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The fast-food chain, Shake Shack, was among the businesses criticized for accessing emergency funds for small businesses from the U.S. federal government.

Questions:

  1. What is the stimulus money to be used for?
  2. What has been the controversy associated with the funds?
  3. Why did the chain decide to return the loan money?

Source:

Ramzy, A. (2020). Shake Shack Says It Will Return Its $10 Million Stimulus Loan. The New York Times, April 20 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/business/shake-shack-returning-loan-ppp-coronavirus.html)

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According to the Washington Post, The Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington State failed to report an outbreak of respiratory illness to local authorities for two weeks as required by law under Medicare and Medicaid, which led to 40 COVID-19 deaths at the nursing home.

Questions:

  1. How much is the per-day civil penalty levied against the nursing home for the period between February 12 to March 27?
  2. Based on #1, what is the total outstanding federal fine?
  3. In addition to the fine, what else could the nursing home lose?
  4. How many residents, staff and visitors were infected with the coronavirus?
  5. Besides failing to report the respiratory problems, what activities did the nursing home have that continued to spread the virus?

Source:

Sachetti, M. and J. Swaine. (2020). Wash. nursing home faces $611,000 fine over lapses during fatal coronavirus outbreak. The Washington Post, April 2 (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/wash-nursing-home-faces-611000-fine-over-lapses-during-fatal-coronavirus-outbreak/2020/04/02/757cee76-7498-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html)

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According to the New York Times, a South African couple, on their honeymoon in the Maldives are now the sole visitors at a five-star resort, due to the coronavirus.

Questions:

  1. Why don’t they go home with the other 40 South Africans in the Maldives?
  2. Who is running the resort and what regulations does the government have regarding the resort staff?
  3. What is the latest wrinkle with the Maldivian airline crew that is supposed to fly these and other South Africans back?
  4. Why doesn’t South Africa fly the residents back to their country?
  5. Who is paying for the honeymooners’ continued vacation?

Zweig, D. (2020). They Were the Last Couple in Paradise. Now They’re Stranded. The New York Times, April 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/05/style/coronavirus-honeymoon-stranded.html?algo=top_conversion&fellback=false&imp_id=152302150&imp_id=877166409)

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According to the New York Times, as companies face a flood of claims, they are employing new strategies to thwart the very process that they have upheld as the optimal way to resolve disputes.

Questions:

  1. Why are some companies trying to short-circuit the process?
  2. How are some companies trying to short-circuit arbitrations?
  3. What is FairShake and what is their role and impact on arbitrations?
  4. What was the most interesting thing that you learned in the article?

Source:

Corkery, M. and J. Silver-Greenberg. (2020). ‘Scared to Death’ by Arbitration: Companies Drowning in Their Own System. New York Times, April 6 (Retrievable online at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/business/arbitration-overload.html)

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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).