Dorsey of Twitter sets up a $ 1 billion fund; consumers get breaks

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The coronavirus epidemic has shocked the global economy with unprecedented speed. Here are developments on Tuesday related to the global economy, the workplace and the spread of the virus.

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CUSTOMERS FIRST: The pandemic is undermining billions of dollars in the economy and the ramifications for businesses, from banks to restaurants, are serious. Some companies have also recognized that their customers are suffering and reached out a hand.

– Allstate sends on-site shelter refunds to customers, most receiving checks for 15% of their monthly premium in April and May. Customers who own cars and homes with financial difficulties can delay two consecutive premium payments. Some will be allowed to pay what they can afford. The insurer is sending $ 600 million to customers, according to regulatory records.

– JPMorgan Chase has removed the minimum payment requirements on credit cards and waives late fees. The bank will not report deferred payments, such as late payments, to credit bureaus for up-to-date customers.

FALL OF JOBS: Few industries have been spared from massive layoffs, particularly manufacturers and restaurants devastated by social distancing.

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– BJ’s Restaurants is laying off approximately 16,000 workers.

– Nissan is putting approximately 10,000 workers on leave while extending production suspension until at least April 27.

– Honda will stop paying its approximately 14,400 production workers in Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina as it extends production shutdown until May 1. Workers have health insurance and other benefits.

– Thousands of Spirit AeroSystems employees are on leave for three weeks without pay. Most managers and hourly workers at Spirit, Wichita’s largest employer, will be on leave without pay on Wednesday. Spirit has been hammered by problems with Boeing and its struggling 737 Max.

– T.J. Maxx’s parent says he will lay off the majority of his hourly workers in his stores and distribution centers in the United States and Canada after Sunday. The company also operates channels such as Marshalls and HomeGoods. As of February 1, TJX Cos. Employed 286,000 people worldwide, primarily in the United States. This is more than double Macy’s workforce.

DORSEY’S FUND: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is reserving $ 1 billion in stocks to create a philanthropic endeavor initially focused on global relief efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic. Dorsey, who is also CEO of the Square financial payments startup, will bequeath the new venture capital stocks from her Square holdings.

Dorsey announced the new business, called Start Small, in a series of tweets, and said the contribution represents 28% of his fortune. The organization will disclose all transfers, sales, and grants on a public Google Doc spreadsheet.

Starting small will not be limited to COVID-19 work. “Once we have disarmed this pandemic,” he wrote, the organization will focus on girls’ health and research on universal basic income, the idea that governments should guarantee a minimum income to all citizens.

AIRLINES: A sharp drop in travel has prompted airlines to cancel flights and use fewer planes and seek government help. Some additional obstacles they face are the rules governing the sector.

– The Department of Transport has granted small airlines a minor violation of the minimum service rules they must provide to obtain federal assistance. The rules released Tuesday will allow airlines to cut flights to certain airports if they serve one nearby. The department has established more restrictive rules for the four largest American carriers – Delta, American, United and Southwest – to maintain flights.

– United Airlines is cutting more flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles for at least three weeks due to lower travel demand. The President of United said last week that the airline was losing $ 100 million a day.

UNCONFIRMED: disinformation and summary facts about the virus and potential remedies are also spreading rapidly. Of course, social media has become the conduit in many cases.

– WhatsApp has tightened restrictions on message transfer to reduce misinformation related to coronaviruses. The Facebook company said on Tuesday that users receiving a “frequently forwarded” message – one already shared by five or more people – will only be able to send it to one newsgroup at a time.

WhatsApp said in a blog post that “we have recently seen a significant increase in the amount of transfer which users say may seem overwhelming and may be contributing to the spread of misinformation.”

TEST: There has been a lot of criticism of the failure in the United States to obtain generalized tests for the coronavirus. The volume remains far from what medical experts believe provide a clear picture of the spread of the virus. But there are minor advances.

– Walgreens is expanding COVID-19 driving tests to 15 locations in seven states, up from just one last month. New locations are in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, regions with increasing COVID-19 levels. Walgreens plans to be able to test 3,000 people a day, starting at the end of the week.

OIL PATCH: Crude prices have dropped nearly 60% in the past three months and economists estimate that demand will be severely clipped by the virus and a global economy already slowing.

– Exxon Mobil has cut investment spending by 30% by 2020, a formerly unthinkable retirement for one of the world’s largest energy producers. The company said on Tuesday that $ 23 billion in investments are planned for 2020, up from $ 33 billion.

MARKETS: The markets have been boiling for weeks because so much about the virus is unknown.

– A large rally on Wall Street disappeared on Tuesday. The S&P 500 ended down 0.2% from 3.5% earlier today. The gains faded when the price of US crude oil suddenly went from a gain to a loss of more than 9%.

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