2013 saw some ups and downs in the business world but for the most part, it was a decent year. Here are some of the major business stories from 2013.
Business Recap For 2013
Surging Stock Market
The stock market saw some nice gains in 2013. The blue-chip stock soared to a gain of 25 percent which is the best performance in over a decade. Stocks have basically recovered from the fall of 2008 and may go up more in 2014 but of course, with the stock market, anything can happen. The surging stock market does, however, bring the fears of a bubble that may burst at some point so it has to be watched carefully.
Washington had its fair share of problems in 2013 with the shutdown that threatened to derail the entire economy and send it into a tailspin. In October they were unable to pass a budget which caused a government shut down for 16 days and put federal employees out of work. The parks were closed and the government even risked defaulting on its debt during this time. In December a two-year budget deal was reached which should ease many of the problems going into 2014.
NSA and Tech Companies
The NSA spying scandal is a big part of 2013. An NSA contractor leaked documents that said that tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and others give data to Federal authorities about users’ activities on these sites. The companies did say that only provide data that is required by federal courts but the scandal caused a lot of harm and users began to worry about their personal and business data on these sites.
JP Morgan Chase
The crash of 2008 hurt JP Morgan Chase but they were hurting, even more, this year when they agreed to pay $13 billion for their part in the housing crisis of 2008. This settlement was about 60 percent of the net income of JP Morgan Chase in 2012. Ouch! The penalty is tax-deductible so that is a bright side for the company.
One of the big stories of 2013 was Obamacare and the inability of the website to accept applications for the new system. The website had so many glitches and problems that almost no one could sign up for the program. The government continues to work on the system and it may still be several more months before the whole system is working properly.
Overseas Factory Disaster
In Bangladesh, there was a tragedy when a building where garments are produced collapsed and killed over 1,000 people. This disaster showed the need for companies to provide better working conditions for employees around the globe. Clothing makers such as Wal-Mart, the Gap, and others were under pressure to provide better conditions in these factories in Bangladesh. In November angry Bangladesh workers burned down a building in protest of wages.
American Airlines which was under bankruptcy merge with US Airways to become American Airlines Group. The companies will operate as two carriers until they get the go-ahead to combine which should take place within two years. This will become the world’s biggest airline when it does. The downside is that with fewer airlines, the ticket prices will probably go up for passengers.
Twitter Goes Public
The Twitter IPO was a big technology story in 2013. In November the company offered stock at $26.00 per share. Twitter is currently seeing some good stock prices but these could fall if interest in the stock drops in the New Year.
And there is your business recap for 2013. Overall, it was a decent year in terms of business with a few sore points to take note of such as the government shutdown. If the economy can recover even more in 2014 we should be well on our way to finally seeing some growth!