A different kind of March madness

Outstanding student-loan debt at the end of 2018 was $1.5 trillion. Education debt ranks second in US consumer debt behind mortgages.

A rendering of the lab building proposed for A Street in South Boston.

Life sciences lab proposed for South Boston

Developers have filed plans for a 210,000-square-foot building on A Street.

Boston-based Proletariat is testing a new game called Spellbreak with players; it’s a team-based combat game, but instead of using heavy weaponry, players cast magic spells on each other.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

Boston used to dominate the video game industry. Can it rebound?

With PAX East in town, it’s a good time to assess our place in the gaming industry.

After the announcement, Biogen lost its bragging rights as the state’s most valuable biotech to Vertex Pharmaceuticals.


For Biogen, ‘a massive destruction of market value’

What happened to the company Thursday, when it said it had basically given up hope for an experimental Alzheimer’s drug, was far from routine.

Latest Business headlines

Chesto Means Business

Cambridge mulls an extreme step to address need for affordable housing

Officials are essentially deciding whether to establish an entirely new citywide zoning code — but one that just applies to 100-percent affordable residential projects.

US budget deficit sets February record of $234 billion

It pushed the overall deficit for the first five months of the budget year up 39 percent from a year ago.

Trump offers Fed post to campaign adviser

President Trump said Friday he has offered a position on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors to Stephen Moore, a conservative economic adviser who has become an outspoken critic of the Fed’s interest-rate policy.

Stocks slide lower as economic growth worries spread

The sell-off in stocks knocked more than 300 points off the Dow Jones industrial average and put the benchmark S&P 500 index on track for a weekly loss.

MassBio to honor Boston fire commissioner Finn for efforts to reduce cancer rates

He’ll be the first recipient of the trade group’s State of Possible award.


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Top Places to Work

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/14/BostonGlobe.com/Magazine/Images/intro2018tptw.jpg The 2018 Top Places to Work in Massachusetts

These 128 businesses have the happiest employees in the state. Here are sortable lists of the winners, and how we compiled them.


//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2019/03/22/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/AdobeStock_89244067-1024x576.jpg Alzheimer’s and amyloid: ‘It’s time to do something else’

Despite the failure of yet another experimental drug, diehard supporters of the amyloid hypothesis insist the idea is still sound.

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LAKE ORION, MI - MARCH 22: General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks with the news media after she announced a $300 million investment in the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles at the Orion Assembly Plant on March 22, 2019 in Lake Orion, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

Less than a week after a series of critical tweets from the president over an Ohio plant closure, General Motors is announcing plans to add 400 jobs and build a new electric vehicle near Detroit.

Former Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal is investing in Papa John’s.

Shaquille O’Neal joins Papa John’s board, invests in restaurants

The former Boston Celtics center is joining the board of the struggling pizza chain and investing in nine restaurants in the Atlanta area.

M. Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College, was alarmed by stats about gender inequality in a foundation report.


College presidents take aim at the gender gap

Getting a group like this together isn’t easy. So you know when someone pulls it off, the goal must be ambitious.

Westwood, MA, 03/21/2019 -- Clients at the Julia Ruth House Adult Day Care Center enjoy high tea together in Westwood. Biogen's announcement is discouraging for patients and families with dementia. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: 22biogenpatientspic Reporter:

Biogen halts late-stage trials on Alzheimer’s drug

The Cambridge biotech and its Japanese partner concluded the drug was unlikely to benefit patients. Patients and families with dementia were discouraged by the announcement.

Hiawatha Bray | Tech Lab

Tick, tick, the GPS clock is winding down . . .

A quirk in GPS technology will cause some older systems to think it’s 1999 all over again.

Among the defendants in the Insys Therapeutics trial in federal court in Boston is the company’s founder, John Kapoor.

Painkiller that enriched Insys left patients sick and addicted, witnesses say

The defendants stand accused of conspiring to bribe practitioners into prescribing the powerful painkiller in high doses to patients who did not need it.

Carol Fulp said she plans to work as a consultant who helps executives with building diversity, and to do more public speaking around her book on the subject.

CEO stepping down at The Partnership, the Boston group that helps professionals of color

Carol Fulp has dedicated the past seven years of her life to helping professionals of color advance their careers. Now, Fulp is making a career change of her own.

Facebook left millions of passwords readable by employees

Facebook offered the acknowledgement after a security researcher posted about the issue online.

S&P 500 ends 2-day losing streak as tech leads stocks higher

Technology companies powered a broad rally for US stocks Thursday, snapping the market’s two-day losing streak.

Weekend agenda

A marketing conference, and other events and things to know.

The Fed may not raise interest rates in 2019. Here’s how that affects consumers

So much for those worries about rising interest rates.

A Lion Air Boeing Co. 737

Doomed 737 Max 8 Jets lacked two key safety features that Boeing sold as extras

Many airlines, especially low-cost carriers like Indonesia’s Lion Air, have opted not to buy them — and regulators don’t require them.


Biogen halts study of closely watched Alzheimer’s drug

The Cambridge biotech and its Japanese pharma partner, Eisai, said Thursday that they were halting two Phase 3 clinical trials of aducanumab.

Biogen shares plunge after Alzheimer’s drug setback

Shares plummeted, knocking billions of dollars out of the company’s market value.

BOSTON, MA - 2/06/2019: Resonant Energy co-founder Isaac Baker works seated on a couch which they rehabilated, a slate table which an intern rehabilated with his feet ontop and a blackboard behind with the logo drawn on it. The company is a startup focused on providing solar power to low and middle income communities as well as non-profits including churches. Their office is in a wing of the 2nd Church of Dorchester, which they have installed solar panels on. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: BUSINESS TOPIC xxworkspace


Dorchester church provides home for social entreprenuers

Resonant Energy, a startup focused on providing solar power to low and middle income communities, is at home in the annex of the 2nd Church of Dorchester.

Chesto Means Business

State tax credits help cosmetic laser maker establish new HQ in Marlborough

The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved $500,000 in state tax credits on Wednesday for Candela, a maker of cosmetic lasers, to help offset its relocation costs.

Fed holds interest rates steady, predicts no increases this year

The Federal Reserve expressed increasing concern about slowing economic growth and showed little appetite for raising rates in the near future.

The fine against Google reinforces the European Union’s position as the world’s most aggressive watchdog of the tech sector.

Google fined $1.7b by EU for unfair advertising rules

European authorities on Wednesday fined Google about $1.7 billion for antitrust violations in the online advertising market.

Markforged, a Watertown-based maker of 3-D printers, has raised an additional $82 million in venture funding in a round led by Summit Partners.

Watertown 3-D printer company raises $82 million in venture funding

Markforged makes 3-D printers that use either carbon fiber or metal powders as raw materials.

Fed news sends bond yields lower; stocks end day mixed

Banks led US stocks mostly lower Wednesday after a brief rally sparked by the Federal Reserve’s latest policy update faded. The real action centered on the bond market.

A demonstration shows off technology developed by ClearMotion, which makes

Here’s what it’s like to drive a car with a Mass.-made suspension that eliminates bumps

As another crop of potholes emerges, ClearMotion wants to transform the experience of driving over them.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve foresees no interest rate hikes in 2019

The Federal Reserve forecast no rate increases at all this year, a big change from its forecast just three months ago.

Flagship Pioneering CEO Noubar Afeyan (left) and the venture capital firm’s chief medical officer, Michael Rosenblatt.

Flagship Pioneering raises $824m in VC round, its most ever

The Cambridge firm said the money will be used to further boost companies it’s already launched.

EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager gave a joint press conference from the EU headquarters in Brussels Wednesday.

EU fines Google $1.7 billion for abusing online ads market

European Union regulators have hit Google with a $1.68 billion fine for abusing its dominant role in online advertising.

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, more than a year after the mega merger was proposed. Disney gets far ranging properties ranging from Fox’s film studios, including “Avatar” and X-Men, to its TV productions such as “The Simpsons” and networks including National Geographic. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets

The deal paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year, and will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling moved his 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 2010.

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $800K in Schilling video game deal

Wells Fargo Securities has agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit over Rhode Island’s failed $75 million deal with former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell pauses during a news conference after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Fed has decided to leave interest rates unchanged. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)


There’s a lot riding on today’s Fed meeting. Here’s what you need to know

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell must walk a fine line today as he lays out his view of the economy.

Tax on high-end real estate sales could generate hundreds of millions for Boston

The proposed tax could yield an enormous amount of money for affordable housing, but could dampen the market and faces a long road to approval.

US stocks give up an early rally, ending winning streak

US stock indexes closed mostly lower Tuesday after a late-afternoon splash of selling erased early gains, ending a weeklong rally.

Facebook to end targeted ads for jobs, housing, loans after bias complaints

A settlement compels Facebook to withhold a wide array of detailed demographic information — including ZIP codes, gender, and age — from advertisers.

The Boston skyline.

Boston, LA offer best property returns as US economy slows, expert says

Investors in US commercial real estate should look at cities where business is booming rather than take riskier bets as the economy slows, one expert says.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has made antitrust action against online giants Facebook, Google, and Amazon a cornerstone of her presidential campaign.

Hiawatha Bray | Tech Lab

Break up Big Tech? The senator’s plan has plenty of precedent

The US government has often used antitrust law to keep technology companies in check — to the benefit of consumers and the economy.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling departed the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation headquarters in Providence, R.I., in 2012.

Wells Fargo agrees to $800,000 penalty in 38 Studios case

Wells Fargo Securities agreed to pay the civil penalty to settle a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s failed $75 million deal with Curt Schilling’s video game company.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

National Enquirer reportedly paid $200,000 for private Bezos texts

The Wall Street Journal reported the tabloid’s publisher paid that sum to the brother of Jeff Bezos’s lover for the intimate texts.

Utility safety becomes Ray LaHood’s top priority

As a longtime D.C. denizen, Ray LaHood knows all about Beltway politics. Massachusetts politics? That’s another story, although he is about to get a bit of a crash course.

Shane Taremi’s “Woman in Blue” — architectural subjects paired with visual elements meant to provide a sense of scale, like pedestrians in the foreground — was one of the works selected for display.

Storefronts go from empty to artistic

Cities across the country are trying to figure out what to do with the empty storefronts. Cambridge has turned to something popular elsewhere: ad-hoc art galleries.

Boston, MA--11/2/2015--Incumbent City Councilor Michelle Wu (cq) campaigns for re-election at the Victoria's Diner (cq), on Monday, November 2, 2015. She speaks with Brian Curr (cq) of the South End. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 03council Reporter: Andrew Ryan

Boston makes its move into electricity purchasing for its residents and businesses

The city of Boston has proven to be an elusive grand prize among electricity brokers, but a Marlborough firm finally won the jackpot.

Workers at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, plant rallied earlier this month before it was closed.

Trump rebukes General Motors and union over idling of Lordstown plant

In a Twitter barrage, the president called on the carmaker and the United Auto Workers to start talks that would put an Ohio factory back to work.

Probe of FAA’s oversight of Boeing 737 began before second crash

Probe of FAA’s oversight of Boeing 737 began before second crash

Energy companies lead modest gains for US stock indexes

Stock indexes finished modestly higher Monday, extending the market’s solid gains from a rally last week.

The ride-hailing company is based in San Francisco.

Lyft begins IPO road show, offers 30 million shares to public

Lyft kicked off the road show for its initial public offering, putting 30 million shares up for sale Monday with an anticipated price of $62 to $68 per share.

Innovation Economy by Scott Kirsner


Kirsner’s Innovation Economy column appears in the Boston Sunday Globe, and he contributes to the Globe’s Beta Boston website.