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The economy - oops
WarnerMedia is preparing a restructuring plan to reduce costs by up to 20% that could lead to thousands of layoffs:
The Kansas City economy has rebounded quicker than expected, but experts predict it will be years before the region regains the thousands of jobs lost during this year’s coronavirus pandemic:

Quote:So far, the metro has regained more than half the 125,700 jobs lost at the height of economic lockdowns, according to an analysis from Frank Lenk, an economist at the Mid-America Regional Council.

“But it’s going to be slower going from here on. That’s true here and nationally,” he said.

Specifically, Lenk predicts the region’s jobs recovery won’t be complete until the first quarter of 2023.

There are still encouraging signs: jobs have bounced back here faster than the nation at large — in juxtaposition to the region’s sluggish recovery following the Great Recession. Companies, particularly those in e-commerce, continue to be drawn to the region’s central location.

But scores of cash-strapped small businesses here and across the nation are teetering.

And the local recovery has so far been uneven: middle class and upper-income workers have largely been unaffected while those working in low-wage jobs continue to face widespread unemployment.

“We call them essential workers but in the past we treated them more like disposable workers,” Lenk said. “The tendency will be for the recovery to make the disparities in income and opportunity even wider.”

Lenk’s analysis, completed on behalf of the regional economic development effort KC Rising, shows arts, entertainment, recreation, food service and accommodation industries continue to suffer the most. From the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter, employment in those sectors was cut nearly in half.

And this current recession, fueled by a public health crisis, is unlike any other. The ongoing recovery will be heavily impacted by unpredictable factors such as rates of infection, effectiveness of treatment and the development of a successful vaccine.
Hey, that isn’t Easter of 2020 at all! What gives?!?!

The biggest IPO of all time:

Quote:Ant Group would raise $34.5 billion in its dual initial public offering after setting the price for its shares on Monday, making it the biggest listing of all time.

The Chinese financial technology giant previously said it would split its stock issuance equally across Shanghai and Hong Kong, issuing 1.67 billion new shares in each location.

Ant Group’s Shanghai-listed shares will be priced at 68.8 yuan each. The issuing of 1.67 billion shares would raise 114.94 billion yuan or $17.23 billion, according to the exchange rate listed in the official filings.

The Hong Kong-listed shares have been priced at 80 Hong Kong dollars each, raising 133.65 billion Hong Kong dollars or $17.24 billion.

The listing would raise a total of just under $34.5 billion, with the possibility for that figure to go higher if the so-called over-allotment option is exercised, depending on demand. It would make it the largest IPO of all time, putting it ahead of previous record holder Saudi Aramco, which raised just over $29 billion.

Ant’s valuation based on the pricing would be $313.37 billion, larger than some of the biggest banks in the U.S., including Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.
Uber and Lyft won a major victory in California last week, but the battle over drivers' rights isn't over there and may soon escalate in other states and in Washington D.C.

Quote:Last week’s election produced a crisp result in at least one high-stakes contest: California voters approved a ballot measure that exempts companies like Uber and Lyft from having to treat workers as employees.

The measure freed the companies from a 2019 state law that entitled workers to protections like overtime pay, sick leave and unemployment benefits and could have upended the gig-economy business model. As a result, Uber, Lyft and other similar businesses appeared to be on the ascent. The two companies’ stock market value increased by roughly $20 billion in the week after the election, and executives indicated that they would seek to replicate their political gains elsewhere.

“Going forward, you’ll see us more loudly advocate for new laws like Prop. 22,” Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said on a call with financial analysts last week, referring to the successful ballot measure, which also granted workers health care subsidies and a minimum pay rate.

But the question of gig workers’ labor status remains largely unresolved nationally — with a series of pitched battles likely to ensue between gig companies and labor in Washington and in state capitals, and even among unions that disagree over the importance of employee status.

Those battles may well begin in California. In the days since the election, several worker groups have scrutinized the ballot measure, which is likely to take effect in December, for weaknesses that they could use to challenge it in court.

“A lot of smart lawyers are looking at it,” said Brian Chen, a lawyer at the National Employment Law Project, which advocates on behalf of gig workers and other low-wage workers.

Mr. Chen’s group has been discussing the measure’s constitutionality with other progressive groups, some of whom may bring a court challenge. He cited its requirement that any future change must pass the Legislature with a seven-eighths majority as legally dubious because it may overly restrict the state’s ability to regulate collective bargaining, though other ballot measures have included similar restrictions.

In addition, Uber and Lyft continue to face a lawsuit brought in May by the state attorney general and three city attorneys contending that the companies illegally classified drivers as contractors, and two similar lawsuits brought against Uber and Lyft by the state’s labor commissioner in August.

Representatives for agencies involved in the cases said that the ballot measure doesn’t eliminate the companies’ liability for how they treated workers before it takes effect. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the author of the state law that the companies are accused of violating, echoed that view.
A popular poker site says that an overwhelming number of its users are choosing an option to cash out their winnings in Bitcoin:

Quote:As Bitcoin continues to surge, successful online gamblers are turning into even bigger winners by requesting the cryptocurrency while cashing out from some poker websites.

Winning Poker Network, which operates sites including, has had to buy millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin a day from so-called over-the-counter trading desks in recent weeks to meet demand of exiting players, according to Chief Executive Phil Nagy.

“Right now 90-95% of our payouts are people asking for Bitcoin because it’s going up,” Nagy said from Costa Rica. “We are constantly having to go out and buy Bitcoin -- lots. Lots. More than we’ve even had to before.” The lion’s share of the site’s customers are Americans, even though online poker is illegal in most states.

Bitcoin is in so much demand, brokers are charging up to a 1.5% premium, he said. The business does more than 60% of its transaction volume in Bitcoin. That’s about $100 million a month, Nagy said.

The cryptocurrency climbed as high as $18,479 on Wednesday, the most since December 2017. It has jumped about 60% in the past month, renewing memories of the almost 1,400% surge in 2017 that preceded a more than 70% decline the following year.

Digital-asset enthusiasts may also be hoping to avoid taxes by using the sites, said Aaron Brown, a crypto investor and a writer for Bloomberg Opinion. At Costa Rica-based Winning Poker Network, players file their own winnings and losses, “we don’t regulate that,” Nagy said. About 60% of the business’s customers are from the U.S., he said. And there’s a perception that Bitcoin may be harder for U.S. authorities to track than other funds.

Sherwin-Williams fired a popular TikTok user who had a passion for the job:

Quote:In response to what happened to him, @tonesterpaint's fans believe Sherwin-Williams missed out on a major opportunity to expand its customer base.

"They FIRED YOU?? It's 2020 and companies still don't understand the benefit of digital/social marketing," one person commented in response to his news.

Piloseno said he enjoyed his job and colleagues but hopes the company takes a different approach in the future.

"I know they have a lot of employees that might not have as much influence or say, but you got to hear them out if they have an idea," he said.

Despite how big his account has grown, he only makes money on a few promotional opportunities here and there because he's not a part of TikTok's Creator Fund. But he said he does hope his page can sustain a full-time income one day.

"I'm working on making a logo; I just bought a domain name to make my own website," he said. "I'm hoping to sell my own merchandise and my own paint colors."

Wild stuff:

Quote:"At Amazon, profits are up 53 percent compared with last year. But worker pay — including bonuses, temporary hazard pay and permanent raises — rose just 6 percent." 
The Dow Jones crossed 30K for the first time ever. Guess businesses are liking that we're finally locking in on Biden for market stability.
(11-24-2020, 12:48 PM)Judas Booth Wrote: The Dow Jones crossed 30K for the first time ever.  Guess businesses are liking that we're finally locking in on Biden for market stability.

.... no, what's been happening is that runaway printing of money is inflating asset prices.  Everything we have done to prop up Wall Street, hedge funds, banks, and the real estate market was done to "bubble" asset prices through the economic downturn. Every tool available to The Fed was used with absolutely no restraint to ensure that Covid19 would be painless for the money-ed class.

As a nation, we have decided that long-term negative effects on every segment of our economy, but particularly the working class and younger generations, is preferable to asset price downturns that predominantly affect the "capital class" and older generations.

Alabama is notoriously anti-union (no, that wasn't a Civil War joke), but Amazon warehouse workers might test that:

Quote:Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama have filed a notice to hold a unionization vote, in what could be a major labor battle against a company that has long opposed the unionization of its workforce.

Employees at a newly opened Amazon facility in Bessemer, Ala., notified the National Labor Relations Board that they want to hold an election to create a bargaining unit that would cover 1,500 full-time and part-time workers. The group seeks to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

While much of Amazon’s warehouse staff in Europe belongs to unions, the company has successfully fought off employees at its U.S. facilities. A small group of equipment maintenance and repair technicians at the company’s Middletown, Del., warehouse rejected union representation from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in 2014, after a hard-fought battle with the company.

Meanwhile, Amazon logistics employees around the world have voiced concerns about their safety during the coronavirus pandemic over the past few months.

Lawyers for the workers didn’t return calls or emails seeking comment. And RWDSU spokeswoman Chelsea Connor declined to comment. A website created by the union encourages Bessemer warehouse workers to join the organizing drive to secure not just better pay, but also improved safety standards.

“We face outrageous work quotas that have left many with illnesses and lifetime injuries,” the union said on the site. “With a union contract, we can form a worker safety committee, and negotiate the highest safety standards and protocols for our workplace.” 

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