Tag Archives: CNBC

Recreation: Why U.S. Boat Sales Are Booming (CNBC)

Every year, about a third of Americans spend at least some time on a boat. In the landscape of recreational power sports, which includes boats, some categories have seen their fair share of struggles in recent years. But boat industry revenues have been mostly growing. Boat sales have seen a boost during Covid, but some analysts think the growth is poised to continue.

Western Drought: Expect More Fires & Water Wars

As of mid-June, nearly three-quarters of the US’s West has been experiencing “severe,” “extreme,” or “exceptional” drought conditions. In addition to the states above, it also includes northern states like North Dakota and Montana.

Overall, climate change is playing a role. But there are smaller factors at play that are tied to climate change as well. Including…

  • Not enough rain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said the Southwest’s 2020 monsoon season (read: ‘nonsoon’) was “the hottest and driest summer/monsoon season on record.” And the decrease in rainfall is having an impact on today’s drought (think: not enough water for crops, lakes, or reservoirs). And for the little rain that has fallen, it could dry up faster because of…
  • Warmer temps. The NOAA dubbed 2020 the second-hottest year on record. And in late June, a record-breaking heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest, with the temperature reaching up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in places like Portland, OR. (Psst…if you’re dealing with hot weather, here are some tips to stay safe.) Hotter, drier weather creates a thirsty environment, which speeds up evaporation. Rising temps are also causing snowpacks to melt faster, and they’re reportedly producing less runoff – a vital water resource. All of which means there’s less water available for communities and ecosystems.

Experts are also worried that the current dry and hot conditions will have a ripple effect, which brings us to wildfires. Last year’s West Coast wildfire season was the worst ever. Fires in California killed 31 people, burned more than 4 million acres, and destroyed thousands of buildings and structures. And this year, states like Arizona have seen an early start to their wildfire season. But the effects of the drought stretch even further.

Analysis: How Landfills Make Millions From Trash

In 2019, the North American waste management market reached $208 billion. Thanks to advancements in modern chemistry and support from municipal governments, landfills have seen astonishing financial success in recent years. Private companies like Waste Management and Republic Services now own a majority of landfills across the U.S., their stocks outperforming the market every year since 2014. So how exactly are landfills turning a profit out of garbage and just how much money can be made? Watch the video to find out.

Automobiles: Decline Of The American Convertible

Rising in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, the convertible car is an automotive American icon. It was a vehicle meant for leisure and fun. Some of the most iconic models throughout history were convertibles, such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang. However, in the last few years, convertibles have been slowly declining in popularity. Along with rising prices, American car buyers, especially those with children, value practicality and functionality over looks and leisure, leading their interest towards SUV’s and midsize sedans. In 2021, convertibles make up only 0.46% of new car sales. Can the iconic design stand the test of time?

Container Shipping: How Maersk Managed Crisis

The global container business is in chaos. Surging consumer demand, covid outbreaks and a shortage of containers has led to higher volume for ocean carriers and congestion at ports.

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipper, has seen record profits. The Danish shipping firm whose customers include Walmart and Nike announced May 2021 first-quarter revenue of $12.4 billion, a 30% increase from a year earlier. Maersk has a fleet of over 700 ships and handles one in every five containers shipped by sea. The company also owns terminals around the world and has a growing land-based logistics business. On average a Maersk container ship calls on a port somewhere around the globe every six minutes.

Like its competitors the company has faced a series of obstacles in the first half of 2021 ranging from the worldwide shortage of shipping containers to the blockage of the Suez Canal. So, with vaccine rollouts in place in the U.S. and consumer discretionary spending shifting towards services will Maersk and its rivals be able to maintain their momentum? And what do bottlenecks at ports and higher freight rates mean for U.S. consumers? Watch the video to find out what’s next for Maersk.

Sports Business: The High Cost Of Hosting Olympics

In 2018, the Rio games were estimated to have a total cost of $20 billion, far beyond the Rio organizing committee’s initial estimate of $2.8 billion. The city of Rio shelled out $8.2 billion on legacy builds, or builds intended to live well beyond the Olympic’s three-week life-cycle. Cities incurring overrun costs when hosting the Olympics is not just unique to just Rio; according to the Council on Foreign Relations, since 1960, every Olympics saw high overrun costs. As overrun costs become a growing concern, several cities withdrew their 2022 winter Olympic bids in 2014, citing the potential costs. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) enacted the Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014; the agenda provided new regulations specifically to mitigate cost concerns. However, the IOC was faced with another challenge: hosting the Tokyo Olympics amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analysis: U.S. Newspapers Owned By Hedge Funds

As Covid-19 ran rampant across the United States in 2020, local newsrooms across the country cut back—even as they covered the biggest story in decades. “As far as readers, we saw that skyrocket during the pandemic,” Emma Way, editor at Axios Charlotte, told CNBC. “So at the same time that revenue was falling, readers were spiking. It was kind of this dilemma that I’m sure a lot of news organizations faced.” Reporters were laid off and furloughed. Some who stayed were offered buyouts. It was a catastrophic and uncertain time for American newsrooms. During the pandemic, more than 70 local newsrooms closed across the country. This includes newspapers that have served their communities for decades. Often, these papers are shut with little notice. But the problem existed long before the pandemic. Since 2004, about 1,800 U.S. newspapers have closed. Newspapers have struggled to make money with the collapse of print advertising as readership moved online. Then, the digital advertising market quickly became dominated by tech companies like Google and Facebook. Today, some of the largest newspaper groups in the country —such as Tribune, McClatchy and Media News Group — are owned, controlled by or in debt to hedge funds or private equity groups. In fact, hedge funds and other financial firms control half of the daily newspapers in the United States, according to a recent analysis by the Financial Times.

Green Energy: Using Soil To Generate Electricity

Bioo is generating electricity from the organic matter in soil and creating biological batteries to power agricultural sensors, a growing $1.36 billion global market. Eventually, Bioo envisions a future where biology could help to power our largest cities.

Analysis: The Business & Profitability Of Golf

In 2020, golf saw a surge in new players following the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing measures. Callaway, the maker of golf balls, clubs, bags and apparel, has been thriving. But with movie theaters, travel and concerts expected to rebound, will golf club makers like Callaway and its rival Acushnet be able to maintain their momentum?

Analysis: Can EV Battery Swapping Gain In The U.S.?

San Francisco-based Ample has brought electric vehicle battery swapping to the U.S. The company was in stealth mode for seven years before launching recently with five swapping stations in the Bay Area. Uber drivers in the area are Ample’s first customers.

The concept isn’t new. A start-up called Better Place launched an EV and battery swapping company after it raised $850 million in venture funding, but it ultimately went bankrupt in 2013. Tesla also demoed battery swapping in 2013 but only opened one station for about a year. Elon Musk said Tesla owners were not interested in it.

Battery swapping is already common in China. Electric vehicle maker Nio, for example, plans to double its network of swapping stations to 500 this year and plans to open stations in Norway as part of its expansion into Europe. Ample has a different approach, with modular batteries and a focus on fleets. CNBC got an inside look at its headquarters and battery factory in San Francisco to learn how the company plans to bring battery swapping into the mainstream.