• France's competition watchdog orders Google to pay for news reuse
    TechCrunch

    France's competition watchdog orders Google to pay for news reuse

    France's competition authority has ordered Google to negotiate with publishers to pay for reuse of snippets of their content -- such as can be displayed in its News aggregation service or surfaced via Google Search. The country was the first of the European Union Member States to transpose the neighbouring right for news into national law, following the passing of a pan-EU copyright reform last year. Among various controversial measures the reform included a provision to extend copyright to cover content such as the ledes of news stories which aggregators such as Google News scrape and display.

  • Jack Dorsey's $1 billion pledge sparks conversation around UBI
    Yahoo Finance

    Jack Dorsey's $1 billion pledge sparks conversation around UBI

    The small but vocal cohort of proponents of UBI has found a well-heeled tech titan to ignite the movement — Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

  • Lacking eyeballs, Facebook's ad review system fails to spot coronavirus harm
    TechCrunch

    Lacking eyeballs, Facebook's ad review system fails to spot coronavirus harm

    Facebook's ad review system is failing to prevent coronavirus misinformation from being targeted at its users, according to an investigation by Consumer Reports. The not-for-profit consumer advocacy organization set out to test Facebook's system by setting up a page for a made-up organization, called the Self Preservation Society, and creating ads that contained false or deliberately misleading information about the coronavirus -- including messaging that claimed (incorrectly) that people under 30 are "safe", or that coronavirus is a "HOAX". Facebook's system waived all the ads through, apparently failing to spot any problems or potential harms.

  • Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alibaba, Disney, TSMC, Adobe and Sea Limited
    Zacks

    Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alibaba, Disney, TSMC, Adobe and Sea Limited

    Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alibaba, Disney, TSMC, Adobe and Sea Limited

  • Activision (ATVI) Adds COD: Modern Warfare, Warzone Season 3
    Zacks

    Activision (ATVI) Adds COD: Modern Warfare, Warzone Season 3

    Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is likely to benefit from portfolio strength with the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone Season 3 despite intensifying competition.

  • Thousands of People in Dorms Pose New Challenge to Singapore Virus Fight
    Bloomberg

    Thousands of People in Dorms Pose New Challenge to Singapore Virus Fight

    (Bloomberg) -- Tightly packed dormitories housing thousands of foreign workers have emerged as one of Singapore’s biggest challenges in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus.The city state reported its highest daily increase of infections Thursday, and more than 200 of the 287 new cases were linked to foreign worker dormitories that house mainly low-wage workers in construction and other sectors. Those groups now account for about a quarter of the country’s 1,910 cases.Authorities have moved swiftly to isolate the clusters. Two dormitories that together house almost 20,000 people were on Sunday designated by the Ministry of Manpower as “isolation areas” after new, linked virus cases emerged, while two more dormitories were gazetted this week. Residents were ordered to stay in their shared rooms for two weeks, but would still receive wages as well as deliveries of food and other essentials.“It is honestly a difficult situation,” said Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases physician at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, who drew comparisons to cruise ships like the Diamond Princess, where about 700 of its roughly 3,700 passengers were infected with Covid-19. “This is going to be a big mess.”For Singapore, a country that has been championed by health officials for its methodical virus response since the outbreak began, the move to quarantine potentially exposed workers living in close proximity has raised questions about whether the conditions will allow for social distancing -- one of the key strategies utilized around the world to contain the outbreak’s spread.“To try and sort this out, they need to remain in the rooms for weeks with no interactions,” Leong said, adding that Singapore would have to also navigate language barriers and cultural differences among the workers.Adequate social distancing is already a challenge for those who don’t live in worker dorms. The government gave out more than 7,000 warnings to people who didn’t observe rules on the first day of a month-long so-called “circuit breaker” that has seen schools and most workplaces closed. The prime minister warned Thursday that people are still not doing enough to stay apart from one other.Key WorkforceForeigners make up about 38% of Singapore’s overall workforce, including foreign domestic workers, according to government figures through the end of last year. They have an outsize share in the construction industry, where three of every four workers is foreign, while foreigners account for about half of Singapore’s manufacturing workforce and 30% in services.A fixture in industries that depend on low-wage workers, there are more than 200,000 migrants from across Asia who live in 43 dormitories in Singapore, Minister of Manpower Josephine Teo wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, noting there was “no question” standards in dormitories should be raised. Singapore charities that support migrant workers say they have seen 10 or more people share a single room.With the coronavirus ravaging much of the planet, crowded spaces like these “pose transmission risks for everyone,” the World Health Organization said.“When people are in quarantine, physical distancing becomes even more challenging,” a WHO spokesman wrote by email. “In such conditions, it’s especially important to follow guidance on regular hand washing, respiratory etiquette and other practices to keep people healthy and prevent disease spread.”Singapore is providing on-site support, including food and essential supplies while preventive measures are being put in place in the dormitories, the spokesman wrote.The government has so far closed non-essential amenities such as gyms and libraries, prevented inter-mingling between blocks, staggered meal and recreation times. It’s also established basic health care facilities at two of the dormitories, while the authorities are seeking to whittle down the number of residents in affected blocks. Some healthy foreign workers operating in essential services have been moved to vacant public housing apartments.Meanwhile, Singapore has also deployed its army doctors, medical military experts and medics at the dormitories to take care of foreign workers who are unwell or infected, according to a Facebook post by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen.Singapore is not the only country with coronavirus clusters in foreign worker residences. In Malaysia, the government on Tuesday imposed an “enhanced movement control order” on two apartment facilities in Kuala Lumpur that house some 6,000 residents after 15 people tested positive for the virus, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Wednesday. 97% of the residents are from abroad, mostly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, he said.Crowded SpacesWith 38 confirmed cases currently, the purpose-built workers accommodation Westlite Toh Guan was among the two facilities to be isolated in Singapore on Sunday. There, a total of 6,800 residents are spread across 687 apartment units with an average of eight to 10 occupants per room, according to emails with Centurion Corporation, which owns the buildings. The units include bathrooms, a kitchen, showers and dining space.Like the other gazetted dormitories, residents there have received care packs consisting of masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer, and “after some initial hitches” meals are being delivered in a timely fashion, according to a government statement on Tuesday.Ah Hlaing, a Burmese caregiver at a daycare center for the elderly who shares an apartment at the dormitory with about 10 people, said after initially being upset over the new rules, she acknowledges they are necessary.She was “upset because we can’t go out and have to stay in the room,” Ah said, adding she has had access to the essentials including food and sanitary products. “We have to accept now that at this time, we can’t do anything.”Some rights groups have expressed concern the government is not doing enough.“The key vulnerability, crowding, is not really being addressed with sufficient determination,” said Alex Wu, vice president at Transient Workers Count Too, a registered charity that helps low-wage migrant workers. “Infectious diseases thrive through human proximity. In fact, requiring workers to stay in their rooms except for occasional periods will intensify contact, not reduce it.”(Updates with new infection data in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • ‘It’s Just Like Ticketmaster’: Playing the Delivery Slot Lottery During Covid-19
    Bloomberg

    ‘It’s Just Like Ticketmaster’: Playing the Delivery Slot Lottery During Covid-19

    (Bloomberg) -- Cara McIlwaine recently lost her marketing job due to the economic collapse wrought by the coronavirus. Finding a new gig at the moment isn't easy, and it doesn't help that she's had to spend just as much time lately on another essential project -- securing an online grocery delivery slot. For four days last month, McIlwaine, who has a toddler at home, tried and failed to secure a delivery time from Fresh Direct Inc., resorting to obscure Reddit forums to discern the time when new slots came available. The screen listing available delivery windows would invariably freeze, and when it came back, everything was taken.“It’s just like Ticketmaster,” she said. “I genuinely don’t think I will ever get a time again.”Across the country, millions of consumers are turning to Fresh Direct, Instacart Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Peapod and other services to fill their fridges via online delivery rather than brave going to a supermarket. But many are finding that the online grocery networks have been completely knocked flat by a triple whammy of unprecedented demand, unreliable inventory and unavailable employees. While early reports from the pandemic suggested that shuttered stores and shut-in consumers would be a boon for e-commerce, the sudden growth spurt has grocers scrambling to soothe harried shoppers and worried whether disgruntled first-time web shoppers will go back online once the crisis passes.“Everyone is struggling,” said Brendan Witcher, a digital strategy analyst at Forrester Research. “Supply chains are designed to not break from a single incident, but now multiple incidents are hitting all at once and that has caused a breakdown. People in the industry know the reasons, but the average consumer does not know why there is a problem. All they know is this is a bad experience.”Fresh Direct said in a social media posting that it’s “working around the clock” to fill orders but it has many fewer employees. “An easy solution is not in sight,” it said. Before the pandemic, online shoppers accounted for about 5% of the $800 billion U.S. grocery market, with most online orders going to Walmart, Instacart and Amazon. The social-distancing era could easily double that, some analysts thought.  A survey from RBC Capital found that more than a third of those who have shopped for groceries online over the past month were doing so for the first time.Such rosy projections, though, don’t square with the angst-ridden reality many people now face. Nearly one in three Americans surveyed by market researcher CivicScience on April 6 said they had a problem with a recent online order. That explains why the likelihood that a shopper will use a specific service again plummeted from 74% in August to 43% in March, according to Brick Meets Click, a retail sales and marketing firm.Take Steve Faktor, who runs an innovation consultancy in New York. He’s a big fan of Trader Joe’s, but the quirky chain doesn't deliver in New York City anymore and Faktor could do without the long queues and masks. So he tried Fresh Direct, only to be stymied by a dearth of delivery slots.“People like me are searching for options right now,” he said. “I know times are challenging, but it’s a missed opportunity for them.”Mason Kalfus, a 44-year-old legal recruiter in Washington, D.C., has taken to shopping at Fresh Direct, Amazon and occasionally Peapod or Instacart.  “All of the services now are a disaster,” he says, ticking off his grievances. He’s annoyed at Amazon, which fulfills some online orders through its Whole Foods Market chain, for allowing him to fill an entire cart when there were no delivery slots available, “so I just wasted all that time.”Fresh Direct — which doesn’t operate any stores and delivers from warehouses along the East Coast — earned his ire for not communicating what items in his basket were out of stock until he submitted his order, like the low-sodium imported lacey swiss cheese. So instead of  $100 of groceries, he ended up with just $23 worth. Kalfus is one of many shoppers hedging their slot bets, downloading multiple apps and refreshing order pages at all hours of the day in the hopes that a precious window will open. Downloads of Walmart’s grocery app rose 164% over the past five weeks, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg, while the number of active shoppers on Instacart’s platform has grown from 200,000 to more than 350,000. “The customer demand we expected over  the next two-to-four years has happened on the Instacart platform in the last two-to-four weeks,” CEO Apoorva Mehta said. Traffic to Peapod, which is owned by the U.S. subsidiary of European grocer Ahold Delhaize, has risen as much as fivefold on certain days recently, e-commerce chief J.J. Fleeman said in an interview.But all that traffic means little if customers can’t buy anything -- delivery slots for Peapod in some high-demand zip codes are sold out for two weeks, Fleeman said, so it’s adding drivers and has ordered several thousand new wrist-mounted mobile devices that help associates fulfill orders.Walmart has compressed its window of pickup slots from one week to two or three days to ease the burden on its more than 40,000 online order-pickers and reduce the potential for out-of-stock items. Instacart has introduced a service called “Fast and Flexible” whereby customers can get orders picked by the next available Instacart shopper, rather than schedule it for a specific window.  While some shoppers say they sympathize, others are not so kind, and conspiracy theories now abound on social media and Reddit forums about nefarious delivery algorithms, along with accusations that online grocers are giving longtime users short shrift to lure new customers on board. It doesn’t help that some workers at Instacart and Shipt, a delivery service owned by Target Corp. that delivers to its customers and those of other retailers, have walked off the job to protest what they claim are unsafe working conditions.  Some intrepid web developers have even created browser extensions -- bots, basically -- that will scour delivery slots and ping you when one opens up.Kelly Caruso, Shipt's CEO, said the company will supply safety kits with gloves and hand sanitizer to those who pick groceries in high-risk areas. Instacart said it "absolutely" respects the rights of workers to voice their concerns.Some smaller grocers are going old school to keep shoppers happy. Caputo’s, a chain of seven supermarkets in the Chicago suburbs, had to suspend home deliveries when it got too busy. But when an elderly person who’s a good customer called, Matt Idstein, the company’s e-commerce director, took her order, found her items in the aisles, threw the bags in his own car and dropped it all off at her house. “She thought I was just a new delivery driver,” Idstein says. “She really had no idea.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • E-learning a Rising Trend Amid Coronavirus Crisis: 3 Stocks
    Zacks

    E-learning a Rising Trend Amid Coronavirus Crisis: 3 Stocks

    The technology industry has been gaining traction in the wake of the pandemic on a surge in trends like e-learning.

  • 4 Good Quality Sector ETFs & Stocks to Buy Right Now
    Zacks

    4 Good Quality Sector ETFs & Stocks to Buy Right Now

    These sectors are extremely well-positioned to survive market shocks. Buy the related ETFs and stocks.

  • 4 Cloud Computing Stocks to Beat Coronavirus Blues
    Zacks

    4 Cloud Computing Stocks to Beat Coronavirus Blues

    To stay connected amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, people across the world are relying heavily on the Internet, which brightens up prospects for cloud players.

  • WTO’s Guide to a Quick Rebound Blotted With Export Bans
    Bloomberg

    WTO’s Guide to a Quick Rebound Blotted With Export Bans

    (Bloomberg) -- The bad news is well-known: The coronavirus pandemic could spark the deepest economic downturn of our lifetimes — something between the Great Recession and the Great Depression.Here’s the good news: If countries cooperate and keep their markets open, they could quickly rebound and avoid a repetition of the two darkest economic periods of the past century.That was the message World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo delivered Wednesday from his residence on the outskirts of Geneva.During an extraordinary YouTube webcast, Azevedo offered an exit strategy for nations looking to regain their post-pandemic economic footing:Provide a robust fiscal stimulus package to consumers and businesses Contain the health crisis as expeditiously as possible Coordinate international efforts to limit trade restrictionsThat third part is crucial, he said, because “a turn towards protectionism would introduce new shocks on top of those we are currently enduring.”Right now some 70 nations — including the U.S., China and much of Europe — are imposing export curbs on critical medical supplies, according to the University of St. Gallen’s Global Trade Alert.These measures, the nations say, are essential to protect the health of their citizens and first responders. But some restrictions struggle to pass the smell test.Protectionism might be a natural instinct in a health crisis that respects no borders, but like consumer hoarding, it can cause more harm to the greater good. A far better way to propel rapid global economic recovery is for nations to cooperate and avoid unnecessary barriers to trade, Azevedo argued.Global markets should remain free of restrictions “so that we pull each other up and not hold each other down,” he said.While it’s too soon to say if Azevedo’s call for unity will fully resonate with world leaders, President Donald Trump nodded in that direction Wednesday.In a tweet, Trump thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for releasing stocks of an anti-malarial drug for possible treatment of the disease.“Extraordinary times require even closer cooperation between friends,” Trump wrote, just two days before a U.S. ban on exports of some personal protective equipment takes effect.Charting the Trade TurmoilThe coronavirus pandemic may cause a deeper collapse of international trade flows than at any point in the postwar era, the World Trade Organization said. The Geneva-based trade body presented two possible scenarios: In an optimistic case, the WTO forecasts global merchandise trade may fall 13% in 2020, while the pessimistic case sees those volumes drop by 32% this year.Today’s Must ReadsNo paychecks | Japan’s three biggest automakers are poised to add almost 32,000 people to the unprecedented ranks of North American workers seeking unemployment benefits. Export ban | The U.S. government’s ban on exports of some personal protective equipment to fight the virus will take effect Friday and will be in place for four months. Output cut | Airbus slashed its aircraft output by a third to about 48 planes a month, in a stark concession to the pandemic and travel restrictions rocking the aviation industry. Labor supply | Poland has leaned in recent years on more than a million workers from Ukraine to sustain its economy. The coronavirus is shaking up that relationship. Not so handy | Hand sanitizer will be hard to find in the U.S. for a long time because there aren’t enough chemicals and plastic containers to meet demand.  Stephanomics podcast | Senior trade reporter Shawn Donnan explains how the pandemic has shifted his focus from debates about globalization to looking at the damage happening on the ground right now. Bloomberg AnalysisBritain’s labor woes | Unemployment in the U.K. may have jumped to 6.3% from 3.9%, Bloomberg Economics estimates.  Brazil challenge | Coronavirus hits Brazil where it hurts the most, turning already-tepid growth into a recession. Use the AHOY function to track global commodities trade flows. See BNEF for BloombergNEF’s analysis of clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • High Noon Talks to End Global Oil-Price War
    Bloomberg

    High Noon Talks to End Global Oil-Price War

    (Bloomberg) -- As the coronavirus pandemic devastates the global economy, U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman are engaged in a high-stakes poker game over ending the oil-price war in a world awash with crude.The risks are steep for all the players as the world’s largest producers hold talks today on an unprecedented accord to rein in production by 10 million barrels a day. The Group of 20 energy ministers weigh in tomorrow.Trump — long a vocal critic of the Saudi-led cartel — now wants the OPEC+ coalition to agree on cuts that push up prices and save the U.S. shale-oil industry from collapse.Putin, who sought to bankrupt U.S. shale producers when he walked away from the previous OPEC+ deal, is now ready to cut production, with the reductions reaching about 15% according to a source. This underlines the risk to Russia’s economic dependence on oil with prices near 18-year lows.Saudi production remains profitable, though the U.S. ally is under huge diplomatic pressure from Trump to strike a deal. The kingdom needs much higher prices to balance the budget.While Trump can’t order American producers to cut production, Russia wants the U.S. to contribute more than just letting market forces squeeze its output.The diplomatic wrangling means a deal is far from certain. Even if one is agreed, it may not be enough in a world where oil demand has slumped by as much as 35 million barrels a day.Global HeadlinesStimulus showdown | Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to seek swift passage today of a $250 billion boost in small-business relief. But he risks failure without a last-minute breakthrough with Democrats who want twice as much for the slumping economy, including aid for hospitals and state and local governments. That sets up a game of chicken that’s poised to play out while seesawing financial markets will be open for trading.Read here about how the unprecedented wave of U.S. job losses is pushing the social infrastructure in the world’s biggest economy to the breaking point. Click here for an exclusive look at how Trump’s new chief of staff has rattled a White House in crisis mode.Old fractures | European finance chiefs meet again today after marathon talks failed to spur an agreement on collective assistance to cope with the impact of the coronavirus. A deal is still possible, and some officials say it’s closer than others portray it to be. But it will require a compromise that’s been elusive as the Dutch lead the resistance against Italy burdening northern Europe’s taxpayers with helping out the poorer south.U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a third night in the critical care unit where his condition was improving, as officials draw up plans to extend Britain’s lockdown. Click here for the political risks rising for Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. And here for the juggling act facing policy makers as they map out economic reboots.Biden’s burden | Now that rival Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden’s most urgent task will be to unify a divided party for a bruising general election fight against Trump — while the coronavirus consumes voters’ attention and halts traditional campaigning. Biden has to persuade Sanders’s impassioned supporters to work actively to help beat Trump’s well-financed operation.Turkish dilemma | Ideas that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would have spurned just months ago are gaining traction as Turkey’s economy tumbles into a virus-triggered recession. Economists have floated printing money despite a history of runaway inflation, while a pro-government newspaper has broached the possibility of borrowing from the International Monetary Fund, an emergency lender Erdogan once branded “the world’s biggest loan shark.”Singapore’s challenge | One of the biggest obstacles facing Singapore in its fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus is the tightly packed dormitories housing thousands of low-wage foreign workers. Clusters at the facilities now account for more than 15% of the country’s 1,623 cases, according to Ministry of Health data.What to WatchNew Covid-19 cases in Italy, Spain and elsewhere in Europe are raising questions about the speed with which the region can begin to relax its stringent restrictions on public life. The coronavirus may be “reactivating” in people who have been cured of the illness after about 51 patients classed as having recovered in South Korea tested positive again. The pandemic will cost the global economy more than $5 trillion of growth over the next two years, greater than the annual output of Japan, according to Wall Street banks.Tell us how we’re doing or what we’re missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.And finally ... Several G-20 leaders — including some who’ve been sharply criticized over their response to the virus — are enjoying a bump in approval ratings. Political scientists say this “rally-around-the-leader” effect is common in emergencies. Trump has seen a boost, though it’s small compared with those of Germany’s Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in France. But it isn’t universal: Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil have all lost popularity. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    The Politics of 2020 Are Looking Less Ominous for Tech

    (Bloomberg) -- There has been concern for months in Silicon Valley that the eventual Democratic presidential candidate would be someone who wanted to break up large technology companies. Bernie Sanders’s decision Wednesday to end his campaign effectively ends that scenario, leaving a presumptive nominee—former vice president Joe Biden—who is comparatively content with the way Silicon Valley does business.The turn in the primary race corresponds with an upheaval in political priorities due to the Covid-19 crisis. It’s still uncertain how the aftermath of the pandemic will play out, but the political landscape the industry faces in 2020 has almost certainly been transformed over the last six weeks.The primary process first took a hostile turn to the tech industry last spring when Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed a plan to force Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. to spin off parts of their businesses. Sanders, the democratic socialist senator from Vermont, later said he would “absolutely” aim to break up large technology companies if elected. At the same time, multiple investigations into allegations of anticompetitive behavior from large technology companies were accelerating.For his part, Biden has called it “premature” to call for breaking up companies like Facebook. The former vice president has criticized tech companies and their leaders, particularly Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, telling the New York Times editorial board that he had “never been a big Zuckerberg fan.” In the same interview, Biden suggested revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law protecting tech companies from legal liability for what their users post. The industry has made defending the law one of its top political priorities.But Biden’s attacks have never provoked the concerns as those from Sanders and Warren. He has deep ties to the tech industry; his former director of communications, Jay Carney, is now Amazon’s top spokesman. Biden has also repeatedly framed his administration as a continuation of the Obama years, and several former Obama officials have set up shop in Silicon Valley.While the tech industry rank-and-file mostly donated to the industry’s antagonists, its executives seemed most excited about younger moderates Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker. Biden is a happy consolation prize.An open question is who Biden surrounds himself with now that he seems to have locked up the nomination. Neither Warren nor Sanders has endorsed him, and may hold out to push Biden to pick staff supporting their priorities.The anti-tech momentum may also fade because of the coronavirus pandemic. While state and federal antitrust investigations will continue, new antitrust rules will likely take a back seat to more economic rescue legislation. Tech services seem even more vital when large swaths of the population are confined to their houses. And Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., and others have been quick to offer help in various ways.President Donald Trump has been vocally critical of technology companies, and he’s widely unpopular among tech workers. He has regularly called for crackdowns on social media companies and other perceived enemies in the industry. But his top policy achievement, a major corporate tax cut, helped send tech stock prices soaring. (They have since come back down after coronavirus fears have sunk the entire market.) Trump has also seemed to pick favorites among the tech sector, cozying up to Oracle Corp. and Apple, while repeatedly criticizing Amazon and Facebook.Silicon Valley voters generally lean Democratic. But it’s even harder than usual to predict what the upcoming election will look like. Even basic questions about the mechanics of voting remain unresolved. But for now, the things the tech industry was worried about at the beginning of this year seem like a distant memory.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    How Governments Are Trying to Spend Their Way Out of the Coronavirus Shock

    (Bloomberg) -- For years, a small band of economists has promoted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)—a view of the economy which says governments don’t have to worry about running large deficits. With nations now set to borrow trillions of dollars dealing with the effects of Covid-19, host Stephanie Flanders asks one prominent MMT adherent, Stephanie Kelton, whether we are all Modern Monetary Theorists now.Flanders also checks in with Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik to get a sense of the scale and rationale for the massive response by central banks and governments, and talks with Senior Global Trade and Globalization Reporter Shawn Donnan about how the focus of his reporting has changed since the pandemic began.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    U.K. Tech Firms Can’t Access Virus Relief, Chancellor Told

    (Bloomberg) -- Chief executive officers and founders from a dozen of some of the U.K.’s largest tech startups have warned their sector is at risk unless the government urgently changes its coronavirus stimulus package.In a letter sent to U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday, startups including Deliveroo and Citymapper said they fall through the cracks of the more-than 330 billion-pound ($409 billion) Covid-19 rescue package pledged by the government last month.The young, and in many cases loss-making companies say they can’t qualify for corporate finance loans, which require mature credit ratings and high profits, but that they’re also too big for small business relief.“Our sector will be crucial to helping the U.K. economy bounce back quickly after the pandemic,” the executives jointly wrote in the letter. “However, it has not yet received government support, unlike our competitors in France and Germany.”The letter is signed by the bosses of Babylon Healthcare Services Ltd., BenevolentAI Ltd., Blockchain Access U.K. Ltd., Bulb Energy Ltd., Citymapper, Darktrace Ltd., Deliveroo, Faculty Science Ltd., Five AI Ltd., GoCardless Ltd., Graphcore Ltd. and Improbable Worlds Ltd.They say the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme are inaccessible.Finance minister Sunak should “urgently set up a taskforce meeting” of companies and Treasury officials to work out how they and similar ventures can access government relief, they added.Representatives for the Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Critical WorkersDeliveroo is in a particularly complex position. Britain’s tough-talking merger watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, has previously thrown up potential obstacles to a proposed $575 million minority investment from Amazon.com Inc. The funding would give the meal-delivery company a much-needed lifeline.But Deliveroo’s employees have also been designated as critical workers by the government and act as an entirely different kind of lifeline to vulnerable people.Citymapper, an app that helps people navigate public transport networks around the world, was reported by Sky News in January to be exploring a potential sale. Its business is built around selling travel passes to make regular journeys cheaper, but cities coming to a standstill this year will have made this model even more challenging. (Updates with context in final three paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.