Massachusetts now has a new biggest bank as Berkshire buys Commerce

Berkshire Bank just leapfrogged from a sleepy western Mass. regional financial institution to the biggest bank based in the state.

Gerald Chan, a billionaire real estate investor with holdings in Hong Kong, mainland China, and in Cambridge, has purchased a third property in Savin Hill.

Chan buys yet another property in Savin Hill

Billionaire investor Gerald Chan scooped up another slice of Savin Hill Monday, closing on a deal to buy a 4.7-acre site steps from the Red Line station.

Billy Exavier sat in a math class at Charlestown Adult Education, where he is taking classes to get his GED. Exavier, a security guard, hopes to become a police officer.

Young men falling to the bottom of the income ladder

Despite the fact that men aged 25 to 34 are better educated than they were four decades ago, their median income has fallen.

“We certainly would not expect our riders to fund a bailout of this size,” said Brian Shortsleeve (above), the MBTA’s acting general manager

MBTA pension fund needs $1 billion, report says

Benefits paid to retirees over the past 10 years have exceeded money coming in from the transit authority and worker contributions.

Latest Business headlines

UMass Memorial Medical Center revises plans to cut psychiatric beds

Mental health advocates still oppose the Worcester hospital’s plan to close 13 beds.

MBTA app maker sued in San Francisco

Elerts Corp. of Weymouth, which makes a “see something, say something” security app for riders of MBTA buses and trains.

FDA approves Sanofi Genzyme rheumatoid arthritis drug

It’s the company’s second medicine to be OK’d this year.

Stocks bounce back as technology and defense companies climb

Strong gains for technology companies like software and chip makers helped lead stocks higher Monday.

Former Polartec plant auctioned for $5.35 million

California real estate investors say they want to turn the nearly 600,000 square foot complex into an industrial innovation hub.


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Nirmal “Narv” Narvekar.

Harvard endowment chief was paid $3.1 million while at Columbia

Nirmal “Narv” Narvekar will likely earn even more at Harvard.

Mass. teachers union pushes state pension fund to divest

The Massachusetts teachers union has endorsed a bill in the state Legislature aimed at curbing investments in companies that contribute to climate change.

Ford Motor Co. chief executive Mark Fields’ days may be numbered.

Ford replacing chief executive Mark Fields

Jim Hackett, who has been leading the automaker’s moves into self-driving cars and ride sharing, will take over.

Apple Pay violates Boston company’s patents, suit alleges

The lawsuit, filed by Universal Secure Registry in US District Court in Delaware, says its chief executive, Kenneth P. Weiss, received 13 patents for authentication systems

Sodium bicarbonate solution, more commonly known as baking soda, is a critical component of cardiac surgeries.

A vital drug runs low in hospitals nationwide: baking soda

Sodium bicarbonate solution is used in open-heart surgery and in some types of chemotherapy.

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon will announce the grants.

Teen job programs get $17 million boost

The Boston Private Industry Council is one of 19 programs nationwide getting money from JPMorgan Chase.

Uber driver Dean Johnson waited for a customer outside South Station last year.

Insurers pitch extra coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers

Insurance companies know many drivers work for Uber and Lyft on the down-low.

A developer wants to build 2,100 high-end apartments on the 28-acre site and use the proceeds to create 1,100 new homes for the poor.

In Charlestown, a clash over a public housing project

Officials are facing stiff pushback against their experimental approach to redevelop one of the city’s biggest public housing projects.

During Trump’s visit, GE announces $15 billion worth of agreements with Saudi Arabia

General Electric has announced it has reached a raft of agreements with Saudi Arabia valued at $15 billion.

Total Wine & More has four outlets in Massachusetts, including one in Everett. Many of its outlets approach 50,000 square feet, or more than the average supermarket.

For Total Wine, it’s total war against alcohol regulations

The sharp-elbowed chain’s next battle: convincing state legislators to allow coupons at package stores.

US stocks close broadly higher; oil rises

Industrial companies led US stocks higher Friday, giving the stock market its second gain in two days.

King Street Properties is working on a $200 million biomedical complex in Cambridge that doesn’t yet have tenants. Developers Tyson Reynoso (above left) and Stephen Lynch looked out over the work.

Tight life sciences lab market spurs speculative building in area

Several complexes are being built “on spec,” meaning developers didn’t sign up tenants before breaking ground.

A staffer monitored the spread of ransomware cyber attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul.

WannaCry fades, but worries remain

A week after it struck, the WannaCry ransomware attack appears to have been a financial bust for the hackers.

Kimberly Doheny, lab director at the Center for Inherited Disease Research at Johns Hopkins University, holds an example of a slide used for testing DNA , Friday, March 21, 2008, in Baltimore. The DNA scanners used in the lab, blue boxes each about twice as big as a desktop printer, will reveal what DNA


FDA action on Vertex drug based on lab tests

Experts say the decision is unlikely to signal a loosening of standards at the drug regulator.

Though it’s hard for employees at a company going through a restructuring to focus, staying committed to work is vital.

Job Doc

Facing reorganization? Don’t give employees false hope

As a manager, telling people they have nothing to worry about is not the conversation you want to have.

Dehydration can zap energy. To compensate, drink regularly during the day.

Consumer Reports

Be more awake by day, sleep better at night

Timed right, small changes in your routine can give you a lift during the day and improve your sleep.

One awful day ruins week for S&P 500 as Trump drama gets serious

Financial markets ended a volatile week with a final bout of turbulence as Donald Trump’s troubles increased Friday.

Union: Up to 40K walking off the job at AT&T this weekend

Up to 40,000 AT&T workers have started walking off the job over contract fights with the phone company, union says.

Greg Galer, near the Northern Avenue Bridge.

Five things you should know about Greg Galer

The executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance is a sort of advocate-in-chief for the city’s older buildings and public spaces.

A view of Deer Island in 2000.

Talking points

Waste not, want not

To some, the $4 billion Deer Island sewage treatment plant that opened 17 years ago is an engineering marvel.

The United States Treasury headquarters building in Washington D.C.

Trump’s pick for Treasury second-in-command withdraws from consideration

James Donovan cited personal reasons for declining President Trump’s nomination to be the next deputy Treasury secretary.

Nominate your company for Top Places to Work

Is your employer one of the best in Massachusetts? Here’s your chance to let everyone know.

Why did the MBTA bounce these mattress ads? Too spicy

The MBTA has removed four Bernie & Phyl’s mattress advertisements on subway cars because they were deemed sexually suggestive.

A construction worker walked through Assembly Square earlier this month.

Somerville strikes deal on Assembly Row affordable housing

After a standoff, Somerville officials will allow the developer to build fewer affordable units than city rule requires.

Steward opened an expanded emergency room in Taunton in 2015.

Steward merger would make it nation’s biggest private for-profit hospital system

Boston-based Steward would grow to 36 hospitals across 10 states, with revenues of nearly $8 billion.

Cambridge-05/17/2017- Soofa makes high-tech solar-powered information boards and park benches for charging smart phones. Sandra Richter is the co-founder and CEO, plugs her smartphone into one of their Cambridge benches. JohnTlumacki/ The BostonGlobe (business)


These startups are building smarter furniture

Local companies are working on everything from desks that can be moved by voice command to benches equipped with solar panels.

The convention center authority controls about 30 undeveloped acres in South Boston.

A study will explore expanding Boston’s convention center

This authority is looking to hire a firm that will research the best way to expand the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

“You’re free to be yourself here and grow in so many ways,’’ said Phedorah, a worker at More Than Words bookstore.

On the former Medieval Manor site, a bookstore with a mission

In a part of the South End giving over to gentrification, a landlord is renting the former Medieval Manor to a nonprofit bookstore.

Forbes’ Under 30 Summit to return to Boston

The Forbes Under 30 Summit will return to Boston in October for a second year

The numbers are a sign that Walmart is making headway in its fight to be as dominant online as it is across the American landscape.

Walmart reports 63 percent rise in online sales

Now the question is whether the country’s largest retailer can sustain that growth to become a true competitor to the online juggernaut Amazon.

Robert Lighthizer is the US trade representative.

Trump notifies Congress he’ll renegotiate NAFTA, but details are scarce

The new US trade representative said the administration aimed to support better-paying jobs and economic growth by modernizing the 23-year-old agreement.

Stocks recoup some losses after Wednesday’s slump

The rally came a day after the market’s worst drop since September as political tumult deepened in Washington.

Breaking up big banks would be ‘huge mistake,’ Mnuchin says

Some administration officials have suggested they were in favor of Congress passing an updated version of the Depression era Glass-Steagall law that split commercial and investment banking.

Reebok announced that it’s unleashing the ReeRomp, a romper built for bros.

A Reebok romper for men? It’s happening.

After a crowdfunding campaign for the garment concept went viral, Reebok is getting in on the trend.

The big data mining community will have the opportunity to discuss tools, techniques, and frameworks with expert practitioners in the field on Friday.

Friday’s business agenda

Workshops, classes, and more notable events and things to know.

for Business - 23athena - Watertown, MA 6/15/10 Jonathan Bush is CEO of AthenaHealth. The company is trying to capitalize on the newly expanded health care insurance rolls to build a business providing electronic medical records for doctors. Employees at Athena are working on technology to make medical records more efficient. (Michele McDonald for The Boston Globe)

Activist hedge fund targets athenahealth, calling it undervalued

One of Massachusetts’ best-known medical technology companies has grabbed the attention of a big activist investor — and for the wrong reasons.

FILE - This Oct. 4, 2014, file photo, shows the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are modestly higher in early trading on Wall Street, Thursday, May 18, 2017, as traders were relieved to see some positive results from retailers. (AP Photo/, File)

Evan Horowitz | Quick Study

The Trump rally: denial or long-term wisdom?

Investors have remained mostly calm amid the president’s political problems.

Abington Bank to merge with Avon Co-operative Bank

Abington Bank, with $242 million in assets, and Avon Co-operative, with $88 million in assets, are both co-operative banks, meaning that they are owned by their customers.

Parker Willard Jr. held a brass lightning rod at Boston Lightning Rod Co. Inc. in Dedham.


Here’s how Boston Lightning Rod Co. Inc. peddles lightning rods in the 21st century

Parker Willard Jr.’s family business has been protecting buildings against damaging strikes for five generations.

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 10: A Now Hiring sign is seen as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Donald Trump's term on March 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The overall economic momentum and optimism was given an extra push by February's unusually warm weather, with almost a quarter of the jobs

Job gains pick up in April after sluggish March

Massachusetts employers added 3,900 jobs in April, rebounding after a sluggish March as more workers returned to the labor market and the unemployment rate inched up.

Brazil markets sink, triggering circuit breaker on fresh crisis

A fresh political crisis threatened to derail a reform agenda that had helped restore confidence in the embattled South American nation.

Tech Lab by Hiawatha Bray


Bray writes about technology for the Business section. His Tech Lab column appears on Thursdays.

Shirley Leung


Leung writes a business column every Wednesday and Friday. Previously she served six years as the business editor overseeing daily and Sunday coverage.