The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a plan to make airlines refund passengers more often if they don’t show up for their flights. It’s a controversial idea that has drawn criticism from some travellers. The proposed rule would require airlines to provide a refund or other compensation if a ticket holder is unable to travel for reasons including a missed flight, an airline’s bankruptcy or the need to cancel a flight.
It’s been a rough year for travelers who have had to get stranded in airports because of flight cancellations. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in the 2014 fiscal year, the average number of passengers who had to spend more than six hours in U.S. airports over the winter was about ten million per month. But, this year, the numbers are way, way up. As of May 4, the DOT has received 18-million complaints from travelers forced to wait for hours on a plane or to get bumped off a plane.
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9. July 2021Updated
9. July 2021, 10:57 p.m. ET.
9. July 2021, 10:57 p.m. ET.
The rule would generally require airlines to refund fees for services not provided, such as B. for baggage arriving more than 12 hours late.Credit…Michael A. Mccoy/Getty Images
The Department of Transportation proposed Friday to expand consumer protections for airline passengers. In doing so, it followed a sweeping executive order promoting competition that President Biden had signed the day before.
Under the new rule, airlines must reimburse the cost of checked baggage that is delayed more than 12 hours on domestic flights and more than 25 hours on international flights. Currently, airlines must only reimburse the cost of lost baggage.
The rule also requires airlines to reimburse other expenses, such as. B. for wireless Internet access on board aircraft, for services not provided. Under current rules, airlines only have to refund these fees if flights are cancelled or overbooked.
Consumers deserve to get the services they pay for or be reimbursed if they don’t, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
The proposed rule contains exceptions. For example, a passenger who pays for internet access but is subsequently transferred to a flight without this service is not entitled to the mandatory refund. If Internet access generally works for other passengers who have paid, but not on an individual passenger’s electronic device, the individual passenger is also not entitled to a refund.
The rule also requires refunds to be made quickly – within seven days for credit card transactions and within 20 days for other payment methods.
It’s good for consumers, but I wish it didn’t take so long, said John Breault, executive director of the National Consumers League, a nonprofit group that advocates for consumers.
Jim Rich, former editor of the Daily News, will relaunch Deadspin after a major staff turnover. Sasha Maslov for The New York Times…
The editor-in-chief of the company that owns Deadspin, The Root, The Onion and Gizmodo resigned Friday. This is the second time in two years that the editor-in-chief of a publishing company has resigned.
Jim Rich, formerly editor of the Daily News in New York, announced Friday afternoon that he had resigned from G/O Media that same day. The company also publishes Jezebel, The A.V. Club, Lifehacker and other magazines.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for G/O Media said: G/O Media has said goodbye to Jim Rich. He has provided stability at a very important time for the company, and we greatly appreciate his efforts.
Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Rich refused to give the reasons for his resignation. But he denied it was related to an article a year ago for Deadspin, a sports site run by G/O Media, about ESPN reporter and sideline anchor Rachel Nichols.
A relatively short article by Mr Rich reported that someone had sent Deadspin a recording of Ms Nichols, made with a video camera she had in her TV results room, while she was talking to another person on the phone about her career. The article did not mention Nichols’ specific words, citing privacy concerns and the fact that the videos were an attempt to discredit Nichols’ official status at ESPN.
The article drew criticism after The New York Times reported Sunday that Nichols was given a more prominent role in front of the television camera than any other ESPN reporter. The recording went viral on ESPN and sparked controversy at the sports media giant, according to the Times.
Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Rich said Friday that he would not change anything in the article given the information Deadspin had last year. That has absolutely nothing to do with it, he said of his departure. There was never a conversation between me and management about this story in the interim.
His resignation was previously reported by the Daily Beast.
Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Rich joined G/O Media in January 2020 as editor-in-chief of Deadspin. About two dozen Deadspin editors resigned last fall after G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller fired the site’s interim editor amid a dispute over whether Deadspin should move away from sports coverage.
Paul Maidment, who distributed the infamous Get Athletic memo as editorial director of G/O Media, resigned himself days after the mass layoffs in November 2019. Deadspin was put in mothballs for a few months before it was relaunched under the leadership of Mr. Rich is back in business. Rich was named editorial director in April 2020.
The sites, part of G/O Media, were acquired from Univision in 2019 by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm. Many of them, including Deadspin, were originally owned by Gawker Media, which sold them after losing a privacy lawsuit against former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and secretly supporting conservative billionaire Peter Thiel.
Stocks picked up Friday as Treasury yields rose, a day after Wall Street posted its biggest decline since mid-June. Investor concerns about the economic recovery caused the S&P 500 to fall 0.9% Thursday.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries, an indicator of the cost of borrowing in the economy and a measure of growth prospects, also fell sharply Thursday as investors rushed to snap up U.S. Treasuries.
- The S&P 500 Index rose 1.1% to a record high.
- The yield on 10-year government bonds jumped to 1.36%.
- European markets have risen. The Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 index each rose by 1.3%. According to official figures, the UK economy grew 0.8% in May as new pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, but growth has slowed and economists warn it will be harder to return to pre-pandemic levels.
- Oil prices are rising. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for crude oil, rose 2.3 percent to $74.61 a barrel.
- Biogen shares fell 3% after the Food and Drug Administration called for a federal investigation into the process that led to the approval of the company’s new Alzheimer’s drug.
A Wall Street listing was once considered the ultimate proof of a company’s economic performance in China.Credit…Brendan McDermid/Reuters
In its latest rebuke of ride-hailing giant Didi, China on Friday ordered it to remove another 25 of the company’s apps from mobile stores, deepening the regulatory maelstrom that has gripped the company since its listing on the New York Stock Exchange last week.
The country’s internet regulator said at 10pm in a statement that the apps – including Didi’s ride-sharing app, financial app and business app – have problems collecting and using personal data.
The latest announcement was almost identical to the one the same agency made Sunday, when it ordered a download freeze on Didi’s main consumer app for the same reason. The order follows another issued two days earlier, which ordered Didi to stop signing up new users while authorities investigate the company’s network security practices.
None of these recent orders included details about the specific data and security issues that were of concern to officials. In a statement posted on Chinese social media after midnight, Didi said she wholeheartedly accepted the demands and stood firm.
Beijing’s sudden action against Didi, which has been known in China for years as a local innovator and industry pioneer, has shocked the company’s new Wall Street shareholders. The ban has also deterred investors and start-ups in China, who fear that the Chinese authorities will be increasingly hostile to domestic companies listed on foreign exchanges.
A Wall Street IPO, such as Alibaba’s record-breaking IPO in 2014, was once considered the ultimate validation of entrepreneurial success in China.
Consumer spending is slowly recovering from the pandemic in China, and many small businesses must borrow at affordable rates to stay open.Credit…Gilles Sabry for The New York Times
JINAN, China – Faced with a gradual slowdown in economic growth and a direct order from the Chinese government to act, China’s central bank said Friday it was taking steps to help the country’s commercial banks issue more money.
Additional loans could help Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises, including the retail sector. Consumer spending is slowly recovering from the pandemic in China. Many struggling small businesses need to be able to borrow money at affordable interest rates to stay open.
When commercial banks accept deposits from their customers, they are usually required to hold a small amount of money with the central bank of the country concerned. After that, they are free to borrow the balance.
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said Friday night that it will allow commercial banks to hold a slightly smaller proportion of their deposits starting next Thursday. Allowing commercial banks to withdraw some of the money would, at least in theory, allow them to get more credit.
However, the People’s Bank also warned in a statement that the impact could be somewhat limited, as some of the extra credit is likely to quickly disappear into state coffers at the start of the summer tax collection season.
China’s monetary policy has changed dramatically over the past 18 months in response to the pandemic. Early last year, as the virus spread to Wuhan and beyond, the central bank forced banks to make aggressive loans to prevent businesses from running out of money.
Fearing that the extra money would fuel inflation, the central bank then tightened its policy. But with many companies struggling to pay interest on their debt and the economy not yet fully recovered from the pandemic, the central bank shifted policy back to further easing on Friday.
The new regulations allow almost all financial institutions to reduce the required deposit rate, known as the reserve requirement, by half a percentage point. The exact rate will depend on the size of the bank, but after next Thursday it will average 8.9 percent, the central bank said.
The central bank has asked commercial banks to increase lending to small businesses. Loans grew at a slower pace in the first half of this year. But there is also evidence that the decline in lending may be a sign that borrowers are reluctant to take on more debt, contrary to the legal restrictions on bank lending.
The central bank stated that it was acting to support the development of the real economy and to promote a sustained reduction in the overall cost of funding.
Lee You participated in the study.
Jeff Bezos, left, and Richard Branson prepare to go to the edge of space.
Richard Branson plans to fly into suborbital space on Sunday, nine days ahead of fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, who is making a similar journey. These first flights by space moguls will also be without liability insurance, reports DealBook.
Brokers say neither Virgin Galactic nor Mr. Branson appears to have taken out insurance in case the British business tycoon is injured or worse. The same goes for Mr. Bezos and his company, Blue Origin. Virgin, Branson and Blue Origin refused requests for comment or did not respond.
We have had many discussions with these companies about insurance and regulation, says Seema Adhya, head of space insurance at Hamilton, which offers insurance through Lloyds of London. But there were no rules specifically for these flights.
Liability insurance is required for international flights. But Virgin’s ship, the U.S.S. Unity, takes off and lands in the same place, New Mexico, so Mr. Branson’s flight, even though it takes place in the far reaches of space, technically counts as a journey within space. Virgin said passengers may have to sign a contract agreeing to take full responsibility for their safety, but US law makes it almost impossible to transfer any liability for injury or death.
According to insurers, it is likely that regulators will soon require liability insurance. Space insurance is not covered by ordinary life insurance, according to industry experts. And it can also be a problem for companies if executives decide that, like Messrs Branson and Bezos, they would like to go into space. So-called key man policies could theoretically cover stock market losses if one of the key executives were to disappear.
There are not many options for occasional space travelers, but some insurers are interested in developing such policies. Allianz began developing policies for space tourism in 2012, but there is no evidence that any such policy has been sold. (The alliance did not respond to a request for comment.) Space tourism is a new phenomenon, but experts say there is now more than enough data on rocket launches to know how to price this policy.
Lloyd’s of London estimates that annual premiums in the space insurance market have averaged $500 million over the past decade. But these rules generally apply to satellites and other non-human cargo.
The big question for the insurance industry is whether it will be aviation insurance or current space policies, says Neal Stevens, senior vice president for space products at Marsh Insurance Company. There has never been a situation where the insurance markets have not intervened.
But until now, space travel was without insurance for the passengers. The development of such a policy is another small step to be taken before the space becomes a full-fledged travel market.
The statements of support serve as a warning to all educational institutions that engage in such activities that such distortion will not be tolerated, said Miguel Cardona, the minister of education. linked to credit Stephanie Reynolds for The New York Times
Just weeks after the Department of Education waived half a billion dollars in student debt to students who had been defrauded by their institutions, the agency announced Friday that it would waive another $55.6 million to students at three other institutions.
About 1,800 students at Westwood College, Marinello Beauty School and the Judicial Accountability Institute will all have their debts forgiven under the Borrower Protection Program, which allows borrowers to apply for debt forgiveness if they believe they have been defrauded.
The Biden administration has now waived more than $1.5 billion in loans to more than 92,000 borrowers under the program, a big difference from the previous administration, when aid efforts largely stalled. And recent approvals have extended the scope of benefits beyond a small group of schools.
Friday’s approvals are the first since 2017 to wipe out debt from schools other than Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute and American Career Institute. These three for-profit institutions have now ceased to exist.
The Ministry will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that applications for borrower protection are processed and approved promptly and fairly, so that borrowers get the relief they need and deserve, said Miguel A. Cardona, Minister of Education. We also hope that these statements of support will serve as a warning to all the institutions that engage in this kind of behaviour that this kind of deception is unacceptable.
Westwood alumni made up the bulk of the help on Friday. The Department approved more than 1,600 claims from them, totaling approximately $53 million, involving two types of misrepresentation. The agency said that from 2002 until the school closed in 2015, Westwood misled students about the possibility of transferring credits. A second group of borrowers who participated in the criminal justice program were misled about their prospects for employment in law enforcement in Illinois, the department said. Many agencies would not accept their loans and borrowers had to take minimum wage jobs instead of the jobs they had prepared for.
Another 200 approved lawsuits have eliminated more than $2.2 million of Marinello’s debt to the beauty school. Students who attended the school from 2009 until it closed in 2016 say they were misled about classes and trainings that were supposed to take place but never did. The department said this made it extremely difficult for them to pass the state’s required licensing tests.
Department of Education officials also discovered widespread misrepresentation at the Judicial Accountability Institute, where 18 applications totaling $340,000 were approved. From 1998 until it closed in 2006, the school misinformed borrowers about how long it would take to complete the program, the agency said. Most of the students never graduated.
Cafe in London in May. The main driver of economic growth in May was the hotel sector, as restaurants across the country reopened.Credit…Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press
According to official figures, the UK economy grew 0.8% in May following the lifting of additional restrictions related to the pandemic, but growth has slowed and economists warn that it will be harder to return to pre-pandemic levels, especially if consumers are cautious about rising infections with the coronavirus.
May was the fourth consecutive month of growth in Britain, the Office for National Statistics said Friday, but the pace of growth was almost half of what economists had expected. Monthly gross domestic product rose 2% in April and 2.4% in March.
In May, the UK economy was about 3% smaller than it was in February 2020, before the pandemic broke out.
Other data released this week by the Bureau of Statistics, which measures the economy in real time through shopping traffic, restaurant reservations and credit card spending, also showed that activity flattened in June and early July.
The main driver of economic growth in May was the hotel sector, as restaurants reopened across the country. But the sector is still almost 10% smaller than before the pandemic. The manufacturing sector had a negative impact on the economy after a global shortage of chips disrupted the industry, particularly in car manufacturing. And the construction sector contracted for the second consecutive month.
Growth is moderate outside of untapped sectors, Rory McQueen, an economist at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, wrote in a note. It remains to be seen whether the government’s plans to impose all restrictions on July 19. will lead to strong growth in the third quarter or, if the Covid-19 rate continues to rise, to greater consumer caution or even a new national lockout, he added.
As the number of coronavirus cases increased, Britain’s National Health Service notified hundreds of thousands of people through its tracking app that they had been in contact with someone infected with the virus. It is feared that soon millions of people will be encouraged to self-isolate.
That could explain why some economic data have stabilised, said James Smith, economist at ING, adding that he expects the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. We continue to believe that the outlook after the summer is quite good, assuming no options arise in the near future that would lead to significant vaccine proliferation, he wrote in a note.
The plan calls for the creation of $650 billion in special drawing rights. Poor countries could then swap their share of these funds with richer countries to obtain hard currency to fund vaccines.Credit…Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader, via Associated Press
The International Monetary Fund board has approved a plan to spend $650 billion in emergency funds to help troubled countries buy vaccines, finance health care and pay off debt. If the IMF Board of Governors approves the reserves, they could be available by the end of August.
How will the MFI set up this fund?
The reserve fund is formed through the distribution of special drawing rights and represents the largest expansion of such assets in the Organization’s nearly 80-year history.
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) were created in the 1960s and are essentially a credit line that MFF countries can exchange for hard currency. They are designed to help countries build up their reserves and make the global economy more resilient.
Each of the 190 countries that make up the I.M.F. receives an S.D.R. based on its share of the fund, which in turn depends on the size of the country’s economy. Loan rights are not money and therefore cannot be used to buy things on their own. However, they may be exchanged between Member States for other currencies. Its value is based on a basket of international currencies – the US dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen and the British pound – and is reset every five years.
For the use of promissory notes, countries can agree to exchange this interest-bearing asset with other countries in exchange for cash. I.M.F. acts as an intermediary to facilitate the transaction. For example, if the United States buys a bunch of SDRs from Angola, it will receive interest on those assets. And Angola, which receives the money from the sale in US dollars, can use that money to buy what it needs, for example B. Vaccines to vaccinate the population against Covid-19.
The plan, approved by the I.M.F. board, would effectively create a $650 billion S.D.R. Poor countries could then trade their share of these funds with richer countries to obtain hard currency to fund vaccines.
Why is the plan controversial?
Although the idea of new S.D.R. funds was floated last year, the U.S. did not pass it under the Trump administration. At the time, it was argued that increasing emergency reserves was an inefficient way to help poor countries and would free up more resources for advanced economies that do not need aid, such as China and Russia, which would receive a larger share of approved S.D.R. reserves.
Republicans continued the controversy, using the issue to criticize President Biden, who favors earmarks, for not putting America first.
At a Senate hearing in March, Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, tried to argue to Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen that the United States would subsidize loans to countries if they bought S.D.R., putting taxpayers at risk.
Republicans like Kennedy argue that the S.D.R. grant will benefit America’s adversaries more than the developing countries it is supposed to help. He says China and Russia will receive the equivalent of $40 billion.
Yellen rejected both concepts, arguing that any U.S. borrowing to buy the country’s S.D.R. would be offset by the interest earned on that asset. Nor does the Treasury Department believe the claim that the distribution of I.M.F. reserves would benefit China and Russia, since these countries have not benefited much from the D.R.S. and the United States is not inclined to enter into an agreement with such rivals.
Eswar Prasad, former director of China’s I.M.F., agreed that any benefit to China or Russia from the S.D.R. would be negligible and that American taxpayers had nothing to lose.
Any conversion of S.D.R. into U.S. dollars would be guaranteed by the I.M.F., so there would be no risk to the United States, he said.
Will developing countries have sufficient new reserves to fight the pandemic?
Some say the MFM should do more.
This year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development called for the MFA to be granted special borrowing rights of $1 trillion, as a helicopter for those left behind.
To solve some of these problems, the I.M.F. is working to establish a new trust fund into which rich countries can pay their excess D.R. spending. The goal is to create a $100 billion liquidity pool from which less developed countries can borrow to develop their health care systems or combat climate change, in conjunction with existing IMF programs.
Further amendments are being prepared to address the issue of the use of reserves. At the request of the US, the IMF is working to increase transparency about how these funds are used, so that it is clear that US opponents are not benefiting from the proceeds.
President Biden linked his proposal to raise U.S. corporate taxes to other countries joining a global agreement on minimum taxes.Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times
The world’s top business leaders will meet Friday to discuss crucial details of a deal to end global tax havens and force multinationals to pay their fair share of taxes wherever they operate.
The negotiations are in their final stages and officials hope they can be considered concluded at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting. Officials hope to reach an agreement by October, when G20 leaders return to Italy for the final summit of the year, Alan Rappeport reports for the New York Times.
Last week, 130 states approved the conceptual framework for a new tax plan.
The draft provides for the introduction of a general minimum tax rate of at least 15 %. The deal also aims to end the cascade of taxes on digital services that many countries around the world, including the UK, France and Italy, impose in order to collect more tax revenue from US technology companies.
The U.S. wants European countries to eliminate taxes on digital services immediately, but policymakers suggest that these taxes could remain in place until the new agreement is fully in place, which could take years. The European Union is also pushing for a new digital tax, although tax negotiations are ongoing.
Other outstanding issues must be resolved this weekend and in the coming months, including the exact tax rate that will apply to global companies.
CreditCredit… Irene Suosalo
Today Shira Ovide writes in the On Tech newsletter that digital life extends far beyond our screens, into the real world. This means we need to find a way to live with the impact of technology in our backyard.
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