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The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced liftoff for short-term interest rates — a launch that may send many borrowing costs higher in 2016.

The 0.25-percentage-point increase — to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent — in the federal funds rate was small but important because it signals the beginning of the end of easy money; the Fed wants to get back to normal after years of fighting economic stagnation with supercheap loans.

The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris calls "three powerful new companies," with a combined revenue of around $83 billion.

One of the state’s largest employers is about to undergo a major change in ownership. Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury-based coffee company that employs more than 600 people statewide, is to be bought by an investor group for $13.9 billion. But state officials say they’re confident that Vermont workers will keep their jobs.

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

Some companies are trying to keep ahead of negative online reviews by suing or threatening consumers. 

Amazon has released a glimpse of what its much-anticipated drone deliveries could look like, although it warns the service is still very much in a testing phase.

Niall Kennedy flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/3242764552 / Creative Commons

Electric automaker Tesla Motors, Inc. plans to resume efforts to pass state legislation allowing them to open showrooms in Connecticut and sell its vehicles directly to consumers.

Photo by Chion Wolf

Pfizer's proposed merger with Allergan, which will take the pharmaceutical giant's tax domicile overseas, has provoked a new round of angst about corporate defections.

The controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline is now in the hands of the federal government.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to come to Springfield on December 3 for a public meeting where officials from MGM are expected to present a comprehensive cost and design analysis of the latest plans for a casino in the city.

MGM officials say the budget to develop a resort casino in Springfield has increased to $950 million -- $150 million more than the estimated investment when the gaming commission awarded a license for the project in June 2014.

The U.S. drug giant Pfizer and its smaller rival Allergan have agreed to merge, creating the world's biggest pharmaceutical company by sales.

The $160 billion deal is the largest example so far of a corporate inversion, in which a U.S. company merges with a foreign company and shifts its domicile overseas in order to lower its corporate taxes.

MGM has reaffirmed its commitment to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts and now plans to spend an additional $150 million in the project.

MGM will invest $950 million to develop the resort casino in Springfield despite design changes that reduce the size of the project, and eliminate a 25-story hotel tower.

MGM President Bill Hornbuckle announced the new budget for the project at a presentation Wednesday night for city officials and residents. 

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Eleven years ago, Vermont followed suit. But doctors still know surprisingly little about the pharmacology of cannabis. And a Vermont-based think-tank is hoping to transform the industry by applying new scientific rigor to an old drug.

Courtesy Travelers

People who live or work in Hartford may have noticed last night a visible sign of solidarity with the French people after the Paris attacks.

The lights of the Travelers Tower on Grove Street flashed blue, white and red as a mark of respect, after last Friday's terror attacks which claimed the lives of 129 people.

Stephen Pierzchala / Creative Commons

In an era awash in the rollout of brand new gadgets, gizmos, fashions, and fads, it's easy to think of obsolescence as part of the natural order: Remember popped lapels, pay phones and laserdisc players? But the idea that an object should quickly fall from favor, lose functionality, and find itself in a landfill somewhere is quite new -- and it didn't come about by accident.

Now that Starwood Hotels has announced it's to be bought by Marriott International, there's the small matter of state incentives to be worked out.

The Tiverton Town Council is slated to hold a public hearing Monday on Twin River’s Tiverton casino proposal. 

Twin River wants to build a two-story, 85-thousand square foot casino in a remote part of Tiverton very close to the Massachusetts border. The council may vote to support the plan, or it could wait to vote on it at another time.

Rhode Island is gaining notice as a contender in the high-stakes battle over General Electric's possible relocation from Connecticut, thanks to the state pension overhaul spearheaded by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2011.

Starwood

Starwood, the hotels group which is Stamford’s largest employer, is being bought by Marriott International. Marriott will pay $12.2 billion for Starwood. The combined company will be the largest hotel group in the world, with more than 5,000 properties.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

For 40 years, Connecticut has been home to one of the titans of the Dow, General Electric. But now the state is playing a game of “will they or won’t they” with one of its most high profile corporate citizens. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Aerospace professionals from across the globe are in Groton this week, as local supply chain companies get an opportunity to network with overseas counterparts and with big U.S. defense companies. 

MichaelTK (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear new restrictions could land on them as a result.

Pratt and Whitney

Connecticut defense contractors will soon have an opportunity to meet other businesses and government officials to boost exports and develop global business relationships.

Rep. Joe Courtney and Anne Evans, district director of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Connecticut, said an Aerospace and Defense International Trade Summit is scheduled for Nov. 8-10 in Mystic.

People entering North Adams will soon see new signs that highlight the past, present and future of Massachusetts’ smallest city.

Niall Kennedy / Creative Commons

Pratt & Whitney has congratulated Northrup Grumman on winning the contract to make the military’s next generation stealth bomber, but it still isn’t clear if the East Hartford jet engine maker will benefit. 

Uber has shaken up what it takes to get from point A to point B in cities across the country with a simple premise: If you need a ride, a driver nearby could pick you up within minutes.

Behind that idea is an algorithm, which promises to keep supply and demand in constant balance, encouraging drivers toward busy areas and tempering customer requests by increasing the price of each ride. It's called surge pricing.

Lars Plougmann / Creative Commons

A new wood product used in construction could help create greater demand for materials from local forests. Some tree buffs say more desire for New England timber could actually be a good thing for preserving Connecticut woodlands. 

The company that makes Legos has landed at the center of a social-media firestorm after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei complained that it refused to supply a bulk order of the toy bricks for his art.

Ai said he wanted to use the bricks for an exhibition on free speech at Australia's National Gallery of Victoria. The museum attempted to place an order but was told by the company that it "cannot approve the use of Legos for political works."

"We've been refused, and the reason is Lego will not support political art, which is very frustrating," Ai said in an interview with NPR.

sipo / Creative Commons

The Iranian government has criticized the decision by a U.S. court to sentence an engineer with dual citizenship to more than eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive military documents to Iran. 

Volkswagen admitted it intentionally cheated on federal emissions tests. The German automaker now faces billions of dollars in fines and litigation, plus the cost of fixing some 11 million diesel cars worldwide.

That's just the company. The scandal is costing owners, too — at least those who are trying to sell their VW diesels. Not surprisingly, resale prices for the affected cars have been falling.

For centuries, Vermont has been able to turn fall foliage into tourist dollars for the state. But there are two men who are now exporting the colorful leaves — for a price.

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