A quick rebound from virus? Economists have reason to doubt it

Business / Business News /

The coronavirus is guaranteed to throw the world into recession, but economists are becoming less convinced about the potential for a strong snapback in growth.

The base case for forecasters is that a recovery, perhaps even a vigorous one, gets under way in the second half of 2020. But as the pandemic spreads through Europe and the Americas, ...Read more

Small businesses can apply for forgivable COVID-19 loans Friday

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Small businesses shuttered by coronavirus countermeasures can start applying for emergency loans to cover payroll and other costs as soon as Friday, according to Treasury Department guidance.

The Treasury published fact sheets for lenders and borrowers Tuesday for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program that was part of the $2.3 trillion ...Read more

Tech Q&A: Backing up an iPhone while moving photos to PC

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Q: I back up iPhone photos to iCloud, and I'd like to transfer them from iCloud to my PC. But I was surprised to read in your column how much data the photos lose during the iCloud-to-PC transfer (see

You suggested transferring photos from the iPhone to Dropbox and from Dropbox to the PC, but I'd rather not have to do that...Read more

US can learn how to beat coronavirus from China's best practices

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Each time automotive consultant Sophia Lyu enters or exits the gate to her Beijing apartment building, an infrared sensor posted there measures her body temperature.

If it indicates a fever, guards will immediately detain Lyu and take her to quarantine.

"The Chinese run the country so tightly," said Michael Dunne, Lyu's boss and the CEO of ...Read more

Citgo must pay for a massive 2004 Delaware River oil spill, Supreme Court rules

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The former owner of a Philadelphia area asphalt refinery is liable for a massive 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River and must pay back millions of dollars in cleanup costs, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court said that Citgo Asphalt Refining Company, the former owner of the refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., was responsible...Read more

Airlines pivot from passengers to cargo amid coronavirus crisis

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The coronavirus outbreak has pushed the airline industry into strange territory. For American Airlines, that means -- for the first time in 36 years -- flying two cargo-only flights from the U.S. to Germany.

The two round-trip flights earlier this month of a Boeing 777-300 from Fort Worth to Frankfurt were a sign of desperate times for an ...Read more

UPS pilots vote to approve labor contract extension

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Pilots for UPS have voted to approve a two-year extension of their labor contract.

The pilots for the company's cargo carrier, who are represented by the Independent Pilots Association, voted 98.9% in favor of the contract extension.

"This contract extension provides stability for both UPS and our pilots as we jointly face unprecedented times ...Read more

Ford restart postponed indefinitely; GM says situation 'fluid' as COVID-19 stalls industry

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DETROIT -- Ford confirmed Tuesday that it plans to again postpone restarting its automobile production in North America "to help protect its workers" with no restart date scheduled.

The decision comes after news that a third UAW worker employed by Ford and diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has died, this time from the Dearborn Diversified ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: No coronavirus refund but credit for a future cruise? Are you kidding?

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Craig Morris, his wife, two kids and three grandchildren are no longer booked on a seven-day holiday in hell.

But they were fought by the cruise operator, Carnival, every step of the way.

Morris, 71, and his family were booked into three cabins on the Carnival Panorama, which was scheduled to set sail from Long Beach on April 11.

Until Monday...Read more

Theranos prosecutors eye Holmes' secret love as fodder for jury

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Prosecutors are angling to dig into Theranos Inc. founder's Elizabeth Holmes clandestine romance with the company's former president when she goes to trial on fraud charges, using the relationship to show that alleged deceptions at the blood-testing startup went well beyond faulty machines.

The alleged concealment of the relationship from ...Read more

Grocery strikes spike at Whole Foods, Instacart and Amazon as fear over COVID-19 spreads

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Both grocery and delivery workers are holding strikes and walkouts this week as concerns over dangerous work conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic intensify.

Employees at Amazon and Instacart went on strike Monday, while Amazon-owned Whole Foods employees are planning a walkout Tuesday.

Staff at all three organizations -- which do not have ...Read more

Trump weakens fuel economy standards, rolling back key U.S. effort against climate change

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Tuesday weakened one of the nation's most aggressive efforts to combat climate change, releasing new fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks that handed a victory to the oil and gas industry.

The new rule, from the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department, will almost ...Read more

Liz Reyer: A boss who doesn't always respond may be looking for you to take charge

Business / Business News /

Q: The vice president I report to is hard to get in touch with. She used to be more accessible but now she skips our catch-up meetings and isn't good about answering my e-mails.

My best tactic is to catch her in hallways between meetings for impromptu questions. Now that we are all working from home, I've lost this opportunity. What can I do to...Read more

Blair Kamin: Will the open-plan office make you vulnerable to coronavirus? Or will the virus crisis force offices to become safer?

Business / Business News /

Even before coronavirus struck, critics were slamming the layout used in most American offices -- the open plan -- as noisy, distracting, stress-inducing, and nowhere near the teamwork booster its designers made it out to be.

"Open-plan offices are now the dumbest management fad of all time." Inc. magazine proclaimed in 2018, pouncing on a ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Economists agree with doctors that prematurely lifting lockdown would be disastrous

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Until now, the voices warning against prematurely lifting stringent social regulations to combat the novel coronavirus have been those of doctors and epidemiologists.

But a blue-ribbon group of economists has just weighed in, and they agree -- virtually unanimously.

The panel of 44 economists assembled by the Booth School of Business of the ...Read more

Amid shades of Great Recession, day laborers struggle to find work during coronavirus

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Gabriel Reyes was $600 short of his $1,800 monthly rent and April was around the corner. The day laborer was so desperate for a job he created a cardboard sign that listed his welding skills and cellphone number.

"I figure this way they know what I do since there's so many of us out here," he said.

For a month, the husband and father of three ...Read more

Hairstylist, doctors play critical role in Ford's coronavirus face shield design

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Sometimes miracles happen because every little thing goes right. And people involved are smart and creative and fearless.

This is the story of a hairstylist, a team of automotive prototype designers and a massive global company that in just a few days went from creating high-tech cars guided by artificial intelligence with the use of...Read more

Carla Fried: Term life insurance is cheap and most adults should have plenty

Business / Business News /

All right, we're all freaking out about a global pandemic and the potential financial chaos that could follow. It's beyond our control, which is frustrating. So, here's one crucial financial planning item within your control that's also inexpensive and easy to obtain: term life insurance.

Chances are you can buy a policy without ever leaving ...Read more

Former Fed chairwoman warns 'prolonged recession' possible

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Janet Yellen, the former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, warned Monday that the longer the economy is locked down, the worse the recession will be. But she added she was encouraged by the actions of the Fed and the Congress to support the economy.

"It's impossible to know at this point how deep the recession will be," said ...Read more

Wells Fargo has $384 billion of lending power stymied by Fed cap

Business / Business News /

Wells Fargo & Co. is a leading lender to small and midsize U.S. companies, home buyers and commercial property investors, and has capacity to unleash about $384 billion of additional loans to customers trying to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

But the bank can't -- because it's in the regulatory doghouse.

The Federal Reserve remains ...Read more