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Business

How Does Harris View Big Business? Her Time as California’s Top Lawyer Offers Clues

Ms. Harris told her team to study the matter, but to avoid making requests for information that Herbalife would have to disclose publicly — a move that might affect the company’s share price.“We need to find out if Herbalife has violated the law,” a former senior lieutenant, Nathan Barankin, recalled Ms. Harris saying, “but we should not go about our business of figuring that out in a way where we are being used to make one billionaire richer than another one.”Her office met with consumers who said the company had deceived them, but ultimately the lawyers came to believe that the 1986 state order contained too many loopholes to make a successful case, said two aides to Ms. Harris from that time.Other Herbalife investigations continued. In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission won an injunc...

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Business

‘The Big Short 2.0’: How Hedge Funds Profited Off the Pain of Malls

Before making their bets, some investors who shorted the CMBX indexes engaged in labor-intensive research. Mr. Mudrick and his analysts walked all 39 malls in the CMBX 6 index, from the Northridge Fashion Center in Los Angeles to the Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw, Ga. Wearing casual clothes, his group paced the perimeters and food courts, snapping photographs and taking notes.A slide deck on the Crystal Mall in Waterford, Conn., that Mudrick Capital prepared in 2017, when the firm first did the trade, contains maps of the two floors, facts and figures on competing shopping centers and a summary of the tenants classified into categories like “distressed” (Gymboree, Claire’s), “local/non-national” (Lord’s & Lady’s Hair Salons, FroyoWorld) and “notable” (Hollister, Aéropostale). A ca...

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Business

Coronavirus Tests the Leadership Style of Goldman Sachs’s C.E.O.

In March, after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and most of Goldman’s workers went home, Mr. Solomon chose to go into the office daily. To lead, he said, was to show up physically. “For me, it doesn’t seem right the C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs goes out to, you know, a country house, a suburb or some other place, and is not in charge, in the office, because that’s what we do,” he said in a phone interview in late June.Mr. Solomon’s approach to the crisis has been a contrast to some of his peers. James Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, worked remotely until early July, worried that returning to the office would put undue pressure on employees to follow suit. A visit to the trading floor by Bank of America’s chief executive, Brian Moynihan, early in the outbreak led some e...

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