Capitalism must be saved by capitalists, argue these pioneering ESG investors

When Michael O’Leary and Warren Valdmanis first met at Bain Capital’s offices in Asia, both were more or less conventional members of the finance profession. And yet, years later, they would become the coauthors of a book arguing that American-style capitalism—including a “meatheaded” obsession with short-term profits—is doing dire damage. Our economic system, they argue, urgently needs a reboot.

In their recent book, Accountable: The Rise of Citizen Capitalism, they argue that Adam Smith–style invisible hand capitalism is ineffective—and out of date—and that companies need to reorient themselves to serve more than just shareholders (which, by the way, they don’t think are being served particularly well, either).

Both authors, who were on the founding team behind Bain’s first social impact investing fund under former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, spoke to Fortune about the rise of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing, the divestment movement (and whether it actually works), … Read the rest

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Not everyone is feeling the recovery: The economy as told by 8 charts

Even with positive developments on the vaccine front, the pandemic is far from over: On Thursday, new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States hit a daily record of over 150,000.

But on the economic front, we’re continuing to see improvement. As states eased lockdown restrictions in the spring and summer, the economy switched from the worst contraction in history to one of the fastest recoveries. Indeed, the unemployment rate that hit a peak of 14.7% in April has since come down to 6.9% as of October.

That said, we aren’t out of the woods yet. More business failures are on the way as companies hardest hit by the pandemic run out of cash. Not to mention the weak labor market makes it hard for the employed to get raises and the millions of unemployed Americans to find a paycheck. We’re in recovery, but not all of … Read the rest

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1 in 5 Amazon Prime members are considering moving to Walmart+

In September Walmart debuted its $98 annual subscription service that offers unlimited same-day delivery and discounts at gas stations. The service, called Walmart+, is a direct competitor to Amazon Prime, which cost $119 per year.

Fortune and SurveyMonkey conducted a poll in July prior to the Walmart+ launch and found 27% of Americans were likely to subscribe.

But are those subscribers starting to materialize? To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey polled 2,098 U.S. adults between November 9 and 10.*

In the months since it launched, 3% of U.S. households have signed up for Walmart+. So it’s still far off before it can seriously threaten Amazon Prime, which has subscribers in 66% of U.S. households.

But more sign-ups are on the way. Among U.S. adults, 21% say they’re likely to subscribe to Walmart+, while 19% of Amazon Prime subscribers say they’re likely to sign-up for Walmart’s offering. That could cost … Read the rest

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TikTok sale deadline pushed back

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has a new December deadline to submit documents as part of its court petition seeking to block a U.S.-government-forced sale of the video-sharing app.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Thursday set dates of Dec. 14 and 28 for ByteDance and the Trump administration to file motions and other documents in the case.

ByteDance was facing a deadline on Thursday to comply with an order from President Donald Trump to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations. While the company had received tacit approval from the Trump administration about two months ago on an agreement to divest part of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart, the deal was never finalized. It’s been stuck in limbo for weeks, and was quickly overshadowed by the U.S. election. The delay prompted TikTok to go to the appeals court on Tuesday to prevent a forced sale.

Trump’s order requiring … Read the rest

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Airport planned for ‘Jetsons’-like flying cars

The nation’s first regional hub for “flying cars” is being built in central Florida and once completed in five years, the vehicles will be able to take passengers from Orlando to Tampa in a half hour, officials said Wednesday.

The Tavistock Development Corp. said it was constructing a Jetsons-like aviation facility in Orlando’s Lake Nona area, the mixed-use planned community it built. Lake Nona already is home to several medical and research facilities.

The aircraft will be supplied by Lilium, a Germany-based aviation company that manufacturers the industry’s only five-passenger “electric vertical takeoff and landing” aircraft. At the moment, the Lilium Jets can travel up to 185 miles (298 kilometers) on a one-hour charge.

Passengers wanting a ride on the aircraft will be able to book reservations via their phones in a way similar to ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, officials said.

The vehicles flying and landing out of the … Read the rest

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