Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, went up to Capitol Hill yesterday and spent three hours answering questions about the failure of Healthcare.gov -- a flaw that could easily rank up there amongst the biggest corporate and government failures of the past few years.
Nancy Koehn is a professor of business history at Harvard Business School.
She thinks someone will ultimately get fired over the blunder, "but that doesn't negate the fact that we don't have any accountability."
"We're living in a world in which we have forgotten that there are things that are wrong and things that are right and mistakes are made," Koehn said, "and it is a right action and socially beneficial to answer for it and make it better."
Koehn says Americans have stopped demanding those that make mistakes own up to them: Just think of the bankers who drove the world into a financial crisis or congressmembers who can't come to a compromise.
Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, 44, was sworn in Thursday, becoming the second African-American in the U.S. Senate and only the fourth ever elected to the upper chamber. He also brings youth to the Senate, where the average age is 62.
In a special election to replace retired GOP Congressman Jo Bonner, one candidate believes in "dying on the hill" to repeal Obamacare. His opponent wants to go to Washington to "get something done."
For the uninitiated, a "Chinese fire drill" can be described as a form of vehicular musical chairs. Where did that name come from?
Consumers in search of novelty are turning to once-obscure grains like quinoa, spelt and sorghum. But sorghum's great virtue for farmers is the fact that it can thrive with so little water.
The gang-rape of a 16-year-old schoolgirl has sparked outrage in the country and beyond. The attack was so violent it left the girl in a wheelchair. She identified several of her attackers, whom police captured but then released after their punishment: mowing the police station lawn.
Ohio could be the first state in the nation to use a combination of two drugs that have never been used before to put an inmate to death. This execution cocktail is the latest chapter in what's become a troubled history of capital punishment in the state.
The housing market is working through the remnants of the financial crisis, and until recently the sector's recovery seemed to be on track. But recent drama in the national economy has left consumers reluctant to buy, experts say.
Millions of adults struggle every day with basic tasks, like reading a bill or a bus schedule. Those with limited literacy find all kinds of ways to hide their rudimentary schooling. Many are unemployed. And those who have jobs are usually stuck at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
Virginia Tech officials could not have foreseen that 32 people would die in a 2007 attack on campus, the Virginia Supreme Court said. The ruling overturns an award to two victims' families. Officials believed the gunman had fled and posed no further danger in the area, the justices said.
Once among the richest men on the planet, Eike Batista's wealth has evaporated. From a net worth of $34.5 billion last year, the Brazilian businessman is now worth less than 1 percent of that. Many observers see Batista's fall as a parable for the nation's economic woes.
In Silicon Valley, it feels like everybody’s always “meeting.” They’re "meeting" investors for coffee, or having a “walking meeting.” Steve Jobs was famous for those. And everyday, there are talks, conferences and private parties, where techies go to meet.
I went to one of those meetings recently. It was a dinner given by some of the partners at Google Ventures, which is the search giant's venture capital fund. The fund invests in start-ups. And investors are serious "meeters."
The event was at Foreign Cinema, in San Francisco's hip Mission District. When I arrived, the hostess took me upstairs to a private room, where the cocktails were flowing. The event was star-studded, in a geeky sort of way. Kevin Rose from Digg was there. So was Rich Miner, the co-creator of Android. Both of them work for Google Ventures.
Miner told me he'd been on the meeting merry go round since 5 a.m.
“Today, I think I had about 10 meetings,” Miner said. “I took an Uber to San Francisco had a breakfast meeting with two of the co-founders of one of my portfolio companies.”
After breakfast, Miner was off to a board meeting for another company he’s funding. Then, he met with an ex-Googler who had an interesting idea for a start-up.
“When you do start-ups, you’re not investing in a company, it doesn’t exist,” he said. “You’re investing in people who’re going to make this company happen.”
Ciesinski is also a general manager at SRI, which created Apple’s Siri and the computer mouse. Part of his job is to help techies start companies
“This is probably my 20th meeting of the day,” he said. “I was just over at Stanford showing somebody from Malaysia, he’s part of the prime minister’s office, I was showing him around.”
Then he was off to Cafe Botrone for a quick coffee with a Romanian entrepreneur. Ciesinski said it’s important to see entrepreneurs in action.
“How does a person react to pressure?” Ciesinski asks. “It’s also fun to see how these founders get along? Do compliment each other, do they correct each other. If they do correct each other, how do they correct each other. I’ve actually seen a couple of people get into pretty strong arguments and those are not companies I like to invest in.”
Some San Francisco Bay Area network and deal-making hotspots:
drawn by Apu Kumar, senior VP/chief deal hacker at BlueStacks & GamePop
Ciesinski said those moments, they don’t happen in conference rooms, where the meetings are sorta scripted.
“I probably put a good 60-70,000 miles in my car every year,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim said she clocks most of those miles driving the 60 miles back-and-forth to San Francisco, where there’s a thriving start-up scene.
“Silicon Valley is filled with what we call FOMO the fear of missing out,” Ibrahim said. “So everyone is constantly meeting, meeting, meeting, meeting in the event that that one incremental meeting will get you to that deal that you otherwise would have missed.”
A deal that just might be the next big thing.
“That’s right!” she said. “The next big Google.”
Back at the Google Ventures dinner, it’s about 11 o’clock. Rich Miner, the venture capitalist, is on his phone.
“I’m sending a text message to another one of our CEOs to see if he wants to grab a night cap,” Miner explained.
And why not? There’s still another hour left in the day; plenty of time for another meeting.
Texting terms of endearment seems to shore up relationships. Affectionate affirmations help mitigate hurts and frustrations, a study finds. But men who get flooded with texts from their significant other tend to say the relationship is unsatisfactory. Women tend to say the more texts the merrier.
The National Confectioners Association says weather was one factor in keeping Halloween candy sales flat for the last two years. But could consumers also be heeding the messages to cut back on sugar and empty calories?
This final note in the spirit of the evening of Halloween: Wall Street's just not a scary enough place. So we did some asking around to see what would scare off the folks at a Wall Street Halloween party.
Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, David Menlow from IPOFinancial .com, chief economist Steve Blitz from ITG, Eric Parnell, an analyst at Gerring Wealth Management, and James Angel, finance professor at Georgetown, all weighed in.
Wondering about Kai Ryssdal? Let's be serious. He doesn't dress up.
Now that Fright Night is the most popular holiday, it has nowhere to go but down.
The most important lessons we learn about money don’t come from textbooks or CNBC. They come from our family.
Every week, we invite a prominent person to tell us about the money tips that they inherited. This week, Adam Bahner, better known by his stage name Tay Zonday, tells us what he learned from his family.
In 2007, Bahner was 24 years old and pursued a Ph.D in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Music was a hobby, but he figured he was destined to become an academic. "My parents were both school teachers, and then my mom was a school principal for 20 years," says Bahner. "So I’d say that ethos of finding predictability in finances is something that I definitely inherited as an adult."
But his true ambitions were less academic than musical. He dragged his piano through the snow to perform his own songs at open mics, until he discovered a little website called YouTube. Under the moniker Tay Zonday, Bahner uploaded "Chocolate Rain," and it took the Internet by storm. Bahner eventually dropped out of his Ph.D program.
"Chocolate Rain" has been seen over 94 million times, and it's launched Bahner on an unconventional career as a self-proclaimed "internet brand," one anchored by conventional family values.
"My parents’ career choice as public servants now seems no more stable than pursuing a job in entertainment," says Bahner. "I guess that’s what work is now. It’s not just, you know, getting a job, getting a 9-to-5, it’s taking a holistic view and saying 'How can I monetize my life?'"
In the days before laser printers and ebooks and tablets, a company like Aardvark Letterpress would be using gears, cogs and actual pots of molten lead to make molds for business cards and posters. Actually, today -- they still use the same technology.
Cary Ocon and his family own and run Aardvark Letterpress, using relief printing which literally presses ink into paper, leaving a slight indentation. They're based in downtown Los Angeles and Ocon will tell you they still use technology that originated with Gutenberg.
Ocon remembers when there were a lot of letterpress companies in Los Angeles. He says he remembers days when they had trouble paying rent and bills. "Everyone else died off and now there aren't a lot of places to go -- it's us."
The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. A historian says he's traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.
HSBC's survey of preferred destinations for expats finds China at the top of the list for those working abroad. Asian countries did very well overall on the survey.