Economy

For An Island Trapped In The '50s, An Instant Digital Revolution

Cuba is one of the least connected countries on Earth, with 5 percent of residents online. But it could become the Caribbean's largest market if the Castros open the nation up to the Internet.

When Working In Mixed Groups, Staying P.C. Boosts Productivity

Research shows that setting clear guidelines for how women and men interact remove uncertainty and make it easier to exchange ideas. It's unnecessary clutter in single-gender groups, however.

All Things Considered

Opportunity, Caution Seen For U.S. Banks As Cuba Rules Ease

President Obama eased restrictions on Cuba this week, including a relaxation of rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there. But banks are awaiting details and are likely to proceed cautiously.

All Things Considered

No Fracking In New York? That's OK With Pennsylvania

Environmental groups cheered New York's decision to ban the practice, and some in the industry say when it comes to good-paying jobs, New York's loss is Pennsylvania's gain.

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don't expect to see McDonald's there anytime soon.

All Things Considered

New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever. The backlog stands at nearly 100,000 pairs; it will take months to catch up.

All Things Considered

How Much Will The Hack Cost Sony?

It's difficult to know what pulling The Interview from theaters will cost Sony Pictures. Estimates vary widely and Sony hasn't announced whether it will pursue an alternative plan to release the film. At a minimum, though, the $45 million Sony put up to make the move appears to be at risk. And there is an unquantifiable hit to the company's reputation.

And The Award For Most Offensive Fund-Raising Video Goes To...

If you're a charity that wants to help the developing world, you really, really, really don't want to win a "Rusty Radiator."

White House Says Any Response To Sony Attack Needs To Be 'Proportional'

The White House won't confirm North Korea is behind the attack, citing an ongoing investigation. Nevertheless, it is mulling over its options.

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble's Tumble

In a year-end news conference, the Russian president said the worst-case scenario for his country's economy would involve two more years of unease.

Putin Vows To Fix Russian Economy

December 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 18, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to ease the country’s economic woes by diversifying its heavy reliance on oil and gas.

Mass. Adds 13,500 Jobs In November; Unemployment Rate Down To 5.8 Percent

December 18, 2014

The strong Massachusetts jobs growth occurred in a month in which the U.S. added an estimated 321,000 jobs.

Worries Rise In Russia As Ruble Falls

December 17, 2014
A man holds a laptop in a mall in central Moscow on December 15, 2014. The slumping ruble has unleashed a spending spree as consumers snap up electronics, furniture and cars before prices soar. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

The slumping ruble has unleashed a spending spree, as consumers snap up electronics, furniture and cars before prices soar.

Writer Anita Diamant Captures A First-Generation ‘Boston Girl’

December 16, 2014
Anita Diamant is author, most recently, of "The Boston Girl." (Andrew Whitacre/Flickr)

We talk to writer Anita Diamant about her new novel, “The Boston Girl,” which tells the story of Addie Baum, a first-generation American growing up in Boston’s North End.

Should Restaurant Tipping Be Banned?

December 16, 2014
A Friendly's waitress serves coffee to patrons in Brunswick, Maine in 2011. (AP)

What would happen if restaurants decided to ban tipping? Boston Globe columnist Tom Keane and Bob Luz give us their thoughts.

Barney Frank On Spending Bill Measure Rolling Back Key Dodd-Frank Provision

December 16, 2014
Rep. Barney Frank asks a question of Timothy Geithner as he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee, about the state of the international financial system, including regulatory issues relevant to the Dodd-Frank Act. (Alex Brandon/AP)

At issue is a rule that prevented federally insured banks from dealing in exotic and risky securities — the kind that blew up and played such a big role in the financial crisis.

Boston Presents Bid For 2024 Olympics In San Francisco

December 16, 2014
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addresses an audience during an event held to generate public interest in a 2024 Olympics bid for the city of Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

Tuesday afternoon, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish and other members of the Boston 2024 executive bid committee made a pitch for why Boston should host the 2024 Olympics. They spoke to the U.S. Olympic Committee in California.

Trouble For The Russian Ruble — And What It Means For The U.S.

December 16, 2014
A police officer goes through the gate of Russia's Central Bank building in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. The Russian ruble faced intense selling pressure Tuesday, falling at one point by a whopping 20 percent to a new historic low despite a massive pre-dawn interest rate hike from Russia’s Central Bank. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

The fact the ruble is still falling after a dramatic move by Russia’s Central Bank has increased concerns about the Russian economy.

Week In Politics: All That's Left Is A Signature To Pass $1.1. Trillion Spending Bill

December 15, 2014
The Capitol Dome and the Capitol Christmas Tree are illuminated late Thursday evening as Congress works to pass a $1.1 trillion U.S. government-wide spending bill and avoid a government shutdown, in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Busy weekend in the Senate chamber as legislators try to pass a trillion dollar government spending bill.

Congress Set To Ease Rules On Derivatives

December 12, 2014
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. (AP)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon personally called lawmakers to ask them to support the measure to loosen financial regulations.

Democrats Cave On Deeply Flawed Spending Bill

December 12, 2014
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., left, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, express their outrage to reporters that a huge, $1.1 trillion spending bill, passed by the Republican-controlled House yesterday, contains changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law that regulates complex financial instruments known as derivatives. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The 1,603-page spending bill, crafted behind closed doors and passed on December 11, 2014, will reverse what little progress Democrats have made regulating avaricious bankers and reining in billionaire political contributors.

Retail Sales Jump By Biggest Amount In 8 Months

December 11, 2014
Shoppers carry recent purchases through Herald Square on the morning of November 28, 2014 in New York City. The Friday after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent increase exceeded economists’ expectations and comes after some bleak Black Friday sales reports.

Beyond The Pump: What Falling Oil Prices Mean For U.S. Producers

December 10, 2014
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Chief Economist Brian Pearce speaks at the IATA global media day on December 10, 2014 in Geneva. Global airline association IATA on December 10 raised the sector's profit forecast to a record $19.9 billion for 2014 and $25 billion for 2015, as plunging oil prices drive down costs. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

The plunging prices are good news for drivers, but beyond low gas prices, we look at what it means for U.S. oil producers and the economy.

AG Coakley Wants Expanded Options For Those In Foreclosure

December 10, 2014

Following a shift in foreclosure policies, Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking the federal regulator that controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to expand options for people hoping to stay in their homes after defaulting on a mortgage.

Remembering New Hampshire’s Ralph Baer, The Father Of Video Games

December 9, 2014
Ralph Baer, an engineer for Sanders Associates, Inc., of Nashua, N.H., watches his TV hockey game in 1977. (AP)

The next time you pick up a controller for a PlayStation, Xbox or Wii, think of Ralph Baer. He made possible what is now a $90 billion business by inventing the first home video game system back in the 1960s on a legal pad.

Seeing Past Misconceptions To Recognize Potential: The Case For Hiring The Visually Impaired

December 9, 2014
The unemployment rate for qualified blind job applicants is a staggering 75 percent. Massachusetts is in a unique position to change that. Pictured: Jeff Paquette, center, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, waits to speak to a recruiter during a job fair for the visually impaired at the Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. Paquette is searching for a position in the hospitality industry.(Stephan Savoia/AP)

The unemployment rate for qualified blind job applicants is a staggering 75 percent. Massachusetts is in a unique position to change that.

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