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According to the New York Times, lobbyists are waiting in the wings as the Federal government opens up for coronavirus business.

Questions:

  1. Which agency has been battling a lot of fraudulent products related to the coronavirus outbreak?
  2. How much money did Congress allocate to the EPA to facilitate faster regulatory processing of coronavirus-killing disinfectants?
  3. Explain the exemption sought by the Distilled Spirits Council in the coronavirus bill.
  4. In your opinion, what was the most interesting part of this article?

Source:

Vogel, K. (2020). The Race for Virus Money Is On. Lobbyists Are Standing By. The New York Times, March 28 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/us/politics/coronavirus-money-lobbyists.html)

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As the coronavirus pandemic is affecting jobs across the country, ZipRecruiter announced that it will be cutting a large amount of jobs.

Questions

  1. How much of its workforce is ZipRecruiter cutting?
  2. Discuss the timing and why this is so ironic?
  3. Where is ZipRecruiter headquartered?

Source

Morris, M. (2020). $1.5 BILLION ZipRecruiter just laid off hundreds only days after the CEO told employees the business wasn’t impacted by the coronavirus. BusinessInsider.com, March 29 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/ziprecruiter-cutting-hundreds-of-jobs-in-layoffs-from-coronavirus-2020-3).

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Nationwide, many stores are closing an hour earlier than regular closing times “to allow employees to clean and restock store shelves, as well as for their health and wellbeing.”

Questions:

  1. Besides closing early, what are some stores doing?
  2. What is Dollar General encouraging their shoppers to do?
  3. What types of stores were primarily highlighted in this article?
  4. What is happening to other types of retailers, like clothing stores or shoe stores?
  5. What other types of changes are mentioned on the video?

Source:

Tyko, R. Dollar General cuts store hours, dedicates hour to senior shoppers during coronavirus pandemic. USA Today, March 17 (Retrievable online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/16/coronavirus-seniors-dollar-general-dedicates-hour-senior-shoppers/5065594002/)

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According to BusinessInsider.com, Tesla stock is still overpriced despite a 40% reduction due to the coronavirus.

Questions:

  1. According to Sacconaghi, why is Tesla stock so vulnerable?
  2. What is a realistic baseline valuation for the stock?
  3. Explain Saconaghi’s statement: ” Tesla stock remains high enough that it takes very aggressive assumptions on its future auto business to justify its valuation on a DCF basis.”

Source:

Reinicke, C. (2020). One expert says Tesla’s stock is still expensive, despite plummeting 40% amid the coronoavirus market. Business Insider.com, March 16 (Retrievable online at https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/tesla-stock-price-too-high-amid-coronavirus-selloff-analyst-says-2020-3-1029001141)

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According to Bloomberg, many airlines have been driven into a technical bankruptcy or they have substantially breached debt covenants already. 

Questions:

  1. Explain why the debt covenants are characteristic of the airline industry.

2. The article talks about steps that have been already taken by some airlines as they are depleted of cash. What are some of these?

3. According to the International Air Transport Association, how much in revenues are airlines facing to lose this year?

Source:

Kotoky, A. (2020). Coronavirus Could Bankrupt Most Airlines by End of May, Consultant Warns. Bloomberg, March 16 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/virus-to-bankrupt-most-airlines-by-end-of-may-consultant-says)

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Amazon has seen a dramatic uptick in sales as people are hunkered down due to the coronavirus.

Questions:

  1. As a result of this dramatic surge in sales, what does Amazon plan to do?
  2. What did Amazon warn customers on March 2?
  3. Besides Bloomberg, what other publication reported news of the projected hiring?

Source:

Soper, S. (2020). Amazon to Hire 100,000 to Help Meet Virus-Related Order Spike. Bloomberg, March 16 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/amazon-to-hire-100-000-to-help-meet-virus-related-order-spike?srnd=premium).

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According to the Washington Post, Italy is expanding its travel restrictions to the entire country, due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Questions:

  1. Approximately, how many people are affected by this restriction?
  2. According to the article, what other global events are taking place with respect to limiting exposure to the coronavirus?
  3. Besides the coronavirus spread, what other event was responsible for the dramatic drop in the stock market on Monday, Mar. 9?
  4. How do you see all of the events and changes impacting accountants across the globe?

Source:

Noack, R. et al. (2020). Italy expands travel restrictions to entire country, locking down 60 million people in its fight against coronavirus. The Washington Post, March 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/03/09/coronavirus-live-updates/)

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Billionaires from Bill Gates to Jack Ma are donating billions toward coronavirus assistance, but as Business Insider indicates, the money may not be going to where it is most needed.

Questions:

  1. Where did Alibaba founder Jack Ma pledge his 100 million yuan ($14.5 million)?
  2. Where did Bill and Melinda Gates pledge their $100 million?
  3. Why does Rogers feel that these funds may be doing little to help those already suffering from the growing global health crisis?  

Source:

Rogers, T. (2020). Billionaires from Bill Gates to Jack Ma are donating millions to help alleviate the coronavirus crisis — but it may not go where it’s needed most. Business Insiders.com, March 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-spending-hundreds-of-millions-on-coronavirus-research-2020-3).

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According to Fortune, the brightspot with the coronavirus are the low interest rates in the mortgage and refinancing markets.

Questions:

  1. According to the article, where are 30-year mortgage rates?
  2. What are investors doing with their money?
  3. What do the 10-year treasury bonds now yield?

Source:

Shen, L. (2020). Complete mayhem’: Mortgage refi applications soar 224% as rates hit an all-time low. Fortune, March 9 (Retrievable online at https://fortune.com/2020/03/09/coronavirus-mortgage-refinance-applications-low-rates/)

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According to BusinessInsider.com, Robinhood, a millennial favorite stock app, was offline for iPhone and Android users during the entire day, when the Dow made its biggest point gain ever.

Questions:

  1. What do millennials see as the benefit of Robinhood?
  2. By how many points did the Dow Jones industrial average rise on Monday after the horrible 3,500 point losses from the previous week?
  3. In what way did Robinhood run afoul of federal authorities in the past? 

Source:

Holmes, A. (2020). Millennials’ favorite stock app Robinhood was offline for an entire day of trading, locking out users as the Dow Jones made its biggest point gain ever. BusinessInsider.com, March 2 (Retrievable online at https://www.businessinsider.com/robinhood-down-outage-markets-rebound-coronavirus-backlash-2020-3)