Economy: Big tax cut did not drive investment
Last year’s $1.5 trillion tax cut failed to spark the promised surge in hiring and investment, said Matt Egan in CNN.com. In a survey released this week by the National Association for Business Economics, just 4 percent of companies said they’d increased hiring because of the tax reform. And only 10 percent said they had boosted investments such as building factories or buying equipment. Eighty-four percent said the tax relief had had no effect on their plans. “The idea that there would be an enormous boom,” says Princeton economist Owen Zidar, “was pretty optimistic.”
Opioids: Holding a drugmaker to account
Officers of a company that hyped the opioid fentanyl are set to go on trial next week on charges that “they acted more like mobsters than pharmaceutical executives,” said Jonathan Saltzman and Maria Cramer in The Boston Globe. The U.S. charges that John Kapoor, “a onetime billionaire” and founder of Insys Therapeutics, paid bribes and kickbacks to get doctors to prescribe the company’s fentanyl spray, Subsys. The Insys trial is a rare effort by the federal government “to hold drug companies to account for the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.”
Harley-Davidson: Battered by trade woes
President Trump’s tariffs and changing demographics have wiped out profits at Harley-Davidson, said Carleton English in the New York Post. The motorcycle maker’s stock value plunged after it reported a collapse in quarterly sales. Compounding the pain, the Milwaukee-based company has taken a hit over steel and aluminum tariffs, which will cost them as much as $120 million in lost profits this year. Harley’s attempt to attract younger riders includes a new electric motorcycle. But the LiveWire, which “is set to go on sale in August, has drawn scorn for its lofty price tag.”
Security: Apple’s FaceTime fumble
A 14-year-old in Arizona was the first to discover a major security flaw in Apple FaceTime calls, said Nicole Perlroth in The New York Times. The boy, Grant Thompson, found that when“using FaceTime, Apple’s video chatting software, he could eavesdrop on his friend’s phone before his friend had even answered the call.” Apple ignored more than a week of efforts by Thompson’s mother to warn the company of the flaw, reacting only after it was found and publicized by a developer this week. Apple then disabled the group-calling feature worldwide as it raced to find a fix.