Moves by Russia and China should give executives pause

Doing business with a dictatorial government is akin to letting a pet tiger sleep at the foot of your bed. Most nightsit’s OK. Until it isn’t. Foreign-owned businesses working in Russia and China have heard the sounds of a stomach grumbling in the darkness, reminding them that despite appearances, the rule of law in those […]

Houston’s economy too strong to draw Tesla

In 1928, the Chamber of Commerce in Marlin, Texas, wanted a modern hotel to serve the hundreds of people who bathed every week in the town’s famed mineral waters, so they asked Conrad Hilton if he’d consider investing in their community. Hilton replied with a proposal for a $375,000 high-rise with the largest ballroom in […]

Texas shouldn’t settle for third on R&D spending

When it comes to creativity and invention, Texas doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. Savvy businesses leaders spent $12.9 billion a year on research and development programs in Texas, according to the National Science Foundation, and that doesn’t count publicly funded research at the state’s universities. Overall, Texas ranks third in the nation in […]

Lawmakers need to stop the losses at Texas hospitals

The Texas health care system is hemorrhaging money. Emergency room doctors see critically ill poor people every day who waited too long to seek help because they lack health insurance. The ER doctors provide them with just enough care to responsibly send patients on their way, knowing full well that while the patients will likely […]

Failing students mean failing businesses

What do you expect from public school assessments? Should they determine how well the students are learning, or rank schools in comparison with others? Should the standards get tougher over time, or should they remain the same for generations? Lastly, should the assessments help schools self-evaluate, or allow taxpayers to demand accountability? As employers complain […]

Kinder Morgan offers a reality check on master limited partnerships

Don’t you hate it when that good thing that you hoped would last forever comes to an end? Many retail investors in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and El Paso Pipeline Partners are probably feeling that way now that they understand the tax implications of an acquisition by Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. But the warning signs […]

Corporate responsibility paramount to make Mexican energy reforms work

The ink on Mexico’s new energy laws is finally dry, and the biggest names in the industry are exploring how they can revive our southern neighbor’s wilting oil and gas production. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up. The nine implementing laws signed last week by President Enrique Peña Nieto formalized the biggest overhaul of […]

Houston craft distillery waits to come of age

Tucked in the back of an unremarkable business park in northwest Houston, the Whitmeyer brothers are cooking whiskey. A 55-gallon still is bubbling and a clear alcohol condenses through copper tubing and streams into a pitcher. After it cools, the brothers will pour it into charred oak barrels and stack them against the wall for […]

The future of jobs might be no jobs

Recently I caught a glimpse of the future of jobs, and jobs as we know them had largely dis-appeared. I needed two graphics for an outside project I was doing for another company, and the deadline was 24 hours away, too tight for that publisher’s artists to produce them. Frustrated and desperate, I went online […]

Defect in U.S. tax law motivates companies’ overseas moves

A researcher trying to find ways to keep black bears away from humans once summed up the problem for me with a simple calculation: Animals are driven to obtain the maximum number of calories for the least amount of effort, and people leaving high-calorie food out attract the bears. The same drive applies to executives […]