Business & Finance

Fortune October 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.
fortune’s mpw vips

BACK IN OCTOBER 1998, when we published our inaugural ranking of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, it was not so easy to find powerful women in business. Among the chief executives of Fortune 500 companies, a mere two were female: Jill Barad of toymaker Mattel and Marion Sandler of Golden West Financial (who was a co-CEO with husband Herb). Among the top executive slates at Fortune 500 companies overall, only one in 10 were women. Among corporate directors, the same dismal share. Indeed, our No. 1 pick for that first MPW list wasn’t a CEO at all, but rather a division president at a telecom firm (Lucent) that no longer exists as a stand-alone company. That was Carly Fiorina—and, at the time, hardly anyone outside of the telecom industry…

3 min.
a category 5 business problem

CLIMATE DESPITE THE MYRIAD hardships visited upon cities when hurricanes strike, economists can usually find a silver lining in the post-storm data: Though natural disasters can bring local and regional businesses to a temporary standstill, the ensuing recovery efforts often bring a spending jolt that offsets—sometimes more than offsets—the economic wreckage. Such should be the case for Houston, Miami, and other cities recently impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which together may end up costing between $150 billion and $200 billion in damage and lost productivity, according to estimates from Moody’s Analytics. Experts generally agree cities’ recovery from both storms should be relatively swift. “Eighty percent of the economy will be back in six months, 90% in a year, 100% three years from now,” Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist, says of Houston. A…

1 min.
tesla’sgood deedsparks a(misplaced) backlash

IT STARTED with a single request from a Florida man preparing to evacuate as Hurricane Irma barreled toward the state. The Tesla Model S 60 owner asked if the automaker would “unlock” the battery capacity of his electric car to get the extra range to hasten the trip. The owner knew what the non-Tesla driving world is just learning: The automaker produced the Model S and the Model X sportutility vehicle with 75-kilowatt-hour battery packs and used software to limit the energy— and in turn, the car’s battery range—to 60 or 70 kwh (owners can access the rest at any time for a fee). The strategy limits costs and helps Tesla charge different prices for a single battery design. Tesla complied with the request and went a step further, upgrading every eligible…

1 min.

WOMEN AT WORK WHITHER THE WAGE GAP? New government data released in mid- September offered some good news: the largest recorded narrowing of the gender wage gap in the U.S. in a decade. Women in 2016 made 80.5% of what men did on average—up from about 80% in 2015, and from less than 60% in the 1970s. But the progress isn’t universal. The traditionally male (and traditionally higher-paid) industries still tend to pay women less, while women in female-dominated fields (see sewing machine operators) are more likely to make as much as men, or more.…

1 min.
a lawsuit deluge for opioid inc.

PHARMA IT WASN’T A COINCIDENCE that corporate types from out of town showed up for the Mingo County Commission meeting last May. On the agenda was a vote about whether the 26,000-person county, deep in West Virginia coal country, should join a lawsuit against the nation’s three major drug distributors for their role in the region’s opioid epidemic. (Collectively, the three companies had distributed 423 million pills in West Virginia over five years.) One of those distributors, the $121-billion-in-sales Cardinal Health, had three representatives in the audience “to educate the County Commission” about local opioid litigation. That a Fortune 15 corporation would send even one person to such an event speaks to the growing stakes for distributors and manufacturers in the opioid supply chain. Many governments (at all levels), with their budgets…

1 min.
the tax reform hunger games areafoot in washington

AS PRESIDENT TRUMP takes his call for tax reform on the road this fall, high-stakes campaigns are already raging over what that reform will look like. Because while everyone likes cutting loopholes in theory, it gets far trickier when those loopholes save your industry billions of dollars a year. Through the second quarter of this year, there’s been a $52 million increase in lobbying spending, the biggest hike since Obamacare passed in 2010 (and an anomaly as official lobbying spending has been trending down). One thing business can agree on? Whatever cuts it gets, it wants to make them permanent, to avoid uncertainty—and political scrambling— down the line. FEDERAL LOBBYING SPENDING…