July 10, 2020

Jobless claims at better-than-expected 1.3 million, total getting benefits falls to 18 million

Despite the better-than-expected numbers, this marked the 15th consecutive week that initial claims totaled above 1 million.

Biden announces $700 billion economic plan

“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said in a speech at a factory in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, where he introduced the plan.

Biden says his economic plan would create five million new U.S. jobs

“I’ll be laser-focused on working families: the middle-class families I came from here in Scranton, not the wealthy investor class…They don’t need me, but working families do.”

US grants $1.6 billion to Novavax for coronavirus vaccine

Vaccine developer Novavax has been awarded $1.6 billion by the U.S. government…The government in May pledged up to $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca…Johnson & Johnson was awarded $456 million for vaccine development…Moderna received $483 million to create a vaccine.

More grim job losses as U.S. hits record high on new COVID cases

The grim U.S. numbers come on top of extraordinarily high jobless figures, although they came in lower than economists had forecast.

A Downwardly Mobile Boomer Survives

“It’s frustrating that, in my mind, somebody who has done the things you were told as a kid you need to do – stay at a job, work, learn, be helpful, get promotions – and then you find yourself, at this point, that your career doesn’t mean [anything].”

Coronavirus ‘Class of 2020’: Europe’s lost generation?

The pandemic has effectively pulled away the first rung of the jobs ladder for many young Europeans, a situation economists say has the potential to blight their employment and earnings prospects long term.

Lack of insurance threatens supply of Hollywood films, TV shows in 2021

Without coverage, many producers cannot get the completion bond, or guarantee, that banks require to lend to productions.

Dow drops 361 points as surging virus cases dim recovery hopes

But optimism was kept in check Thursday after cases continued to surge despite a report that showed fewer workers are getting laid off across the country.

Big Ten scraps nonconference football games due to pandemic

“We may not have sports in the fall…We may not have a college football season in the Big Ten.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 9, 2020

Walgreens to open 500 to 700 in-store clinics with primary care doctors

The clinics will be spread out among more than 30 markets, with more than half in locations that are underserved by medical professionals. The move marks the latest evolution in the drugstore sector’s pivot away from retail floor space toward more healthcare services.

Walmart launching a subscription service for less than $100 a year

Retail giant Walmart is launching a subscription program later this month. The Walmart+ membership program will include fuel discounts, same-day shipping at no additional cost, and other perks, at an annual cost of $98.

Storied apparel brand Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy as it seeks a buyer and closes dozens of stores

The retailer, founded in 1818, boasts of having dressed 40 U.S. presidents and countless investment bankers.

NYC Rental Market Pushed to Breaking Point by Tenant Debts

It would take something on the order of divine intervention to keep the situation from worsening

US small-business recovery after the COVID-19 crisis

Across all businesses, that could take five years or longer…Among small businesses, recovery is again likely to take even longer. Many may never reopen.

Fed officials suggest U.S. recovery may be stalling

“I do expect unfortunately that the economy is going to remain weaker than many had hoped through the summer and fall.”

Government debt is skyrocketing across the world. Here are their options, according to Barclays

What they’re going to do as a result is a subject of intense debate, even as governments roll out new stimulus packages to fight the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dow ends nearly 400 points lower, U.S. stocks swoon, on doubts of quick economic recovery

Nagging unease over the outlook for the global economy in the midst of rising U.S. coronavirus infections helped dampen the buying mood on Wall Street.

Wall Street Is Pessimistic About the Dollar

The world’s biggest currency banks see the dollar edging lower toward year-end, a consensus that may only hold if rising coronavirus infections don’t hamper the global growth rebound.

Bed Bath & Beyond announces plans to permanently close 200 stores over next two years

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. plans to close approximately 21% of its namesake stores, or 200 locations, over the next two years, the company announced Wednesday.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 8, 2020

U.S. service sector rebounds strongly in June

U.S. services industry activity rebounded sharply in June, almost returning to its pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels

Our Cash-Free Future Is Getting Closer

“People are using cards and contactless payments because they don’t want to have to touch anything,” said Mr. Cornu, as a line of mask-wearing shoppers stood three feet apart before approaching the register and swiping contactless cards over a reader.

Bank of Canada survey finds business sentiment is ‘strongly negative’

“Softer sales expectations are widespread across all regions and sectors, with firms often expressing a high degree of uncertainty about consumer behavior and future demand.”

‘We’ll be living with masks for years’: COVID-19 through the eyes of a pandemic expert

But there’s no silver bullet. Experts agree that it will be at least a year from now before we have a vaccine that’s accessible to most people. Mass immunization likely won’t come until 2022.

Survey: Students Optimistic About Jobs, but Not Salaries

About 44 percent of students said the pandemic and ensuing rise in unemployment have also impacted their ability to pay for college. And while students are confident about finding relevant jobs, 66 percent are worried about finding a job that meets their salary needs.

How Widespread Unemployment Might Affect Retirement Security

Ensuring retirement security for an aging population was one of the most compelling challenges facing the nation before the onslaught of COVID-19.  The unemployment associated with the pandemic has made the situation worse across the board. 

States mandate masks, begin to shut down again as coronavirus cases soar and hospitalizations rise

Fauci noted that while Europe managed to drive infections down — and now is dealing with little blips as it reopens — U.S. communities “never came down to baseline and now are surging back up.”

 Americans leave large cities for suburban areas and rural towns

The dense nature of urban living and the lack of proper local government planning led to the coronavirus spreading five times faster in New York than the rest of the country. The city that never sleeps now resembles a ghost town in many areas after thousands of its wealthy and middle-class residents fled early in the pandemic

Market Focus Starts to Turn Toward Biden Victory, Analysts Say

“For the last several months investors watched Biden’s rising poll momentum with trepidation, but now a narrative is emerging whereby he’s being painted as a neutral (and possible upside surprise) for stocks (as taxes won’t rise by as much as feared while trade policy should be less disruptive and the volume of nonsense tweets will be substantially reduced).”

Dunkin’ to close 450 stores permanently by end of 2020

Though the locations that will be closing are all reportedly located inside Speedway gas stations, and not free-standing cafes. The big news comes as part of termination of the coffee shop’s partnership with Hess, owner of Speedway gas stations, Today Food reported.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 7, 2020

Economists call for more direct cash payments tied to the health of the economy

“The first round of economic impact payments were a lifeline that helped some get by for a few weeks…Even after businesses start to re-open and jobs begin to come back, there will be significant economic fallout, and demand will continue to lag if people don’t have money to spend.”

Uber buys Postmates, ups delivery game in $2.65 billion deal

“The vision for us is to become an everyday service…Postmates is a great step along that vision. Anyplace you want to go, anything you want delivered to your home, Uber is going to be there with you, and we think these everyday frequent interactions create a habit, create a connection with customers.”

Uber launches grocery delivery in Latin America, Canada with U.S. to follow

The company’s latest foray into the delivery space is in partnership with Cornershop, a Chilean online grocery provider that Uber has held a majority stake in since October.

And so it begins…

Risk-on move dents dollar; yuan notches best day since December

The yuan on Monday recorded its best day against the dollar since December as investors lapped up risky assets on growing expectations of a strong Chinese economic rebound and as glimmers of good news in U.S. data drove down demand for the safe-haven dollar.

The long countdown to commercial crew’s liftoff

How a 2005 call for ‘skin in the game’ started a 15-year countdown to the first human orbital spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011.

The Coming Wave of Coronavirus Evictions Will Wipe Out Black Renters

Eviction cases filed since the start of the pandemic are overwhelmingly located in majority-Black neighborhoods.

CityLab University: Understanding Homelessness in America

What are the forces that create homelessness? What are the main strategies aimed at helping people exit homelessness? What are the major debates that could shape this policy discussion going forward, especially in light of Covid-19?

Americans leave large cities for suburban areas and rural towns

In March and April, over 2 million young people moved back in with their parents or grandparents. If the allure of cities declines further due to the risk of disease, a sputtering economy, and a future of telework, the flight to suburban and rural safety will continue well after a coronavirus vaccine hits the market.

World’s richest billionaires risk turning US into ‘powder keg’ as their wealth surge

The growing gap between rich and poor is creating two Americas, one with a stake in the economy, and one without.

July 6, 2020

American fortitude: Loneliness hasn’t increased during the pandemic, but resilience has

“…the research indicates a remarkable amount of resilience and gumption in the face of this ordeal.”

Support Grows for Guaranteed Income Among America’s Mayors

“We don’t necessarily agree on everything, but we do agree that our constituents deserve an income floor”

Experts fear the end of eviction moratoriums could plunge thousands of people into homelessness

“State and local eviction moratoriums are expiring rapidly and courts are beginning to address the backlog and new eviction cases…And they’re putting people out of their homes in the middle of a pandemic, and in places where Covid-19 is raging out of control.”

What a Democratic Sweep Could Mean for the Market

“People buying stocks are not worried about earnings in 2020 or even 2021…They’re thinking, ‘Am I paying the right price for 2022?’”

Lucky Brand files for bankruptcy citing COVID-19, looks to sell company to Aéropostale owner.

COVID-19 has hit retailers who were already in debt harder than others and bankruptcy filings have increased due to the pandemic with J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus, Tuesday Morning, GNC and J. Crew filing for Chapter 11. Other retailers…plan to shutter locations, including Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom and Signet Jewelers, parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared.

Trump touts ‘historic’ June jobs report, but the labor market is still grim

“It remains too difficult to call this trend with any real confidence as we continue to see-saw between lockdown tightening and lockdown loosening…Instead, it’s the revision to these numbers in the next set of data that will prove most revealing.”

Economist Roubini expects ‘anemic’ US recovery — and a ‘Greater Depression’ looms

“If you have to spend less, what is your major cost? It’s your labor cost, and they’re slashing jobs like we’ve never seen before. We’ve lost more jobs in three months than in the last ten years.”  When companies rehire, rather than bringing back full-time jobs with full wages and benefits, they’ll opt for more part-time, contractor, and gig workers, according to Roubini.

Gig workers face shifting roles, competition in pandemic

“I started to juggle three apps to make ends meet…It was really hard, because at that time, I could not afford to stay home because I had to pay rent.”

Across Sun Belt, hopes for economy give way to renewed fears

“I didn’t fathom that a whole country could stay shut down and affect people’s businesses and people’s livelihoods for the duration of time that it has…I’ve put my life’s work into this business, and it’s really hanging on a thread.”

Nouriel Roubini: ‘My prediction for a Great Depression is not about 2020, but the decade of the 2020s’

New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor of Economics & Roubini Macro Associates, LLC CEO Nouriel Roubini joins Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche to break down his economic outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney could be facing a lot more than a lost summer

“What Disney has to do is figure out how to make itself matter, how to get in front of audiences in very different ways than it has in the past…Because the previous rules – of gathering a lot of people in one place, of just riding safely down the middle of American society – won’t apply for the next 12 months. And maybe a lot longer.”

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 3, 2020

Walmart to turn 160 parking lots into drive-in movie theaters in August

“Walmart will roll out this red carpet experience in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings.”

Amid strong June job growth, signs U.S. recovery may be stumbling

“More than ever, we’re concerned about the worsening health situation and its impact on the burgeoning recovery. Rebounding mobility and poor use of protective equipment will make for a dangerous summer cocktail.”

Dollar’s dominance to slowly melt away over coming year: Reuters poll

“The dollar rises in two instances: when you see risk off or when there is a situation where the U.S. is leading the global recovery, and we don’t think that’s going to be the case anytime soon…The U.S. is playing fast and loose with the virus, and chronologically they’re behind the rest of the world.”

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

“Even as we move into the second half of the year, a large number of people will still be looking for work.”

‘I’m ready to start with a career’: 2020 graduates face uncertain job market with hope

“I’m just sitting and waiting, and it’s frustrating because I took the five years and got a degree, and I’m ready to start with a career.” Now, she’s babysitting.

Dr. Fauci says coronavirus surge ‘way beyond worst spikes we’ve seen’ as U.S. sets new single-day high

“What we’ve seen over the last several days is a spike in cases that is way beyond the worst spikes that we’ve seen. That is not good news.”

The Next Pandemic Will Be Caused by the National Debt. It Will Crater the Economy.

The amount of money the government owed to the public was 79 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2019, up from 31 percent in 2001. The COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent emergency spending will push the curve above 100 percent of GDP by the end of 2020, and it’s expected to keep rising.

Unemployment rate won’t recover for the next decade, CBO projects

The CBO now forecasts the unemployment rate will remain above its pre-pandemic level — which was a near-50-year low of 3.5% — until after 2030.

Real estate prices fall sharply in New York

“I would like to say that it fell because we sold everything, but that is not the reality.”

COVID: The Challenge for Older Workers

The older workers must choose between “health risks – returning to work before the virus is under control – or economic risks – delaying work until the environment is safe, which may exhaust their resources.”

The great balancing act: Managing the coming $30 trillion deficit while restoring economic growth

Yet even if governments do avoid defaults, record public-sector debt levels could seriously dampen economic recovery if not managed effectively. Increased debt-servicing costs could crowd out vital investments in areas such as infrastructure and reskilling. Decisions to “print money” at scale could prompt a rise in inflation. And a big rise in taxation could hamper business innovation and growth and harm countries’ competitiveness.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 2, 2020

Airbus plans to cut 15,000 jobs by next summer

“With air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook.”

The ‘Rocket Ship’ Economic Recovery Is Crashing

The next few months of recovery could be rocky even if the current infection surge abates. Job losses have slowed but remain at levels higher than in any previous recession, and a growing share of workers now report they have been laid off permanently, rather than temporarily furloughed.

As shaken cities and states pull back from reopening, Fauci sounds alarm on surging virus

“I’m not satisfied with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction.”

U.S. coronavirus cases rise by 47,000, biggest one-day spike of pandemic

“Clearly we are not in total control right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told a U.S. Senate committee. “I am very concerned because it could get very bad.”

McDonald’s Halts Reopening Plans as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Grow

The burger giant said Wednesday that it would wait three weeks before any new U.S. restaurants add dine-in service to its drive-through, takeout and delivery operations.

The economy is falling apart but Wall Street had its best quarter in decades

But investors were optimistic about the summer thanks to the gradual reopening of the economy — which began as early as April in some states — as well as unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus left investors optimistic about the summer.

Fed officials fear second wave of coronavirus will cause deeper recession

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell offered a similar warning Tuesday during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, arguing that a full recovery is “unlikely” until Americans feel comfortable gathering in large numbers and close spaces.

Background checks, a metric for gun sales, hit all-time high

“Politicians who entertain notions of defunding police departments are the same ones who call for strict gun control and even outright confiscation…These figures aren’t push polls. They are representative of Americans from all walks of life who are taking action and taking responsibility for their rights and their safety.”

Country Garden Opens Restaurant Operated Completely By Robots

“Country Garden…has built a complete industry chain encompassing back-end supply production (the centralized kitchens) and robotic cooking alongside the operation of restaurants and the management of robots.”

‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic

“It’s when you feel alone, stigmatized and hopeless that you are most vulnerable and at risk…So much of addiction has nothing to do with the substance itself. It has to do with pain or distress or needs that aren’t being met.”

US to get latest unemployment figures as virus explodes

But with the US seeing about 40,000 new cases of coronavirus a day, economists fear a renewed malaise as local authorities roll back the efforts to return to pre-pandemic normal and businesses are forced to shut down again.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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July 1, 2020

Fireworks sales are booming nationwide due to COVID-19

“Fireworks sales have been unprecedented and stronger than ever in the history of my being in this industry and I’ve been in it for 50 years.”

The (near) cashless society arrives

“It’s just been like three years of digital commerce growth being pulled forward into three months…People are making purchases that they would have made in person, but they’re making them online now.” [Another nail in the coffin of traditional retail jobs.]

Quarter of gym-goers don’t expect they’ll ever return to fitness clubs thanks to coronavirus

Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) say they will never return to the gym at all. A third will keep their membership, but expect to go less frequently than they used to.

Airlines defend moves to full-capacity flights

“Temperature checks are not a guarantee that passengers that don’t have an elevated temperature don’t have COVID-19.”

Gold Climbs Above $1,800 for the First Time Since 2011

There’s an “explosion” in demand for gold, said Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Chicago-based broker Zaner Group. “The virus concerns, inflation on the back of people’s mind, and the fact that it’s up almost 20% this year” is driving further increases in the metal, he said.

In Los Angeles, an Economy Built on Freelancers Crumbles

Creative workers with multiple gigs are among the worst hit by the recession and face long roads to recovery

How the Fed is driving savers to riskier investments

… I think we’re also about to see large workforce reductions by states and cities and other local governments that have had their tax revenue ravaged by the coronavirus fallout and their expenses increased.

U.S. States Beg, Borrow and Cut to Close Massive Budget Gaps

“Even with states that have enacted full-year budgets, this will be a banner year for mid-year adjustments…And that’s because the revenue picture is constantly falling, and that’s really going to be an unprecedented level of change for state budgets.”

As virus roars back, so do signs of a new round of layoffs

“We’re still in a very deep hole…This makes the June employment report backward-looking instead of forward-looking.’’

Dow notches best quarter since 1987

“The rebound sparked concerns that the markets have become unmoored from economic reality.”

With bankruptcies surging, 2020 may become one of the busiest years for Chapter 11 filings since the Great Recession

“I very much expect to see the numbers continue to rise…Every day there are more rumors of this or that company, and the rumors are almost never wrong.”

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 30, 2020

Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same

“I will go on the record to say that travel will never, ever go back to the way it was pre-COVID; it just won’t…There are sometimes months when decades of transformation happen.”

Nearly half the U.S. population is without a job, showing how far the labor recovery has to go

“To get the employment-to-population ratio back to where it was at its peak in 2000 we need to create 30 million jobs.”

Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out in the Open

Unless there’s a huge push to turn things around — to bring back immigrants, sustain research universities, make housing cheaper, lower infrastructure costs, reform the police and restore competence to the civil service — the result could be decades of stagnating or even declining living standards.

WarnerMedia to Sell Atlanta’s CNN Center, Sidesteps Threat of Impending Layoffs

“During the pandemic, we have learned a lot about working remotely and we will be looking at space solutions that are more agile for the appropriate teams.”

A cash cliff spells trouble for U.S. unemployed, and everyone else

“I’m very scared to think I may not be able to make my bills…With my future so uncertain, I have a house payment and bills based on 18 years of what I was making.”

Big Hotel Owners Stand to Gain From a Government-Orchestrated Debt Relief

Both Congress and the Federal Reserve are pumping trillions of dollars into the economy to fight the economic damage caused by the coronavirus. WSJ explains where all that stimulus money is coming from.

Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection, terminates 3,500

Cirque du Soleil shut down all 44 of its shows in March, laying off 95 percent of its workforce, including more than 1,300 in Las Vegas. The company further announced that nearly 3,500 employees in its international workforce would be terminated, though none in its Las Vegas productions.

Fed will keep low interest rates as economy is ‘extraordinarily uncertain’

“We expect to maintain interest rates at this level until we are confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve our maximum employment and price-stability goals.”

With bankruptcies surging, 2020 may become one of the busiest years for Chapter 11 filings since the Great Recession

“I very much expect to see the numbers continue to rise…Every day there are more rumors of this or that company, and the rumors are almost never wrong.”

Layoffs: 1.48M workers file for unemployment amid COVID-19 signaling slow recovery

“If these trends hold steady, 26 million Americans are set to lose benefits by July 26th, costing the economy $15.6 billion dollars in economic stimulus per week and leaving millions of families at a sudden severe risk for evictions and hunger.”

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 29, 2020

Silicon Valley economy remains strong 100 days into coronavirus

The technology sectors good fortune is also reflected in venture capital funding, where Silicon Valley far outpaces the rest of California and the nation.

Stocks Slide as Texas Rolls Back Reopening

“The Texas response to close bars and restaurants is a the real driver of lower markets today, as it portends to a possible second shutdown across the country if we see Covid spikes…And a second shutdown would be devastating to the overall economy.”

The Fed’s reckless experiment

The Fed has taken a recession caused by a government-forced shutdown and applied its traditional demand-management tools to stimulate employment. This amounts to beating a dead horse.

Microsoft says it is closing its Microsoft Store physical locations after shifting online during COVID-19

“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.”

Half of U.S. homeowners struggle with mortgage due to COVID-19, consider selling home

A survey of 2,000 American homeowners found that 52% are constantly concerned about making their mortgage payment on time. Forty-seven percent of the poll say they’re considering selling their home because they can’t afford their mortgage anymore.

Universities cut sports teams, as they struggle with coronavirus fallout

As universities scramble to survive the financial fallout of the coronavirus, sports teams are being cut, abruptly ending thousands of student-athletes’ careers and exposing a collegiate sports model that many believe is broken.

Despite Payment Protection Program loans, 14% of businesses still anticipate layoffs

Among the 14% of small businesses that anticipate layoffs once their PPP funds are depleted, around 50% say they’ll let one or two workers go, while 31% say they’ll lay off between three and five. About 12% say they’ll lay off more than 10 employees.

Pandemic-Emptied Hotels Could Become Affordable Housing

“So we’ve been looking hard at — are there hotels that we could acquire to turn into supportive housing rather than having to build from ground up?”

Fed Reveals Bond Purchases Including AT&T, UnitedHealth, Walmart

The Federal Reserve bought bonds issued by companies including AT&T Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Walmart Inc. as part of its emergency lending program set up in response to the pandemic, according to new disclosures.

The Pandemic’s Economic Carnage Looks Worse Than Expected

“The lockdown measures brought in by most governments have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus and in reducing the death toll but they have also frozen business activity in many sectors, widened inequality, disrupted education and undermined confidence in the future.”

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 26, 2020

U.S. consumer spending rebounds

The report from the Commerce Department on Friday added to increases in homebuilding permits, industrial production and orders for manufactured goods in suggesting the economy was turning the corner.

More Adults Than Ever Live With Parents or Grandparents

Gen Zers who returned to their childhood bedrooms in March and April represent lost rental revenue of $726 million a month.

Colleges Weigh Scrapping Football Season in Threat to a Cash Cow

It’s the toughest call in sports this year: to play or not to play.

Fed puts restrictions on bank dividends after test finds some banks could be stressed in pandemic

“While I expect banks will continue to manage their capital actions and liquidity risk prudently, and in support of the real economy, there is material uncertainty about the trajectory for the economic recovery.”

Trump executive order directs feds to prioritize skills over college degrees in hiring

“We are modernizing federal hiring to find candidates with the relevant competencies and knowledge, rather than simply recruiting based on degree requirements…We encourage employers everywhere to take a look at their hiring practices and think critically about how initiatives like these can help diversify and strengthen their workforce.”

Governments eye new taxes on cigarettes, homes and tech giants to pay for budget shortfalls

“No politician wants to lead with raising taxes…When they get there, it’s because they’ve run out of other options.”

Coronavirus mortgage bailouts suddenly swell as homeowners face new struggles

The number of active forbearance plans rose by 79,000 in the past week, erasing roughly half of the improvement seen since the peak of May 22.

Dow drops 500 points as virus cases surge

Friday’s losses were driven by a decline in bank shares as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s move to temporarily suspend shareholder payouts by big banks ahead of a potentially damaging recession.

Trump payroll tax cut would come at a time when Social Security is already facing trouble

“Tax cuts are wonderful things — they give you a little extra money up front, but when the tax cut affects your long-term retirement income, it can have a very long-reaching impact.”

Here’s an ever-growing list of companies that will let people work from home forever

“Very senior people are saying, ‘We have a whole bunch of jobs we thought never could be done remotely and we’re finding they can be—and it’s going pretty well.”

Updated estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty

Should the downside scenario materialize, vulnerable firms would exit markets, vulnerable households would sharply reduce consumption, and several low- and middle-income countries would see heightened financial stress.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 25, 2020

Orders for US big-ticket factory goods surge 15.8% in May

“We had extreme lows… It’s only natural that we bounce back from that and have extreme highs.’’

IMF says global economic collapse caused by coronavirus will be even worse than feared

“Maybe we can say the world has bottomed out, for now, and we’re in a recovery phase…But still, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain because there is no solution yet to the health crisis.”

The Second Great Depression. At least four major factors are terrifying economists and weighing on the recovery.

At least four major factors are terrifying economists and weighing on the recovery: the household fiscal cliff, the great business die-off, the state and local budget shortfall, and the lingering health crisis.

Colleges cut academic programs in the face of budget shortfalls due to Covid-19

That means shifting priorities away from the value of a liberal arts education and focusing on degrees that pay. “We are going to start to see those programs marketed that have a direct return on investment — that will prepare that student for a job.”

Jobless claims: Another 1.48 million Americans file for unemployment benefits

“Everything we have seen in the last week or two between rising case counts/hospitalizations, stalling economic progress in some important states, government job cuts, means one thing: the Phase 4 of fiscal stimulus must be bigger.”

‘A scary number’ of retail companies are facing bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic

“I think many of these companies will file [for bankruptcy], and it’s not a handful. It’s several dozen. And that’s a scary number. It’s far more than we have seen over the last several years combined.”

‘Finance is, like, done. Everybody’s bought everybody else with low-cost debt’

“Everybody’s maximized their margin. They’ve bought all their shares back . . . There’s nothing there. Every industry has about three players. Elizabeth Warren is right.”

The harsh reasons behind GNC’s and J.C. Penney’s death

Why do icons of our childhood one day go from being on top of the retail world to being buried 6 feet under and relegated — to an — in memoriam Wikipedia page?

Technology for a no-touch world

We’ve long gotten used to touchless water faucets in public bathrooms, for instance. And a simple website can solve the problem of multiple hands on restaurant menus: Everyone at the table could get the menu on their mobile phones. But newer technologies will drive some of the more interesting changes.

Sticky weekly jobless claims underscore U.S. labor market distress

“While it counts as good news that businesses are ordering more equipment in May as the states reopened, the second wave of the pandemic may keep companies cautious in the months ahead when it comes to making new investments in the country’s future.”

Chuck E. Cheese, Peter Piper Pizza company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid pandemic closings

The move came after the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to temporarily close locations. The chain has also been weighed down by debt it accumulated in a private equity buyout several years ago.

Layoffs: 1.48M workers file for unemployment amid COVID-19 signaling slow recovery

While the number of people seeking first time aid fell below the 1.5 million who filed claims the week before and mark the 12th weekly drop in a row, the slide is slowing.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 24, 2020

MLB players set to report to camps July 1

Nearly three months of frustrating and failed economic negotiations ended with the league implementing a 60-game season that will run through Sept. 27 and feature a number of new elements.

Trump tells aides he supports second round of stimulus checks, but White House divisions remain

However, leading congressional Republicans and some senior White House officials remain skeptical of sending more checks.

Layoffs: About 1.3M more workers likely filed jobless claims, signaling slow recovery

Job cuts…have spread to other sectors, including manufacturing, education and professional services.

Americans putting off traditional goals like marriage, having kids for financial security

“While traditional milestones are no longer making or breaking what’s important in life, our study shows our hearts are still an important driver to achieving financial peace of mind, no matter your life path.”

Junk Bonds Topple Monthly Sales Record in ‘Party Like No Other’

“You get an invitation to a party from the Fed, Treasury and Congress — they offer to pick you up, take you home and bring you breakfast in bed the next morning…You know it is going to be a party like no other.”

NASA takes initial steps to fly personnel on commercial suborbital vehicles

“Now we’ll be looking at a new way of enabling NASA personnel to fly on commercial suborbital space systems by considering factors such as flight experience and flight history.”

Reviewing Remote Work in the U.S. Under COVID-19

According to Gallup Panel data, the percentage of employed adults saying they had worked from home specifically out of concern about the coronavirus rose from 31% in mid-March to 49% a few days later, and to 59% the week after that. Remote work leveled off at 62% in mid-April.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Surged During The Pandemic

The level of inequality across the U.S. was highlighted by the fact that total U.S. billionaire wealth increased by twice as much as the federal government paid out in one-time stimulus checks to 150 million Americans.

GNC parent company files for bankruptcy protection, plans to permanently close up to 1,200 stores

“The COVID-19 pandemic created a situation where we were unable to accomplish our refinancing and the abrupt change in the operating environment had a dramatic negative impact on our business.”

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June 23, 2020

Hiring rose in 46 states in May

As a whole, the figures illustrate the unusually broad nature of the recession, with all states enduring unemployment rates that soared in April as the coronavirus forced business closures and then generally fell in May but remained painfully high.

Facebook Starts Planning for Permanent Remote Workers

“It’s clear that Covid has changed a lot about our lives, and that certainly includes the way that most of us work,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Coming out of this period, I expect that remote work is going to be a growing trend as well.”

Virgin Galactic inks deal with NASA for private trips to ISS

Virgin Galactic’s new agreement will “directly support NASA’s broad strategy to facilitate the commercialization of low-Earth orbit by US entities.”

US mortgage rates have dropped to another all-time low. Can they go even lower?

The worse things look for the pandemic, the economy and the stock market, the better they look for mortgage rates.

Stock-market legend who called 3 financial bubbles says this one is the ‘Real McCoy,’ this is ‘crazy stuff’

“The great bubbles can go on a long time and inflict a lot of pain but at least I think we know now that we’re in one. And the chutzpah involved in having a bubble at a time of massive economic and financial uncertainty is substantial.”

A Stealth Double Dip or Bear Market Has Started

Instead of letting the markets naturally correct and revalue stock prices with each economic cycle (which is more or less what happened in the past), now, leaders and central bankers don’t want to let the music stop.

Stem cell companies sell hope with unproven medicine for COVID-19

Stem cell treatments offer tantalizing hope for the future. But such lofty claims are not out of character in the world of stem cell marketing…virtually all unproven by American scientific standards.

Key Support for the Economy May Be About to Buckle

Considering that low-income workers have been hit hardest by the crisis as restaurants, hotels and other service-industry businesses laid off workers in droves, the recovery in spending among poorer Americans is striking.

The decline of the U.S. dollar could happen at ‘warp speed’ in the era of coronavirus

“This massive shift to fiscal stimulus is going to blow out the national savings rates and the current-account deficit.”

Trump tells aides he supports second round of stimulus checks, but White House divisions remain

Other conservative White House officials and influential congressional Republicans oppose the plan, expressing concern with the impact of tremendous levels of new spending on the deficit.

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June 22, 2020

US vehicle traffic has rebounded to about 90% of pre-pandemic levels

Traffic has been steadily increasing since mid-April, when it bottomed out at 52 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Fed’s Neel Kashkari warns bank losses during COVID could trigger next financial crisis

The head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve warned Friday that banks should “stop paying dividends” and “raise capital” as more Americans struggle to pay their loans and credit losses mount at America’s large banks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

MLB, NHL teams close Florida facilities, dampening outlook for sports in COVID-19 era

“All facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected.”

The stock market is running out of steam with reopening trades fading and economic data ‘uneven’

“The market was priced for a continuation of improvement and I think that’s overstating what’s going to happen…We are going to have episodes of cases rising. We are going to have a very slow and uneven improvement in the jobs market.”

The crisis goes up a gear

But an imminent banking crisis is now a near certainty, with most global systemically important banks in a weaker position than at the time of the Lehman crisis. US markets appear oblivious to this risk, though the ratings of G-SIBs in other jurisdictions do reflect specific banking risks rather than a systemic one at this stage.

Hollywood poised for big-screen gamble as theaters reopen

Everyone from indie distributors to blockbuster studios will be carefully watching to see how the experiment with new theatrical releases proceeds.

Existing home sale plunge 9.7% in 3rd straight monthly drop

Sales fell in all regions of the country, with the biggest decline coming in the Northeast where virus infections were especially heavy. Sales of both existing and new homes have fallen sharply during the traditional spring selling season as communities were locked down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Bye $600 jobless benefit, eviction reprieve, cash for small firms. COVID-19 relief ending.

“But the economic impacts of the pandemic will last more than a handful of months. It is really important to tie the fiscal support to economic conditions…rather than have policies end with a cliff based on arbitrary timelines.”

Positive Economic Views Plummet; Support for Government Aid Crosses Party Lines

Most now say the economy is in either only fair (38%) or poor (38%) shape. In January, just 9% of Americans said economic conditions were poor.

The Rebellion of America’s New Underclass

Like its Medieval counterpart, today’s serf class consists of the permanently marginalized—like the peasants of feudal times, these people are unlikely to move to a higher station.

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June 19, 2020

McDonald’s is hiring 260,000 people in the US this summer

McDonald’s is experiencing a rebound in sales and demand. Its US sales fell 19% during the month of April compared with the same period in the year prior, but were down just 5% year-over-year in May.

Coronavirus: What’s it like to start a new job when working remotely?

Meeting your new team and being shown round the office is one of the biggest parts of starting a new job. But how does it feel when everyone is working from home?

A tale of two recessions: Some Americans thrive as others suffer

Lower earners, those with less schooling, women and minority groups have borne the brunt of the economic pain driven by soaring unemployment.

U.S. economy will likely need more support, Fed’s Rosengren says

Rosengren repeated his view that the U.S. unemployment rate will likely be “at double-digit levels” at the end of 2020 and cautioned against reopening the economy too quickly after the end of lockdowns aimed at containing the virus.

Fed’s Powell says economy’s path ahead likely to be challenging

“We will make our way back from this, but it will take time and work … The path ahead is likely to be challenging…Lives and livelihoods have been lost, and uncertainty looms large.”

As Work Has Moved Home, So Has Harassment

As many people continue working remotely and others begin transitioning back to the office, employers will have to prioritize rooting out improper behavior and mistreatment of employees.

Exclusive: Cruise industry announces US sailing suspension extended until Sept. 15

Major lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line, have already extended their sailing suspensions well into fall, and Canada issued a ban on cruises in the country’s waters through Oct. 31.

Briggs & Stratton skips $6.7 million interest payment, awards $5 million to executives

  • $1.2 million for Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO
  • $600,000 for Mark Schwertfeger, senior vice president and chief financial officer
  • $425,000 for David Rodgers, senior vice president and president of the engines and power division
  • $425,000 for Harold Redman, senior vice president and president of the turf and consumer products division

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June 18, 2020

U.S. labor market improvement stalling; second wave of layoffs seen

“The recent sightings of green shoots for economic growth are going to fade in a hurry if workers can’t return to the jobs they lost during the pandemic recession…Over 20 million out of work without a paycheck is a lot of spending missing from the economy.”

Jobless claims total 1.5 million, worse than expected as economic pain persists

“It’s not clear why claims are still so high; is it the initial shock still working its way up through businesses away from the consumer-facing jobs lost in the first wave, or is it businesses which thought they could survive now throwing in the towel, or both? Either way, these are disappointing numbers and serve to emphasize that a full recovery is going to take a long time.”

Rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations underscore the long road ahead

As states started easing back shelter-in-place restrictions last month, public health experts warned cases would increase. That’s simply the nature of the coronavirus: more people encountering more people provides more chances for the virus to pass from one to another.

When Workers Can Live Anywhere, Many Ask: Why Do I Live Here?

Is this the end of moving to where the jobs are?

Confidence in Travel Slides With Less Than Half Willing to Fly

“…consumers have actually got rather more cautious and we have a majority saying now that they would wait more than six months before traveling…The survey is telling us that passengers are rather cautious.”

AT&T confirms thousands of job cuts, 250 store closings

…there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative.”

IMF says deeper-than-expected contraction in U.S. economy likely in second quarter

A defacto lockdown in the United States has lasted longer than expected despite a rollback in some restrictions on mobility, pointing to a deeper-than-expected contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter.

S&P 500, Dow muted as virus cases rise, jobless claims weigh

“Investors desperately want to be optimistic, but we’re not out of the woods yet…This market seems to be all about the short term – a lot of volatility, lots of fluctuations and extremely dependent on a number of (COVID-19) cases.”

SpaceX to build floating spaceports for hypersonic flights around Earth

The company has also advanced plans for landing sites for its reusable rockets which promise to bring down the cost of space travel by billions of dollars.

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June 17, 2020

There’s a one-in-three chance of a ‘massive’ disaster that could be worse than COVID-19, says Deutsche Bank

Analysts…say there is at least a one-in-three chance that at least one of four major tail risks will occur within the next decade: a major influenza pandemic killing more than two million people; a globally catastrophic volcanic eruption; a major solar flare; or a global war.

Target raises minimum wage to $15 an hour for store, distribution and headquarter employees

The discount retailer said Wednesday it will permanently raise its starting wage for its store, distribution and headquarter employees to $15 an hour beginning July 5. The company raised its starting minimum wage to $13 an hour last June.

Why the Cannabis Sector May be Turning a New Leaf

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many lives and industries, but it’s also brought certain realities to bear; among them, the need for a legal and regulated global cannabis industry and the tax-revenues and jobs that come with it.

Extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits runs out next month. Here’s how to prepare

Unless Congress steps in to extend the benefits, Americans will see their unemployment checks reduced to their state’s typical payout starting in August, with a national average of about $378 per week.

The sinking of Evinrude, a legendary Wisconsin brand in outboard motors, shocked even dealerships

“Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by Covid-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges, and the impact from the current context has forced our hand.”

May flowers: Where the U.S. retail blooms are and are not

But, to be clear, while the rebound was strong overall, sales remain 8% below where they were in February, and many corners of retail are miles shy of where they were just three months ago when coast-to-coast stay-at-home orders brought many businesses to a full standstill.

U.S. mortgage rates hit record low, purchase applications at 11-year high

“The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence.”

Positive Economic Views Plummet; Support for Government Aid Crosses Party Lines

Most now say the economy is in either only fair (38%) or poor (38%) shape. In January, just 9% of Americans said economic conditions were poor.

Women Make Gains in the Workplace Amid a Rising Demand for Skilled Workers

Employers in the United States are increasingly in pursuit of workers who are adept in social skills, like negotiation and persuasion, and have a strong grounding in fundamental skills, such as critical thinking and writing.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 16, 2020

Trump team prepares $1 trillion infrastructure plan to spur economy

The Department of Transportation’s preliminary version reserves most funds for projects such as roads and bridges, but will also set aside about a quarter of the money for priorities such as 5G wireless infrastructure and rural broadband.

Dallas Fed president sees high unemployment rate through end of the year

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan says the unemployment rate could be “as high as 8% or more” at the end of 2020.

A dollar crash is virtually inevitable, Asia expert Stephen Roach warns

“The U.S. economy has been afflicted with…a very low domestic savings rate and a chronic current account deficit…The dollar is going to fall very, very sharply.” His forecast calls for a 35% drop against other major currencies.

Walmart looks to remove all cashiers from stores

Walmart is testing a store that will only offer self-checkout. The retailer is removing cashiers and standard conveyor belt lines at one of its popular superstores in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Walmart says it is an attempt to see if checkout times are faster while limiting human interaction in the age of the coronavirus.

July’s looming economic risk: Morning Brief

But in just six weeks, the most significant part of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed back in March will roll off the books when enhanced unemployment benefits expire. The end of enhanced unemployment benefits is a turning point for the recovery.

Green shoots welcome but recovery still a long road, Fed’s Powell says

A full U.S. economic recovery will not occur until the American people are sure that the novel coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control.

Hilton to cut 2,100 corporate jobs globally

Hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) said on Tuesday it would cut about 22% of its corporate workforce, or 2,100 jobs

U.S. bank profits plunge 70% on coronavirus loss provisioning

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that “deteriorating economic activity” caused lenders to write off delinquent debt and set aside billions of dollars to guard against future losses. Over half of all banks reported a profit decline, and 7.3% of lenders were unprofitable.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 15, 2020

The Pandemic Is Propelling a New Wave of Automation

“Anywhere today that you have repetitive operations in place, those are prime things you could potentially automate to reduce your costs and become more efficient and more responsible…If you have to do it now, you’re not going to stop doing it when the market recovers.”

College Towns Fear Covid Will Leave Them as Ghost Towns

Colleges are among the largest employers in their towns. They helped drive economic growth for decades and were seen as stable sources of jobs.

Most Americans Say Wealth Hasn’t Improved During Trump Years

Almost twice as many respondents said they’re worse off since Trump moved into the White House in January 2017, while about half of the U.S. adults polled, 45%, said their financial situation has stayed about the same.

24 Hour Fitness Files for Bankruptcy Amid Onslaught of Gym Closures

The majority of locations to be closed are in California and Texas. As many as 8,352 employees, or roughly 46% of the total workforce, could be affected by the changes, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Data show Americans are afraid to quit their jobs right now

Without much of a possibility of greener pastures, an unusually low number of Americans, 1.8 million, quit their jobs in April, according to recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the fewest quits in any month since July 2010.

Tesla negotiating incentives for possible Texas vehicle assembly plant, report says

The paper said it was unclear whether negotiations with Travis County show that Tesla has picked the Austin region as the site for the plant, which would build the company’s electric pickup truck and Model Y SUV and employ thousands of people, or if the company is also negotiating with officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Blackouts this summer could DECIMATE Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley

Big Tech firms in Silicon Valley managed to stay afloat during those electricity outages because of fortified power lines, but power cuts this summer could spark a catastrophic fallout for thousands of staffers who’ve set up home offices. 

Hertz says it expects stockholders to lose all their money in filing for selling more stock

Hertz said in a government filing Monday that it would sell up to $500 million in common stock. In that very same filing, the company said those shares won’t be worth anything unless those with higher priority in a bankruptcy, such as the company’s debtholders, are paid in full.

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June 12, 2020

Going out of business sales set to begin at closing J.C. Penney stores

Liquidation sales could begin as soon as this weekend at the initial 154 J.C. Penney stores that will permanently close. The company is hoping to shed debt and split into two entities: an operating business and a real estate investment trust.

Fed sees ‘persistent fragilities’ for households and businesses: Fed report

That somber assessment of the outlook doused much of the optimism for a fast recovery that had been sown by the surprise growth in employment in May and factored heavily in Thursday’s dramatic sell-off on Wall Street, when U.S. stocks fell by the most since March.

Government’s cure for the coronavirus recession is worse for the global economy than the disease

Public sector debt increases reflect higher healthcare spending, actions to alleviate the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, emergency loans and the loss of tax revenues. Households and businesses have also substantially increased borrowings to cover income shortfalls.

Fed’s Barkin says some jobs lost during crisis will not come back

“In many cases they will be back in jobs that they had before as those businesses come back…But in many cases they won’t, I think there are jobs that will go away.”

What rebound? North Dakota in economic crunch as virus batters oil, agriculture

North Dakota is among the states most dependent on both energy and agriculture. The impact of the virus and trade war on its lifeblood industries could ripple through its budget for years through cuts to education, government and highway services.

‘YOU CREATE MORE DAMAGE’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says US ‘can’t shut down the economy again’ if coronavirus has another spike

The treasury secretary said that, even if the US sees more coronavirus cases, it won’t be necessary to impose tough restrictions now that testing and contact tracing programs are now in place.

If Trump isn’t re-elected as president, here’s what may happen to corporate profits

Biden’s tax plan…would lift the federal tax rate on domestic income to 28% from 21%…double the GILTI tax rate on certain foreign income, impose a minimum tax rate of 15%, and add an additional payroll tax on higher earners.

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June 11, 2020

Fed warns of uncertain path for post-pandemic US economy

Fed Chair Jerome Powell however cautioned that the outlook remains highly uncertain, and both the central bank and Congress may have to do more to boost the recovery.

Another 1.5M workers file for unemployment even as many Americans return to work amid COVID-19

About 1.5 million Americans filed first-time applications for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That pushes the tally of those who have made initial claims – a rough measure of layoffs — over the past 12 weeks past a staggering 43 million.

Fed economist argues negative interest rates needed to boost US economic recovery

“A combination of aggressive fiscal and monetary policies is necessary for the U.S. to achieve a V-shaped recovery in the level of real GDP,” they wrote. “Aggressive policy means that the U.S. will need to consider negative interest rates and aggressive government spending, such as spending on infrastructure.

Will your local Starbucks close? Coffee giant says it will close 400 stores but expanding pickup options

Starbucks will close up to 400 company-owned locations over the next 18 months while also speeding up the expansion of “convenience-led formats” such as curbside pickup, drive-thru and mobile-only pickup locations. The Seattle-based coffee giant says the moves are being driven by changing consumer behaviors

US airlines record lowest passenger numbers since 1974 in April with international travel down 99 PERCENT from the same time last year

The Transportation Department announced the news on Wednesday, saying the dramatic drop was the direct result of the coronavirus crisis currently crippling the globe.

The Rebellion of America’s New Underclass

Almost 40% of those Americans making under $40,000 a year have lost their jobs. The unemployment rate of those with less than a high-school diploma jumped from 6.8% on the month to 21.2%. For college graduates, it rose from 2.5% to 8.4%. Salaried workers have been laid off at roughly half the rate of hourly workers.

Alarming Study Finds US Public Pensions To Run Out Of Money By 2028

“Public plans with extremely low funded ratios in 2020 may face the risk of running out of assets in the foreseeable future if markets are slow to recover.”

Federal Debt Tops $26 Trillion for First Time; Jumps $2 Trillion in Just 63 Days

The federal debt had topped $24 trillion for the first time on April 7, 2020. It then climbed another trillion dollars in just 28 days, topping $25 trillion for the first time on May 5.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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June 10, 2020

More Food Shortages Loom With Outbreaks at 60 U.S Plants

At least 60 food-processing facilities outside the meatpacking industry have seen outbreaks, with more than 1,000 workers diagnosed with the virus.

‘We need help’: Small cities face fiscal calamity from virus

We represent the average city. If cities like Allentown begin to crumble, that’s how America crumbles…So something needs to be done. We need help.”

Evictions expected to spike as states end moratoriums that offered relief during COVID-19

So far, 24 states are now processing evictions again, and that number is expected to climb to at least 30 states by the end of June.

Fed ponders what else it can do to buoy economy

“The Fed will welcome the improvement in employment we saw in May, but those gains will not be enough to stop members of the FOMC from worrying about the pace of the rebound in growth…The Fed has been consistent in its view that more fiscal stimulus will be needed. It is not expected to back down now.”

Don’t Lose the Thread. The Economy Is Experiencing an Epic Collapse of Demand

“There’s a lot of denial here, as there was in the 1930s…At the beginning of the Depression, nobody wanted to admit that it was a crisis. The actions the government took were not adequate to the scope of the problem, yet they were very quick to say there had been a turnaround.”

The Looming Bank Collapse

After the housing crisis, subprime CDOs naturally fell out of favor. Demand shifted to…the CLO, or collateralized loan obligation. A CLO walks and talks like a CDO, but in place of loans made to home buyers are loans made to businesses—specifically, troubled businesses.

May consumer prices fall 0.1%, the third consecutive month

“Overall, the initial impact of the shutdowns due to the novel coronavirus is deflationary…Going forward, expect increased volatility in the coming months — but the medium-term risks to inflation remain firmly to the downside.″

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June 9, 2020

A Crash in the Dollar Is Coming

Already stressed by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. living standards are about to be squeezed as never before. The balance is shifting, and a crash in the dollar could well be in the offing.

Was the Latest Jobs Report Too Good to Be True?

So yes, the actual unemployment rate may be worse than Friday’s headlines suggest…Based on the BLS’s estimates adjusted for the misclassification error, the unemployment rate dropped from 19.5 percent in April to 16.4 percent in May.

Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions

They…are collectively sitting on tens of billions of dollars of cash reserves that are supposed to help them weather an unanticipated storm. They awarded their five highest-paid officials about $874 million in the most recent year for which they have disclosed their finances.

Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms

“We’re paycheck to paycheck like most people,” he says. “And when you take away that paycheck, especially for this length of time, we have to make the decision — a vehicle or food.”

Federal Budget Deficit Nears $2 Trillion For Fiscal Year

U.S. budget gap more than doubled in May as the pandemic undercut federal revenue and triggered spending increases

Pandemic drives broadest economic collapse in 150 years: World Bank

“This is a deeply sobering outlook, with the crisis likely to leave long-lasting scars and pose major global challenges.”

Economy Loses Jobs Equal to Metro New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and DFW

CBO estimates that the unemployment rate in the 2020 second quarter will be 15.1%. This unemployment rate is more than four times the rates of both the 2019 fourth quarter (3.5%) and the 2020 first quarter (3.8%).

The Agonizing Question: Is New York City Worth It Anymore?

The pandemic alone, however, poses new challenges for a city that thrives on, and is packed with, people. It also comes at a time when New York is pricing out those who are perfectly capable of working elsewhere remotely.

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June 8, 2020

Left out: More workers now losing hope of getting back jobs

Forty-two percent of the layoffs caused by the pandemic could become permanent job losses, according to a study by the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics.

U.S. labor market unexpectedly improves; recovery years away

“It took years for the economy to grow enough to find jobs for those unemployed in the last recession, and it will take years again this time to do the same.”

People Aren’t Visiting Branches. Banks Are Wondering How Many They Actually Need

Branch traffic fell more than 30% in April and the first three weeks of May compared with the same period last year

Wall Street’s latest surge isn’t benefiting many Americans

“Even with the mild improvement in May, the unemployment rate of all groups is still higher than the highest level the overall unemployment rate hit at the height of the Great Recession, when it reached 10.0% in 2009.”

Jim Cramer: The pandemic led to ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history’

“The bigger the business, the more it moves the major averages, and that matters because this is the first recession where big business … is coming through virtually unscathed, if not going for the gold”

U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings surge in May

U.S. commercial bankruptcy filings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code jumped in May by 48% from year earlier.

Next Wave of U.S. Job Cuts Targets Millions of Higher-Paid Workers

“It will get worse before it gets better—white-collar workers will now bear the brunt   Even if states and businesses reopen, we’re likely to see this second wave of losses.”

Employment levels are bad, but the direction is good thanks to stimulus

The accuracy of the numbers is questionable. And even if they were accurate, there’s still an incredibly long way to go.

Survey: Business economists expect worst slump since 1940s

The panel forecast that the monthly unemployment rate will average 10.9% this year. …Forecasters expects the 5% annual GDP drop to be followed by a record 33.5% annual plunge in the current April-June quarter.

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June 5, 2020

The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse

Even a seemingly small requirement—for instance, that everyone who enters a country needs to present, in addition to a passport and a visa, a health certificate—would constitute an obstacle to the return to the old globalized way, given how many millions of people would normally travel.

Covid, hysteresis, and the future of work

Now that telework is feasible for a hefty slice of their workforce, firms will soon realise that they can get some of the remote work done at much lower cost by hiring workers sitting in low-wage countries. While it is certainly true that foreign talent working online is unlikely to be as good as domestic talent working in the office, the foreign talent may be a whole lot cheaper.

How many jobs can be done at home?

Our classification implies that 37% of US jobs can plausibly be performed at home.

May sees biggest jobs increase ever of 2.5 million as economy starts to recover from coronavirus

As it turned out, May’s numbers showed the U.S. may well be on the road to recovery after its fastest plunge in history.

Jobless claims, total unemployment level worse than expected

Filings for unemployment insurance claims totaled 1.877 million last week in a sign that the worst is over for the coronavirus-related jobs crisis but that the level of unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Three Reasons Stocks Are Rising

In the time that officially recorded U.S. deaths from COVID-19 increased from 100 to 100,000, the S&P 500 rose by 20 percent. What is going on?

Is America headed for a post-apocalyptic currency collapse?

“The best laid plans: inspired by myopic modelers, eschewing of expert opinions of dissident scientists, disregarding of essential rights, fueled by media fabrications and irresponsibility, imposed by governments at all levels. It’s a new chapter of The Road to Serfdom.”

SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit

“The goal of Starlink is to create a network that will help provide internet services to those who are not yet connected, and to provide reliable and affordable internet across the globe.”

JC Penney closing 154 stores in first post-bankruptcy phase

As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, Penney said it planned to permanently close nearly a third of its 846 stores in the next two years. That would leave it with just over 600 locations.

Retailers look to boost sales, German car sales weak

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus

US public schools need major building repairs, report finds

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, outdated and hazardous school buildings were undermining the quality of public education and putting students and educators at risk.”

Gap records nearly $1 billion in losses on coronavirus-led store closures

“While our economics in our Old Navy and Athleta fleets are strong, our specialty store fleet (Gap and Banana Republic) has not been as profitable as we need it to be.”

Explainer: No one really knows how many Americans need unemployment benefits

But the simplest way to calculate that impact – tallying up the number of initial unemployment claims filed each week since a national emergency was declared in March, for a total of 42.6 million – is increasingly flawed, analysts say.

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June 4, 2020

Coronavirus will have long-lasting effects on US economy for next decade, CBO says

“Business closures and social distancing measures are expected to curtail consumer spending, while the recent drop in energy prices is projected to severely reduce U.S. investment in the energy sector.”

Wall Street Warning to Corporate America: Get Cash While You Can

The long list of worries includes a new wave of coronavirus contagion in the fall, an extended period of double-digit unemployment, a spike in defaults and a slower-than-expected economic recovery as businesses around the globe adapt to the realities of prolonged social distancing.

U.S. airlines gain final approval to drop services to 75 domestic airports

Fifteen U.S. airlines were granted final government approval on Wednesday to temporarily halt service to 75 domestic airports as travel demand has been crushed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Swamped by diesel, refiners struggle with coronavirus recovery

Brimming diesel inventories and stronger oil prices are driving down refining profits, stifling incentives to hike production even as fuel demand recovers from the coronavirus hammering.

Hedge funds brace for second stock market plunge

Hedge funds are getting ready for another slump in stock markets after growing uneasy that surging prices do not reflect the economic problems ahead.

The next big problem for the economy: Businesses can’t pay their rent

The problem for the broader U.S. economy is that when businesses…stop paying rent, it sets off an alarming chain reaction. Landlords are now at risk of bankruptcy, too. Commercial real estate prices are falling. Jobs at property management companies and landscapers face cuts. Banks and private investors are unwilling to lend…strapped city and local governments are realizing the property taxes are…unlikely to be paid…

Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms

“When the $600-a-week unemployment insurance runs out at the end of July, most people expect tremendous displacement risk…Evictions are likely to go through the roof.”

AMC has ‘substantial doubt’ that it can survive coronavirus outbreak shutdown

The world’s largest movie theater chain said Wednesday it has “substantial doubt” it can remain in business after shuttering all of its locations during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Disastrous at a time like this’: the US Postal Service is on the brink of crisis

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the United States post office had been atrophying from financial turmoil. Over the past decade, post offices have been closed across the country, rural mail delivery is stretched thin, and thousands of post office workers’ positions have been eliminated.

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June 3, 2020

Wells Fargo, worried about defaults, stops making loans to most independent car dealerships

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman confirmed that the bank…will no longer accept loan applications from most independent shops. Wells Fargo has also been stepping back from parts of the mortgage market.

Zoom nearly doubles revenue forecast on remote-work boost, but costs rising

The company has transformed itself into a global video hangout from a business-oriented teleconferencing tool. It came under fire over privacy and security issues, prompting it to roll out major upgrades.

Opinion: Job losses have hit older workers harder than prime-age workers

Yes, young workers got slammed when the economy fell off the cliff, but the next most severely affected group is older workers — those 55+.

Renault to eliminate 15,000 jobs, cut production

“The difficulties encountered by the Group, the major crisis facing the automotive industry and the urgency of the ecological transition are all imperatives that are driving the company to accelerate its transformation,” the company said in a statement.

New US jobless claims fall, continuing claims drop by almost 4 million

More than 2.1 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment in the week ended May 23, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, the eighth week in a row that the number of new claims has declined since it peaked in the week ended March 28.

Negative interest rates could be needed for a ‘V’ recovery, Fed economist says

“I found that a combination of aggressive fiscal and monetary policies is necessary for the U.S. to achieve a V-shaped recovery in the level of real GDP,” Wen wrote. “Aggressive policy means that the U.S. will need to consider negative interest rates and aggressive government spending, such as spending on infrastructure.”

Google faces $5 billion lawsuit in U.S. for tracking ‘private’ internet use

The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode.

Handheld UV Light Devices That Kill COVID-19, Other Viruses May Soon Be As Common As Phone, Keys

Besides just personal use, UV light devices can conceivably be used to disinfect large public areas like parks, theaters, buses, and subways.

Bar employs humanoid robot waiter to serve and take orders during Covid-19 pandemic

The 5ft-tall robot, known as Alexia, can move around the terrace while carrying a tray of up to nine drinks at one time. It is currently in use in Bar Baviera in the Plaza del Castillo square in the city of Pamplone in the province of Navarre.

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June 2, 2020

Desperate retailers to ask Fed, Treasury for emergency help amid worries that economic turmoil could worsen

With five big retailers having filed for bankruptcy in May, some of the industry’s survivors can’t get financial backing for their holiday season orders — prompting an urgent appeal to the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve for help.

Google Rescinds Offers to Thousands of Contract Workers

“We’re slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and are not bringing on as many new starters as we had planned at the beginning of the year.” The move affects more than 2,000 people

The pandemic is making people reconsider city living, trading traffic for chickens

“There’s nowhere we want to be other than with our families right now. It’s really heartbreaking to be far away…We’ve gained a lot from living in the city, but as we get older, and going through this pandemic, we see the value of being close to family and having land.”

Retailers and restaurants across the U.S. close their doors amid protests

“In normal times, businesses would probably take it in their stride…But coming off the back of the pandemic, it’s devastating.”

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer: ‘I can’t see anybody agreeing to reopen arenas in the foreseeable future’

“I can’t see anybody agreeing to reopen arenas or concert venues in the foreseeable future…So, I have to say that things will be fan-less, which, who knows what kind of experience that will be to watch on TV, and for the players.”

Mortgage Sector Off to Worst Start Since 2013 Despite Fed Help

Mortgage investors have yet to enjoy robust returns this year despite the Federal Reserve providing $688 billion of support to the sector since mid-March.

Worried comments from Fed’s Powell foreshadow even lower mortgage rates

“A full recovery of the economy will really depend on people being confident that it’s safe to go out…A second wave would really undermine public confidence, and might make for a significantly longer recovery, and weaker recovery.”

The stock market isn’t reflecting reality yet, but Citigroup warns that pain and ‘collateral damage’ are on the way

“Markets are pricing a V [shaped recovery], everyone’s coming back to work, and this is going to be fine…I don’t think it’s going to be that easy quite frankly…As the second quarter comes along and we start seeing the pain…we think this is going to be much tougher than it looks.”

Negative interest rates: What they are, how they work and whether they are coming to the U.S.

So many unusual policies and practices have come out in recent months to help stabilize the economy that it seems almost anything could be on the table. Might negative interest rates be next?

Dow ends modestly higher as Wall Street looks beyond civil unrest to hopes for economic recovery

“The direct economic impact of the protests is small, at least so far…Just when people were starting to come out of the proverbial bunkers, the protests may be too much for them, and they will go back in.”

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June 1, 2020

In U.S., 71% Believe Economy Is in Recession or Depression

71% of Americans say the country is in an economic depression or recession, a figure that has remained at or above 70% since mid-April.

What Is the Stock Market Even for Anymore?

The market was heavily weighted to a small number of companies — Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook — that were positioned to become even more dominant than they were before the crisis and whose stock prices were rising in anticipation of that.

US food prices see historic jump and are likely to stay high

“If you’re going to euthanize thousands of animals and it takes six months to raise a new one, obviously there’s going to be some type of delay or buffer in the supply chain.”

In the new downtown future, devoid of office workers, every day could be Sunday

But the corporate rush to working from home has most dramatically drained the money-fuelled downtown life of the people who once needed to be there every day: the office workers.

Spain creates a universal minimum income targeted at 2.3 million people

“Today this government is showing that its political choice is social justice and that it takes the [Spanish] Constitution seriously.” People between 23 and 65 years old with “assets of less than 16,614 euros,” not including house and discounted loans, will be eligible for the basic income plan

In a pandemic, no one wants to touch it. Why cash has become the new Typhoid Mary

“This crisis is clearly pushing us even farther away from using cash in our everyday legal transactions,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor and author of “The Curse of Cash.” “And it’s for obvious reasons. No one wants to touch something you or someone else just touched. That’s not going to change any time soon.”

States, cities plead for virus aid as Congress faces crises

As local leaders are pleading for more federal aid…the Senate resumes session Monday with no immediate plans to consider a fresh round of relief.

Desperate retailers to ask Fed, Treasury for emergency help amid worries that economic turmoil could worsen

“Unless this is fixed soon, the retail engine that supports one in four American jobs will have a hard time coming back to life…the retail industry could suffer “a commercial credit crisis that threatens to seize up our economy and stall the safe restart in its infancy.”

Google Rescinds Offers to Thousands of Contract Workers

“We’re slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and are not bringing on as many new starters as we had planned at the beginning of the year.”

The ingenuity keeping indie bookstores going

Now, indie bookstores everywhere, confronted with the twin threats of Amazon and covid-19, are struggling to survive. And in response, readers across the country are banding together to save them.

Scientists Discover So-Called ‘Skinny Gene’

We all know that one person who can eat whatever they like and never gain a pound…Now, a groundbreaking new international study appears to have zeroed in on the so-called “skinny gene” that help keep such individuals thin.

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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May 29, 2020

The next 100 days: How the coronavirus will continue to change your life at home, at work, at school and beyond

“Because of the lack of guidance from the federal government, it’s up to the states, and it will probably evolve into the cities and counties as well. Nothing’s going to be uniform. These people will stay closed, these people will open up. You’ll get some hot spots and flareups of infections.’’

Millions Relying on Pandemic Aid Can See Its End, and They’re Scared

“The CARES Act was massive, but it was a very short-term offset to what is likely to be a long-term problem…This economy is clearly going to need more support.”

White House punts economic update as election draws near

“It’s a sign that the White House does not anticipate a major recovery in employment and growth prior to the election and that it has essentially punted economic policy over to the Fed and the Congress.”

American and Delta offer buyouts as airlines prepare for a long recovery.

“Delta will have to be a smaller airline as we adjust to reduced demand and the need for distancing and safety during travel…A smaller Delta unfortunately means fewer people will be required.”

I Don’t Feel Like Buying Stuff Anymore

Our economy is built on Americans of all class levels buying things. What happens when the ability — and desire — to do so goes away?

After coronavirus, employees want workplaces to physically change: Survey

In fact, 66 percent of respondents said their workplaces should be physically changed “to create more personal space,” the survey found.

Tuesday Morning retailer files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans 230 store closings

The company plans to permanently close about 230 of its 687 stores this summer.

Exclusive: U.S. taxpayers’ virus relief went to firms that avoided U.S. taxes

Of the almost 110 recipients of $4 million or more, Reuters found some 46 paid no U.S. corporate tax for the last year.

U.S. economy shrank at 5% annual rate in the first quarter

The U.S. economy shrank at an even faster pace than initially estimated in the first three months of this year with economists continuing to expect a far worse outcome in the current April-June quarter.

The downsides of remote work

“The longer we remain fully remote, the more difficult it is going to be to mitigate a rate of decay in culture…That should be keeping leaders up at night.”

The stakes have never been higher as America reopens. What can a post-coronavirus world look like?

“Whether it’s the bubonic plague, the Spanish flu or coronavirus, pandemics inevitably are both health events and social events that cause transformations in society and politics.”

CEO pay has topped $12.3M. Can it keep rising post-pandemic?

“I think there has been a growing sense — not by all, but a growing portion of institutional investors — that CEOs are overpaid,” said Amy Borrus, deputy director of the Council of Institutional Investors. “It’s not so much that they’re overpaid but that it’s out of whack with corporate performance.”

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May 28, 2020

Coronavirus recession could plunge tens of millions into poverty, new report warns

Even under a best-case scenario “the annual poverty rate will reach levels comparable to the Great Recession.”

Boeing Cuts 12,000 Jobs, Resumes Production of Grounded Jet

“The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices.”

Bankruptcy cases, store closings pile up as coronavirus wreaks havoc for J.C. Penney, Hertz, others

“That’s unlike anything the industry has ever seen,” Coresight CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig said. “It’s the speed with which it’s all happening which has been a little surprising.”

Why your Social Security could feel like a lot less next year

The check’s the same each month for a whole year, but the prices, well, they just keep going up.

Fed finds new challenge for the economy: Workers who don’t want to come back to their jobs

Business leaders “cited challenges in bringing employees back to work, including workers’ health concerns, limited access to childcare, and generous unemployment insurance benefits.”

Fed: Sharp economic decline in May leaves businesses ‘pessimistic’ about recovery

The Fed’s May “Beige Book”…painted a dire picture of the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic as states began to gradually lift restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Unemployment claims may reach 41 million in 10 weeks as U.S. businesses slowly reopen

“While almost all states have begun to re-open their economies in one way or another, the process is gradual…This argues for persistent pain in labor markets.”

An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters

“I think we will enter into a severe renter crisis and very quickly…we will have an avalanche of evictions across the country.”

Coronavirus recession could plunge tens of millions into poverty

The authors “emphasize the urgent need for the provision of income assistance to all U.S. residents, with a particular focus on children and working-age adults who we find are at the greatest risk of falling into poverty.”

WHO warns of second peak, discourages swift return to normalcy

“We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it’s going to keep going down.”

Can Virtual Reality Help Sports Fans Experience Game Day In A Post COVID-19 World?

But, the headsets, while helpful for gaming and some interactive experiences, are likely out of reach for the everyday sports consumer. Prices start at around $200 and go up from there depending on the model.

Sovereign debt crises are coming

This special report looks at what impact increasing public debt will have on both developed and poorer countries, alongside the potential long-term consequences for the global economy.

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May 27, 2020

Salaries Get Chopped for Many Americans Who Manage to Keep Jobs

“It’s one of the reasons why we don’t expect a so-called V-shaped recovery,” said Michael Gapen, Barclay economist. Americans taking pay cuts “might have little, and in some cases maybe nothing, left over after that for discretionary purchases.”

The Stock Market and Consumer Sentiment Are Telling Different Stories

Personal incomes in March suffered the steepest drop since 2013, and consumer spending fell at the fastest rate since 1959. The numbers for April, due Friday, are expected to be worse. Yet stocks have continued to rise. The S&P 500 has surged 34% since bottoming March 23,

Frustrated and struggling, New Yorkers contemplate abandoning the city they love

“I’m a born-and-raised, do-or-die New Yorker because it was always a party, but the party is over…I’m not getting my city back, so I’m leaving before it gets to the point that I can’t get my mind back.”

What If College Students Simply Don’t Return in the Fall?

“Presidents and trustees are deluding themselves into thinking that students will return in mass or are willing to pay the remarkably high-tuitions that have become a hallmark of our secondary educational system, especially given the deep financial contraction that has impacted almost everyone.”

Humans ‘not meant to be alone’: Many Americans haven’t seen or touched another person in 3 months         

“We are not meant to be alone…The reason it feels unpleasant is it’s a biological signal, much like hunger and thirst, to motivate us to reconnect with others.”

The Pandemic Is Exposing the Limits of Science

After all, the “novel” in “novel coronavirus” means new and unknown. Science moves slowly and attempts to push it along ensures poor science.  

The benefits isolation can have on your work

Yet the latest psychological literature suggests that less communication might actually be more: constant collaboration can in fact reduce collective intelligence.

Back to school? 1 in 5 teachers are unlikely to return to reopened classrooms

 “The expectation of parents and society is we’re sending our children to be educated in a safe environment, and how we’re going to provide that safe environment is completely unknown.”

Coronavirus is just ‘tip of iceberg,’ Chinese researcher cautions

“If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious-disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings…If we don’t study [the viruses], there will possibly be another outbreak.”

Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works are closing hundreds of stores

L Brands also said it was closing 50 Bath & Body Works stores, mostly in mall locations where it doesn’t expect foot traffic to regain pre-pandemic normalcy.

Hertz paid top executives $16 million in bonuses ahead of its bankruptcy filing

Paul Stone, promoted to CEO three days before the retention bonuses were awarded, got $700,000. Chief Financial Officer Jamere Jackson got $600,000, while Chief Marketing Officer Jodi Allen got about $190,000.

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May 26, 2020

Why Our Economy May Be Headed for a Decade of Depression

Nouriel Roubini, the economist who warned of the 2008 economic debacle, now warns of a long-term economic downturn.

Hertz files for bankruptcy

“The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand was sudden and dramatic, causing an abrupt decline in the company’s revenue and future bookings…uncertainty remains as to when revenue will return and when the used-car market will fully re-open for sales, which necessitated today’s action.”

Colleges Lower the Boom on Retirement Plans

Retirement contributions are offered mostly to full-time professors. Only about 25% of college professors are full time; the remainder are low paid part time or adjunct instructors, with no job security or benefits.

Kohl’s exits Jennifer Lopez, other women’s brands as losses mount

“Exiting them (the 8 brands) will create focus and clarity on the brands that will continue…We’re still highly committed to the women’s business. In the short term, we’re facing some challenges here.”

Reopening reality check: Georgia’s jobs aren’t flooding back

“…nothing to signal there’s any return to economic stability or recovery happening right now,” said Alex Camardelle, a senior policy analyst with the nonprofit Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

2 out of 3 tech workers would leave SF permanently if they could work remotely

When asked if they would “consider relocating” if given the option to work remotely, 34% of Bay Area respondents said no. About 18% said they’d consider moving out of the Bay Area but staying in California, 36% said they’d consider moving elsewhere in the US and 16% said they could foresee leaving the country.

Facebook employees may face pay cut if they move to cheaper areas to work from home

“We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point,” Zuckerberg said, “There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this.”

New Threat to New York City: Commercial Rent Payments Plummet

“Unless the federal government steps in to help renters and owners in a big way, we are going to see a housing disaster the likes of which we have never seen.”

New college grads are having their job offers rescinded—now they’re in ‘survival mode’

“And so now, people graduating this spring are going to face the worst job market in the entire post-depression history.”

Report: Texas-size rivalry for Tesla’s Cybertruck factory heats up

Austin and Tulsa vying for Tesla factory, while the east and west coasts are not even in the running.

Together, Alone. The Car as Shelter in the Pandemic

“They are like the ultimate P.P.E. — you can really seal yourself into them.”

Many US states have seen LOWER infection rates after ending lockdowns

“Unlike rigorous testing of potential new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself.”

Read more at VicNapier.com and my Medium.com page.

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May 22, 2020

Trump says he won’t close the country if second wave of coronavirus hits

“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country,” Trump said. “We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”

Top White House economic adviser expresses uncertainty about recovery despite Trump’s confidence

“The numbers coming in are not good. In fact, they are downright bad in most cases. But we are seeing some glimmers, perhaps … there’s a lot of heartbreak here. There’s a lot of hardship here. There’s a lot of anxiety here. It’s a very difficult situation.”

Many Jobs May Vanish Forever as Layoffs Mount

“I hate to say it, but this is going to take longer and look grimmer than we thought,” Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University, said of the path to recovery. Bloom…estimates that 42% of recent layoffs will result in permanent job loss. “Firms intend to hire these people back. “But we know from the past that these aspirations often don’t turn out to be true.”

Some stores including Lululemon won’t take cash as they reopen, putting them further out of reach for millions of Americans

“We won’t be accepting cash payments for 30 days after reopen, and we’ll reassess after that time. We prefer contactless tap payments like credit and debit cards or ApplePay. Check in with your financial institution so your digital wallets are ready to go!”

Victoria’s Secret to close about 250 stores in the U.S. and Canada, Bath & Body Works to close 50

“We would expect to have a meaningful number of additional store closures beyond the 250 that we’re pursuing this year, meaning there will be more in 2021 and probably a bit more in 2022.”

How the pandemic is changing shopping

Apple is checking shoppers’ temperatures at the door. Best Buy is asking customers to shop by appointment. Macy’s and Nordstrom are doing away with beauty consultations and alteration services, while the Gap is closing off bathrooms and fitting rooms. Cosmetics giant Sephora won’t allow shoppers to test products anymore.

How Is the US Going to Pay for All This Stimulus Spending?

As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the coronavirus response has already pushed government spending to its highest levels since World War II (the single most expensive event in U.S. history). How is the United States going to pay for all of this?

As America Reopens, Trial Lawyers Salivate at Endless Coronavirus Lawsuit Possibilities

An outsized battle looms in Washington, as trade associations for trial lawyers push their own vision of open-ended lawsuits while groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce come down on the side of restricting litigation over coronavirus.

Several GOP senators press for more stimulus payments during coronavirus crisis

“Congress has a tremendous responsibility to help mitigate the impact of this crisis on our states and our local communities and on the families they serve…We must not wait. We should act now.”

New Virtual Babysitting Service Launches During Coronavirus Pandemic

“This thought came into my head, like, ‘how amazing would it be for a virtual babysitter to come up on my screen while I would exercise, so I didn’t have to invite someone into my home for three hours to watch my child for 45 minutes’.”

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May 21, 2020

Fed minutes show fears of ‘extraordinary amount of uncertainty and considerable risks’ because of coronavirus

“Participants commented that, in addition to weighing heavily on economic activity in the near term, the economic effects of the pandemic created an extraordinary amount of uncertainty and considerable risks to economic activity in the medium term.”

Facing Adulthood With an Economic Disaster’s Lasting Scars

A large body of research — along with the experience of those who came of age in the last recession — shows that young people trying to start their careers during an economic crisis are at a lasting disadvantage. Their wages, opportunities and confidence in the workplace may never fully recover.

Free money: Amid the coronavirus, a monthly paycheck from the feds doesn’t seem crazy

Lawmakers will face pressure to extend these benefits, said Joshua Rauh, a Stanford University professor, “Once these things get started, it’s very hard to stop them,” he said. “Once you think about it that way … we’re getting closer to something that certainly resembles universal basic income.”

Singles now flaunting antibody test results in dating profiles

Singles across the country are boasting about their coronavirus antibody test results when they’re out on the prowl. Some are even including the status of the test results in their online dating profiles, using their possible immunity to score a lover in the middle of a pandemic.

Highly indebted ‘zombie’ companies control more than 2 million U.S. jobs

“The zombie companies are those firms that are able to borrow in effect cheaper than they should given their revenue, and they’re able to stay in business,” said Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard “What they’re talking about is not so much zombie firms but firms that would otherwise just shut down,”

Study Shows 70% of Consumers Would Rather Watch New Movies at Home

“Just as the country begins to open up there has been a swing toward increasing caution, with a majority of Americans clearly saying ‘not yet’ when it comes to attending large public events,”

Covid-19: China’s new outbreak shows signs the coronavirus could be changing

Patients found in the northern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang appear to carry the virus for a longer period of time and take longer to recover

Cash, long a refuge in uncertain times, now under suspicion

A growing number of businesses and individuals worldwide have stopped using banknotes in fear that physical currency, handled by tens of thousands of people over their useful life, could be a vector for the spreading coronavirus.

Over 4M Americans skip mortgage payments as coronavirus hammers finances

A weekly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association released Monday found that 8.16 percent of total loans are now in forbearance plans, up from 7.91 percent as of May 3. It was the smallest increase in forbearance since March 10, when the outbreak of the virus first paralyzed the nation’s economy.

Sweden in deep economic crisis despite soft lockdown, as per capita deaths rise

Sweden has kept most schools, restaurants and businesses open during the pandemic and some theorized it might at least suffer less economic pain. But the latest data challenge that idea.

‘Hot’ nurse disciplined for wearing bra and panties under see-through PPE gown

The unidentified staffer told her managers at Tula Regional Clinical Hospital that she was “too hot” to wear clothing underneath the head-to-toe vinyl gown…While there were reportedly “no complaints” from her patients, hospital chiefs punished the nearly nude nurse for “non-compliance with the requirements for medical clothing.”

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This Post Has 6 Comments

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