The week in business: jobs cannot be saved

0
70
The week in business: jobs cannot be saved

Welcome to a really strange Easter Sunday. Here’s what you need to know for the coming week: The coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the global economy and create chaos in the workplace. I hope you all can do something normal today. Most importantly, stay safe. – – Charlotte Cowles

picture
Recognition…Giacomo Bagnara

Another 6.6 million Americans submitted new unemployment claims last week. As a result, the total number of people who lost their jobs in March and the first days of April rose to a record-breaking 16 million. This is almost double the net job loss throughout the 2007/09 recession and brings the unemployment rate to over 13 percent – close to the depression area. What can be done Congress is haggling over new laws that would give more help to small businesses affected by the virus as the recent stimulus package is already running out. But the bill has stalled because the Democrats want to spend billions more in funding for hospitals and local governments, which are also desperately struck.

While legislators were arguing, the Federal Reserve launched its own aid package last Thursday, which promises to pump $ 2.3 trillion into the economy through new and expanded loan programs. Contrary to the federal government’s rescue efforts, which focused on helping small businesses, the Fed’s plan aims to help medium-sized and large companies that don’t qualify for many other emergency loans. These comprehensive new measures are among the largest (and most expensive) measures the Fed has ever taken to bolster the economy, and far exceed any measures it took during the 2008 financial crisis.

The developers of the video conferencing tool Zoom never expected their technology to become a cornerstone of American life. In addition to its original function (work calls), Zoom is now used to host online weddings, seder dinners, Easter services, and countless other remote gatherings. However, the influx of users has uncovered large gaps in the security of the tool. Enter “zoom bombing” – when hackers hijack video conferences and harass participants with porn or other graphics. Zoom has tried to solve its data protection problems and provided special advice from information security experts from other companies to introduce better practices. Facebook’s former security chief, Alex Stamos, was also hired as a consultant.

picture
Recognition…Giacomo Bagnara

Aside from stocking toilet paper and junk food, Americans are in no mood to shop these days. The country’s retailers are reporting their sales for March this Wednesday, and the numbers are expected to show the worst decline since government data collection began in 1992. Most retailers are staggering as the virus has paralyzed supply chains and has virtually eliminated demand for “non-essential” products. Purchases. But some – like grocery stores – can see big profits.

Just a few months ago, the start-up Airbnb for home rental was an extremely successful disruptive factor in the travel industry. Now it’s just another business that is shaking in the pandemic. Airbnb planned to go public later this year and join the plethora of technical “unicorns” that did so in 2019 (some with mixed results, like Uber). But now this trajectory looks dubious, to say the least. The company has lowered its internal valuation to $ 26 billion (from a previous high of $ 31 billion). And like many of its Silicon Valley brothers, it has cash in store to weather the storm – it recently raised $ 1 billion in new funds.

At an emergency meeting last week, the organization of oil-exporting countries and other major oil producers, including Russia, made a tentative agreement to temporarily cut oil production by about 23 percent, ending a week-long price war that has upset the oil market. But even if the deal closes in the next few days, you shouldn’t expect oil prices to go up soon. The cuts will not take place until May, and the pandemic has throttled demand so much that even this reduced production can leave a surplus.