Talking Points

Greentown Labs plans first out-of-state expansion

McDonald’s US sales recovered much of their lost ground in May.
McDonald’s US sales recovered much of their lost ground in May.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images/Getty Images


Greentown Labs expanding to Houston

Greentown Labs said Tuesday that it is heading to Houston for its first out-of-state expansion. Emily Reichert, chief executive of the clean-tech incubator in Somerville, said the Houston space, expected to open in 2021, will be big enough to accommodate about 50 startups, compared to about 100 in Somerville. In the meantime, Greentown will host virtual events to convene the clean-energy community there. Greentown has hired two people to staff its Houston operation, bringing its full- and part-time workforce to 30, Reichert said. “Houston doesn’t really have another organization like ours,” Reichert said. “But it does have a hell of a lot of talent that could be working on the climate problem. It kind of makes sense for us to go to the energy capital of the world. The more we looked at it, the more logical it became.” — JON CHESTO



Infrastructure work at Innovation Center begins

Southbridge Associates has kicked off work on the public infrastructure part of the Southbridge Innovation Center, a sprawling 150-acre mixed-use project in Southbridge at the former American Optical complex. Developer Chip Norton said he expects to spend $15 million on public infrastructure over the next three years. That work includes walking trails, lights, road upgrades, and a boat launch. Town officials have said they hope to secure state and federal funds to subsidize some of the improvements. — JON CHESTO


Drive-throughs help McDonald’s sales recover

McDonald’s US sales recovered much of their lost ground in May after a 19 percent slump in April, evidence that consumers tired of home cooking were eager to get back into the drive-through lane. Same-store sales — a key gauge of success — fell only 5.1 percent last month from a year earlier. The decline was deeper in international markets, but also showed improvement in May. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Morgan Stanley sued by former diversity head

Morgan Stanley was sued by its former head of diversity for allegedly discriminating against Black women who work at the bank. Marilyn Booker, who joined Morgan Stanley in 1994 and became its first global head of diversity, claims in her lawsuit that the “white male-centric leadership” refused to adopt her plan to address racial bias at the firm and instead terminated her in December. Booker, most recently a managing director at the bank, said she repeatedly voiced her concerns about “irrefutable and appalling patterns” in the firm’s hiring, retention, and lack of advancement of Black employees. But she claims Morgan Stanley only paid “lip service” to the issues. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Mall of America misses another payment

Minnesota’s Mall of America missed another payment on a $1.4 billion mortgage, putting the borrower more than 60 days delinquent, according to people with knowledge of the financing. The mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the United States, didn’t make its roughly $7 million debt payment for June, according to the people, who asked not to be named speaking about a private matter. It was the third straight month of missed payments for the property. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


FCC head says T-Mobile’s long outage ‘unacceptable’

The head of the US communications regulator said T-Mobile’s nationwide, hourslong outage Monday was “unacceptable” and that the Federal Communications Commission will investigate. T-Mobile, one of the country’s three largest cellphone service providers, said it had a “voice and text wireless issue’’ that began around noon EDT Monday. The company said at 1 a.m. Tuesday that all problems should be resolved. The company blamed an Internet-traffic issue that caused problems with its network for the outage. AT&T and Verizon both said their networks were operating normally. But calls between their customers and T-Mobile customers could have run into trouble because of T-Mobile’s issues, creating the impression of a widespread communications failure. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



EU launches two investigations into Apple

European Union regulators opened two investigations on Tuesday into Apple’s mobile app store and payment platform over concerns its practices distort competition, opening a new front in the EU’s battle against the dominance of big-tech companies. The EU’s Executive Commission said it formally launched the investigations over concerns that Apple’s way of doing business hurts consumers by limiting choice and innovation and keeping prices high. Apple said the complaints are “baseless.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Half of biggest public pension’s staff to work remotely

The head of the biggest public pension in the United States expects to keep half its employees working remotely even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, citing a high level of productivity and an opportunity to cut costs. Marcie Frost, chief executive of the Sacramento-based California Public Employees’ Retirement System, said in a podcast posted Tuesday that the agency may also change how it interacts with its 2 million members. Some customer-service functions at its regional offices could be replaced by teleconferences or Web-based applications for face-to-face meetings, she said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Casino industry pushes cashless payments

The American casino industry wants gambling regulators to make it easier to adopt cashless payment transactions on the casino floor, citing a desire to help customers avoid handling money during the coronavirus outbreak. In a report released Tuesday, the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group, called on regulators in states where gambling is allowed to update their rules or laws to integrate cashless options for gamblers. The push follows an 18-month study of the issue by both commercial and tribal casinos and equipment suppliers to try to pave the way for cashless transactions on a wider basis Presently, a small number of casinos use such payments, which include debit or credit cards, as well as apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Wider acceptance of these options has long been a goal of the gambling industry. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Manufacturing picked up slightly in May

US industrial production rose by less than forecast in May after a record slump a month earlier, indicating a gradual recovery for manufacturing as coronavirus-related shutdowns restrained demand. Output at factories, mines, and utilities rose 1.4 percent from the prior month after a revised 12.5 percent plunge in April, the largest in records back to 1919, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


US falls to 10th in ranking of competitive economys

The United States tumbled further in a ranking of most competitive world economies, dragged down by the weight of President Trump’s trade wars. After losing the top spot to Singapore in 2018, the United States dropped further down the list to 10th place from third, according to an annual ranking from the Institute for Management Development, a business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Singapore was the most competitive economy for the second year in a row, followed by Denmark and Switzerland. — BLOOMBERG NEWS