Economic Crisis 2020

Politics • American • US
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".

Politics • American • US
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.

Politics • Middle Eastern
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: 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."