Strap in boys & girls – a ton of things caught my eye today while reading the WSJ so this is going to be a long one!
European Union Plans $2 Trillion Coronavirus Response Effort
Wednesday’s proposal, composed of a $824B recovery plan and a $1.2T budget over the next 7 years, aims to lift the region from its economic slump but must overcome infighting dividing the bloc.
The EU aims to provide a massive fiscal injection for the bloc’s hardest-hit countries without increasing the already soaring debt levels of southern nations including Italy, Spain, and Greece. The EU has already approved a ~$600B emergency response package including money for unemployment programs, a loan facility for firm and precautionary credit lines from the region’s bailout fund.
Who reading this lives in that region of the world? How do you see this shaping up?
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Readies First Astronaut Launch by Private Firm
Daddy Musk can do it all – tweet all day long & send people to space. Wednesday’s mission would be the first from US soil in nearly a decade – maybe causing a reset on space exploration?
SpaceX (Elon Musk’s company) is scheduled to launch two NASA astronauts into orbit this afternoon to kick off a new era of corporate-driven space missions. No company has ever flown commercially developed hardware carrying humans and linked up with the international space station.
If it goes off as planned, the flight will represent the culmination of more than 8 years of NASA efforts to shift gears about ways to transport humans beyond the atmosphere. Check out some details about the spacecraft and their suits below –
SpaceX started in 2002 with barely a dozen employees and based in a converted warehouse near a Southern California strip mall. Now they’re a global powerhouse renowned for reducing prices to launch commercial and government payloads – plus my friend’s dad works for them!
New York Starts Mapping Out the Road Back from COVID-19
NYC’s daily death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is receding – but their new challenge is to stage an economic comeback. The city’s strengths come from its ability to congregate masses of people on trading floors, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, dance theaters, and subway cars.
Staging a comeback is going to be a test not just for NYC, but the broader concept of cities in America. The past two decades were a period of US urban renewal – cities thrived. That hung on a premise: as the US economy became more tech and service oriented, a city could flourish by attracting skilled talent with jobs and amenities like trendy restaurants, theater, museums, and sports. It came with drawbacks, including costly housing and deepening inequality.
Mass transit is something NYC is known for, and since COVID-19 began, they’ve been closing the subway system for four hours every night for disinfecting. Will this help restore confidence in mass transit and crowded areas again though (like airplanes)? Or will people continue to be anxious as we begin to venture out in public until there is a vaccine / cure? Let me know in the comments below. I think people will stay anxious.
U.S. Businesses See Few Signs of Recovery Through Mid-May
US businesses saw limited evidence of a recovery in recent weeks, with economic activity continuing to decline amid the pandemic. The labor market continued to deteriorate and consumer spending fell further as retailers and restaurants remained largely closed in most of the country through mid-May.
Leisure and hospitality continued to see the most severe effects of efforts to contain the pandemic – travel-industry contacts in the Boston area reported large conventions have been canceled through early fall, costing the hotel industry 200,000 room-nights as a result. OOF!!
Contacts in the commercial real estate sector have reported that large numbers of retail tenants have deferred or missed rent payments. Weak demand has also forced sellers to offer discounts for apparel, hotel rooms and airfare, while new safety protocols, PPE, and social distancing guidelines have imposed new costs on firms.
Firms in several parts of the country reported concerns that generous unemployment benefits might make it more difficult to rehire workers. The $600/week federal supplement to normal unemployment is allowed lower-wage workers who were laid off to now earn more than they would if they were working.
As Coronavirus Lockdown Rules Ease, Some Want to Keep Working From Home
Employers make plans to allow many of their staff to continue to work from home when the crisis ends – not gonna lie I wish this applied to me.
As states begin to lift the stay at home restrictions put in place to combat the pandemic, some workers now say they are just fine working from home and would like to do it permanently.
Upwork Inc., a global freelancing platform, found that 62% of hiring managers plan more remote work for their hires than before the pandemic. Plus the shift to working at home will further remove geographic barriers to hiring and allow employers to seek the best skilled workers regardless of where that talent resides.
Twitter said in mid-May that most employees would be allowed to keep working from home even after the pandemic has largely passed. Facebook last week revealed plan to permanently reconfigure the tech company’s operations around the dispersed structure the coronavirus forced.
What are your employers doing? Let me know!!