Disney to Cut 28,000 Resort Jobs in U.S. - The New York Times

Disney to Cut 28,000 Resort Jobs in U.S. - The New York Times


Disney to Cut 28,000 Resort Jobs in U.S. - The New York Times

Posted: 29 Sep 2020 05:43 PM PDT

Credit...Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

For six months, Disney has kept tens of thousands of theme park workers on furlough with full health-care benefits in hopes that a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel would appear. On Tuesday, Disney conceded that none was coming.

The company said it would eliminate 28,000 theme park jobs in the United States, or about 25 percent of its domestic resort work force.

"As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of Covid-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic," Josh D'Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in an email to "cast members," which is how Disney refers to theme park workers.

About 67 percent of the layoffs will involve part-time jobs that pay by the hour. However, executives and salaried workers will be among the laid off. Disney's theme parks in California and Florida employed roughly 110,000 before the pandemic. The job cuts, which will come from both resorts, will reduce that number to about 82,000.

Disneyland in California has remained closed because Governor Gavin Newsom has refused to allow theme parks in the state to restart operations. About 31,000 people work at the Disneyland complex and the majority are unionized and have been furloughed.

Mr. D'Amaro said in a statement that the layoffs were "exacerbated in California by the state's unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen."

Walt Disney World in Florida reopened on a limited basis in mid-July. But attendance has been weaker than Disney expected, with concern about coronavirus safety a major factor.

Disney will now begin negotiations with unions that represent the bulk of the affected employees. About 20,000 unionized Disney workers have been called back to work at Disney World. Roughly 20,000 more remain on furlough, a stoppage that began in mid-April. Disney World employed more than 70,000 workers before the pandemic.

Credit...Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay close to $1 billion as part of settlements to resolve charges that it had manipulated markets for U.S. government bonds and precious metals.

The settlements announced on Tuesday — which include a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department — stem from charges that JPMorgan bankers placed artificial orders for futures contracts.

Over an eight-year period ending in 2016, the government alleged, JPMorgan traders placed tens of thousands of orders to buy or sell futures contracts for precious metals like gold, silver and palladium in an attempt to shift market prices and add to their profits or avert losses. But before those orders could be filled, the JPMorgan traders would cancel them, a form of illicit behavior known as "spoofing."

During the same period, JPMorgan traders handling U.S. Treasury bond products also engaged in widespread spoofing, the government said, essentially placing "false and misleading information" into the market.

JPMorgan agreed to pay the Commodity Futures Trading Commission $920 million — a record for the regulator — in penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and restitution to wronged parties.

As part of a related Securities and Exchange Commission settlement, JPMorgan's brokerage unit admitted that its traders had engaged in manipulative Treasury product trading in 2015 and early 2016 and agreed to pay $35 million.

The Justice Department also deferred prosecution of two counts of wire fraud.

As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, JPMorgan acknowledged the facts laid out by the government. In a statement, Daniel Pinto, the head of JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank, called the conduct of the people involved in the scheme "unacceptable."

Two former traders on the bank's precious metals desk have already pleaded guilty to spoofing charges. And late last year, four other former metals-desk employees were indicted on charges of participating in a racketeering conspiracy.

Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Just after Amazon said on Monday that its annual Prime Day shopping event would be held on Oct. 13 and 14, Target announced that it would hold a similar event called Target Deal Days on the same dates.

Walmart then said that its own version of a deals bonanza called the "Big Save Event," which will run from Oct. 11 to Oct. 15.

Major retailers were already outlining plans to kick off holiday deals online in October, as the pandemic causes skittishness around shopping in stores and uncertainty swirls around the reliability of shipping timelines. Amazon, which had postponed its Prime Day from July, is now holding its sale just when other chains planned to jump in, potentially spurring a bout of holiday shopping one month earlier than other years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidelines for minimizing exposure to the coronavirus during Thanksgiving sales. Lower risk activities include shopping "online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving," the C.D.C. said, adding that "going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving" carried a higher risk of exposure.

Credit...Erin Scott/Reuters

Bank loan officers told the Federal Reserve that program terms — and concerns about the financial state of borrowers — have kept them from extending credit through the government's pandemic loan program for midsize businesses.

As part of its March economic relief package, Congress gave the Treasury $454 billion to support the Fed's emergency lending programs. Lawmakers had created a forgivable loan program for small businesses, but the Fed and the Treasury were supposed to help businesses that were too big for that small-business program but too tiny to raise money by issuing bonds.

The solution the partners came up with — the so-called Main Street lending program — has seen relatively little takeup, using less than $2 billion of its $600 billion capacity so far. The program's unpopularity, which has drawn frequent criticism from Capitol Hill, is owed partly to the fact that banks can issue loans without Fed support, and partly to the way the program is designed.

Banks retain a 5 percent slice of any loan they make through the Main Street program, while selling 95 percent to the Fed, so banks retain some risk themselves. The program also comes with reporting requirements and other restrictions — including limitations on executive pay and capital distributions, like dividends, that Congress set out in the relief legislation.

"Registered banks often cited concerns about borrowers' financial condition before and during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as overly restrictive" terms to explain why they had not made more loans, according to a supplementary Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey the Fed released Tuesday.

Banks that have not chosen to register noted unattractive loan terms, and said that they were making loans without help from the program.

The Fed has repeatedly pointed out that it can only make loans, not grants, which is what many hard-hit borrowers need. The central bank also shares decisions about design and credit risk with the Treasury Department, which has at times been averse to losses.

The Main Street program isn't "exactly a backstop," Randal K. Quarles, the Fed's vice chair for supervision, said at an event Tuesday, noting that low interest could be owed to either the program's design or bank's capacity to lend. He noted that the program would be available as a backup option if conditions worsened this autumn.

Six months after the pandemic struck, The New York Times is interested in hearing how workplace dynamics have changed, with some people still doing their jobs remotely and others back at their desks. And we would like to hear from employers about their decisions on having employees return to the office.

Please share your experiences using the form below. You may hear from a Times reporter or editor interested in learning more about your story. We won't publish any part of your submission without contacting you first.

  • Nordstrom is the latest department store chain to say no to fur. The retailer said on Tuesday that it would stop selling products made with animal fur or exotic animal skin by the end of 2021, in a commitment it made with the Humane Society of the United States. Macy's said last year that its namesake chain and Bloomingdale's stores would stop selling fur products by early 2021, and similar announcements have been made by brands like Michael Kors and Gucci in recent years.

  • United Airlines and its pilots' union reached an agreement Monday that would avert 2,850 job cuts scheduled to begin as soon as Thursday, when federal restrictions on layoffs under a March stimulus law end. The union's members agreed to a collective sacrifice to prevent any of United's 13,000 pilots from being furloughed until June 2021. Under the agreement, some older pilots will also be eligible for buyouts.

  • Jessica Alba's Honest Company has hired investment banks to run a sale process that it hopes will value the company at more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. The Honest Company, which sells "clean" diapers, wipes and more, has about $300 million in sales and is profitable.

  • Google said it would no longer allow any apps to circumvent its payment system within the Google Play store that provides the company a cut of in-app purchases. Google has had a policy of taking a 30 percent cut of payments made within apps offered by the Google Play store, but some developers including Netflix and Spotify have bypassed the requirement by prompting users for a credit card to pay them directly. Google said companies had until Sept. 30, 2021, to integrate its billing systems.

  • Wall Street's rally came to a halt on Tuesday as the number of coronavirus deaths around the world reached one million and uncertainty about the first debate in the presidential race hung over investors.

  • The S&P 500 fell half a percent, following a similar decline in Europe's major benchmarks.

  • With Tuesday's drop included, the S&P 500 is down nearly 5 percent for the month of September, and about to register its first monthly decline since March. After stocks hit a record early in the month, they've been falling as investors worried about the government's gridlock over an economic stimulus plan.

  • Reflecting worry about the economy on Tuesday, crude oil prices slid, and shares of energy stocks were among the worst performers on the S&P 500. West Texas Intermediate, the American crude benchmark, fell more than 3 percent.

  • Amid an uptick in virus cases, shares of companies sensitive to the pandemic were also lower. American Airlines fell 4 percent, while the shopping mall operator Simon Property Group dropped nearly 3 percent.

  • The rate of virus cases in New York rose above 3 percent for the first time in several months. It's a relatively low number compared with other parts of the country, but a significant uptick in New York.

  • The monthly Consumer Confidence Index increased in September as views of the labor market improved. The Conference Board said on Tuesday that its consumer confidence index increased to a reading of 101.8 this month from 86.3 in August.

  • The European Commission's survey of economic confidence rose for a fifth month, though at a slower pace in September than in previous months. The report cited "further waning pessimism in industry, retail trade, construction and, in particular, services. To a lesser extent, confidence also improved among consumers." The euro rose 0.2 percent against the dollar.

  • The first debate between Joseph R. Biden Jr. and President Trump will take place Tuesday evening and might offer some insight into the next president's trade plans, with both candidates offering up policies focused on domestic manufacturing.

Credit...Fernando Alvarado/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Spain's national court on Tuesday acquitted the former chairman of Bankia, Rodrigo Rato, and other executives of falsifying the bank's accounts as part of an initial public offering in 2011, only a year before Bankia's near-collapse forced Spain to negotiate a European banking bailout.

Mr. Rato, who is also a former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was one of 34 defendants who were cleared of criminal charges of fraud and misleading shareholders during the initial public offering. The court ruled that the stock listing had been "intensely supervised" by regulators, including the Bank of Spain, and that investors had been given sufficient information in the I.P.O. prospectus.

Public prosecutors had sought to sentence Mr. Rato to eight and a half years in prison for overseeing the stock listing, which turned out to be the prelude to the largest loss in Spanish corporate history. The following year, Bankia reported a loss of 19.2 billion euros (about $22.5 billion), which then forced the government to nationalize the bank and grant Bankia about half of Spain's €41 billion banking bailout.

Although he was cleared of wrongdoing on Tuesday, Mr. Rato has been in prison for a separate corruption case. In 2017, he and other executives were sentenced for making a fraudulent usage of their corporate credit cards, on a combined €12.5 million worth of personal purchases ranging from restaurant meals to travel and golf expenses.

The long-awaited Bankia ruling came two weeks after La Caixa and Bankia agreed a merger that will create Spain's largest bank.

Credit...Olivia Obineme for The New York Times

The pandemic has been brutal on many working mothers, especially those with little leverage on the job. Experts say it may be unforgiving for mothers in so-called up-or-out fields — like faculty members facing an all-or-nothing tenure evaluation.

The loss of months or more of productivity to additional child care responsibilities, which fall more heavily on women, can reverberate throughout their careers.

Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, a political-science professor at Northwestern University, saw her work life upended when her third grader's school shut down in March. Later, she was demoralized to learn that local schools would not reopen this fall.

Dr. Marion Suiseeya, who is completing a book that she considers critical to her tenure prospects — about the injustices facing people who live in forests — estimates that she was two months from finishing the manuscript in March, but that it will take her at least four more months to finish now.

"I'm literally working in a closet," she said. "My daughter has different perceptions. She thinks all I do is work. But I work a lot less."

Northwestern, like other universities, initially responded to the pandemic by pausing the so-called tenure clocks of junior faculty members, giving them an extra year to publish academic work that would help them earn the promotion.

But research has shown that stopping the tenure clock is an imperfect policy. Jenna Stearns, an economist at the University of California, Davis, and co-author of a paper on tenure decisions, said men appeared to devote more of the additional year to academic research, while women appeared to spend more of it managing parental obligations.

Kathleen Hagerty, Northwestern's provost, said there was always a trade-off between blanket policies like the tenure-clock extension, which she conceded could have inequitable effects, and more tailored accommodations that put the onus on employees to arrange them.

Credit...Faye Sakura for The New York Times

Australia, the world's second-largest exporter of coal, has also quietly become a renewable energy powerhouse thanks to the country's homeowners.

About one in four Australian homes have rooftop solar panels, a larger share than in any other major economy, and the rate of installations far outpaces the global average. In California, which leads U.S. states in the use of solar power, less than 10 percent of utility customers have rooftop solar panels.

Many Australians who have embraced solar are responding to incentives offered by state governments in the absence of a coordinated federal approach, a sharp drop in the price of solar panels in recent years and an increase in electricity rates.

The uptake has been especially high in Queensland, which makes up a big chunk of the country's northeast and includes Cairns and Brisbane. The state has hot, humid weather similar to Florida's and also calls itself the Sunshine State.

Even politically conservative homeowners have also embraced solar to become less reliant on the electricity grid in keeping with the high value many Australians place on rugged individualism.

Peter Row of Bundaberg, a city just over 200 miles north of Brisbane that had the most rooftop solar installations last year in Australia, bought a typical 6.57-kilowatt system for his home after he grew tired of his rising electricity bill.

Mr. Row believes the climate is changing but, like many other conservatives, isn't sure how much of the change is caused by humans, he said. "I don't think renewables are the total answer yet," he said.

[BC-MCT-BUSINESS-BJT] | Business | bozemandailychronicle.com - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Posted: 29 Sep 2020 06:06 PM PDT

(TNS)

Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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Updated at 9 p.m. ET (0100 UTC)

Adds NASA-SPACEX-LAUNCH:OS, MICROSOFT-RUSSIA-HACKERS:BLO, HEALTHCARE-BCBS:KC, JPMORGAN-MANIPULATION-FINE:NY, MEDTRONIC-AUSTRALIA:MS, HUD-INSPECTORS-CARSON:BZ, WRK-NEIMAN-MARCUS:DA

Updates DISNEY-LAYOFFS:OS

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This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^For some Hollywood investors, the pandemic opened new doors<

CORONAVIRUS-HOLLYWOOD-INVESTORS:LA — When the eagerly awaited "Coming to America" and "Mission: Impossible" sequels hit theaters this year and next, Brian Oliver will see his company's credits onscreen in a way he says wasn't likely before the pandemic.

Last month, the 49-year-old Oscar-nominated producer and financier signed a more than $200-million deal with Paramount Pictures to fund up to a quarter of the budget on 10 movies, including next year's "Top Gun: Maverick." In exchange, he will share in any profits or losses from the movies.

He views the multipicture finance deal as a sign that studios are increasingly eager to bring in partners to help mitigate the risks of financing in movies at a time when theaters remain largely shut down.

1400 by Anousha Sakoui in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Mothers are 3 times more likely than fathers to have lost jobs in pandemic<

^WRK-CORONAVIRUS-MOTHERS:SH—<Mothers of small children have lost work at three times the rate of fathers in the pandemic, a situation that threatens not only progress toward gender equity but middle-class income gains that have become increasingly dependent on working women.

Mothers of children 12 years old and younger lost nearly 2.2 million jobs between February and August, a 12% drop, a Stateline analysis found. Fathers of small children saw a 4% drop of about 870,000 jobs.

1900 by Tim Henderson. MOVED

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^OTHER BUSINESS NEWS<

^Feds charge Amazon finance manager with insider trading<

^AMAZON-INSIDER-TRADING:SE—<SEATTLE — The federal Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit Monday against an Amazon finance manager who allegedly leaked confidential company information to family members, allowing them to earn nearly $1.4 million by trading based on insider tips.

Bothell resident Laksha Bohra, a former manager in Amazon's Tax Division; her husband, Viky Bohra; and father-in-law Gotham Bohra, have agreed to pay back the stock gains, as well as another $1.2 million in penalties and interest.

350 by Katherine Khashimova Long.

^GM pushes back contract signing with Nikola as it likely renegotiates<

AUTO-GM-NIKOLA:DE — General Motors has pushed back the closing date on its pending partnership with Nikola Corp., most likely to renegotiate the terms after Nikola's stock price has plummeted.

The Phoenix-based electric-truck company faces allegations of fraud, but GM has said it intends to complete the deal with the company.

On Tuesday GM issued a statement that read: "Our transaction with Nikola has not closed. We are continuing our discussions with Nikola and will provide further updates when appropriate or required."

GM was tentatively due to close on a 10-year deal Wednesday. The deal would allow GM to share technology and parts with Nikola in exchange for stock and achieving other cost savings.

1100 by Jamie L. LaReau in Detroit. MOVED

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^Jim Farley is asking everyone he meets how to fix Ford<

^AUTO-FORD-FARLEY:BLO—<A couple weeks from becoming Ford Motor Co.'s next chief executive officer, Jim Farley stopped to huddle with two young field sales representatives during an event to honor employees at a Dearborn, Michigan, dealership.

"What's the one thing at Ford Motor Co. you'd like to change?" he asked them, eliciting responses about the need for more models on the lot and financial assistance to market them.

It's a question Ford's chief operating officer is asking everyone he encounters these days as he prepares to take control on Oct. 1 of the 117-year-old automaker, which is struggling to find its way in a new transportation reality of shared, electric and self-driving cars. He put the question to factory workers at Ford's century-old Rouge manufacturing complex and middle managers at the automaker's headquarters.

1600 by Keith Naughton. MOVED

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^Private employers show new interest in expanded Medicare and regulated drug prices<

HEALTHCARE-EMPLOYERS:LA — U.S. employers, battered by rising hospital and pharmaceutical prices, are increasingly open to a bigger government role in healthcare, including regulating prices and expanding Medicare to more working Americans.

In one recent survey, more than three-quarters of responding employers said government regulation of drug prices and hospital rates would be "very helpful" or "somewhat helpful."

About half said a "Medicare public option" — usually understood to mean expanding eligibility for the large government health plan to younger Americans — would be helpful, according to the survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, which represents employers that provide health benefits to their workers. That's up from about 4 in 10 employers who responded to last year's survey.

550 by Noam N. Levey in Washington. MOVED

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^Judge blocks Peabody, Arch coal joint venture<

COAL-PEABODY-ARCH:SL — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a proposed joint venture between two of the world's largest private coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Resources, that federal regulators argued would allow the companies to dominate the Powder River Basin coal market.

The Federal Trade Commission "has shown that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed joint venture will substantially impair competition in the market for Southern Powder River Basin coal," U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk ruled.

300 by Jacob Barker in St. Louis. MOVED

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^SpaceX upgrades Crew Dragon capsule before its next astronaut flight<

^SPACEX-CREW-DRAGON:LA—<SpaceX has made some changes to its signature crew spacecraft, the Crew Dragon capsule, as it looks forward to its astronaut launch at the end of October.

The upgrades come after the Elon Musk-led company launched two NASA astronauts in May in its first-ever crewed mission. After a more than two-month stay at the International Space Station, the capsule, with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard, returned safely to Earth in August.

500 by Samantha Masunaga. MOVED

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^Walt Disney Co. is laying off 28,000 U.S. employees<

DISNEY-LAYOFFS-1ST-LEDE:OS — Stricken by the coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney Co. revealed Tuesday it is laying off 28,000 U.S. employees, including some at Walt Disney World.

Josh D'Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said the layoffs are happening as the virus has hurt business, and because California has not lifted restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.

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^Also moving as:<

DISNEY-LAYOFFS:LA

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^NASA, SpaceX pick the wee hours of Halloween for next launch of astronauts to the space station<

^NASA-SPACEX-LAUNCH:OS—<NASA and SpaceX are planning to launch another crew of astronauts to the International Space Station from Florida on Halloween morning, following a successful round-trip test mission to the ISS with Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley earlier this year.

Currently scheduled for 2:40 a.m., the historic launch known as Crew-1 will include four passengers, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, the first woman to fly on a commercial flight, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

350 by Caroline Glenn. MOVED

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^Microsoft says Russia is behind most nation-state hacking attempts<

MICROSOFT-RUSSIA-HACKERS:BLO — Russia-based hackers are responsible for the majority of nation-state attacks on Microsoft customers in recent years, according to new data from company.

Microsoft Corp. has issued 13,000 alerts about nation-state hacking attempts to its customers in the last two years, with 52% of these related to Russian hackers — whose targets have ranged from elections to the Olympics, according to a report published Tuesday. Iran was responsible for a quarter of the alerts while China was responsible for 12%.

350 by Alyza Sebenius in Washington. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED

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^KC's largest healthcare insurance provider will return to Obamacare exchange in 2021<

HEALTHCARE-BCBS:KC — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the area's largest healthcare insurance provider, will return to the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year after leaving it in 2018.

The insurer lost more than $100 million on its exchange plans from 2014 to 2017, calling the losses "unsustainable" when it announced in May 2017 that it was dropping out of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.

Blue KC had struggled to make more money on the exchange than it paid in claims. But the marketplace is more stable in 2020 and there is new need in the scores of people who have lost their jobs and health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, said company officials who announced the comeback on Tuesday.

1750 by Lisa Gutierrez in Kansas City. MOVED

^JPMorgan Chase agrees to pay $920 million over market manipulation<

JPMORGAN-MANIPULATION-FINE:NY — JPMorgan Chase, accused of presiding over thousands of episodes of illegal trading in precious metals and Treasury markets, said Tuesday that it will pay about $920 million as part of an agreement with the Justice Department.

The Justice Department said JPMorgan employees stationed on desks in New York, London and Singapore engaged in unlawful trading of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures contracts, scooping up orders with the intention of canceling them before they were executed.

200 by Tim Balk in New York. MOVED

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^Medtronic product removed from market in Australia, which is now investigating its use<

^MEDTRONIC-AUSTRALIA:MS—<Medtronic has pulled one of its most controversial products, Infuse Bone Graft, off the market in Australia as regulators there investigate why the company was widely selling it without a required safety component.

The market withdrawal happened after a former Medtronic employee told regulators that the Minnesota-run medical device company sold Infuse's bone graft component without the titanium LT-Cage cage designed to hold it in check.

Medtronic spokesman Ben Petok said the company's withdrawal of Infuse from Australia in March had nothing to do with safety issues. The company hopes to return when it receives approval for more uses.

850 by Jim Spencer and Joe Carlson. MOVED

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^HUD inspectors find Ben Carson's actions didn't benefit son in Baltimore deals, but had the 'appearance' of ethical issues<

^HUD-INSPECTORS-CARSON:BZ—<The inspector general's office for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs released an investigative report Tuesday that found no evidence that HUD Secretary Ben Carson used his position to benefit his son's business interests in Baltimore, but he "could have done more to avoid the appearance that he was not complying with federal ethics regulations."

The investigation stems largely from a 2017 "listening tour" in the city by Carson, a former neurosurgeon at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

850 by Meredith Cohn. MOVED

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^WORKPLACE & CAREER STORIES<

^Hollywood workers fear harassers go unpunished, report led by Anita Hill finds<

^WRK-HOLLYWOOD-HARASSERS:LA—<A commission led by law professor Anita Hill surveying nearly 10,000 entertainment industry workers found few believe perpetrators of sexual misconduct will be held accountable.

The study, based on a 110-question survey, depicts a dim view of accountability in Hollywood, with 65% believing that a powerful individual, such as a producer or director, would not be held responsible for harassing someone less powerful.

700 by Anousha Sakoui. MOVED

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^Seattle's median household income soars past $100,000 — but wealth doesn't reach all<

^WRK-INCOME-SEATTLE:SE—<For Seattle, the 2010s were marked by the explosive growth of two things: Population and income.

Regarding population, the city ended the decade with the distinction as the fastest-growing big city in the U.S. So it seems only fitting that when it comes to income, Seattle should also close out the previous 10-year stretch with a milestone.

And according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, Seattle did just that, crossing over into six-figure territory.

800 by Gene Balk. MOVED

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^Trump ban on 'divisive' and 'anti-American' training for federal contractors has workplace diversity experts worried<

^WRK-TRUMP-CONTRACTOR-DIVERSITY:TB—<Diversity and inclusion training providers are concerned recent strides in corporate America to address racial and gender disparities will take a back seat after President Donald Trump ordered restrictions on racial sensitivity training for federal contractors.

Many companies expanded their workplace diversity training programs earlier this year following the civil unrest resulting from George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

The topics of white privilege, systemic racism and unconscious bias have become focal points in those programs, consultants say. Now, they're the target of an order from Trump cutting off funding to contractors who teach "divisive" and "anti-American" concepts.

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^Furloughed workers at Neiman Marcus face bills for deferred health care premiums<

^WRK-NEIMAN-MARCUS:DA—<One immediate reality for millions of workers called back from furloughs hasn't gained much attention.

When the boss calls and says we want you back, many employees are facing a bill for deferred health care premiums that were paid by their employers while they weren't getting a paycheck.

Neiman Marcus employees are among those who have been asked to pay their portion of health insurance premiums while they were on furlough. According to a letter sent to employees, Neiman Marcus employees have to reimburse the company for those deferred premiums "upon 60 days of return" to work.

500 by Maria Halkias. MOVED

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^COLUMNS<

^Consumer Confidential: When the phone company and the robocall scammer are one and the same<

^CNS-CONFIDENTIAL:LA—<It was the sort of robocall racket that makes life miserable for consumers.

On the one hand there was Globex Telecom, a Canadian provider of internet-based phone service.

On the other was an outfit called Educare Centre Services, which the Federal Trade Commission says peddled "bogus credit card interest rate relief, illegally charging consumers millions of dollars."

The connection? Both companies were controlled by the same person, identified by the FTC as Mohammed Souheil, a Canadian citizen.

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^Column: Trump claims the economy will do better if he's reelected. History says he's wrong<

^HILTZIK-COLUMN-ECONOMY:LA—<Until very recently, Donald Trump was fond of proclaiming that his reelection would be a boon to the U.S. economy and the stock market.

If Democrat Joe Biden were to be elected president, he told Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network, "this market's going to crash" and Biden would "tax this country into a depression like in 1929."

If this sounds like typical Trumpian bluster, it also feeds into the received wisdom that Republicans are pro-business and Democrats the opposite, and therefore the economy and markets do better under the the GOP.

As is often the case, the received wisdom is wrong.

1500 by Michael Hiltzik. MOVED

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^Sarah Foster: When will the US economy get back on track following coronavirus shock? Watch for these 5 signs<

^REAL-BANKRATE-RECOVERY:MCT—<Officials at the Federal Reserve see elevated joblessness through 2022, while the Congressional Budget Office also isn't expecting the economy to get back to where it was until at least two years from now. All of this suggests that the return to normal could happen later — rather than sooner. And amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, some experts are wondering whether the economy could reverse again.

"What I'm seeing here is a depression-like shock without a depression," says Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. "We're not going to flip a switch and the economy is going to open back up at once. It will take some time to ascertain where the longer-lasting damage is."

2350 by Sarah Foster. MOVED

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