Bloomberg Businessweek September 20, 2021

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50 Numeri

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2 min
◼ in brief

● Worldwide, coronavirus cases have exceeded 226 million, almost 4.7m people have died, and more than 5.8 billion vaccine doses have been given. The U.K., which dropped most social distancing rules after a huge vaccination drive, will offer shots to all children 12 and older to minimize school disruptions. ● Macau’s top gaming stocks lost a record $18.4 billion in combined market value on Sept. 15 after China said it would tighten supervision and review shareholdings of the casinos in the enclave, the world’s biggest gambling hub. ● Democrats in the House proposed lifting the top U.S. corporate tax rate from 21% to 26.5%. The proposal is slightly below what President Joe Biden recommended, but it would still raise revenue by $2.1 trillion over 10 years. ● In what could signal one of China’s…

3 min
it’s time, fed: start winding down the covid bond-buying

At the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting, Sept. 21‑22, officials will resume their debate about when and how to taper their Covid-related bond-buying program. Signs of a slowing economy because of the resurgent pandemic have complicated matters—especially when it comes to explaining the policy to investors—but the basic calculation hasn’t changed. Neither the recent setbacks nor more-moderate-than-expected inflation figures released on Sept. 14 should deflect the Fed from beginning to taper promptly and from planning to end the program by the spring. The Fed has said it wants to see “substantial” progress on jobs and inflation before dialing back its $120 billion a month of bond purchases. Its medium-term goal for inflation is to slightly exceed (by an unspecified amount and for an unspecified period) the central bank’s long-term 2% target.…

1 min
▶ into a greener future?

▶ The United Nations General Assembly opens on Sept. 21. Delegates will discuss issues from the Afghanistan crisis to climate change to the pandemic relief effort. ▶ Canada heads to the polls on Sept. 20. Opinion surveys show Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party, could weaken or even defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. ▶ The U.K. Labour Party holds its party conference in Brighton Sept. 25-29. Keir Starmer, its leader, has struggled to dent the popularity of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. ▶ Germany’s benchmark DAX Index of blue-chip companies expands from 30 to 40 members on Sept. 20. The shake-up will tilt the weighting of the index more toward technology stocks. ▶ The 63rd annual meeting of the U.S. National Association for Business Economics takes place Sept. 26-28. Guest speakers include Treasury Secretary…

6 min
can we get to $15 without a fight?

The push for a $15 federal minimum wage may have stalled in Congress, but Covid-19 is helping steer the U.S. ever closer toward a key objective of labor unions and their allies in the White House and on Capitol Hill. An analysis of jobs posted from spring 2019 to spring 2021 from a sampling of cities shows many service-sector industries crossed above a $15 starting wage during the period, often by significant margins, according to Emsi Burning Glass, an analytics firm that tracks job postings to glean labor market insights. The trend seems to have gathered steam in the recovery from the Covid recession, with several large employers, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, bumping up starting or average hourly pay to $15 or more. Inc. recently…

7 min
one tough job

It’s mid-August, and logistics manager RoxAnne Thomas’s phone won’t stop pinging. Her faucets, sinks, and toilets are waylaid near Shanghai, snagged in Vancouver, and buried under a pile of shipping containers in a rail yard outside Chicago. As U.S. transportation manager for Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC, a unit of Taiwan’s Globe Union Industrial Corp. that’s based in Woodridge, Ill., Thomas is trying to overcome the biggest shock wave to unsettle global trade since the dawn of container shipping almost seven decades ago. The pandemic has thrown the vital but usually humdrum world of logistics into a tailspin, spurring shortages of everything: masks and vaccine vials, semiconductors, plastic polymers, bicycles, and even baseball bobbleheads. For Thomas it’s complicated the shipment of about 10,000 20-foot containers of bathroom equipment she brings into the…

3 min
why fox has the hots for tmz

Fox Corp. has always had a larger-than-life persona, from the storied movie studio that provided its name to its outsize clout in American politics. Its $71 billion sale of entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. three years ago made billionaire Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s family even richer. So the company’s Sept. 13 announcement that it’s acquiring TMZ, the celebrity gossip site and TV show, might seem like small beer. But though the price is relatively modest—less than $50 million, according to people familiar with the deal, who asked not be named because the terms were private—the move is the latest sign that the company plans to build a new entertainment business after selling a large chunk of its assets to Disney. Fox profited handsomely by divesting those properties, including the 20th Century…