The American bailout, passed by the Senate and now back, before the House of Representatives pumped $ 1.9 trillion into the economy.
The New York Times’ personal finance experts Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard went through the bill to explain to real people what it really means. Here are some of the questions they answer:
Recognition…Coley Brown for the New York Times
Since their first use in 1956, the box-shaped shipping containers that are stacked on top of one another on board giant ships have revolutionized world trade. They make it possible to pack goods in standard containers and use cranes to lift them from boats onto rail vehicles and trucks.
Containers describe how flat screens made in South Korea are relocated to factories in China where smartphones and laptops are assembled, and how these finished devices are shipped across the Pacific to the United States.
Over the past year, the pandemic has profoundly disrupted every part of these trips and international trade, driving up the cost of shipping goods, and challenging the global economy to recover. The coronavirus has discarded the choreography of moving cargo from one continent to another.
Nobody knows how long the upheaval will take, although some experts believe containers will remain scarce by the end of the year as the factories where they – almost all of them in China – have to catch up with demand.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Lars Mikael Jensen, head of the Global Ocean Network at AP Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company. “All the links in the supply chain are tense. The ships, the trucks, the warehouses. “
Recognition…Nick Hagen for the New York Times
E-commerce saved many retail businesses over the past year as online shopping became a lifeline after stores closed, city centers stood empty and customers stayed at home.
For small businesses, however, the benefits have been very uneven, said Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at eMarketer, told Amy Haimerl of the New York Times. There were winning sectors like groceries, health and fitness, and direct selling brands, but clothing boutiques and other specialty retailers – especially those with no existing e-commerce platforms – struggled.
The experience of Amina Daniels, the owner of the Live Cycle Delight fitness studio in Detroit, underscores the logistical challenges small businesses face in building and competing online.
To produce on-demand video courses, she built a mini production studio in her spin room and invested thousands in microphones, lights, and a film crew. Still, it’s difficult to compete against Peloton, where entire teams produce their digital classes.
About 30 customers left Live Cycle Delight for Peloton, Ms. Daniels said, but she found support in other ways. With the move to support black-owned companies, people donated for them, and there was good demand for the studio’s branded items like pilates balls, t-shirts, and booty bands, the stretchy bands that add resistance to a workout.
Between the products, summer outdoor courses and memberships, she was able to keep the three-year deal open. The move to e-commerce wasn’t perfect, she said, but it was worth it. She remembers why she started the studio: to make fitness more accessible and inclusive.
“Peloton is just one type of experience,” she said. “We’re still here to give our customers the opportunity to join us on the path for the better.”