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Recognition…Radovan Stoklasa / Reuters
The shareholders of PSA, the French maker of Peugeot, Citroën and Opel vehicles, voted on Monday to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to achieve the scale necessary to survive in an industry shaped by technological change .
Fiat Chrysler shareholders are expected to vote later in the day to approve the merger. The new company, named Stellantis, would encompass the Jeep and Ram Truck brands and be the fourth largest automaker in the world after Toyota, Volkswagen and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance based on vehicle sales in the first nine months of 2020.
Fiat Chrysler and PSA executives agreed on a merger at the end of 2019 and have been working on the details ever since.
Together, the two companies believe they stand a better chance of making a transition to electric vehicles that is happening faster than most analysts predicted. However, the new company would face major challenges. Neither Fiat Chrysler nor PSA have a strong presence in China, the world’s largest auto market, and they have been slow to adopt electric vehicles.
Both companies are badly affected by the pandemic. PSA vehicle sales fell 30 percent in the eleven months to November, while Fiat Chrysler sold 30 percent fewer cars and trucks in the nine months to September, the most recent reporting period.
Carlos Tavares, the managing director of PSA, would have the same title with the new entity. John Elkann, a descendant of the Italian Agnelli family and descendant of the man who founded Fiat in 1899, is to become chairman. Mike Manley, Fiat Chrysler’s managing director, would lead the combined company’s American operations.
“We are ready for this merger,” said Tavares during the shareholders’ meeting, which was held online.
Recognition…Cayce Clifford for the New York Times
The ski industry had already suffered a blow back in the spring when the pandemic broke out and many ski resorts were forced to close prematurely, resulting in $ 2 billion in losses and laying off or vacation days for thousands of employees, according to the National Ski Areas Association trade group . The industry recorded the lowest number of visits since the 2011 to 2012 season at 51 million, according to the association.
Now the resorts are setting their expectations for the new ski season low, reports Kellen Browning of the New York Times.
Mike Pierce, a spokesman for Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, a resort in western Nevada, said the attitude was “just to maintain and survive the status quo.” He declined to provide financial data but said, “If we break even it will almost be counted as a success.”
Even before the pandemic, the ski industry tried to arouse interest in the sport. According to the National Ski Association, the number of skiers has stagnated over the past decade.
How the ski resorts develop this winter will have a domino effect on the tax revenue of the state economy. In New Mexico, the shortened ski season last winter and this spring generated $ 41 million in taxes, but George Brooks, the executive director of the state ski association, said he expected no more than 40 percent of that number in the coming months .
Vail Resorts, the world’s largest ski company with 37 ski resorts around the world, including 34 in the U.S., reported in a December 10th call for profit that it lost $ 153 million from August to October, more than the loss of 106 , $ 5 million in the US same time a year ago. Rob Katz, managing director of Vail Resorts, said season pass sales rose about 20 percent, but he expects fewer visitors and less sales this winter than previous seasons.
Recognition…Nate Palmer for the New York Times
Jerome H. Powell, the 67-year-old Federal Reserve chairman, will face pressure from all quarters in 2021, and he could audition for his own job. His term expires in early 2022, meaning President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will decide whether to appoint him.
Mr Powell, a Republican appointed governor of the Fed by President Barack Obama and elevated to his current position by President Trump, has yet to say publicly whether he will be reappointed, reports Jeanna Smialek of the New York Times.
Its chances could be hurt by the Fed’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which has been classified as early and rapid.
“We crossed a lot of red lines that hadn’t been crossed before,” Powell said at an event in May.
The Fed rolled out almost the entire range of emergency loan programs it used during the 2008 financial crisis, and jointly with Treasury announced programs that had never been tried – including plans to support small and medium-sized business lending and corporate debt buying. At the beginning of April a plan was started to flow loans to states.
However, the Fed’s extraordinary actions in 2020 were not just aimed at keeping the flow of credit going. Mr Powell and other senior Fed officials pushed for more government spending to help businesses and households, an unusually bold stance for an institution mightily trying to avoid politics. As the Fed became more expansive on its mission, it weighed on climate change, racial justice, and other issues that its leaders normally avoided.
In Washington, reactions to the Fed’s greater role have been quick and divided. Democrats want the Fed to do more and make awareness of climate-related financial risks a welcome move, but only a start. Republicans have been working to curtail the Fed to ensure that the role it played in this pandemic didn’t last out of the crisis.
Personal income rose
Would have been sharply negative without PPP
Would have been sharply negative without PPP
Note: data from March to November 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.· ·Source: Office for Economic Analysis
To understand why markets are buoyant despite 3,000 deaths from coronavirus every day, Neil Irwin and Weiyi Cai of the New York Times examine the data.
Overall, salaries and wages fell less in 2020 than even a careful observer of the economy might think. Total employee compensation fell by only 0.5 percent in these nine months, which is more of a mild recession than an economic catastrophe.
That seems impossible. How can the number of jobs fall by 6 percent, but employee compensation only by 0.5 percent?
It has to do with what jobs have been lost. The millions of people who stopped working due to the pandemic were disproportionately employed in low-paid service professions. Higher-paying professional jobs were left unaffected and a handful of other sectors boomed, such as B. warehouse and grocery stores, resulting in higher incomes for these workers.
The arithmetic is as simple as it is confusing. If a business executive receives a $ 100,000 bonus when running a business through a difficult year, while four restaurant workers lose their jobs entirely at $ 25,000 a year, the net effect on total compensation is zero – even if it’s human is very painful has accrued.
Combine rising personal incomes with falling expenses, and Americans as a whole built savings at an amazing rate. It had to go somewhere.