The Covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what was considered ‘normal’ before. For example, gone are the days when you can have a fun night out with friends while drinking and partying. Another aspect that the pandemic changed is everyone’s ability to travel freely (as long as their passport, budget, and visas will allow).
With everyone expected to stay home, the airline industry strongly felt the pandemic’s effects as the majority of the flights got canceled due to travel restrictions in an attempt to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Because of this, the airline industry has been forced to lay off employees or, worst, declare bankruptcy.
Government regulations in countries such as the United States and Europe have reiterated that any canceled travel plans because of the Covid-19 pandemic should be refunded in whole to the ticket holders.
Despite this regulation, many airlines have failed to comply with as they have felt the financial brunt during the pandemic. Some airlines opted to provide travel vouchers (that can be claimed until 2022) instead. Still, government regulations were specific in their guideline to give back the refund.
Statistics show a decline of 10% in early March 2020 as the pandemic started to boom globally. By late March, statistics showed a 40% to 60% decline in the aviation industry, with more flights being canceled and fewer individuals attempting to travel, including the imposition of travel restrictions by multiple countries. By April 2020, there was an 80% decline, with flight movements restricted in all countries.
Because of the aftermath of the pandemic to the aviation industry, many airlines are cutting off employees, including flight attendants. US airlines have cut down flight attendants ranging from 30% to 60% because of the low demand for flights.
Because of these, flight attendants all over the world became creative in ways to earn more money now that their current jobs are unstable because of the pandemic. For example, Susannah Carr, a flight attendant from United Airlines, mentioned she rejoined AppWag to walk dogs through making extra money now that there is a lull in her flights.
Making Ends Meet
In an interview, she mentioned that her previous paycheck was just enough to cover her monthly rent, a place she co-rents with a fellow flight attendant. Since Carr has previous experience in freelance jobs such as online translations and wedding event planner, she is now busy applying for other freelance types of jobs to make ends meet.
She acknowledges that while it is not the dream job, she hoped for right off college, the sense of urgency to make a living so she can survive the pandemic remains to be a top priority.
On the other hand, another flight attendant, Joan Marie Santos, turned to bake cupcakes and pastries during the flight lull. Her passion truly lies with baking, a hobby she only got to do in-between flights. But with the ongoing pandemic and approximately one flight per month (as opposed to her usual 15 flights per month), she started baking and selling her pastries to nearby communities to make ends meet.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, people, not just flight attendants, have to be flexible and adaptable to the changing times.
Goldman Sachs’ Is Employing Novel Ways to Close Billions in M&A Deals
The pandemic prompted nearly all industries to maximize technology to continue the business. The financial sector is no exception, and Goldman Sachs enforced the use of drones to conduct virtual site visits for M&A deals.
Since COVID-19 has made face-to-face interaction and personal visits among groups of bankers and bidders quite risky, the world’s top mergers advisor came up with a viable solution to keep the business going. Goldman Sachs’ global co-head of mergers and acquisitions, Stephan Feldgoise, confirmed that the company now uses drones to create virtual site visits for clients. Through this technology, bidders are able to get a live tour of the companies they are investing in without having to travel to the actual location. It then allows for the financial institution to push forward with this pertinent due diligence step in the M&A process.
A Switch in Wall Street
The coronavirus pandemic forced even the most technologically-resistant institutions in Wall Street to adapt to the current trends and methods. Traditionally, investment banking depended on the relationships of senior bankers with their clients built through hosting social events and lavish dinners. However, the current health crisis has made personal interactions and frequent traveling unsafe, thus completely eliminating this conventional approach of closing mergers and acquisitions.
At present, deals are being closed through virtual meetings that utilize teleconferencing programs such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex. In place of personal site visits, drones are used for live or recorded tours. It has been proving to be successful as over 95% of Goldman’s transactions were done virtually throughout the pandemic. Feldgoise believes that the M&A landscape will not revert to what it was before the incorporation of these new technological tools, given the positive results that the company is currently generating.
Drone Technology is Now a Necessity
Goldman Sachs isn’t the only major financial institution that has been utilizing drone technology. JPMorgan Chase has also been leaning on virtual tools and programs in closing deals. Even smaller investment banks have been using drones to take footage of properties for bidding. In fact, veteran TKO banker Erik Eidem said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a necessity to keep the business running.
According to veteran bankers, this shift towards technology changed the entire flow of the M&A process. Advisors no longer have to winnow only a few potential buyers for management presentations, as they are now equipped with the capacity to work with twice as many bidders to increase the probabilities of closing a deal.
Remote technology is predicted to have a long-term impact on business travel among major firms on Wall Street, which will transcend the pandemic. This new set-up allows bankers and potential buyers to finish a meeting in a span of a few hours conveniently and efficiently, rather than the traditional three-day business trip for a presentation. Although bankers will be most likely to revert to seeing their clients personally as often pre-coronavirus, other steps in the closing process that are more logistically complex will be implemented remotely.
How China’s Youth are Capitalizing on the Tech Boom
The young billionaires of China have racked up a joint fortune of $223 billion this year. New billionaires added to the roster through the tech market.
This year, China had 60 billionaires below the age of 40. Out of the 60, 14 of these billionaires joined the Hurun Rich List on the road paved by the tech market that gave way for money to grow despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The tech market boom reveals an extraordinary surge in the riches of China’s affluent population, indicating that the country is home to 878 million, whose joint riches are equating to $4 trillion.
Here Is a List of China’s Youngest Billionaires
Yan Wu, 39:
Yan Wu and her husband, Qicheng Wang, co-founded Hakim Unique. This company focuses on real estate, media, and the Internet. The combined fortune of the couple is $2.5 billion.
Zheng Cao, 37:
Zheng Cao is the vice president of Zhejiang Hanke Technology, a company that produces lithium batteries. This company was founded by his father, Ji Cao. With their combined 70% business stocks, the father and son’s fortune is around $2.5 billion.
Guoyuan Peng, 34:
Guoyuan Peng is currently the chairman of NWY, an education group. The group is estimated to have a $2.6 billion net worth with a 20% increase since 2019.
Wei Cheng, 37:
Wei Cheng is the CEO and founder of DiDi, a ride-hailing giant. Before he launched DiDi in 2012, Wei Cheng was working in Alibaba for 8 years. This year, DiDi continues to be one of China’s most valuable startups. Cheng’s net worth is estimated to be $2.8 billion.
Yifeng Wang, 36:
Yifeng Wang and his father, Miaotong Wang, are the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Zhejiang Century Huatong Group. This auto company has recently added developing games to its roster. The pair are said to have a net worth of 3.1 billion.
Yixiao Cheng, 35:
Yixaio Cheng is a co-founder of Kuaishou, which is a short film platform. Before Kuaishou, he was a software engineer at HP. He now has a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Tianshi Chen, 35
Chen is a co-founder and CEO of Cambricon Technologies, which makes chips has been used in more than 100 million smartphones. He is said to have a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Li He, 36 and Meng Yang, 38:
These new billionaires were able to catapult their joint wealth with Anker, a tech company that produces Apple chargers. Their net worth is estimated to be $3.7 billion.
Hua Su, 38:
Kuaishou is a company that developed a GIF-making app and now releases short videos. Hua Su, the founder, is worth $3.8 billion.
Huiyan Yang, 39:
Huiyan Yang is officially a crazy, rich Asian. She and her family have a net worth of $33.1 billion.
How Climate Action Can Be Forced by 137 Million Americans That Own Stocks
Climate change is coming sooner than later, which is why climate action is necessary to avoid problems to rise after. Here’s how owning stocks help us.
The US presidential elections are a few days away, and there is a possibility of a political solution that will resolve the climate crisis. Should the Biden administration get elected, they may provide us with climate legislation. However, no one has any guarantee of when that will happen and what the outcome will turn out to be.
While we are under the current administration, the Department of Energy has settled with referring to natural gas as US freedom molecules. This not the introduction to carbon tax the Republicans are hoping for.
So who can we turn to when it comes to immediate climate action? The corporations need to step up. We can see that some companies are jumping into action, like Beyond Petroleum, who is working on implementing their slogan. The company announced that they plan on cutting oil production to 40% in the following decade and expect to reach zero emissions by the year 2050.
It has joined hundreds of companies that are looking at science-based processes when it comes to cutting emissions. Nearly 300 companies that range from apparel to automotive to cutting their emissions to 35%, which is a great objective considering that these companies are responsible for having more emissions than Spain and France combined.
For tech companies, they seem to be in an arms race for sustainability. In 2019, Amazon promised to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans to go carbon neutral by the year 2040 and to reduce enough carbon to offset all its past emissions.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is participating in Transform to Net Zero, which is a group of private companies that aim to achieve net-zero global emissions by no later than 2050.
The latest update for climate action has received both hopeful and cynical reactions—hope that the changes made by corporations can make a significant difference, but cynical about whether or not these commitments will be achieved.
However, Americans who own stock have the capacity to force corporations to take their own step towards climate action. If the 137 million Americans that own stock can convince the corporations they own stock from to take these steps, you can ensure that the climate will improve overtime.
It’s normal to feel some skepticism towards the actions of the corporations as some companies share the lack of concern towards the climate, but with the help of shareholders and voters, they can force these corporations to provide tangible proof of their climate action.
Their reward for this is that they can keep their shareholders because, at the end of the day, you can’t have shareholders if the world isn’t sustainable for living and that companies need shareholders to support their companies and products.
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