Whether you choose football, J. Lo, or Buffalo Chicken Dip, today is your day – it's been a whole week. Before you go to Monday, however, you should first read the following information in business and technical news.
What's going on? (January 26 – February 1)
As the death toll from the Chinese Corona virus outbreak continued to rise, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the disease would "help speed up job returns to North America." At least, and possibly an insensitive comment, that was wrong: The global health emergency could harm the global economy more than ever and help the United States. American companies like Apple and Starbucks could also suffer significant losses in their Chinese business. Starbucks has closed more than half of its stores in the country's second largest market. And Apple CEO Tim Cook said the outbreak is already affecting his financial forecasts. At the end of the week, several airlines began canceling flights to China, disrupting both business travel and goods transportation.
Test tube bust
Harvard Chemical Department chairman and one of the most respected scientists, Charles Lieber, was arrested last week and accused of making false statements about his relationship with the Chinese government. That said, he did not want to know how much money the Chinese funders were paying him, especially for his participation in a program to attract foreign-educated scientists to China. His case stems from the Justice Department making an aggressive push to track down and prosecute scientists who are said to steal research and intellectual property from American laboratories, particularly those that work closely with China.
Lost his rubber band
It's been a tough year for the mall where Victoria's Secret stands. The parent company's shares, L Brands, fell almost 30 percent in 2019 as consumer tastes tended to include more inclusive, physically positive brands with sophisticated online marketing. It didn't help that its owner, Leslie H. Wexner, got it involved in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, or that there is a new report on the culture of sexual harassment of models and employees. Mr. Wexner was in talks to withdraw and sell the company, which is now valued at over $ 6 billion – a fraction of its peak of $ 29 billion in 2015 – as the new boss of another competitive brand, J. Crew , last week.
What's next? (February 2-8)
Make calls in the votes
Let the vote begin! The Iowa Caucuses for the Democratic presidential candidate will be held this Monday. And for the first time, party officials will use a new smartphone app to count and report votes. Proponents of the technology say that this is a more efficient and reliable method of calculating the results of around 1,700 caucus locations and that the platform is secure. However, critics are concerned that breakdowns or hackers can disrupt the process and affect the outcome. (Voices will continue to be recorded on paper just in case.) Party officials won't say who developed the app because they don't want to be a target for hackers. However, some voters argue that naming the developer would increase public confidence.
How are we
While Democrats are voting on who will face him later this year, President Trump will prepare to deliver his speech on the state of the Union on Tuesday. Expect him to boast of economic health, the preliminary trade agreement with China, and the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that he signed last Wednesday. However, recent figures from the Department of Commerce showed that the country's economy has been growing slowest since 2016, which could affect Mr. Trump's rosy picture. The culprits: Boeing's problems, the ongoing collective bargaining with China and the six-week strike at General Motors in late 2019.
The $ 1 trillion club
It's simple: If the government cuts taxes and continues to spend money, debt will arise. And the United States has become a textbook example. The federal budget deficit will exceed $ 1 trillion this year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, according to new Congressional Budget Office projections. Accuse the low interest rates (the Fed chose not to raise them when it met last week, as expected) and the Trump tax cuts and increased government spending in 2017. By 2030, the C.B.O. Public debt held by the public is expected to exceed $ 31 trillion – about 98 percent of the country's projected economic size.
Britain officially left the European Union on Friday, but not much will change until the details of their new relationship become known are expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Also over: The era of Ginni Rometty's leadership at IBM. During her eight-year tenure as a manager, she was one of the country's most prominent female business leaders, but the company also struggled to grow. She will be replaced in April by Arvind Krishna, who is currently leading the company's cloud computing business. Finally, these annoying robocalls could actually be illegal: The US government has sued five companies and three people whose fraudulent robocalls have led older Americans and others to "massive financial losses".