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The next six months could witness one of the biggest consolidations of corporate power in the United States in almost a century, yet a variety of legal and economic factors may leave the federal government unable to stop it.

The essence of the problem is that during the extended economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic, many large companies — and especially their stock market values — have been growing rapidly while their small business competitors have faced something of an apocalypse. More than 400,000 small businesses have already closed and millions more are at risk.

Indeed, the death of these competitors may be part of why the stock market is up so much from its low point in March. Whether the sector is technology, home building, pharmaceuticals or telecommunications, investors seem thrilled with the prospect that big companies will eventually see an expansion of demand but not face as

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Steve Strauss, Special to USA TODAY
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Sept. 30, 2020


Carla Hall’s advice for entrepreneurs: It’s okay to not know everything!


Did the pandemic change your small business? For most of us, the answer is yes.

Which begs the question, how do you pivot to whatever is next? It seems difficult, right?

It turns out that changing course can be quite easy.

I want you to think about a giant cruise ship. Think about how big they are. Large cruise ships are about 1,000 feet long (longer than three football fields), and weigh more than 71,500 tons. They are massive. Now consider about how much energy and velocity that mighty ship has when headed in any one direction.

So how does a captain turn a ship to head in a new direction? It is not an insignificant question, and bingo if you think

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A woman looks out over New York City

AFP/Getty Images

Kroll Bond Rating Agency came to the bond-rating world with fresh eyes after the 2007-’08 global financial crisis.

On Tuesday, it agreed to pay more than $2 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that it relied on lax internal controls when assigning its credit ratings to bonds backed by commercial property debt and hybrid corporate debt securities, all in the postcrisis era.

The fine might not seem like a lot, and it’s certainly only a fraction of the billions extracted by the SEC and other financial regulators from big banks and credit-ratings firms in the aftermath of the 2008 crash.

But the securities at the heart of Tuesday’s SEC settlement also come from the same family of exotic assets that played a prominent role in the last decade’s financial crisis, but with the new twist

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  • President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted that it will be “a big WIN” for the US if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
  • “Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court,” he wrote, less than a day after nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
  • Democrats condemned Trump’s message with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeting that the president had all but admitted that he plans to invalidate Obamacare.
  • “She will be the vote that takes away health care for millions of Americans, including 130 million people and counting with pre-existing conditions,” Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow told Fox News about Barrett.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that it will be a victory for the United States if the Supreme Court dismantles

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We help you estimate the maximum amount that could end up in your bank account if another stimulus payment arrives.

Angela Lang/CNET

Is there a chance that you could get a second stimulus check before the Nov. 3 election, and if so, how much could you receive if you are eligible? 

A glimmer of hope has emerged with the news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have resumed negotiations to pass another coronavirus rescue package. House Democrats have a new relief proposal worth $2.4 trillion that may be voted on as soon as Oct. 2. If it actually passes, the Senate could choose to pick it up for a vote, or, as was the case with the Heroes Act that passed the House in May, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not take it up at all.

The first stimulus check maxed out at

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High-profile debuts include Ford’s electric Mustang SUV, a sub-$20,000 Chevy SUV, Land Rover Defender and Bollinger Motors electric SUV and pickup

Detroit Free Press

Ford Motor Co. reached a three-year deal with Unifor National that includes wage increases, bonuses and other benefits for its factory workers in Canada plus a massive financial investment in battery electric vehicles, the company announced Monday.

The union voted 81% in favor of the collective bargaining contract, which includes $1.5 billion (U.S.) in investments to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville and a new engine derivative to Windsor, Unifor confirmed.

“This is the single biggest investment in the Canadian auto industry in years,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National president. “The vote … shows Unifor members have a clear vision of a strong and prosperous Canadian auto sector.”

Highlights include $1.4 billion (U.S.) to retool and build new battery electric vehicles in Oakville, “including

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Trending Halloween Costumes are a Big Business Like This Year’s Joe Exotic Costume Trending Halloween Costumes are a Big Business Like This Year’s Joe Exotic Costume Photo: photo courtesy of Estrategize

They pop up around this time every year. The sexy costumes that are meant to shock, inspire, or make us laugh. Yet, it seems the more outrageous the costume, the more often we write about it, read about it, or even see it roaming around the Halloween party. 

From an outside perspective, it doesn’t seem possible that designing and marketing obscure sexy costumes can possibly lead to a profitable business model, regardless of the amount of attention it generates. As an $8.8 billion industry, Halloween costume retailers are happy to disagree. 

“Sexy Halloween costumes are a big business having skyrocketed in popularity when they started being sold online in the late ‘90s. Even so, we have to get more and more creative every year to come up with unique ideas for our

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Within a year of the Business Roundtable release of the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation signed by 181 CEOs who committed to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders, the public health and economic crises have been testing these commitments. To mark the 50th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s famous statement that the one and only social responsibility of business is to increase profits, sustainability consultant KKS Advisors released a new study, The Test of Corporate Purpose, which was financed by the Ford Foundation, to gauge companies’ response to the coronavirus pandemic and to the movement against racial injustice. Test of Corporate Purpose’s finding that companies that consistently effectively manage issues relevant to Covid-19 or inequality have continued to outperform during the crisis makes

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But Biden’s advertising advantage over Trump is more concerning for the president. Biden out-paced Trump more than 2-to-1 on the airwaves last week, according to the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

Preserve America officials have declined to name their donors, which will be revealed in campaign finance filings next month. But senior Republicans have said they expect the group to receive funding from Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

Adelson, the Republican Party’s most prominent giver, has a long history of cutting seven- and eight-figure checks to super PACs in the closing months of elections. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have given $50 million to Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC devoted to protecting the Republican majority in the upper congressional chamber. The couple also gave $20 million to a pro-Trump group during the final weeks of

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Rotunda Rumblings

a group of people standing in front of a store: Ohio Secretary of Frank LaRose speaks on Sept. 25, 2020 at the Columbus Distributing Company in Columbus.

© Andrew J. Tobias,
Ohio Secretary of Frank LaRose speaks on Sept. 25, 2020 at the Columbus Distributing Company in Columbus.

Fight night: All eyes will be on Ohio Tuesday as Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden share a Cleveland stage for their first debate. Seth Richardson has a primer with all you need to know, including what’s at stake for the candidates and what issues will – and probably won’t — come up. And Peter Krouse takes a closer look at the logistics, and what the closely watched event will mean for Cleveland.

No profit sharing: Throughout the debate about whether to repeal House Bill 6 1/4 u2032s $1.3 billion bailout of two nuclear power plants, one key question remains unanswered: How profitable or unprofitable are the plants? As Jeremy Pelzer found, Energy Harbor, the plants’ owner, still refuses to

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