Fortune

29 articles
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Downtown Is for People

On the then-new phenomenon of dead downtowns.

It is not only for amenity but for economics that choice is so vital. Without a mixture on the streets, our downtowns would be superficially standardized, and functionally standardized as well. New construction is necessary, but it is not an unmixed blessing: its inexorable economy is fatal to hundreds of enterprises able to make out successfully in old buildings. Notice that when a new building goes up, the kind of ground-floor tenants it gets are usually the chain store and the chain restaurant. Lack of variety in age and overhead is an unavoidable defect in large new shopping centers and is one reason why even the most successful cannot incubate the unusual--a point overlooked by planners of downtown shopping-center projects.
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Fallen Arches

What happened to McDonald’s?

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Bullfighting, Sport and Industry

“Formal bullfighting is an art, a tragedy, and a business. To what extent it is an art depends on the bulls and the men who are hired to kill them, but it is always a tragedy and it is always a business.”

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Where Did the Hockey Millions Go?

How a financial advisor for NHL players may have orchestrated a massive fraud.

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Women As Bosses

“Some companies are beginning to allow women to take their management-training courses. A woman sitting in on an executive conference is less of a shock to the male than she was only a few years ago. A few big companies–R.C.A., the Home Life Insurance Co., and the New York Central, for example–have even ushered women into the board room.”

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Dirty Medicine

An investigation into widespread criminal fraud at a generic drug company.

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Life, Death, and Free Culture in the Mission

On Ilya Zhitomirskiy, an idealistic young developer who committed suicide 18 months after founding Diaspora, his well-publicized, open-source alternative to Facebook.

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The Hells Angels' Devilish Business

How the biker gang makes money.

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Bad to the Bone

A medical device company experiments on humans.

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What's So Effective About Stephen Covey?

A profile of the man behind the “7 Habits.”

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The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal

How, and why, the world got it wrong.

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The Yankees

A profile of the postwar Bronx Bombers.

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The Last Days of MF Global

“Jon Corzine had never had anything to do with the futures business, had never run a public company, and hadn’t worked on Wall Street for a decade. His time there had ended badly. But by any reasonable standard, the former Goldman chief seemed almost embarrassingly overqualified. Says Flowers: ‘It seemed like we had more CEO than company.’”

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How Top Executives Live

“Adaptation is one explanation of how a lot of executives stay alive. As the fish in the Silurian rivers began to develop swim bladders in order to live in shoal waters, so American executives have developed certain compensating features. The process can be observed particularly in the big cities where conditions are the most trying. Executives have developed an insensitivity to noise, an uncanny time sense (needed in commuting), and an attunement to the city’s terrifying rhythms. Instead of trying to escape the phenomenon of modern life they fling themselves at it.”

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The Toughest Guy On Wall Street

A profile of Jamie Dimon as he became CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

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"Jerry Maguire Aspires to Be You"

In 1999, “original superagent” Leigh Steinberg represented 86 NFL athletes. His life today:

At age 63, Steinberg -- for years hailed as the real-life Maguire -- now finds himself a bankrupt, recovering alcoholic, plotting a comeback from the bottom. And before 10 p.m. tonight, as mandated by the California Bar Association, he must show that his urine is clean.

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Can Wine Become an American Habit?

One man’s dream to turn America into a post-prohibition wine utopia.

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Downtown Is for People

Jane Jacobs has a somewhat ambiguous legacy—or at least one that's contested by different factions in the present-day debate over cities and urbanism—but to me her most important idea is encapsulated in the title and spirit of this piece. It's old and, I think, utterly prescient about what successive waves of planning fads miss. The purpose of urban space is for people to use it. A great place is a place where people want to be.

-M. Yglesias

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The Most Famous Story We Never Told

Sixty-nine years after publication, Fortune revisits “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” – a story it commissioned but did not run.

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Barry Minkow: All-American Con Man

Con man turned pastor turned con man; a profile of a serial scammer and the movie he tried to make about himself.

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The Predator

How an Italian thug looted MGM, brought Credit Lyonnais to its knees, and made the Pope cry.
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Inside Pfizer's Palace Coup

Kindler could be remorseful after letting loose -- he'd send women flowers the day after bringing them to tears -- but that didn't prevent the next explosion. Says an executive who worked closely with him: "Don't call me at five o'clock in the morning and rip my face off, then call me at 11 o'clock at night and tell me how much you love me."
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The Buzz Factory

This past Memorial Day weekend, Steven T. Florio, the president and CEO of Conde Nast Publications, made a dramatic change at The New Yorker, the most illustrious of the 17 magazines he runs for billionaire S.I. "Si" Newhouse Jr. He fired his own brother.
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The Man Who Sees Another Crash

Bob Rodriguez, the oracular mutual fund manager with the best record over the last quarter century and two correctly-predicted crashes under his belt, says another spectacular crash is on its way within five years.

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The King of Home Equity Fraud

How a Nigerian-American conned upwards of $40 million from banks during the housing boom using publicly available information from the internet, persuasive storytelling, and prepaid cellphones, and then ditched his FBI tail in a casino.

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Conan 2.0

When Conan O’Brien left NBC, he agreed to stay off TV for months and stay quiet about the network and its executives. The agreement contained no mention of social media, however. On the origins of a digital renaissance.

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What really happened between HP ex-CEO Mark Hurd and Jodie Fisher?

The bizarre tale of how the hiring of a reality TV contestant to greet high-end customers led to the firing of a successful CEO. Plus: a follow-up article.

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Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe’s

It makes as much money as Whole Foods while stocking 90 percent fewer products. The Trader Joe’s business model explained.