility that conditions could improve. After months of discounted prices and halted shipments, Iowa farmer and American Soybean Association president John Heisdorffer said the agreement was the first positive news for farmers since trade tensions began.
"If this suspension of tariff increases leads to a longer-term agreement, it will be extremely positive for the soy industry," he said in a statement. "We want to begin repairing damage done to our trade relations with China, which has been essential to successful soybean exports for years."
The special counsel Robert Mueller sent a clear message this week: cooperate with investigators and be forthcoming about what you know, and they'll show you leniency. Refuse, and they'll bite back.
Late Tuesday, prosecutors filed a highly anticipated sentencing memorandum in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI.
In it, they recommended that Flynn get little to no jail time, citing the "substantial assistance" he provided to the special counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, as well as other, separate ongoing investigations.
Flynn was among the first defendants to plead guilty in the Russia probe and has been cooperating with Mueller for over a year. His sentencing was delayed five times after prosecutors said they needed more information from the former national security adviser, who also served as a key adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
In their Tuesday filing, prosecutors emphasized that Flynn began cooperating early, that his assistance was critical in encouraging other witnesses to come forward and be candid, and that he helped the investigation in several ways.
'Flynn gave up the goods'
In typical fashion, Mueller's office revealed very little information, if any, about the specifics of what Flynn told them. Prosecutors also attached a largely-redacted 6-page addendum to the sentencing memo laying out how Flynn had cooperated in what appears to be a separate investigation not being conducted by Mueller's office.
In the original sentencing memo, prosecutors laid out the crux of what Flynn was charged with: his lies to the FBI about conversations he had during the transition period with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about US sanctions on Russia.
But that's not the only thread of which Flynn may have had valuable information.
The former national security adviser was also not forthcoming about his involvement in three key areas: his now defunct lobbying firm's work for the Turkish government in 2016, his efforts with Russia and Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear reactors in the Middle East, a project that would have benefited from the US lifting sanctions on Russia, and payments he received from the state-owned media outlet Russia Today that he failed to disclose when he applied to renew his security clearance in January 2016.
Flynn was also a participant in a controversial meeting with Kislyak and senior adviser Jared Kushner during the transition period, in which Kushner reportedly discussed setting up a secret back channel between the Trump team and Moscow using Russian diplomatic facilities.
And he served as an adviser to the campaign when Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr. met with two Russian lobbyists offering dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign. The meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in June 2016, is a key investigative focus for the special counsel and congressional committees.
Flynn's sentencing memo said he provided "firsthand information" about contacts between Russian officials and members of the Trump transition team.
"We do not yet know everything about Flynn's cooperation," said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, in an interview with INSIDER. "The heavy redactions in the filing hide nearly all the details that Mueller provided to the court."
Jens David Ohlin, a vice dean at Cornell Law School and an expert on criminal law, echoed that view.
"There is more to come, but we don't know what that is," told INSIDER. The substantial redactions in Flynn's sentencing memo indicate that the targets of other investigations he's cooperated with have not yet been charged, he said. "It could be a reference to an obstruction of justice investigation, possibly involving the president, but we don't really know. So this is a known unknown."
Honig emphasized, however, that "if you read around all that black ink, Mueller did say enough to let us know this: Flynn gave up the goods, and Mueller's work is far from over."
'Manafort tried to play both sides and got caught'
To be sure, Mueller recently secured a guilty plea from another crucial player: Trump's former longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last week to one count of lying to Congress in 2017.
Like Flynn, Cohen has signaled a willingness to tell prosecutors everything he knows in exchange for leniency. His first meeting with Mueller came in early August, before he pleaded guilty to separate charges in a Manhattan US attorney's office investigation into his and Trump's financial dealings before the 2016 election.
Cohen has voluntarily met with Mueller's team, New York prosecutors, and investigators in the New York attorney general's office several times since, his lawyers said.
They also dropped a number of bombshells about what Cohen knows in a sentencing memo they filed on his behalf last week. Cohen has asked for an early sentencing date so he can go about rebuilding his life, his lawyers said, but that does not signal that he doesn't want to help the investigation.
On the contrary, they said, "he expects to cooperate further."
Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the Justice Department, told INSIDER the fact that Cohen and Flynn both pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and have cooperated extensively is a key indication that Mueller is gaining traction.
"When you see people pleading guilty or getting indicted on similar facts, that's when you start building a path forward as a prosecutor," he said.
The Cohen and Flynn memos stand in stark contrast to what prosecutors said about Manafort, whom they accused last month of breaching his plea deal by lying to investigators after pleading guilty and allegedly committing more crimes. They were also reportedly furious when they learned that Manafort's lawyers were regularly in touch with Trump's lawyers about what Manafort was being questioned about.
Prosecutors are expected to lay out Manafort's alleged misdeeds in intricate detail in a court brief Friday. And Politico reported that the special counsel is weighing putting Manafort on trial again in the wake of his decision to breach his plea deal.
"Even if Manafort decides to cooperate now, there's no chance Mueller accepts it because he's basically a useless witness," Cramer said. "Cohen fell on his sword and has shown that he's a valuable cooperator. Manafort tried to play both sides and he got caught."
Trump, for his part, has defended Manafort extensively in recent days and praised his refusal to cooperate with Mueller. And experts say a presidential pardon may be Manafort's last hope after his plea deal fell through.
"He's like a guy at the casino table who's lost all his money at craps," Cramer said. "And now he heads to the ATM to try to turn things around. Donald Trump is basically the ATM."
Grace Panetta contributed reporting.
Chelsea Clinton shared a sweet photo of the first time she met George H.W. Bush on Monday, as the nation mourned the death of the 41st president.
The photo shows a toddler Chelsea holding onto her parents' hands at what appears to be a lawn party.
Bush, who would have been President Ronald Reagan's vice president at the time, crouches down to greet a bashful-looking Chelsea.
"Loved finding this photo over the weekend of my first time meeting President George H.W. Bush," she recalled. "I remember his kindness toward me."
Chelsea said that her parents pointed out that Bush "was both kind & good enough to direct me to the restroom!"
"I'm very grateful for the friendship our families share," she said.
Loved finding this photo over the weekend of my first time meeting President George H.W. Bush. I remember his kindness toward me and my parents gently point out he was both kind & good enough to direct me to the restroom! I’m very grateful for the friendship our families share pic.twitter.com/tXIJbu0Oln— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) December 3, 2018
A few years later, Bill Clinton would go on to unseat then-President Bush after he had served just one term in office.
Despite Bush and her father's political differences, they went on to become close friends in later life, and worked on raising money for charity together.
When Bush died last week, former President Clinton issued a statement saying he and his wife "give thanks for his great long life of service, love and friendship."
Clinton also remembered the same day that his daughter met the elder Bush in his statement.
"I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed," Clinton added. "From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood."
The Clintons are expected to attend Bush's Washington, D.C. funeral on Wednesday morning.
Wealthy people live in every state in the US — but some states are more charitable than others.
The IRS publishes data about the number of people who itemize their tax returns every year, and how many people claim which deductions by state and by income bracket.
To arrive at the rankings, we looked at the people who itemized and made between $500,000 and $1 million, and more than $1 million in the year 2016 (the most recent one for which we have data). We looked at how many claimed the itemized deduction for charitable giving. The IRS also indicates how much money was claimed to be donated. Using that information, we could figure out the average claimed donation per $500,000+ income tax return per state.
Here, in ascending order, are the top 26 most charitable states plus Washington DC.
SEE ALSO: The happiest states in the US, ranked
Average annual charitable contribution: $62,328.16
Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 96%
Average annual charitable contribution:$64,512.10
Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 94%
Average annual charitable contribution: $65,926.79
Percentage of people making $500,000+ who donate: 95%
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Amid a disastrous year for Facebook filled with information leaks and damaging revelations, employees inside the company have started buying disposible burner phones "to talk sh--t about the company" with each other, a former senior employee tells BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News reports growing unrest within Facebook that has employees "contemplating their futures" with the company. Employees told BuzzFeed that Facebook's scandal-ridden year has led to a hostile internal atmosphere that has split employees: one side, loyal to Facebook's traditional leadership, and another group that is preparing for "a larger corporate meltdown."
That same senior Facebook employee tells BuzzFeed that there's "a growing sense of paranoia," with the burner phones a symptom of the culture.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that this is a "challenging time," and that "we are more determined than ever to continue making progress on the issues we’ve faced."
Read the full BuzzFeed News report here.
The scandals plaguing Facebook have come at a steady clip: User data was misappropriated for political ads, leading to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. User data was stolen by hackers. Users have been deleting their accounts. Leadership was linked to efforts to link anti-Facebook rhetoric to George Soros, playing into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. People are calling on Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to resign from their leadership positions.
BuzzFeed's report came on the same day as other, major revelations about the company — the British Parliament made public a load of secret documents detailing the social network's relationships with third-party companies and their access to data.
Jay Coen Gilbert was celebrating New Year's Day in 2005 at his colleague and friend Bart Houlahan's house when he broke some unexpected news.
After completing the sale of AND1 — the basketball-apparel company Coen Gilbert cofounded and Houlahan helped lead as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and president — he was going to start an organization that would allow companies to apply for a designation that would publicly hold them accountable for the ways they benefitted workers, communities, the environment, and customers.
Shareholder primacy, where a stock price can benefit at the cost of everything else, leads to a toxic short-termism, Coen Gilbert believed. He found it to be a fundamentally flawed concept, and his movement was designed to help decrease its hold over society.
Houlahan's reply was basically, "Dude, what the f--- are you talking about?"
"And then I had realized what I had said — like wow, that is a pretty big thing to just lay on somebody on New Year's Day without any warning!" Coen Gilbert told Business Insider, laughing.
This idea would mature into the notion of B Corporations, where the B stands for "benefit." Companies going through the B Corp process would be overseen by the company B Lab.
After months of discussion and planning, Houlahan decided that after they sold AND1 to American Sporting Goods in May 2005, his friend's ambitious idea would be worth pursuing. They brought on Andrew Kassoy, a Wall Street connection, and launched B Lab the next year.
Today, there are 2,655 Certified B Corporations across 60 countries, and they include Danone North America, Patagonia, and Amalgamated Bank. Companies can also apply to be legally recognized as "benefit corporations" in 34 states and Washington, DC, as well as in Italy, with other countries considering legislation.
Coen Gilbert doesn't see his movement as a charitable act, but a participant in a major shift in how businesses are run.
"As we go forward in the 21st century, people will look back and say, 'I can't believe they tried to run an economy where the only interest that mattered was the interest of shareholders,'" he said.
A personal journey
When Coen Gilbert's friend Seth Berger, a lifelong basketball fan, told him in the early '90s that his solution to avoiding a traditional finance path after business school would be by starting a specialized basketball-apparel brand, it seemed like a fun idea.
Coen Gilbert had enough of a financial cushion that if the project failed miserably, he'd be able to work his way back onto Wall Street. Instead, the brand, AND1, reached an audience, inked NBA deals, and most famously became linked with the top performers in amateur streetball competitions.
By 1999, Coen Gilbert had reached a level of financial success where, though still focused on AND1, he began considering options for what could come next. A turning point came in the fall of 2001. He went through the stress of knowing that his sister worked in downtown Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks, and he learned she was pulled to safety from debris by a first responder. Four days after that, their dad died from lung cancer. And then two weeks later, one of his AND1 team members died in a car accident on his way to work.
The sadness he felt made him think about his own mortality, and "that triggered a pretty intense period of reflection on what's the highest and best use of my life," he said.
He spent the next few years reading books and attending conferences about using business for social good. He studied the careers of entrepreneurs in this space, like Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's, Tom Chappell of Tom's of Maine, and Judy Wicks of White Dog Cafe. He became involved with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and the Social Venture Network.
Coen Gilbert brought charitable initiatives to AND1 but realized he wanted something on a larger scale. After he and Houlahan left AND1 in 2005, they sought a partnership with Newman's Own, the food company that uses all its profits for charitable purposes, but nothing came of it.
Coen Gilbert decided his vision should go beyond charity, but he also abandoned an idea for an investment fund. Then he and his business partners fully developed the idea of a B Corporation.
"You can't start asking other people to do stuff unless you want to do stuff yourself," Coen Gilbert said. "And that was one of the dominant and most inspiring attributes of all the entrepreneurs and investors we'd been meeting, is they weren't screaming, yelling about an unjust system — they were actually working and investing in building companies that were making real differences in the lives of their workers, their communities, and future generations through their environmental practices. And they weren't waiting for anybody's permission; they were just going out and doing it."
Making it a movement
The B Lab founders worked their network and certified a freshman class of 19 B Corps in 2007.
B Lab analysts grade each company on its benefits across five areas and refresh the assessment every three years. Companies that pass requirements pay an annual fee. After a few years of recruiting companies, Coen Gilbert wanted to further help companies with a social mission retain it after selling or going public, and he believed the next step would be through a legal certification.
He met with Leslie Christian, who was then the CEO and president of Portfolio 21 and focused on socially responsible investing. She agreed with Coen Gilbert that the reign of shareholder primacy, rooted in economic theory most popularly expressed by free-market economists like Milton Friedman in the 1970s and then entrenched in judicial precedent throughout the 1980s, was not only harmful to other stakeholders but bad for the long-term health of a business. Coen Gilbert and his team consulted with her corporate attorney and then other lawyers around the country.
In 2010, a Delaware corporate lawyer helped B Lab with a proposal for a "benefit corporation" legal status. (The B Corp certification is an independent label.) It turned out that giving companies the chance to register as benefit corporations had bipartisan support, and Maryland became the first state to ratify legislation.
Today, a company can register as a benefit corporation in 34 states and Washington, DC. Italy was the first country outside the US to adopt this policy, and Colombia is also considering it.
The more than 2,600 Certified B Corps range from smaller private companies like Kickstarter to corporations like the food giant Danone's North American subsidiary. Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has said he is so pleased with what the certification has done for that business that he is aiming to have all of Danone achieve it by 2030.
He told Business Insider that the certification had received tremendous employee support and won over skeptical investors, adding that Danone's plan helped it renegotiate a €2 billion syndicated banking loan with 12 major banks at a lower cost.
"So this is basically recognizing the fact the credit rating of Danone is better as a B Corp than not being a B Corp," he said.
The fight against shareholder primacy
When Coen Gilbert began growing the idea for what became B Lab, the giant corporations that were buying the small, socially responsible companies like Ben & Jerry's seemed like the bad guys. But now corporations like Danone and Unilever are genuinely pursuing the initiatives that 20 years ago were only for dreamers.
Today, you also have someone like Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, saying in a letter to CEOs that "to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society."
Fink said at a New York Times conference in November that he believes that so-called ESG metrics — environmental, social, and governance — will be used by every investor within five years to judge a company's performance.
And on the policy side, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts this year introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which directly cites benefit-corporation legislation as the norm for the entire country and would give it more teeth for enforcement.
For Coen Gilbert, B Lab will help ensure this trend reaches its conclusion, because he is convinced that shareholder primacy is a lesser way of doing business, even for the shareholders themselves.
"We actually created a system that was counter to human nature, and we're in the middle of a midcourse correction," he said.
He said B Corps and people fighting for the same values "are bending that arc of history or that lever of economics so it bends more towards justice and inclusion and equity and the creation of a more shared and durable prosperity."
"I think that is a conscious human choice," Coen Gilbert said. "And I think it's a cool thing to observe and to be a part of."
The Graphics Insider team compiled 56 of the maps we created this year that visualize the many ups and downs of 2018.
Follow along through 2018 in maps, from wildfires and baby name trends, to the cost of products around the world and Trump's tariff war.
Andy Kiersz contributed to this article.
In January 2018, the Trump administration proposed auctioning off nearly all US coastal waters for offshore drilling. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimated the new plan would make "more than 98%" of the waters off the US available for oil and gas leasing over the next five years.
Read the full story here.
On February 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics began in Pyeongchang, South Korea. More than 200 athletes on the roster for the US Olympic team competed. Even though they tend to live where the training is best, they were born all over the country.
Read the full story here.
In March, there was a string of deadly bombings in Austin, Texas, at seven locations in total. Two people were killed, and seven were injured.
Read the full story here.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
As always, US Marines were busy in 2018.
Marines deployed to countries such as Afghanistan and Syria. They took part in exercises such as Trident Juncture in Norway and Iceland and Cobra Gold in Thailand. One Marine veteran even received the Medal of Honor.
With 2018 coming to a close, we rounded up 15 of the best Marine photos taken this year to highlight their duties and actions.
Take a look.
US Marine firefighters and Royal Thai firefighters work together to put out a simulated aircraft fire during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 in Thailand in February 2018.
Marines play a game of bulldog to keep warm in the harsh weather during exercise White Claymore in Bardufoss, Norway on Feb. 7, 2018.
Read more about what Marines are doing in Norway here.
U.S. Marines hike to a cold-weather training site in Iceland during Exercise Trident Juncture 18 on Oct. 19, 2018.
Read more about that story here.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
More and more, researchers are studying individuals' genetic information to find new medical treatments.
But a big challenge has been collecting enough information from enough people to find new cures. A startup called LunaDNA is pioneering a new approach, offering to pay people for their DNA and other health information.
Individuals will get shares of LunaDNA for providing their genetic data, as well as for activities like uploading their medical records or keeping track of what they eat and how much they work out. The idea is that the more someone participates, the more stock they'll accumulate, and the more they'll be rewarded.
"The people we want to attract are looking to solve a problem together, to help get in the fight against disease," Dawn Barry, the company's president and a co-founder, said in a November interview. "It’s not so much how much money you want to get back — people are in it for the altruism."
DNA testing startups like 23andMe already sell your genetic information for medical research, though you can opt out. Unlike 23andMe, LunaDNA doesn't provide the genetic testing itself. Instead, users can upload their files from companies like 23andMe.
The venture is just getting started. LunaDNA's parent company has raised $4 million and employs 12 people. The US Securities and Exchange Commission signed off this week on LunaDNA's plans to give individuals stock, and the company's web portal where users can upload their info opened on Wednesday.
LunaDNA wants to give you more control over how your data is used, and directly compensate you for sharing more. The company will provide aggregated data to researchers with identifying information removed, and only with the consent of the individuals involved. Members can delete their data from the platform at any time.
"When value is created, it’s not all kept by the institution," Barry said in a December interview. "It’s actually distributed back to the community."
You probably won't get rich by selling your genetic information. Unlike stock in a company, the shares that LunaDNA is giving its users don't have a monetary value and can't be bought or sold. Instead, they'll give users regular payouts when LunaDNA starts making money.
The company estimates the value of a user's whole genome at $21, or 300 shares. It'll give you 2 shares, worth 14 cents, for 20 days of nutrition or fitness data. As more users sign on to the site, and more researchers begin using it, the goal is for those values to increase, Barry said.
LunaDNA was founded in October 2017 by veterans of the DNA sequencing company Illumina, and counts Illumina Ventures among its backers. Barry, 44, worked at Illumina for a dozen years and CEO Bob Kain, 57, was an Illumina employee for 15 years. The third co-founder, chief finance officer David Lewis, 47, previously worked at an investment company.
Novartis's new CEO has his work cut out for him.
Since stepping into the job in February, Vas Narasimhan's been working to change what the $230 billion pharmaceutical giant is known for.
Narasimhan is narrowing his focus to make Novartis a "breakthrough-medicines company" rather than a diversified healthcare conglomerate, divesting its consumer-health joint venture and announcing the spin-off of eye-care business Alcon in June.
And that includes changing up the company's culture to make big pharma a more appealing work environment for millennials. Already, half of Novartis's 120,000 workers are millennials. There are aesthetic changes involved, such as being allowed to wear jeans to work.
"We want to un-boss the company," Narasimhan said at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York in November. That means making employees feel accountable, rather than having to turn to a boss to make a decision.
But saying the culture is changing and actually making it change are two different things.
"For many people, they love the idea of the culture change. Everybody then wants to know why can't it happen right away," Narasimhan told Business Insider. "So then you have to explain to people, this takes time, leadership — it takes a lot of changes in how we work. But I think there's been a lot of acceptance of the culture change, but now the hard work has begun."
So as much as switching outfits and introducing communication tools like Yammer might help, it's going to take some work to pull the transition off.
"In the end, I need 12,000 leaders of people to change their behaviors," Narasimhan said. "It's not going to be slogans on posters or jeans."