Most talked about Fortune stories

Ban on Cuban Cigars Goes Up in a Puff of Smoke — Getting your lips around a high quality cigar just got a bit easier. Today's announcement that the United States will normalize relations with Cuba means that it will be legal to transport Cuban cigars and other alcohol and tobacco products into the United States.

Sean Parker gives $24 million to Stanford to cure allergies — When he wasn't battling music piracy allegations and helping to launch Facebook, tech entrepreneur Sean Parker was fighting a much more common problem: allergies. The co-founder of Napster and former president of Facebook happens to be deathly allergic to peanuts, tree nuts (pecans, almonds, etc.), and shellfish.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @bethkowitt: Being a foodie almost killed Sean Parker so he's giving $24 million to Stanford to cure allergies by @jenwieczner

Dec 17, 2014

RT @jenwieczner: Sean Parker's "sixth sense," and how being a foodie almost killed him: “I’ve come close to the edge" @FortuneMagazine

Dec 17, 2014

Sean Parker's "sixth sense," and how being a foodie almost killed him: “I’ve come close to the edge" @FortuneMagazine

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Bacardi, exiled from Cuba in 1960, is hopeful for change — Bacardi, the spirits maker that was founded in Cuba and later exiled from the country in 1960, says it hopes for better lives for Cubans following the Obama Administration's decision to normalize diplomatic relations with the Caribbean island.
Dec 17, 2014

Bacardi, exiled from Cuba in 1960, is hopeful for change @FortuneMagazine by booze (not boozy) journo @johnnerkell

How Yale is beginning to crack into the elite B-school ranks — ( Poets&Quants) - It's an alluring morning in New Haven, Conn. Under a brilliant sun, the air is crisp and cool. The leaves on the trees are beginning to transform into a kaleidoscope of colors. And Dean Edward "Ted" Snyder of Yale University's School of Management is strolling the halls of the school's brand new $243 million complex.

Corporate stakes in Cuba — (Fortune Magazine) -- After Fidel Castro announced that he was resigning the presidency of Cuba on Feb. 19, shares of OfficeMax rose 12%. The reason? It has a claim worth $2.5 billion dating back to when its property there was seized in the wake of the 1959 revolution.
Dec 17, 2014

Back in 2008 Starwood was pretty active in maintaining its old ITT claims for beachfront property in Cuba…

Dec 17, 2014

From way back in the personal archives: Some big US companies are poised to gain from normalization with Cuba…

The mysterious banker behind the world’s best-known beer — He was a teenage actor who trekked the African desert with Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. He was a three-time Olympian, in two different sports. He graduated Harvard University and then earned a Harvard MBA. He is a vice-chairman of investment banking at Citigroup, where he chairs Citi Private Bank in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

Hudson's Bay names former Toys 'R' Us chief to CEO role — Hudson's Bay, the owner of the Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores, has named Jerry Storch, the former top executive at Toys 'R' Us, to serve as its new chief executive. The department-store operator said Storch will take the reins beginning Jan.
Dec 17, 2014

Hudson's Bay names former Toys 'R' Us chief to CEO role via @FortuneMagazine parent of Saks, Lord & Taylor

Homeland Security: No evidence of plot against movie theaters in Sony hack — The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that it is unaware of any active plot against movie theaters in connection with the hacking of Sony Pictures. The comment comes after the purported hackers posted an online note, reprinted by several news sites, suggesting they may attack any cinema that screens The Interview, a Sony comedy about an assassination plot against a fictional version of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

How ISIS, Boko Haram could change the way countries purchase air power — Like spaceships and sports stadiums, military strike jets typically aren't the kind of things that companies build-much less sell-off the shelf. Take the Pentagon's new F-35, for instance: Two decades and $400 billion in the making, the F-35 had nine committed customers lined up to buy thousands of aircraft (at between $80 million and $110 million per copy) before Lockheed Martin ever started bending metal in earnest.

OnDeck CEO talks about his company's big IPO — OnDeck Capital Inc., a New York-based online platform for small business lending, today began trading on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $200 million in its IPO. The company priced 10 million shares at $20 per share, which gave it an initial market cap of around $1.32 billion, and has been trading much higher all day.
Dec 17, 2014

Q&A with OnDeck Capital's CEO on the big IPO, LendingClub and more…

Can Facebook search compete with Google? — Fortune's Andrew Nusca and Erin Griffith discuss Facebook's decision to do away with Bing search in lieu of their own search technology.

Ruble steady as Apple stops sales and Vladivostok runs out of dollars — A fragile peace descended on Russia's very own currency war Wednesday after intervention by the Finance Ministry to support the ruble. The ruble has lost nearly 20% of its value against the dollar in a slide unparalleled since Russia's 1998 default.
Dec 17, 2014

Uneasy peace on Moscow's FX market: action shifts to Main St as Russians buy dollars, iPhones while they still can.

Cruise line shares sail higher as U.S., Cuba relations improve — Shares of cruise-line operators sailed to big gains on Wednesday as investors placed a bet that improving relations between the U.S. and Cuba could lead to new opportunities for tourism. Shares of Carnival , Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean all rose in early trading Wednesday, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after the Obama administration said it plans to lift many of its existing travel restrictions on Cuba.
Dec 17, 2014

Cruise line shares sail higher as U.S., Cuba relations improve $CCL $NCLH $RCL…

Russia just saved its banks (for now). Here's how. — Russia just saved its currency and its banks-or, more precisely, gave them a stay of execution. No, it didn't throw a hatful of hard currency at them. No, it didn't say it would inject more capital into them (at least not till next year).

U.S., Cuba restore diplomatic relations. Here are 9 must-know numbers — The U.S. and Cuba announced Wednesday a historic breakthrough in which full, diplomatic relations have been restored. The U.S. will open an embassy in Havana as well. The news comes after Cuba released American Alan Gross, held captive for five years, earlier Wednesday.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @FortuneMagazine: The U.S. & Cuba just restored diplomatic relations. Here are 9 must-know numbers…

Dec 17, 2014

The U.S. + Cuba just restored diplomatic relations. Here are 9 must-know numbers I tracked down for @FortuneMagazine.…

China’s stock market goes boom — There's mania in China right now. Stock market mania. It's a bull market- niu shi - and people are excited. "It's still not crazy, not crazy," said an investment banker working in Beijing, who didn't want his name used because his bosses don't like him talking about the crazy stock market.

Data Sheet-Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Sprint could pay a $105 million fine for sneaky cell-phone billing practices, while Google apparently has good reason to be paranoid. Plus, Oracle is scheduled to report its fiscal second-quarter results late this afternoon. Here's what analysts expect. Forward this business technology newsletter to colleagues and business partners, and tell...

Panera takes another step toward ethical meat practices — Panera Bread offered an update on its food policy on Wednesday, saying it has taken big steps toward reducing the use of antibiotics and confinement of animals in its supply chain.
Dec 17, 2014

Panera takes another step toward ethical meat practices via @FortuneMagazine

James Bond inks deal with Belvedere to bring back the martini — The vodka martini is enjoying a comeback in the next James Bond film "Spectre," after the famed British Secret Service agent took a controversial swig of Heineken in the 2012 film "Skyfall." Moet Hennessy's Belvedere has signed a marketing and advertising partnership with the Bond producers for the first time in the vodka brand's history, with plans to piggyback off the film's high profile throughout 2015.