Business & Finance

The country’s financial hub has a long history of lying, cheating, and stealing

No one likes recessions, but no one dislikes them more than the crooks who are an inevitable part of any financial market. Read more >>

After one Ford changed America, another accomplished something almost as amazing

A critic looks at 10 movies that show how Americans work together.

How women entrepreneurs reshaped the American economic landscape in the wake of WWII.

When the National Foundation of Women Business Owners announced in May 1999 that women own nearly 40 percent of the nation’s businesses, there was little fanfare or surprise. Americans have become increasingly accustomed to female entrepreneurs as an economic force. Read more >>

A student of an underappreciated literary genre selects some books that may change the way you see what you do.

It has always struck me that the best business novels are interactive. Read more >>

A sampling of the wisdom of Americans from Ben Franklin to Cameron Crowe

… or why in America campaign-finance reform never succeeds

In the summer of 1787 a sweaty group of politicians was debating the clauses of a proposed constitution in humid Philadelphia. Read more >>

THE VIDEO GAME turns twenty-five this year, and it has packed a whole lot of history into a mere quarter-century

…and grow, and grow, from almost no employees to three million. Don’t blame the welfare state, or the military; the truth is much more interesting.

THE IMPERIUM OF modern television advertising was born in desperate improvisation

It was 1945, and everybody needed everything. If you knew how to build a car, a house, or a washing machine, you could sell it faster than you could make it. Read more >>

When American cars ruled the world

THE CURRENT VOGUE FOR PUSHING TO SELL AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES ABROAD can certainly be called overdue. No one has seriously tried such a thing in generations. Read more >>

In a nation of inventors it has always been the single most invented thing. At this very moment hundreds of Americans are busy obeying Emerson’s famous dictum—even though the machine he exhorted them to build has existed in near-transcendental perfection for almost a century.

IT IS RALPH WALDO EMERSON whom we most commonly accuse of having coined the saying: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” But in his Journal , 1855, we find this entry on “ Read more >>

HISTORY’S MOST PHOTOGENIC LABOR dispute lasted thirty days, spread to eight cities, closed thirty-seven plays, and finally won performers some respect

A CENTURY AGO you’d eat steak and lobster when you couldn’t afford chicken. Today it can cost less than the potatoes you serve with. What happened in the years between was an extraordinary marriage of technology and the market.

King Henri IV of France was a great king. Read more >>

HOW A NATION BORN OUT OF A TAX REVOLT has—and especially hasn’t—solved the problems of taxing its citizens

You’ve probably never heard of them, but these ten people changed your life. Each of them is a big reason why your world today is so different from anyone’s world in 1954

For want of nails, kingdoms are won and lost. We all know that. The shoe slips, the horse stumbles, the army dissolves in retreat. But who designed the nails? Who hammered the nails? Who invented the nail-making machinery? Read more >>

The Greatest American Car Ever Made? “It’s a Duesy”

Americans invented the grand hotel in the 183Os and during the next century brought it to a zenith of democratic luxury that makes a visit to the surviving examples the most agreeable of historic pilgrimages

At the turn of the eighteenth century, a story went around Connecticut about a pious old woman who was berating her nephew for being such a rake. And an aging rake, at that. “But we’re not so very different,” he insisted. Read more >>

How we became a nation of instant, constant borrowers

In 1987 Robert Townsend charged $100,000 on his fifteen personal credit cards to finance the production of a major motion picture, Hollywood Shuffle. It was a big risk, a desperate gamble that the movie would be successful and pay off the bills. Read more >>

A tribute to the brash confections our car makers offered the world during a decade when not one American in a thousand had even heard the name Toyota

America swaggered off the World War II battlefields like a heavyweight champion who had just scored a first-round knockout. Read more >>

As long as there have been bankers and brokers, there have been people asking what would happen if they had to earn an honest living

On October 26, 1911, the old Life magazine published a cartoon entitled “When We All Get Wise.” The implication of the cartoon, of course, was that if the ordinary people of the country would “just say no,” this time to bankers, brokers, and capi Read more >>

At its roots lie fundamental tensions that have bedeviled American banking since the nation began

Bank failure is as American as apple pie. Read more >>

For two hundred years the United States patent system has defined what is an invention and protected, enriched, and befuddled inventors. As a tool of corporate growth in a global economy, it is now more important than ever.

In a decision of far-reaching significance, a federal circuit court in 1985 ruled that the Eastman Kodak Company had infringed the instant-camera patents held by Polaroid. Read more >>

He excelled at business and made Macy's highly profitable. But Nathan Straus was even better at giving away his earnings to help people in need.

It wasn’t enough for Woolworth that his monument be grand and useful and beautiful—he wanted it to be profitable too.

Ever since technology began to permit it, men of power have sought immortality in stone. Knowing that their deeds, however important, were ephemeral in the nature of things, they hoped that their tombs and statues and palaces might remind the world of their greatness. Read more >>

Why do you need so much money to be rich nowadays? It’s a question that historians and readers of history have always found difficult to answer.

All through the 1920s eager young emigrants left the towns and farms of America and headed for New York City. One of them recalls the magnetism of the life that pulled him there.

And still they come. Read more >>

It didn’t last long. But we never got over it.

The player piano came of age in America ninety years ago, and it caused an almighty stir. Within four decades it appeared to be dead. The craze dwindled, and in 1932 not a single player was shipped from the factories. Read more >>

It began with a few people trying to get hamburgers from grill to customer quicker and cheaper. Now it’s changed the way Americans live. And whether you like it or hate it, once you get on the road you’ll eat it.

When I was ten, my brother was accepted into a college in Kansas. My parents decided to drive him out from New Jersey, using the opportunity to show both of us the countryside as we went. The year was 1963. Read more >>

The university struggled to define what a school of business should teach. What is the knowledge required for success?

Villains are important, and an institution that supplies us with villains performs an essential service. Take the Harvard Business School. Read more >>