Business & Finance

Fortune August 1, 2017

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success. Fortune currently publishes 3 double issues. Each count as two of 12 issues in an annual subscription.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
ideas know no borders

ON THE MORNING this issue went to press, I borrowed a stranger’s silverand- orange bicycle, rode it two kilometers, then left it leaning against a streetlamp at a city intersection. As I walked away from the bike— unchained and undocked in front of a hotel in Aspen—it was hard not to feel like a scofflaw. But I was benefiting from the remarkable business model of Mobike, a Beijing-based startup whose more than 100 million registered users do much the same thing—an average of 20 million times a day—with the company’s 6 million “connected” bikes. Lots of cities have bike-sharing systems, of course: Members, who pay a fee for the privilege, retrieve a two-wheeler from one docking station and return it to another within a certain time frame. Mobike has dispensed with…

3 min.
digital currency gets its biggest test yet

THE WORLD IN 8 PAGES PAGE 1 MONEY IN THE COMING MONTHS a startup based in Waterloo, Ontario, is set to kick off a grand monetary experiment, one that will put to the test a new model for business that could prove to be either the web’s next great economic engine, or a multibillion-dollar bubble that’s as combustible as the Hindenburg. The concept at stake is cryptocurrency, a form of digital money that exists independent of traditional banks or governments. Over the past few months, the market for cryptocurrencies has rocketed to more than $100 billion (and fallen back to $60 billion) amid extreme enthusiasm and volatility. So-called token sales, or “initial coin offerings,” also known as ICOs, have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, creating substantial fortunes out of little more than…

1 min.
before&after paper

CATTLE AND GRAIN 9000 BC Commodities were an easyto- exchange early form of money. Cattle particularly so because they could walk by themselves. COWRIE SHELLS 1200 BC Shells were used as currency in many parts of the world, thanks to their durability. BRONZE MINIATURES 1100 BC The earliest bronze “coins” in China were constructed to look like cowrie shells, other shapes followed. COINS 600 BC The first actual coins were made in the kingdom of Lydia, near Mesopotamia, out of a mix of gold and silver. PAPER BILLS 12th/13th century Explorer Marco Polo returned from China in 1295, marveling at its paper currency, which caught on in Europe only in the 17th century. E-MONEY 1850 Western Union built a telegraph network that would soon be used to transfer money across the country. CREDIT CARDS 1950 Aimed at businessmen eating out, Diners Club made…

1 min.

FRACTAL INEQUALITY WHERE A $100K SALARYWILL TAKE YOUTHE FARTHEST Wealth is relative: In some rural American locales, a six-figure paycheck can buy a lavish lifestyle. In others, it doesn’t cover expenses. Comparison loan-shopping site MagnifyMoney looked at the cost of living in 381 U.S. metropolitan areas to see where a $100,000 income for a family of three would leave the household with the most leftover cash. They found that in Johnson City, Tenn., routine expenses would eat up only 62% of that income. A family in D.C., however, would spend 105% on just the basics. BEST CITIES (TOP-THIRD OF RANKING) WORST CITIES (BOTTOM-THIRD) SOURCE: MAGNIFYMONEY ANALYSIS OF TWO-EARNER HOUSEHOLD WITH ONE CHILD AND A GROSS ANNUAL INCOME OF $100,000 IN U.S. METRO AREAS. ESTIMATED MONTHLY EXPENSES (INCLUDES CHILDCARE, TRANSPORTATION, FOOD, HOUSING, STUDENT LOANS, SAVINGS, AND…

2 min.
setting big hairy goals—and missing

WHEN NIKE recently announced it would start selling on Amazon after years of hesitation, some saw a potentially branddamaging move. But the company needs the e-commerce giant’s help to make good on a bold promise it made two years ago: hitting annual sales of $50 billion by 2020—a 67% jump. AIMING HIGH Though it’s thriving, Nike is facing a resurgent Adidas and a growing Under Armour, not to mention a retail environment that is “not in a steady state,” to quote Nike CEO Mark Parker. Wall Street analysts expect Nike sales to hit $42.5 billion in three years’ time, according to Bloomberg. That’s impressive, but well off the shoemaker’s original target. Nike is hardly the only company now finding it hard to meet its own lofty projections. In February, Nestlé, now grappling…

1 min.

STARTING JAN. 1, 2020, the FAA will impose a new requirement: All aircraft must have technology that automatically communicates flight information to air traffic controllers. Most passenger planes are making the update, called ADS-B, on time. Business jets? Not so much. Government research shop MITRE says 20,731 out of 26,700 total U.S. business aircraft still don’t have ADS-B. At the current install rate, Duncan Aviation says 50% won’t be ready in time. MITRE’s estimates indicate it could be even more. A last-minute rush? No dice, thanks to bottlenecks at avionics shops. Instead, come 2020, the business aviation industry (estimated annual economic impact: $150 billion) could experience major flight delays.…