NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Like a computer suffering from a pesky virus, the U.S. economy has been shut off and turned back on. This reboot seems to be working. The economy added almost 5 million jobs in June, on top of the roughly 3 million added in May, bringing the unemployment rate down over two percentage points to 11.1%. But as frustrated tech users know, short-term fixes are usually just that.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Around the time the United States formally abolished slavery in 1865, African Americans owned 0.5% of the United States’ wealth. Today they own under 3%, even though around 13% of the population is defined by the U.S. census as “black or African American.” This isn’t an accident of history – it’s a result of government policies and institutional bias. The interest keeps compounding.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Exchange-traded funds are wildly popular with retail and institutional investors alike. BlackRock’s global head of ETFs and index investments Salim Ramji demystifies these tools, revealing how they passed their crisis test and how they challenge the active vs. passive divide.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - One lesson from Covid-19 is that a pandemic can exacerbate existing trends. For the United States, one of those is income inequality, and its connection to race. Civil unrest broke out in Minneapolis after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died in police custody. Violence has the potential to make the country’s already large wealth and income gaps even worse, and push the American economy into a vicious circle.
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Empty sports stadiums could turn into Covid-19’s most abiding cultural legacy. Since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic in March, virtually all sporting events have been cancelled, including this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and Europe’s flagship soccer tournament, Euro 2020. Even those which have tentatively restarted, like South Korea’s KBO baseball league and Germany’s Bundesliga soccer division, have plied their trade in eerily vacant arenas. America’s National Hockey League on Tuesday said it would complete the season, but probably without fans.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Only one athlete can say his former opponents still wear shoes bearing his silhouette: basketball legend Michael Jordan. “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s 10-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls’ 1990s dynasty, highlights the five-time most valuable player’s incredible work ethic and drive. But it also shows him to be a hyper-competitive bully with a win-at-all-costs mentality. In short, he personified American capitalism at a time when the case for the country’s never-ending dominance seemed like a slam dunk.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Even the Bard isn’t immune from Covid-19. Shakespeare’s Globe in London – a replica of the original theater opened in 1997 – recently warned the British parliament that it faces closure or bankruptcy unless it gets at least 5 million pounds. But its problems aren’t a quick fix, and that’s also the case with New York City’s Broadway.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Boss Larry Fink has lost his biggest shareholder, and former owner as U.S. bank PNC sells its 22% stake in the world’s largest money manager. But the exit could be beneficial for both firms. Plus: Sweden’s Covid-19 plan will be hard to replicate. And: online dating in a pandemic.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - April really was the cruelest month. Over 20 million Americans lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bringing the unemployment rate to an eye-popping 14.7% – the highest since at least the 1940s. But the headline number leaves out much of the Covid-19 economic story.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The last few months have been volatile for Bernie Sanders. On Wednesday the U.S. senator from Vermont said he is suspending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a hard-fought battle that shifted the party to the left. Less than two months ago he won around two-thirds of pledged delegates in the Nevada caucuses, becoming the race’s clear front-runner. Then Covid-19 started making the presidential election – and Sanders – feel like afterthoughts. Yet the ongoing pandemic may bring closer his universal healthcare dream.