Economic Crisis 2020

Business • Economy
easyJet reports £835 million loss in 2020, worst results in its 25-year history
easyJet reports £835 million loss in 2020, worst results in its 25-year history
Credit: unsplash/Jan Rosolino

British multinational budget airline easyJet has reported a £835 million loss in the year to 30 September 2020, compared to £427 million in profits in 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both easyJet's revenue and passenger numbers declined by approx. 50%,

"I am immensely proud of the performance of the easyJet team in facing the challenges of 2020. We responded robustly and decisively, minimising losses, reducing cash burn and launching the largest cost out and restructuring programme in our history – all while raising more than £3.1 billion in liquidity to date," so chief executive, Johan Lundgren

Business • Economy
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
Credit: unsplash.com/Frederick Tubiermont

According to a union official, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has left the British low-cost airline group EasyJet "hanging by a thread".

"If easyJet don’t have a good summer and make money next summer, I suspect none of us will have a job this time next year," pilots’ union official Martin Entwisle said in a now leaked recording of an EasyJet staff conference call. Entwisle claimed the information was shared by the company’s chief financial officer, Andrew Findlay, who allegedly warned that the company's situation was "even worse than their worst fears."

"The easiest way to put it is: the company is hanging by a thread," Entwisl added.

EasyJet has denied that Entwisl's comments "reflect what EasyJet or its finance officer said."

Business • Economy
Department store chain Lord & Taylor to close all its stores
Department store chain Lord & Taylor to close all its stores
Credit: Lord & Taylor

After 194 years in business, the American department store chain Lord & Taylor is closing all its 38 remaining stores after filing bankruptcy on August 2 and has begun liquidation sales.

"While we are still entertaining various opportunities, we believe it is prudent to simultaneously put the remainder of the stores into liquidation to maximize value of inventory for the estate while pursuing options for the company's brands," so Lord & Taylor's chief restructuring officer Ed Kremer.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish public debt increases by €32,087 million compared to May, reaching €1,289 billion in June
Banco de España
Banco de España Credit: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa

As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic the liabilities of Spain have increased by €32,087 million compared to May, reaching €1,289 billion, according to data published this Tuesday by the Bank of Spain.

Adjusting for the last four quarters the liabilities would be around 110% of the gross domestic product, the highest since 1905.

María Jesús Fernández, a senior economist at Funcas says "our GDP forecast for 2020 is 1.13 billion" and that the dept figure for June "is about 114% of the projected GDP".

Business • Economy
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Credit: Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Walt Disney Co. reports its first quarterly loss since 2001 largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a loss of $4.72 billion in its third fiscal quarter ending with June 27.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Disney had to close its theme parks and lost revenue from theatrical parks, live sports and movie distribution. However, due to people staying at home, Disney+ has gained over 60 million subscribers in less than nine months.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter considers subscription options after ad revenue drop
Twitter considers subscription options after ad revenue drop
Credit: unsplash.com/Kon Karampelas

Twitter is exploring additional ways to make money after reporting that advertising revenues fell 23% in the second quarter. Though the platform has been seeing a record user growth and reported its largest year-over-year increase, the platform is looking into options to supplement lacking advertising revenue.

CEO Jack Dorsey recently told investors that Twitter is looking onto running tests for a subscription model that would "complement" Twitter's ad revenue. "We have a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter. We are in the very, very early phases of exploring," so Dorsey.

Regional News • Europe
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Following the fourth night of talks, EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package involving €750 billion in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The deal includes as well as a seven-year €1 trillion EU budget.

Member states were split between those hit hardest by the outbreak -- Spain and Italy --, and those more concerned about the costs of the recovery plan --Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland. While the first group wanted a minimum of €400 billion in grants, the later set €375 billion as their upper limit.

The €390 billion figure was suggested as a compromise, and "frugal" nations were reportedly won over by the promise of rebates on their contributions to the EU budget.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden calls for an end of "era of shareholder capitalism" and higher taxes
Joe Biden in Kosovo
Joe Biden in Kosovo Credit: David Lienemann (Public Domain)

At an event in Pennsylvania the presumptive presidential nominee for the democratic party, Joe Biden, has announced that he wants to implement higher taxes for corporations in case he gets elected as president of the United States.

He stated that "If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, 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" and that we wants to end the "era of shareholder capitalism".

Regional News • Americas • United States
SBA announces that Kanye West and Scientology have gotten loans under Covid-19 small-business loan program

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the Yeezy brand, by rapper Kanye West has gotten a loan of $5 million under the small-business loan program that is part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The company had made around $1.3 billion in revenue in 2019 and claimed that the loan would save 160 jobs.

In addition to the Yeezy brand, the SBA has announced that the Church of Scientology has also received loans between $150,000 and $350,000 for three different locations.

Business • Economy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Credit: Elemaki / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Cirque du Soleil has filed for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Quebec, Canada on Monday. The Montreal-based company stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused "immense disruption and forced show closures," including six shows in Las Vegas and 10 shows on tour worldwide.

"For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company's future," so president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

Cirque du Soleil has received $300 million in funding from Quebec's major institutional investors and multinational private equity firms to "support a successful restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil's affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company's outstanding liabilities."

The company also announced the termination of approximately 3,480 employees previously furloughed in March.

Regional News • Middle East
Second night of protests in Lebanon
Lebanon protests of 2019
Lebanon protests of 2019 Credit: Charbel Msallem

Protesters in Lebanon set fire to roads and clashed with the police for the second night on Friday, according to witnesses and Lebanese media.

After the crash of the pound, that lost 70% of its value since last October, protests erupted on Thursday in several Lebanese cities including Beirut and Tripoli.

Business • Economy
France: Expectation of 11% economy shrinkage
Bruno Le Maire, Ministry of Economy and Finance
Bruno Le Maire, Ministry of Economy and Finance Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The government of France forecasts an 11% shrinkage of its GDP. The economic expectation announcement came from from France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on the radio on Tuesday. "The hardest part is still ahead of us in social and economic terms", so Le Maire.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
American Airlines to cut the percentage of management and support staff to avoid bankruptcy
American Airlines fleet at Chicago O'Hare Airport
American Airlines fleet at Chicago O'Hare Airport Credit: unsplash.com/Miguel Ángel Sanz

Wednesday night, American Airlines announced that it plans to let go 30% of its management and support staff by September 30. Affected departments are, among others, marketing, finance and administration. CEO Doug Parker said the company was not planning to have to file for bankruptcy or furlough its employees.

Elise Eberwein, vice president of people and global engagement, justified the move by saying: “Fleet retirement accelerations are underway, and we will fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft next summer — mostly widebodies — than we had originally planned. Additionally, running a smaller airline means we will need a management and support staff team that is roughly 30% leaner."