New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and his colleagues help make sense of major business and policy news — and the power-brokers who shape them.

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“So much attention is paid to tuition, but students also need to have money to live on while in college,” said an associate professor at Seton Hall University. “The biggest surprise,” he added, “is how much of the cost it can be.”

Wealthy families have chosen to bypass private equity and venture capital funds to invest directly in companies, either by themselves or with other significantly wealthy families. And they are taking a greater entrepreneurial role in their investments.

Your Work Friend writes that public speaking is labor that deserves to be compensated, but it is absolutely unacceptable that team members should be spending their own money on diversity training. She writes that they are not at all wrong to object.

Direct investment in businesses by the investment pools of wealthy families, known as family offices, began to rise after the last recession, climbing 206 percent from 2010 to 2015. Now, half of all family offices make direct investments in companies.

After all federal student loans and grants are applied to the cost of college, students face an average shortfall of about $12,000 for so-called indirect costs like books. Here are some questions and answers about managing indirect college costs:

Employees are asked to pay for their own diversity training, a 56-year-old despairs about his career prospects, and a woman has a misogynist at her job. Here’s your Work Friend’s advice on how to deal with these workplace issues:

A Seattle lawsuit brought by a group of local businesses owners underscores a key question: Can businesses still rely on local governments, which are now rethinking the role of the police, to keep them safe?

In the face of a global downturn, Denmark has a high-performing stock market. What accounts for such a stellar performance? Experts point to an effective response to the coronavirus crisis and a collection of companies well positioned to weather the crisis

For 23 days in June, about six blocks in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood were claimed by demonstrators and declared police-free. Now a group of local businesses owners is suing the city, claiming the move resulted in property damage and lost revenue.


@BillGates  weighs in on taxing billionaires: “I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes.”

Bank of America will stop lending money to gun manufacturers that make military-inspired firearms for civilian use, such as the AR-15-style rifles that have been used in multiple mass shootings.

Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that the administration had to be tougher on spending and would begin to consider “the larger entitlements” — Social Security and Medicare are the two biggest social insurance programs — “probably next year”

“Trump will make out like a bandit on all the big items”

@BillGates  says he’s not convinced by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax, which includes a proposal to aggressively tax billionaires. “I don’t know how open-minded she is or if she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money.”

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Scott Becker, the head of the nation’s public lab association, on coronavirus testing: “We’re absolutely a few weeks behind where we should be.” He added, “There is no way you can sugarcoat that.” 

“People have gone to prison for stuff like this, and if I were representing someone with facts like this, assuming the facts described in this petition are true, I would be very worried about an indictment.”

It was the first passenger fatality in the 51-year history of Southwest, which prides itself on a stellar safety record. Here's the potential fallout:

For those on Wall Street, who make a living negotiating, the deal struck by the president doesn’t look too artful. Not only that, it raises all sorts of questions about his ability extract concessions in future negotiations.