The Week in Business: Here Come the Mandates
What’s up? (August 1-7)
No vaccine, no service
As coronavirus cases rose again among the unvaccinated, governments and businesses began to impose vaccines, a step they had been reluctant to take until recently. New York City said indoor restaurants, shows and gyms will require proof of at least one dose starting Aug. 16. Microsoft will require proof of vaccination to enter its US offices, and Tyson will require all of its US employees to be vaccinated, as will United Airlines. Other companies have imposed vaccines on some, but not all, of their employees. Walmart will require vaccines for its head office employees, but not for the much larger number of employees who work in its stores. Mandates may soon be eased: The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it plans to give final approval to the Pfizer vaccine by early next month.
After a disappointing market start at the end of last month, Robinhood’s share price soared on Wednesday. The stock closed 85% above its IPO price, in part because of the same phenomenon that created price spikes for shares of AMC Entertainment, GameStop and other companies on the market. last year: Retail investors, many of whom trade on Robinhood, banded together to bid on the price. But last week’s skyrocketing was interrupted by a disclosure from the company’s early investors that they planned to sell up to 98 million shares, dampening enthusiasm.
The end of the Olympics
If the closing ceremony in Tokyo on Sunday follows the audience trend for the rest of the Olympics, there will be a relatively small television audience to watch the Olympic torch extinguish (and hardly any live audiences, as spectators are prohibited). Empty booths during a global pandemic may not have put viewers in the Olympic spirit, but other factors stood in the way of the coverage that NBCUniversal paid more than $ 1 billion to broadcast. Several stars including gymnast Simone Biles, runner Sha’Carri Richardson, tennis champion Naomi Osaka and basketball star LeBron James were absent or have withdrawn from the event. The time zone difference meant that Americans often woke up to learn who had won competitions they hadn’t yet watched. And consumer habits are moving away from posting appointments. Still, NBC expects the event to be profitable.
And after? (August 8-14)
New climate forecasts
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an entity within the United Nations, will release the first part of a report on Monday that represents the global consensus on man-made climate change. The latest assessment came out in 2013. Compiled by more than 200 scientists from 195 countries, the report is expected to show that temperatures are rising faster than expected. Those who support actions to reduce carbon emissions hope this will lead world leaders to act when they gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.
The government will report on the July price increase on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index, a closely watched measure of inflation, skyrocketed in June, climbing at the fastest rate in 13 years as prices for things as diverse as restaurant meals and cars used have soared. And economists expect prices to rise again in July. Almost everyone agrees that factors related to the pandemic are driving inflation. The debate is whether these price increases are temporary or the start of a more serious problem. So far, the Federal Reserve has not responded to price hikes by raising interest rates or reducing purchases of government guaranteed bonds, but has indicated that it will do so in the near future. .
President Biden on Thursday announced that he would restore and slightly raise auto mileage standards to levels that existed under the Obama administration, which would reduce about a third of the carbon dioxide produced by the United States each year, according to the House. White. He is also considering drafting pollution rules that would encourage automakers to increase sales of electric vehicles. Three of the country’s largest automakers have pledged 40 to 50 percent of their new car sales will be electric vehicles by 2030 (up from 2 percent this year), but only on condition that Congress passes a plan spending bill that includes billions of dollars for a nationwide network of charging stations. Yet securing such spending could be a challenge within the much divided Congress.
A $ 1,000 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill is about to be passed by the Senate. Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have finalized their divorce. Amazon has pushed back its return to office date to January. And fully vaccinated U.S. residents can travel to Canada again starting Monday.
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